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Publication numberUS3097565 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 16, 1963
Filing dateFeb 14, 1962
Publication numberUS 3097565 A, US 3097565A, US-A-3097565, US3097565 A, US3097565A
InventorsValiey S. Kupelian
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ship deck level sensor
US 3097565 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 963 v. s. KUPELIAN 3,097,565

SHIP DECK LEVEL SENSOR Filed Feb. 14, 1962 INV ENT OR 44 45 /46 Valley .5. Kupe/ian BY @35 W Mg ATTORNEYS United States Patent Ofifice 3,097,565 Patented July 16, 1963 of the Navy m Filed Feb. 14, 1962, Ser. No. 173,311

7 Claims. (Cl. 891.7) (Granted under Title 35, US. Code (1952), sec. 266) The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.

This invention relates to a sensing device and more particularly to a level sensor for determining the level of the deck of a ship and produces a signal when such a condition prevails.

More specifically the invention is particularly adapted for use with the launching equipment such, for example, as missile launchers wherein the equipment is not stabilized and thus it becomes necessary to initiate ignition of the rockets therein when the deck of the ship is in a level condition.

The old method of determining deck level consisted of a visual operation such, as aligning the deck of the ship with the horizon by use of the naked eye. This method has not proven to be entirely satisfactory since upon numerous occasions an unacceptable degree of deck level resulted.

Newer and more complicated devices and methods are based upon the use of a conventional ships stable element which is the primary stabilizing sensor for the various guns and missile launchers on ships which are so equipped. The output from such a stable element is used to determine the vertical position but does not necessarily give a signal when the deck reaches a level position. This is due to the fact that the tolerance within the stable element is so delicate that a deck may oscillate for a considerable amount of time before it has achieved this degree of level within its two axes of rotation. Consequently, if such a stable element were to be used for the purpose of determining deck level for rocket firing, a considerable amount of time for leveling may be required as well as resulting in much too fine a tolerance for the type of launching for which this device is intended.

The present invention is constructed and arranged to overcome all the disadvantages encountered in prior art devices, and also provides a sensing device which is responsive to the pitch and yaw of a ship and which oper ates to initiate a rocket or other ordnance device when the deck of the ship reaches a level condition.

An object of the invention is to provide a sensing device for controlling the firing of a rocket from a launching rack or tube, as the case may be.

Another object of the invention is to provide a deck level sensor which produces a firing signal when the deck of the ship is in a level condition.

A further object of the invention is to provide improved means for controlling the initiation of an ordnance missile.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved sensing device wherein a movable element indicates a level position of the ships deck by casting a shadow on a photosensitive element thereby to produce a firing signal.

Still another object of the invention resides in the provision of pendulum disposed between a source of light and a photosenstitive element and a firing circuit connected thereto and rendered effective according to the position of the pendulum with respect to the photosensitive element.

Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of a fragmentary portion of a ship illustrating a conventional missile launcher and the sensor of the present invention mounted on the deck thereof;

FIG. 2 is a view in perspective of the device of the present invention, partially broken away and partially in section; and

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic illustration of the electrical circuit suitable for use with the present invention.

The invention is herein illustrated as associated with a conventional missile launcher L mounted on the deck of a ship S and having a pair of missile launching arms A. The sensor of the present invention is indicated by the numeral 10. While the sensor 10 is shown mounted on the main deck D, it will be understood that the sensor may be mounted in any convenient place on the ship so that it is readily responsive to the pitch and yaw of the ship.

The sensor is constructed and arranged to determine the ship deck level and to produce a signal for initiation of the missile so that the missile may be propelled from the launching arms A of the launcher L in the conventional manner. The sensor, as illustrated in FIG. 2 comprises a housing or casing 11 attached to a base 12 as by screws or the like 13 and a gasket 14 providing a sealing connection between the casing and the base 12. The casing 11 is further provided with a flange 15 :at the upper end thereof, which cooperates with a similar flange 16 formed on a cover or dome 17. The aforesaid flanges 15 and 16 are secured by bolts 18 and a gasket 19 provides a sealing connection therebetween.

