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Патент USA US3098942

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July 23, 1963
H. P. BARASCH
3,093,933
PHOTOSENSITIVE ELECTRONIC TRACKING HEAD
Filed 001;. 23, 1957
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
ANTENNA
INVENTOR.‘
Hana R Bar'asch
BY
ATTORNEK'
1
July 23, 1963
H.
P. BARAscH
3,098,933
_
PHOTOSENSITIVE ELECTRONIC TRACKING HEAD
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
Filed Oct. 23, 1957
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IN VEN TOR.
Hans P? Bardsch
BY
A TTORNEY.
United States Patent 0
" ce
3,098,933
Patented July 23, 1963
2
1
as a ?are carried ‘by the missile are received by the track
3,098,933
PHOTOSENSITIVE ELECTRONIC
TRACKING HEAD
Hans P. Barasch, New York, N.Y., assignor to Republic
Aviation Corporation, Farmingdalc, N.Y., a corpora
tion of Delaware
Filed Oct. 23, 1957, Ser. No. 692,959
13 Claims. (Cl. 250-2tl3)
ing device.
The tracking device is constructed and arranged to
utilize the optical or light rays received from the missile
to produce signals indicating the position of the missile
relative to the tracking line established by the device.
The position signals thus produced are fed to a suitable
computer wherein they are converted into command sig
nals that are transmitted by radio means to the control
This invention relates in general to tracking devices and 10 system of the missile. The command signals are eifective
to operate the missile’s control system so as to direct its
more particularly to optical tracking devices.
?ight into agreement with the tracking line thereby placing
Among other objects, the present invention contem
the missile on ‘a true course toward the target.
plates a tracking device embodying means of producing
The present invention is directed toward a tracking de
signals indicating the position of an optically p-receptible
object relative to a reference line or axis within a ?eld 15 vice for use in a weapons system such as above described
where it serves to produce signals indicating the missile’s
position relative to the tracking line of the device. To
this end the instant tracking device embodies means for
receiving optical or light rays from the missile within
guidance system of an aircraft. When thus utilized, the
instant device serves to track a missile launched from the 20 selectively scanned ?elds of view about the optical axis of
the device and for converting them into signals indicating
aircraft and to produce signals indicating the missile’s po
the position of the missile relative to this optical axis or
sition or course of ?ight relative to a tracking line estab
tracking line. Moreover, to more readily locate or
lished by the device, which signals may be then used to
acquire the missile and to increase the accuracy of track
direct the missile’s ?ight into coincidence with, or along,
25 ing after acquisition, the instant device embodies means
the selected tracking line.
whereby initially the scanned ?eld of view is relatively
With the above and other objects in view as will be
large, and thereafter, is narrowed or restricted to a
come apparent this invention consists in the construction,
of view established by the device.
While the present invention may have general utility,
it is particularly suitable for association with the Weapons
combination and arrangement of parts all as hereinafter
more fully described, claimed and illustrated in the ac
companying drawings, wherein:
smaller ?eld of view.
Referring now to the drawings, in particular to FIG. 1,
30 10 indicates a conventional sight of an aircraft, not
shown, having a reticle .11 through which a line of sight
L-S is established between the recticle 11 and a distant
target 12. In short, the pilot maneuvers the aircraft to
an aircraft where it serves to indicate any deviations in the
align the reticle 11 on the target 12 thereby establishing
?ight of a guided missile launched from the aircraft from
a tracking line established between the aircraft and target; 35 the line of sight L-S from the pilot’s eye, through the
recticle 11 to the target 12.
FIG. 2 is a side view partially in section of the track
A missile 13, launched from the aircraft toward the
ing device contemplated herein and the electronic circuits
target 12, is provided at its aft end with a suitable control
associated therewith;
assembly .14 including symmetrically disposed ?ns 14' and
FIG. 3 is a view showing an instantaneous position of
FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of the instant in
vention associated with ‘the weapons guidance system of
the image of a ?are carried by the missile as it appears on
a diaphragm of the instant device during the acquisition
14". The ?n 14' carries a suitable light source such as a
?are 15 for emitting selected optical or light rays, for ex
ample, the infra-red rays R. The ?are 15 is constructed
to become operative automatically upon the launching of
FIG. 4 is a View similar to FIG. 3 showing the image
the missile 13 from the aircraft.
of the ?are as it appears on the diaphragm during the
The tracking device 16 contemplated herein is ?xedly
tracking stage of operation [and when the missile is on 45
mounted on or adjacent to the sight 10 with its optical axis
course.
stage of operation;
One of the present weapons guidance systems used in
aircraft for controlling the ?ight of a missile launched
from the aircraft at a selected target, embodies a conven
tional or standard sight mounted in the ‘aircraft to es
tablish a line of sight between the aircraft and the target.
