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Патент USA US3026820

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March 27, 1962
R. A. BECKER
PHOTOELECTRIC INFLUENCE DETECTOR AND
ARMING DEVICE FOR TORPEDOES
Filed May 12, 1950
3,026,805
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INVENTOR.
ROBERT A. BECKER
BY ///,' 404913114.‘
ATTORNEY
March 27, 1962
R A BECKER
3,026,805
PHOTOELECTRIE INFLUENCE DETECTOR AND
ARMING DEVICE FOR TORPEDOES
Filed May 12, 1950
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ATTORNEY
March 27, 1962
R. A. BECKER
3,026,805
PHOTOELECTRIC INFLUENCE DETECTOR AND
ARMING DEVICE FOR TORPEDOES
Filed May 12,' 1950
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INVENTOR.
7
ROBERT A. BECKER
ATTORNEY
United States Patent O?ice
3,926,895
Patented Mar. 27, 1962
1
2
with a portion cut away to show how the present inven~
3,026,805
PHOTOELECTRIC INFLUENCE DETECTOR AND
ARMING DEVICE FOR TORPEDOES
_
Robert A. Becker, Urbana, Ill., assignor to the United
States of America as represented by the Secretary of
the Navy
_
FIG. 4 is a diagram showing a photoelectric desensi
Filed May 12, 1950, Ser. No. 161,49:
6 Claims. (Cl. 1ti2—70.2)
tizer circuit for use with an in?uence exploder in ac
The present invention relates broadly to exploding
means for aerial and submarine torpedoes, mines and
similar devices, and more specifically to exploding means
including combined photoelectric and magnetic control
devices.
tion may be applied;
FIG. 2 is the plan of a photovoltaic cell unit and its
mounting means, forming part of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a section through said unit and mounting
means, in the planes 3—3 of FIG. 2;
_
Still more speci?cally it relates to means wherein
photo-voltaic cells constitute the e?ective control means
cordance with the invention;
FIG. 5 is a diagram of a modi?ed desensitizer circuit
that may be substituted;
FIG. 6 is a diagram of a photoelectric triggering cir
cuit according to the invention; and
FIG. 7 is a diagram showing the invention employing
both a photoelectric desensitizer and a photoelectric trig
gering circuit.
during daylight hours, and magnetic in?uence devices as
While the invention relates primarily ‘to the electrical
features and circuits designed to accomplish the desired
objects, it is helpful ?rst to disclose certain structural
ranged that the explosive device becomes insensitive to 20 details that may be used. Referring ?rst to FIG. 1,
countermeasures intended to destroy it, as by causing pre~
there is shown a torpedo 1 having a photoelectric unit
mature explosion, this desensitizing being accomplished by
2 mounted therein, preferably in such way that said unit
causing the photo-electric control to prevent positively
is at the top of the torpedo when the latter is in normal
any operation of the magnetic exploder, except when the
operation, and with the upper surface 3 of said unit flush
explosive device is within the shadow of its intended tar
with the outer surface 4 of the torpedo. An in?uence
get. Thus the photosensitive device is capable of per
unit 5 is also located within said torpedo, and is con
forming two distinct acts, which in one sense are oppo
nected to the photoelectric unit by suitable electrical cables
site, namely, it can initiate the explosion under certain
6 and 6a.
conditions, and under other conditions can also desensi
FGS. 2 and 3 show structural details of the photo
tize the explosive device, to prevent such explosion.
30 electric unit 2. Said unit comprises a cup 7 having a
It is not new to employ a photoelectric cell, together
?ange 8 at its outer or upper end. This ?ange has there
with appropriate circuitry, to initiate the explosion of a
in an outer recess de?ned by a shoulder 9 and an inner
sume the control function in periods of darkness, a par
ticular feature being that these controls may be so ar
projectile, but while early forms of photoelectric detona
recess with a shoulder 19 at a somewhat deeper level.
tors, utilizing either vacuum photoelectric cells or photo
The ?ange 8 also tapers to a “feather-edge” at 11, to
voltaic cells offered the advantage of simplicity of de 35 form‘the continuation of outer surfaces 3 and 4, already
sign, they were not reliable because of the probability
mentioned.
of premature explosion when a torpedo carrying such
An annular supporting member or ring 12 ?ts within
mechanism breaches. A further disadvantage of such
the ?ange 8, to which it is secured by threaded studs 13
photoelectric exploders is that obivously they can be effec
and nuts 14,, as shown. A gasket 15 seated on shoulder
tive only during the daylight hours, and therefore it is
10 serves to provide a watertight joint when ring 12 is
necessary to combine with such photoelectric exploders
drawn up against shoulder 9 by the said nuts 14. Ring
other exploders not dependent on light, if full effective
12 has a shoulder at 16 and a depending portion 17 ex
ness is to be provided. Moreover, in torpedo exploding
tending into the bore of the cup 7.
