If you ever used a gun, you might already know how difficult it is to hit a target at a mile’s distance. Word was out recently that the US army is testing rifles which can hit a target accurately even if the shooter is not an expert or the aim is not accurate, turns out it’s based on Linux.
The 338TP is the latest model from TrackingPoint, based in Austin, Texas. It’s a Precision-Guided Firearm which implements the same lock-and-launch technology found in fighter jets. Because of the range of accuracy, it is also called the Mile Maker. It was demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this January.
As for the hardware, the 338TP bases on the .338 Lapua Magnum, which started as a design for the US Marine sniper rifles. The rifle uses laser technology to latch on or “tag” the target. TrackingPoint calls it the Tag-and-Shoot tech. It also takes care of wind speed, direction, temperature, and barometric pressure through sensors. The data is fed to a Linux based chip which automatically tracks the latched target. The tracking system then guides the trigger release. Once the trigger is pulled, the device calculates the precise location of the target based on all the factors and the bullet goes off. It takes around a second with this gear.
The firearm comes with Heads Up Display (HUD), Permanent Zero (no need to bother about zeroing-in twice), TriggerLink (electronic connection between the tracking optic and the guided trigger), ShotView App (streams real-time video from the Precision-Guided Firearm to a ShotGlass on the Recon Jet wearable, smart phone, or tablet) and Virtual Rest.
The 338TP will cost around $40K with 200 rounds of ammo (approx. $8 per round).
TrackingPoint has been using Linux for many of its models. The careers section clearly mentions that an applicant for an engineer’s position should be working in and with Linux. Knowledge of Linux device drivers is an additional advantage.
Not a regular area where you see Linux, right? But it definitely proves what the OS is capable of! How about an error detecting pen?