An optical tracking device is mounted in the aircraft with
its optical axis in close parallel relationship with the line
O-A, FIG. 2, in close parallel relationship to the line of
sight L-S established as aforesaid through the reticle 11
of the sight 10. Due to this arrangement, the parallax
error between the line of sight L-S and the optical axis
O-A is at a minimum and for all intents and purposes
they may be considered to be coincident. Therefore, when
the line of sight L—S is established and maintained on the
target 12 the optical axis O-A of the tracking device 16
of sight to the end that the parallax error therebetween is
at a minimum and for all practical purposes they may be 55 is also established and maintained on the target 12 so that
thereafter it may be used as a tracking line or true course
considered to be in coincidence. Due to this arrangement
along which the missile 13 may be directed toward target
when the ‘aircraft is maneuvered to align the sight on the
12.
target, thereby establishing a line of sight to the target, the
As will hereinafter be more fully set forth, the tracking
optical axis of the tracking device is also aligned on the
target and thereafter may be used as a tracking line or 60 device 16 is operative to scan a ?eld of view about its op
tical axis O-A into which the missile 13 appears shortly
true course along which ‘a guided missile may be directed
after it has been launched from aircraft. The light rays
to the target. A guidance system such as above set forth
R from the source 15 are received by the tracking device
is shown and described more fully in the co-pending ap
16 and converted into electrical signals indicating the di
application Serial No. 521,977, now Patent No. 2,944,763, 65 rection of displacement of the missile 13 relative to the
optical axis or tracking line O-A. The signals developed
?led July 13, 1955, ‘and assigned to Republic Aviation
by the tracking device 16 are fed to a suitable command
Corporation, Farmingdale, Long Island, New York.
computer 17 which converts them into command signals
The missile used with a guidance system of this type is
plication of Roland C. Grandgent and Thracy Petrides,
so positioned on the aircraft that within a relatively
short time after it has ‘been launched, the missile comes
into the ?eld of view scanned by the tracking device to
the end that optical or light rays from a light source such
for ‘directing the missile’s ?ight into agreement witht-he
optical axis or tracking line O-A. The signal output of
the command computer 17 is fed to a radio transmitter
18 which transmits the command signals to a receiving
3,093,933
4
antenna 20 mounted on the ?n 14" of the stabilizing as
sembly 14 of the missile 13. The missile 13 is provided
with any conventional guidance or control system (not
shown) which in response to the command signals oper
ates the control assembly 14 of the missile 13 to direct
impinge upon and activate a ?uorescent coating 30 applied
to the inner surface of the end wall 24' of the image con
verter tube 24. When the ?uorescent coating 30 is acti
vated by the electron beam E, a small disc of light is pro
duced on the end wall 24' that appears on the forward
its ?ight into agreement with the tracking line O~A to
the end that the missile 13 strikes the target 12. Inas
much as the means for converting and transmitting the
signals developed by the tracking device 16 to the missile
13, i.e., the command computer 17 and radio transmitter
‘face 26’ of the diaphragm 26 in the form ‘of the flare image
15’ having a center C’. In this instance, the center C’
of the ?are image 15' is disposed to the right ‘of the center
C of the aperture 27 in the diaphragm 26 at a distance
proportional to the displacement of the focused light rays
18 as well as the guidance or control system of the missile
13 are conventional and form no part ‘of the instant inven
R from the optical axis O-A as it passes through the re
ceiving face 28 of the tube 24. This displacement of the
?are image 15' is occasioned by the normal operation of
the image converter tube 24. Therefore, under these con
vice 16 comprises a closed box or case 21 having an open 15 ditions, i.e., where the missile 13 and its ?are 15 are ‘dis
ing formed through one of its end walls 22 in which an
placed in azimuth only and to the right ‘of the optical
optical system, shown schematically in FIG. 2 as a single
axis O-A, the ‘optical system 23 and the image converter
lens 23 having an optical axis O'—-A’, is mounted to serve
tube 24 cooperate to produce a light image 15’ of the mis
as a window through which the light rays R from the
sile’s ?are 15 and the center C’ of the light image 15’ is
tion, they 'have not been set forth in detail.
As shown more particularly in FIG. 2, the tracking de
?are 15 of the missile 13 pass into the case 21. The op 20 disposed on the horizontal or azimuth axis of the face 261'
tical system 23 may be of any conventional design and
of the diaphragm ‘26 and to the right of the center C of
construction capable of receiving the light rays R and
the aperture 27 .
vfocusing them at a selected focal plane 'within the case
21. Moreover, the optical system 23 may include suitable
to scan a wide ?eld of view during the time the missile 13
optical ?lters whereby only selected light rays will be
passed and focused thereby.
