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Independent Gun Location and Gun Tube Pointing Device


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics, 

OBJECTIVE: Design and build a system that can remotely and independently determine the location of a howitzer and the orientation (azimuth and elevation) of the gun tube, display the position and pointing data, in real time to a terminal/monitor at the control center and other remote locations located as far as 25 km. 

DESCRIPTION: During certain types of large caliber firing tests, the weapon pointing is done automatically by the system under test and or by the system operators. The tactical nature of these events makes it very difficult to perform an independent verification of the gun tube pointing prior to firing. There is a need, from a range safety standpoint to verify the location of the howitzer and orientation of the gun tube during such events to ensure weapons are fired within the established safety corridors. A system is required that is portable/mobile/deployable and operates independent of the weapon platform. The system then needs to be able to determine and transmit the location and pointing data to a control center and other remote locations which may be located as far as 25 km away. The data must be transmitted in real time and must consist of weapon location, gun tube horizontal angular measurement and a gun tube vertical angular measurement. The system must enable the user to input custom maps for graphical display purposes. At the control center and the remote locations, the terminal or display must numerically and graphically display the data in real time. The reference azimuth for the angular measurements must be user selectable (i.e. azimuth with respect to true north, geodetic north, etc.) The system developed under this effort must meet the following performance goals: Vehicle location accuracy: ± 1 meter Gun tube azimuth accuracy: ± .1 degree Gun tube elevation accuracy: ± .2 degrees Rugged & mobile: • Temperatures from -40 to +140°F • Water and dust proof • Deployable in rough desert terrain, portable via pickup truck or similar and self contained. 

PHASE I: Perform a feasibility study in support of the development of a Remote gun location and Gun tube pointing determination system which meets the specification above. Evaluate innovative technologies which may be used to build, integrate the system and leverage existing technologies. Perform trade-off analysis to determine the best approach for howitzer location and gun pointing determination system, and develop a preliminary design for the system. 

PHASE II: Develop a prototype system. Demonstrate the system technology and characterize its performance. 

PHASE III: The system developed under this topic could be used by other test and training ranges to increase safety when firing large caliber weapons. The system could also be marketed to foreign militaries for use on their training and test ranges. 


1: Army AL&T magazine

KEYWORDS: Artillery, Fire Control, Quadrant Elevation, Azimuth Of Fire, Range Safety 

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