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Publication numberUS3917270 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 4, 1975
Filing dateNov 4, 1974
Priority dateNov 4, 1974
Publication numberUS 3917270 A, US 3917270A, US-A-3917270, US3917270 A, US3917270A
InventorsJr John Floyd Gothard, Richard Edward Dodd, William Carl Peterson
Original AssigneeCelesco Industries Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Radio controlled surface target
US 3917270 A
Abstract
The application describes a ground target having replaceable or interchangeable envelopes or bodies for a single frame or chassis. These bodies are preferably made of a lightweight material such as polyurethane foam or foamed fiberglass, and upon being damaged or destroyed can be easily replaced. The target is remotely controlled by a radio link which permits evasive movement as well as a realistic simulation of actual ground vehicles. An armored shield is mounted on the frame under the envelope and protects the running gear and receiving and control means from damage by weapons. High flotation tires can be provided to enable operation of the target on soft surfaces.
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Gothard, Jr. et a1.

[ Nov. 4, 1975 RADlO CONTROLLED SURFACE TARGET [73] Assignee: Celesco Industries Inc., Costa Mesa,

Calif.

[22] Filed: Nov. 4, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 520,786

[52] US. Cl 273/l05.2; 280/1.1 R; 296/31 R;

273/D1G. 7; 273/D1G. 8 [51] Int. Cl. F41J 9/02 [58] Field of Search 273/85 R, 105.2, 105.6;

46/219, 223, 243 LV, 243 MV, 244 B; 280/l.l R; 296/31 R, 3.1 A

3,417,507 12/1968 Ryan 273/1052 3,613,097 10/1971 Daughenbaugh 273/1052 3,849,931 11/1974 Gulley 46/219 Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind Attorney, Agent, or FirmFinnegan, Henderson, Farabow & Garrett ABSTRACT The application describes a ground target having replaceable or interchangeable envelopes or bodies for a single frame or chassis. These bodies are preferably made of a lightweight material such as polyurethane foam or foamed fiberglass, and upon being damaged or destroyed can be easily replaced. The target is remotely controlled by a radio link which permits evasive movement as well as a realistic simulation of actual ground vehicles. An armored shield is mounted on the frame under the envelope and protects the running gear and receiving and control means from damage by weapons. l-ligh flotation tires can be provided to enable operation of the target on soft surfaces.

10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet1of4' 3,917,270

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US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 3 of4 3,917,270

FIG. 5

US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet4 of4 3,917,270

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RADIO CONTROLLED SURFACE TARGET BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a radio controlled surface target and more particularly to a remotely guided moving target meant to give a realistic simulation of various threats for air-to-ground and ground-to-ground weapons training and evaluation.

2. Prior Art A requirement exists in the government inventory of training devices for a low-cost, realistic moving target for air-toground and ground-to-ground weapons delivery training. Typically prior art targets are surplus vehicles modified for remote control operation. Particular problems with these targets include the initial high cost, the difficulty in obtaining spare or replacement targets, the high labor maintenance cost, the heavy weight of the vehicles and poor fuel economy.

Further, where the armored targets are used it is difficult to score hits and misses satisfactorily and requires that a large number of people be employed on the weapons range to evaluate performance during training and testing missions.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a new and improved target.

It is a further object to provide a new lightweight, low-cost, interchangeable, frangible moving target which can preferably be operated on any air-to-ground weapons range.

Another object of this invention is to provide a realistic remote control moving target.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a remote control target having replaceable bodies made of a lightweight destructible material.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a target having an armored shield positioned under the body which is designed to protect the frangible target components from damage caused by weapon impact or explosion.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part, will be obvious from the description or may be learned from practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

To achieve the foregoing objects and in accordance with the purpose of the invention as embodied and broadly described herein, there is provided a ground target for simulating moving ground vehicles which includes a frame having wheels disposed thereon, running gear affixed to said frame for operating and maneuvering said target, and meansdisposed on said tar-- get for receiving radio signals and controlling said running gear, in which an improvement comprises a lightweight, interchangeable, frangible target envelope formed in the shape of a ground vehicle affixed to said frame, and an armored shield positioned on said frame under said target envelope and defined to cover said running gear and said receiving and controlling means, thereby protecting said running gear and said receiving and controlling means from damage by weapons.