The optical axis O-A of the tracking device 16 is estab
lished by conventionally mounting within the case 21 be
hind the optical system 23 and in optical axial alignment
The tracking device 16 is constructed and arranged
25
is being acquired by the tracker 16, i.e., the time between
the launching of the missile 13 and its appearance within
the ?eld of view of the optical system 23, and to scan a
relatively narrow ?eld of view after the acquisition of the
missile and during its tracking. T0 these ends, means are
with its optical axis O'—A’ as well as with each other, a 30 provided whereby a magnetic or electric ?eld of varying
standard image converter tube ‘24, housed within a mag
strength is produced within the image converter tube 24
netic shield 25, and a diaphragm 26 having a centrally
disposed aperture 27. The diaphragm 26 is mounted in
that is of such a character that during the acquisition stage
of operation of the tracker 16 the electron beam E passing
any suitable manner within the case ‘21 with is forward
through the ?eld is cyclically driven in such a manner that
face 26’ disposed in contact with the end 24' of the con 35 the ?are image 15’ moves in a ‘series of decreasing spiral
verter tube 24 and normal to the optical axis O-A which
paths ‘about the center C’ and during the tracking stage of
also passes through the center C (FIG. 3) of the dia—
operation the electron beam E is driven so that the ?are
phragm aperture 27. Thus the optical axis O-A of the
tracking device 16 is coincident with the optical axis O'—A'
of the optical system 23, the longitudinal axis of the image
converter tube 24 and the center C of the aperture 27 in
the diaphragm 26.
The optical system 23 is so arranged that the light rays
R it receives from the ?are 15 of the missile 13 are
image 15’ rotates a small circular path about the center
C’. In short, during acquisition the ?are image 15’ moves
on the diaphragm 26 in a series of decreasing spiral paths
about the center C’ while during tracking it moves in a
circular path of constant radius about the center C’.
More particularly, to produce this magnetic ?eld, a
?rst pair of stationary, series-connected, electrical coils
‘focused as a small dot or disc of light on the receiving
33 and 34 are disposed on opposite sides of the neck 24”
face or screen 28 of the image converter tube 24. More 45 of the image converter tube 24, and in vertical alignment
over, the position of the focused light rays R relative to
the optical axis O-A is the same as the position of the
with each other, and a second pair of series-connected
electrical coils 35 and 36 are similarly disposed with refer
ence to the neck 24" of the image converter tube 24 but in
?are 15, and hence the missile 13, relative to the optical
axis O—A. Thus, if the missile 13 is displaced either in
horizontal alignment with each other. Thus, the elec
azimuth, elevation, or both from the optical axis O-A, 50 trical coils 33, 34, 35 and 36 are spaced 90° apart around
the light rays R from its ?are 15 are focused on the screen
the image converter tube 24 and in a vertical plane that is
28 so as to be similarly displaced from the optical axis
normal to the optical axis O~A.
0-A.
A source of constant frequency, alternating current
'For the purpose of the following description of the con
37 is connected through a cable 38, a 90° phase shifter
struction and operation of the instant tracking device, 55 39, a cable 40, an amplitude control 41 and a cable 42 to
it is assumed that the missile 13 has been launched from
the vertical or elevation de?ection coils 33 and 34. The
the aircraft and its ?are 15 has just entered the ?eld
alternating current source 37 is also connected through a
of view of the optical system 23 from the right and on
cable 43, the amplitude control 41 and -a cable 44 to the
the horizontal or azimuth axis thereof, i.e., the missile
horizontal
or azimuth de?ection coils 35 and 36. The
13 is displaced in azimuth only to the right of the optical 60 amplitude control 41, which may comprise a motor-driven
axis O-A as shown in FIG. 1. Under these conditions, the
potentiometer, is so organized and arranged that during
optical system ‘23 focuses the light rays R from the ?are
the aquisition stage of operation of the tracker 16 a ?rst
15 on the ‘horizontal or azimuth axis of the receiving face
scanning current of varying amplitude is applied through
28 ‘of the image converter tube 24 and to the right of
the cable 42 to the elevation coils 33 and 34 and a sec
65
the optical axis O-A.
ond current of similar varying amplitude, but 90° out of
The image converter tube 24 is of conventional con
phase with the ?rst current, is applied or fed through the
struction with the inner surface of its receiving face 28
cable 44 to the azimuth coils 35 and 36. Due to this
coated with a photo-sensitive material 29 having the
energization of the elevation coils 33 and 34 and the
property of emitting electrons when activated by light as
70 azimuth coils 35 and 36, a magnetic ?eld of varying
for example the light rays R. Therefore, in response to‘
strength is set up in the image converter tube 24 that
the focused light rays R, the photo-sensitive coating 29
is of such character that when the electron beam E passes
emits a stream or beam of electrons E that is accelerated
through this ?eld it is driven in a decreasing spiral path
and focused by conventional means, not shown, embodied
so that the image ?are 15' moves in a similar path about
in or forming a part of the image converter tube 24 to 75 the center C’. Moreover, the dimensions of this spiral
3,098,933
5
path are such that its greatest width is substantially equal
to the diameter of the diaphragm 26 while its smallest
dimension is substantially equal to the diameter of the
aperture 27 in the diaphragm 26. Hence the image con
s
6
V
ment in azimuth of the center C’ of the ?are image 15'
to the center C of the aperture 27. In effect, therefore,
the direct current voltage ‘output of the networks 58
and 60 are proportional to the direction of displacement
in elevation and azimuth of the missile 13 relative to the
optical axis 0-A. Accordingly, these direct current volt
view during the acquisition stage ‘of operation of the
ages may be termed elevation and azimuth directional
tracker 16.
error voltages or signals.
