Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3264417 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 2, 1966
Filing dateApr 16, 1962
Priority dateApr 16, 1962
Publication numberUS 3264417 A, US 3264417A, US-A-3264417, US3264417 A, US3264417A
InventorsJr Louis G Smith
Original AssigneeLear Siegler Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wire release mechanism
US 3264417 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

g- 2, 1956 G. SMITH, JR

WIRE RELEASE MECHANISM 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 16, 1962 INVENTOR. [00/5 6 5/7/76 JA: Q

2, 1966 L. G. SMITH, JR 3,264,417

WIRE RELEASE MECHANISM Filed April 16, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. 100/6 6. M/n/ Jr? go-0 W Aug. 2, 1966 G. SMITH, JR 3,264,417

WIRE RELEASE MECHANISM Filed April 16, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. LOU/6' 6 SMITH MA.

United States Patent 3,264,417 WIRE RELEASE MECHANISM Louis G. Smith, In, Grand Rapids, Mich, assignor, by mesne assignments, to Lear Siegler, Inc., Santa Monica,

Calif., a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 16, 1962, Ser. No. 187,759 1 Claim. (Cl. 191-42) 'This invention relates to equipment for handling a continuous strand-type element, especially a signal conducting means, and more particularly to a releasing mechanism and method for a signal conducting means. It also relates to a novel storage and release mechanism for a strand-type element, especially a signal conducting means.

With the development of self-propelled projectiles for line-of-sight warfare operations to destroy objects such as tanks and trucks, it has been found advantageous to provide constant control during their movement by using signals which cannot easily be interferred with or detected. One of the methods currently employed utilizes the transmission of electrical signals by wire. To effect this signal transmission, the wire must constantly extend between the moving object and the signal source.

However, conventional wire releasing mechanisms, such as the coil or bobbin type, are not capable of releasing successive portions of the wire rapidly enough for many high-speed objects or vehicles. With these mechanisms, the wire adjacent to the storage and releasing means is caused to accelerate in an extremely small distance. This rapid acceleration causes excessive tensile forces in the conductors, resulting in separation or breaking of the conductor at the release point.

Consequently, there exists a definite need for a release mechanism capable of dispensing the signal conducting means sufficiently rapidly for high-speed vehicles such as projectiles, missiles or aircraft, and capable of permitting the required acceleration without excessive stresses in the signal conducting means.

Another serious disadvantage with conventional coil or bobbin releasers, when electrical conductors are used for transmitting electrical signals, is the very high self-inductance of the coil or bobbin, often reaching four henries in value. Further, this self-inductance varies with the amount of wire remaining in the coil, making effective electrical signal transmission difiicult. This problem is especially acute since control of missile flight, for example, requires reliable transmission of highly refined signals of controlled band width and low noise level, among other things. Therefore, even when the conductor does not break during release and acceleration from the coil, for example when it is used on lower velocity vehicles, the electrical signal transmitted must overcome this very high and rapidly varying inductance in order to be at all effective.

It is an object of this invention to provide novel equipment for storing and dispensing strand-type material, especially signal conducting means. It is also an object to provide a releasing device for releasing a signal conducting means at greatly increased rates as compared to those known heretofore. Another object is to provide a device which distributes acceleration forces over a relatively long segment of the releasing signal conducting means, i.e., over a relatively long acceleration zone, rather than over a relatively short increment. It substantially extends the time of acceleration of each segment as it is released, to thus largely reduce the tensile forces developed in the signal conducting means or strand.

It is another object of this invention to provide a novel storage and releasing device capable of relasing the signal conducting means rapidly enough to accommodate even very high velocity objects such as projectiles, missiles, and aircraft.

3,24,4l'? Patented August 2, 1966 It is a further object of this invention to provide a storage and releasing article and device capable of compactly storing at least several thousand feet of electrical conductors and releasing the same at rapid rates without having a large inductive impedance in the signal transmission means.

