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Nov. 13, 1962
R. H. KITTLEMAN
'
3,063,396
TORPEDO STEERING SYSTEM
'
Filed April 19. 1956
,2e
20‘
SERVO
"*3.
AMPLIFIER
H
2y y y 30
\
/28
I
COURSE
RUDDER
'
GYRO
ACTUATOR
‘--‘-
RUDDERs
/32
VOLTAGE
PICK-OFF
J‘
{/34
COURSE
RATE
GYRO
SWITCH
TIMER
INVENTOR.
I
i’
\44
ROBERT
H. KITTLEMAN
BY j?w?éy
74
ATTORNEYS
1C6
3,063,396
Patented Nov. 13, 1962
2
mand signals of like frequency, applying the resultant
3,063,396
TORPEDO STEERING SYSTEM
Robert H. Kittleman, Sharon, Pa., assignor, by mesne as
signments, to the United States of America as repre
sented by the Secretary of the Navy
signal to a servo-ampli?er which correspondingly con
trols an actuator to deflect the torpedo’s course-steering
rudders alternately to port and to starboard in a manner
causing the torpedo to follow an essentially symmetrical
sinuous course 10 along a heading 12 as illustrated in
FIG. 1. The general direction or average heading 12
Filed Apr. 19, 1956, Ser. No. 579,410
6 Claims. (Cl. 114-23)
This invention relates to acoustic homing torpedoes,
which the torpedo pursues is pre-selected by suitable
adjustment of a synchro generator which, coupled to
.and in particular to a steering system for use therein dur
10 a directional gyroscope,’ serves as the pick-off means from
ing underwater target search.
_
Modern acoustic-homing torpedoes, intended princl
pally for use as anti-submarine weapons, are designed to
which the course error signal is obtained. The snaking
con?guration of search course 10 is in this instance
obtained by means of a circularly re-entrant potentiom
eter device having a uniformly-driven contact arm and
be launched from aircraft, ships or submarines toward
or into the general vicinity of the enemy target as deter 15 connected to vary the magnitude and phase of an input
voltage for use as the alternating turn command signal.
mined by sonar or other means. From that point on,
however, these torpedoes must seek the submerged target
submarine and detect its presence and direction before
being able to execute a homing attack. In order to ac
complish such detection, there may be utilized various
search patterns or courses in both azimuth and depth,
often in programmed combinations intended to maximize
the probability of target acquisition. Such search courses,
to effect acoustic scanning of a region encompassing the
The necessary parameters of the snaking course are of
course largely a matter of engineering design, dictated
by consideration of such interdependent factors as tor
pedo speed, turning rate, transducer beam width, and the
period between transmissions of search pulses when in
active pulse-echo operation rather than in passive-acous
tic or listening operation.
Referring to the resultant character of the snaking
target, are necessary because of the directivity or narrow 25 search course pursued by the torpedo under control of
the above arrangement, as illustrated in FIG. 1 which
beam characteristic of the target-sensing hydrophone or
represents .an ideal case Without any modifying effects
transducer which is employed by the torpedo.
produced by torpedo hydrodynamic characteristics, it will
For a torpedo which is initially guided upon the basis
be noted that the successive arcs of search course 10 are
of prelaunch information to in effect look toward the
symmetrical and circular in accordance with the com
suspected location of a target submarine, with the torpedo
mand signals. It will be understood that in following
in a‘ state of readiness to detect and home upon the
course 10 from point A to point B, the torpedo’s target
target, the type of azimuth search course which is gen
sensing transducer scans .a region lying principally to
erally used, to afford good probability of target acquisi
tion in azimuth, is the so-called sinuous or snaking search
starboard, and that while proceeding to point C, sub
encompass the target submarine. In particular, snaking
search patterns heretofore used by acoustic-homing tor
a snaking search cycle period of 25 seconds, a turning
rate of 6 degrees per second, a speed of 30 feet per sec
ond, and a target-sensing transducer having a beam
in which the torpedo weaves to port and to starboard as 35 stantially the same region is again scanned. In follow
ing such a course 10 between points A and C, then, say
it proceeds in the supposed target direction, thus probing
by a torpedo having a target-sensing range of 2000 feet,
r scanning through a wide layer of sea-water which may
pedoes have consisted of symmetrical sinusoidal arcs or
circular arcs, for example as obtained by means of equip
ment as described in connection with the “Azimuth Steer
width of 15 degrees between its 3 db-down points, the
scanned region to starboard will be approximately 1200
feet wide and the torpedo will have traveled about 350
ing Control System” disclosed in copending patent appli
feet in the direction 12. Similarly, in‘continuing to point
cation Serial No. 397,282, ?led December 9, 1953 by
45 D, a like region lying principally to port is next scanned,
David A. Cooke et al.