mechanisms of the types heretofore commonly used, no
A lens 18, preferably made of a transparent, non-brittle
fully effective means appears to have been provided for 45 plastic, for example, Lucite or similar material, is seated
rendering the torpedo unresponsive to in?uence counter
within the ring 12, with gaskets 19 and 20 above and be
measures, countermining and/or broaching.
low it and is held in place by an outer ring 21 and screws
An important object of the present invention, there
22. A ?anged cup 25 is held ‘to the bottom of ring 12 by
fore, is to provide a photoelectric torpedo exploding de
screws 26, a sealing gasket 23 being clamped between its
vice for use with submarine and aerial torpedoes, which 50 ?ange 24 and the lower surface of ring 12.
is particularly designed for use in conjunction with an
Within the cup 25 are located a set of photoelectric
in?uence exploder mechanism, and which will, during
daylight periods, desensitize said exploder mechanism,
to prevent premature detonation by in?uence counter
measures or other causes.
Another object of the invention is to provide a torpedo
exploder including a photoelectric detector which, during
daylight periods, will cause operation of the exploder
cells 27 and an ampli?er unit 28. The wires or cables 6,
6a extend through the bottom of cup 25 and the bottom
of cup 7. The photoelectric cells are preferably mounted
55 in a disk 29 made of a material such as polyethylene. Lu
cite, etc. having suitable insulating properties. This disk
may ‘be secured to the ampli?er unit 28, whose circuit
details are discussed hereinafter. Bushings 31 and 32 with
mechanism when the torpedo is beneath a vessel, whether
nuts 33 and 34 may be provided to serve as spacers be
or not said vessel has been degaussed and regardless of 60 tween cups 7 and 25 and to provide water-tight joints
the material of which the vessel is constructed.
around the cables 6 and 6a. As shown in FIG. 2, eight
A further object of the invention is to provide a
photoelectric cells 27, here of the photovoltaic type are
mechanism for the purpose set forth which will in no
arranged in a circle, with a single similar cell at its cen
way interfere with the successful independent operation of
ter, for purposes that are described later.
another or other forms of in?uence exploders with which
It will be understood that while the fronts of all the
it may be associated or used.
casings are shaped to form a continuation of the outer
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages
surface of the torpedo, so that its symmetry will not be
of this invention will be appreciated readily as the same
destroyed, the lens 18 however will lie somewhat below
becomes understood by reference to the following de
said surface, to protect it from injury.
tailed description, when considered in connection with the 70 In FIG. 4 there is illustrated diagrammatically a cir
accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side elevation of a torpedo,
cuit which makes use of a characteristic of the selenium
type of photovoltaic cell, namely that exposure to light
3,026,805
3
,
I 4
.
will cause two e?ects to occur simultaneously: ?rst, an
electromotive force is produced, second, the impedance
of the cell drops.
a
The cell 35 is shown connected in parallel with the
grid resistor 36 through the conductors 33 and 39 and
with its terminals so connected that the one leading ‘di
rectly to the grid 37 of tube V1 becomes more highly
negative when light strikes the cell. Conductor 3? con
nects the remaining terminals of cell 35 and resistor 36
to the cathode 42 through the bias battery 40 and con
ductor 41. The electronic tube V1 may be of either the
gaseous or high vacuum type, and is here shown as a
triode.
It will also be understood that while for il
in connection with FIG. 6, which shows how such cells
may be used to trigger the thyratron.
Here 74 represents a suitable number of such cells
connected in series. In one instance 23 were used, mak
ing available a photoelectric potential change of about 5
volts upon illumination, a value which has been found
satisfactory in actual operation.‘ A resistor 75, of a
magnitude best determined by trial, and which in the
present instance was established as .39 magohms, is con
nected across the cells 74. The purpose of this resistor
is to take advantage of the resistance change of the
cells 74 as a function of illumination. If the resistor 75
were absent, the bias change would be limited to the ac
tual photoelectric voltage, but since there is a closed
lustrative purposes only a single photovoltaic cell 35 is
indicated, a number of such cells connected in series 15 circuit through the cells and the resistor 75, a current
will ?ow therein, producing an IR drop. When the volt
may be used.
'
'
age of the cells rises, their internal resistance decreases
An in?uence ampli?er 43 which receives its input from
concurrently so that while'the current rises the said IR
a magnetic in?uence detector 46 through conductors 47
drop in 75 rises proportionally, but the IR drop in the
and 48, is also shown connected between the grid 37
and cathode 42 through grid capacitor 44, by conductors
441, 33 and 45. With these circuit connections at high
light levels the decreased impedance of cell 35 will shunt
the grid resistor 36, and/ or the photoelectric current pass
ing through said grid resistor will shift the bias of the
grid sufficiently to render tube V1 temporarily incapable
of responding to the ampli?ed output signals received
from the in?uence ampli?er 43.