Further, there is provided a ground target for simulating moving ground vehicles which includes a frame having wheels disposed thereon, running gear affixed to said frame for operating and maneuvering said target, and means disposed on said target for receiving radio signals and controlling said running gear, in which an improvement comprises an armored shield positioned on said frame and designed to cover said running gear and said receiving and controlling means, thereby protecting said running gear and said receiving and controlling means from damage by weapons, and a series of lightweight, interchangeable, frangible target envelopes formed in the shapes of ground vehicles, each of said envelopes being designed to be affixed to said frame and cover said armored shield.

Preferably, the target envelope includes means for making the target envelope radar reflective.

It is also preferred that the target envelope is selected from the group of materials consisting of polyurethane foam and foamed fiberglass.

The invention consists in the novel parts, constructions, arrangements, combinations, and improvements shown and described. The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate one embodiment of the invention, and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the use of the present invention for air-to-ground weapons delivery training;

FIG. 2 is an exploded, perspective view of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view of another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 5--5 of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is a block diagram of the means for receiving radio signals and controlling said running gear.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Reference will now be made in detail to the present preferred embodiment of the invention, an example of which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

Referring now to FIG. 1, it may be seen that a target 10 is desirably moved above a range, here shown as an open flat space so as to provide a realistic training device. Target 10 is radio controlled on the target range by radio signals 12 transmitted by a control tower 14.

As shown in FIGS. 2-5, the target 10 for simulating moving ground vehicles in its preferred embodiment comprises a frame or chassis 16 having wheels 18 disposed thereon, running gear 22 affixed to said frame 16 for operating and maneuvering the target 10, and means for receiving radio signals and controlling the running gear 43. The frame 16 utilizes a solid axle 15 to mount the front wheels 18f and a wishbone fork 19 to mount the rear steering wheel 18r. Although a threewheel target vehicleis illustrated, a four-wheel vehicle or the like may also readily be used to accomplish the objects and advantages of the present invention.

Referring now to FIGS. 3-5, a modified frame 16 has a raised rigid cage 17 to provide additional structural support and rigidity. The modified frame 16 includes split axles to mount the front wheels 18fand the wishbone fork 19 is used to mount the rear steering wheel l8r. Other minor structural variations appear between the frames 16 and 16' of FIG. 2 and FIGS. 3-5, respectively, however, these variations are not important in accomplishing the objects and advantages of the present invention.

As here embodied, and best seen in FIGS. 2-6, running gear 22 operates and maneuvers the target 10 and includes the conventional elements of a drive train 23 having an engine 24 for driving the wheels 18 at variable speeds, a steering mechanism 25, a disc brake 40 for stopping the target 10 and a battery 42 for starting the drive train engine 24. Typically, the drive train 23 uses a small industrial internal combustion engine 24 which is chain-connected to a transmission 26 and to a series of sprockets 28, 30, and 32 so as to provide power to the wheels 18. A suitable engine 24 is a Tecumseh 10 horsepower engine which provides sufficient power to propel the target in excess of speeds of miles per hour and provides economy better than 50 miles per gallon. A battery driven electric motor may also be used as the prime mover in the drive train 23.

The transmission 26 is preferably a torque sensitive variable speed automatic transmission to provide great flexibility in range and speeds of the target. The steering mechanism is a tiller type device and comprises an actuator 34 which is connected through a shock absorber 36 to rear wheel shaft 38. Displacement of actuator 34 correspondingly rotates the rear wheel in the appropriate direction. The battery 42 is electrically connected to a motor starter (not shown) to provide engine starting. The hardware and components of the running gear 22 are well known in the art of golf cart technology, and are not considered a part of this invention.

As may be seen in FIG. 6, the means 43 for receiving radio signals and controlling the running gear preferably uses conventional, commercial electronics. A transmitter 44 is located at radio control tower l4 and a receiver 45 is mounted on the frame 16 of the target vehicle. Both the transmitter 44 and receiver 45 can be commercially available remote control units routinely used by hobbyists and the like in controlling model airplanes, boats and cars. This relatively inexpensive remote-control equipment, coupled with a high gain horn antenna at the transmitter 44 can provide a sufficient gain for operation of targets over a mile away.

As embodied herein means 43 provides the function of remote steering, remote throttling, remote starting and remote braking. As illustrated in more detail in FIG. 6, each remote control function of steering, throttling, starting and braking preferably includes receiver 45, power amplifier 47, servo amplifier 48 and prime mover (not shown). Typically, the prime mover actuates a mechanical actuator (not shown) or the like, the position of which is controlled by a position feedback pot situated between an upper and lower range adjustment device. In this manner, the running gear 22 for operating and maneuvering the target 10 is remotely controlled by radio signals. The components of the receiving and controlling means 43 are well known in the electronics art, and are not considered to be a part of this invention.

