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Publication numberUS3331284 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 18, 1967
Filing dateFeb 4, 1966
Priority dateFeb 4, 1966
Publication numberUS 3331284 A, US 3331284A, US-A-3331284, US3331284 A, US3331284A
InventorsCase Jr Frank H, Cornelison Corbet M
Original AssigneeCase Jr Frank H, Cornelison Corbet M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical control system for recoilless cannon
US 3331284 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 18 1967 F. H. CASE, JR., ETAL 3,331,284


INVENTORS. 5% BY July 18, 1967 F. H, cAsE, JR., ETAL 3,331,284


mmc 01.



zmao mmOJo FRANK H.CASE ,JR.



United States Patent C 3,331,284 ELECTRICAL CONTROL SYSTEM FOR RECOILLESS CANNON Frank H. Case, Jr., Edgar Losberg, and Corbet M. Cornelison, all of Huntsville, Ala., assignors to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army Filed Feb. 4, 1966, Ser. No. 525,808 7 Claims. (Cl. 89-126) AABSTRACT F THE DISCLUSURE A system for controlling the operation of a multiplebarrel recoilless cannon having a multiple-chamber, rotating cylinder. The loading, rotating, and tiring operations are time sequenced by a circuit including electrical flipops controlling hydraulic actuators. The flip-flops are changed in state in response to signals obtained from switches tripped by the cylinder, as it rotates and moves axially.

The `invention described herein is subject to the reservation to the Government of a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license in the invention with power to grant licenses for all governmental purposes.

This invention relates to an electro-hydraulic control system for an automatic recoilless cannon employing plural barrels and .a rotating cyl-inder having a plurality of chambers therein. Rounds are loaded from the rear of the cylinder and any dud rounds are ejected from the front of. the cylinder. The invention relates to means for controlling, in proper timed sequence, the various operations of loading rounds into the cylinder, revolving the cylinder, tiring the rounds, revolving the cylinder after rounds are fired, and so on.

An object of the invention is to provide .an automatic control system for a recoilless cannon having multiple barrels and a revolving cylinder, which system is relatively simple in operation and which is self synchronizing.

The invention may be best understood by reference to the drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 shows a block diagram of the system of the invention, and

FIGURE 2 shows a detailed circuit diagram of the system of the invention, and I FIGURE 3 shows the waveforms of voltages in various parts of the circuit of FIGURES 1 and 2.

The particular cannon with which the invention is to be employed has two barrels and a cylinder having -four chambers. Two of the chambers are aligned with the barrels for tiring while the two other chambers are being reloaded. The cylinder and barrels are so constructed that the chambers are loaded from the rear and any dud rounds are ejected from the front of the chambers. Each round, which is a cartridgeless rocket, is provided with a circumferential groove which is engaged by a holding finger in the chamber. This holding finger is released as .a dud round is ejected or as a good round is fired.

The operational sequence of the cylinder consists of several steps. Starting with the loading sequence, the forward end of the cylinder is tirst moved axially into contact with the breeches of the barrels. Two rounds are rammed into the chambers which are not in alignment with the barrels. The cylinders then move slightly rearward, allowing the holding fingers to engage the circumferential grooves in the rounds. The cylinder is then revolved to align the two loaded rounds' with the barrels, and the cylinder is again moved forward to contact the breeches of the barrels to form a gas seal. The rounds may then be tired. At the same time that the rounds are tired, two new rounds are being rammed into the two chambers not in alignment with the barrels. After the rounds are fired, the cylinder again moves slightly rearward and the holding fingers in the chambers engage the circumfeerntial grooves in the new rounds. The cylinder is then revolved to bring the chambers containing the new rounds into alignment with the barrels. The cylinder is once more moved forward and the new rounds are tired. At the same time that the new rounds are tired, further rounds are being rammed into the two other chambers, pushing any duds out the front of the chambers, The sequency then repeats. The revolver for 4the cylinder and the ram for loading the rounds are hydraulically operated and are controlled by electrically operated hydraulic solenoid valves. The invention is a means for controlling the proper timed sequence of these solenoid valves. The hydraulic power could be derived from a pressure tank, a pumy or as desired.

