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Патент USA US3073560

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Jan. 15, 1963
L. L. YOUNG
3,073,550
summers syswm FOR mssms
Filed Nov. 4, 1957
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
INVENTOR.
142ml A. yOt/NG
‘9
Jan. 15,- 1963
L. L. YOUNG
3,073,550
GUIDANCE SYSTEM FOR MISSILES
Filed Nov. 4, 1957
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
127-4
FL/Gl/I'CONTBQSYSTEMZ?
I ’
INEEUALGU/DANCESKSTEMZ
513
34
INVENTOR.
[Ar/22v L. You/v6
United States Patent Office
3,073,550
Patented Jan. 15, 1963
1
3,073,550
GUIDANCE
Larry L. Young,
SYSTEM
Downey,
FOR Calif.
Filed Nov. 4, 1957, Ser. No. 696,011
12 Claims. (Cl. 244—14}
This invention relates generally to systems for guid
ing the ?ight of ballistic missiles, and more particularly
to a missile guidance system which is capable of causing
a missile to travel through space as a free mass unaf
fected by outside in?uences other than gravity.
It is well known in the science of ballistics that a pro
jectile may be aimed at a target by positioning the launch
ing means at certain azimuth and elevation angles deter
mined by the target’s position and the projectile’s muzzle
velocity. In order to obtain high accuracy ‘at long range
targets, corrections to these angles are introduced to ad
just the effect of estimated atmospheric conditions along
providing a continuing indication of the missile’s posi‘
tion. The computer then continuously compares the
missile’s position with a predetermined path and intro
' duces correction to the missile’s ?ight controls to guide
it back as nearly as possible to the predetermined path
when it deviates therefrom.
The di?iculty with such inertia type systems is that
.certain inescapable errors, such as acceleration bias and
gyro drift, when constant, are compounded with time and,
10 in some cases, as the square or cube of time.
These
errors must, therefore, be kept extremely small if the
missile’s guidance is to be accurate. This makes neces
sary the use of high precision equipment which is quite
delicate and subject to frequent malfunctioning. Such
equipment is also highly complex and expensive, partic
ularly since it is missile-borne and must therefore meet
stringent space, weight ‘and launching shock require
ments.
the trajectory, such as barometric pressure, temperature
It is therefore a major object of this invention to pro~
and wind. Such effects are discussed in the book “Naval 20 vide a missile guidance system which is composed of rela
Ordnance and Gunnery,” vol. 2, published by the Depart
ment of Ordnance and Gunnery, U.S. Naval Academy
(1955), page 38 et seq.
With the improvements that ‘have been made in con
tively simple components not subject to frequent inac
curacies or failure and yet, due to a new principle of
operation, makes possible a very high degree of accuracy.
it is also an important object of this invention to pro
vide a guidance system for missiles in ?ight which auto
trolling the muzzle velocity of the launching means, and
setting the azimuth and elevation angles, the principal
matically senses and overcomes the effects of unpredicta
remaining cause of inaccuracy is the effect of atmospheric
ble atmospheric conditions without utilizing missile
conditions. ‘In a relatively long, high trajectory baro
borne accelerometers or integral computers.
metric pressure, temperature, and particularly wind, are
It is another object of my invention to provide a
quite di?icult, if not impossible, to accurately predict. 30 ‘guidance system ‘for missiles which cannot be effectively
For this reason, the accuracy capable with unguided ‘ jammed.
projectiles ‘directed at relatively long range targets is
It is a further object of my invention to provide a mis
seriously limited.
sile guidance system which operates on the inertia prin
In the newer science of guided missiles, considerable
ciple, in that after the pro-per initial conditions have been
e?ort has been expended toward equipping the projectile
established, the missile is “slaved” to a free mass which
or missile with some means of guidance during its ?ight,
is acted upon only by known forces and therefore follows
so that the inaccuracies introduced by these unpredicta
a predetermined trajectory in accordance with the prin
hle atmospheric conditions can be overcome. In certain
ciples of celestial mechanics.
applications, guidance systems which control the missile
Still another object of my invention is to provide a
‘from the ground have been used. Such systems are dis
cussed in a paper entitled “Guidance Techniques,” pre
missile guidance system of the type described in which a
sented by Walter L. Webster, Jr., at the Guided Missiles
Seminar held by the Advisory Group for Aeronautical
Research and Development (AGARD), North Atlantic
Treaty Organization in September 1956, and in the book
“Principles of Guided Missile Design-Guidance,” by
Arthur S. Locke, published by Van Nostrand Co., Inc.,
in September 1955, particularly at pages 562 through
567. These ground control systems determine the mis
in the missile until the missile has been launched and the
proper initial conditions of position and velocity have
been established by means of ground control, and is there
after released to initiate inertial guidance of the missile
from within.
Still a further object of this invention is to provide a
missile guidance system which can be made small in size
and su?’iciently economical to make feasible the guidance
sile’s position by radar or radio, and send control signals '
to guide it along the path desired. However, such sys
tems have several serious limitations when considered as
a means for guiding long range missiles over enemy terri
tory. One is the range limitations on missile-to-ground
control communications, and another is the threat of
enemy jamming.
Guidance systems have also been developed which are
normally free body having mass is ?xedly supported with—
of missiles with conventional as well as atomic warheads.
