Accelerating Patents (Class 89/8)
  • Patent number: 10562648
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a launch system, a launch vehicle for use with the launch system, and methods of launching a payload utilizing the launch vehicle and/or the launch system. The disclosure can provide for delivery of the payload at a terrestrial location, an Earth orbital location, or an extraorbital location. The launch vehicle can comprise a payload, a propellant tank, an electrical heater wherein propellant, such as a light gas (e.g., hydrogen) is electrically heated to significantly high temperatures, and an exhaust nozzle from which the heated propellant expands to provide an exhaust velocity of, for example, 7-16 km/sec. The launch vehicle can be utilized with the launch system, which can further comprise a launch tube formed of at least one tube, which can be electrically conductive and which can be combined with at least one insulator tube. An electrical energy source, such as a battery bank and associated inductor, can be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Assignee: 8 Rivers Capital, LLC
    Inventors: Miles R. Palmer, Glenn William Brown, Jr.
  • Patent number: 10312710
    Abstract: An energy recovery pulse forming network and method that recovers at least a portion of the energy in a railgun by transferring energy dissipated from the railgun inductance back to an initial source of the energy, such as an input capacitor, for use by the network. This reduces the amount of energy required from an external power source to charge the input capacitor during subsequent railgun firings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Christopher Adrian Martino
  • Patent number: 9673283
    Abstract: A power module is disclosed that includes a housing with an interior chamber wherein multiple switch modules are mounted within the interior chamber. The switch modules comprise multiple transistors and diodes that are interconnected to facilitate switching power to a load. In one embodiment, at least one of the switch modules supports a current density of at least 10 amperes per cm2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: Cree, Inc.
    Inventors: Jason Patrick Henning, Qingchun Zhang, Sei-Hyung Ryu, Anant Kumar Agarwal, John Williams Palmour, Scott Allen
  • Patent number: 9617016
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a launch system, a launch vehicle for use with the launch system, and methods of launching a payload utilizing the launch vehicle and/or the launch system. The disclosure can provide for delivery of the payload at a terrestrial location, an Earth orbital location, or an extraorbital location. The launch vehicle can comprise a payload, a propellant tank, an electrical heater wherein propellant, such as a light gas (e.g., hydrogen) is electrically heated to significantly high temperatures, and an exhaust nozzle from which the heated propellant expands to provide an exhaust velocity of, for example, 7-16 km/sec. The launch vehicle can be utilized with the launch system, which can further comprise a launch tube formed of at least one tube, which can be electrically conductive and which can be combined with at least one insulator tube. An electrical energy source, such as a battery bank and associated inductor, can be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: 8 Rivers Capital, LLC
    Inventors: Miles R. Palmer, Glenn William Brown, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9463881
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a launch system, a launch vehicle for use with the launch system, and methods of launching a payload utilizing the launch vehicle and/or the launch system. The disclosure can provide for delivery of the payload at a terrestrial location, an Earth orbital location, or an extraorbital location. The launch vehicle can comprise a payload, a propellant tank, an electrical heater wherein propellant, such as a light gas (e.g., hydrogen) is electrically heated to significantly high temperatures, an exhaust nozzle from which the heated propellant expands to provide an exhaust velocity of, for example, 7-16 km/sec, and sliding electrical contacts in electrical connection with the electrical heater. The launch vehicle can be utilized with the launch system, which can further comprise a launch tube formed of concentric electrically conductive tubes, as well as an electrical energy source, such as a battery bank and associated inductor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: 8 Rivers Capital, LLC
    Inventor: Miles R. Palmer
  • Patent number: 9279633
    Abstract: The present invention provides a barrel device capable of using various calibers of flanged centerfired ammunition in a breech loaded firearm. The barrel device is able to position and secure various caliber ammunition, whereby the action and firing pin will strike the center of the ammunition and cause it to be fired from the weapon. In some embodiments, the unique barrel device may comprise a non-newtonian type of fluid housed and contained in the barrel by a para-aramid synthetic material. In other embodiments, the barrel device may comprise a mechanical construct and may or may not use a synthetic fiber inner lining. In another embodiment, the barrel device may contain a foam type material to house and center the ammunition. In further embodiments, the barrel device may comprise both a non-newtonian type of fluid and a mechanical construct.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2016
