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Publication numberUS3115836 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 31, 1963
Filing dateMar 12, 1958
Priority dateMar 12, 1958
Publication numberUS 3115836 A, US 3115836A, US-A-3115836, US3115836 A, US3115836A
InventorsBrashears Richard S
Original AssigneeBrashears Richard S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clamping ring release mechanism
US 3115836 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Deg 3 1953 R. s. BRASHEARS 3,115,335

CLAMPING RING RELEASE MECHANISM Filed March 12, 1958 :5 Sheets-Sheet 1 42 m m a; 2

RICHARD 8. BRA SHEARS INVENTOR.

ATTORNEYS Dec. 31, 1963 R. s. BRASHEARS 3,115,836

CLAMPING RING RELEASE MECHANISM Filed March 12. 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 III/II RICHARD 8. ERAS R8 INVENT BY Q/Ba'x ATTORNEYS 1963 R. s. BRASHEARS 3, 3

CLAMPING RING RELEASE MECHANISM Filed March 12. 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG. 5.

RICHARD 5. BRASHEARS IN VEN TOR.

ATTORNEYS 3,l libii 'o Patented Dec. 31, lilti S, Ser. No. 721,672 8 Qlaims. (Cl.

This invention relates to release mechanisms, and more particularly to a mechanism for effecting inflight release of a booster rocket from a missile.

Certain missile-booster combinations are stored in readiness for launching in a coupled state, that is, with the e clamp-e l to the booster so that a minimum amount or" preparation time is required for delivery to the launcher. As described in US. patent application No. 594,067, filed lune 26, l956, by v ll. Goss et al., elating to a Guided Missile, the missile is unclamped from the booster as the missile booster combination leaves the launcher; however, combination remains coupled by the force of the booster impulse. During flight, as the booster thrust decays and the force between the missile and booster approaches zero, separation conditions occur, rate of separation of course being dependent on the rate of booster thrust decay. Many flights have indicated successful separation; however, of the portion of flights that have resulted in failure, a considerable percentage can possibly be attributed to unsuccessful separation of the booster from the missile. Test data has indicated,

especially in the case of flight failures, that separa.'on was the missile the booster.

One possible explanation advanced for the recontect was that impact between the missile and booster was due to the combination of a slow booster tail-oil and pressure oscillations in the missile diiluser. It is belie ed that this recontact caused such misalignment of the missile as to result in flight instability.

Although it cannot be stated that a slow booster tailoil would definitely result in a flight failure, it is apparent that with an unlocked nissire-booster jo and slow booster tail-off, the miss e-booster combi.

tion is on the verge of instability at separation, and the destabilizing forces will have a greater time interval in which to act.

As a solution to this problem, it was determined that since the missile and booster where held toge her before launching by a clamp ring, what was required was a means of releasing the clamp ring at end of the boost phase rather than at beginning, i.e., upon launching. Fun thermore, if the clamp ring were released slightly later than the time separation would normally occur if tli missile and booster were not clam ncd together, a tension force would be built up across the missile-booster joint as a result of the decay of thrust below the drag diterential between the missile and the booster. This tension force would insure that separation proceed rapidly thus shortening the time of ap ication of any destabilizing force by the booster on the missile, and would tend to eliminate damaging rec ntact between the missile and the booster.

It is an object of this invention, therefore, to provide means for effecting, at a time most favorable for rapid separation, release of a clamping ring holding together a missile and a booster.

It is also an object of this invention to provide means for effecting, as rapidly as possible, release of a clamping ring holding together a missile and a booster to mitigate the effects of any destabilizing forces imposed by the booster on the missile.

It is a further object of this invention to provide means for effecting at the end of the booster thrust phase, in-

flight release of a clamping ring holding together a missile and a booster.

Still another obiect of this invention is to provide means for preventing damaging recontact of a missile and a booster at separation.

Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will readily be anpreciated as the same becomes understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanyin drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a missile and booster held together by a clamping ring, showing the location of the release mechanism;

FIG. 2 is a cross section on line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the general arrangement of the release mechanism and details 05 the clamping ring;

' FIG. 3 is a longitudinal section of the sensing cylinder; 4 is an enlarged section of the explosive cylinder 4-4 of FIG. 2; and

. 5 is a cross section of the explosive cylinder on line 55 of PEG. 4-.