These and other objects and advantages of my inven
tion will become apparent from the following detailed
description thereof, read together with the accompany
ing drawings, in which:
‘
FIGURE 1 is a schematic diagram showing a trajectory
typical of a free mass which has a speci?ed velocity, is
unaffected by any other force except gravity, and inter
sects two predetermined points on the earth’s surface;
FIGURE 2 is a schematic diagram showing ground
control means for guiding a missile in the initial stage
of its ?ight;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of a missile embody
self-contained by the missile and operate on the inertia
principle. Such systems are discussed in Electronic
Equipment magazine of September 1957 in an article by
C. F. O’Donnell entitled “How Inertial Navigation
Works,” starting at page 42, and in Missiles and Rockets
magazine of April 1957 in an article by J. M. Slater en
titled “Inertial Guidance for Air Force’s High Punch 65 ing my invention;
FIGURE 4 is a schematic block diagram of the missile
Missiles.” The most common of these systems utilizes
borne controls utilized by my invention;
a gyro stabilized platform and accelerometers all carried
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of that portion of the
within the missile, which measure the accelerating forces
to which the missile is subjected. The detected accelerat
missile which contains the free mass-body that determines
ing forces are then integrated against time to give velocity 70 the missile’s trajectory after its initial stage, showing the
which in turn is again integrated against time to give
mass-body in its ?xedly supported condition; and
distance by a computer also carried in the missile, thus
FIGURES 6 and 7 are perspective views similar to FIG
3,073,550
. .-..
3’
URE ‘5 showing the ‘missile ‘in diiferent positions with re—
spect to the mass-body after the body has been freed.
:Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to
‘tionsiof a family of curves ‘similar to curve 12,. These
curves all pass nearthe launch site 14, intersect the
earth’s surface at the target ll, and have a zenith angle
FIGUREJ thereof, ‘the, numeral‘ it) indicates the earth’s
surface ‘andl‘l designates a target or aim-point thereon.
, Aicles'erapproxirnationof the ‘trajectory of a free body
having mass his a speci?ed velocity, and not subjected
to outside influences ‘other than gravity, hasbeen found
12a close to forty-?ve degrees; that‘ is, the family of
curves includes any 'curve close enough to the bestpos
sible free mass trajectoryto target 11 .to be effectively
utilized as curve 12, and for this reason, the curves are
referred to as the optimum family of curves.
Since a
certain amount of ?ight time will be required by the mis
to reach the target, and the earth is rotating, the
as 'o'nefecii's ‘andian eccentricity determined by the veloc 10 sile
target is actually moving in space as the missile travels
ity. ., The eurve 12, represents such an elliptical trajectory
toward it. Because of this a missile traveling a high
beginning at, the ‘point 13 and terminating at the target
‘altitude trajectory must seek to hit the target at a diiferent
11. ,Cur've 12 ‘is aetually one of many curves which could
point in space than a missile traveling a low~altrtude
be calculated to extend between point 13 and target 11, but
trajectory. Therefore although all of the curves in the
tn keep the velocity requirements low and facilitate guid
optimum family intercept the same point on the earth
‘ the: from the ground during the initial stage of travel,
(is. ‘the target) they would not all intersect at the same
as ,eirplained later, ‘a curve is chosen which intersects the
point in space.
e‘ar‘t'h’s pro?le about forty-?ve degrees.
After the missile has been launched, and accelerated to
Principle of Operation
20 a position and velocity approaching those required to fol
low one of the optimum family of curves, with the radar
The principle upon which my invention operates is that
tracking the missile, the computer continuously calculates
if a body having mass is positioned on a free mass tra- '
the missile’s trajectory. At the same time, the computer
‘jector‘y like curve 12 with the proper velocity correspond
continuously tests ‘to see if the missile’s trajectory (i.e.,
ing‘to its-particular position, and then, at an instant when
and velocity) will satisfy the mathematical
these initial conditions are met, completely isolated from 25 position
equation of any of the optimum ‘family of curves, and
all ‘outside ‘in?uences ‘except, gravity , (i.e., atmospheric
to .be a mathematical ellipse which has the earth’s center
drag, ‘wind, etc.), the body will, by the laws of celestial
mechanics, continue along the'trajec‘tory until it strikes
the ‘earth’s-surfaee at target 11.
Since the curve 12
can be calculated quite accurately if the exact coordinates
ofathe target ‘are known, extreme accuracy is possible
by ‘utilization of this principle.
'
It ‘is ‘important to note ‘at this point that velocity, as
used ‘herein, means a vector quantity having both speed
and direction.
.
_.
.
..
.
