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Weapons: Apple Software Makes A Better Sniper
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January 26, 2009: Apple computer now has two sniper rifle software applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch (which looks like the iPhone, but is just an iPod with a big screen and wi-fi capability). The BulletFlight software is available at the iPhone software store, and it performs the calculations needed to account for atmospheric conditions (wind, temperature, humidity, altitude and barometric pressure) for long range shooting. The output tells you how many clicks to adjust your scope to make the shot more accurately. Before use, you input basic data like rifle type and bullet weight.

Now a highly experienced sniper can do this in his head. There are similar dedicated devices that cost about $7,000. But BulletFlight is affordable, does the job and appeals to inexperienced snipers, hunters, recreational shooters and those who are just curious. The software costs $12. If you want to actually use it, you need to buy a protective case ($50) for the iPod, and a device ($25) that attaches it to the rail found on most sniper rifles and high end hunting rifles. So for shooting purposes, the entire kit costs you about $90. An iPod Touch (8 gigabyte version) sells for under $200.

There is some concern that the light from the iPod Touch screen might give away the snipers position at night. But you can set the light level on the Touch, so it probably won't be a problem. Besides, you are using BulletFlight for long range shots (300 meters or more), so the light from the display won't be a major problem. Or it shouldn't be. Time will tell. IPods are popular with the troops. Not just for the music and videos, but also for foreign language translations. This uses special software developed for the U.S. Army and distributed to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers and marines are big users of smart phones (like the iPhone) and new ideas. A lot of troops are going to try out BulletFlight, even if they aren't snipers.

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Camp       1/26/2009 10:20:03 AM
 
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HERALD1357    Miniaturize the works.   1/26/2009 12:40:21 PM
Wind sensor, barometer, and thermometer BUILT into the rifle and designed to either tell the shooter how many clicks or do it for him..
 
If you got this crap down to the size of an I-POD anyway, why not?

Herald
 
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newjarheadean    The system!   1/26/2009 2:36:28 PM
AHOY, Herald1357 I believe your asking why not make the periphery device smaller too? If so, I would say its like the car industry holding all kinds of new gadgets and innovations back from the lastest modle to drawl it all out over years to milk system. And in the posses as they add one gadget they take-eth away another. G-day!
 
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doggtag       1/26/2009 6:42:26 PM

Wind sensor, barometer, and thermometer BUILT into the rifle and designed to either tell the shooter how many clicks or do it for him..

 

If you got this crap down to the size of an I-POD anyway, why not?





Herald



The actual physical size needed to run an operating system that can run this kind of software (and couple that data with the input devices you mention) is quite small, not even 1/4 the size of the actual iPhone/iPod Touch.
The kicker is making it rugged enough to stand up to prolonged field use.
Some of those thumb drives, with capacities well up 16GB or better, that's more than ample size for both an OS and a massive data library for dozens of different guns, optics, and ammunition (there's even the potential there that a small handheld can "Bluetooth" with a round in a grenade launcher up to the very second you fire it, effectively the battlefield's smallest smart shell preprogrammer).
The hard part here is, we need it on a screen large enough that can be read easily at a couple feet distance without needing to squint and focus to see tiny text and images, with the added complexity of touch-screen-level interface, so there's no need for small knobs and switches that can be easily broken.
 
Thing is though: the only reason these electronic devices, and these latest two apps (BulletFlight, iSnipe) work so well, is because government committees didn't have their hands reaching into the development and stuffing up the process.
I give 'em points though on some of those translation matrixes (matrii?) apps they've developed for the troops.
But it isn't just the troops who are offering ideas on improving them: it's the civil sector that can make use of such things that will drive it faster (like a good many tech ideas and designs that sprang forth from military concepts), having a much-larger consumer base to funnel these rapid translators to (even if any rumors of stagnating economies suggests everyone can't afford to fly anywhere anymore).
 
The technology is more than mature enough to give us smart guns with biometric authorization preventing wrongful use by a thief.
We just don't have enough forward-thinking designers pushing such concepts forward with enough clout and backing to see it more widely accepted.
Many of these future warrior programs are tinkering with the notional ideas behind it, but even these primitive networked soldier systrems aren't even close to the full potential of having a distant sensor queue up a given soldier, via a handheld HUD equivalent like these cellphone/PDAs with their ballistic apps, who's at the best opportuntity to click in his sights and take down a target.
 
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matisse    Alternative iPhone apps   1/27/2009 12:09:58 PM
There are at least three ballistic calculator apps for the iPhone/iPod-Touch, and at least one of them ("Ballistic") has a free limited-features version. Here is a http://ballistic.zdziarski.com/ to the authors' web site.
 
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ArtyEngineer    Herald   1/27/2009 12:50:20 PM

Wind sensor, barometer, and thermometer BUILT into the rifle and designed to either tell the shooter how many clicks or do it for him..

 

If you got this crap down to the size of an I-POD anyway, why not?





Herald



GD ATP already done it, their proposal for teh M2/MK 19 replacement had an absolutely fantastic Fire Control System integral. 
 
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doggtag    ooooh, we better watch where this is going...   1/27/2009 12:51:12 PM
...because next thing we know, there'll be a 7-day waiting period for iPhones because someone used one of these apps to off someone...   http://www.strategypage.com/CuteSoft_Client/CuteEditor/Images/face20.gif" align="absMiddle" border="0" alt="" />
Can't be having such dangerous and deadly weapons in the hands of the general populace, now can we?
Class action lawsuit time against Apple?
 
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newjarheadean    MOA my eye, what wind...   1/27/2009 7:59:00 PM
The hard part here is, we need it on a screen large enough that can be read easily at a couple feet distance without needing to squint and focus to see tiny text and images, with the added complexity of touch-screen-level interface, so there's no need for small knobs and switches that can be easily broken. 
AHOY, What about these new contacts right on the eye provides the equivalent of 20 " screen, or patching it all through the scope utilizing this IR system that detect eye focus coupled with blinking to select etc.
 
 doggtag, IMO Big brother has got your back.
G-day! 
 
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gf0012-aust       1/27/2009 8:26:37 PM

Wind sensor, barometer, and thermometer BUILT into the rifle and designed to either tell the shooter how many clicks or do it for him..

If you got this crap down to the size of an I-POD anyway, why not?

Herald

Already done - australian future soldier concept has a working unit and has had a manportable solution for the last 2 years.  IIRC, the Brits have just released their manportable version as well

 
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HERALD1357       1/28/2009 12:43:05 AM





Wind sensor, barometer, and thermometer BUILT into the rifle and designed to either tell the shooter how many clicks or do it for him..




If you got this crap down to the size of an I-POD anyway, why not?





Herald






Already done - australian future soldier concept has a working unit and has had a manportable solution for the last 2 years.  IIRC, the Brits have just released their manportable version as well




My thing is system concepts, rockets, and telemetry, not rifles. This is one time where I follow the Arty rule.
 
Herald
 
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