    Inventor: Richard R. Hayes
  • Patent number: 9032857
    Abstract: The present invention relates to the field of electromagnetic rail launchers, and particularly to a rail launcher and an associated projectile-launching process including at least two longitudinal rails connected to a power supply circuit of these two rails, these rails being at least partially surrounded by superconductor elements able to generate a magnetic induction of a direction perpendicular to the plane formed by the rails and located therebetween during the flow of a current therein, launcher wherein the supply circuit includes the superconductor elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: ETAT FRANCAIS REPRESENTE PAR LE DELEGUE GENERAL POUR L'ARMEMENT
    Inventors: Michel Amiet, Pascal Tixador, Arnaud Badel
  • Patent number: 8943945
    Abstract: An apparatus for propelling a projectile. A support structure has a propulsion structure pivotally connected thereto and is movable between an armed position and a disarmed position. In impulse delivery arrangement delivers an impulse force that propels the propulsion structure from the armed position to the disarmed position. A channel is configured to cause the projectile to be in biased contact with the propulsion structure upon the propulsion structure being in the armed position. Wherein, upon the impulse delivery arrangement delivering an impulse force propelling the propulsion structure from the armed position, the propulsion structure propels the projectile through and outwardly from the channel. The channel is selectively adjustable in X, Y, and Z planes to selectively guide the projectile in a generally predetermined direction, upon the projectile being propelled from the channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Inventor: Michael Collins
  • Patent number: 8810121
    Abstract: A device and method to produce a hot, dense, long-lived plasma. In one embodiment, a large electric current is passed through an outer tube enclosing in part a piston, a notched conducting rod and central electrode. Electromagnetic forces accelerate the piston to a point high enough to mechanically separate the conducting rod at the location of the notch before the conducting rod is melted. On separation, a plasma is generated by the passage of electric current though a gas produced by vaporization of the conducting rod and nearby materials. An insulator enclosed within the tube prevents the plasma from shorting to the outer tube until the current flow has produced a sufficient magnetic field to contain the plasma. The piston is then accelerated by a combination of electromagnetic forces and mechanical pressure from the hot gas through which the electric current is passing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: William Bryan Maier, II, Eugene Ellis Nolting, Donald D. Snyder
  • Publication number: 20140224105
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to launchers and launcher systems for discharging or launching payloads to downrange targets, and associated methods of using such launcher systems. This disclosure further provides methods for attenuating or reducing felt recoil such that relatively large weight payloads can be launched while the launcher is handheld or mounted in any manner. Examples of payloads that can be deployed with the disclosed launcher apparatus include chemical, biological, pyrotechnic, marker, tracer, signaling, non-lethal, anti-personnel, explosive, smoke, and similar payloads.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 3, 2012
    Publication date: August 14, 2014
    Inventor: James Y. Menefee, III
  • Patent number: 8746120
    Abstract: A device and method which combine electromagnetic acceleration with acceleration by high-pressure gases derived from chemical energy to achieve high slug speeds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Eugene Ellis Nolting, William Bryan Maier, II, Gene Morris
  • Patent number: 8701639
    Abstract: An elongated electromagnetic railgun (1) adapted to propel a moving armature (30) through a bore (11) along the length of the railgun (1) from its breech end (21) to its muzzle end (22). The railgun (1) comprises two elongated mechanically rigid electrically conductive barrel sections (13), said sections (13) being spaced apart from each other along the length of the railgun (1). Mechanically coupled via a dielectric (18) to each barrel section (13) is an elongated current carrying rail (14) for providing electromagnetic propulsive force to the armature (30). The two rails (14) face each other across an elongated open channel, defining the bore (11). The two barrel sections (13) are electrically connected to each other at a maximum of one location of the railgun (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Inventor: George Arthur Proulx
  • Patent number: 8701539
    Abstract: An electromagnetic launcher operable to accelerate launch packages of various transverse sizes, the launcher comprising, in one example, two high-current linear motors having longitudinally extending, laterally open propulsion channels configured to receive and accelerate metal armatures integrated with a launch package; and a power actuated repositioning mechanism for spacing the motors apart as needed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: General Electrodynamics International, LLC
    Inventors: Yuri Arnoldovich Dreizin, Lawrence J. Lukis, Dmitri Rebrov
  • Patent number: 8677878
