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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1305564 08.03.2007
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001305564
Titel VERRIEGELUNGSEINRICHTUNG FÜR DIE STEUERFLOSSEN
Anmelder Raytheon Co., El Segundo, Calif., US;
Raytheon Co., Lexington, Mass., US
Erfinder SORVINO, Alfred, Tucson, AZ 85712, US
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 60126092
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, CH, CY, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, IE, IT, LI, LU, MC, NL, PT, SE, TR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 31.07.2001
EP-Aktenzeichen 019637636
WO-Anmeldetag 31.07.2001
PCT-Aktenzeichen PCT/US01/24042
WO-Veröffentlichungsnummer 2002010670
WO-Veröffentlichungsdatum 07.02.2002
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 02.05.2003
EP date of grant 17.01.2007
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 08.03.2007
IPC-Hauptklasse F42B 10/64(2006.01)A, F, I, 20051017, B, H, EP

Beschreibung[en]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of Invention:

This invention relates to fin lock systems for missiles, in accordance with the preamble of claim 1. Such a system is described in JP 10-253300.

Description of the Related Art:

Typically, the fins of a missile must be locked during transportation on an aircraft or other launch vehicle. However, at launch time, they must be quickly unlocked to be ready for missile flight. For example, a missile carried on an F-16 aircraft has its fins locked prior to launch. When the pilot is ready to fire the missile, a signal is sent from the cockpit which starts the missile's battery. When the cockpit has confirmation that the missile is powered, it signals the missile's fins to unlock and wiggle to verify function. When fin release and function is confirmed, the cockpit signals the missile launcher to unlock and launch the missile.

In a combat situation, where time is critical, it is essential that the fins unlock as quickly as possible. However, the small diameter (typically 5 inches) of many missiles has been an impediment to designing a fin lock system for quick release.

Prior approaches include a complicated system employing a gas generator. To effect fin release, this prior system collects gas and distributes it through a manifold to each fin piston, which compresses to release the fin. This system has many parts and is slow taking on the order of 70 milliseconds to unlock the fins. Also, it is difficult to maintain the pressure in the one large reservoir because of gas leaks. Accidental firings are a problem with this system, and it cannot be reused because of contamination.

Another prior approach utilizes a shear pin which fractures to unlock the fins. This system requires a high energy input from an electric motor. It is also prone to failure and debris contamination. Exploding bolts have also been used, but these suffer from contamination problems as well.

JP 10-253300 discloses a steering fin for a flying object. A fixed part of a rear edge of the fin is fixed by a pawl and at the time of launching the object the pawl is removed from the fixed part of the fin.

JP 04-158198 discloses a steering blade locking device for a missile. A restricting member is pressed fixedly to the outer periphery of an airframe by a spring. The restricting member engages with the steering blade to prevent rotation of the blade. Upon launch of the missile, the spring is collapsed by generated thrust force or discharge heat and the restricting member is separated from the airframe.

GB 2 240 954 A discloses a lock means for missile control fins which comprise a protruding lock pin for engagement in a mating aperture in a control fin. The fin is moveable by fluid pressure actuating means including a control piston in a cylinder and a balance piston in a cylinder. The lock means protrude from the external surface of the missile.

Thus, a need remains in the art for a less complex, more reliable system which can lock the fins of a small diameter missile yet quickly unlock them for launch.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The need in the art is addressed by the present invention which provides a fin lock device for a missile comprising:

  • a mechanism for locking a missile fin by grasping an edge of said fin, and
  • a mechanism for retracting said mechanism for locking to release said fin,

    characterised in that:
    • said mechanism for locking comprises a piston for extending from an airframe of said missile, said piston having a notch therein for receiving said fin edge,
    • said piston being located in a housing which lies within the airframe, and said mechanism for retracting is for causing said piston to retract into said airframe.

