US 3461801 A
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Au lle, 1969 D. J. VITALE mL 3,461,801
MULTI-CANISTER EJECTING DEVICE Filed Jan. 25. 1968 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 LQ F IG 1 L II x I Ada/2 24 2 24 Donald J, Vitole Edwin W. Eagleson Thomas 8. Harris 5 Vincent J. Menichelh' mvsu-rons gm TAM-L2 BY YL AGENT Aug. 19, 1969 n. J. VITALE L MULT I- CANISTER EJECTING DEVICE s Sheais-Shegt 2 Filec lJan. 25, 1968 FIG.
Aug. 19,1959 ALE ETAL 3,461,801
MULTI+CANISTER EJECTING DEVICE Filed Jan, 25. 1968 5 Shee ts-Sheet s 62' m5 7 L I06 United States Patent 3,461,801 MULTI-CANISTER EJECTING DEVICE Donald J. Vitale and Edwin W. Eagleson, Silver Spring,
Thomas B. Harris, Rockville, and Vincent J. Menichelli,
Silver Spring, Md., assignors to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy Filed Jan. 25, 1968, Ser. No. 700,556 Int. Cl. C06d 1/04; F42]: /08, 13/50 US. Cl. 102--37.6 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An apparatus for jettisoning a cluster of instrument canisters into the upper atmosphere having abutting propellant filled hollow pistons simultaneously ignited by a centrally located detonator. Two pair of pistons, located at right angles to each other, are ignited by the same detonator to effect jettison of the canisters.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to a canister ejection system, and more particularly to an aerial ejection system for simultaneously jettisoning a cluster of canisters.
Scientific investigation of the upper atmosphere necessitates the deploymet of information gathering instrumentation into the unknown environment. Prior art systems utilize a rocket or missile to carry an instrument package into the upper atmosphere where the package is ejected to return to earth for recovery. Since a delivery vehicle is expensive, it is desirable to eject a maximum amount of instrumentation into the upper atmosphere for each launch. Due to relatively complex and bulky ejection devices prior systems have been seriously limited as to the maximum payload per launch. It is desirable to simultaneously eject a maximum number of instrument canisters during each launch.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, one object of this invention is to provide a new and improved instrument canister ejection system. Another object of the invention is the provision of a new and improved multi-canister ejection device.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved jettisoning apparatus for a plurality of instrument canisters.
A still further object of this invention is the provision of a new and improved system for simultaneously jettisoning a plurality of elongated instrument canisters.
Another still further object of the instant invention is the provision of a new and improved propellant driven piston jettisoning apparatus for a plurality of elongated canisters.
One other object of this invention is the provision of a new and improved multi-piston ejection device for simultaneously jettisoning a plurality of clustered elongated instrument canisters.
Briefly, in accordance with one embodiment of this invention, these and other objects are attained by providing at least one pair of propellant filled pistons arranged in abutting relationship with a propellant type detonator therebetween. Upon initiation of the detontaor, each piston serves to jettison an individual canister. Thus, by arranging two pairs of pistons, located at right angles to each other, a cluster of four canisters are simultaneously jettisoned.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A more complete appreciation of the invention and many of the attended advantages thereof Will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by 3,461,801 Patented Aug. 19, 1969 "ice reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a partial sectional view of a cluster of instrument canisters assembled about the ejection device while mounted on a delivery vehicle;
FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of the instrument canister support and ejection system;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary partly sectional view of a holding band and explosive nut of the instrument canister ejector system of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of the ejector mechanism of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view of an ejector piston; and
FIG. 6 is a longitudinal sectional view of the detonator of FIG. 4.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views, and more particularly to FIG. 1 thereof wherein is shown a cluster of instrument canisters 10 contained within the forward portion 12 of a launch vehicle, such as a missile or rocket 14 for ejection into the upper atmosphere for scientific investigation purposes. The forward portion 12 of missile 14 is comprised essentially of a base member 16 having an elongated substantially hollow column member of square cross section 18 secured to and projecting upwardly from the central portion thereof, and a protective cover 20 extending upwardly from the base member 16 for surrounding the instrument canisters 10. The individual canisters 10 are supported above base member 16 by protrusions 22 secured to cover member 20 by conventional means, and are held against central column member 18 by individual clamp bands 24. Electrical power, the purpose of which will be more fully disclosed hereinafter, is provided to the forward portion 12 of missile 14 by means of electrical conduits 26, and is distributed to the necessary points of application by electrical conduits 28. The protective cover 20 is removable by conventional explosive devices prior to or at the desired point of ejection of the instrument canisters 10.
