US 3134353 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
H. O. PEDERSEN ETAL UNDERWATER PROPULSION SYSTEM May 26, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 20, 1962 IN V EN TORS May 26, 1954 H. o. PEDERSEN ETAL 3,134,353
UNDERWATER PRoPuLsIoN SYSTEM Filed March 20, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet' 2 INVENTORS HAAA/o/V 0. PHJQSEN JoH/v w. co/vLo/v 'l tem.
KUnited States Patent .On ice 3,134,353 Patented May 2.6, 19`64 t 3,134,353 UNDERWATER PROPULSION SYSTEM Haakon 0. Pedersen, Morris Plains, NJ., and .lohn VY. ,Conlon, Melbourne, Fla., assignors to Thiokol Chenncal Corporation, Bristol, Pa., a corporation of Delaware Filed Mar. 20, 1962, Ser. No. 130,978
13 Claims. (Cl. 114-20) khave the disadvantage of being handicapped in operation `as'to, quality of overall performance because of back Vpressure which increases with depth. This is particularly true in a turbine drive system because the amount of the V'energy that can be extracted from the drive gas is directly limited by the back pressure. Accordingly, the main object of -the present invention is to provide an improved underwater propulsion system which eliminates the above and other disadvantages of known systems. VAn important object of the present invention is to provide an improved underwater propulsion system employinga hydrojet for propulsionV and steering which leaves a minimum Wake to betray the passage of the vehicle.
' Another important object of the present invention is to provide an improved self contained, underwater hydrojet propulsion system having a pressurized fuel system to drive a pump-driving turbine wherein after starting the pressurizing uid is tapped from the pump discharge.
further important object ofthe present invention is to provide an improved system of the type described which includes Ymeans tov prevent starting of the turbine unless water is present in the pump to permit air launching of the vehicle. Y
A still further important object of the present inventionv is to provide an improved system of the type described wherein the products of combustion upon leaving the turbine are condensed and then discharged into a low pressure area to overcome the back pressure problem.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following description.
the invention. In this showing:
FIGURE l is a central longitudinal sectional view ofv one form of underwater vehicle embodying the invention;
vandk FIGURE 2 is a schematic view of the propulsion sys- Referring to the drawings, numeral 10 designates a Vvehicle body which, as shown in FIGURE 1 for illustrative purposes only, is that of a torpedo or underwater In the drawings We have shown one embodiment of` nozzle 26 whose peripherally spaced apertures 27 afford communication with an enclosing low pressure chamber 28. As shown in FIGURE A2, this chamber may comprise twospherical portions 29 and 30 with adequate seals to enable universal pivoting of the aft section 30 which is integral with the hydrojet Water exhaust or thrust nozzle 26 by control members (not shown) to effect steering of the vehicle.
While the system comprising the present invention may be operated with other types of monopropellants, hydrogen peroxide is preferred as a fuel becausethe steam in the exhaust of the turbine 20 may be condensed. As shown, a tank 33 of H2O2 including a exible membrane 34 is mounted in the vehicle body 10 and pressurized by helium, etc. containedgin a high pressure gas container 35 by means of a conduit 36 which is provided with a pressurizing valve 37 and a regulator`38.
The H2O2 propellant is connected by a conduit 39 having a control valve 40 to a catalyst chamber 41 Where the Vhydrogen peroxidedecomposes into steam and oxygen at l-390` F. The products of decomposition pass by way of conduit 43 to the blades of the turbine 20 to rotate it and drive the pump 19 thus pulling sea water into thevehicle body through the inlet 17 and the conduits 18 Vand exhaustl it to the chamber l25 and out through the hydrojet nozzle 26, to provide propulsion thrust to the "vehicle, j i
Upon leaving the turbine, the products of decomposition passby way of conduit 44 through a condenser 45 in which sea Water is vused as a coolant just as the ,water pumpedvthro'ugh the inlet 17 cools the Vehicle body. v-As seen in FIGURE 1, the conduit 44 includes a number of coils in the cooling chamber 45 arranged in the aft portion of the vehicle,thecondenser chamber being provided with ysea water inlet ports 46 and outlet ports 47.
" It will be apparent that the decomposition products 17 merging into conduits` 18 through which the water is .fpulled by the blades of a pump 19.y
The pump 19 and a turbine 20 by which it is driven w are fixed to a shaft 23 rotatably mounted in bearings 24 and theV conduits 18 deliver the water fromgthe pump blades into the inlet portion 25 of a cavitating venturi leaving the condenserby conduit`48 (waterand free oxygen) have Vbeen significantly reduced in volume.'