The amplitude control 41 is also so organized and
The elevation directional error voltage is fed from the
arranged that during the tracking stage of operation the
scanning currents fed to the elevation coils 33 and 34 10 ?lter network 58 through ‘a cable 61 to the cable 42 where
it is imposed upon and biases the scanning current being
and to the azimuth coils 35 and 36 are of constant am
delivered to elevation de?ection coils 33 and 34. The
plitude. Under these conditions the magnetic ?eld thus
azimuth directional error voltage is delivered through a
produced is effective to drive the electron beam E passing
cable 62 to the cable 44 where it is imposed upon and
through the image converter tube 24 in such a manner
that the ?are image 15' moves in a small circle of con 15 biases the scanning current being fed to the azimuth de
?ection coils 35 and 36. When the direction error voltages
stant radius about the center C’ and on face 26' of the
are applied to the scanning currents as aforesaid, their
diaphragm 26. The radius of the circle in which the
effect on the ?eld produced by the elevation de?ection
?are image 15’ is moving is substantially equal to the
coils 33 and 34 and the azimuth de?ection coils 35 and 36
radius of the aperture 27 in the diaphragm 26. It is
is to alter or change the forces imposed thereby on the
manifest, therefore, that during tracking, the tracker 16
verter tube 24 is adapted to scan a relatively wide ?eld of
scans a relatively narrow ?eld of view.
‘It follows from the foregoing, that during the acquisi
tion the ?are image 15’ moves on the face 26’ of the
diaphragm 26 in a decreasing spiral path about the cen
ter C’ during each scanning cycle and hence it will tra
verse or cut across and pass through the diaphragm aper
ture 27. When the missile 13 and its ?are 15 are displaced
in azimuth to the right of the optical axis O—A, as afore
said, the initial entry and passage of the ?are image 15'
is at the right side of the diaphragm aperture 27 and the
center ‘C’ of its spiral path of movement will be dis
posed on the azimuth or horizontal axis of the diaphragm
26, as viewed in FIG. 3.
When this occurs, the light
of the ?are image 15’ passing through the aperture 27 is
electron beam E so as to bend or de?ect it in a direction
toward the optical axis O-A and thereby align the center
C’ of the spiral path of the ?are image 15’ with the cen
ter C of the aperture 27 in the diaphragm 26. Since in
25 the present instance, the center C’ of the spiral path of
the ?are image 15’ is displaced only in azimuth from
the center C of the diaphragm aperture 27 the azimuth
demodulator 54 and its associated ?lter network 60 de
velop a directional error voltage that is fed through the
cable 62 to the cable 44 where it is imposed and biases
the scanning current being fed to the azimuth de?ection
coils 35 and 36. As a result the ?eld produced by the
azimuth de?ection coils 35 and 36 is now e?ective to
de?ect the electron beam B so that the‘center C’ about
delivered to a conventional photo-multiplier tube 45 that 35 which the ?are image 15’ is being driven spirally, is moved
along the horizontal axis of the diaphragm 26 toward the
is mounted in the case 21 directly behind the diaphragm
26 and its central aperture 27 in axial alignment there
center C of the aperture 27 .
with as well as with the optical axis O-A. As a result
These directional error voltages are also fed from
the photo-multiplier tube 4-5 “sees” a pulsating light and
the cables 61 and 62 to the command computer 17 for
conversion into command signals that are transmitted
through the radio transmitter 18 to the missile 13 where
in response thereto generates an alternating current the
phase of which is determined by the initial point of entry
of the ?are image 15' through the diaphragm aperture 27,
and serves as an indication of the direction of displace
they are effective to alter the course of the missile 13 to
move it in the direction of the optical axis O-A. In the
present case, the azimuth directional error voltages de—
ment of the center C’ about which the ?are image 15'
is moving, relative to the center C of the diaphragm aper 45 veloped by the demodulator 54 and the ?lter network 60 is
fed through the cable 62 ‘and is transmitted as aforesaid
ture 27 and the optical axis O-A coincident therewith.
to the missile 13 where it is effective to alter the course
The alternating current developed by the photo-multiplier
of the missile 13 to move it toward the optical axis O‘-A.