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods provide thermal management of a propulsion circuit in an electromagnetic munition launcher.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Mandel Floyd, David Lewis Smith, Ronald J. Kaye, Matthew Aubuchon
  • Patent number: 8677877
    Abstract: A railgun launcher with principle rail energization and fielding derived from a co-traveling energy pulse associated with a close-coupled parallel transmission line structure. Enhanced system efficiency, plus amelioration of simple railgun negative features, is enabled via the induction hybrid railgun methodology proposed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Inventor: Robert Neil Campbell
  • Patent number: 8516939
    Abstract: Restraint release devices, systems and methods may enable actuation of a release function without using chemically energetic or thermally sensitive devices, and may employ an electromagnetic (EM) force to mechanically separate components of a fastener. A pulsed power system having a capacitive discharge circuit may be used to supply an electric current pulse to generate the EM force. The EM force can be applied to a retaining wire that surrounds and holds intact a segmented fastener. The EM force may cause the retaining wire to increase in length, thereby relaxing its hold on the segmented fastener and allowing the segments to separate and release the restraint mechanism. Restraint mechanisms using such EM restraint release devices, systems and methods may not need periodic recertification or replacement of energetics and may not have a risk of cook-off resulting from heat soak of thermally sensitive devices during operational and fault scenarios.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Leszek S. Basak, Lawrence M. Hetzel, William Kraft
  • Patent number: 8387509
    Abstract: A system for accelerating an armature to launch a projectile by injecting liquid aluminum between the armature and a pair of electrically conductive rails. A system for accelerating an armature by injecting liquid metal between the armature a plurality of electrically conductive rails and collecting the liquid metal. The liquid metal or liquid aluminum can comprise solid particles. A railgun structure with mechanical guide rails. A railgun structure with a film stack of alternating copper and nickel layers. An armature with guide rail supports. A method of using the system by placing liquid metal in the armature, placing the armature between conductive rails, and applying an electric current to the rails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Inventor: George Arthur Proulx
  • Patent number: 8371205
    Abstract: An electromagnetic railgun (10) comprising at least two elongated high voltage rails (11), a sliding armature (50) making electrical contact with each high voltage rail (11), at least two elongated metal support beams (14) adapted to provide mechanical strength to the railgun (10), said support beams (14) being substantially parallel to the high voltage rails (11), and a plurality of metal support plates (30) aligned circumferentially around the support beams (14) and along the length of the railgun (10), said support plates (30) adapted to provide additional mechanical strength to the railgun (10); wherein the support plates (30) are electrically isolated from each other and from the support beams (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Inventor: George Arthur Proulx
  • Patent number: 8322265
    Abstract: In an electromagnetic rail gun launcher that includes a set of spaced-apart rails defining an inside bore for slidably receiving an armature-type projectile, with the rail gun and armature configured such that when powered up the projectile is forced from a breech of the rail gun toward a muzzle of the rail gun to then launch the projectile, the improvement wherein a lubricant reconditioning pad, containing a lubricant, is secured to the projectile in a location such that it contacts the rails. As the projectile moves through the bore, the pad cleans debris from, and applies lubricant to, the rails to thereby lubricate and recondition the rails during each shot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Irwin L. Singer
  • Patent number: 8322328
    Abstract: An improved railgun, railgun barrel, railgun projectile, and railgun system for accelerating a solid-to-hybrid transitioning armature projectile using a barrel having a bore that does not conform to a cross-sectional profile of the projectile, to contact and guide the projectile only by the rails in a low pressure bore volume so as to minimize damage, failure, and/or underperformance caused by plasma armatures, insulator ablation, and/or restrikes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC
    Inventor: Jerome Michael Solberg
  • Patent number: 8191454
    Abstract: Embodiments of a canisterized interceptor and method to prevent the launch of a canisterized interceptor that may have been penetrated by small arms fire are generally described herein. In some embodiments, the canisterized interceptor includes a composite canister for housing an interceptor. The canister includes an embedded winding to provide a conductive path and comprises a conductor arranged within composite material of the canister. A maximum spacing may be provided between windings of the conductor and penetration of the canister may be indicated by an open or short circuit in the conductive path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventor: James H. Dupont
  • Patent number: 8109190
