Technology · Videos

Beautifully Deadly, Self-Guided Bullets

A tiny light-emitting diode, or LED, attached to a self-guided bullet at Sandia National Laboratories shows a bright path during a nighttime field test that proved the battery and electronics could survive the bullet’s launch.

Researchers have had initial success testing the design in computer simulations and in field tests of prototypes, built from commercially available parts, Jones said.

While engineering issues remain, “we’re confident in our science base and we’re confident the engineering-technology base is there to solve the problems,” he said.

Sandia’s design for the four-inch-long bullet includes an optical sensor in the nose to detect a laser beam on a target. The sensor sends information to guidance and control electronics that use an algorithm in an eight-bit central processing unit to command electromagnetic actuators. These actuators steer tiny fins that guide the bullet to the target.

Excerpt of a press release by Sandia

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