Steer a spinning bullet  Return to mk45

NWS03apr-5. ONR’s self-guided projectile test successful By ONR Public Affairs ARLINGTON, Va. (NWS) --

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) recently tested a spinning projectile that was successfully guided toward a designated target. This was the final test of the Competent Munitions Advanced Technology Demonstration (CM- ATD) and was completed recently at the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.

In the test, a Navy 5”/54 caliber MK 45 gun fired a projectile with a global positioning system (GPS)-based guidance package and a micro-electromechanical sensor (MEMS). The test proved that a conventional spinning naval gun projectile could be outfitted with an internal navigation system and steered toward a designated GPS coordinate impact location.

The CM-ATD was started in 1996 to demonstrate that a lower cost Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) system based on MEMS could provide improved impact geo-location performance at ranges greater than nine nautical miles when compared to standard artillery unguided spinning rounds. The demonstration hardware used a GPS receiver and a complete MEMS-based, inertial measurement unit to navigate the projectile to preset coordinates.

All of the required GN&C electronic hardware is contained in a volume of 13 cubic inches which is approximately 30 times smaller than any existing concept for gun launch. In the final test, the test projectile was modified to carry power and telemetry equipment and required to transmit flight data to ground recording stations. The normal ballistic flight path of the projectile was altered in mid-flight by the GPS/MEMS internal navigation system and steered the projectile toward the target through the use of a set of nose-mounted tilting canard fins.

The CM-ATD GN&C section, designed to withstand more than 15,000 Gs of launch acceleration, is essentially a “smart fuse” replacement for the “dumb” unguided fuse sections used by the Navy, Army, Marines and many NATO countries. “In mass production, these guidance and control units could potentially be manufactured for less than $3,000 each and affixed to all current NATO standard projectiles,” said Mr. Peter Morrison, ONR program manager for the CM-ATD.

The Naval Surface Warfare Center Guns and Munitions Division in Dahlgren, Va., provided technical direction of the CM-ATD. The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory coupled their development of a MEMS roll-rate gyroscope with MEMS accelerometers and a Rockwell Collins GPS to design and build the INS. The U.S. Army Armament Research Development and Engineering Center, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., provided technical support to the CM-ATD.

The CM-ATD is slated to transition to the Joint (Army/Navy) Projectile Common Guidance Program this fiscal year. The Office of Naval Research pursues an integrated science and technology program from basic research through manufacturing technologies. Research areas include oceanography; advanced materials; sensors; electronics; surveillance; mine countermeasures; weapons; and surface ship, submarine and aircraft technologies.

For more information about ONR programs, refer to the ONR home page at

Page created on June 14th 2002  Return to mk45