tube 45 is fed through a cable 46 to a pre-ampli?er 47
The ‘output of the photomultiplier tube 45 is also fed
the output of which is fed through a cable 48 to a main
ampli?er 49. In turn, the output of the ampli?er 49 is 50 through a cable 63 connected to the cable 50 to a relay
64 that is connected through a cable 65 to the amplitude
fed through a cable 50 and applied in parallel by cables
control 41. The relay 64 is so constructed and arranged
51 and 52 to elevation and azimuth demodulators 53 and
that in response to some characteristic of the output of the
54, respectively. The elevation demodulator 53 is con_
photomultiplier tube 45, e.g., voltage, it is e?fective to
nected through a cable 55 with the 90° phase-shifter
operate the amplitude control 41 in such a manner that
39 and the azimuth demodulator 54 is connected through
the driving currents being fed through the cables 42 and
a cable 56 with the cable 43 of the alternating current
44 to the elevation de?ect-ion coils 33 and 34 and the
source 37. In this manner, the same voltages that are
azimuth de?ection coils 35 and 36 respectively are changed
applied to the elevation coils 33 and 34 and the azimuth
from the modulated alternating currents applied during the
coils 35 and 36 are fed to the elevation and azimuth de
modulators 53 and 54, respectively, where they serve as 60 acquisition to constant amplitude alternating currents. The
tracking device 16 then enters its tracking stage of opera
reference voltages to which the output of the photo
tion.
multiplier tube 45 is phase compared. The output of the
When the driving currents of constant amplitude are
elevation demodulator 53 as well as that of the azimuth
fed to the elevation de?ection coils 33 and 34 and the
demodulator 54 is that of a full wave recti?er. A cable
57 feeds the output of elevation demodulator 53 to a 65 azimuth ‘de?ection coils 35 and 36, the electron beam E
is driven in a circular path of constant radius, and there
simple low—pass ?lter network 58 where the ripple is re
fore the ?are image 15' moves in a circular path about its
duced. For the same purpose, the output of the azimuth
center C’. As a result of this, the alternating current out
demodulator 54 is fed through a cable 59 to a simple low
put of the photomultiplier tube 45 now becomes a measure
pass ?lter network 6%. The output of the ?lter network
58 is a direct current voltage that is proportional to the 70 of both the direction and magnitude of displacement of the
center C’ relative to the center C of the diaphragm aper
direction of displacement in elevation of the center C’
ture 27. In other words, the phase and amplitude of the
of the spiral path of the ?are image 15’ to the center C
current developed by the photomultiplier tube 45 are pro
of the aperture 27 in the diaphragm 26. ‘Similarly, the
portional to and may be used to indicate, respectively, the
output of the ?lter network 60 is a direct current voltage
but which is proportional to the direction of displace
direction and magnitude of displacement of the missile
3,093,333
7
8
13 relative to the optical axis O-A. Thus, after the out
put of the photomultiplier tube 45 has been passed
through the elevation and azimuth demodulators 53 and 54
and their respective ?lter networks 58 and 69‘ the eleva
tion and ‘azimuth directional error voltages .fed through the
?xed ?eld of view about its optical
and adapted to
receive light rays from an optically perceptible object
within its ?eld of View and to focus the light rays with
cables 61 and 62 to the command computer 17 are pro
in the case, a diaphragm mounted within the case and
having an ‘aperture the cent-er of which is disposed in
axial alignment with the optical axis of said optical sys~
portional to both direction and magnitude of displace
tern, an image converter tube mounted in said case with
ment of the missile 13 relative to the optical axis O-A.
its longitudinal axis coincident with the optical axis of
These position error voltages are then converted in the
said optical system, said image converter tube being or
command computer 17 into command signals which ‘are 10 ganized and arranged to receive the focused light rays
fed to ‘and transmitted by the transmitter 18 to the mis
from said optical system and in response thereto project
sile 13. In response thereto, the course of the missile
a light image onto said diaphragm, electrical means as
13 is directed into agreement with the optical axis O—A.
sociated with said image converter tube for moving the
The position error signals are valso fed to the cables 42 and
light image in a decreasing spiral path on said diaphragm
44 and hence are imposed on the driving currents being 15 whereby the light image enters and passes through said
fed to the elevation de?ection coils 33 and 34- vand the
diaphragm aperture, and a photomultiplier tube mounted
azimuth de?ection coils 35 and 36 with the end result
in said case to receive the light image passing through
that the ?eld produced thereby de?ects or bends the elec
said diaphragm ‘aperture and responsive thereto to gen
tron beam E so as to move and maintain the center C’
erate a voltage the phase of which is proportional to the
of the circular path of the ?are image 15' toward and in 20 direction of displacement of the center [of the spiral path
alignment with the center C of the diaphragm aperture 27.
of movement of the light image relative to the center of
When the center C’ is coincident with the center C, i.e.,
said diaphragm aperture.