Briefly, the present invention contemplates a sensing cylinder mounted on the booster of a missile-booster combination and actuated by pressure bled from the booster chamber. The piston of sensinx cylinder, in responding to a drop in booster pressure at boost phase termination, actuatcs a microswltch which closes a circuit from a thermal battery to an explosive containing cylinder that is also mounted on the booster. The l -ter cylinder, upon detonation, releases a sciss rs mechanism holding together a clamp 3 ring that couples the missile to the booster.

Reterr lg now to the drawings in greater detail, FIG. 1 shows a missi e-booster combination 1 having a missile 2 and a booster rocket 3 hold together by a clamping ring assembly A release mechanism 5 constituting the present invention is mounted on the forward end of the booster 3.

The clamping ring assembly 4 is disclosed in US. patent application No. 594,067, filed June 26, 1956, by W. H. Goss et al. for a Guided Missile, and as seen in FIG. 2, includes a pair of companion semicircular ring sections 6 each having an internally threaded fitting '7 secured to one end thereof. A right and left screw link 8 engages each or" the fittings '7 to connect the two ring sections 6. A hexagonal head 9 is provided at each end of the link S to facilitate wrenching for adjusting purposes. On the other end of each of the ring sections 6 is secured a bracket ill having a pair of apertured yokes ll formed thereon. A scissors hinge 212, having its two arms 11% and 14- pivotally connected by a pin 15, is pivotally mounted on the brackets 159 by pins 16. The scissors hinge l2 permits concentric opening of the ring sections 6 to uncouple the booster 3 from the missile 2. To insure positive opening of these ring sections, leaf springs 17 are mounted on the inner surface thereof and bear against the missile-booster combination and tend to force the ring sections 6 outwardly. The end portions of the scissors arms 13 and M, respectively, are formed with lateral extensions 13a and 14a and are held together by an exploivc cylinder assembly 1&5), to be hereinafter described.

As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the release mechanism 5 includes a sensing cylinder assembly 29 mounted on the booster 3 by a bracket 22. The cylinder assembly 26 comprises a cylinder 24 having a first chamber and a second chamber 2?. A wall 333 is positioned between the two chambers 26 and 2% and has an aperture 32. extending therethrough. An end cap 34 threadably engages and closes the cylinder 2-4 at the end nearest the first chamber 26. An O-ring 35 is positioned between the cylinder 24 and end cap 34 for sealing purposes. A nipple 36 having an aperture 38 extending theretnrough is formed on the end cap 34 and is connected to a tube 39 which transmits pressure from a chamber (not shown) of the booster 3. A head cap threadably engages and closes the end of the cylinder nearest the second chamber A piston 42 is located in the first chamber 26 and has a stem 44 extending through the aperture 32 of the wall 3% The stem 44 is long enough to extend the full length of the cylinder 24 and t trough an aperture 46 in end wall 48 of the head cap 4%. An annular groove St is formed in the piston 42 to contain a suitable packing 52. A shoulder 54 is provided on the stem 44 and bears against bearing plate 56. A spring 53 is interposed between the bearing plate 56 and the end wall 48 of the head cap 49.

Attached to the head cap by bolts 6% is a housing 64 in which is mounted a microswitch 66 by means of screws 67. A bore 63 in registry with the aperture 46 is provided in the housing 64 for receiving the extension of the piston stem and for containing a retainer 79. A vent hole '72 is formed in end wall '74 and communicates with the bore 68. The microswitch 66 is a normally closed switch and is actuated by a plunger 76 which is housed in a crossbore 78 formed in the housing 64. It will be seen that the relationship of the piston stem 44 to the crossbore 78 is such that the stem in its uppermost position is clear of the crossbore. This arrangement permits the retainer 7% to assume a position across the crossbore 78 to hold the plunger 76 down, thus keeping the microswitch 66 open. A detent is provided for maintaining the retainer 7% in this position by a spring loaded ball 80 riding in a groove 82 formed on the retainer. The ball 84 is located in an aperture 84 in the housing 64 and is held down by a spring 86 and a machine screw 2%. A second groove 95 is formed in the retainer 79 to provide a second detent position and is located so that when the retainer is in this second detent position, the retainer will be clear of the crossbore "78. It should be noted that the bore 68 should be of sufiicient length to accommodate the retainer 70 when the latter is in the second detent position.

As previously mentioned, booster chamber pressure is transmitted to the cylinder assembly 29 by means of the tube 39. This transmitted pressure acts on the piston 42 to move it against the force of the spring 58 until the end of the stem 44 contacts the retainer 70 in the housing 64. As the piston continues its movement, the retainer 76) is urged out of its first detent position, and the stem 44 eventually displaces the retainer sufficiently so that the microswitch plunger 76 Will be held down by the stem 44 rather than by the retainer. The retainer 70, in being displaced, moves into contact with the end wall 74 and at the same time moves into the second detent position, that is, the ball 80 engages in the groove 90.

