US 3808942 A
In combination with a missile supporting system wherein the missile is supported in at least three in number of supporting points, a missile repositioning system wherein a sensor determines the angle of inclination of the missile, and if such angle exceeds an allowable range, effects actuation of a realignment means to realign the missile supporting system so that the angle of inclination is moved within the allowable range.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Bhutani et al.
[451 May 7,1974
[ MISSILE REPOSITIONING SYSTEM  Inventors: Harish K. Bhutani, Downey; Albert Y. Oda, San Fernando; Ronald A. Hughes, La Crescenta, all of Calif.
 Assignee: Menasco Manufacturing Company,
22 Filed: Feb.l0,1972
 US. Cl. 89/1.8, 89/1.816, 89/41 CE, 248/18  Int. Cl F4lf 3/04  Field of Search 89/l.8, 1.81, 1.816, 1.806, 89/l.807, 41 R, 41 CE, 41 D, 1.814; 248/18  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,097,565 7/1963 Kupelian 89/l.8l4
3,516,628 6/1970 Kendall 89/1.8 X 1,559,566 11/1925 Farrell et a1... 89/41 CE 3,354,634 11/1967 McGirr 89/1 B X Primary Examiner-Samuel W. Engle Attorney, Agent, or FirmRobert E. Geauque 57] ABSTRACT 2 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures A wk mmeuw 11914 3808342 SHEET 1 OF 3 Fig. I.
PATENTED HAY 7 i374 SHEEI 3 BF 3 MISSILE REPOSITIONING SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In order to protect an intercontinental ballistic missile and keep it in a state of readiness for use at any time, the missile is stored within an underground silo. Within the silo, the missile is stored in an upright position resting on a missile support platform. The function of the missile support platform is important since the platform is to support the missile in an exact vertical upright relationship and also protect the missile from ground shock. The anticipated form of ground shock, which can destroy the missile, would be due to nuclear explosion adjacent the missile site.
Due to its great height, the missile in an upright position is quite vulnerable to roll forces which would produce a tipping action on the missile platform. Even a minor tipping at the base of the missile produces a major tipping at the top of the missile, which may be fifty feet or more above the base of the missile. This can result in a missile tipping over within the silo such that it rests against the silo wall. The outer skin of the missile is very thin so that the missile is quite susceptible to damage. Thus the tipping over of a missile within its concrete silo can damage it so that it is completely unsuitable for further service.
In order for the missile to fly out of the silo, the missile must be vertically aligned within a safe zone with only a small amount of inclination being permitted. Seismic ground shock is normally not sufficient to cause the missile to tip out of the safe zone. However, ground shock, which is caused by a nuclear explosion nearby, may very possibly cause the missile to be tipped out of the safe zone which would prohibit such from flying out of the silo. Frequently the missile or the missile supporting structure has not incurred any significant damage but is not able to fly. It is actually contemplated that the missile could be easily tipped out of the safe zone without any part of the missile striking the silo wall.
It would be desirable to employ the use of a form of a sensing means to detect whether or not the missile has been tipped sufficiently to fall within the unsafe zone, and also to employ a means to realign the missile within the safe zone prior to firing thereof.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The missile repositioning system of this invention is to be employed in combination with a missile supporting system wherein the missile is supported upon a base with the base being supported by three cable assemblies spaced 120 apart about the missile base. The cable assemblies are fixedly connected to the silo wall. The form of such a missile supporting system is depicted within US. Pat. No. 3,516,628, issued June 23, I970, entitled Suspension System, assigned to the assignee of the present invention. The missile repositioning system of this invention includes the use of an explosive nut arrangement interposed between the supporting base of the missile and each of the cable assemblies. A sensor is fixedly secured to the supporting base of the missile with the sensor to be sensitive to movement away from vertical. Upon the missile being tipped so that the tipping angle exceeds the safe zone and is located within an unsafe zone, the sensor detects at what angle the missile is tipped and actuates either one or two of the appropriate explosive nut assemblies to effect a lengthening of its respective supporting cable assembly. As a result, the angle of inclination of the missile is to be moved from the unsafe zone into the safe zone, permitting the missile to be fired from the silo.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an overall sectional view depicting a missile being supported within an underground silo wherein the missile supporting structure includes the repositioning system of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the sensor employed within the repositioning system of this 'invention;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view through a portion of the sensor structure taken ,along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a partly-in-cross-section view of one of the explosive nut assemblies employed within the repositioning system of this invention;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the explosive nut assembly of this invention taken along line 5-5 of FIG.