and again scanned as the torpedo proceeds to point E
' It is a principal object of the present invention to pro
along the snaking search course, and the torpedo will.
vide an acoustic-homing torpedo with an improved azi
have traveled another 350 feet in the direction 12. It
muth steering system which yields a modi?ed snaking
will be further understood, then, that while the region
search pattern of such nature as to improve target ac
50 scanned by following a conventional snaking search
quisition probability.
course 10 may be generally thought of as a wide layer
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages
extending along the average course 12, there will in fact
of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same
be areas therein of signi?cant dimensions which remain
becomes better understood by reference to the following
unscanned,
and other areas which are unscanned for
detailed description when considered in connection with 55
the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 illustrates the conventional type of snaking
substantially a half-period of the shaking search cycle,
offering possible acquisition-escape areas for a target
submarine and therefore reducing target acquisition prob
search course employed by acoustic-homing torpedoes
ability.
during an underwater target search phase of operation;
In accordance with the present invention, an improved
FIG. 2 illustrates the improved snaking search course
provided in accordance with the present invention; and 60 sinuous search course is provided by an azimuth steering
control system which effects sequential port and starboard
FIG. 3 illustrates a preferred embodiment and circuitry
search with elimination of the immediate re-scan char
acteristic mentioned above, a preferred embodiment and
snaking search course.
circuitry of the said novel system being illustrated sche
In order to provide a better understanding of the pres
65
matically in FIG. 3.
ent invention and of the modi?ed azimuth search course
Turning ?rst to FIG. 2, wherein it is to be understood
‘ effected thereby, particularly with respect to resultant
of torpedo steering equipment for effecting the improved
acoustic search characteristics, there will ?rst be de
that an acousitc-homing torpedo proceeds along the im
proved azimuth search course 14 in the direction ‘16 to
ward the suspected location of a target submarine, it will
provided by the steering apparatus disclosed in the above
mentioned copending application. The said steering ap 70 be noted that after scanning say a starboard area, as in
paratus develops and sums course error and turn com
proceeding along the course from point -F to point H, the
scribed a conventional snaking search course such as
3,063,396
3
torpedo is directed to change its look direction and to
period along the straight course H1 in direction 16 before
utilized to power the electronic equipment and the switch
timer and gyroscope motors. Returning to consideration
of synchro generator 18, rotor 42 is coupled to the outer
gimbal of course gyro 118 and after gyro-uncaging is there
fore automatically controlled as to angular position rela
tive to stator 48, in accordance with torpedo direction.