    Abstract: A system for accelerating an armature to launch a projectile by injecting liquid aluminum between the armature and a pair of electrically conductive rails. A system for accelerating an armature by injecting liquid metal between the armature a plurality of electrically conductive rails and collecting the liquid metal. The liquid metal or liquid aluminum can comprise solid particles. A railgun structure with mechanical guide rails. A railgun structure with a film stack of alternating copper and nickel layers. An armature with guide rail supports. A method of using the system by placing liquid metal in the armature, placing the armature between conductive rails, and applying an electric current to the rails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Inventor: George Arthur Proulx
  • Patent number: 8079352
    Abstract: An electromagnetic rail gun launcher for launching an armature attached to a projectile includes a barrel, having a bore, and a body that includes a pair of main rails, a first pair of augmenting rails one of each lying outboard of and coextending with each of one of the main rails from the breech to the muzzle, a second pair of augmenting rails one of each lying outboard of and coextending with one of each of the first pair of augmenting rails, a first pair of electrically-conducting crossovers proximate to the breech and a second pair of electrically-conducting crossovers proximate to the muzzle and connected in series when the armature is positioned in the bore with power provided to the launcher. The exit speed of the projectile from the launcher is controlled by controlling the current to the launcher.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2011
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Michael J. Veracka, Craig N. Boyer, Jesse M. Neri, Raymond J Allen, Irwin L. Singer
  • Publication number: 20110290101
    Abstract: Gas guns and methods for accelerating projectiles through such gas guns are described. More particularly, gas guns having a first injection port located proximate a breech end of a barrel and a second injection port located longitudinally between the first injection port and a muzzle end of the barrel are described. Additionally, modular gas guns that include a plurality of modules are described, wherein each module may include a barrel segment having one or more longitudinally spaced injection ports. Also, methods of accelerating a projectile through a gas gun, such as injecting a first pressurized gas into a barrel through a first injection port to accelerate the projectile and propel the projectile down the barrel past a second injection port and injecting a second pressurized gas into the barrel through the second injection port after passage of the projectile and to further accelerate the projectile are described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2008
    Publication date: December 1, 2011
    Applicant: BATTELLE ENERGY ALLIANCE, LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey M. Lacy, Henry S. Chu, Stephen R. Novascone
  • Patent number: 8056462
    Abstract: Gas guns and methods for accelerating projectiles through such gas guns are described. More particularly, gas guns having a first injection port located proximate a breech end of a barrel and a second injection port located longitudinally between the first injection port and a muzzle end of the barrel are described. Additionally, modular gas guns that include a plurality of modules are described, wherein each module may include a barrel segment having one or more longitudinally spaced injection ports. Also, methods of accelerating a projectile through a gas gun, such as injecting a first pressurized gas into a barrel through a first injection port to accelerate the projectile and propel the projectile down the barrel past a second injection port and injecting a second pressurized gas into the barrel through the second injection port after passage of the projectile and to further accelerate the projectile are described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Assignee: Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey M. Lacy, Henry S. Chu, Stephen R. Novascone
  • Patent number: 8042447
    Abstract: The present invention enables the passive initiation of a deployment sequence for a countermeasure payload. The invention comprises an initiator coil that is positioned inside an electromagnetic countermeasure launcher. When the electromagnetic countermeasure launcher electromagnetically generates propulsive force to propel a payload to its deployment position, inductive coupling between one or more propulsion coils of the launcher and the initiator coil induces current to flow in the initiator coil, which thereby initiates the deployment sequence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2011
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Benjamin D. Skurdal, Jonathan B. MacNeil, Thomas G. Sullivan, Randy L. Gaigler, Leszek Stanislaw Basak
  • Patent number: 8037799
    Abstract: A system includes a housing and an electromagnetic coil within the housing. The electromagnetic coil is arranged in a coil stack. A thermal damper is positioned adjacent to the electromagnetic coil, and a thermal structural plate is positioned adjacent to the coil stack. The thermal damper manages temperature rise of the electromagnetic coil and the thermal structural plate provides cooling to the coil stack. In an embodiment, the system is used to launch projectiles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2011