A light source 21 is mounted on the end wall 22 of the cover 17 and a partition 23 carried by the cover is disposed in spaced relation with the end wall 22 and is provided with a centrally disposed aperture 24. The partition 23 carries a plurality of supports 25 which extend downwardly and inwardly and merge into a socket member 26 at the lower end thereof.

A pendulum indicated generally by the reference character 27 is mounted in the socket 26 for oscillatory movement within the casing 11, the pendulum including a rod or staff 28 having one end thereof mounted in socket 26, the other end thereof being provided with a weight or ball 29. The movement of the pendulum is retarded or dampened by a quantity of viscous fluid 30 contained within the casing 11 of the sensor 10.

A partition 31 is carried by the casing 11 and is disposed in spaced relation with respect to the base 12 and the partition 23. The partition 31 is provided with a centrally disposed iris diaphragm 32 consisting of thin opaque plates 33 carried by and adjustably mounted in a ring 34, the ring being rotatably mounted on partition 31 in any conventional manner thereby to adjust the aforesaid plates and vary the size of the aperture 35, if desired.

Mounted on the base 12 is a photosensitive cell 36, the cell being centrally disposed within the casing 11 in axial alignment with the aperture 35 in iris 32, the aperture 24 in partition 23, and light source 21 on end wall 22. The ball 29 on pendulum 27 also aligning with the aforesaid components when the sensor is in a vertical position. When the pendulum is in the aforesaid position the deck is in a level condition and the ball 29 on the pendulum interrupts the light rays from the light source 21, thus casting a shadow on the cell 36 which activates the cell. It will be understood that during the pitch and yaw of the ship the pendulum is subjected to oscillatory movement, whereupon the light rays from source 21 are projected 3 onto the cell and thus the cell is maintained in an inactive condition. From the foregoing it will be further understood the pendulum indicates a level condition and also produces a signal for activating an ordnance missile.

Referring now to FIG. 3 of the drawings, there is shown in diagrammatic form a circuit arrangement suitable for use with the sensing device of the present invention. Together with the light source 21 and the photosensitive cell 36, the circuit further includes a battery B, a relay R and a conventional rocket initiator I usually mounted on the launching arms or tubes to cause initial operation or ignition of the rocket.

It will be understood that the control or firing circuit 37, FIG. 3, for the initiator I is normally open and will remain open until the deck of the ship is in a level condition and the normally activated photosensitive cell 36 is inactivated. When this occurs the pendulum ball 29 casts a shadow on photosensitive cell 36 and thus the cell is inactivated, whereupon the cell is rendered non-conductive. from battery B ceases to flow therethrough and thus the normally energized winding 38 of sensitive relay R is deenergized. Upon de-energization of winding 38 spring biased armature 40 of relay R moves from contact 39 into engagement with make contact 39 thereof and thus the control or firing circuit 37 to the initiator I is closed. When this occurs the initiator I is rendered efiective and causes initial and instantaneous ignition of the conventional rocket motor or propellant, as the case may be. Current is supplied to the source of light 21 from battery B by conductors 41 controlled by a switch 42. A similar switch 43 may be used in the control circuit 37 for preventing premature operation of the circuit, the control circuit including conductors 44, 45, 46, 47 and 48. From the foregoing, it will be apparent that a new and improved deck level sensor and system has been devised for firing rockets or ordnance devices from shipboard, wherein the launching equipment is not stabilized, so that initial ignition or firing of the rockets or devices occur only when the deck of the ship is in a level condition. be understood that by setting the photosensitive cell to accept a certain threshold of light, the sensor of the present invention may be made to fail safe by requiring the photosensitive cell to accept a certain amount of light from actuation rather than a complete shadow, as heretofore set forth. Furthermore, by controlling the area of the light reaching the photosensitive cell through the adjustable iris, the degree of deck level can be preselected and by filling the casing with liquid the pendulum process may be dampened or retarded to accommodate environmental extremes.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