While the torpedo is still in the launching rack or ?ring
entering upon the arcuate course JK, in order to effect a
tube, stator 48 is initially so adjusted, for example by
smoother transition thereto and to provide better torpedo
means of a remote synchro control transformer in a servo
next scan an area at the opposite side of the average
course, in this instance in proceeding from point H to
point K. It will also be observed that, as a practical mat
ter, in changing its look direction at the point H, the tor
pedo is ?rst directed to enter and proceed for a short
stability without excessive roll or oscillation which would 10 system as described in the previously mentioned co
adversely affect electro-acoustic performance. It may
pending application, that the course error signal will
also be noted that, in practice, with respect to the indicated
assume zero value for a pre-selected torpedo heading.
abrupt changes in direction at such points as H and K,
hydrodynamic characteristics of modern torpedoes will
provide a further smoothing action, without substantial
When in the modi?ed snaking search phase after launch
ing, therefore, and for an initial condition of stepping
switch 24 as shown in FIG. 3, the signal applied through
departure from the illustrated ideal course called for by
leads 50, 52 to servo ampli?er 26 is a course error signal,
command signals provided by equipment and circuitry
of magnitude and phase dependent upon deviation of the
torpedo direction from the pre-selected heading, modi?ed
such as next described.
Turning now to FIG. 3 which illustrates an exemplary
by summation with a course rate signal proportional to
embodiment of the present invention, the several com 20 the torpedo’s actual turning rate, if any. The rudders are
ponents therein may be conventional per se and are there
correspondingly controlled to turn the torpedo (and
fore shown simply in schematic and block diagram form,
stator 48 relative to rotor 42) in a direction to reduce
and in a circuit which is con?ned to the azimuth search
the magnitude of the course error signal delivered by
synchro 18 until it becomes zero when the pre-selected
complex arrangement of switching and control elements 25 heading is reached. The torpedo will thus seek and main
(such as described in the above mentioned copending ap
tain the pre-selected heading 16, say from F to G as
plication) which is normally employed to effect re-circuit
shown in FIG. 2, a distance corresponding to the product
ing of the components for change over between the vari
of torpedo speed and the 2.5-second total dwell period of
ous phases of torpedo operation. The straight-ahead por
switch-arm 40 upon the two connected contacts 54 of the
tions of the improved azimuth search course are obtained
stepping-switch. When switch-arm 40 is next stepped to
in response to course error signals supplied by the synchro
dwell on the four connected contacts 56, the signal applied
function and from which is eliminated the relatively
generator 18 which is associated with course gyro 20, and
the arcuate portions of the search course are obtained in
response to turn command signals obtained from the
through leads 50, 52 to servo ampli?er 26 is a turn com
mand signal supplied by secondary section 58 of trans
former 22, modi?ed by summation with the course rate
center-tapped secondary of transformer 22. Stepping 35 signal delivered by pick-off 32.
switch 24 is employed to connect these signals, modi?ed
The torpedo will, of course, turn at a rate such that
by summation with the course rate signals next explained,
the oppositely-phased course rate signal is substantially
in programmed sequence to the servo-ampli?er 26 which,
equal in magnitude to the turn command signal. During
in accordance with the resultant signals applied thereto,
this 5-second period, then, the torpedo pursues an arcuate
positions steering rudders 28 by means of the rudder 40 course, say to starboard over the path G to H as shown
actuating mechanism 30. The course rate signals, sup
in FIG. 2, and at a turn rate of say 7.5 ° per second Where
plied by the pick-oif device 32 in response to the torpedo’s
it is desired to accomplish a search sweep of the same
extent as for the conditions previously mentioned under
to prevent the torpedo from being over-corrected and ex
discussion of the FIG. 1 search course. In similar man
posed to weaving in course during the periods when the 45 ner, the torpedo next enters and continues along the on
course error signals are active in the circuit, and serve to
bearing course HI, and then upon the arcuate port course
limit the port and starboard turn rates of the torpedo to a
JK in response to the oppositely-phased turn command
actual turning rate as sensed by course rate gyro 34, serve
substantially ?xed value during the periods when the turn
command signals are connected in the circuit, these
periods being controlled by the re-circuiting action of
stepping-switch 24. Stepping-switch 24 in the illustrated
signal supplied by secondary section 60 of transformer 22,
and repeats the complete search cycle until acquisition
of a target submarine induces a circuit change-over (not
shown) to initiate an attack condition.
