|Publication number||US3741501 A|
|Publication date||Jun 26, 1973|
|Filing date||May 6, 1968|
|Priority date||May 6, 1968|
|Publication number||US 3741501 A, US 3741501A, US-A-3741501, US3741501 A, US3741501A|
|Original Assignee||Salkeld R|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (7), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
nited States Salkeld atent [1 1 SELF MONITORING STRIKE SYSTEM  Filed: May 6, 1968  Appl. No.: 727,106
 US. Cl. 244/3.14, 102/49.4  Int. Cl. F4lg 7/16  Field of Search 244/1 SS, 3.14; 102/494, 49.5
[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,124,072 3/1964 Herrmann 102/495 3,173,627 3/1965 Cohen 244/1 3,229,636 1/1966 Mayo et a1... 102/495 3,260,204 7/1966 Wilkey, Jr 102/495 X 3,262,654 7/1966 Kaempen 244/1 3,081,049 3/1963 Fuchs 244/3.l4 3,169,726 2/1965 Jackson 244/3.l4 3,274,552 9/1966 Harmon et al 244/3.l4
Primary Examiner-Verlin R. Pendegrass Attorney-Lyon & Lyon [451 June 26, 1973  ABSTRACT A missile includes a detachable data collection and return element (CRE) which separates from the missile at an appropriate point in its trajectory at, for example, the apogee, continues to collect data with respect to the environment and the missile itself (including confirmation of its own burst and also bursts of other missiles in its salvo). Such CRE unit either relays instantly or stores and relays back upon command when its trajectory brings it within range of an intelligence collecting or command station which may be located at a great or safe distance from the scene of destruction. When the missile trajectory is ballistic (for example in a typical ICBM or IRBM case) then the CRE unit carries a propulsion module capable of providing enough additional boost to place it in an orbit or longer trajectory such that it will be brought back into suitable position for retransmission of collected data. In the case when the missile trajectory is orbital the CRE unit needs no propulsion and in such case continues on in its initial orbit after the warhead is deboosted to the target. In some cases the CRE unit may be used as a moving reference point from which signals are transmitted to the warhead for accurate control of a flight path to the target.
3 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures SELF MONITORING STRIKE SYSTEM The present invention relates to means and techniques for collecting information related to the flight of a missile.
An object of the present invention is to provide a missile system of this character having the capability of monitoring critical aspects of its own flight history from launch to target as well as certain characteristics of the target environment and return the information collected to the launching agency.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a system of this character which enables such monitoring and data return under conditions where the target environment is either hidden or otherwise inaccessible to conventional reconnaissance and surveillance.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a system of this character which is particularly useful in the use of intercontinental or space missiles which are directed to targets so located in the land, water or air masses of the earth orother celestial bodies or at such distances in space that the targets and their environments are geometrically hidden or obscured by electronic countermeasures from timely intelligence collection for strike assessments.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a system of this character whereby information such as missile time of flight until it either bursts as intended or is negated by defensive action, confirmation of successful detonation at the desired time, the number, patterns and burst characteristics of defensive shots, the existence of thermal sources indicating retaliatory missiles being launched in the general vicinity and like data may be collected and conveyed to decision makers in the conduct of a missile exchange.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a system which provides'information on a timely basis with confidence such that the samemay provide an important factor in advance planning, optimization and sizing of missile forces, and in formulating strategies for their deployment and use.
Another specific object of the present invention is to provide a system of this character in which information concerning the missile and its environment during target approach is derived from installation on the warhead itself of sensing and transmitting equipment.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a system of this character which not only collects information concerning and relating to the flight of a missile but also provides a moving reference point for control of the flight path of the warhead during its final approach to the target.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a system of this character involving the use of a missile having a warhead component and a data collecting component which are detachably secured together so that the same may upon command be separated with the function of the data collecting component being to convey information concerning environmental conditions and flight conditions of the warhead and its effects and termination and other like data and also in some instances with the data collecting component serving as a moving reference point used in the control of the flight path of the warhead itself.
The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. This invention itself, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may be best understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates systems involving features of the present invention.
FIG. 2 illustrates features of two components of the missile, i.e., the warhead component and the data collecting and return element (CRE).
Referring to FIG. 1 it illustrates the applicability of the present invention to missiles of either the orbital type or of the ballistic type. Missiles of the orbital type are first discussed and these are launched from the launch point 10 on the surface of the earth 12. The missile 14 so launched comprises a warhead component 14A and a data collecting and return unit (CRE) 148 which are detachably secured together and which are separated at, for example, the point 16 along the orbital path 18. Such separation is accomplished by deboosting the warhead component 14A (reducing its velocity). The warhead 14A thus starts a downward flight along the flight path 18A to the target point 20. The other component 14B continues in the orbital path 22 which as illustrated extends from the point 16 to a point 24 where such component 14B begins its downward flight such that it may be retrieved at a command station 26 on the earths surface in those instances where it is desired to retrieve the component 148. In other cases when the component 14B serves'only as a relay element without the necessity for retrieval then the component 14B after all information is relayed therefrom may be destroyed in flight.
In those instances where the missile is of the ballistic type the same may be launched from the point 10 and may comprise the ballistic missile 114 having two detachable components 114A and 114B, these components being separated at the point 116 (which may be the apogee of the trajectory 118) by boosting the CRE unit 1143, i.e., increasing its velocity so that it is transferred from a ballistic to an orbital trajectory, the warhead unit 114A then continuing along the path 118A while the other component 114B proceeds along a path 122 which as illustrated begins at point 116 and terminates at the point 124 where such component 1148 may be caused to return to earth through a path indicated at 1248 to the retrieval station 26 or as indicated previously information may be relayed to station 26.