As more clearly shown in FIG. 2, a web-like member 30 is attached to and extends from each of the four corners of column member 18, and has secured on each side thereof a triangularly shaped channel section 32. Extended from the center portion of each face of column member 18 is an exposed portion of a piston assembly 34. When in the assembled position each instrument canister 10 will be held against the exposed portion of piston assembly 34 between web members 30 by means of a clamp band 24 hinged to the triangular channel sections 32.
As more clearly illustrated in FIG. 3, each of the clamp bands 24 is hinged within an aperture 36 in channel section 32 by a hinge pin 38. The clamp band 24 is of a shape to conformingly encircle the outer configuration of the instrument canisters 10 and includes a flat end portion 40 having an aperture 42 formed therein. A bolt 44, having an enlarged portion 46 within an aperture 48 in channel section 32, extends through aperture 42. An explosive nut 50 engages bolt 44 to firmly secure the clamp band 24 about the instrument canister 10. An electrical connector 52 attached to electrical conduit 28 carries the energy to initiate explosive nut 50 thereby to release clamp band 24 in a conventional manner for jettisoning of the canister.
To jettison a canister 10, a piston operated ejection system 54 is fixedly mounted within the midsection of 3 column member 18 by conventional means such as screws 56 as shown in FIG. 4. A block member 58 has a cylindrical bore 60 of small cross section extending along the longitudinal axis thereof for housing a propellant filled detonator 62 which is more fully described hereinafter. A pair of radial bores 64 and 66, located adjacent to each other have spaced perpendicular axes both, in turn, perpendicular to and intersecting the longitudinal axis of the block member 58. These bores 64 and 66 extend completely through block member 58 and column member 18 to provide a circular aperture in each of the four sides of column member 18. Each radial bore contains a pair of piston assemblies 34 in back to back abutting relationship.
As shown in FIG. 5, each piston assembly 34 is composed of a hollow cylindrical piston 68 and may be provided with a round cylindrical protruding stud 70 formed on the forward face 72 thereof. An O-ring, or seal, 74 is positioned within a groove 76 to provide a close fit between the piston 68 and radial bore 64 or 66. The rear face 78 of piston 68 is provided with a cavity 80 wherein a propellant holding device 82 is positioned. A pyrotechnic charge, such as propellant, 84 is positioned within element 82 for ejecting the piston 68 from the associated radial bore upon detonation of the propellant charge. The propellant holding device 82 is substantially shorter than the cavity 80 so that, with the device 82 in place in cavity 80 there remains a free volume compartment within the cavity 80 into which the gases of the ex ploding propellant 84 may expand. Traversing the rear face 78 is a semi-circular groove 86 conforming in shape to the longitudinal bore 60 in block member 58. Apertures 88 are provided in the propellant holding device 82 for allowing expanding gases to escape from the free volume compartment of cavity 80 in the piston 68. The free volume compartment in cavity 80 serves to cushion the initial shock of the exploding propellant and thus secure a smoother acceleration of the pistons and canisters. In abutting relationship with the forward face 72 of piston 68 is a dish-shaped saddle member 90 coaxial with stud member 70 for engaging canister 10. An indented portion 92 may be provided on each canister 10, of similar shape to stud member 70, such that the instrument canister can be held in position against saddle member 90 by clamp band 24 in alignment with stud 70.
