US 3243896 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 5, 1966 A IMMARCO Eff- 3,243,896
LASER WEAPON SIMULATOR Filed Aug. 26, 1963 2. Sheets-Sheet l United States Patent O 3,243,896 LASER WEAPON SIMULATOR Anthony Immarco, Queens, Elmer F. Olsen, White Plains, and Peter M. Redmond, Elmhurst, N.Y., and Joseph M. Cestaro, Falls Church, Va., assignors to Kollsman Instrument Corporation, Elmhurst, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Aug. 26, 1963, Ser. No. 287,389 1 Claim. (Cl. 35--25) This invention relates to a novel weapon simulator and more specificallyl relates to a novel weapon simulator which includes a pulsed laser device which will substantially identically simulate the shell burst provided by an actual weapon` on a remote target screen.
In the training of the gunner of a tank, it is first recognized that in tactical situations the gunner while situated inside the right frontal portion of the tank turret must perform as a member ofV a weapons team. In this capacity several functions fall into the different categories of his duties. The gunner must search his preassigned sector for enemy targets during the target search mode. When moving from turret to hull defilade (where the hull is behind cover and the turret is exposed, a position generally employedy for direct fire) he is required to direct the driver. In the event of a return direct hit, causing the loss of the tank, commander, it may be the gunners function to doubleasV tank commander. In all of these categories, the gunners prime `function is to lay the main weapon onto an enemy target, fire when on, and correct any `offset error established from a visual observation of the point of impact of the shot. He must also achieve a kill. on the next shot; this is a necessary requirement in the case of active targets. Prior to this, and after correctly identifying the target, the tank commander fixes the target range, using an optical coupled range finder. This entire sequence ofV events: target identification, range determination, laying and firing of the main weapon, twice in succession if required, is usually performed in less than twenty seconds.
Thus, the success of a mission, the fastfirst round kill, is critically dependenty on the thorough integration of the gunner and the weapon system. The number and complexity of some of these functions require for their most,V efficient execution the reduction of operator control of his weapon to an almost Vautomatic level. When this level of integration has been attained, the weapon is said to become an extension of the gunners own faculties. For this reason, proper automatic responses, precisely related to the giveny stimuli, require that theweapon simulation process be an accurate facsimile of the original process.
In categorizing the opera-tor skills, movement of the turret and main weapon in azimuth and the main Weapon in elevation by the gunner is accomplished with different motions of the same hand, while simultaneously viewing theV target. Coordination, therefore, is one of the skills requiring development.
To accurately lay the weapon on the center of mass of the target, the gunner makes use ofthe primary method of adjustment called burst-on-target. In this method, the gunner observes through his direct-nre sight the point on the sight reticle where the burst or tracer appears in relation to the target. He then uses this information to lay the main weapon on theM target. Accomplishing the latter without overshoot, or oscillation of the main weapon about the center of target mass, requires a fully developed kinesthetic sense; that is, the ability to precisely gauge the necessary muscular control, which is exercised through two degrees of freedom, to result in a precise lay of the main weapon on the target.
3,243,896 Patented Apr. 5, 1966 As will be shown, the use of a laser as a weaponlsimulator which operates in connection with a reliective target, will develop a burst pattern substantially identical to that which would be observed by the explosion of live ammunition on a reduced scale. That is to say, when using the simulator device at ranges less than one thousand yards, a simulated shell burst is observed which accurately represents bursts observed in actuality at ranges of the order of 1,000 to 2,000 yards. Therefore, the specific properties of the laser burst on a reflective target are substantially identical to what would be observed in actuality, thus permitting the development of the highly critical coordination and kinesthetic skills which must be acquired by a gunner.
Accordingly, a principal object of this invention is to provide a novel gun simulator training device.
A further object of this invention is to accurately simulate a shell burst by means of a pulsed laser device.,
A further object of this invention is to providean accurate system for the training of tank gunners which eliminates the expense and danger of the use of live ammunition,
These and other objects of the invention will become apparent from the following description when taken in connection with the drawingsin which:
FIGURE l illustrates the placement of'a tank having a laser weapon simulator. secured thereto in: a target areal.