It will now be apparent that instead of re-scanning sus
embodiment is of conventional ten-position type con
trolled by a switch timer 36 which is designed to effect
pected target areas which have already been searched,
energization of stepping-switch coil 38 at 1.25-second in
as in following a conventional snaking or sinuous search
tervals and to correspondingly step switch-arm 40 at like 55 course as previously mentioned, the novel search system
intervals, say in a clockwise direction as indicated. It
herein described provides a modi?ed snaking search
will be understood, therefore, that switch arm 40 will
course wherein, after the torpedo has entered an arcuate
dwell on each contact for substantially 1.25 seconds and,
course and reached a pre-determined maximum search
for the illustrated circuit connections, will provide on
angle to one side of a pre-selected heading while proceed
course runs of 2.5-second duration, and port and star
ing therealong, it immediately returns to the pre-selected
board turns of S-second duration. Prior to launching the
heading, and then enters an arcuate course to the other
torpedo, course gyro 20 is caged, brought up to and main
side of said heading, repeating this cycle continuously
tained at operating speed by conventional means (not
until target-acquisition occurs.
shown), and uncaged to operate as a directional or free
‘It will now also be understood that the novel system here
gyro. Rotor 42 of synchro generator 18 is excited from 65 disclosed yields a modi?ed and improved snaking search
a suitable A-C source as indicated. It should be noted at
course of particular utility to acoustic homing torpedoes
this point that the input or reference A-C signals required
by various components of this steering circuit, for example
which must employ a sweeping search phase of opera
tion. As compared to the conventional snaking search
course illustrated in FIG. 1, the above-described system
as required by servo ampli?er 26 to serve as a phase
reference therein for dervation of actuator controlling
signals, and applied as indicated in FIG. 3, are to be un
derstood as most conveniently supplied from a single
source, in this instance from the AC source 44 to which
primary 46 of transformer 22 is connected. This A-C
source may, of course, be of three-phase type and also 75
enables target-acquisition at an earlier point in the search
run, since the run distance for a complete sweep cycle
is of considerably shorter duration for like conditions.
Similarly, the improved azimuth search system effects
scanning of marginal areas which previously afforded
acquisition-escape channels. Further, where desired, the
3,063,396
6
5
disclosed system can be designed to effect searching of a
considerably wider area than heretofore, for a sweep cycle
of the same duration as normally employed by conven
tional snaking search systems.
Obviously many modi?cations and variations of the
present invention are possible in the light of the above
teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within
said turn command signals, by summation with signals
corresponding to actual turn rate experienced by said
craft, to serve as steering command signals to elfect steer
ing of said craft in respectively opposite arcuate turns
away from said pro-selected heading and at a predeter
mined angular rate, and stepping-switch means for apply
ing said course error and modi?ed turn command signals
to said servo ampli?er in a repetitive sequence effective
the scope of the appended claims the invention may be
to steer said craft in alternately opposite arcuate turns,
practiced otherwise than as speci?cally described.
What is claimed is:
10 for like predetermined periods, and along said pre-selected
heading in a relatively short transition period following
l. The combination, with a propulsive torpedo re
a maximum angular excursion in each said arcuate turn.
5 . For use in a propulsive craft having course-steering
means, and a servo ampli?er and actuator adapted to con
controlling the steering of the torpedo along substantially
continuously arcuate turns which successively alternate in 15 trol said course-steering means in accordance with steer
ing signals applied to said servo ampli?er, steering-signal
direction relative to a pre-selected heading, and course
apparatus comprising means providing a course error
gyroscopic means for controlling the steering of the
signal adapted to serve as a steering signal to effect steer
torpedo along said pre-selected heading in transition runs
ing of said craft in a direction along a pre-selected head.
between said arcuate turns.