What is claimed is:

1. A deck level sensor of the character described comprising a casing fixedly mounted on the deck of a ship and having a quantity of damping fluid therein, a conical portion formed at one end of said casing and terminating in an end wall, a mounting flange carried by the casing at the other end thereof, a first partition disposed within the casing in spaced relation with respect to said end wall, a second partition disposed within the casing in spaced relation with respect to said flange, a window in said first partition, an adjustable iris in said second partition, a source of light mounted on said end wall for projecting light rays through said window and iris, an omni-directional movable body suspended from said first partition and disposed within said fluid and actuated in response to the pitch and roll of the ship, and a photoelectric cell mounted on said flange and within the casing for receiving said light rays according to the positions of said body with respect to the photoelectric cell As the cell is rendered non-conductive, current Moreover, it will 4 window and the iris and only during the pitch and roll of the ship.

2. A sensing device of the character described comprising a casing fixedly mounted on the deck of a ship and having a quantity of damping fluid, a conical portion formed at one end of said casing and terminating in an end wall, a mounting flange carried at the other end of the casing, a first partition disposed within the casing in spaced relation with respect to said end wall, a second partition disposed within the casing in spaced relation with respect to said flange, a window in said first partition, an adjustable iris in said second partition, a source of light mounted on said end wall in spaced relation with respect to said first partition for projecting light rays through said window and the iris, an omni-directional movable support carried by the first partition, a pendulum mounted on said support and disposed w'ithin said fluid and actuated in response to the pitch and roll of the ship for omni-directional movement, and a photoelectric cell mounted on said flange and within the casing for receiving said light rays only during omni directional movement of the pendulum and according to the position of said pendulum with respect to the photoelectric cell, window and iris.

3. A sensing device of the character described comprising a casing fixedly mounted on the deck of a ship, a window disposed within said casing, an adjustable iris disposed within said casing and aligned with said window, a source of light within the casing for projecting light rays through said window and iris, a photosensitive cell mounted within the casing and activated by said light rays as the light rays are projected through said window and the iris, an omni-directional movable pendulum mounted within the casing and actuated in response to the pitch and roll of the ship, said pendulum casting a shadow onto the photosensitive cell through said iris only when the deck of the ship is in a level condition, the pendulum is in axial alignment with the window, iris and photoelectric cell and the casing is in a vertical position thereby to inactivate the photosensitive cell, and a quantity of fluid within the casing and surrounding the pendulum for retarding the movement thereof.

4. In a level sensing device fixedly mounted on the deck of a ship for producing a rocket firing signal when the deck of the ship is in a level condition, a light sensitive cell rendered ineiiective as a shadow is cast thereon, means for projecting light onto said light sensitive cell, an omni-directional movable pendulum responsive to the pitch and roll of the ship for interrupting said light and casting said shadow onto the light sensitive cell to inactivate the cell and produce said firing signal only when the deck of the ship is in said level condition and the pendulum is in axial alignment with the light sensitive cell, and means including a firing circuit for receiving said firing signal when the cell is inactivated thereby to initiate ignition of the rocket.

5. In a level sensing device adapted to be fixedly mounted on the deck of a ship for producing a rocket firing signal when the deck is in a level condition, a light sensitive cell rendered ineffective as a shadow is cast thereon, a light source for projecting light onto said light sensitive cell, an omni-directional movable pendulum responsive to the pitch and roll of the ship for interrupting the light projected onto the cell and casting a shadow thereon to inactivate the cell only when the pendulum is in axial alignment with the source of light and the cell and the deck of the ship is in a level condition, the inactivation of the cell producing said firing signal, a rocket initiator for initiating ignition of the rocket as the firing signal is received thereby, and means operated as said cell is inactivated for transmitting the firing signal to said initiator.