It is a still further object to provide an apparatus capable of electrical signal communication through a strandtype material such as a wire or wires, even though it extends between a stationary position and an object moving at high rates of speed, or between two simultaneously moving objects.

Another object is to provide a novel method of storing and releasing strand-type material, especially signal conducting means, rapidly, without excessive tensile forces in the acceleration zone, and without substantial friction drag.

These and other objects of this invention will be apparent upon studying the following specification in conjunction with the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a moving object such as a missile which contains the storage and release mechanism for a signal conducting means;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a storage and releasing device for a signal conducting means;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, perspective, exaggerated view of a storage article or packet before release of a strand or signal conducting means;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational, sectional view of the storage and releasing mechanism taken on plane IVIV of FIG. 2;

. FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the storage and releasing device illustrated in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing one method of assembly of one form of the novel signal conducting means'storage article or packet;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a first modification of a release mechanism;

FIG. 8 is a side elevational, sectional view of a second modification of a storage release mechanism; and

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary perspective view of a modified strand storage or packet.

Non-limiting examples of signal conducting means employed in this invention are an electrical conductor or a plurality of electrical conductors, a cord, string, rope or cable; a tubularly-shaped member; or optically conducting glass fiber or fibers; etc. The electrical conductor can consist of any electrically conducting material well-known in the art as for example metallic wire such as copper, nickel, silver, gold and steel wires, as well as wire alloys of these and other materials. The conductors can be insulated, which is the case where two or more strands are used. Another example, is an electrical conductor or conductors in the form of thin metallic filaments or films supported by a tensile member such as a cord or mono-filament of a synthetic or natural material. Non-limiting example of support members are cords and mono-filaments of nylon, cotton, glass fibers, silk, etc.

In the written description given hereinafter, the invention is illustrated by reference to a wire as the signal conducting means. It is to be understood that the same is for the purpose of illustration only and is not to be taken as a limitation, since any strand-type material or signal conducting means can be used in the light of the above discussion.

Basically, the novel wire storage and release article, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 6, includes a packet in the form of a tape. The tape is formed of the strand or strands arranged in a recurring sinuous pattern (i.e., resembling a series of adjacent folds) and a supporting member or members sometimes referred to as a retaining wall or walls. If more than one retaining or support member is of such ribbons can be replaced, however, withone .or. 5

more rib bon strips, i.e., strips that are narrower than the fold length of the wire on opposite sides. Alterna-. tively, the signal conductingmeans can be disposed on one or more strips, located 'onone side of the signal conducting means as in FIG. 9 of the drawings. A sigl nal conducting means can also be disposed on but a sin-. gle retaining member. This storage and release article; can be rolled as shown in FIGS. 2, 4 and 5 of the drawings, or folded or otherwise disposed in a manner coma patible with the storage space available. as shown for .15

example in FIG. 8 of the drawings. In the case where the retaining member or members is disposed only on one side of the folded wire,. an adhew sive can be made use of to retain the wire in position on 1 the supporting member or members until release of the wire is desired as hereinafter explained. Normally, an adhesive is not required. The retaining walls in the fig 7 ures in the drawings are flexible; ribbon-type elements. One manner, but not limited thereto, is to retain the sinuous wire in position by joining the edges of two oppositely disposed ribbons, with the wire sandwiched in be tween.

The novel storage tape isused in conjunction with a releasing device having a storage chamber such as a reel or other means as explained above whereby the tape is compactly stored, allowing dependable removal of the ribbon therefrom. The device includes ribbon removal 7 or stripping means for allowing substantially frictionless unfolding and acceleration of the wire. Removal of the 1 sheath walls may be facilitated with edge separating means if edges of the ribbons are sealed, as in FIG. '3." If heavy strand-material is used, it may sometimes be ex- 1 pedient to impart sprocket teeth receiving orifices in the edges of the tape for positive driving thereof.