FIGURE 2 shows annexploded perspective View of the laser simulator weapon and clamping means for clamping it to the tank weapon.
FIGURE 3 is a simplified block diagram of the laser weapon device.
Referring first to FiGURE 1, wel have illustrated therein a tank 10 in al training area. The tank 10 has a weapon 11 which has secured thereto a pulsed laser device. 12 which has the axis thereof aligned with the axis of weapon 11.
A reflecting target 13 is then remotely positioned from the tank at a distance, f-or example, of 200 feet. If desired, the target 13 may have slightly darkened porT tions, such as portion 14, or any other typical target configuration which serves as a minute target area for purposes of training.
FIGURE 2 illustrates the laser device of FIGURE l as.y being comprised of a laser transmitter 2,0V which has a sighting telescope 21 thereon and an optical focusing system 2,2. The sighting telescope 21r will have appro.- priate reticule means` therein as in the normal weapon training'device. Optical system 2,2,isan oppropriate collimating telescope which will focus the output pulse of laser 20 on a remote target, The: optical focusing system has a rst mount 23 which carries a universal clamp 24, The universal` clamp 24 may then be placed immediately beneath the gun barrel 11 of FIGURE 1, with the securing plates 25 placedV over the threadedl extensions 26 and 27 of clamp 24.V The rriount is then secured to the barrel by the tightening of winglnuts 28 and 29 on screws 26 and 27 respectively. A similar mountf ing arrangement is secured to the transmitter 20 and inf cludes universal clamp 30, plate 31 andwing nuts 32 and 33 which are secured to screws 34 and 35 respectively to thereby provide a second clamping means to the gun barrel 11. The universal clamp 30 however is secured to the transmitter 20 through a bore sight error adjustor linkage 36 which permits adjustment of the axis of the laser in both altitude and azimuth.
A simplified block diagram of the laser weapon simulator of FIGURE 2 is shown in FIGURE 3 where it is seen that an appropriate power supply 40 is provided for driving the laser transmitter 20 in the well-known manner. The laser transmitter 20 could, for example, be of the type disclosed in U.S.
Patent 2,929,922 or of any other general well-known type of laser arrangement. The laser transmitter 20 and the optical system 22 to which it is coupled are both shown in FIGURE 3 to be schematically connected to the clamping structure of adjustment system identified by numeral 41. To complete the weapon simulator system, it is then seen in FIGURE 3 that the optics are coupled to the target 13.
Telescope 21 permits bore sighting the laser transmitter 20 and serves as the gunners direct-tire optical system. In a typical device, the output of power supply 40 could be coupled to the laser lamp source (not shown) and triggerable by the gunner during normal use by mechanical triggering means (not shown) on the laser transmitter.
The pulsed laser output consists of a burst of intense red light clearly detectable to the eye. Care must be taken to have personnel away from the direct line of the laser pulse since permanent retinal damage may be caused by direct irradiation of the eye by a laser beam.
The invention recognizes that the laser will provide two of the essential features required for realistic simulation. One feature is that its output is of finite duration, clearly visible to the eye and thus analogous to the limited time extent of a detonated shell. The second feature, observable on viewing the back-scattering from the impact of the light pulse on a specialized target, is the resemblance of this reected light to the back-flash observed when TNT, located at the end of a tank shell, explodes on impact. Mounting the proposed simulator on the main weapon automatically places the positioning of the system under the gunners control. The added feature -of azimuth and elevation otset by adjustment means 36 of FIGURE 2 allows the gunnery officer to upset the laser boresight 21 to ensure a miss by the gunner on his first shot.V In this way the necessity to introduce the exact amount of offset to hit on the second shot develops the gunners coordination and kinesthetic sense. By contrasting the proposed simulation approach with other methods currently used in army short range installations, a better appreciation of the present system can be obtained. The method currently employed by the army on short target ranges involves the use of a machine gun mounted collinearly with the main weapon on the tank turret and controlled by the gunner. The advantages of this approach lie `in its simplicity and reliability, and to some extend, the realism contributed by the sound of firing. The disadvantages, however, include the hazards associated with bullets, which limit its application to only armories providing proper personnel protection, and the effect of bullet holes on the target, thus requiring repeated change of tragets.A The existence of the bullet holes provides the gunner with an undesirable permanent record, from a training point of view, to judge his next shot. Finally, on impact the bullet does not provide the ash usually observed from detonating shells in actual tactical operations.