quiring a sweeping-search course for electro-acoustic ac
quisition of a target, of course-rate gyroscopic means for
2. The combination, with a propulsive craft having 20 ing, means providing left and right turn command signals,
means for modifying said turn command signals, by sum
mation with signals corresponding to actual turn rate
experienced by said craft, to serve as steering command
signals to effect steering of said craft in respectively oppo
site arcuate turns away from said pre-selected heading
steering of said craft along a pre-selected heading, means
and at a predetermined angular rate, and means for apply
course-steering means, and a servo ampli?er and actuator
adapted to control said course-steering means in accord
ance with steering command signals applied to said servo
ampli?er, of means providing a course error signal
adapted to serve as a steering command signal to e?ect 25
providing ?rst and second signals adapted to serve as
steering command signals to effect steering of said craft in
resepectively opposite and substantially continuously
ing said course error and modi?ed turn command signals
to said servo ampli?er in a repetitive sequence effective to
steer said craft in alternately opposite arcuate turns, for
arcuate turns away from said pre-selected heading and at 30 like predetermined periods, and along said pre-selected
a predetermined angular rate, and means for applying said
heading in a relatively short transition period following
course error and said ?rst and second signals to said servo
a maximum angular excursion in each said arcuate turn.
ampli?er in a repetitive sequence e?ective to steer said
6. For use in a propulsive craft having course-steering
craft in alternately opposite and substantially continuously
means, and a servo ampli?er and actuator adapted to con
arcuate turns, for like predetermined periods, and along 35 trol said course-steering means in accordance with steer
ing signals applied to said servo ampli?er, steering-signal
said pre-selected heading in a relatively short transition
period following a maximum angularv excursion in each
apparatus comprising gyroscopic means providing a course
error-signal adapted to serve as a steering signal to effect
steering of said craft in a direction along a pre-selected
3. The combination, with a propulsive craft having
course-steering means, and a servo ampli?er and actuator 40 heading, means providing left and right turn command
signals, gyroscopic means providing course-rate signals
adapted to control said course-steering means in accord
corresponding to tum-rates experienced by said craft,
ance with steering signals applied to said servo ampli?er,
means for modifying said turn command signals by sum
of means providing a course error signal adapted to serve
mation with said course-rate signals to serve as steering
as a steering signal to eifect steering of said craft in a
direction along a pre-selected heading, means providing 45 command signals to effect steering of said craft in respec
tively opposite arcuate turns away from said pre-selected
left and right turn command signals, means for modifying
heading and at a predetermined angular rate, and means
said turn command signals, by summation with signals
said arcuate turn.
corresponding to actual turn rate experienced by said
for applying said course error and modi?ed turn com
mand signals to said servo ampli?er in a repetitive se
ing of said craft in respectively opposite arcuate turns 50 quence effective to steer said craft in alternately opposite
arcuate turns, for like predetermined periods, and along
away from said pre-selected heading and at a predeter
said pre-selected heading in a relatively short transition
mined angular rate, and means for applying said course
period following a maximum angular excursion in each
error and modi?ed turn command signals to said servo
'said arcuate turn.
ampli?er in a repetitive sequence effective to steer said
craft, to serve as steering command signals to effect steer
craft in alternately opposite arcuate turns, for like pre 55
determined periods, and along said pre~selected heading in
a relatively short transition period following a maximum
angular excursion in each said arcuate turn.
4. The combination, with a propulsive craft having
course-steering means, and a servo ampli?er and actuator 60
adapted to control said course-steering means in accord
ance with steering signals applied to said servo ampli?er,
of means providing a course error signal adapted to serve
as a steering signal to effect steering of said craft in a
direction along a pre-selected heading, means providing 65
left and right turn command signals, means for modifying
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
1,131,563
Leon ________________ __ Dec. 15, 1914
1,351,526
1,401,628
2,341,287
2,716,957
Lees et al ____________ _.. Aug. 31,
Meitner et a1 __________ __ Dec. 27,
Pookhir et a1 ___________ __ Feb. 8,
Kent _________________ .... Sept. 6,
4,032
1920
1921
1944
1955
FOREIGN PATENTS
Great Britain _____....'__,___-_-Mar. 15, 1915
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