Sgt. Courtney Hall, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division sets up a piece of the Meteorological Measuring Set-Profiler at Wright Army Airfield, Aug. 8. The equipment provides situational awareness as to weather effects in the area, a vital part of firing guns. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jared S. Eastman, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.
Yesterday I posted a bit on the evolution and use of gunner’s quadrants over on my (Craig’s) blog. Didn’t see this photo until earlier today, and it would have fed into the discussion nicely.
Back in the early days of artillery, gunners had firing tables citing range by elevation. These were often based on principles of physics known at the time. None took into account air density and atmospheric effects. Over the centuries the art of gunnery became more so a science. Today’s artillery systems depend on accurate local weather data in order to provide highly accurate fire support that those ancient gunners could not imagine possible.
The price of that accuracy is complexity. But if you need Meteorological Measuring Set-Profilers to provide danger-close (and closer) fires in order to protect my position, then by all means I’ll accept the complexity any day.