Synchronization of film with the gunner firing button is a second approach. While this approach does provide a permanent record of a particular shot, it does not contribute to the progressive development of the coordination and kinesthetic skills of the gunner. The skills require a dynamic process for improvement, Whereas the photographic approach is purely static.
The present system is mounted on the main weapon. It provides a positive indication of the point of impact, does negligible damage to the target, is quite realistic in that the back-scattered signal is of limited duration, and resembles, to a large extent, the flash of a detonating shell. In addition the enormous light intensity of the system provides an outdoor as well as indoor capability.
A complementary aspect of the proposed system isthe use of a commercially available retro-reector target 13 made up to the target standards described in Army Manual FM 17-12, page 201, for 20G-foot ranges. It is a contributary factor to the realistic effects observed when tiring a laser on this type of surface.
It will be noted that experiments performed with the present system place the target 13 at ranges from 100 feet to 200 feet indoors as well as outside whereby a clearly observable red flash is seen. Using non-optimized optics at 200 feet the size of this spot is less than two inches in diameter. When using commercially available lasers, the optics may be so adjusted that at an operational range of 200 feet a target size of the order of 1/2 inch or less may be obtained. The firing rate which depends on the laser transmitter, may be of the order of one shot per five seconds with a maximum not exceeding three shots per minute. The unit may be mounted on any type weapon such as the M-41, M-48 and vM--60 tanks with maximum azimuth and elevation offsets for boresight not exceeding ilO mils.
Clearly, while the weapon is described herein as specifically applicable to tanks, the weapon may be useful in any direct firing type system using an explosive shell or in many cases even a non-explosive shell.
Although we have described preferred embodiments of this novel invention, many variations and modifications will noW be apparent to those skilled in the art, and it is therefore preferred to be limited not by the specific disclosure herein but only by the appended claim.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive privilege or property is claimed are defined as follows:
A weapon simulator system comprising the combination of a weapon adjustable in azimuth and elevation adapted to fire a projectile of the explosive type, a laser transmitter, a weapon sighting means operatively connected to said laser transmitter, a target remotely positioned with respect to said weapon, and connecting means for connecting said laser transmitter to said weapon with the optical axis of said laser being substantially parallel to the axis of said weapon, said laser transmitter comprising a pulsed laser device, a collimated optical output system connected to said laser transmitter, said connecting means including adjustment means for adjusting the elevation and azimuth of the optical axis of said collimated system with respect to the axis of said weapon, said target comprising a rotoflective material; the light burst appearing at the target as viewed from said weapon sighting means subtantially simulating the color, intensity and duration of an actual burst of an explosive projectile fired from said weapon.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,727,136 12/1955 Vought 273-1011 2,929,922 3/1960 Schawlow et al. 250-199 2,934,634 4/1960 Hellberg 273-1011 '2,995,834 8/1961 Rowe 273-101.1 3,026,615 3/ 1962 Aubert 35-25 3,063,161 11/1962 Baranoft 35-25 3,083,474 4/1963 Knapp 35-25 3,104,478 9/1963 Strauss et al 35-25 3,143,811 8/1964 Tucci et al. 35-25 EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Exam/'fiel'.
LAWRENCE CHARLES, Examiner.
SHELDON M. BENDER, Assistant Examiner.