FIG. 6 is an electrical schematic diagram showing the firing arrangement of the explosive nut assemblies in order to effect repositioning of the missile; and
FIG. 7 is a sketch to be employed as an aid in describing the operation of the repositioning system of this invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE SHOWN EMBODIMENT Referring particularly to the drawings, there-is shown in FIG. 1 a silo 10 which is located beneath the ground 12 within which is to be supported a missile 14. The missile 14, upon being fired, is to exit the silo 10 through the door 16. The missile 14 rests upon a ringshaped supporting base 18. Three supporting links 20 are connected to the supporting base 18 equiangularly' elements 32, each being spaced about the missile 14. Each of the lower cable elements 32 are connected to a guide rod 34 which is movable within a cage 36.
The cage 36 surrounds the lower portion of the missile 14 but is spaced therefrom. Cage 36 is formed of a pair of spaced apart annular rings 38 and 40. Each of the rings are connected to a plurality of longitudinal braces 42 which are fixedly secured to the supporting base 18.
The upper end of each of the braces 42 is connected to an upper arm assembly 44 which needs not to be described here in detail. The free end of each of the guide rods 34 is connected to an upper cable element 46, each of which are secured to the silo wall 48. For a detailed description of the missile supporting system previously described, reference may be had to copending patent application assigned to the same assignee of record entitled Missile Supporting System," Ser. No. 224,784, filed Feb. 9,- 1972. The system described in the foregoing mentioned copending patent application is an improvement of the basic system described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,516,628, issued June 23, 1970, assigned to the assignee of record.
Referring particularly to the structure shown in FIG. 1, the missile repositioning system of this invention includes the use of a sensor 50 which is fixedly mounted by bolts 52 to the missile supporting base 18. Also, the missile repositioning system of this invention includes the use of a realignment means which comprises an explosive nut assembly 54. The explosive nut assembly 54 is to be interconnected between each lower cable element 2 and its respective second link 30. The sensor 50 is to effect selective activation of the explosive nut assemblies 54 through appropriate electrical circuitry not shown in FIG. 1 but clearly depicted in FIG. 6.
Sensor 50 includes an upper plate 56 which is fixedly connected to the bolts 52. The sensor housing 58 is adjustably connected by adjustment screws 60 to the upper plate 56. The sensor housing 58 is closed at its upper end thereof by a cap 62. A thin wire strand 68 such as music wire or the like. is conducted through opening 64 of a plug 66 which is positioned within the cap 62. The free end of the wire strand 68 is conducted through the upper plate 56 and through an opening 70 within the supporting base 18. The wire strand 68 is capable of being fixedly positioned with respect to the plug 66 by means of nut 72 located within the plug 66.
The wire strand is conducted within the sensor housing 58 and is fixedly attached to a plumb bob 74. At the lower end of the sensor housing 58 surrounding a portion of the plumb bob 74 is a rubber shock mount 76. The shock mount 76 is only for the purpose of absorbing the force of extreme movement of the plumb bob 74, The plumb bob 74 includes a pointed end 78 which is to be locatable adjacent a lower translucent covering 80 which is to close the lower end of the sensor housing 58. Covering 18 could take the form of either a glass or a plastic material. The sensor housing 58 is to be of a cylindrical configuration with the covering 80 being a flat circular plate. A mark (not shown) is located upon the covering 80 at exactly the center point thereof. It is desired, when initially setting the sensor 50 upon the supporting base 18, that the point 78 of the plumb bob 74 be located directly in line with the mark formed upon the covering 80. This can be accomplished by adjustment of the adjusting screws 60.