In a specific embodiment, the piston is retracted to release the fin by burning a pyrotechnic powder in a cavity adjacent to the piston to fill the cavity with gas and create a pressure differential to force the piston away from the fin.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

  • Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a missile quadrant employing the fin lock system of the present invention.
  • Figs. 2a and 2b depict side and end views, respectively, of the missile quadrant with the fin lock system of the present invention in the locked position.
  • Figs. 3a and 3b depict side and end views, respectively, of the missile quadrant with the fin lock system of the present invention in the unlocked position.
  • Fig. 4 is an end view of the fin lock system of the present invention.
  • Fig. 5 is a cutaway end view of the fin lock system of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An illustrative embodiment will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings to disclose the advantageous teachings of the present invention.

The invention is a single fin locking device for a single fin release. The piston in the device protrudes from the airframe and holds the fin securely in place until the device receives a firing pulse and the piston releases the fin. The design has only one moving part, the piston, and operates reliably to release the fin much faster than any known device.

Fig. 1 shows a quadrant 10 of a small-diameter missile (not shown). The missile has plural fins of which only one fin 14 is shown in Fig. 1. Each fin is attached to the airframe 16 of the missile. In accordance with the present teachings, the fin 14 is secured against movement by an inventive fin lock device 12. The fin lock device 12 protrudes through the airframe 16 as depicted in Fig. 1.

Figs. 2a and 2b depict side and end views, respectively, of the missile quadrant 10 with the fin 14 in a locked position. The piston 18 of the fin lock device 12 is extended through the airframe 16, holding the outer surface of the fin 14 in a locked position at its inboard aft end. In this configuration, the fin 14 is secured for transportation on its launcher.

Figs. 3a and 3b depict side and end views, respectively, of the missile quadrant 10 with the fin 14 in an unlocked position. The piston 18 is not visible, having been retracted through the airframe 16 to release the fin 14. In this configuration, the missile is ready for fin function check and subsequent launch.

Fig. 4 shows an end view of the fin lock device 12 of the present invention. The piston 18 is extended in the locked position. On a typical small-diameter missile having four fins, a device 12 would be disposed to lock each fin, for a total of four independent fin lock devices. The devices are readily installed, requiring only a 4 screw mechanical connection (not shown) and a 2-pin electrical connection (not shown).

Fig. 5 is a cutaway end view of an exemplary embodiment of the fin lock device 12 of the present invention. In the illustrative embodiment, the piston 18 is made of steel or other suitable material. The piston 20 has a notch 20 at the upper end thereof adapted to engage the fin 14 of Fig. 1. The piston 18 is shown in Fig. 5 in the fin locked position and sits in a housing 36 made of steel or other suitable material.

To unlock the fin, a release signal is sent through the 2-pin connector 30 in a conventional manner. The signal causes initiator 32 to ignite a fast-burning pyrotechnic powder, such as gunpowder, in the initiation chamber 42. As the powder burns, the initiation chamber 42 fills with gas, and the expansion of the gas forces the piston 18 to move down into deployment chamber 40 due to a pressure differential. When the piston 18 has moved to the bottom of deployment chamber 40, it no longer protrudes through the airframe. The fin is thus rapidly unlocked and ready to function.

A further advantage of the inventive system is that the device is completely sealed by O-rings 34, which hold the piston down and prevent any contaminants from exiting the device. The sealed system also has a longer shelf life as rust and corrosive elements cannot enter during storage. In addition, a steel shear pin 38 (rated to forty pounds in the preferred embodiment) holds the piston in the locked position prior to firing, preventing accidental fin release, but is readily sheared through when the device is actuated.

The present invention thus has many advantages over the known art. It is more reliable and much less complex, having only one moving part. Because it employs a smaller chamber that fills more quickly, the device operates much faster than prior systems. The sealed system prevents contamination and allows for reuse.