when the course of the missile 13 comes into agreement
with the optical axis O-A, the photomultiplier tube 45
3. An optical tracking device comprising an optical
system having a ?xed ?eld of view about its optical axis
then “Sees” a constant light and its output is then at a 25 and adapted to receive and focus light rays from an op
constant value. Thus, when the missile 13 is “on course,”
i.e., when its course is coincident with the optical axis
O-A, there is no position or directional error voltages
fed from the elevation and azimuth demodulators 53 and
54 to either the missile 13, or the elevation de?ection
coils 33 and 34 and the azimuth de?ection coils 35 and
36. However, if the course of the missile l3 deviates
tically perceptible object within its ?eld of view, a di
aphragm having an aperture the center of which is dis
posed in axial alignment with the optical axis of said
optical system, an image converter tube having its longi
tudinal laxis coincident with the optical axis of said op
tical system, said image converter tube being organized
and ‘arranged to receive the focused light rays from said
from the optical axis O-A, the center C’ of the ?are
optical system and in response thereto project a light
image 15' will be displaced from coincidence with the
image onto said diaphragm, electrical means associated
center C of the diaphragm aperture 27. Under these 35 with the image converter tube for moving the light image
conditions, the photomultiplier tube 45 will “see” a si
in a decreasing spiral path on said ‘diaphragm whereby the
nusoidal light and generate a current, the phase and
light image enters and passes through said aperture in
amplitude of which will be proportional to the direction
said diaphragm, and .a photomultiplier tube adapted to
and magnitude of displacement of the missile 13 relative
receive the light image passing through said aperture in
to the optical axis O-A. This current will then be fed 40 said diaphragm and responsive thereto to generate a volt
to the elevation and azimuth demodultors 53 and 54
age the phase of which is proportional to the direction of
which in ‘response thereto develop the proper position er
displacement of the center of the spiral path of move
ror voltages for transmission to the missile 13 and ‘for
ment of the light image relative to the center of said
biasing the driving currents delivered to the elevation
aperture in said diaphragm.
de?ection coils 33 and 34- ‘as well ‘as the azimuth de?ec 45
4. An optical tracking device comprising an optical
tion coils 35 and 36 as aforesaid.
system having a ?xed ?eld of view about its optical axis
What
claimed is:
and adapted to receive and focus light rays from an op
1. An optical tracking device comprising :a closed case
tically perceptible object within its ?eld of view, a di
having a wall with an opening therethrough, an optical
aphragm having an aperture the center of which is dis
system mounted in said opening and having a ?xed ?eld
posed in axial alignment with the optical axis of the op
of view about its optical axis, said optical system being
tical system, an image converter tube organized and ar
adapted to receive light rays from an optically perceptible
object within said ?eld of view and to focus the light
ranged to receive the ‘focused light rays from the optical
system and in response thereto project a light image onto
the diaphragm, electrical means (associated with the
rays within said case, a diaphragm Within said case hav
ing an aperture the center of which is coincident with the 55 image converter tube for moving the projected light
optical axis of said optical system, an image converter
tube in said case constructed and arranged to receive the
focused light rays from said optical system and in re
sponse thereto to project a light image onto said di
aphragm, means associated with said image converter 60
tube for moving the light image in a decreasing spiral
path on said diaphragm whereby at some point in its
spiral path the light image enters and passes through
the aperture in said diaphragm, a photomultiplier tube in
said case position to receive the light image passing 65
through said aperture and responsive thereto to generate
a voltage the phase of which is proportional to the di—
rection of displacement of the center of the spiral path
of movement of the light image relative to the center of
said aperture, and means for converting the voltage out 70
put of said photomultiplier tube into a signal indicating
the position of the object relative to the optical axis.
2. An optical tracking device comprising a closed case
having an opening in one wall thereof, an optical system
mounted in said opening, said optical system having a 75
image in a circular path on the diaphragm whereby the
light image enters and passes through the aperture there
in, ‘and current generating means responsive to the light
image passing through the aperture in the diaphragm to
generate a voltage the phase and amplitude of which is
proportional to the direction and magnitude of displace
ment of the center of the circular path of movement of
the projected light image relative to ‘the center of the
aperture in the diaphragm.
5. An optical tracking device comprising an optical
system having a ?xed ?eld of ‘View about its optical axis
and adapted to receive and focus light rays from an
optically perceptible object within its ?eld of view, a
diaphragm having an aperture the center of which is
disposed in axial alignment with the optical axis of the
optical system, electronic means organized and arranged
to receive the focused light rays from the optical system
and in response thereto project a light image thereof onto
the diaphragm, electrical means associated with the elec
tronic means for moving the projected light image on
3,098,933
said diaphragm whereby the light image enters and passes
through the aperture in the diaphragm, and current gen
erating means responsive ‘to the light image passing
through the aperture in the diaphragm to generate a volt
age the phase and amplitude of which is proportional to
the direction and magnitude of displacement of the cen
ter of movement of the projected light image relative to
the center of the aperture in the diaphragm.
