US 1747664 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 18, 1930. DROITCQUR 1,747,664
APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY TRAINING GUNS, ETC,, 0N MOVING OBJECTS Filed Feb. 1929 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 LAIAAAAA Feb. 18, 1930. H A. DROITCOUR APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY TRAINING GUNS, ETC,, ON MOVING OBJECTS Fil 1929 2 Sheets-Sheet gwuanto" 5. Patented Pet. s, 1930 UNIT-E sr'rs HOWARD ANDREW DROITCOUR, F EDGEWOOD, RHODE ISLAND Application filed I'ebruar y so, 1929. Serial No. 341,552.
This invention is a novelmechanism for automatically directing or aiming a gun, search-light, telescope, or other devlce upon an aero lane in flight or other moving object 5 the mec anism being adapted to be operate in either day or night; and the mechanism automatically maintaining the gun or the like trained upon such moving object.
In my invention I mount the gun, searchli ht, telescope or the like upon a support which may be revolved about a vertical axis actuated by a motor and which support can revolve also about a horizontal axis actuated by a motor. A telescopic camera on the aforesaid gun or the like is so mounted that when the camera is directed upon a moving object such as an airplane it. will throw an image of the plane upon a screen, provided withselenium strips, which strips are exposed to the shadow image, or to light projectedon the screen. These selenium strips are respectively electrically connected to the motor which controls the rotation of the gun around the vertical axis, and to the motor which con-' '25 trols the rotation of the gun around the horizontal axis. Resistances are placed in the electrical connections in such manner and of such value that when there is equal light on the selenium strips there will be no current passing through the motors but any movement of the aero lane or other moving objects will tend to s ift the image on the screen in some direction, and this shifting of this image relative to the selenium strips may produce a greater resistance in one or more of the strips, thereby causing current to pass to one or both of the motors, so that one or both of the motors will automatically operate according to the position of the image on the screen to shift the gun and keep the gun trained continuously upon the moving object. This combined automatic control of the gun shifting motors will keep the gun aimed at the object so that whenever fired the gun will hit the object.
A search light similarly mounted and controlled keeps the object at night constantly illuminated, the only change in the aiming mechanism being that the direction of the current in the fields of the motor must be reversed in order to cause the aiming device to follow the bright portions of the screen instead of the shadowed portions.
In the accompanying drawings I have diagrammatically illustrated a gun, the telescopic camera with screen, the motors, and electrical connections for actuating the gun, and will explain the invention with reference thereto to enable others skilled in the art to adopt and use the same;v and in the claims will summarizethe novel features of construction, and novel combinations of parts, for which protection is desired.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic plan view of a gun equipped with my aforesaid novel train- 1n apparatus.
T ig. 2 is a diagrammatic side elevation thereof.
Fig. 3 is an enlarged diagrammatic view illustrating the efiect of the shadow of the image on the screen and its relation to the selenium strips or cells, also showing the wiring diagram for the electrical connections.
As diagrammatically shown in the drawing the gun I or other device such as a search llght, telescope, etc. which is desired to be maintained trained upon a moving object such as an airplane, is mounted upon a revolvable plate 2 adapted to rotate in either direction at proper times around an axis preferably vertical, the plate 2 being mounted upon a shaft 3 journaled in a suitable base 4.
Plate 2 is preferably circular and is provided at its periphery with gear teeth 2 meshing with a pinion 5 fixed to the shaft of an electric motor 6 carried by the base 4. Plate 2 however may be rotated about its axis by motor 6 in any other desired manner.
The trunnions 1 of gun 1 are disposed parallel with plate 2, and journaled in spaced uprights 2 carried by said plate 2. Fixedly mounted upon one trunnion is a gear wheel 1, of suitable diameter, meshing with a pinion 7 on the shaft of an electric motor 8 mounted upon the plate 2. The gun 1, however, may be rotated about its trunnions 1 by motor 8 in any other desired manner. Thus the gun will be revolved about one axis by motor 6, and will be similarly revolved about an- 100 other axis'at right angles to the first by the "V5215 motor 8, the motors 6 and 8 being automatlcally controlled by novel means heremafter set forth.