At termination of the boost phase, as the booster chamber pressure subsides, the piston 42. begins to reverse its movement, since the force of the spring 53 will again predominate. As the piston stem 44 retracts, the retainer 7h will remain stationary by reason of the engagement of the ball 8% in the groove @i in the second detent position. Thus, the plunger 76 will be released when the stem 44 clears the crossbore '78. Release of the plun er actuate-s the microswitch 66 to close a circuit in cable 79 between a thermal battery )4 and the explosive cylinder assembly Ill-ti. Since it is desired that the microswitch 66 be actuated at a certain known value of booster pressure, the spring 58 should have a proper spring constant. In order to allow for any small inaccuracies in calibration of the spring, shims 92 may be utilized between the head cap 40 and the housing 64 for varying the loading on the spring.

The thermal battery 94- is mounted on the booster and is provided with a solid electrolyte that is melted Whenever it is desired to activate the battery. This type battery has a much longer shelf life than an ordinary battery and is particularly suitable for use on missiles or rockets that spend much time in storage.

Th t explosive cyl r assembly H ll is mounted on the booster 3, and as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, restricts movement of the scissors hinge 12 to maintain the clamping ring sections 6 in a clamped position. As best seen in FIG. 4, the explosive cylinder assembly tilt) comprises a cylinder Iii-2 having a piston 104 therein. One end of the cylinder lllZ is formed with an internally threaded portion 1636 into which is screwed a housing 188, a diaphragm it being compressed between the cylinder and the housing. The housing 11638 is provided with recesses lit) and 11.2 at its ends, and interposed between the two recesses is a wall 114 having two apertures 116 extending therethrough. The two apertures are counterbored to form an enlarged diameter portion 118 and threads are provided on a part of the enlarged diameter portion 113 nearest the recess 11%. At its opposite end the housing is threaded at 122 to re ceive a nut 124.

Two squibs 126 are contained in the housing the; and conform generally to the configuration or" the apertures 116 and the unthreaded part of the enlarged diameter portion 118. A plastic insulating sleeve 12? is interposed between the housing lttltl and the squids at the aperture 116, a projecting portion 123 of each of the squibs 126 extending through the aperture 116 into the recess 112 and being provided with a thin-walled brass cap 130 having external threads formed thereon. Two plugs 132, each having an aperture 134 extending therethrough and having external threads thereon, are screwed into the threaded part of the enlarged diameter portion 113, and an explosive substance 136, such as black cannon powder, is contained in the recess ill) adjacent the plugs 132 and is held in place by a diaphragm 138.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, an electrical contact 146 having an externally threaded portion 142 and an internally threaded portion 144, is screwed into the housing A circular insulating spacer 146 is positioned against the wall 114 of the housing 168 in recess 112 and is properly apertured to permit the projecting portion of squibs 126 and the contact 14% to project therethrough. An apertured contact plate 152 is positioned against the spacer 146 and is secured by two slotted contact nuts 156 that engage the threaded brass caps 134 on the squibs 126. As seen in FIG. 5, the plate 152 is so constructed that when properly positioned, it will not come into contact with the electrical contact 140. Two terminals 158 are provided on the plate 152 for facilitating attachment of wires 162. A screw 164 ongages the internally threaded portion 144 of the contact 149 for securing a ground wire 166.

A cap 168 closes the recess 1112 of the housing 168 and is clamped to the housing by the tightening of the nut 124 down on a flange 170 formed on the cap, a pin 1'71 projecting from the end of the housing 1458 to engage in a slot 172 formed in the flange 17% for locating purposes. A setscrew is provided on the nut 124 to prevent undesired movement thereof. The top of the cap 163 is formed by an electrical connector 174 soldered there to. After the other ends of the wires 162 and 166 are attached to the connector 174-, potting compound (not shown) is injected through an aperture 1'75 in the wall of the cap tea to fill the space formed by the recess 112 and the cap.