6. In a system for initiating ignition of a missile supported on a missile launcher mounted on the deck of a ship when the deck is in a level condition, the combination of a normally open control circuit, a control relay for closing said circuit as the relay is operated, a light sensitive cell rendered effective to operate said relay when the light rays projected thereon are interrupted, a source of light for projecting light rays onto said light sensitive cell, an omni-directional movable pendulum responsive to the pitch and roll of the ship for interrupting said light rays only when the pendulum is in axial alignment with said cell and the source of light and the deck of the ship is in said level condition, a missile initiator included in said circuit for receiving initiating signal when the relay is closed thereby to initiate ignition of the missile, and a source of electrical energy in said circuit for supplying electrical energy to said initiator when the circuit is closed.

7. An apparatus for initiating ignition of a missile comprising a casing fixedly mounted on the deck of a ship, a light source and a photo-sensitive cell disposed within the casing, said light source projecting light onto said photosensitive cell to activate said cell, said cell being inac- 6 tivated when said light is interrupted, omni-directional movable means responsive to the pitch and roll of the ship and disposed between the light source and the cell for interrupting the light only when the movable means is in axial alignment with the light source and the cell and the deck of the ship is in a level condition, and means including a relay operated when the cell is inactivated for initiating ignition of the missile.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,452,484 Sperry Apr. 17, 1923 2,131,028 Goodsell Sept. 27, 1938 2,236,543 McFaddan Apr. 11, 1941 2,450,551 Harrington Oct. 5, 1948 2,498,997 McLean et a1. Feb. 28, 1950 2,665,896 Kirby et .al Jan. 12, 1954 2,919,583 Parker Jan. 5, 1960 2,995,935 Eyestone et al. Aug. 5, 1961

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1452484 *Jul 2, 1920Apr 17, 1923Sperry Gyroscope Co LtdMethod of gunfire control for battleships
US2131028 *Apr 9, 1937Sep 27, 1938Weston Electric Instr CorpPhotoelectric control system
US2236543 *Feb 6, 1939Apr 1, 1941Ivor Thomas HRemote registering compass
US2450551 *Jul 18, 1944Oct 5, 1948United Shoe Machinery CorpFire control mechanism for guns
US2498997 *Oct 27, 1948Feb 28, 1950Mclean William BPhotoelectric inclinometer and accelerometer
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US2919583 *May 29, 1958Jan 5, 1960Parker Hermon MMagnetically supported gyroscope
US2995935 *Nov 1, 1948Aug 15, 1961North American Aviation IncAccelerometer
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3597090 *Nov 21, 1968Aug 3, 1971Humphrey David HLevelling instrument using a reflective pendulum
US3776315 *Dec 17, 1971Dec 4, 1973Westinghouse Air Brake CoPendulum light sensor
US3808942 *Feb 10, 1972May 7, 1974Menasco Mfg CoMissile repositioning system
US4450353 *Sep 8, 1981May 22, 1984Sundstrand CorporationTilt detector with pyramidal surface
US4627172 *Aug 17, 1984Dec 9, 1986Innovation AssociatesInclinometer having two degrees of freedom
US4812654 *Dec 29, 1986Mar 14, 1989The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.Two-axis quartz fiber passive tilt meter
US4831879 *Apr 25, 1988May 23, 1989Robert Bosch GmbhSensor for automatic release of occupant protective devices in the event of an accident
US5201129 *Feb 25, 1991Apr 13, 1993Kabushiki Kaisha Kito KoeiVertical indicator unit
US6392223May 16, 1997May 21, 2002Pharmacia AbTilt sensing device and method for its operation
US6664534Mar 28, 2002Dec 16, 2003Pharmacia AbTilt sensing device and method for its operation
Classifications
U.S. Classification89/1.814, 89/41.9, 89/41.1, 33/397, 89/41.14, 89/135, 33/366.24
International ClassificationF41A23/00, F41A23/56, B63B39/14, B63G1/00, B63B39/00
Cooperative ClassificationB63B39/14, B63G1/00
European ClassificationB63B39/14