A guide or acceleration channelis preferably provided 0 for the unfolding wire. Preacceleration means may be associated with the guide and channel, for preliminary acceleration to accommodate exceptionally high velocity vehicles. This preacceleration means can for example, comprise a series of properly oriented air jets arranged along the channel, along the lateral edges, and/ or on the. top and bottom of the channel.

Theinvention also comprises equipment capable .of allowing electrical signal communication between a stationary elementsuch as the starting source, and amov- 5D able object,. or vice versa, or between two moving objects, asfor example, a moving truck and a missile. One or both objects haveassociated therewith the wire releasing device including the ribbon storage article including a tape formed by wire or strand positioned in a series of adjacent folds and arranged in a sinuous pattern on a ribbon wall or walls. The wire is attached at one end to one object element, often stationary, and at its opposite end to a moving object. A ribbon removal means to allow rapid release of the wire includes edge releasing means if the edges Of the ribbon arejoined. Other features may also be combined where necessary. as explained hereinafter.

The novel method of releasing and extending the wire comprises the Steps ofarranging a Wire in a sinuous '6 be done by releasing the sealed edges and 52 of .the

tern resembling folds, confining: the folds to a single ribbon or between a plurality of ribbons or walls, permitting relative movement betweenthe portion of the wire being released and the walls, While simultaneously and continuously stripping or removing the walls from the wire. If desired, the folds may be adhered lightly to a wall, and later released from the wall just prior to wire extension and wall removal. Examples of adherent wall or ribbon material that can be used, are paraflin,solidified I oils, waxes, etc. disposed on suitable'ribbon material such :75

as clothtmadeiof natural or synthetic material such as. cotton, silk, nylon,- Mylar,Teflon, 6150., andmetallic .rib-

bons, or plastic sheets such as polyethylene. These are representative rather than limiting examples. These .rib-' bon materials'are usually used without the application ofan adherent substance as in the illustrationsin {the .drawings. Teflon, Mylar or similarrmaterials canbe used when a material of extremely low friction is desired.

The term sinuous is intendedaccording to its defini-Z .tio'n as provided by Websters dictionary, i.e., of a semen-- tine or wavy form, andis not to be limited to the term.


Referring to the. drawings, in FIG.t1 the novel: device is. shown in combination with one form of moving object, namely a missile,'or projectile 12 propelled from a sta. tionary source element 14 toward a target (not'shown).

In order to provide electrical communication betweenta signal transmitter 18 and-a receiver (not shown) in the missile 12, or vice versa, a wire 20is constantly released.

to extend between the stationary element and the moving object 12. The wire releasing and storage mechanism maybe mounted within the'object as illustrated in FIG. 1, or externally. to the object. dependingon the n ature, and

size. of ';the object involved, the movementzand surface characteristics. of the object and its intended purpose. Also the releasing mechanism may be mounted-to 'the source. Further, a pairof mechanisms may be .mounted respectively to the source andobject. The electrical signal may be used for many purposes. For example, the

flight path of the missile illustrated in FIG. 1 can be controlledthrough the transmission of sophisticated, high quality signals. A

The wire 20 is stored and releasedin the moving ob.- ject withinsa novelwire storage and release article -comprising a Wire packetpor tape 26as illustrated by FIG. 3 (see FIGSuS and 6 for sinuous arrangement). This tape comprises an enclosing sheath having a pair. of'opposite, flexible ribbon-like walls 32 and 34 which are joined along their overlapping edges to enclose wire 20 compactly arranged in a series of adjacent folds as shown-in FIGS.: 5 and 6. Other: tape constructions have been discussed above and are shown. It will be obvious that the particular enclosing structure forming the wallsmay vary.

For example, a single folded ribbon, a seamless extruded V sheath, a single adhered ribbon, a plurality of narrow strips, or other equivalenttstructures; could perform generally the same function. t

This tape illustrated could be formed by arranging the wire could be stuffed between a pair'of walls. The forming process could be adapted to continuous operation, as

is obvious.