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Randy L. Gaigler, Jimmy C. Tong
  • Patent number: 7966922
    Abstract: A restraint for immobilizing a projectile with respect to its launch system is disclosed. When electromagnetic force is applied to the restraint, the restraint releases the projectile, thereby enabling its launch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Randy L. Gaigler, Leszek Stanislaw Basak
  • Patent number: 7950379
    Abstract: An apparatus for moving a mass, the apparatus having an arcuate track, a clamping member attached to a section of the arcuate track, an arm assembly pivotably connected to the clamping member, and a counterweight connected to the arm assembly. A projectile for use in a mass accelerator having an arcuate track, the projectile having a core and at least one of a low-friction layer, a propellant layer, and a polycarbonate layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Advanced Launch Corporation
    Inventor: Derek A. Tidman
  • Patent number: 7946209
    Abstract: The present invention generally concerns systems and methods for supplying electric power using supercapacitors; and more particularly, representative and exemplary embodiments of the present invention generally relate to improved methods and systems for supplying power to a guided rocket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2011
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Arthur Schneider, Jeffrey S. Supp
  • Patent number: 7895931
    Abstract: A system for launching a countermeasure device is disclosed. In the illustrative embodiment, the system uses an electromagnetic catapult to throw a countermeasure payload, wherein the azimuth, elevation, and propulsive force of the electromagnetic catapult are controllable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Randy L. Gaigler, George Raymond Root, Jr., Benjamin D. Skurdal, Leszek Stanislaw Basak
  • Patent number: 7874237
    Abstract: A technique for launching a missile that avoids some of the costs and disadvantages for doing so in the prior art. In particular, the illustrative embodiment of the present invention uses an electromagnetic catapult to throw the missile clear of the launch platform—with sufficient velocity to attain aerodynamic flight—before the missile's engine is ignited.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2011
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: George Raymond Root, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7832385
    Abstract: Systems and methods for improving the current pulse from multiple pairs of pulsed alternators used for driving large loads such as an electromagnetic launcher (i.e., “rail gun”) load. Conventional current pulse ripples are reduced by interleaving pulses from multiple pairs of contra-rotating pulsed alternators. Current pulses supplied by different pairs of pulsed alternators are timed so that they are interspersed between one another to provide more pulses for a given launch time. The interleaved current pulses increase the frequency and reduce the magnitude of the ripple on the average load current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2010
    Assignee: Curtiss-Wright Electro-Mechanical Corporation
    Inventors: James Patrick Kapinski, David Jonathan Hall, Dennis Pavlik, Thomas Andrew Lemak
  • Patent number: 7830047
    Abstract: An electrically powered launcher is disclosed that can accelerate small payloads to orbital velocities. The invention uses a novel geometry to overcome limitations of other design, and allows full exploitation of existing superconducting materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2010
    Assignee: The University of Houston System
    Inventors: Phil Putman, Kamel Salama
  • Patent number: 7775148
    Abstract: Launching payloads at high velocity uses high-pressure gas or combustion products for propulsion, with injection of high pressure gas at intervals along the path behind the payload projectile as it accelerates along the barrel of the launcher. An inner barrel has an interior diameter equal to the projectile diameter or sabot containing the projectile. An outer casing surrounds the inner barrel. Structures at intervals attach the outer casing and the inner barrel. An axial gas containment chamber (AGC) stores high pressure gas between the inner barrel wall, the outer casing wall, and enclosure bulkheads. Pressure-activated valves along the barrel sequentially release the high pressure gas contained in the AGC in to the barrel to create a continuously refreshed high energy pressure heads behind the projectile as it moves down the barrel. A frangible cover at the exit end of the barrel allows the barrel to be evacuated prior to launch. The launcher is rapidly recyclable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2010
    Inventor: Patrick P. McDermott
  • Patent number: 7762173
    Abstract: A technique for launching a missile that avoids some of the costs and disadvantages for doing so in the prior art. In particular, the illustrative embodiment of the present invention uses an electromagnetic catapult to throw the missile clear of the launch platform—with sufficient velocity to attain aerodynamic flight—before the missile's engine is ignited.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: George Raymond Root, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7752954