The liquid damping material 82, such as a translucent oil, is to be located within the sensor housing 58 and surround the plumb bob 74. The primary function of the damping material 82 is to prevent the plumb bob 74 from swinging (similar to a pendulum) resulting in a harmonic motion being produced due to small motions such as earth movements or the like.
A plurality of screws 84 are secured within the sensor housing 58 and are adapted to screw into contact with the plumb bob 74. The screws 84 are to be employed during transporting of the sensor 50, prior to insulation thereof, to avoid possible damage to the sensor structure.
Intermediate the ends of the plumb bob 74, the plumb bob is formed into an annular raised section 86. Fixed within the sensor housing 58 through connectors 88 are a plurality of electrical contacts 90. There is to be a single connector 88 supporting a single contact 90. It is to be noted that each of the contacts 90 are equidistantly spaced apart about the sensor housing 58.
Also, it is to be noted that there are six in number of contacts 90, the function of which will be described further on in this specification. It is also to be noted that with the plumb bob 74 located so that the point 78 is in alignment with the mark upon the covering 80, the annular raised portion 86 is spaced from each of the contacts 88.
Each of the explosive nut assemblies 54 includes an upper housing 92 which is fixed to the lower cable element 32. A sleeve 94 is located within the upper housing 92 adjacent the lower open end thereof. A connector 96 is pivotally mounted within the second link 30. Connector 96 includes a threaded extension 98 which threadedly cooperates with one end of a bolt 100. The bolt 100 extends within the sleeve 94.
lntegrally formed upon the bolt 100 is a raised annular piston 102. Piston 102 includes a plurality of ori fices 104 formed therein. The outermost edge of the piston 102 is adapted to be in abutting contact with the inner cylindrical surface of the sleeve 94. The free end of the sleeve 94 is closed by means ofa seal 106 located between the sleeve 94 and the bolt 100. An annular chamber 108 is formed in between the bolt 100 and the sleeve 94, and in between the seal 106 and the piston 102. Within the chamber 108 is to be contained a compressible solid material 110 such as a silicone elastomer material. The seal 106 is fixedly positioned by means of a plug 112 located within the end of the upper housing 92. The upper end of the sleeve 94 includes an annular inwardly extending portion 114 which is capable of cooperating with the upper surface of piston 102 and preventing leakage of the material 110 exteriorly of the chamber 108.
The free end of the bolt 100 is connected to a spacer 116 and a break-away nut 118. An explosive charge, not shown, is to be located within the break-away nut 118 and to be actuatable by electrical conductor 120.
It is to be readily apparent from FIG. 1 of the drawings that once installed, the explosive nut assemblies 54 are under constant tension. Upon activation through conductor 120 of the explosive charge, the break-away nut 118 is destroyed, permitting longitudinal extending movement of the bolt 100 with respect to the upper housing 92. When such extending movement occurs, the piston 102 moves toward the lower end of the chamber 108. In order for this movement to take place gradually and not with a high velocity, the compressible solid material 110 is conducted through the orifices 104 from one side of the chamber 108 to the opposite side thereof. In effect, this movement is damped so as to not cause any damage to the missile 114 upon such movement occurring.
The thickness of the spacer 116 is chosen to be substantially equal to the length of the chamber 108. The piston 102 comes to rest adjacent the lower end of the chamber 108 preventing further extending movement.
