US 3400393 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept- 3, 1968 s. H. ASH 3,400,393
WEAPON SAFETY MECHANISM Filed Deo. 19, 1966 sYM/'di% ATTORNEYS 3,400,393 WEAPON SAFETY MECHANISM Saul H. Ash, 1331 Nicolet, Detroit, Mich. 48207 Filed Dec. 19, 1966, Ser. No. 602,670 2 Claims. (Cl. 343-65) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A safety mechanism for each weapon in a weapon safety system wherein each weapon has a directional electromagnetic Wave receiving means which prevents the weapon from being discharged while aimed toward a source of the electromagnetic wave or, alternately, toward a reflector reflecting the electromagnetic waves being transmitted by a radiating device mounted on the weapon.
Background of the invention Many casualties are caused each year by game hunters shooting at each other as a result of negligence or error in proper identification of the target before a weapon is aimed and discharged. Safety devices have heretofore been provided for preventing the accidental involuntary discharge of a weapon, but, until now, there is no known device capable of preventing the voluntary discharge of a weapon when the weapon is erroneously aimed at a human target.
In military operations also, there are many causalties caused as a result o|f mistaken identity. On the battlefield, it often happens that weapons are -aimed and discharged at friendly troops, as a result of the friendly troops being positioned in the line of fire or as a result of the conditions prevalent under battle conditions which often ren-der it difficult to distinguish between foe or friend.
Summary of the invention The present invention provides a safety mechanism for a group of weapons within a safety system which prevents the voluntary discharge of a weapon when that weapon is aimed at a target consisting of a human who belongs to the safety system. The invention utilizes electromagnetic wave receiving means for each individual weapon element in the system which is adapted to inhibit the discharge of the Weapon when the latter is aimed at a target carrying a device radiating such electromagnetic wave or capable olf reflecting the electromagnetic `wave radiated by transmitting means associated -with the weapon. In order to prevent inhibiting the discharge of a weapon when the weapon is aimed at targets other than friendly targets, the electromagnetic wave receiving `device is preferably highly directional such that the weapon is permitted to operate in the usual manner in the absence of electromagneticV waves being received by the receiving device on the weapon.
Consequently, the principal object of the present invention is a safety mechanism for a weapon in ay weapon safety system adapted to prevent the voluntary discharge of the weapon when the latter is aimed at a wrong target.
An additional object of the present invention is to provide a safety ymechanism for a weapon of the class indicated which inhibits a discharge of the weapon in the event that the safety device on the weapon is not functioning properly.
A further object of the invention is to provide such a nited States Patent O safety mechanism which is orf light Weight, which is rugpractical embodiments of the invention are considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
Brief description of the drawings FIG. 1 schematically represents an example of practical application of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a modification of the example of the invention of FIG. l;
FIG. 3 is a block diagram of the weapon safety device of FIG. l;
FIG. 4 is a block diagram of the weapon saifety device of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a further modification of the invention.
Description of the preferred embodiment As shown schematically in FIG. 1, the invention, according to one of its aspects, contemplates providing each individual human 10 belonging to a group in a weapon safety system with an omnidirectional electromagnetic wave radiating element or antenna 12 which is disposed in any appropriate position such ,as being attached to the top of head gear 14. An electromagnetic wave generator is carried by each human 10, or builtin in his headgear 14, such that the radiating element 12 is at all time radiating electromagnetic waves of a predetermined frequency, preferably modulated at a predetermined frequency. Details of construction of such wave generator or transmitter are not given herein as such apparatus is conventional and well known to those skilled in the art. Each weapon 16 in the system is provided with electromagnetic wave receiving means, indicated generally at 18, including a receiving aerial which is preferably disposed within a substantially unidirectional parabolic reflector attached to the weapon by any appropriate means such as mounting bracket 20, and, as will be hereinafter explained in further details, electrically connected to an appropriate saifety mechanism, not shown, which is preferably built-in or disposed in the stock 22 of the weapon. As previously mentioned, electromagnetic wave receiving -means 18 is preferably unidirectional so that it is adapted not to receive electromagnetic waves unless it is axially directed substantially in a straight line toward a human carrying a radiating electromagnetic wave element 12. The effective axis of the receiving means 18 is substantially parallel to the aiming axis of the weapon 16 on which it is mounted. In operation, when any one of the weapons 16 is aimed at a target which radiates electromagnetic waves, the electromagnetic waves received by receiving means 18 are as will be hereinafter explained in further detail, amplified and detected by means of conventional electromagnetic wave amplification and detection means and the output signal is arranged to inhibit the discharge or firing mechanism of the weapon 16 by way of appropriate relay means.
Alternately, as shown in FIG. 2, each weapon 16 in the safety system may be provided with an electromagnetic wave transmitting and receiving device, not shown, preferably mounted in an appropriate location in the weapon stock 22 such that electromagnetic waves, preferably unidirectional, are radiated by radiating means 18 substantially along the aiming axis of the weapon. Each human, or friendly potential target, 24 which is sought to be protected carries yan appropriate electromagnetic wave reflector such as, `for example, a reflecting jacket 26 metallized or having metallized portions, such that electromagnetic waves striking the reflector are scattered and reflected in diverse direction but preferably back toward the radiating means 18. The radiating imeans 18 is adapted to receive the reflected electromagnetic waves which, after proper amplification and detection, are caused to supply an output signal capable of inhibiting the firing mechanism of the weapon as long as the weapon is aimed at a reflecting target.