In accordance with the invention and turning once again to FIG. 2, a lightweight, interchangeable, frangible target envelope 50 is formed in the shape of a ground vehicle and an armored shield 50 is positioned under the envelope 50 which is designed toprotect running gear 22 and means 43 from damage caused by weapon impact or explosion. The envelope 50 and shield are both affixed to a cross brace 51 of frame 16 by suitable mechanical means as hinges or the like. The envelope 50 which is replaceable, is expectedto become damaged or destroyed during target practice and is preferably an inexpensive component of the target 10. The rest of the target 10, however, in particular, apparatus such as the engine 24, transmission 26, drive train 23, steering mechanism 25, controlling and receiving means and the like are relatively expensive and are protected from damage by use of the armored shield 68.

In accordance with the invention, a series of interchangeable, frangible target envelopes 50 may be formed in the shapes of ground vehicles. Each of the envelopes are designed to be affixed to the frame 16 and cover the armored shield 60. This series of envelopes provides a readily accessible source of replaceable envelopes to replace those envelopes damaged or destroyed by weapons.

In the preferred construction, the material for the target envelope 50 is selected from the group of materials consisting of polyurethane foam and foamed fiberglass. Other suitable materials also may be utilized, provided they are low cost, lightweight, and frangible in that the material can absorb multiple weapons projectile penetrations with a minimal loss of structural strength. Further, the materials should be easily repairable, simple to fabricate, and have the ability to be fabricated with tools having a low initial cost.

A suitable material with which to construct the envelope 50 is a 4 lb. per cubic foot polyurethane foam which is blown into a mold. Preferably, the envelope will be constructed in two symmetrical halves. The envelope structure 50 may also be scaled to size so as to be larger or smaller than the actual target which isasimulated. In this manner, the 'target 10 may be constructed to a preferred size in order to provide realistic range training as well as facilitate storage and transportation of the target 10. The target envelope shapes include, without limitation, tanks, armored cars, trucks, missile carriers, and armored personnel carriers.

Preferably, the target envelope includes means for making the target radar-reflective. As here embodied, and best seen in FIG. 4, the target envelope includes a hardware mesh 54 such as one-quarter inch hardware mesh, which is embedded in the target envelope at time of manufacture. This mesh 54 also adds structural strength. Red pigment may also be added to the target material foam to provide a maintenance-free, highly visible target.

As best illustrated by the dotted line in FIG. 4, the target envelope 50 is affixed to the cross brace 51' of the frame 16 by mechanical means such as piano hinges 53 to provide quick easy access to the running gear 22 and the receiving and controlling means 43.

Further, the symmetrical half structure of the envelope allows a simple two-man assembly or disassembly of the target envelope 50 in the field which may be easily accomplished by using standard hand tools.

In accordance with the invention and as best illustrated in FIG. 2, the armored shield 60 is positioned under the target envelope and covers the running gear,

together with the receiving and controlling means 43. This shield is of selected standard armored plate well known to those skilled in the art, and provides protection to the above components from damage by weapons. As embodied herein, the shield walls 62 are structured so as to define curved, slanted or inclined surfaces, thereby providing a surface which readily deflects weapon fragments and projectiles. Preferably, the shield 60 is positioned on frame cross bar 51 by hinges 54 so as to be easily raised from the frame 16 to allow quick access to the running gear 22 and the receiving and controlling means 43. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the rigid cage 17 is positioned to provide further support to the target envelope 50.

Preferably, the wheels 18 include high flotation tires 20 which permits the operation of the target 10 on soft surfaces such as desert or swamp terrain.

As may be seen in FIG. 2, the frame 16 is made of tube steel which is welded into the desired shape. A suitable steel is 1010 steel which is of a tubular or square cross section.

The present invention provides a low-cost remote controlled surface target which permits evasive movement, utilizes quick change, inexpensive target envelopes to realistically simulate different vehicle shapes, and includes an armored shield beneath the envelope to protect the expensive running gear and the receiving and controlling means.