Referring now to FIGURE 1, there -is shown a power source Z with on oiT-on power switch S1. Power from Z and S1 are fed through control switch S2 to manually operated tiring switch S3. In parallel with tiring switch S2 are interlock switches contained in rectangle 10, which will be more specifically described hereinafter. The other side of switch S3 is connected to loader solenoid driver 11 which is connected to dip-op and steering network 12, which is operable to energize either loader reset-interlock relay RL1 or loader solenoid 13. When solenoid 13 is energized, an electro-hydraulic valve 40 is energized, and allows a hydraulic loader 41 to operate. Valve 40 controls pressurized hydraulic fluid from a hydraulic power system (not shown), which iluid operates the loader 41. Loader 41 may be a hydraulic piston. Simultaneous with energizaiton of solenoid 13, a voltage is fed to revolver solenoid driver 14, which is, in turn, connected to ilip-op and steering network 15. With the flipop of 15 in one of Iits states, revolver solenoid 16- is energized, and in the other state, revolver reset-interlock relay RL2 is energized. When revolver solenoid 16 is energized, an electro-hydraulic valve 42 is energized,4 and allows a hydraulic revolver 43 to operate. Valve 42, like valve 40, controls pressurized hydraulic tluid and allows revolver 43 to operate. Revolver 43 may also be a hydraulic piston.

Each of the reset-interlock relays RL1 and RL2 has two sets of contacts, one set from each relay being contained in box 10, and the other set in box 17, which box 17 also includes a reset indicator. The purpose of the reset contacts and indicator is to provide an indication, when oy-on switch S1 is closed, that one of the solenoids 13 or 16 is energized. The hydraulic power system should not be energized until both solenoids 13 and 16 are deenergized. If either of relays RL1 or RLZ is energized, its associated contacts will not be operated, and indicator of box 17 will not be energized. Operation of reset switch circuit 18 causes power to be applied to elements 12 and 15, and causes both solenoids 13 and 16 to be deenergized, if operated.

The operation of the invention may be more fully understood by reference to FIGURE 2, in which specific contents are shown for the boxes of FIGURE 1. The dotted line rectangles of FIGURE 2 correspond to the boxes of FIGURE 1, and the other reference numerals designate the same elements as in FIGURE 1. The contacts of relays RL1 and RLZ are respectively designated RLla, RLlb and RLZa, RL2b.

Closure of switch S1 lets power from the source Z into the remainder of the FIGURE 2 circuit. Control switch S2 is normally closed and the ip-ilops in boxes 12 and fiip-flop includes transistors Q and Q6. If either of the flip-ops is not in the proper state for the commencement of operations, reset light 17b will not be lighted. At the start of operations, both the loader solenoid 13 and revolver solenoid 16 should be deenergized, or, from the standpoint of the hip-flops, transistors Q3 and Q6 should be conducting. If the reset light is unlit, reset switch 18a is operated, causing whichever of Q3 or Q6 that is not conducting to begin conduction, in a manner which will be more readily seen from the below description. When Q3 and Q6 are conducting, relays RL1 and RL2 will be energized, and their respective contacts will assume positions opposite to those positions shown on FIGURE 2. Reset light 17 b will then become lit, through contacts RLlb and RL2b. When the reset light is lit, the hydraulic power may be energized.