As shown in FIG. 3, the safety mechanism of FIG. 1 includes electromagnetic wave receiving means 18 including an antenna or aerial 28 -disposed at the focus of a parabolic refiector 30 such as to form a substantially highly unidirectional electromagnetic wave receiving arrangement. Electromagnetic waves received by receiving means 18 .are amplified by means of an ampli-fier 32 and are mixed in a mixer 34 with a constant frequency signal provided by a local oscillator 36. The resulting signal presenting an intermediary frequency which is representative of the frequency differential between the received electromagnetic waves and the signal supplied by the local oscillator 36 is amplified through intermediary frequency amplifier 38 having appropriate filter element adapted to reject signals of a frequency other than the appropriate intermediate frequency, and the resulting signal at the output of the intermediate frequency amplifier 38 is detected by means of detector 40. The detector signal is applied to relay 42 which is adapted to inhibit the firing mechanism 44 of the weapon as long as a signal is applied to the input of the relay. A signal from local oscillator 36 is also applied to the relay 42 such that the relay 42 is inhibited in such manner that the firing mechanism 44 is prevented from operating in the event that no signal from the local oscillator 36 is supplied to relay 42, as would be the case, for example, if the weapon safety ,mechanism had not been turned on. The safety mechanism th-us described may also additionally be provided with a range adjusting portion 46 which may be arranged, for example, so as to provide a bias to the detector for adjusting the sensitivity 0f the device in such la manner that incoming electromagnetic wave signals of a power below a predetermined level can not affect relay 42.
IEvery element included in the diagram of FIG. 3 consists of well known conventional electrical or electronic devices, and the firing mechanism 44 of the weapon includes any well known electrically operated weapon safety such as, for example, the solenoid `devices disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 2,979,845, or the electrically actuated firing pins disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 2,337,105.
As diagrammatically shown in FIG. 4, the weapon safety mechanism of FIG. 2 also comprises several ele ments of a conventional nature in the electromagnetic waves transmitting and receiving, or transceiver, portion thereotf. Such an arrangement may consist, as shown, of a transmitting portion having a low frequency generator 48 adapted to modulate a higher frequency carrier signal supplied by oscillator 50, and the resultant modulated signal, after proper amplification by means of amplifier 52, is fed to the radiating element 38 of radiating means 18 through duplexer 54.
As is well known in the art, duplexer S4 is, for all practical purposes, a switch device that permits aerial 28 to be alternately connected to the transmitting and to the receiving portion of the apparatus such that electromagnetic waves radi-ated by element 28 and defiected from a target back to element 28 are fed through amplifier 32 to mixer 38 where they are heterodyned with a signal from local oscillator 36. The resulting signals, after proper amplification and suppression of spurious signals or signals which are not of the appropriate frequency at which the receiver is attuned through intermediate frequency amplifier 38, are detected by detector 40, and the signals at the output of detector 40 are applied to a relay 42 adapted to permit the weapon firing mechanism 44 to operate only in the absence of signals at the output of detector 40. In this embodiment also, a further safety device is provided preferably by having, for example, relay 40 being arranged to inhibit the firing mechanism 44 of the weapon in the event that the safety mechanism of the invention is not turned on, or is not operating properly, by means of a signal applied to relay 42 from low frequency generator 48. Additionally a range adjusting means may be provided by range setting 46 supplying a variable bias to detector 40.
The present invention contemplates operation by means of any electromagnetic waves of whatever practical frequency whatsoever such, as low, high and very high frequency radio waves, coherent light waves, ordinary light waves, including electromagnetic waves in the non-visible spectra, such as infrared and ultraviolet waves. FIG. 5 diagrammatically represents the utilization of infrared electromagnetic waves by providing every protected target in the weapon safety system with an infrared emitting element 56 carried in any appropriate position such as on the top of a human headgear 14. Each weapon in the safety system is provided with a pyrometer-like infrared wave sensitive element 58 mounted at the focus of a parabolic reflector 60 and capable of supplying a signal to an amplifier 62 when the weapon carrying infrared sensitive element 58 in parabolic reflector 60 is aimed in a direction where it intersects waves radiated by radiating element 56. A bias yarrangement 64 provides a threshold level for the signals applied to amplifier 62, and after proper amplification the signals are fed to a relay mechanism 42 which, as previously explained with respect to the examples of the invention of FIGS. 3 and 4, is adapted to inhibit the firing mechanism 44 of the weapon in the event that a signal is supplied to the input of the relay. A further safety is provided by including a branch connection between the relay 42 and the bias 64 such that the firing mechanism 44 is prevented from operating in the event that the salfety device is not turned on or is not operating properly.
The invention having thus been described by way of several illustrative examples thereof, further adaptation and modifications whereof will become apparent to those skilled in the art, what is claimed as new and sought to be protected by United States Letters Patent is:
1. In a safety system for a weapon, a safety mechanism comprising electromagnetic wave receiving means and first inhibiting means associated with said electromagnetic wave receiving means permitting the discharge of said weapon only in the Iabsence of electromagnetic waves being received by said receiving means and second inhibiting means permitting the discharge of said weapon only when said receiving means is turned on. s
2. In a safety system for a weapon, a safety mechanism comprising electromagnetic radiating means for radiating substantially unidirectional electromagnetic waves parallel to the axis of said weapon for reflection tfrom a person carrying an electromagnetic reflector, electromagnetic wave receiving means land first inhibiting means associated with said electromagnetic wave receiving means permitting the discharge of said weapon only in the absence of electromagnetic waves being received by said receiving means, and second inhibiting means permitting the discharge of said weapon only when said electromagnetic radiating means is functioning.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,472,136 6/1949 Whitlock 89-4l.7 XR
RODNEY D. BENNETT, Primary Examiner.
C. L. WHITHAM, Assistant Examiner.