Israeli govt. scientists patent the holy grail of sniper scopes

The accurate detection and compensation for the effect of cross winds is the holy grail of sniper scope development. A patent awarded two days ago to the Israeli Government’s Soreq Nuclear Research Center describes a system that can do just that.

The patent describes a LIDAR (Laser Identification Detection And Ranging) unit which works by firing a laser beam at the target. The reflection of the laser is captured by an array of photodiodes. Fluctuations in the signals received by the photodiodes are used to detect both the direction and velocity of cross wind. The system works for targets which are at least 500m away.

Special Reaction Team (SRT) practicing with M86 Sniper Rifle

Highly sophisticated hunting rifle scopes, for example the Burris Eliminator LaserScope, already incorporate technology that can adjust their aiming point by measuring the target’s range using a rangefinder. If this technology was combined with the Israeli LIDAR system it would take most of the guess work out of long range sniper.

Burris Eliminator LaserScope. Automatically calculates elevation holdover.

The DARPA One Shot next-generation sniper scope program requires cross wind calculation [PDF link] …

The One Shot program will develop a field-testable prototype, observation, measurement, and ballistic calculation system, which enable Snipers to hit targets with the first round, under crosswind conditions, up to the maximum effective range of the weapon (RE). The system developed should provide day and night direct observation of the target, measure all relevant physical phenomena that influence a ballistic trajectory, and rapidly calculate and display both the aim point offset and expected crosswind variability (confidence metric) in the shooters riflescope.

It will be interesting to see if the Israeli system will be used in the One Shot scope.

The patent can be read below … (more…)

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Vak

    I hope this won’t mean that any dumbass with too much money and no training will be able to compete against a trained sniper.

  • shockfish08

    Thats pretty friggn’ cool actually! If this sortta thang ever became mainstream I wonder if they would still teach snipers the old school guesswork calculating.

  • HD

    Sniper laser detection system coming in 3, 2…

  • snmp

    This stuff is very nice for detection of people who shoot with it

  • Rusgunnut1

    “it would take most of the guess work out of long range sniper.”

    “USMC USMC Special Reaction”.

    Sorry, but I had to say.

  • HK_WSU

    This is cool stuff. I think they would still probably teach the sniping techniques though as you don’t want to be completely dependent on something that can break out in the field. Just my two cents on the subject.

  • Trango

    Technology is great and the advancements we are seeing in the firearms industry and abroad make this a very exciting time. This new scope is a perfect example.

    That being said, isn’t this new tech going to take away some of the intelligence and skill needed to be sniper? I’ve never been a sniper, never been through sniper training, but based on my very limited experiences with sniping, it seems to be a very highly disciplined art. If we become too reliant upon tech to get the job done for us, don’t we run the risk of losing the skills and lessons learned from generations of teaching and training?

    Maybe I’m looking too much into this…

  • Fungus

    I would still teach it, for the reason that technology does breakdown and you still need to make the shot. Always have a back up!

  • Mark K.
  • me


    It’s not like it hasn’t happened before, Remember how the pope banned crossbows way back when? Wasn’t fair to the archers who trained all their lives.

  • Bug

    Next they’ll program the scopes and rifle systems with sentience, and we won’t have to worry about elections anymore.

  • Amazing technology, but how soon before someone releases a LIDAR detection unit?

  • AB

    As a contractor, no matter how golly-gee-whiz the tools get, they are extremely dangerous in the hands of the untrained. Dangerous to you and me, more-so to the untrained.

    This goes for weaponry to things such as drills, nailguns and portable bandsaws.

  • Lance

    Nice but itll have a ridiculas cost for it.

  • CMathews

    Use an infrared imaging device to spot the beams from the scope. Boom… One dead sniper that just relenquished alot of nice tech to the enemy.

  • Vak

    @me (god, I feel like I’ve gone schizo)

    I had heard that the pope banned crossbows because they could kill knights really easily, which could have threatened the feodal status quo. I don’t think he really cared much about fairness.

  • MrMaigo

    The new game “Sniper: Ghost Warrior” has that… having a POI dot on the screen doesn’t feel soo much like cheating anymore

  • Bob

    To all those bemoaning the loss of “skill” this will bring, that’s been the case throughout the entire history of weapon evolution, as some commenters have aptly pointed out.

    A Somali with 15 minutes of training with an AK can decimate a village, whereas Roman soldiers trained their whole lives to develop necessary hand to hand combat skills.

    This is no different than decrying the loss of horseback riding ability because of the advent of the automobile. It will remain as sport, but little else (much like archery).

    Also, are you sure about that caption? Looks an awful lot like Leupold M3s sitting atop M24s with front sight stakes for the palma redfield sights. Nothing USMC about it. Could be wrong, but double check.