The wire 20 is released through a suitable outlet '22 on the moving object. One form of the novel device for rapidly releasing the stored wire is shown in FIG. 2. It includes a ribbonstorage and discharging means 24 such as a magazine or ispir-al reel. The tape or wire packet 26 is discharged from this reel in: a guided fashion, as for example between a pairiofrollers 28 and 30;

To=provide optimumzrelease and unfolding conditions for the wire 20, increcents of the walls 32 and 34 are constantly removed as the wire is accelerated to its extended condition- When the edges are joined or.sealed,rthis may sheath. In the :form shown, the sealed edges of the sheath'are cutoff by a pair. of cutting elements 40 and 42. Edge releasing methods fondiiferent materials used for the .Walls will vary. For some purposes, the edges and 62,. and wound up on secondary rollers 64 and 66. Sprocket means may be utilized to drive the edges of the tape using openings 51 for positive drive means. The plastic edges may be strengthened by metallic coatings or strips of metal or other material to reduce stretching or tendency to tear when driving.

The wire becomes extended as it passes through the acceleration zone beginning where the wire starts unfolding (68) and ending where the wire is linear (70) and generally coaxial with the centerline of the folds. In certain instances it is desirable to provide a channel 72 beyond the rollers 60 and 62 and/or an acceleration guide channel 74 prior to removal of the walls or panels.

If desired, preacceleration means such as a series of air nozzles 80 along the edge, on top, or on the bottom may be used to start and/ or continue the unfolding action of the wire adjacent to and through the zone of acceleration. Thus, the length of the zone of acceleration can be increased, and stresses on any increment of wire can be even further reduced. Similar air directing means can be used to retard rate of wire acceleration or to variably control acceleration rates. Even smoother releasing occurs where practically all friction of wire-on-wall is eliminated during extension. In the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 8 for example, as the tape 26 is unfolded from storage chamber 102, and the walls 32 and 34 pass around idlers 60 and 62 and are wound up around rollers 64 and 66, wire 20 passes between perforated plates or walls 104 and 106 forming inner surfaces of a pair of gas manifolds 108 and 110. The flowing g-ases introduced through inlets 112 and 114 pass out the perforations and maintain the wire 20 suspended in a gaseous cushion, and in an accelerated state due to the outfiowing gases. One means of accomplishing this is by passing air or other gas such as helium, for example, through porous wall material such as porous metal or ceramic, e.g., sintered, porous steel or brass, or through ports or orifices in'the walls. Directional control of the gaseous flow may be achieved by the positioning and configuration of the inner end 116 of the manifold or by the alignment of the ports or orifices so as to cause directed flow of the escaping gas.

Generally, the wire is adequately retained without adhering it to the walls. The Wire may, however, be formed in a manner to provide a slight adhering effect between the wire and one or both of its confining walls to even further secure it in an exact position. This is especially true of course where only one side of the wire is contacted by wall means. When this is done, the adhesive effect should be readily releasable just prior to the acceleration zone. One way of achieving this is shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. In FIG. 6, at least wall 34 is a ribbon of a suitable thermoplastic material. Possible materials include a vinyl (such as vinyl acetate, vinyl chloride, etc.)

cellulose acetate, polyethylene, and many others. It underlies and supports the wire 20 which is placed thereon in a sinuous pattern. By passing the thermoplastic lower sheet 34 over a heated platen 90 the thermoplastic material may be softened to provide a slight tackiness so that wire 20 will remain securely in position. Thereafter, top sheet 32 is placed on the wire and the edges 50 and 52 of the sheets are bonded together as by a pair of heated edge platens 92 and 94. As explained above, the top sheet can be omitted. For example, wall strips such as strips 120 and 122 (FIG. 9) may be placed on just one side of the Wire. The packet is then placed in a suitable storage means such as reel 24 for dispensing as in FIG. 2.

