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Laser Pointer

Simplified aimer for big guns
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The aimer of the weapon points and shoots, using a small handheld device, shaped like a common pistol. Or possibly, like a rifle (with binocular sites).

However, the device wouldn't hold the weaponry, but would instead tell the main weapon where to shoot at.

Inside the handheld part would be a GPS reciever, a 3d magnetic compass, a 3d accellerometer, and a few gyroscopes.

The GPS reciever would let the device know where it is, the compass and accellerometer would let the device know where "north" and "down" are (i.e., where the device is pointed), and the gyroscopes would correct the accellerometer's reading for short term motions (e.g., if user is using it from a moving vehicle).

In the barrel of the device would be a laser range finder, to tell the distance from the device to the target.

Knowing the device's own location, where it's pointing, and how from from it to the target, the device calculates the GPS location of the target, and sends it to the weapon it's controlling. Pulling the trigger on the device of course causes the weapon being controlled to fire.

The weapon would have the same components for determining it's location and direction, plus an anemometer, plus of course whatever it's firing (a machine gun, mortar, missiles, etc). When given the signal from the handheld device, it would calculate a trajectory to the target and fire.

The big advantage of this design is that the weapon could be a good distance away from the user, and could be unmanned, and firing it would draw attention away from whoever's aiming it.

Also, if the weapon is a machine gun, and is mounted high up (from a tower, or slung below a helicopter), it will shoot downwards towards the target, unlike a normal gun which is often fired from the same height above ground as whomever it's being shot at. This results in any missed shots going into the dirt, instead of resulting in unwanted collateral damage.

goldbb, Jan 25 2009

Hammer of Dawn https://gearsofwar....wiki/Hammer_of_Dawn
Orbital laser weapon in the Gears of War games whose target designator might work this way. I doubt the satellite could see a laser dot. [notexactly, Apr 28 2019]

[link]






       Been reading Chrichton's Congo lately? The expedition has pretty much this exact setup for their perimeter defence.   

       Anyhoo, that aside - magnetic compasses, accelerometers etc aren't very accurate. I'd rate this sort of system for artillery or long range mortar support (even, in some cases airstrikes - say cluster munitions, etc), but nothing more accurate than that. More for area attacks rather than pinpoint anything.   

       That said, something like this might be quite useful for that exact role.
Custardguts, Jan 25 2009
  

       Why not use the laser to point out the target to the weapon system? This is how real target designators generally work, and it seems to work okay. Would be more accurate than the lo ts-o f-sen sors-an d-I-te ll-y ou-wh at-I 'm-poin ting-a t method.
notexactly, Apr 23 2019
  

       [goldbb] Can we launch life-saving equipment or have some other humanitarian need? It can be converted back to a weapons system when humanity leaves our solar system and gets out into the big wide universe.
wjt, Apr 28 2019
  
      
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