New thermal scope ensures snipers remain invisible while shooting

No matter how advanced we are; wherever or whenever we live – some things will always be true. A triangle always has three sides. Two will always equal two. And there is always money in coming up with new ways to get people to kill each other.

One company taking advantage of this quirk of human nature is defense contractor Teledyne FLIR. At last month’s annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas (the name stands for “Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade,” and the show is an expo for the shooting sports, hunting, and firearms industries) they unveiled the HISS HD: a new sniper The sight they say allows shooting at targets at unprecedented distances without giving away the sniper’s position.

For those of us who have no experience with sniping – or interact with a slew of war movies or video games that approach sniping – here’s why that’s so important. Snipers are often seen as the invisible killers of military forces: they specifically position themselves too far away for enemies to detect, or in places where they are hidden by the environment. From there, they use highly accurate – and nowadays ultra-high-tech – weapons to kill targets from sometimes miles away.

But here’s the problem: if you’re so far away, how do you know how accurate you are? That’s where tracers come in: bullets that contain a small pyrotechnic charge so that when fired, they burn brightly enough to be seen with the naked eye.

Unfortunately, if you If they can see them, the enemy can see them too – and like anyone else with an interest in staying alive, they might just fire back. So what’s a $900 billion industrial complex to do?

Well, actually one answer for a while has been “chilled thermal sights”. This is specialized camera technology that tracks fired bullets with a thermal sight whose sensor temperature has been reduced to cryogenic temperatures – that is, below 120 Kelvin, or -153°C (-243.4°F).

These may seem overly low, considering bullets average between 50 and 90 °C (122 to 194 °F) after leaving a gun, but it’s done for a good reason: it reduces thermal noise, allowing for a higher image resolution is possible. “What happens is the bullet leaves the barrel at extreme speed – almost 2,500 feet per second in the case of a 7.62mm machine gun,” says Zachary Fuller, senior sales manager for weapon sights and handhelds for Teledyne FLIR and previously a Army Special Forces. sniper and Army Special Operations Command optics and target engagement manager, Forbes shared.

“You don’t see it for the first few meters,” he explained. “But because you’re shooting a bow, once the bullets get a little ahead of you you can see them all and slow down a little bit.”

The HISS HD isn’t the first camera to use this technology, but what sets it apart from its predecessors is both how bright the image is and the distances at which this clarity can be maintained. The result, according to Forbes, is comparable to “being able to see an enemy soldier’s arm moving over a weapon from more than a mile away, day or night.”

Being waterproof, lightweight and autofocusing, the sight is “the unrivaled choice for precision photographers,” according to a statement from Teledyne FLIR. But it’s not just a death gadget for super soldiers, Fuller points out: It can also be used separately from a weapon to monitor objects and export video to higher functions for evaluation.

“You can watch the enemy from a great distance and still see a lot of detail,” he suggested. “Your commander may want the video out view to be forwarded to a tablet in the truck he normally drives. He will have several tools for situational awareness and I think the HISS HD is an additional tool in his toolbox.”

“Even deconfliction,” he added; “Knowing who the friendlies are, knowing who is armed or unarmed, it all becomes easier.”

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