A telescopic camera 9 is mounted upon gun 1 so that it will throw an image of the object aimed at .upon the screen 9 (F g. 3 of camera .9. Screen' 9 is provided with our radially disposed strips or cells of selenium 10, 11, :12 and 13, (which stri' s may' be any photo-electric cell), the strips emg dlsposed 90 degrees apart and adapted to be exposed to th'eimage orlightpro ected upon screen 9. These strips 10-13 inclusive are connected, as hereinafter explained, with the armature circuits of the direct current motors 6 and 8, the fields of the direct current motors 6 and 8 being supplied by independent sources of direct current 6 and 8 respectively.
The vertically disposed and diametricall opposed selenium strips 11 and 13 (Fig. 3 are connected in series, as shown, a common conductor 14 leading from the adjacent ends of said strips to the adjacent ends of resistance elements 15 and 16 likewise connected in series. The outer ends of resistance elements 15 and 16 are connected by conductors 17 and 18 respectively to the outer ends of the strips 11 and 13,'and across the outer ends of resistance elements 15 and 16 is impressed a source of direct current supply 19. In the common conductor 14 is a relay 20 connected with the armature circuit of the motor 8 which motor vertically adjusts the-gun 1. Resistance elements 15 and 16 are of such value that no current will pass through the common conductor 14 when there is an equal amount of light upon the strips ll-and 13. Such a condition .exists when the image P (Fig. 3) of the plane,
or other object aimed at, equally shadows strips 11 and 13, (the image P on screen 9? during the day being of course darker than its background).
The motion of the airplane or the like moves its imageP in some direction across the screen 9,. If the image P moves upwardly then the image wiIl immediately shadow strip 13'more than strip 11 thereby producing a greater resistance in strip 13 than in 11, and
thereby unbalancing the circuit and causing current to flow, in one direction, through common wire 14, and this current, amplified-by the relay 20, flowsrthrough the armature of motor 8 and turns the gun in one direction about its trunnions until the image again equally shadows the strips 13 and 11,,at which time the .current will cease to flow through conductor14. If image P then moves downwardly upon the screen 9 the strip 11 will similarly be more shadowed than strip 13, and current will flow through conductor 14 in the oppositev direction, thereby causing motor 8 to rotate the gun 1 in the opposite direction until the image P again equally shadows strips 11 and 13.
, The horizontally disposed strips 10 and 12 are similarly connected in series and their ad-- jacent ends connected by acommon wire 21 to the adjacent ends of resistance elements 22 and 23, the outer ends of which are connected respectively to the outer ends of strips 10 and 12 by conductors 24 and 25 and a source of direct current supply 26 is impressed upon the outer ends of resistances 22 and 23. A relay 27 is also connected in conductor 21 and in the. armature circuit of the motor 6 which rotates the gun '1 about a vertical axis. The operation of the circuit for motor 6 is identical with that above described in connection with motor 8, and therefore needs no detailed description herein.
The combined automatic control of the motors 6 and 8 will keep the gun trained upon the moving object, so that whenever the gun is fired it will hit the object.
At night a searchlight mounted similarly to gun 1 will be controlled to constantly illuminate the moving object, the only necessary change in the wiring diagram being to reverse the direction of the field currents of the motors 6 and 8 so'as to-cause the device to operate by the brighter spots (instead of shadowed images P) on screen 9*, since at night an illuminated object is of course brighter than its background. The guns aiming device, with the direction of the field currents of the motors 6 and 8 thus reversed, can
then at night be made to follow the thus illuminated moving object which is flooded by the Searchlight.
I do not limit my invention to the exact form shown in the drawings, for obviously changes may be made therein within the scope of the claims,
I claim: v
1. In apparatus of the character specified, a movable member, and means for automatically maintaining such member trained comprising mountings permitting movement.
of the member about axes disposed at right angles; devices for independently adjusting each mounting about its respective axis; and electrical devices for automatically controlling said adjusting means controlled by the projected image of the object.
