It's the Drop

Period of Performance: 04/30/1998 - 10/31/1998


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Continental Computer
1091 N Gaffey, Suite 232
San Pedro, CA 90371
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


How do you hit a two-meter square target 500 meters away with a subsonic, unguided SMAW-D missile? At 100 meters, drop is about as important as other factors. At 500 meters, other factors have increased linearly but drop has grown by a factor of 30 and is the dominant factor. Even a 9mm revolver can hit the above target if you get the drop right. To compensate for drop, you need to know range AND velocity. R can come from either a spotting rifle or a laser rangefinder. A commercial, off the shelf laser rangefinder available for less than $200 may do a better job than a spotting rifle. While usable as-is, we explore integrating this rangefinder into the SMAW-D launch system. Launch velocity of the missile drops sharply with temperature and this problem must be addressed. If the velocity of a cold missile not only drops but is inconsistent, then the only answer is a guidance system. We explore a simple, no computer guidance system to compensate for gravity. While this system can easily be enhanced, it solves the immediate problem defined above.