In duscussing the operation of the repositioning apparatus of this invention, reference is to be had in particular to FIGS. 6 and 7 of the drawings. Within FIG. 6 the plumb bob 74 is depicted at the center of circle 122 which is to represent sensor housing 58. The contacts 88 are shown located within circle 122 adjacent the inner periphery thereof. The contacts 88 have been numbered 1 to 6 for purposes of description. Line conductor 124 electrically interconnects the plumb bob 74 to an electrical energy source 126. The conductor 124 also is electrically connected to coils 128, 130, 132, 134, 136 and 138 of a group of relays. Coil 128 is coupled through line conductor 140 to contact 88 which is numbered 1. Coil 130 is coupled through line conductor 142 to contact 88 which is numbered 2. Coil 132 is coupled through line conductor 144 to contact 88 which is numbered 3. Coil 134 is coupled through line conductor 146 to contact 88 which is numbered 4. Coil 136 is coupled through line conductor 148 to contact 88 which is numbered 5. Coil 138 is coupled through line conductor 150 to contact 88 which is numbered 6.
Normally open switch 152 is coupled by line conductor 154 to switches 156, 158, 160, 162, 164, 166, 168, 170 and 172. Switches 156 through 172 are normally open. Switches 156 and 158 are to be closed upon activation of coil 128. Switch 160 is to be closed upon activation of coil 130. Switches 162 and 164 are to be closed upon activation of coil 132. Switch 166 is to be closed upon activation of coil 134. Switches 168 and 170 are to be closed upon activation of coil 136. Switch 172 is to be closed upon activation of coil 138.
Switch 152 is also connected through line conductor 174 to an electrical energy source 176. Line conductor 178 extends from source 176 to squibs 180, 182 and 184. Each of the squibs 180, 182 and 184 are to be located within a respective explosive nut assembly 54. It is to be understood that upon activation of a squib, destruction of its respective break-away nut 118 occurs. Squib 180 is electrically connected by a line conductor 186 to switches 162, 160 and 158. Squib 182 is electrically connected through line conductor 188 to switches 164, 166 and 168. Squib 184 is electrically coupled through line conductor 190 to switches 156, 170 and 172.
The operation of the repositioning apparatus of this invention is as follows: It will be assumed that prior to a ground disturbance of sufficient magnitude, the plumb bob 74 is in alignment with the mark on the cover 80 and that the plumb bob 74 is not in contact with any contact 88. Referring particularly to FIG. 7 of the drawings, the point 78 of the plumb bob 74 is in alignment with center point 192 of the safe zone 194. The safe zone 194 represents the maximum angle at which the missile 14 may be inclined yet still permitting the missile 14 to fly out of the silo 10. The unsafe zone 196, which surrounds the safe zone 194, represents the maximum unsafe zone with the missile 14 being inclined so that the plumb bob 74 will fall within this zone 196 and the missile will not fly out of the silo 10. If the inclination of the missile 14 exceeds the unsafe zone 196, it is contemplated that the ground shock was sufficient to cause damage to the missile 14 and/or its supporting assembly. Therefore, if the inclination exceeds the unsafe zone 196, the missile 14 is to be termed inoperable.
If the ground shock causes the plumb bob 74 to move so that it comes to rest within the safe zone 194, the annular raised portion 86 of the plumb bob 74 will not come into contact with any of the contacts 88, and therefore no firing of any of the squibs will occur. Let it now be assumed that the ground shock was sufficient to just cause the point 78 of the plumb bob 74 to exceed the safe zone 194 and come to rest at point 198 within the unsafe zone 196. In this position, the raised portion 86 will physically connect with one of the contacts 88, and for purposes of description it will be assumed that the raised portion 86 has connected with contact 88 which has been numbered 6. At the time of this connection, no immediate realignment of the missile 14 occurs.
