US 3742814 A
A frangible cover assembly for closing the opening of a guide cell for a missile launcher including a cover molded in substantially the same shape as the opening and formed of a rigid plastic such as polyurethane and a frame member comprising a plurality of interconnected side members adapted to overlie the cover and fasten it to the cell guide. The frame member is provided with a heating element on the inner surfaces of the side members which contact the cover when in position, thereby preventing ice from forming on the cover.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Unite States Patent [191 [111 3,742,814
Kroh July 3, 1973 [541 FRANGIBLE COVER ASSEMBLY FOR 3,031,932 5/1962 Fite, .lr 89/1.806 3,194,119 7/1965 Robert et a1.... 89/1814 MISSlLE LAUNCHERS 3,453,929 7/1969 Betzold et al. 89/36 L Inventor: Uriah B. Krol, Springfield, Va.
Filed: July 6, 1971 Appl. No.: 159,895
US. Cl 89/].8, 89/1.815, 89/1817 Int. Cl F4 3/04 Field of Search 89/1.8, l H, 1.814, 89/1.815,1.816,1.8l7,1.818,1.806, 36 L, 30, 31
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 32 10/1963 Biermann et a1. 89/].815 17 3/1970 Sautier 89/1817 19 10/1966 Semonian et a1, 89/1810 63 10/1963 Robert et a1.. 89/1.817 08 10/1958 Barroero 89/1 H 1W n V \X a Primary ExaminerSamuel W. Engle A ttorney- R. S. Sciascia, J. A. Cooke et a1.
 ABSTRACT 8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures FRANGIBLE COVER ASSEMBLY FOR MISSILE LAUNCHERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to missile launchers, and more particularly to a missile launcher guide cell cover of the frangible type.
In the past, guide cell openings through which missiles exit from missile launchers have been normally closed by doors having high energy spring actuated mechanisms for opening and closing. These door mechanisms inherently created various problems during their normal use. Since the doors are formed of a rigid metallic material, their failure to open during missile launching necessarily meant the destruction of the weapon and also provided a dangerous condition for the operators. Therefore, various interlocks generally were provided between the door mechanisms and the missile launching mechanism in order to insure that the missile would not be launched prior to opening of the doors. However, it is well known that the addition of interlocks inherently increases the chances of system malfunction. An advantage of the door mechanisms, i.e., their capability of being reused for many missile launches, is further negated by the large amount of time needed for resetting the door mechanism to its closed position, a procedure normally manually accomplished. Maintenance costs of the door mechanism usually are quite high as is the cost of manufacture thereof.
Various attempts have been made to dispense with the door mechanisms and substitute therefor frangible covers which overlie the cell door opening in much the same way as the prior art door mechanism. However, such attempts have not met with great success due to the lack of proper environmental insulation, lack of resistance to external blasts and also because their cumbersome design requires extensive handling during missile reloading.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, one object of this invention is to provide a new and improved cover assembly for a missile launching guide cell.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a new and improved missile launching guide cell cover assembly of the frangible type.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved frangible cell cover assembly which is quickly and easily replaced.
A further object of the instant invention is to provide a new and improved frangible cell cover assembly having guide cell temperature controlling capabilities.
A still further object of this invention is the provision of a simple, inexpensive, easy to maintain, frangible guide cell cover assembly.
Another still further object of the instant invention is the provision of a new and improved frangible cell cover assembly through which a missile can be launched directly.
Briefly, in accordance with one embodiment of this invention, these and other objects are attained by providing a cell cover molded from a high strength plastic adapted to be inserted into the missile guide cell. A metallic frame is provided over the 'cover and is fastened to the cell guide for holding the plastic cover in place. Further, a heating element is vulcanized to the inside of the frame to control the internal environment. A
layer of aluminum foil may be provided over the forward surface of the cover in order to provide radio frequency interference protection. Upon receiving the firing order, the missile may be launched directly through the frangible cover thereby eliminating the necessity of a time consuming door opening procedure. After launch, it is necessary only to remove the frame from the cell, replace the cover with a new one, and replace the assembly back on to the cell. Thus, the frame and temperature controlling means may be reused as often as necessary.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING A more complete appreciation of the invention and many of the attendant advantages thereof will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better under stood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a broken away perspective view of a missile launcher, showing one of the missiles, utilizing the cell cover assembly of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the cell cover of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the cover frame of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a side cross-sectional view of the cover taken along line 44 of FIG. 2 of the cell cover;
FIG. 4a is a cross-sectional view of the frame taken along line 4- 4' of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 3 of a portion of the cell cover frame; and
FIG. 6 is a view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5 of the electrical conduit leading to the temperature controlling elements of the cover frame.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 illustrates a missile launcher 10 having six missile launching cells, the front openings of which are covered by a frangible cell cover assembly 12 as will be described hereinbelow.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 4, a cell cover 14 is illustrated. The cover 14 is molded from a suitable plastic material, such for example, as polyurethane, and preferably has a controlled density of approximately 6 pounds per cubic foot. In the present embodiment, the cover 14 is of a generally rectangular shape having inwardly turned flanges 16 formed on each of the four sides thereof. The flanges 16 are adapted to cooperate with the inner surfaces of the cell guide 36 of the missile launcher. Slots or grooves 18 are formed adjacent the outer perimeter of the cover 14 on each flange 16. These grooves provide a tight or snug fit of the cover 14 into the opening of the cell guide by being of a size to cause a slight interference fit. The cell cover further includes a forward surface 20 which extends a small distance outwardly from the main body of the cover for reasons which will become clearer hereinbelow. This front surface 20 may be covered with pressure sensitive aluminum foil in order to provide protection to the electrical systems of the missile from radio frequency interference.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4a, a frame member 22 is illustrated which cooperates with cover 14 to secure the same to the cell guide. The frame member 22 includes four interconnected side members 24 formed of a lightweight metallic material, such for example, as aluminum, and have an angular cross-sectional configuration (as best seen in FIG. 4a). Each leg of an angular side member has a thickness equal to the thickness of the cover forward portion 20 for reasons which will be described later. The frame member 22 has substantially the same overall outer configuration as cover 14 and fits thereover in the manner to be described hereinbelow. Circumferentially provided along the inner surface 25 of frame 14 is a heating element 26 including a series of electrical wires vulcanized to the inner walls thereof. As seen best in FIG. 4a, the heating element is formed on the inner surface 25 of each leg of the angle side members 24 and forms a shoulder 28.