V "In actualjoperatio'n, I dispose a body having mass in
an evacuated‘charnber inside a missile, ?xedly support
:the body‘ lun'til the missile has been launched and the
initial, conditions of position and velocity established, and
if not, calculates the error or disparity between it and‘
the nearest'c‘urve of the family. This disparity is then
resolved into control signals by a command link and
transmitted, via command links communications system,
to the missile. The command links communications can
be effectively established by providing for side band modu
lation of the transmitted radar signals and equipping the
missile with a signal discriminator and aside band re
cciver. A‘?ight control ‘system 23 is provided in the
missile, as will be described later, to control its velocity
and this ?ivht control system converts the control signals
communicated to the missile by the command links into
regulation'ol the missile’s velocity so "as to reduce the
calculated disparity.
then release the body inside the chamber and “slave” the
vmissile to it by detecting any displacement between the
body and the chamber walls and guiding the missile to
‘in this manner, one of' the optimum family of curves‘
‘is selected as curve 12, and the missile ‘is brought to the
‘ :m'inimizethis‘displacement. Understanding my general
approach,‘ it will be more readily apparent how the vari
that ‘curve. At this instant the computer indicates a solu
tion ‘and a suitable timed command signal is sent to the
missile via the command links communication'to activate
ous components of my “system, hereinafter described, co
:operate to bring about the desired result.
initial conditions required to ‘cause a free mass to follow
'
its self-contained inertial ‘guidance system 24.
Initial Stage Guidance
If, in seeking to bring the missile to the initial condi
tions
(i.e., position and velocity) required by one of the
To launch the missile, a launch site 14 is provided
ahead of the point 13 under the mathematical trajectory 50 optimum family of curves,‘ those conditions required by
another curve‘are attained ?rst, the computer will indicate
curve 12 and so located with respect to free mass tra
a
solution with that curve instead, and activate the mis
jectory curve 12 that‘ a ‘conveniently attainable launching
sile’s inertia guidance System24- ‘at that point. ‘Thus,'the
trajectory 15 will carry the missile into ‘t‘a‘ngency with
computer, will put the 'rnissile on the ?rst curve in the
curve '12 at point‘ 16 with approximately the necessary
optimum family whose equation ‘is satis?ed by the‘ mis
velocity._
,
.
55 siie’s position and velocity. This simpli?es the problem
In order to assure that the missile travels “from its
of attaining the initial conditions by‘providing a plurality
launch site 14 to its point of tangencylti vand has the ‘
of possible solutions “instead of only one. ,Also, it should
proper velocity upon arrival, ‘I provide aground control
be understood that it is not necessary for the position and
system 17,. The ‘ground control system 17 has three radar
‘velocity of the missile to meet the requirements of a
_rec_eivers ISwhich areadisposed at different accurately 60 ‘curve exactly, but only that the calculated disparity be
surveyed ground locations near the, launch site 14, and
rcducediuntil it is within tolerable limits; This‘also ‘sir-n
:‘commnnicate‘
means of coaxial cable or line-of-‘sight
v,radioivvithr a central control unit 19.‘ 'Ijhe central control
"unit 19 has a'radar ‘transmitter Zll‘and a computer Ell.
The missile itself has a radarrepeaterZZ which re
’tr'an'smits the 'i'adar signals from the transmitterZll. The
re-transmitted signals from the repeater '22‘ ‘are received
"by the "ground-based receivers 18‘ and rc'clmmu'nic'ated to
. pli?es the problem of‘ attaining the initial conditions. ‘
Ground control systems of this type are known in the
‘art as indicated on page3l ‘of Burroughs Corporation
‘publication entitled “Weapons ‘Systems Management”
‘(published before November 1957); the Locke reference
(supra); and
Force Manual Number 52-31 entitled‘
“Guided Missiles” and published'by Department of the:
the, central control'nnit 19 where they are ‘supplied to the
Air Force September 253, 1957,'particulariy at pages 248,
computer 21, along with the signals from'the transmitter. 70 362 et seq. ‘463 et seq., 558, and 563. The Webster‘
'From‘this "information, the computer can continuously
l paper at the’NJALTO. Seminar (referenced supra) is‘alsor
recalculate‘ the ‘mi's'sile’s position and‘ velocity.
pertinent, as is a‘ paper entitled “Digital Techniques ‘for
‘ "l'hei ‘coordinates "of the" target and launch site‘ are ‘also
Missile Guidance Systems” vby ‘Sidney Darlington pre.
suppliedto the computer, and from this information, the
"sented at'the' same Seminar.
a computer calculates and stores the mathematical equa~ 75
With regard to guiding the missile onto a free massv
aw
5
3,073,550
trajectory curve, it should also be kept in mind that since
the computer 21 is located on the ground, it can be made
as large and as accurate as necessary in order to obtain
the desired results. The computer in my system, being
ground-based, is not subject to the design limitations of
the missile-borne computers used in some prior known
guidance systems.
When the missile has been guided onto a suitable
curve 12, and the inertial guidance system actuated, the
function of the ground control system 17 is still not neces
sarily completed.
The ground control system 17 may
then become a monitor and continue to track the missile
and compare its trajectory with the equation of a chosen
curve 12 to be sure that its solution was correct and that
compartment which contains an auxiliary power source
30 for supplying power to the missile’s control apparatus,
and in the tail section, a propulsion compartment is pro
vided which contains the missile’s propulsion means 31.
The propulsion means 31 may be any suitable rocket
or jet propulsion engine. In fact, it is contemplated that
propulsion might be provided in three stages: a ramjet
initial and ?nal stage, and a middle stage in the rarer
atmosphere during which the oxidizer is provided partly
10 or entirely from tanks within the missile.