The data collection unit 148 or 114B, as the case may be, is used to collect various data concerning environmental conditions, the effect of and termination of the warhead and other data concerning and related to the flight of the warhead. Such data accumulated by the units 148 or 114B may be instantly transmitted to station 30 or relayed back to the station 26. Instead of immediate transmission of such data such data may be transmitted after some delay in which case the units 148 and 1148 include datastorage means to which access is obtained on a command signal which then causes the data to be transmitted to an earth-based monitoring station such as station 26. I
For these purposes various sensing means may be mounted on either one or both of the components (14A, 14B) together with receiving and/or transmitting means whereby various conditions may be sensed and information concerning the same collected in the units 14B or 11413. For example, unit 148 may include sensors which sense environmental conditions as well as conditions directly related to the flight of the warhead 14A. The warhead 14A may incorporate sensors and beacons or transmitters for transmitting conditions sensed by the warhead or conditions directly related to the flight such as flight path altitude and the like to the component 14B.
An important aspect of the communication system involves the use of a radio beacon carried on the warhead unit 14A (114A) so as to maintain communication with and between the related unit 14B or 1148, as the case may be, until either the warhead bursts as intended or is negated by a defensive shot. The sensors carried by the warhead may include, for example, infrared, nuclear, x-ray, photo-optical, photographic and the like sensors for monitoring the environment as it passes through defensive barrages and the re-entry phase on its path to the target.
The unit 14B (1148) carries a timing mechanism and the communications and data management gear required to measure time and collect, store and retransmit data from the warhead and also from the environment. The unit 14B (1148) may also carry its own sensors of the character mentioned above to permit environment monitoring both from a higher altitude than is possible from the descending warhead and after the warhead has either burst or has been negated. The unit 148 (114B) may have mounted thereon an attitude control for its sensing and data handling missions and also at least crude attitude control for orbital injection in those cases where a propulsive maneuver is desired to boost the velocity of the unit 14B (114B).
In those cases where the missile carries MIRV (multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles) the bus" necessary to guide and inject each vehicle to its target may carry inherently whatever attitude control such an injection may require and if so may serve as a launching platform for the data collecting unit.
Besides having the above-indicated functions the units 148, or 114B, as the case may be, may serve as a reference point used in accurate control of the flight path of the warhead 14A or 114A as described in more detail and claimed in my copending application with Robert S. Skulsky, Ser. No. 720,99l, filed Apr. 12, 1968, and now U. S. Pat. No. 3,589,644, in such case the unit 14B (1148) and associated warhead 14A (114A) are related such that the flight path of the warhead is corrected by the control of propulsive means carried on the warhead, such propulsive means being controlled in accordance with the relative positions of the vehicles 14A, 14B (114A, 1148). For that purpose, as described in such copending application, the warhead includes receiving means for receiving information from a beacon transmitter on the unit 148 (114B).
Preferably the CRE unit is obscured from countermeasures as, for example, by including it in a decoy cloud which is deployed in the trajectory with such decoy cloud surrounding both the warhead and the CRE unit.
On-board subsystems previously alluded to above are illustrated in FIG. 2 wherein the CRE unit 1148 may include a sensing means 200 and a receiver 202 and a clock or timing system 203 feeding information into a data management unit 205 from which the same may be read out and transmitted by transmitter 206. An output of the sensing means 200 is used by the attitude control 210 to in turn control and boost propulsion system 212.
On-board systems on the warhead unit 114A may include sensing means 220 supplying its output to the transmitting means 224 for reception by the receiver 202. In those cases where the warhead has its flight controlled there is included a receiving means 226, a homing command generator 228, a thrust level and vector servo control 230 and a deboost propulsion system 232 functioning as described in more detail in the above-mentioned copending patent application.
It will be appreciated that as alluded to above some portions of or some of these systems as a whole illustrated in FIG. 2 may be omitted in broader aspects of the present invention.
It will be appreciated that the CRE unit 148 or 1 14B, as the case may be, may continue in orbit beyond its first orbit so long as it is capable of performing a useful function such as, for example, but not limited to the gathering of data and its transmission.
1. In a system of the character described wherein it is desired to direct a warhead to a location and to obtain information pertaining to the flight of said warhead, the steps comprising forming such warhead as one component of a two component vehicle, changing the speed of one of said two components relative to the speed of the other component so as to separate the warhead from the other component of said two component vehicle, and transmitting information pertaining to the flight of said warhead to said other component, and transmitting said information from said other component to a ground station while said other component remains in flight in that direction it had when separation occured, said two component vehicle being a ballistic missile traveling in a trajectory and said warhead is separated from said other component near the apogee of said trajectory.
2. In a system of the character described wherein it is desired to direct a warhead to a location and to obtain information pertaining to the flight of said warhead, the steps comprising forming such warhead as one component of a two component vehicle, changing the speed of one of said two components relative to the speed of the other component so as to separate the warhead from the other component of said two component vehicle, and transmitting information pertaining to the flight of said warhead to said other component, and transmitting said information from said other component to a ground station while said other component remains in flight in that direction it had when separation occurred, and using the position of said other component when separated from said warhead as a reference in controlling the flight of said warhead.
3. In a system of the character described a twocomponent vehicle comprising a first vehicle and a second vehicle, means for changing the relative speed of said first vehicle with respect to said second vehicle such that the vehicles travel a distance apart, one of said vehicles being a warhead, the other of said vehicles mounting transmitting means and transmitting information pertaining to the flight of said one vehicle, sensing means on said other vehicle for sensing conditions pertaining to the flight of said warhead, sensing means on said warhead, means transmitting information derived from said sensing means on said warhead to said other vehicle, and means for controlling the flight of said warhead using the position of said other vehicle as a reference. 2
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