You are here

Local Wind Measuring Device



OBJECTIVE: This topic objective is in line with the U.S. Army Modernization priority #6 for Soldier Lethality. To define, design, develop and prototype a light weight, compact wind measuring device that can be placed on a shoulder fired weapon system in order to provide the User with localized wind speed and direction. The device should be able to communicated to a separate fire control unit (e.g. Weapon optic with ballistic processor). 

DESCRIPTION: To complete a ballistic firing solution one must take into account the variability of wind (Raymond Von Wahlde, 2008). Wind averaging from the shooter to target can provide a very accurate representation for a shooting solution (McCoy, Robert L 1976). Current ongoing efforts have thus far provided system solutions that are expensive, larger, heavier, and consume more power than User’s desire for their small arms applications. By providing localized wind at the shooter’s position a ballistic solution can be calculated that will generate a more accurate ballistic solution than without (Raymond Von Wahlde, Dennis Metz, 1999). The localized wind measuring device should be compact enough to satisfy the size and weight concerns for small arms application acceptance. Providing this capability, while reducing size, weight and power/cost (SWAP/C) as much as possible yet still maintaining survivability in an operational environment, is the main objective. Wind is the only environmental factor of interest. Temperature, pressure, humidity, etc. are not encouraged as part of proposals due to SWAP/C. This SBIR topic is requesting proposals on how to best achieve localized wind (direction and magnitude up to 30 mph crosswind) for use by fire control systems in a small arms combat environment (clear day, rain, extreme heat and cold conditions). The system shall be designed for a high volume production cost of up to $150.00. Venders shall investigate location/placement of the device to give the User the best possible ability to collect an accurate wind reading even when behind cover or in defilade. The placement of the device will be modeled to determine proper location on the weapon system. Venders shall assume the weapon system incorporates standard enablers to include laser sighting modules (PEQ) and optic. Venders shall also investigate how to transmit wind data from the wind measuring device to a fire control unit (e.g. Weapon optic with ballistic processor). Run time and power shall be considered to allow the longest runtime possible without battery change. MIL-STD-810 environmental ruggedness shall also be included. The time it takes to read/measure the wind is also an important metric and shall be considered. Read times need to be sufficiently short in order to engage fleeting targets, ideally less than 1 second. 

PHASE I: Produce a conceptual design of a small, lightweight localized wind measuring system. Determine system performance through simulation and modeling with regards to its ability to accurately measure local wind direction and magnitude. Perform an analysis on device placement on the weapon system for overall best performance in characterizing the wind to include when the User is in defilade or behind cover. Develop an initial concept design and model key elements for transmitting wind data from the device to a fire control system. Investigate processes to reduce read time to ensure sufficiently short duration for small arms applications. 

PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate and validate the resulting efforts of phase I. Construct and demonstrate the operation of a prototype TRL 6 or higher to accurately read and transmit local wind data, up to 30 mph, to a fire control system. Conduct developmental and environmental testing to show that the device is ready for testing in an operational environment (rain, extreme hot and cold). Finalize and validate that the size and weight of the device are within acceptable limits for small arms applications and that time to read wind is sufficiently short. Required Phase II deliverables will include 5 wind measuring devices and all ancillary equipment (i.e. carry case, batteries, cables, manuals, etc.). Deliveries shall include a technical data package TDP as well as hardware. 

PHASE III: Optimize the hardware and software developed in Phase II. Refine the component design to be modular and to minimize size, weight, power and to survive the harsh conditions experienced in a military environment (MIL-STD-810). Create a partnership with industry to manufacture the technology. Commercial application include sport Hunters, shooters, sailors, ballooners, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The goal of this effort is to design, develop, prototype and mature a small lightweight local wind measuring device that can be purchased by PdM-IW under a production contract and used with the infantryman’s fire control system. Local wind measurement is of interest across PM Soldier Weapons and could transfer to the Crew Served Fire Control (CS-FC), Precision Fire Control (P-FC), Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW), and Advanced Sniper Accessory Kit (ASAK) programs of record. 


1: Raymond Von Wahlde, Dennis Metz, (1999). Sniper Weapon Fire Control Error Budget Analysis

2:  ARL-TR-2065

3:  US Army Research Laboratory: Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

4:  Raymond Von Wahlde, Dennis Metz, (1999). Fire Control and Crosswind Sensing for Sniper Applications

5:  ARL-TR-2065

6:  US Army Research Laboratory: Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

7:  McCoy, Robert L. The Effect of Wind on Flat-Fire Trajectories

8:  BRL-R-1900

9:  August 1976

KEYWORDS: Wind Sensing, Ballistic Solution 


Joseph Petillo 

(973) 724-1690 

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government