To provide means for steering the missile in flight,
aerodynamic control surfaces 32, 33 and 3d are mounted
on the tail 35. T he control surfaces each have de?ectors
36, 3'7 and 33 which extend inwardly over the exhaust
the missile’s self-contained inertial guidance system is 15 pipe of the propulsion unit 31 and assist the steering of
operating properly. If the inertial guidance system is not
the missile by de?ecting the jet stream. The de?ectors
functioning properly, or if it is desirable to further reduce
are particularly necessary in rare?ed atmosphere where
the calculated disparity and more accurately position the
the effect of the aerodynamic control surfaces is greatly
‘ missile on the curve, the inertial guidance system. 24 can
reduced. Deflectors of this type were used for steering
be overridden, as will be explained later, and the missile 20 the German V~2 rocket and are described in United
controlled again from the ground.
States Patent 2,644,296, dated luly 7, 1953, and entitled
if, after a speci?ed period of monitoring during which
“Laminated let Vane.”
the necessary adjustments can be made, as indicated
I also contemplate, as part of the missile guidance sys
above, the computer ?nds that the missile is properly fol
tem, an aerodynamic ?ight stabilization control 3d, which
lowing the selected curve 12, a second command signal
controls the roll, yaw and pitch of the missile, either inde
is sent to the missile which arms its explosive charge and
pendently or in cooperation with the inertial guidance
prevents all further external control to avoid enemy jam
system 24. The ?ight stabilization control 39 has two
ming. if, on the other hand, the computer determines
gyros for controlling roll, pitch and yaw. Flight stabili
after continuous trials and adjustments, that the inertial
zation systems of this type are known in the art as indi
guidance system is not operating properly, or for some 30 cated in the book “Naval Ordnance and Gunnery,” vol.
other reason the missile is malfunctioning, the computer
2, published by the Department of Ordnance and Gun
will issue another command signal to detonate destruc
nery, US. Naval Academy (1955), particularly at page
tion charge and destroy the missile in air, The missile is
379 et seq.; the Locke reference (supra), particularly at
therefore continuously monitored until it is determined
page 46, FIGURES 2—15; and in the Air Force book
to be operating properly.
35 “Guided Missiles” (supra), particularly at page 362 et
lt will also be appreciated that, if desirable, the missile
seq.
can be equipped with a self-contained ?ight programmer
in FIGURE 4, I show a block diagram of the compo
of inertial variety of control‘the missile during its initial
nents of my missile. During the initial stage of ?ight
stage and the ground control system utilized only as a
when the missile is guided by my ground control system
monitor. Such a flight programmer would not be re
17, the signals from the radar transmitter 20 are received
quired to meet extreme accuracies and would only func
by antenna 41, carried via a signal discriminator 42 to
tion for a short period, and therefore could be con
radar repeater 22, and then re~transmitted. The side
structed relatively inexpensively.
_
band signals of the command link are also received by
From this description of my ground control system,
antenna 41 and are carried via signal discriminator 42 to
it will be seen that I have provided a very effective
side band receiver 43 where they are ampli?ed and passed
method for establishing the proper initial conditions re~
quired for my missile to follow a chosen free mass tra
jectory curve in accordance with the the above-mentioned
principle of operation of my invention. It should be
to control circuits lid. The control circuits dd convert the
command link signals into power signals which motivate
servo actuating means 45 to regulate the missile’s propul
sion means 31 and control surfaces 32, 33 and 34. The
understood, however, that other methods of initial stage 50 control circuits 44, actuating means 45, and the ?ight
control, such as guidance from aircraft or ships, might
also be used, the essential feature being the establishment
or" the proper initial conditions.
lldisrile Components
The missile itself and its major components are shown
-in FIGURE 3. At its nose, the missile has a warhead
compartment which carries the explosive 25, and, just
controls (propulsion means and control surfaces) com
prise the ?ight control system 23, previously mentioned.
When the command link signals to activate the inertial
guidance system, or arm or destroy the missile, the sig
55 nals are passed by the side band receiver 43 to release
device 46 of the guidance system 24, arming device 47,
or destruction device 48, respectively.
When guidance has been turned over to the inertial
guidance system 24, the missile is controlled by a follow
radar repeater 22 for receiving and retransmitting signals 60 up system 50 which responds to signals from a guidance
from the ground transmitter 229.
detector 49. These components will be discussed in detail
Next, is a compartment containing radio equipment 3d
later.
used to establish the command links communications,
Power for this missile-borne equipment is supplied by
such as the side band receiver and signal discriminator.
an auxiliary power unit 51.
Behind the radio equipment 26 is a control compart 65
Inertial Guidance System
ment 27 in which a portion of the ?ight control means,
previously referred to, is located.
In FIGURE 5, I show a detailed View of the guidance
At the center of the missile is a guidance system com
detector 49 of my inertial guidance system 24. The de
partment 28 which contains a portion of the inertial
tector is shown schematically and consists principally of
guidance system 24 that maintains the missile on the 70 an evacuated chamber 52 in which the body 29, previ
curve 12 during the latter stages of its ?ight. A body
ously referred to, is contained. A supporting device 53
29 having a ?xed mass is part of the inertial guidance
is provided in the chamber to hold the body 29 ?xed until
system 243- and is contained in the guidance system com
the proper initial conditions have been established and
partment 23.
ground control system 17 commands the inertial guidance
Aft of the guidance compartment is an auxiliary power 75 system to take over. The supporting device 53 then re~
behind this, a radar compartment which contains the
aoraseo
ta
‘
devices and produce resultant signals to the ?ight control
tracts to release body 29 at a reference position within the '
system 23 which change the missile’s velocity so as to keep
chamber 52 in reference position 1 with respect to body
chamber 52 without imparting substantial relative velocity
to it. Supporting device 53 consists of two components, a
support 53a and a lock 53b. _ The support 53a has a.
