Super Sniper Scope: Next War’s ‘Secret Weapon’? (Updated)
It’s probably not the game-changing, “secret weapon” of the Iraq war. But it could help win the next one: a stealth sniper scope for invisible assassination.
Battles are increasingly about taking out a few select enemies, not large numbers of foes. If you want a device that allows you to locate, target and kill a subject, you need look no further than DARPA’s Super-Resolution Vision System (SRVS), which I looked at recently in the New Scientist technology blog.
Heat haze ordinarily throws off snipers. But SRVS changes heat haze from an obstruction into a means of enhancing the view. An effect called ” turbulence-induced micro-lensing” means that every instant the heated air acts as a series of lenses; at a given moment you may be able to look right through them and see a magnified view of the scene beyond. The trick is to use digital technology to identify the “lucky regions” or “lucky frames” when a clear view appears and assemble them into a complete picture.