The output of tube V1 is delivered by its anode 49
through conductor 50 to a suitable. triggering circuit, with
cells due to their internal resistance R rises at a lower
rate, or even drops, because R itself is decreasing. Hence
the voltage change at the terminals of the cells will be
larger than it would be if resistor 75 were omitted. All
this presupposes, of course, that the resistance value of
75 is chosen properly.
The remainder of the circuit is not very different from
the ?ring circuits already described, and comprises the
bias source 76 connected to the grid of V3 through re
sistor 77, here 2 megohms, the photovoltaic circuit being
coupled to said grid through the 0.1 mfd. capacitor 78,
return conductor 41. The negative terminal of the B 30
and to the cathode through conductor 79. ,A pulse will
battery 51 is connected to cathode 42, energized by the
thus traverse this capacitor and reach the grid upon rela
A-battery 52, while the positive terminal of said B
tively sudden illumination change of the cells 74, and
battery is connected to anode 49 through conductor 53,’
this pulse in case of increased light will tend, to make
resistor 54 and conductor 50‘.
' A circuit which is perhaps more e?icient than the one 35 the grid less negative, thus permitting the thyratron to
?re.
just described is shown in FIG. 5. In this form the de
' The anode circuit derives its energy from the 90 volt
sired number of photovoltaic cells 27, connected in series
B-battery S0. Capacitor 81, of 1 mid. capacity, is charged
as shown, constitutes the grid leak of the tube V 2, here
through conductors 82 and S3 and resistor 84v of 100,000
shown as a thyratron. This thyratron is prevented from
?ring by the existence of a sut?ciently negative bias on 40 ohms, which determines its rate of charge. A leak re
sistor 85 of high value, say 30 megohms, is shunted across
its grid 58, which in turn is provided by several condi
the capacitor, and acts as a delay. The discharge. through
tions acting simultaneously. It will be seen that the bias
the squib 36 takes place through the anode circuit of the
source 59 has its negative terminal connected to the posi
tube V3 when a su?icient pulse reaches its grid from the
tive terminal of the series of photovoltaic cells 27 by the
cells 74.
conductor 62, said cells 27 being thus connected in series
Pas-sing now to‘ FIG. 7, there is shown a circuit includ
with the bias source 59 and with such polarity that they
ing both a photoelectric triggering means and a photoelec
increase the negative bias of the grid 58. The voltage
tric desensitizer. This circuit may use “double” triggering
output of photoelectric cells 27 increases with illumina
means, for example a detector“ of any in?uence device
tion, and thus even from this cause alone the negative
50 connected in parallel with a photoelectric detector such as
bias of the grid 58 will increase.
the photovoltaic cell =88. Resistors 89 and 90‘ may be >
in, addition to the increase of photovoltaic voltage, the
provided, if necessary, for impedance matching.
impedance of the cells decreases, and since this impedance,
The outputs, jointly or severally, of these two triggering
originally relatively high, may become very small under
means 46 and 88 are fed through Wires 87 and 87a to the
exposure to light, the’ high impedance output of the in
?uence ampli?er 43 fed to grid 58 through conductors 55 input side of a suitable ampli?er 91 whose output is then
fed through wires 92 and 93 and capacitor 94, to the grid
63 and 65 and capacitor 66, and to cathode 61 through
cathode circuit of the thyratron V4. It will be seen that
conductor 60, will be practically short circuited by the
the thyratron circuits here shown are substantially the
relatively low impedance of photoelectric cells 27 and
same as shown in FIG. 5. Brie?y, a series of photovoltaic
battery 59, so that the in?uence ampli?er cannot cause
cells 95 constitutes the grid leak, and 96 is the C-battery,
the thyratron V2 to ?re. This double protection is as
the cells 535 acting to increase the bias when illuminated,
sured, namely by the increased negative bias, and by
and thus serving ‘as .a desensitizer. 'The ?ring capacitor
the decreased ampli?er output. For completeness, it may
97 is charged by B-battery 98 through the resistor 99 and
be stated that 67 represents the squib or similar device
wire 1G1 and will discharge through the squib 1% and
which is ?red by the discharge of capacitor'éti through
the ‘anode-cathode circuit of the thyratron V2 when’the 65 the anode-cathode circuit of the, thyratron when a pulse,
opposing potential of grid 58 drops su?iciently to permit
su?iciently large to reduce the grid ‘bias to a value at
sudden discharge of capacitor 68, to cause ?ring of the
, squib. The battery 70 will charge the capacitor 68 through
conductors 6t), 69, 71 and 73 and resistor'72 and squib
67 in the usual way. The charging current is kept small
by the anode load resistor 72 however, and cannot ap_
which the thyratron ?res, passes through the capacitor94.