' 2?.
in the reference position, theoutput signals of the
' housing 6!} in which is mounted an axially movable arm
61 with a cup-shaped head 62 on the outer end thereof.
detection devices 55, 56-and 57 are balanced and there
fore no resultant signal is produced to vary the missile’s
The housing contains an electric coil which forms an elec
tromagnet with the arm 61 such that when the coil is
energized the arm moves to an extended position (see
sile, it would remain in reference position 1 with respect
velocity.
If no forces other than gravity were acting on the mis~
body 749, and thearrn 61 is of such a length that when
extended the head holds the body in its reference position
to the body '29 and travel along curve 12 to target ll
without further guidance. This is not the case, however,
because the missile is subjected to the atmosphere,and
therefore to atmospheric forces which must be compen
in the chamber 62.
sated for if the missile is to stay on curve 12.
FIGURE 5) and when tie-energized, thearm retracts.
The cup-shaped head 62 has a seat designed to hold the‘
'
‘
One such force is atmospheric drag. Since theinertial.
The lock 53b secures the body 29 in the head 62 of sup» 15
guidance system doesn’t take over until after the initial
port 53a during the initial stage of the missile’s travel.
conditions for curve 12 are satis?ed, in the case of long
It consists of a housing 65 which has a pin 66 mounted
range missiles this time lag may be such that by the time
therein with one end extending therefrom. The housing
the guidance system takes over, the atmospheric drag has
65 contains an electric coil which forms an electromagnet
very'little effect because of the rareiicstion of the atmos‘
with the pin 66 and when energized causes the pin 66 to»
phere at high altitudes. This will not necessarily be true
move outwardly to an extended position with respect to
for medium range missiles, however,,and, in any case, all
the housing. When the coil is de-energized the pin 66
types of missiles must re-enter the denser atmosphere to
returns to a retracted position.
reach a target on the earth’s surface so that, at least dur
The lock 53b is positioned so that when pin 66 is in its
extended position it bypasses the body 29 on the side. 25 ing this ?nal stage, atmospheric drag will be a signi?cant
force to be overcome.
opposite to the head 6?; in such a manner that the body 29'
Atmospheric drag when effective will continuously tend
can be contained between the pin es and‘ the headtiZ when
to slow the missile’s speed and therefore tend to move it
the coils of both the support 53a and lock 53b are ener
gized, and held at the reference position. Since the great
est acceleration forces to which the body 29 is subjected
while held by the supporting device will take place when
the missile is in a nearly vertical position, they will be
concentrated primarily on support 53a and directed sub
stantially axially with respect to the arm til. With proper
construction the support could easily withstand such
forces.
'
Release. of the body 29%, when thus contained, is accom
plished by ?rstlderenergizing the coil of the lock 53b to
retract pin es, and then shortly thereafter, de-energizing
the coil in support 53a tozretract the arm 61 and head 62. ‘
With this arrangement the seat in head 62 prevents the
body 219 from following the pin 66 as it is retracted and
then frees the body without imparting any new forces to
it when arm 61 retracts. From this description it will
be seen that when released body 29 is freely disposed in
the chamber, and, so long as it does not'rcontact the sides
of the chamber, it acts like a freely falling body.
The body 29v is therefore free to act just as my previous
ly mentioned . theoretical mass-body. Isolated from all‘
backward with respect to body 29 to position 2 (see FIG
URE 6). In this position, the detection device 56 will be
closer to body 29 than in position 1 and will indicate this
change by an appropriate signal. Detection devices 55
and 57 will each be slightly farther away from the body
219 than in position 1, but still equidistant therefrom and
will indicate their situation by appropriate signals.
.
The signals of all three of the detectors are analyzed by
an analyzer circuit in the follow-up system 58 and result
ing correction signals are produced which change the mis
sile’s guidance controls so as to return it to position 1
with respect tobody 29. , In this case, where the missile
is at position 2, the analyzer will call for more thrust to
overcome the drag.
It will be appreciated, of course, that if the conditions
of flight will be‘ such that the atmospheric drag will at
some points be so reduced that negative thrust might be
necessary, reverse propulsion means can be provided'for
this purpose.
Another atmospheric force which must be corrected for
is wind. During the missile’s course of travel, it will
outside in?uences, except. gravity andits previously im 50 ‘be subjected to unpredictable winds which will tend to
drive it oif its path and will therefore move the missile
parted velocity, it proceeds, in accordance with the laws
with respect to body 29. if, for example, a Wind strikes
of celestial mechanics, along’ the free mass trajectory
the missile from an angle of 120 degrees relative to its
curve 12 toward the target.