An external source of electricity (not shown) is provided within the missile launcher guide cell. An electrical feed-in 30, as seen in FIG. 3 and FIG. 6 is provided at one corner of the frame member 22. The feed-in 30 comprises a series of relatively short conduits and elbow members including a quick disconnect 32 which is directly connected to the frame member. Electrical wires 34 (FIG. are fed into the frame member and connect the heating element 26 to a temperature controller (not shown) of a conventional type which is positioned within the missile launcher.
In operation, the cover 14 is positioned within the opening of the cell guide as shown in FIG. 4. A portion of the cover 14 protrudes beyond the edges 37 of the cell guide and the frame member 22 is positioned over and around the sides of the cover. The shoulders 28 defined by the heating element 26 come into contact with the outer edges of the cover. The frame member 22 is fastened onto the guide cell wall by conventional fasteners, such for example, as bolts, which are affixed through bores 38 formed in tabs 40 which extend from the side members of the frame. When assembled as described, the forward surface 20 of the cover fits within an opening 39 (FIG. 4a) defined by the angular side members 24 thereby forming a flush planar surface. Should any ice be formed on the outside of the cover assembly, operation of the heating element causes it to become slushy and the flush surface allows the ice to merely slide therefrom. When a firing order is received, the missile is launched from the guide cell through the frangible cover which, due to its frangible nature, does not impede the travel thereof. All that is necessary to reuse the assembly is to remove the frame member 22 from the guide cell by disconnecting the abovementioned fasteners, replace the cover 14 by a new one and thereupon refasten the assembly onto the cell guide.
Obviously, numerous modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. For example, the material for the cover could be of different hardnesses and densities and may be formed with scored lines in order to facilitate the fracturing thereof. Further, the configuration of the cover could vary from the disclosed rectangular configuration and have, for example, a hollow domeshape surface configuration as shown in FIG. 1. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:
l. A cover assembly for a missile launcher guide cell comprising:
a frangible cover having a configuration substantially conforming to the shape of the guide cell front opening and protruding beyond the forward edges of said cell;
a separate frame member having right angle side portions overlying and contacting only the outer perimeter of said protruding portion of said frangible cover; and
temperature control means attached to the inner surface of said frame member and positioned between and contacting said frangible cover and frame member when said frame member is positioned to overlie and contact said cover.
2. A cover assembly as recited in claim 1 wherein said cover is molded from polyurethane.
3. A cover assembly as recited in claim 1 wherein said temperature control] means-includes a heating element comprising at least one wire vulcanized to the inner surface of said frame member connectable to an external source of electricity.
4. A cover assembly as recited in claim 1 wherein said cover has a raised forward portion formed thereon having a thickness equal to the thickness of the frame member angular side portions adapted to cooperate with said side portions to present a flush planar outer surface. I
5. A cover assembly as recited in claim 4 wherein the outer surface of said raised forward portion is covered with means providing protection from radio frequency interference.
6. A cover assembly as recited in claimS wherein said temperature control means includes a heating element comprising at least one wire attached to the inner surface of said frame member.
7. A cover assembly as recited in claim 4 wherein said cover is of a rectangular planar shape.
8. A cover assembly as recited in claim 9 wherein said cover is substantially dome-shaped.
Disclaimer and Dedication 3,742,814.U1"2'0:h B. Kroh, Springfield, Va. F RANGIBLE COVER ASSEM- BLY FOR MISSILE LAUNCHERS. Patent dated July 3, 1973.
Disclaimer and Dedication filed Feb. 21, 1975, by the assignee, The
U m'ted States 0 f America, as re-pwesented by the Secretary of the N ewy.
Hereby disclaims and dedicates to the Public the entire term of said patent.
[Ofiietal Gazette July 15, 1.975.]
Disclaimer and Dedication 3,742,814.U1"2'ah B. Kroh, Springfield, Va. FRANGIBLE COVER ASSEM- BLY FOR MISSILE LAUNCHERS. Patent dated July 3, 197 3. Disclaimer and Dedication filed Feb. 21, 1975, by the assignee, The U mlted States 0 f America, as represented by the Secretary of the N a'vy.
Hereby disclaims and dedicates to the Public the entire term of said patent.
[Ofiieial Gazette July 15, 1.975.]