As the ribbon or packet is dispensed, the wire is released from its adhered condition prior to removal of the Walls. This may be accomplished by placing a heat source 91 (FIG. 7) to react on wall or sheet 34 just prior to the acceleration zone of the wire. This reheats the thermoplastic material sufficiently to largely destroy the adhering condition, and allows free movement of the wire relative to the retaining wall or walls. Other equivalent methods may be utilized for this adhering effect, such as the addition of a slight amount of adhesive. For example, an adhesive 130 shown on strips 120 and 122 in FIG. 9 is chosen so that it changes to volatilize or liquefy by heat to thereby release the wire when desired. Examples of adhesives are acrylic (e.g., methyl methacrylate, methyl methacrylate-styrene copolymer), polyvinyl butyral and other polyvinyl acetals, among others. Instead of an adhesive, a corresponding pair of strips (not shown) may be placed opposite strips 120 and 122 to retain the strand 20.

Operation The method of operation of this invention is as follows. Briefly, it comprises arranging or forming the wire into a sinuous pattern so as to form a plurality of adjacent recurring folds. This sinuously disposed wire is concurrently or after the forming step, packaged into a tape which retains this disposition during the storage thereof. The wire is released and extended by substantially simultaneously releasing the retaining means and permitting relative movement between the released portion of the wire and the tape. This method can be utilized in many ways and forms.

When it is desired to release wire from the storage means, as for example to provide a signal conducting means between a moving object such as the missile illustnated in FIG. 1 and a stationary element, the storage and releasing device illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4 is mounted to the moving vehicle. One end of the signal conducting means is connected to the source electrically and physically, if it comprises an electrical conductor. It is attached at both ends, the other end of the signal conducting means 20 (FIG. 4) being connected to the moving object. When the object moves away from the source, the wire packet or tape in the form shown Wound on the reel or other storage means 24, is fed between a pair of guiding rolls 28 and 30, past edge releasing means 40 and 42, and preferably through an acceleration channel 74 and/ or 72. As the wire and enclosing walls approach the area where the enclosing Walls are removed, the wire begins and continues unfolding over the length of the acceleration zone. The ribbon is drawn by winding-roller 64 due to driving rotation of its shaft 67. This shaft can be driven by a worm gear engagement 65 on shaft 63 driven by a turbine 61 or other torque generating device :such as a motor and pinion drive. Alternatively, the take-up rolls 64 and 66 can be rotating elements of a motor or engine or other torque generating device. The turbine may be rotated by hot gases from the missile, for example. A spur gear 69 on roller 64 can be used to drive a similar spur gear (not shown) on roller 66 to Wind up both walls of the sheath.

Due to the sinuous pattern of the wire, tensile forces are imparted during wire releasing and acceleration to substantially large segments of the wire, i.e., that portion in the acceleration zone between 68 and 70. Also, the time of acceleration for the wire moving through this zone is substantially large so that no small increment of wire is stressed excessively. When the wire becomes linear at 20' (FIG. 5), it becomes stationary, having substantially no velocity and no acceleration relative to its general environment when the apparatus is suspended to the moving vehicle. It will be realized that the rate of ribbon movement from storage reel 24 may be controlled in proportion to the vehicle speed to discharge the proper amount of wire or other signal conducting means.

As stated hereinabove, in instances where extra high velocity objects are involved, or extra fine wire is used and no significant stresses at all should be imparted to the wire, it may be desirable to provide preacceleration means associated with the guide or acceleration channel. This further extends the zone of acceleration, and further lengthens the increment of wire simultaneously being accelerated. Properly positioned air nozzles connected to a suitable air source (not shown) will cause the wire to unfold more quickly to extend the time of acceleration. Also, it may be desirable under certain circumstances to actually increase the tension of the wire by pressure ap- Although the apparatus has been explained with respect to a particular type of moving object, the device can be used in combination with various typesof moving objects, or for many other diflerent uses than providing communi-i cation between a moving object and .a stationary element,:

dnagging the wire through its environment, whether it be gaseous, liquid or solid. This could bevery advantageous and even critical, for example, for two trucks desiring communication while moving through brush or trees. It.

can also be used many variousways to dispense Wire for high speed assembly processes, such as in the electrical industry. To rapidly dispense motor or transfonner-wind-i ing wire in a rapid continuous manner is oneexample'.