In order to cause the missile to follow the same trajec~ .
heading and directed 30 degrees downwardly from hori- i
tory as the body 29, the missile is “slaved” to the body '55 zontal, it will tend to move the missile to position 3 with
respect to the body 29 (see FIGURE 7). In this position,
by means of detection devices which sense any displace
the body 2&9 is farther from all three detectors than when‘
ment of the walls of chamber 52 With respect to body 29
in position 1, and signals from the detection devices will
and the follow-up system 50, which, via the previously
indicate this changerof proximity. The analyzer circuit
mentioned ?ight control means, corrects the velocity of
the missile so as to minimize this displacement and keep 60 of ‘the follow-up system will analyze the signals from the
detection devices and produce resultant signals to the con
the missile at the reference position with respect to the
trol circuits 44 calling for a reduction of thrust and an ap
body.
>
i
body 29 is made of metal so that its distance from the
devices affects their charge. The detection devices are
located one on each of the three coordinate axes of the
reference position, which is located at the center of. the
propriate change in heading to compensate for the wind.
Actually, of course, the control exercised by inertial
guidance device 24 willbe substantially instantaneous and
continuous, so that, in reality, the missile, instead of be
ing driven off curve 12 by extraneous influences and then
guided back on, is kept on course by continuously and
The‘ follow-up system 5% has an ampli?er‘ and analyzer
used which provides an instantaneous indication of the
The detection or pick-off devices 55, 56. and 5'7 are hi gh
ly sensitive to changes in electrical capacitance, and the
substantially instantaneously compensating for extraneous
missile, as shown, and equidistant therefrom,‘ andthere
influences which tend to displace it.
70
fore give a continuous indication of the position of body
The detection devices 55, 56 and 57 are described as
2719. When thebody is released by the supporting device
electro-capacitance type proximity pick-offs, but it will
53, the. chamber 52 will be in. the-referenceposition, Posi
be appreciated that any other type of detector might be
tionil asishown in FIGURE 5.
'
‘which amplify and analyze the signals from the detection '
proximity" of body’ 29 without applying any appreciable
3,073,550
coercive force to it. The body 29 could be made lumi
nescent, for instance, and photo-electric cells used as de
tection devices, or the body 29 could be charged and elec
trostatic detection devices used.
it)
stood that I do not mean to limit myself to the particular
details disclosed except as provided in the appended claims.
I claim:
-
l. The method of guiding a missile having ?ight con
trol means capable of regulating its velocity which com
prises: disposing a body having mass in said missile; im
parting to said body and missile certain initial conditions
As previously mentioned, my inertial guidance system
24 is capable of being overriden by the ground control
system 17 during the monitoring stage of its ?ight. To
permit this, the supporting device 53 in my guidance de
of velocity and location corresponding to requirements of
tector 49 is capable of momentarily recapturing the body
a position on one of a family of curves which represent
29 and holding it ?xed during the periods of overriding. 10 ballistic trajectories of a free mass in a vacuum; isolating
The mass of body 29 with respect to the missile may
said body from the in?uence of all forces except gravity;
differ depending on the inertial characteristics desired.
and slaving said missile to said body by regulation of said
However, the basic principles of operation apply irre
flight
control means so as to minimize any relative move~
spective of this relationship.
ment therebetween.
It will also be appreciated that in order to prevent sud 15
2. The method of guiding a missile, which comprises
den forces from driving the missile far enough off course
the
steps of: placing a body of ?nite mass inside a pro
to cause the walls of chamber 52 to engage body 2%, the
tected chamber provided Within the missile and in rigidly
response time of the missile control system must be rela
tively small. This requirement is not intolerable, how
ever, because the mass of the missile is large enough to
greatly dampen the effect of sudden forces on it, and
chamber 52 can be made large enough with respect to
the body 29 to permit considerable movement therebe
tween. Also, if the missile should encounter a force suffi
ciently strong and sudden to cause chamber 52 to engage
the body 29, unless the force is prolonged, the error in
troduced, not being cumulative, would still normally be
quite tolerable. That is, the errors tend to balance out
over a trajectory on a normal statistical basis.
To assure that the detected movement of the missile
with respect to body 2h is properly corrected by the mis
sile controls, it is also necessary that the response time
of the detection devices and follow-up system be low with
respect to that of the flight stabilization control 39.
Since a major portion of target error is due to unpre
dictable variations in the atmospheric conditions encoun
tered by the missile, my inertial guidance system signi?
cantly increases the missile’s accuracy by causing it to
supported relationship therewith; applying propelling and
guiding forces to the missile for a ?nite period of time ‘
until certain desired conditions of velocity and location
are achieved; removing the rigid support of said body so
that said body is free to move within said chamber under
the in?uence of gravity; detecting relative motion between
said chamber and said body; and applying propelling and
guiding forces to said missile so as to minimize the rela
tive motion between said body and said chamber.
