Below is an excerpt from a document requesting white papers from various bidders on how they would meet the following technical requirements. The original document is labeled FOUO, so if any of you have any good ideas about meeting the following criteria, look at writing a white paper and submitting: https://www.fbo.gov/download/77f/77fc6da5ac0a01f52697987e7b098c62/Sniper_Wind_Ballistic_Solution_BAA.pdf The document is listed as FY11-FY12, so you still have a few days until FY-13 starts on 1 October 2012.
LONG RANGE SNIPER BALLISTIC SOLUTION SYSTEMS (SORDAC)
AREAS OF TECHNOLOGICAL AND SCIENTIFIC IMPORTANCE
Long Range Sniper Ballistic Solution Sensors and Computers: USSOCOM warfighters require technologies that provide the capability to measure continuously or sample winds at multiple ranges, from multiple directions and at varying speeds all the way from muzzle to target. A discrete vs. continuous sampling (average) of the wind vector is acceptable. The measure of effectiveness being the increase in first round hits at extended ranges. Technologies that measure or receive input from other devices for range, angle of fire, cant, temperature, humidity, air density, angular rate of moving targets. The technology must rapidly and accurately integrate the sensor data and compute a ballistic solution based on individual weapon and ammunition resulting in hits on stationary personnel size targets at 1500m and moving targets to 1000m. The technology must interface with issued ballistic tools to give a range and wind correction in mils or minutes of angle (MOA) that can be applied on the shooters weapon though hold or dial on data. This capability is specifically aimed at improving sniper first round target hits on stationary personnel sized targets out to 1500m Threshold and 2000m Objective.
Sniper/Designated Marksman Affordable Ballistic Solutions: Technologies that provide affordable ballistic solution enhancements to meet the objectives of current SOF sniper rifles and assist the sniper in operating more effectively without the support of a spotter. The technology must be light, affordable, provide accurate hold offs compatible with current weapons and optics, and be easily trained and rapidly employed. This capability is specifically aimed at maintaining and improving sniper first round target hits out to 1000m Threshold and 2000m Objective.
Enhanced Target Detection and Identification: Technologies that provide enhancements for snipers to detect camouflage, gunfire, and threat optics, recognize weapons/uniforms, facial features, and visually augmented day/night vision, at extend the ranges to 1500m Threshold 2000m Objective. This capability is specifically aimed at improving the snipers ability to locate and identify targets commensurate with the rules of engagement. Enhanced Ergonomics: Technologies that would significantly reduce the size, weight, and power consumption of the snipers mission equipment. Technologies that enhance the man/machine interface with the weapons system making easier, quicker and more intuitive in operation, and/or simplifying training requirements.
Virtual Training: Technologies to provide “virtual” training that adapts to the individual’s knowledge level, reticle patterns, and scope adjustments in mils and minutes of angle while accurately modeling the effects of wind, atmospheric conditions, altitude, range, angle of fire, etc., in varying terrain and include target detection / identification. This capability is specifically aimed at maintaining and improving sniper first round target hits out to 1500m Threshold and 2000m Objective while reducing training resource requirements.
I've bolded some things to highlight the "where is this going" issue, at least from a technical equipment methodology. At least from USSOCOM's perspective, SDM's are going to continue to be "baby snipers" for the time being. There is already some equipment on the market that meets the Threshold requirements (Barrett's 416 system with Ballistic computer/scope system comes to mind).