Thus, it is apparent there has been provided in accordance with the invention a radio controlled surface target that fully satisfies the objects, aims, and advantages set forth above. While the invention has been described in conjunction with the specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in the light of such foregoing description. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations that fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a ground target for simulating moving ground vehicles:

a. a frame having wheels disposed thereon;

b. running gear affixed to said frame for operating and maneuvering said target, and

c. means disposed on said target for receiving radio signals and controlling said running gear, wherein the improvement comprises:

d. a lightweight, interchangeable, frangible target envelope formed in the shape of a ground vehicle affixed to said frame, and

e. an armored shield positioned on said frame under said target envelope and defined to cover said running gear and said receiving and controlling means, thereby protecting said running gear and said receiving and controlling means from damage by weapons.

2. The target of claim 1, wherein said target envelope includes means for making the target radar reflective.

3. The target of claim 2, wherein said target envelope is made of a material selected from the group consisting of polyurethane foam and foamed fiberglass.

4. The target of claim 3, wherein said means for making the target radar reflective includes steel mesh embedded in the target envelope.

5. The target of claim 4, wherein said wheels include high flotation tires, thereby providing for the operation of the target on soft surfaces.

6. In a ground target for simulating moving ground vehicles including:

a. a frame having wheels disposed thereon;

b. running gear affixed to said frame for operating and maneuvering said target, and

0. means disposed on said target for receiving radio signals and controlling said running gear, wherein the improvement comprises:

. an armored shield positioned on said frame and designed to cover said running gear and said receiving and controlling means thereby protecting said running gear and said receiving and controlling means from damage by weapons, and

e. a series of lightweight interchangeable, frangible target envelopes formed in the shapes of ground vehicles, each of said envelopes being designed to be affixed to said frame and cover said armored shield.

7. The target of claim 6, wherein each target envelope includes means for making the target radar reflective.

8. The target of claim 7, wherein said means for making the target radar reflective includes steel mesh embedded in the target envelope.

9. The target of claim 7, wherein each target envelope is made of a material-,selected from the group consisting of polyurethane foam and foamed fiberglass.

10. The target of claim 9, wherein said wheels include high flotation tires, thereby providing for the operation of the target on soft surfaces.

Patent Citations
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US2992004 *Aug 7, 1958Jul 11, 1961Glass Marvin IToy
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4082280 *Dec 3, 1975Apr 4, 1978Lang Otis CThree-dimensional, layered, self sealing target
US4126312 *Feb 1, 1977Nov 21, 1978Brunswick CorporationRadio-controlled surface target having a pliable cover
US4155554 *May 20, 1977May 22, 1979The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The ArmyMiniature target tank
US4226292 *Feb 1, 1979Oct 7, 1980Monte Anthony JMiniature target vehicle
US4306630 *Jan 28, 1980Dec 22, 1981Monte Anthony JRadio controlled miniature target vehicle and radio control accessory for binoculars
US4515374 *Nov 21, 1983May 7, 1985Herren Jr Thomas WMoveable target assembly
US5016004 *Dec 23, 1988May 14, 1991Her Majesty The Queen In Right Of Canada, As Represented By The Minister Of National DefenceGas operated vehicular control system
US5775698 *Mar 10, 1997Jul 7, 1998Jones; Herbert D.Target caddy
US6120345 *Feb 5, 1999Sep 19, 2000Mattel, Inc.Ride-on vehicle with a free-floating wheel
US6656010Sep 18, 2000Dec 2, 2003Mattel, Inc.Children's ride-on vehicle
US6755265Oct 30, 2001Jun 29, 2004Mattel, Inc.Children's ride-on vehicle
US6994179Jun 25, 2004Feb 7, 2006Mattel, Inc.Children's ride-on vehicle
US7469902 *Feb 5, 2007Dec 30, 2008Hale David JPortable, mobile, moving target device
US7530411Jul 2, 2007May 12, 2009Mattel, Inc.Children's ride-on vehicle
US7722426Dec 16, 2005May 25, 2010Mattel, Inc.Reconfigurable toy extreme sport hang glider
US7722429Dec 16, 2005May 25, 2010Mattel, Inc.Transformation toy and related products
US8083569Feb 6, 2006Dec 27, 2011Nicholas SotereanosRemotely controlled vehicle
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US8209064 *Apr 27, 2009Jun 26, 2012Segall Stuart CBallistic robotic vehicle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification273/359, 280/827, 296/187.2, 273/DIG.700, 273/380, D21/539, 296/187.7, 273/DIG.800
International ClassificationF41J9/02
Cooperative ClassificationY10S273/08, F41J9/02, Y10S273/07
European ClassificationF41J9/02