3. In a guidance system for a vehicle which has flight
control means for regulating the velocity of said vehicle,
and initial stage control means for controlling said vehicle
through said ?ight control means to establish certain initial
conditions of velocity and location, an inertial guidance
system for controlling said vehicle after establishment of
said initial conditions comprising: a reference frame as
sociated with said vehicle; a mass; releasable means for
holding said mass ?xed in said reference frame in a refer
ence position, said mass being released upon establishment
maining sources of error are the residual error in the 1
of said conditions to follow a predetermined path when
acted upon by known forces; isolation means within said
missile for isolating said mass from all but said known
computer and other equipment, inaccurate knowledge
forces; and guidance control means in said vehicle con—
of the target or launch point coordinates, anomalies in
nected with said ?ight control means for measuring dis
placement of said mass from said reference position with
respect to said reference frame and regulate said ?ight
control means to reduce said displacement whereby said
automatically correct for these conditions. The only re
the earth’s gravitational ?eld along the missile’s path, and
unknown variations in refractive index of the atmosphere
above the launch point which affect the accuracy of the
radar.
in general, the errors introduced by these sources are
inherently small or are controllable and can be kept quite
small. Considering the residual error in the ground con
trol 17, for example, radar experts claimed several years
ago that velocity components could be measured to 0.2
foot per second. If this were the only appreciable error,
a missile utilizing my guidance system could strike a tar
get at a range of 400 miles with a range error of only
141 feet and a lateral error of only 36 feet.
Understanding the operation of my inertial guidance
system, it will be appreciated that my guidance system is
Sll?lClCHllY simple, when compared to prior systems, to
permit its production at a considerably lower cost, par
vehicle is caused to follow said mass.
4. Inertial guidance means fora vehicle having ?ight
control means for regulating its velocity comprising: a
chamber in said vehicle; a body having mass positioned
in said chamber; releasable support means for holding
said body ?xed with respect to the walls of said chamber
in a reference position, said support means being actuat—
able to release said body and permit said body to move
freely in said chamber; detection means in said vehicle for
sensing relative displacement between said body and said
reference position; and follow-up means intercoupled be
tween said detection means and said ?ight control means
for converting the output of said detection means into
regulation of said ?ight control means to minimize said
ticularly since the simplicity of my system would allow 60 relative displacement between said body and said reference
the use of mass production techniques and relatively un
skilled labor to a much greater extent. Furthermore, the
position.
5. In a guidance system for a missile which has ?ight
simplicity of my system increases its inherent reliability
control means in said missile for regulating the velocity of
since the amount of missile-borne precision equipment re
said missile, and initial stage control means on the ground
quired is substantially reduced. Because of these impor 65 which control said ?ight control means during the initial
tant features, my system makes the guidance of missiles
stage of said missile’s ?ight until certain initial conditions
with conventional warheads, as well as those with atomic
of velocity and location are established, an inertial guid—
ance system in said missile for controlling said flight con
Though the system which I have described controls a
trol means after establishment of said initial conditions
ground-to-ground missile, it will be appreciated that my 70 comprising: an evacuated chamber; a body having mass
invention could also be advantageously used for an air-to
positioned in said chamber; a releasable supporting device
warheads, economically feasible;
ground missile and in other guidance applications.
While the forms of my invention, herein disclosed,
are fully capable of attaining the objects and providing
the advantages heretofore described, it should be under 75
in said chamber for ?xedly holding said body therein
until said initial conditions are established, said supporting
device being actuatable to free said body in a reference
position in said chamber spaced from the walls thereof;
3,073,550
ll
proximity detection devices mounted in said missile and
disposed about said reference position, said detection de
vices having an output indicative of their proximity to
said body; and follow-up means intercoupled with said
detection devices and said ?ight control means for convert
ing the output of said detection devices into regulation of
12
‘so as to reduce said disparity and for transmitting a re
lease signal to said missile when said computer indicates
a solution; an evacuated chamber in said missile; a body
having mass positioned in said chamber; means for ?xed
ly supporting said body in said chamber prior to said
release signal; means for thereafter releasing said body
in said chamber at a position spaced from the walls
said ?ight control means so as to maintain said body in
thereof; detection means in said missile operatively as
said reference position.
sociated with said body and chamber and having an
6. A guidance system for a vehicle having ?ight con
output indicative of relative movement therebctween;
10
trol means for controlling the velocity thereof, compris
and follow~up means intercoupled with said detection
ing: means for regulating said ?ight control means to
.means and ?ight control means which convert the output
bring said vehicle to certain initial conditions of velocity
of said detection means into regulation of said ?ight‘con
and location; a body having mass within said vehicle;
trol means to change the velocity of said missile so as
means for ?xedly supporting said body in said vehicle
to minimize said relative movement.
until said initial conditions are established; means for
10. A guidance system for a missile comprising ?ight
isolating said body from all forces except gravity after
control means in said missile for controlling the velocity
said initial conditions have been established; and guid»
thereof; means for regulating said ?ight control means to
ance control means in said vehicle connected to said
‘bring said missile to certain initial conditions of velocity
flight control‘ means and responsive to forces acting on
and location required to follow one of a particular family
20
said vehicle other than gravity for regulating the velocity
of
paths which represent gravitational traiectories of a
of said vehicle to cause it to follow said body.