6. An optical tracking device comprising an optical
system having a ?xed ?eld of view about its optical axis 10
10
?eld of view about the optical axis thereof, an image
converter tube mounted in said case in axial alignment
with said optical axis, a diaphragm- in said case having an
aperture ‘disposed in axial alignment with said optical axis,‘
said optical system being effective to receive light rays from
an optically perceptible object within its ?eld of View
and to focus said light rays on said image converter tube
to thereby actuate said image converter tube to project
a light image of said focused light rays onto said dia
phragm, elevation and azimuth deflection coils asso
ciated with said image converter tube, a source of alter
and adapted to receive and focus light rays from an op
nating current, an electrical circuit connecting said alter
tically perceptible object within its ?eld of view, a dia
nating current source to said elevation and azimuth de
phragm having an aperture the center of which is dis
?ection coils, said electrical circuit including a 90° phase
posed in axial alignment with the optical axis of the op
tical system, electronic means organized and arranged to 15 shifter and a current amplitude control whereby said
elevation and azimuth de?ection coils are energized with
receive the focused light rays from the optical system and
90° out of phase currents of varying or constant am
in response thereto project a light image thereof onto
plitudes, said elevation and azimuth de?ection coils being
the diaphragm, electrical means associated with the elec
effective to operate said image converter tube when ener
tronic means for selectively moving the projected light
image either in a decreasing spiral path or in a circular 20 gized by a current of varying amplitude to move said
light image in a decreasing spiral path on said diaphragm
path on said diaphragm whereby the light image enters
and when energized by a current of constant amplitude
and passes through the aperture in the diaphragm, and
to move said light image in a circular path of constant
current generating means responsive to the light image
radius whereby said light image traverses and passes
passing through the aperture in the diaphragm when the
light image is moving in its spiral path to generate a volt 25 through said aperture, a photomultiplier tube mounted
in said case to receive the light image passing through‘
age the phase of which is proportional to the direction of
said aperture and responsive thereto to generate a volt
displacement of the center of the spiral path of move
age, the phase of said voltage being proportional to the.
ment of the projected light image ‘with respect to the
direction of displacement of the center of the spiral path
center of the aperture in the diaphragm, and when the
of said light image and to the direction and magnitude
light image is moving in the circular path to generate a
of displacement of the center of the circular path of said
voltage the phase and amplitude of which is proportional
light image with respect to the center of said aperture,
to the direction and magnitude of displacement of the
electronic means connected to and receiving the volt
center of the circular path of movement of the projected
age output of said photomultiplier tube, means for supply
light image with respect to the center of the aperture in
35 ing 90° out of phase elevation and azimuth reference
the diaphragm.
7. An optical tracking device comprising an optical
system having a ?xed ?eld of view about its optical axis
voltages to said electronic means, said electronic means
thereto project a light image thereof onto said diaphragm,
of the circular path of said light image with respect to
being organized and arranged to phase compare the out
put voltage of asid photomultipler tube with said eleva-.
and adapted to receive and focus light rays from an op
tion and azimuth reference voltages and to develop volt
tically perceptible object within its held of view, a dia
phragm having an aperture, the center of said aperture 40 ages proportion-al to the direction of displacement of
the center of the spiral path of said light image with re
being disposed in axial alignment with said optical axis,
spect to the center of said aperture and proportional to
electronic means organized and arranged to receive the
the magnitude and direction of displacement of the center
focused light rays from said optical system and in response
electrical means associated with said electronic means for 45 the center of said aperture, means for applying the volt
ages developed by said electronic means to the currents
energizing said elevation and azimuth de?ection coils
whereby the center of the path of movement of said light
verses said aperture, and signal generating means respon
image is moved toward the center'of said aperture, and
sive to the light image received through said aperture
to generate signals the phase of which are proportional to 50 means associated with the current amplitude control and
responsive to the output voltage of said photomultiplier
the direction of displacement of the center of the spiral
tube to change the varying amplitude current to a con—
path of the light image with respect to the center of said
stant amplitude current.
aperture.
moving the projected light image in a decreasing spiral
path on said diaphragm whereby said light image tra
8. An optical tracking device comprising an optical
10. An optical tracking device comprising an optical
system having a ?xed ?eld of View about its optical axis 55 system having a ?xed ?eld of view about its optical axis,
an image converter tube in axial alignment with said
and adapted to receive and focus light rays from an op
optical axis, a diaphragm having an aperture disposed in
tically perceptible object within its ?eld of view, an aper
axial alignment with said optical axis, said optical sys
tured diaphragm, the center of said aperture being dis
tem being organized and arranged to receive light rays
posed in axial alignment with said optical axis, means
from the optically perceptible object within its ?eld of
organized and arranged to receive the focused light rays
view and to focus said light rays on said image converter
from said optical system and in response thereto project
tube to thereby actuate it to project a light image of the
a light image thereof onto said diaphragm, electrical
focused light rays onto said diaphragm, elevation and
means associated with said electronic means and operative
azimuth de?ection coils associated with said image con
to move the projected light image either in a decreasing
spiral path or in a circular path on said diaphragm where 65 verter tube, means for energizing said elevation and
azimuth de?ection coils with 90° out of phase currents
by the light image traverses and passes through said aper
of varying or constant amplitudes, said elevation and
ture, means responsive to the light image passing through
azimuth de?ection coils being effective when energized
said aperture to generate a voltage, and means responsive
by a current of varying amplitude to operate said image
to a characteristic of the voltage generated by said volt
age generating means to operate said electrical means to 70 converter tube to move said light image in a decreasing
vary the path of movement of said light image from a
spiral path to a circular path.