The system is now prepared for the operation of firing switch S3. When S3 is operated, power is applied to the R1, R2-C1, R3 combination. Resistors R1, R2, and R3 provide a voltage dividing network for the bais voltage of the base of transistor Q1. Capacitor Cl provides a low impedance path around R2 when power is lirst applied, and allows transistor Q1 to momentarily conduct, until C1 is charged, after which the voltage at the base of Q1 keeps Q1 cut off. Referring to waveform of FIGURE 3, the voltage of the collector of Q1 can be seen to consist of a sharp spike below a base line. This voltage spike goes down from 30 volts to 16 volts and such 16 volts is applied to the junction of CR3 and CR4, which CRS and CR4 form a steering network. Since 13 is not energized, the voltage at the anode of CR3 is equal to the value of Z, 30 volts. The 16 volts voltage spike causes CR3 to be forward biased, and it conducts through Q1 and R3 to ground. As CR3 begins conduction, the voltage at point drops rapidly from 30 volts toward ground. This `drop in voltage causes Q3 to be cut off, through the drop in the base voltage thereto, which gas voltage is fed through resistor RS from the point C Voltage. As Q3 cuts off, the voltage at point rises rapidly, and in turn increases the voltage applied to the base of Q2 through R6, and eventually turns Q2 on. With Q3 turned otf, RL1 is deenergized, so that contact RLla closes and RLlb opens, thereby turning off reset light 17b. If the firing 'switch is now released, RLla still provides a conductive path for the circuit, so that a cycle of operations will be completed. The turning on of Q2 energizes loader solenoid 13, so that the loader operates. As the loader operates, the cylinder moves forward and control switch S2 is opened. Going back for a moment to the initial closing of S1, if the ilip-flop in box 12 were to start conducting through Q3, the voltage at point would be 30 volts, and such 30 volts would cause the momentary turning on of transistor Q4, through the network consisting of resistors R10, R11 and R12, and capacitor C3, in like manner to the operation of Q1 through the R1, R2, R3 and C1 network. Transistor Q5 would be caused to turn on, in like manner to transistor Q2. Relay RL2 would be unoperated and the reset light 17b would be unlit. The reset switch 18a would then be operated, applying a momentary 30 volts to point (and point Resistor R19 and capacitor C5 provide a spike of 30 volts and operate similar to the R2-C1 combination. This 30 volts applied to point causes revolver solenoid 16 to be deenergized and applies a potential to Q6 through R14 that causes Q6 to begin conduction, and to cut off transistor Q5 through the drop in the voltage at point as Q6 begins to draw current through R21 and RLZ. Transistor Q2 would be reset in like manner, if it were energized instead' of transistor Q5. Returning now to the opening of the control switch by the movement of the cylinder, such opening removes the voltage applied to the R1, R2, R3, C1 combination, and the charge of C1 dissipates through R2 and through R3 to ground. As the cylinder moves rearward, control switch S2 is again closed. The hydro-mechanical arrangement of the cylinder is such that the cylinder moves forward, then rearward with the loader solenoid 13 still energized. Closure of S2 causes Q1 to be again momentarily energized, through switch S3 or RLla. With the loader solenoid energized, the voltage at point D is 30 volts. The momentarily conduction of Q1 with point D at 30 volts causes CR4 to be forward biased, allowing CR4 to conduct, and in turn causing the voltage at point D to drop. This drop in voltage at point D eventually causes transistor Q2 to cut off as transistor Q3 turns on. As Q2 cuts off and the loader solenoid is deenergized, the voltage at point C rises rapidly to 30 Volts. Such a voltage rise causes momentary conduction of Q4, through the R10, R11, R12, and C3 combination. This momentary conduction of Q4 causes a voltage drop at the junction of diodes CRS and CR6, and turns on transistor Q5, causing energization of the revolver solenoid 16. Energization of the revolver solenoid causes the cylinder to revolve. As the Icylinder revolves, control switch S2 is again opened. With S2 open, C1 again discharges through R2 and R3. The hydro-mechanical arrangement of the cylinder is such that the cylinder revolves a certain amount and stops, even though the revolver solenoid is still energized. When the cylinder has revolved a predetermined amount, the control switch S2 is again closed. Transistor Q1 again momentarily conducts, Q2 is turned on, and the loader solenoid 13 is again energized. The two initially loaded rounds are fired in sequence, one as the loader starts its forward stroke, and the other as the loader nears the end of its forward (loading) stroke. This ring is accomplished by the tripping of switches (not shown) by the loader ram as it moves. It should be noted that during the cycle of operation just described, one of relays RL1 or RLZ is always deenergized, and subsequently one of relay contacts RLla or RL2a is closed, so that the cycle will be completed even though the tiring switch S3 is open.

The understanding of the operation of the invention is further aided by reference to FIGURE 3, in which voltage waveforms at various points in the FIGURE 2 diagram are shown. The various waveforms of FIGURE 3 designate the voltage variations at the various points of FIGURE 2.

Control yswitch S2 is mechanically operated -by the back and forth and rotational motion of the cylinder and is closed when the cylinder moves away from contact with the breeches of the barrels. A portrusion on the cylinder operates switch S2 and allows S2 to open at certain angular positions of the cylinder, as can be seen by reference to FIGURE 3. Switch S2 serves as a timer or synchronizer for the remainder of the circuit. As can be seen from FIGURE 3, when the cylinder moves rearward (away from contact with the barrels), 30 volts (assuming Z=30 volts) is present at point A through closed switch S2.

The movement of the ram (not shown) which loads the rounds into the cylinders is mechanically controlled and its operation with respect to the movement of the cylinder is also shown in FIGURE 3.

The steps used when starting operation of the invention and the cannon with which it is used are as follows:

(1) Turn on power switch (S1).

(2) fIf reset indicator light (17b) is not lit, operate reset switch 13a. (An unlit reset indicator light means that at least one of loader solen-oid 13 or revolver solenoid 16 is energized. Operation of the reset switch causes deenergization of the energized solenoid or solenoids.)

(3) When reset light (17h) comes on, energize the hydraulic system (not shown). (If the reset light does not come on after operation of the reset switch, the light may be defective or there may be other diiculties in the circuit.)

(4) Press fire switch (S3).

Specific examples of the various circuit component values of FIGURE 2 are as follows:

R1, R ohms 49,000 R2, R11, R19 do 47,000 R3, R12 do 205 R4, R13 do 10 R5, R6, R14, R15 do 1,200 R7, VR16 do.. 6.8 R8, R9, R17, R18 do 470 R20, R21 do--- 135 C1, C3, CS microfarads 0.5 C2, C4 do 100 The above values are merely exemplary, and other values are possible, within the scope of the invention.