A decrease in light falling on the cell 88 will cause its volt
age to decrease and the grid of thyratron V.,, will be made
positive by the ampli?ed pulse from cell 88.’ The same
preciably heat the squib.
‘
~ ‘
Whilethe use of photovoltaic cells for desensitizing has
been disclosed in FIGS. 4 and 5, what may be called an
opposite function of such cells will now be described
decrease in illumination aifects the cells 95 so as to d6‘.
> crease the grid biason Y4, thereby decreasing their shunt
ing effect and‘allowing the grid bias to rise above ‘the
ring point.
.
In the present disclosure the term “photoelectric” is to
3,028,805
be considered broadly to de?ne all types of apparatus
wherein an electrical characteristic such as voltage, re
sistance, current, etc. is changed in response to light or
equivalent radiation, for example, the selenium cell, the
photovoltaic (self~generating) cell and the photoelectric
cell, of either high vacuum or gas-?lled type, to the extent
that such diverse means are suitable in any speci?c in
stance. While here the photoelectric device that is per
haps most generally useful is the photovoltaic cell, because
6
4. A torpedo as de?ned in claim 3 including also a sec
ond photoelectric apparatus connected to the squib-igniter
in the same sense as the in?uence exploder, and capable
of causing detonation of the torpedo in response to ab
normal light ?uctuation.
5. A fuze for a torpedo comprising a gas-?lled triode
having a squib and a ?rst capacitor in series in its plate
circuit, a B-battery and a limiting resistor in series with
each other and in parallel with the squib and capacitor, a
of its simplicity, as it requires no outside source of elec 10 C-battery and a ?rst photovoltaic means in series con
tricity and also because of its dual variation in response to
nected from cathode to grid of said triode and having their
radiation, namely, the generation of a voltage and the
polarities connected to bias the grid negatively to a value
change of its resistance, yet some of the advantages of the
invention may be secured even. on substitution of other
above the ?ring value, an ampli?er having its output con
nected across the grid and cathode of the triode through
types of photoelectric means in certain parts thereof.
15 a second capacitor, a second photovoltaic means con
Obviously many modi?cations and variations of the
nected across the input of said ampli?er in such a manner
present invention are possible in the light of the above
that a decrease of voltage across said second photovoltaic
teaching. It is therefore to be understood that within the
means causes the grid bias to become less negative, and a
scope of the appended claims, the invention may be prac
magnetic in?uence detector connected across the input of
ticed otherwise than as speci?cally described.
20 said ampli?er in such a manner that the generation of a
What is claimed is:
voltage therein by the presence of an object in the neigh
1. A combined photoelectric and magnetic in?uence ex
borhood causes the grid bias to become less negative, thus
ploder comprising a thermionic tube having a cathode, a
causing the triode to ?re whereupon the capacitor dis
grid, and an anode, photoelectric means connected be
charges and ignites the squib.
tween cathode and grid whereby the grid bias varies with 25 6. A fuze for a torpedo comprising a thyratron having
the illumination of said means, said means being connected
a squib and a capacitor connected in series from plate to
with such polarity that increasing illumination makes the
cathode and having a plate power source also connected
grid correspondingly more negative, and a magnetic in
thereacross, a means including a photovoltaic cell con
?uence exploder also connected to said grid with polarity
nected from grid to cathode and normally biasing the
opposite that of said means.
grid sufficiently to prevent ?ring of the tube, an ampli?er
2. An exploder as de?ned in claim 1 with an additional
having its output connected from grid to cathode through
photoelectric means connected with the grid in opposite
a capacitor, a second photovoltaic cell and a magnetic in
polarity to the ?rst means, to act as an auxiliary exploder.
?uence detector connected in parallel with each other
3. A torpedo having a photoelectric device associated
across the input of the ampli?er in such manner that either
therewith, said device being located within the torpedo
adjacent its forward surface, said surface including a
light-transmitting portion through which light may reach
the said device from outside the torpedo, a magnetic in
?uence exploder in the torpedo, and a voltage sensitive
squib~igniter to which the said device and the exploder are 40
connected in opposite polarity, whereby said photoelec
tric device prevents operation of said squib-igniter when
ever the illumination of said device exceeds a predeter
mined value.
a decrease in voltage across the second cell or the genera
tion of a voltage in the detector causes the grid bias to
become less negative, thus ?ring the tube, enabling the
capacitor to discharge and ignite the squib.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
1,382,374
2,060,205
2,462,118
Maxim _______________ __ June 21, 1921
Hammond ___________ __ Nov. 10, 1936
Minkler ______________ __ Feb. 22, 1949
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