9. An optical tracking device comprising a case hav
ing a wall with a through opening, an optical system
mounted in the opening in said wall and having a ?xed 75
spiral path on said diaphragm and when energized by a
current of constant amplitude to move said light image
in a circular path on said diaphragm whereby said light
image traverses and passes through said aperture, a photo
multiplier tube receiving the light image passing through
3,098,933
11
12
said aperture and responsive thereto to generate a volt
ment with said optical axis, said optical system being or
ganized and arranged to receive light rays from the op
tically perceptible object within its ?eld of view and to
age the phase of which, when said light image is moving
in a spiral path, is proportional to the direction of dis
placement of the center of the spiral path relative to
the center of said aperture and the phase and amplitude
of which, when said light image is moving in a circular
path, is proportional to the direction and magnitude of
displacement of the center of the circular path relative
to the center of the aperture, electronic means connected
to and receiving the voltage output of said photomultiplier
tube and connected to said elevation and azimuth de
flection coils, means for supplying 90° out of phase ele
vation and azimuth reference voltages to said electronic
means, said electronic means being organized and ar
focus said light rays on said image converter tube at a
point corresponding to the position of the object relative
to said optical axis, said image converter tube being re
sponsive to the focused light rays to project a light image
thereof onto said diaphragm, the center of said light image
corresponding to the position of the object relative to said
optical axis, electrical means associated with said image
converter tube to move said light image on said diaphragm
in a circular path whereby it traverses said aperture, elec
tronic means including voltage generating means respon
sive to the light image passing through said aperture to
ranged to phase compare the output voltage of said photo 15 generate a voltage the phase of which is proportional to
multiplier tube with said elevation and azimuth reference
the direction and magnitude of displacement of the center
voltages and to develop voltages that are applied to the
about which the light image is moving to the center of
currents energizing said elevation and azimuth de?ection
said aperture, and means for applying the voltages de
coils whereby the center of the path of movement of said
veloped by said electronic means to said electrical means
light image is moved toward the center of said aperture.
whereby the center of the path about which the light image
11. An optical tracking device for tracking an optically
is moving is moved into coincidence with the center of
perceptible object, comprising a case having a wall with a
said aperture.
through opening therein, an optical system mounted in the
13. An optical tracking device for tracking an optically
opening in said wall and having a ?xed ?eld of view
perceptible object, comprising a case having a wall with
about its optical axis, an image converter tube mounted 25 a through opening therein, an optical system mounted in
in said case in axial alignment with said optical axis, a
the opening in said wall and having a ?xed ?eld of view
diaphragm in said case having an aperture disposed in
about its optical axis, an image converter tube mounted
axial alignment with said optical axis, said optical system
in said case in axial alignment with said optical axis, a
being organized and arranged to receive light rays from
diaphragm in said case having an aperture disposed in
the optically perceptible object within its ?eld of view and 30 axial alignment with said optical axis, said optical sys
to focus said light rays on said image converter tube
tem being organized and arranged to receive light rays
at a point corresponding to the position of the object
from the optically perceptible object within its ?eld of
relative to said optical axis, said image converter tube
view and to focus said light rays on said image converter
being responsive to the focused light rays to project a
tube at a point corresponding to the position of the object
light image thereof onto said diaphragm, the center of 35 relative to said optical axis, said image converter tube
said light image corresponding to the position of the ob
being responsive to the focused light rays to project a
ject relative to said optical axis, electrical means asso
light image thereof onto said diaphragm, the center of
ciated with said image converter tube to move said light
said light image corresponding to the position of the ob
image on said diaphragm in a decreasing spiral path or a
ject relative to said optical axis, electrical means asso
circular path whereby it traverses said aperture, electronic 40 ciated with said image converter tube to move said light
means including voltage generating means mounted in
image on said diaphragm in a decreasing spiral path or a
said case and responsive to the light image passing through
circular path whereby it traverses said aperture, and elec
said aperture to generate a voltage the phase of which is
tronic means responsive to the light image passing through
proportional to the direction of displacement of the cen
said aperture to develop signals proportional to the direc
ter about which the light image is moving to the center 45 tion and magnitude of displacement of the center of the
of said aperture and means for applying the voltages de
light image relative to the center of said aperture.
veloped by said electronic means to said electrical means
whereby the center of the path about which the light
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
image is moving is moved toward the center of said
UNITED STATES PATENTS
aperture.
50
12. An optical tracking device for tracking an optical
2,237,440
Jones ________________ __ Apr. 8, 1941
ly perceptible object, comprising an optical system having
2,430,975
Graham ____________ __ July 16, 1946
a ?xed ?eld of view about its optical axis, an image con
verter tube in axial alignment with said optical axis, a
2,581,589
2,734,269
2,967,247
Herbst ______________ __ Jan. 8, 1952
Claret ______________ __ Feb. 14, 1956
Turck _________________ __ Jan. 3, 1961
diaphragm having an aperture disposed in said axial align 55
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