The detonator assembly 62, shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, has a standard electric detonator 94 positioned within an insulated housing 96 having a hollow cylindrical conduit 98 extending therefrom. Pyrotechnic capsules or propellant charges 100 are axially aligned within conduit 98 in communication with electric detonator 94. Diametrically opposed apertures 102 are provided in conduit 98 as well as diametrically opposed apertures 104 which are oriented 90 to apertures 102. Extending perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of conduit 98 are propellant charges 106 in communication with apertures 102 and 104. The propellant charges 106 are located along the conduit 98 such that they will be in alignment with the propellant charges 84 in pistons 68 when in the assembled position shown in FIG. 4. The groove 86 in each piston 68 permits the diametrically opposed apertures 102 and 104 to provide direct communication between propellant charges 84 and charges 106. Thus, it can be seen that upon initiation of electric detonator 94 the propellant charges 100 will ignite charges 106, which in turn ignite charges 84 within pistons 68 to eject pistons 68 from the respective radial bores and thus eflecting simultaneously jettisoning of instrument canisters 10.
Obviously numerous modifications and variations of the above described best mode or preferred embodiment of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. Apparatusfor ejecting bodies from a moving vehicle comprising:
an elongate member having a longitudinal axis oriented substantially in the direction of vehicle movement; centrally disposed means for developing an ejecting force for said bodies, said means including,
means defining a radial bore extending through said ejecting force developing means and having a longitudinal axis, a pair of pistons aligned end-to-end within said bore in a normally contiguous relationship, said pistons having defined therein a rearwardly opening cavity, means for holding a propellant explosive charge housed within said cavity, means for positioning an initiating explosive between said pistons for actuating said propellant explosive charge to outwardly propel said pistons, thereby imparting an ejection force on said bodies; explosively actuated realeasable means for normally holding each of said bodies against respective ones of said pistons;
means for initiating said initiating explosive and said explosively actuated releasable means. 2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a second radial bore defined in and extending through said ejecting force developing means and having a longitudinal axis spaced from and generally perpendicular to said first longitudinal axis of said first recited radial bore,
the longitudinal axes of both of said bores being perpendicular to and intersecting the longitudinal axis of said elongate member.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said propellant holding means extends into said cavity a depth substantially less than the depth of said cavity thereby leaving therein a free volume expansion compartment into which the gases from the exploding propellant may expand.
4. Apparatus according to claim 3 wherein said propellant holding means includes orifice defining means for venting gases that expand into said expansion compartment.
5. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the rear ends of said aligned pistons abut and define therebetween a transverse groove;
said initiating explosive positioning means includes a conduit having a longitudinal bore and a lateral bore, said longitudinal bore adapted to contain said initiating explosive;
said conduit and said transverse groove having complementary dimensions whereby said conduit may lie within said transverse groove when said pistons abut;
said lateral bore in said conduit positioned adjacent said propellant explosive holding means;
whereby the effects of the exploding initiating explosive will 'be directed through said lateral bore to initiate said propellant explosive charge.
6. Apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising web members extending radially from said elongate member for a portion of the longitudinal extent thereof,
said web members providing sectors therebetween to receive said bodies;
means on said web members for attachment of said explosively actuated releasable means.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6 wherein said explosively actuated releasable means comprises at least one flexible band having one end hingedly secured to one of said web members and an explosive bolt for securing the other end of said belt to another one of said web members.
8. Apparatus according to claim 6 wherein said explosively actuated releasable means is individual to each of said bodies.
5 6 9. Apparatus according to claim 1 further including: 1,244,298 10/ 1917 Cutting 102-61 a saddle member having an outside body engaging face 1,350,339 8/ 1920 Richards 102--61 shaped to conform to the shape of said bodies, and 3,024,726 3/1962 Smith 102-5 having an inside face complementary to the outside 3,145,657 8/ 1964 Shrout et a1. 102-496 face of respective ones of said pistons. 3,107,617 10/1963 Loeper et al. 10261 5 3,234,877 2/1966 Herter 102-42 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 36,858 11/1862 Rinnon 102--61 us. 01. X.R. 811,048 1/1906 Friedel 102-61 10 2 s, 7.2, 49.5
VERLIN R. PENDEGRASS, Primary Examiner