To rapidly iand safely dispense fibers of materials such as plastic, glass, or the like to wrap items or. supply a coat-.

ing of fibers is another use. will occur to those in the art.

In a specific, illustrative use, when a mechanism of the. type shown in FIG. 2 contains'a bi-filar strand of No.-

Many other possible uses 35AWG resin insulated copper wire is usedin dispensing wire from a moving'vehicle'traveling at a velocity of substantially 800 to 1000 f-t./sec. over a distance of 6000 meters, it is found that the wire is dispensed satisfactorily. No impairment of the signal transmission capability occurs in the wire that is thus dispensed. The transmission characteristics of the wire so dispensed are sufficient to,

.or between two moving objects to eliminate the need for 15:

permit transmission of high'c u ality signals? allowing accurate control of a vehicle.

Variouszm-odifications maybe made" of: the article, device, and method taught within the principles of themvention tosuit a particular situationdue to its'manypotentialities. Therefore, the invention is not to belimitedz merely to the illustrative forms shown, but only by the scopegof the :appended claim" and the reasonablyequivalent structures thereto.

I claim::

A. storage and releasing device .for a signalconducting means: comprising: a signal conducting means positioned in a sinuous pattern; ribbon :wall' supporting means releasably-sustain'ing said signal conducting means; ribbon -wall removal meansengaging and retracting said ribbon means, away from said signal conducting means to allow release .and extension ofsaid signal conducting means;

and .gas cushion injection means adjacent ;saidl-ren1oval 1 means oriented toward opposite sides of-said signal conducting means to suspend saidzsignal conducting means and cause extension in an essentially frictionless manner.

References; Cited by the Examiner UNITED. STATES PATENTS 2,308,551 i 1/ 1943 Sherman 225 99 XI 2,317,384 4/1943 Johnson 225'99 2,341,368 2/1'944 Flood .206-58 2,436,402 2/1948 Potter. 2,465,876 3/ 19.49 H'ornung 22125' X 2,490,837 12/ 1949 Scott. 3,006,502 10/ 1961 Tobey" 221-73 ARTHUR'L'. LA POINT, Primary Examiner. JAMES S. SHANK; Examiner.-

S. Bi GREEN, Assistant Examiner;

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2308551 *Aug 3, 1940Jan 19, 1943Katherine M ShermanStrip trimmer
US2317384 *Aug 7, 1941Apr 27, 1943Autographic Register CoStrip feeding and severing device
US2341368 *Nov 12, 1941Feb 8, 1944Dennison Mfg CoDispenser for sheet material
US2436402 *Sep 8, 1944Feb 24, 1948Bell Telephone Labor IncMethod of laying communication lines
US2465876 *Aug 31, 1944Mar 29, 1949Hornung Clarence PCombined package and magazine for holding blades and/or other thin articles
US2490837 *Jun 5, 1946Dec 13, 1949Jr Benjamin B ScottWire laying device and method
US3006502 *Nov 24, 1958Oct 31, 1961Brady Co W HDispenser for precut pressure sensitive tape
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3932714 *Dec 5, 1974Jan 13, 1976R. Alkan & CieRemote electrical transmission system
EP0404485A1 *Jun 18, 1990Dec 27, 1990Hughes Aircraft CompanyRotating drum filament dispenser
U.S. Classification191/12.00R, 206/525, 156/714
International ClassificationH02G11/02, B65H55/00
Cooperative ClassificationH02G11/02, B65H55/00
European ClassificationB65H55/00, H02G11/02