Referring again to FIG. 4, it will be see that the piston M4 is of hollow cylindrical construction and is formed with an outer rim 1185i that slides against the inside of cylinder Wall 182, an end wall 184 of the cylinder 192 being provided with an aperture 186 to support the other end of the piston 1634 and to permit the latter to slidably extend therethrough. Thus the piston is constrained to move within the limits imposed by the diaphragm 10% and the end wall 184. An aperture 138 is drilled through the cylinder wall 182 for venting purposes. A projecting portion HQ of the cylinder i492 extends beyond the end Wall 184 and as viewed in FIG. 2 is formed with a longitudinal slot 192 that is substantially T-shaped.

It will be remembered that the explosive cylinder assembly It'll restricts movement of the scissors hinge 1? to maintain the clamping ring sections 6 in a clamped position. FIGS. 2 and 4 show the cylinder assembly 100 mounted on the booster 3 adjacent the scissors hinge 12. in such manner that the projecting portion 1% clamps together the two arms 13 and 14 by engagement of the extensions 13a and 14a in the T-shaped slot 1%. While the extensions 15a and 14;: are engaged in the slot 192, the piston 1%, by contact with the arm ends, is forced into the cylinder 102 until the 18'!) is bearing lightly against the diaphragm 1499. It will be seen then, that when the explosive substance 136 is detonated, the piston 104 will tend to be forced to the other end of the cylinder. However, because the piston bears against the scissors hinge 12-, the cylinder 1532 will be displaced from its original position, thus freeing the scissors hinge arms 13 and 14 to allow the ring sections e to spring free of the missile-booster combination.

For the purpose of preventing premature release of the hinge arms 13 and Il a, a pin 194 is inserted through apertures in the cylinder 192 and the hinge arms to avert withdrawal of the extensions 13a and 14a from the slot 192.

In use, the missile 2 and the booster 3 are conveyed to the launcher in a coupled state, being held together by the clamping ring assembly 4. As part of the procedure for preparing the missile-booster for launching, the pin 19 i is withdrawn from its position where it is locking the scissors arms 13 and 1-: in the T-sl'rped slot 192 of the explosive cylinder assembly 18%. At about the same time the electrolyte of the thermal battery 94 is melted by an independent heating circuit to activate the battery.

At launching, upon ignition of the booster rocket, the increased pressure in the booster chamber acts through the tube 39 to move the piston 42 against the force of the spring 58, thereby causing the piston stem 44 to displace the retainer it? in holding the plunger 76 down to keep the microswitch es open. This condition is maintained throughout the boost phase until the booster thrust decays to a certain predetermined value. When this occurs, and the booster pressure drops, the force of the spring 58 returns the piston 42 to its original position thus allowing the plunger 76 to be released. This actuates the microswitch 65 which in turn closes firing circuits between the thermal battery 96 and each of the squibs 126. The squibs then detonate the explosive substance 136 to displace the cylinder 182 from its clamping position which frees the arms 13 and 1d of the scissors hinge l2. Disengagement of the scissors hinge arms from the cylinder 1&2 permits the clamping ring sections 6 to release under the force of the springs 17 thereby uncoupling the booster 3 from the missile 2.

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.

\Vhat is claimed is:

l. In combination with a missile and a booster rocket coupled in tandem by a releasable clamping ring, a mechanism on said booster rocket for effecting in-fiight release of said clamping ring, comprising, means engageable with said ring and including a clamp for constraining said ring to a clamping position, said means being actuable by an electrical impulse to release said clamp from constraint of said ring, a source of electrical energy and a switch coupled thereto, said switch being operable to transmit said electrical impulse to said means, and second means coupled to said first mentioned means and including a sensing cylinder having a spring loaded piston and a retainer, a detent for said retainer, said piston and retainer being engageable with said switch, said cylinder being responsive to pressure within said booster and operable against the force of said spring loaded piston and said retainer at a predetermined value of said pressure to move said piston into an armed position wherein said mechanism is ready to release said clamping ring, said cylinder also being responsive subsequently at another predetermined value of said pressure to operate said switch.

2. The combination as claimed in claim 1, wherein said first means includes additionally an explosive device connected to said clamp and detonable upon receipt of said impulse to disengage said clamp from said ring.

3. In a releasable clamping ring arrangement for coupling a missile and a booster, a mechanism for efiecting in-fiight release of said clamping ring, comprising, means engageable with said ring and including a clamp for constraining said ring to a clamping position, said means being actuable upon receipt of an electrical impulse from the booster to release said ring, a source of electrical energy, a switch and circuitry to electrically couple said source to said means, and a sensing cylinder engageable with said switch and responsive to pressure within said booster, said cylinder including a spring loaded piston and a retainer, said piston and retainer being engageable with said switch, a detent for said retainer, said cylinder being operable against the force of said spring loaded piston and retainer at a predetermined value of said pressure to place said mechanism in an armed condition wherein said mechanism is ready to release said clamping ring, said cylinder also being operable subsequently at another predetermined value of said pressure to operate said switch.