free mass in a vacuum that intercept a selected target; an
7. A guidance system for a missile having ?ight con
avacuated chamber in said missile; a metal body having
trol means for controlling the velocity thereof, com—
mass
positioned in said chamber; releasable holding means
prising: initial stage control means for controlling said
mounted in said chamber for ?xedly holding said body
?ight control means to bring said missile to certain initial
with respect to said chamber until said initial conditions
conditions of velocity and location required to follow
are met and thereafter releasing said body in a reference
one of a particular family of paths which represent gravi
position spaced from the walls of said chamber; three
tational trajectories of a free mass in a vacuum that
detection devices each having an electric capacitance
intercepts a selected target; an evacuated chamber in
which varies with the proximity of said body and being
30
said missile; a body having mass positioned in said cham
disposed in said chamber equally spaced from said refer
ber; means for ?xedly supporting said body prior to es
ence position with one device aligned with a longitudinal
tablishment of said initial conditions; means for re
axis through said reference position which is parallel to
leasing said body in a reference position spaced from
the
longitudinal axis of said missile, a second device
the walls of said chamber when said initial conditions
have been established; detection means for detecting 35 aligned with a vertical axis through said reference position
movement of said missile with respect to said mass after
the release thereof; and follow-up means intercoupling
said detection means and said ?ight control means, and
responsive to the output of said detection means to regu
late said ?ight control means and guide said missile so.
as to maintain said body in said reference position.
8. A guidance system for a missile comprising: flight
control means in said missile including thrust producing
means; initial stage control means including ground
based radar and computer means for calculating the dis
parity between the trajectory of said missile and the
‘ which is parallel to the vertical transverse axis of said
‘ missile, and the third device aligned with a horizontal
axis through said reference position which is parallel to
the horizontal transverse axis of said missile; and follow
up means intercoupled with said detection devices and
?ight ‘control means for converting changes in the capaci
tance of said detection devices into signals for regulating
said ?ight control means to change the velocity of said
missile so as to maintain said body in said reference
position.
11. A guidance system for a missile comprising: ?ight
‘control means in said missile for controlling the velocity
thereof; means for regulating said ?ight control means to
nearest one of a selected family of curves which repre
sent gravitational trajectories of a free mass in a vac
uum that intercept a selected target, and command means
‘ bring said missile to certain initial conditions of velocity
spaced from the walls thereof; and guidance control
?xedly holding said body with respect to said chamber
for regulating said ?ight control means to minimize said 50 and location required to follow one of a particular family.
of paths which represent gravitational trajectories of a
disparity; an evacuated chamber Within said missile;
free mass in a vacuum that intercept a selected target; an
a body having mass positioned in said chamber; means
evacuated chamber in said missile; an electrostatically
for ?xedly supporting said body in said chamber until
charged body having mass positioned in said chamber; re~
said disparity is reduced to a predetermined amount;
leasable holding means mounted in said chamber for
‘ means for thereafter releasing said body in said chamber
means in said missile connected to said flight control
means and responsive to relative movement between said
body and said chamber walls to cause said missile to
until said initial conditions are met and thereafter releas
for calculating the disparity between the trajectory of
trol means to vary the velocity of said missile so as to
predetermined amount; a command link coupled to said
computer and communicating between said computer
and said missile for regulating said tight control means
bring said. missile to certain initial conditions of velocity
and location required to follow one of a particular family
of paths which represent gravitational trajectories of a
ing said body in a reference position spaced from the
walls of said chamber; a plurality of detection devices
60 which are sensitive to an electrostatic charge for produc
follow said body after release thereof.
~
ing an output indicative of their distance from said elec
9. A guidance system for a missile comprising: flight
trostatically charged body, said detectors being mounted
control means in said missile including thrust producing
in said missile at different locations about said reference
means and control surfaces for propelling and steering
position but equally spaced therefrom; and follow-up
said missile; radar tracking means including a ground
based transmitter and receiver for tracking said missile 65 means intercoupled with said detection devices and said
?ight control means for converting the output of said de
during the initial stage in its ?ight; a ground-based com
tection devices into signals for regulating said ?ight con
puter in communication with said radar tracking means
maintain said body in said reference position.
said missile and the nearest one of a selected family of
12. A guidance system for a missile comprising: ?ight
curves which represent gravitational trajectories of a free 70
control means in said missile for controlling the velocity
mass in a vacuum that intercept a selected target, and
thereof; means for regulating said ?ight control means to
indicating a solution when said disparity is reduced to a
13
3,073,550
free mass in a vacuum that intercept a selected target; an
evacuated chamber in said missile; a light-emitting body
having mass positioned in said chamber; releasable ho1d~
ing means mounted in said chamber for ?xedly holding
14
tion which is parallel to the horizontal transverse axis of
said missile, said photoelectric cells each having an elec
trical output indicative of their distance from said light
emitting body; and follow-up means intercoupled with
said body with respect to said chamber until said initial 5 said cells and said ?ight control means for converting the
conditions are met and thereafter releasing said body in
output of said cells into signals for regulating said flight
a reference position spaced from the Walls of said cham
control means to ‘vary the velocity of said missile so as
her; three photoelectric cells mounted in said missile
to maintain said body in said reference position.
equally spaced from said reference position and exposed
to the light from, said body with one of said cells aligned 10
with a longitudinal axis through said reference position
which is parallel to the longitudinal axis of said missile, a
second of said cells aligned with a vertical axis through
said reference position Which is parallel to the vertical
transverse axis of said missile, and the third of said cells 15
aligned with a horizontal axis through said reference posi
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
2,603,433
Nosker ____________ __'__ July 15, 1952
2,603,434
2,916,279
2,932,467
Merrill ______________ __ July 15, 1952
Stanton ______________ __ Dec. 8, 1959
Scorgie ______________ __ Apr. 12, 1960
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