4. Apparatus for maintaining a member trained upon a moving object; comprising mountings permitting rotation of the member about two axes at right angles to each other; independent means for a justing the mountings about their respective axes; and electrical means controlled by a projected image of'the object for automatically controlling said adjustingmeans.
5. Apparatus for automatically mamtaining a member trained upon a moving ob ect; comprising mountings permittlng rptatlon of the member about two axes at right angles to each other; a screen carried by the member upon which an ima e otthe ob ect 1s projected; two sets of lig t responsive elements on said screen, each set being in a normally balanced electrical circuit, and means for shifting the related mounting about its axis in a direction of rotation according to the preponderance of shaded areas of the elements in the set; whereby when the projected image equally shadows the elements of a set the re lated shifting means will remain inactive, but when the image moves to unbalance the shadowed portions of the elements in the set the related shifting means will be actuated.
6. Apparatus for keeping a member constantly trained upon a moving object; comprising mountings permitting rotation of the member about two axes at right angles to each other; independent devices for adjusting the mountings about said axes; and electrical means controlled by a projected image of the object for automatically controlling the adjusting means; said electrical means comprising a screen carried by the member and upon which an image of the ob ect is projected; sets of light responsive elements on said screen, each set being in a normally electrical circuit, including the adjusting device for the related mounting, whereby when the image equally shadows the elements of a set the related adjusting device will be inactive, but when the image moves to unbalance the shadowed portions of the elements the related adjusting device will be actuated.
7. Apparatus for maintaining a member trained upon a moving object; comprising mountings permitting rotation of the mem her about two axes at right angles to each other; an electrical motor and connections for adjusting the mountings about said axes; and means controlled by a projected image of the object for automatically controlling said motors; said controlling means comprising a screen carried by the member upon which the image of the object is projected, sets of selenium elements mounted on the screen image of the object equally shadows the elements in each set the related motor will reon a horizontal "axis; a reversible electric or motor and connections mounted on the platform for turning the gun on a horizontal axis, a telescope mounted upon the gun and a screen upon which the image of the object is projected; with independent electrical means controlled by the shifting of the image of the object upon the'screen for automatically actuating the motors to maintain the gun trained upon the object.
9. Apparatus for holding a gun or other device continually trained upon a moving object; compr ising a platform rotatable about a vertical axis; a reversible electric motor and connections for rotating the platform; a gun mounted on the platform and rotatable on a horizontal axis; a reversible electric motor and connections mounted on the platform for turning the gun on a horizontal axis, a telescope mounted upon the gun and a screen upon which the image of the object is projected; two sets of light responsive elements on said screen disposed at an angle to each other; each set being included in a normally balanced electrical circuit controlling the operation of the related motor, whereby the motor is rotated in one or the other direction according to the preponderance of shaded areas of the elements in a set, the related motor remaining inactive when the pro ected image equally shadows the elements of a set but when the image moves and unbalances. the shadowed portions of the elements the related motor will be actuated.
10. Apparatus for keeping a gun or other device constantly trained upon a moving object, comprising a platform rotatable about a vertical axis; a reversible electric motor and connections for rotating the platform; a gun mounted on the platform and rotatable on a horizontal axis; a reversible electric motor and connections mounted on the platform for rotating the gun on its axis, a telescope mounted upon the gun and a screen upon which the image of the object is projected by said telescope; two sets of diametrically disposed selenium elements mounted on the screen, and disposed at right angles to each other; each set comprising two elements included with the related motor in a normally balanced electric circuit, each set being adapted to rotate the motor in its related circuit in a direction accoiding to whichever" element in the set is not shadowed by the image; the related motor remaining inactive when the image of the object equally shadows the two elements, but when the shadowed portions of the elements in a 1? are unequal the related motor will be caused to rotate in a direction to restore the balance. HOWARD ANDREW DROITCOUR.