This reductionV in volume facilitates the disposal of the.
exhaust` products by the conduit 49 through the chamber 28 and the throat section ofthe venturi 26 which is at low pressure.
In order to eliminate the Wakeof the vehicle, it is desirable to provide means shown diagrammatically at 50 in FIGURE 2, to absorb or combine with the free oxygen leaving the condenser 45. This may comprise a compound having such characteristics or a burner and a source of hydrogen to burn with the oxygen, the resulting water being exhausted through the conduit 49.
It will be noted that a conduit 56 having a one-way valve 59 connects the water exhaust chamber 25 with the fuel tank 33 so that once .the turbine is started, water is used to pressurize the hydrogen peroxide by acting on the membrane 34. This enables the use of the pressurizing gas such as helium for starting purposes only, re-A duces the amount which must be carried, and thus more fuel can be carried to increase lthe range of the vehicle.
is present in the pump 19 fand enables the air launching of the vehicle. v
The operation of the underwater propulsion system is believed to be apparent. The propellant tank 33 is presiv surized upon the opening of the pressurizing fluid'valve 37 to force the fuel to the catalyst chamber 41 as soon as the Valve 40 is openedV by the presence of water in y l speed propulsion. Y
*It' is to benoted that the described system enables the condensed exhaust gases from the turbine to be discharged to a low pressure area-the chamber 25 sur-V rounding the throat of the nozzle 26-and pass through the apertures 27 and out of the nozzle. Obviously, additional cavitating venturi can be used if required to provide additional capacity'for lowering'the turbine back pressure during initial start and as required at great depth. It is to be understood that the form of our invention herewith shown and described is yto be taken as a preferred example of the same and that Various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departure from the spirit of the Vinvention or the scope of the subjoined claims. v v
YWhat isV claimed is: f
1. A propulsion system for propelling yvehicles under; Water comprising water inlet conduits leading to' a hydro- Vjet venturi exhaust nozzle, a turbine, a pump driven thereby for forcing water through said conduits and said-nozzle to produce propulsive thrust, means for generating and delivering high pressure gases to said turbine to drive said pump, and means for reducing the back pressure `on the exhaust gases from saidrturbine at any water 'f depth.
2. The system as recited in claim 1 wherein 'a condenserV is provided to condense the exhaust gases before exhausting through said nozzle. v
3. yThe system recited in claim 2 wherein said condenser is Aprovided with inlet and outlet portsv arranged to force coolant waterthrough said condenser upon movel i porting the elements v of said system for erating meansV comprises a source ,of hydrogen peroxide fuel, a catalyst chamber for eecting the decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide into steam and free oxygen,
conduits connecting said source, said chamber, said turbine, and said nozzle, and means for pressurizing said source to force said hydrogen peroxide to said catalyst surizing means comprises a conduit connecting said source of hydrogen peroxide to the exhaust of said pump to expose said hydrogen peroxide to pump pressure.
9. The system as recited in claim 6 wherein said conduit between said fuel source and-said chamber includes a control valve, and a control member connected with said valve, and mounted in said pump and operative upon'the presence of water in said pumpjto open said valve andV permit flow of fuel through said conduit.
10. The system as recited in claim 6 wherein means are provided for removing'free. oxygen as such from the exhaust gases before passing through said venturi nozzle.
11. vThe system as recited in claim 1 wherein said pressure' reducing means comprises a plurality of apertures formed peripherally about the throat lof said venturi nozzle, a chamber encloses the apertured portion thereof, and aconduit connected to said chamber for discharging exhaust gases therein. Y
12. The system as recited in claim 1 wherein said exhaust nozzle is swivelly connected to the exhaust of said pumprto effect steering of the vehicle. f
13. VThe combination with the system as recited in l claim 1,'of va marine vehicle body enclosing and suphigh speed, streamlined underwater movement.
vReferences Cited inthe le of this patent Y vUNITED V'STATES PATENTS V2,612,019 Halford sept. 3o, 1952 2,926,492 Flanagan Mar. 1, 1960 2,986,004 McKenney May so, 1961V FOREIGN PATENTS 661,218 Great'Britin Nov. 2, 1951