Defense

January 29, 2014

Army researchers inspire commercial rifle fire control systems

Shown is the precision-guided firearm.

Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory go about their business every day working on projects to help better serve the military and its members who protect our country.

Sometimes the research inspires commercial companies to do additional research and expand on certain aspects to develop products of their own.

That is what happened with the Army Research Laboratory’s, or ARL’s, research called “Inertial Reticle Technology,” where researchers who were then in the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate developed a concept to apply advanced fire control technology to sniper weapons.

As a result of this concept, a modern fire control system for rifles was developed by a Texas-based company, which later partnered with another prominent gun manufacturer. Their partnership allowed for the development of a new shooting system, which they claim may just revolutionize how targets are acquired. It is called the precision-guided firearm.

According to an article in American Rifleman magazine, dated Dec. 17, 2013, a new integrated rifle and sighting system was introduced in January 2013, in which a video screen scope with an internal laser rangefinder to measure the distance to the target and, using the latest in digital technology, factors in temperature, barometric pressure, incline/decline, cant, air density, spin drift, target movement and effect drift.

Raymond Von Wahlde, aerospace engineer, Vehicle Technology Directorate, learned about this discovery through his former colleagues Lucian Sadowski and Dr. Stephen Small both from Joint Service Small Arms Program who managed a project in the 1990’s known as, “Project White Feather.”

Small named the project as a tribute to famed sniper Gunnery Sgt. Carlos N. Hathcock II, also known as “White Feather.” Von Wahlde found that the new rifle was very similar to the technology he had coauthored a white paper on with Dennis Metz from EAI Corporation in August 1999, titled “Sniper Weapon Fire Control Error Budget Analysis,” data from which was included on the company’s website.

Shown is the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Inertial Reticle Technology prototype.

Von Wahlde contacted the company to see if those who developed their precision-guided firearms were aware of the Special Operations Command-sponsored project known as “Project White Feather.”

Von Wahlde said in his message, “we called it the ‘Inertial Reticle.’ It was the brainchild of Dr. Mark Kregel. Might the precision guided firearm trace its ancestry back at least in part to ‘Project White Feather?'”

Von Wahlde went on to say, “Your videos look remarkably like ours did back in the day. I am impressed with your implementation. We utilized actual inertial sensors on the weapon to stabilize the desired aim point. I like your image processing method for doing so. Your solution to trigger pull is elegant. We replaced the trigger with a switch that armed the system. A solenoid actually pulled the trigger. That was one of the least liked features of our prototype by the users. Adjusting the trigger force is brilliant.”

Within a couple of days, Von Wahlde received a message back from the company.

“Thank you very much for your email. I appreciate your work – Project White Feather continues to be the best compilation and serious study of sniper performance data that I am aware of. We make everyone on the team read it. Thanks for your interest, would love to show you the system sometime,” said Bret Boyd, vice president of sales and marketing, TrackingPoint.

Von Wahlde, who was project engineer for much of the testing, said he gives a lot of credit to his former colleagues.

“The technology was the brain child of Dr. Mark Kregel (now retired) and along with Tom Haug (also retired) and Tim Brosseau from WMRD, they constructed the prototype systems for the IRT (Inertial Reticle Technology),” said Von Wahlde. “I am honored to be part of a team that served as an inspiration for these systems.”

 

U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command or RDECOM, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America’s soldiers.

RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army’s premier provider of materiel readiness – technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection and sustainment – to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC delivers it.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine

SEWIP block upgrade program evaluated for LCS

Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Helen Hernandez monitors an SLQ-32 radar aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is deplo...
 

 

AEDC completes longest engine test in its history

For the first time, an accelerated mission test was accomplished for the F101-GE-102 engine in the Aeropropulsion Systems Test Facility altitude cell C-1 at Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The $21 million test program was the longest single entry of a jet engine in AEDC’s history. The engine ran more than...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>