Anspruch[de]
Flügelverriegelungseinrichtung (12) für eine Rakete, wobei die Einrichtung folgendes enthält: einen Mechanismus zur Verriegelung eines Raketenflügels (14) durch Erfassen eines Randes des Flügels (14) und einen Mechanismus (32,42) zum Zurückziehen des genannten Verriegelungsmechanismus zur Freigabe des Flügels (14), dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der genannte Verriegelungsmechanismus einen Kolben (18) zum Hervorstehen aus einem Gehäuserahmen (16) der Rakete enthält, wobei der Kolben einen Ausschnitt (20) enthält, um den genannten Flügelrand aufzunehmen und wobei der Kolben (18) in einem Gehäuse (36) gelegen ist, dass sich innerhalb des Gehäuserahmens (16) befindet,und der genannte Mechanismus (32, 42) zum Zurückziehen dazu dient, eine Zurückziehung des genannten Kolbens (18) in den Gehäuserahmen (16) zu verursachen. Erfindung nach Anspruch 1, bei welcher der genannte Mechanismus zum Zurückziehen einen Mechanismus zur Erzeugung einer Druckdifferenz enthält, um den genannten Kolben (18) von dem Flügel (14) weg und in den Gehäuserahmen (16) hineinzudrängen. Erfindung nach Anspruch 2, bei welcher der Mechanismus zur Erzeugung einer Druckdifferenz einen Mechanismus zum Füllen eines nahe dem Kolben (18) gelegenen Raumes mit Gas enthält. Erfindung nach Anspruch 3, bei welcher der Mechanismus zur Erzeugung einer Druckdifferenz einen Mechanismus zum Abbrennen eines pyrotechnischen Pulvers in dem genannten Raum enthält.
Anspruch[en]
A fin lock device (12) for a missile comprising: a mechanism for locking a missile fin (14) by grasping an edge of said fin (14), and a mechanism (32,42) for retracting said mechanism for locking to release said fin (14), characterised in that: said mechanism for locking comprises a piston (18) for extending from an airframe (16) of said missile, said piston having a notch (20) therein for receiving said fin edge, said piston (18) being located in a housing (36) which lies within the airframe (16), and said mechanism (32, 42) for retracting is for causing said piston (18) to retract into said airframe (16). The invention of Claim 1 wherein said retracting mechanism comprises a mechanism for creating a pressure differential to force said piston (18) away from said fin (14) and into said airframe (16). The invention of Claim 2 wherein said mechanism for creating a pressure differential comprises a mechanism for filling a cavity adjacent to said piston (18) with gas. The invention of Claim 3 wherein said mechanism for creating a pressure differential comprises a mechanism for burning a pyrotechnic powder in said cavity.
Anspruch[fr]
Dispositif (12) de verrouillage de dérive pour un missile comportant : un mécanisme destiné à verrouiller une dérive (14) de missile en pinçant un bord de ladite dérive (14), et un mécanisme (32, 42) destiné à rétracter ledit mécanisme de verrouillage pour libérer ladite dérive (14),

caractérisé en ce que : ledit mécanisme de verrouillage comporte un piston (18) destiné à sortir d'une cellule (16) dudit missile, ledit piston ayant une encoche (20) destinée à recevoir ledit bord de la dérive, ledit piston (18) étant placé dans un boîtier (36) qui s'étend à l'intérieur de la cellule (16), et ledit mécanisme (32, 42) de retrait étant destiné à provoquer le retrait dudit piston (18) à l'intérieur de ladite cellule (16).
Invention selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle ledit mécanisme de retrait comporte un mécanisme destiné à créer une différence de pression pour obliger ledit piston (18) à s'éloigner de ladite dérive (14) et à entrer dans ladite cellule (16). Invention selon la revendication 2, dans laquelle ledit mécanisme destiné à créer une différence de pression comprend un mécanisme destiné à remplir d'un gaz une cavité adjacente audit piston (18). Invention selon la revendication 3, dans laquelle ledit mécanisme destiné à créer une différence de pression comprend un mécanisme destiné à brûler une poudre pyrotechnique dans ladite cavité.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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