Let it now be assumed that it is desired to tire the missile 14. A human operator or operators effect activation of the count-down procedure in which an electrical signal is transmitted to coil 200 causing closing of switch 152. Because the plumb bob 74 has established an electrical connection with contact 88 which is numbered 6, an electrical signal is transmitted through line conductor to coil 138. Coil 138 causes switch 172 to close. With a closed circuit being established by the closing of switch 152, an electrical charge is transmitted to squib 184 and therefore destruction of its respective break-away nut 118 within its respective explosive nut assembly 54. As a result, the particular cable assembly for which the specific explosive nutassembly 54 is connected is lengthened resulting in the missile 14 assuming a new angle of inclination. Actually, the point 78 of the plumb bob 74 would be moved from point 198 to point 202 as shown in FIG. 7. It is to be noted that point 202 does not coincide with point 192 but is actually displaced very near the periphery of the safe zone 194. However, by moving the plumb bob 78 from point 198 to point 202, such has been moved within the confines of the safe zone which permits the missile to be properly tired.
Let it now be assumed that the inclination of the missile 14 due to the ground shock is such that the point 78 of the plumb bob 74 has been moved in alignment with point 204 within the unsafe zone 196. Let it also be assumed that with the plumb bob 74 in the position of point 204, the annular raised portion 86 of the plumb bob 74 is connected to contact 88 which is numbered 5. With such assuming this position, coil 136 is activated. Upon coil 136 being activated, switches 168 and are moved to the closed position. Upon activation of the count-down procedure and closing of switch 152, electrical energy is transmitted simultaneously into line conductors 188 and 190. As a result, squibs 182 and 184 are simultaneously activated. Therefore, two of the three explosive nut assemblies 54 areactivated so that their respective cable assemblies are lengthened. The missile 14 now assumes a new angle of inclination such that the point 78 of the plumb bob 74 is moved to coincide with point 206. It is also to be noted that point 206 does not coincide with center point 192 but is moved just within the safe zone 194. However, again the missile 14 may be flown properly out of the silo 10.
By the foregoing, it can be readily observed that if the plumb bob 74 connects with contact 88 which is num- What is claimed as new in support of Letters Patent 1. In combination with a missle supporting system, said missile supporting system including a supporting base upon which the base of the missile is to be located,
said supporting base is connected through at least three in number of spaced apart supporting points to a supporting cable assembly, a missile repositioning system comprising;
sensing means connected to said supporting base, said sensing means being sensitive to the vertical alignment of said supporting base; realignment means located at each of said supporting points capable of moving said supporting base relative to said supporting cable assembly; actuation means connected to said sensing means, said sensing means to activate said realignment means through said actuation means; said sensing means includes a sensor comprising a plumb bob assembly mounted within a housing, a plurality of electrical contacts mounted within said housing and located adjacent said plumb bob assembly but normally spaced therefrom with said plumb bob assembly centered within said housing, said electrical contacts being equiangularly spaced apart around said plumb bob assembly, upon sufficient movement of said plumb bob assembly away from center said plumb bob assembly to be connected with one of a plurality of electrical contacts of said actuation means; said sensor including a first damping medium ofa viscous liquid surrounding said plumb bob assembly to damp the movement of said plumb bob assembly; and said electrical contacts being coupled to a plurality of explosive actuators of said realignment means,
each said explosive actuator having a piston mounted in a cylinder, upon firing of a said actuator the piston is moved by force of gravity within the cylinder.
2. A missile repositioning system comprising:
sensing means sensitive to vertical alignment;
realignment means activatable by said sensing means. said realignment means to readjust the vertical alignment of said sensing means;
actuation means connected to said sensing means, said sensing means to activate said realignment means through said actuation means;
said sensing means includes a sensor comprising a plumb bob assembly mounted within a housing, a plurality of electrical contacts mounted within said housing and located adjacent said plumb bob as sembly but normally spaced therefrom with said plumb bob assembly centered within said housing, said electrical contacts being equiangularly spaced apart around said plumb bob assembly, upon sufficient movement of said plumb bob assembly away from center said plumb bob assembly to be connected with one ofa plurality of electrical contacts of said actuation means;
the electrical contacts being coupled to a plurality of explosive actuators of said realignment means, each said explosive actuator having a piston mounted in a cylinder, upon firing of a said actuator the piston is moved by force of gravity within