A shot in the dark

A shot in the dark

Rifle-mounted scope project includes student research

The Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) has undertaken a research project to develop a system that records the image a sniper sees through a rifle-mounted scope.

To further this effort, NUARI sponsored a student capstone design project during the 2012-2013 school year. Senior Mechanical Engineering students Trevor Peck, Jonathan Ferris, Andrew Provonche and Benjamin Deschaine formed the team, with Prof. Donald Wallace as advisor. Their goal was to select a camera system and design and test a scope-mounting device. The challenge was to design a camera mounting system that would take consistently high-quality pictures through a Schmidt & Bender sniper scope, providing clear image quality and eliminating the effect of stray light.

The students selected a Sony A65 DSLR camera, and then designed commissioned the manufacture of hardware to connect the camera to the scope. They tested the resulting system in daylight, in the dark and finally in the dark using an infrared detection device. The resulting pictures of standard targets were comparable to what was visible by a person with normal vision under similar conditions, indicating a successful outcome.

This project was presented at National Convention of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, and to the Vermont Society of Engineers meeting in Burlington, Vt.