  • SpudGun

    Will this new technology turn every untrained Joe into a qualified sniper? Considering I have friends who own both SatNav and GPS and still get lost, then my answer is…probably not.

    Besides, snipers have been using cutting edge technology since World War I – from advanced optics to night vision to handheld ballistic computers – this is just another tool in their box.

  • Trango

    @Bob I don’t think too many here “bemoan” about the loss of skill. Even if that was the case, why should we allow ourselves to become complacent with our skill levels in combat simply because technology steps in and makes things easier?

    U.S. Special Forces have some of the best toys on the market but are still taught hand-to-hand combat techniques used by the Apache Indians long ago.

    And your analogy with the horse and the car doesn’t quite work with this scenario. As Fungus noted, if the little red dot telling you where to aim goes dead all of sudden, and you can’t calculate windage and elevation, you’re screwed. I could be the best damn rodeo rider around, but if my car breaks down, it’s not going to help me.

    In any event, as Mark K. noted, the concept for this tech has been around for a bit. I don’t see this being an immediate replacement for current sniper systems anytime soon. We shall see I guess…

  • Bob

    Trango, perhaps you need to look up the definition of the word bemoan. Let me give you some quotes from above:

    “I hope this won’t mean that any dumbass with too much money and no training will be able to compete against a trained sniper.”

    “That being said, isn’t this new tech going to take away some of the intelligence and skill needed to be sniper?”

    And I have no idea what you’re trying to say with your car breaking down analogy. All I said was that as a result of the automobile, horse back riding became an obsolete skill, much as archery became an obsolete skill with the development of modern firearms.

    If such a tech were developed and deployed, maybe riflemen would still be trained to operate without it, maybe not. Some probably would and some probably wouldn’t. But again to answer all those with concern, yes, it would inevitably shrink the gap between the highly trained and the poorly trained when it came to precision shooting, assuming the tech was working.

    This is identical to the crossbow example. It was the “not fair” weapon of its day because suddenly a peasant could eliminate a knight with years of combat training, wearing very costly armor. If the crossbow broke, could the knight run down and kill him? Probably. But no one cared about that when they were crying foul.

  • JoeB

    Next they will make scopes with microwave ovens and Ipod chargers. BRING THE FUTURE TO ME!

  • Trango

    LOL, no Bob, I don’t need a dictionary; thanks though.

    You seem to think that people are crying foul here regarding this new tech and have chosen to get on your high horse (which is looking like a .25 ride outside of Walmart) to correct us.

    As you so aptly highlighted, I was posing more of a question or a query as opposed to, again, “bemoaning” (which in layman’s terms is a cross between complaining and moaning). I was leaving it open to discussion as opposed to just making a statement.

    You were making a comparison between a horse and car to highlight the evolutionary loss of skill in horseback riding, which is true. However, horses and cars are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum from one another in regards to technological advances. In the case of this new scope tech, the distance isn’t that far apart from that of the scopes currently on the market, and therefore your hose/car example doesn’t quite fit.

    The bow and crossbow example, highlighted by Vak, is more suitable.

    Bottom line the biggest issue I had with your initial statement was that the context leads the reader to believe that we should accept the loss of certain skills to technology. In my opinion, when it comes to combat skills both physical and mental, that’s a cop out.

    Whatever the case, Steve, you need to find a new subject for us to debate on. This is old. Thanks though Bob, it’s been fun.

  • subase

    Another good reason to stay out of a war involving anyone with access to this technology. You could be sniped by an 8 year old now.

  • Jeff

    I believe some of you folks need to read Stephen Hunter’s latest book. That would be “I, Sniper.” Swagger prevails against the “bad guy’s” computer scope with typical Swagger genius-seriously, this whole thing is a natural progression. The newer methods of target acquisition will be a race of minimizing shooter detection with ever sneakier laser technology.

  • jz

    so whats the best LASER RANGE FINDING RIFLE SCOPE available today? anyone, anyone?

    respect, jz

  • rdsii64

    We have had the means to detect the speed and direction of the wind for years. laser range finders are also common place at rifle ranges and hunting camps.
    It was simply a matter of time before someone figured out how to combine the functions of all these tools into one package, and put it a rifle scope. As long as our military shooters still learn to read the wind and estimate range without the help of electronic aids,(just in case the batteries die when the shot has to be made NOW) I think tools like these will only serve to make the long range shooter one shot lethal and even greater ranges.

  • 040521-M-1012W-013
    Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan (May 21, 2004) – Special Reaction Team (SRT) members Capt. Marc L. Mitchell, and spotter Cpl. Eddie L. Tesch, work together to ensure all standing pop-up targets are taken out during sniper training aboard Camp Hansen, Okinawa. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ryan Walker (RELEASED)