Diodes `CR1 and `CR2 provide isolation between the two dip-flops, but allow reset power to be applied.

If tiring switch S3 were release `as soon as the ram traveled forward (FIGURE 3), the cycle of operations would continue to the point marked End of First Cycle and then would stop. At such time, both RLl and RL2 would be energized, and their respective contacts RLla and RL2a would ybe in an open condition, and the firing circuit would not be completed. If tiring switch S3 were to remain closed to the point marked Fire Button May be Released, the cycle of operations would continue for a length of time equal to that interval of FIGURE 3 between Reset State and End of First Cycle.

While a specific embodiment of the invention has been disclosed, other embodiments may be obvious to one skilled in the art, in -light of this disclosure.

We claim:

1. A control -system for a recoilless cannon, said cannon h-aving a cylinder with a plurality of axial bores therein, including first hydraulic means for loading rounds into bores of said cylinder, second hydraulic means for rotating -said cylinder, rst and second electrohydraulic valves for controlling said -irst and second hydraulic means, irst and second electrical solenoids for controlling said first and second valves, wherein the loading operation imparts slight axial motion to said cylinder, means for controlling said iirst and second solenoids, said means for controlling including a iirst Hip-flop having a first driver therefore, mean-s for energizing said irst driver, said first solenoid -being connected to one side of said first flip-flop, a second flip-flop having a second driver connected to said one side of said rst flip-flop, and with said second solenoid connected to one side of said second Hip-Hop.

2. The system as defined in claim 1 further including control means for said iirst and second driver means.

3. The system as defined in claim 2 in which said control means includes a switch opened and closed by the axial and rotational movement of the cylinder.

4. The system as defined in claim 2 wherein said control means further includes manually operable switch means.

5. The system as defined in claim 2 further including interlock relay means connected to the opposite sides of said flip-flops from said solenoids.

6. The system as defined in claim 5 wherein said relay means have contacts connected in parallel with said manually operable switch means.

7. The system as defined in claim 1 wherein said drivers cause said dip-flops to change from one stable state to another stable state upon successive energizations of said drivers.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,870,678 l/ 1959 Girouard et al 89-47 X 2,981,157 4/1961 Marquardt A89--135 3,263,565 8/1966 Dragonetti et al. 89-126 X 3,302,166 1/1967 Zemanek l8l-.5

BENJAMIN A. B'ORCHELT, Primary Examiner.

S. C. BENTLEY, Assistant Examiner.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,331,284 July 18, 1967 Frank H. Case, Jr., et al.

It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below: Column 2, line S, "Clrcumfeerntlal" should read circumferential line 18, "pumy" should read pump line 51, "oy-on should read off-on Column 3, line 38, "gas" should read base Column 4, lines 5, 6, and 8, "D", each occurrence should read line ll "C" should read Column 6, line 18, Claim reference numeral "2" should read 4 Signed and sealed this ZlSth day of November 1969.

(SEAL) Attest:

Edward M.F1etcher,1r. WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.

Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2870678 *Apr 11, 1946Jan 27, 1959Baller Maurice HProjectile launcher
US2981157 *Jun 25, 1957Apr 25, 1961Marquardt Frank RElectrical control system
US3263565 *Oct 31, 1962Aug 2, 1966Clerio UguccioniRotating cluster type rocket launcher
US3302166 *Mar 16, 1964Jan 31, 1967Mobil Oil CorpMultiple receiver acoustic well logging
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3496829 *Nov 13, 1967Feb 24, 1970Rheinmetall GmbhElectronic cadence control for automatic firearms
US3509791 *May 16, 1969May 5, 1970France Armed ForcesWeapon firing system including a seismic and radiation responsive control
US4457209 *Nov 19, 1982Jul 3, 1984Fmc CorporationAutomated large caliber ammunition handling system
US4777864 *May 10, 1984Oct 18, 1988Ares, Inc.Electronically controlled, externally powered, automatic gun
US8656820Aug 19, 2011Feb 25, 2014Ares, Inc.Electronically controlled automatic cam rotor gun system
DE102007036457B3 *Aug 1, 2007Jan 2, 2009Oerlikon Contraves AgVerfahren und Anordnung zur variablen Schussauslösung bei einer Revolverkanone
U.S. Classification89/126, 89/135
International ClassificationF04B43/08, F41A19/64, F04B43/00, F41A19/00, F41A19/58
Cooperative ClassificationF41A19/58, F04B43/086, F41A19/64
European ClassificationF41A19/58, F04B43/08P, F41A19/64