4. The apparatus as recited in claim 3, wherein said means includes additionally an explosive device connected to said clamp and detonable upon receipt of said impulse to displace said clamp from engagement with said ring.

5. In combination with a missile and a booster, and a releasable clamping ring for coupling said missile and booster in tandem relationship, said clamping ring having release arms, a release mechanism on said booster for eilecting in-flight release of said clamping ring, comprising, a retaining member slidably engageable with said release arms and tending to prevent release of said ring, a cylinder connected to said member and having an explosive charge therein, said charge being detonable upon receipt of a signal to displace said member from engagement with said release arms, a battery, a switch connected to said battery, a sensing cylinder including a spring loaded piston and a retainer, a detent for said retainer, said piston and retainer being engageable with said switch, said cylinder being responsive to gas pressure within said booster and operable against the force of said spring loaded piston and retainer at a predetermined value of said pressure to place said release mechanism in an armed condition wherein said mechanism is ready to release said clamping ring, said cylinder also being operable subsequently and at another predetermined value of said pressure to close said switch to produce said signal, and circuitry to transmit said signal from said battery to said explosive cylinder.

6. In combination with a missile and a booster, and a releasable clamping ring coupling said missile and booster in tandem relationship, a mechanism on said booster for elfecting in-dight release of said clamping ring, com-pris ing, constraining means engageable with said ring and including a clamp for holding said ring in a clamped position, a battery, a switch connected to said battery and actuable to electrically couple said battery and said constraining means, a sensing cylinder including a spring loaded piston and a retainer, a detent for said retainer, said piston and retainer being engageable with said switch, said cylinder being responsive to pressure in said booster and being operable against the force of said spring loaded piston and retainer at a predetermined value of said pressure to place said mechanism in an armed condition wherein said mechanism is ready to release said clamping ring, said cylinder also being operable subsequently and at another predetermined value or" said pressure to actu- 7 ate said switch, whereby said electric signal is transmitted to said constraining means, thereby causing said constraining means to actuate and expel said clamp from engagement with said ring.

7. The apparatus recited in claim 6 wherein said constraining means includes additionally an explosive cylinder detonable upon receipt of said electric signal.

8. The apparatus recited in claim 6 wherein said sensing cylinder includes a piston stern on said spring loaded piston and engageable with said retainer, said retainer being engageable with said switch to keep said switch in an open position and said mechanism in an unarmed condition, said piston stem also being engageable with said switch to keep said switch in the open position and said mechanism in the armed condition, said mechanism being in the unarmed condition until said first predetermined value of said booster pressure is attained, whereby said first predetermined value of said pressure urges said piston and piston stem to replace said retainer in engagement with said switch thereby placing said mechanism in the armed condition, and whereby said subsequent and other predetermined value of booster pressure causes said spring loaded piston to withdraw said stem from engagement from said switch, there-by actuating said constraining means.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,498,040 Jordan et al Feb. 21, 1950 2,779,283 Baughman Jan. 29, 1957 2,809,584 Smith Oct. 15, 1957 2,833,494 Parker et a1. May 6, 1958

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2498040 *May 5, 1943Feb 21, 1950Ferris Robert GSetback switch
US2779283 *Jul 15, 1953Jan 29, 1957Baughman John EConnector for securing initiator rocket to an aerial vehicle
US2809584 *Apr 1, 1953Oct 15, 1957Bernard SmithConnector ring for two stage rockets
US2833494 *Jun 15, 1953May 6, 1958Northrop Aircraft IncRocket ejection system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3166014 *Dec 27, 1960Jan 19, 1965Travis Elmer WSeparation mechanism
US4002120 *Jul 31, 1975Jan 11, 1977The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyMissile stage coupler
US5245927 *Apr 28, 1992Sep 21, 1993Northrop CorporationDual-tandem unmanned air vehicle system
US6679177Apr 24, 2002Jan 20, 2004G&H Technology, Inc.Resettable and redundant NEA-initiated hold-down and release mechanism for a flight termination system
Classifications
U.S. Classification102/378, 89/1.14, 411/390
International ClassificationF42B15/00, F42B15/36
Cooperative ClassificationF42B15/36
European ClassificationF42B15/36