    Abstract: An electromagnetic launcher having a longitudinal axis includes a pair of longitudinally extending rails; a pair of longitudinally extending insulators disposed between the rails; a bore defined by interior surfaces of the rails and the insulators; and a jacket extending around exterior surfaces of the rails and the insulators; wherein the exterior surfaces of the insulators are substantially flat and further wherein a distance between the exterior surfaces of the insulators is substantially equal to or less than a maximum thickness of the rails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army
    Inventors: Andrew Littlefield, Joshua Root
  • Patent number: 7730821
    Abstract: In an exemplary electromagnetic launcher, a housing with breech and muzzle is slidably supported in a carriage supported on a trunnion. First and second electrical contacts are mounted in the carriage toward an axis of the trunnion. The first and second contacts are electrically connectable to receive electrical power from an electrical power supply. First and second augmentation conductors are disposed aft of the trunnion and are electrically connected to the first and second electrical contacts. First and second main conductors extend from the breech toward the muzzle. A current cross-over connection is disposed toward the breech and electrically connects the first and second augmentation conductors with the first and second main conductors, respectively. The first and second electrical contacts and the first and second augmentation conductors may be engaged in slidable electrical contact over a portion of the first and second augmentation conductors, thereby accommodating recoil motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Robert J. Taylor
  • Patent number: 7703373
    Abstract: An electromagnetic missile launcher is disclosed that provides greater flexibility for use with a variety of missile types and also provides potentially higher performance and efficiency as compared to prior-art electromagnetic missile launchers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2010
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Randy L. Gaigler, Mark R. Alberding, Leszek Stanislaw Basak
  • Patent number: 7647857
    Abstract: A restraint for immobilizing a projectile with respect to its launch system is disclosed. When electromagnetic force is applied to the restraint, the restraint releases the projectile, thereby enabling its launch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2010
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Randy L. Gaigler, Leszek Stanislaw Basak
  • Patent number: 7634989
    Abstract: A rock pulverizer device based on a superconducting linear motor. The superconducting electromagnetic rock pulverizer accelerates a projectile via a superconducting linear motor and directs the projectile at high speed toward a rock structure that is to be pulverized by collision of the speeding projectile with the rock structure. The rock pulverizer is comprised of a trapped field superconducting secondary magnet mounted on a movable car following a track, a wire wound series of primary magnets mounted on the track, and the complete magnet/track system mounted on a vehicle used for movement of the pulverizer through a mine as well as for momentum transfer during launch of the rock breaking projectile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2009
    Assignee: The University of Houston System
    Inventor: Alex Ignatiev
  • Patent number: 7614393
    Abstract: An electromagnetic launcher comprising, an electric power supply, a conductive, stationary guide operatively connected to the power supply and forming a flowpath for current from the power supply, and a non-conductive projectile disposed adjacent to the guide and which is accelerated along the guide when current flows through the guide. The guide includes a plurality of conductive rails disposed in spaced, substantially parallel relation to each other, a plurality of conductive rungs interconnecting the rails and disposed in spaced relation to each other along the rails, and normally-open switches operatively associated with the rungs for selectively permitting current flow through different ones of the rungs. The projectile includes a main body and a magnet supported by the main body such that the magnet faces the guide with a small gap therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2009
    Inventor: Weimin Lu
  • Patent number: 7549365
    Abstract: A technique for launching a missile that avoids some of the costs and disadvantages for doing so in the prior art. In particular, the illustrative embodiment of the present invention uses an electromagnetic catapult to throw the missile clear of the launch platform—with sufficient velocity to attain aerodynamic flight—before the missile's engine is ignited.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2009
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: George Raymond Root, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7526988
    Abstract: An electromagnetic railgun projectile is disclosed which includes an aeroshell having a substantially flat surface extending along the length thereof. The substantially flat surface is configured to increase the lift-to-drag ratio of the projectile during reentry. The projectile also includes an armature integrated into the aeroshell substantially near the center-of-gravity of the projectile, and a plurality of extendable flaps attached to the aeroshell. The flaps are capable of stabilizing the projectile during an unguided portion of its flight and maneuvering the projectile during a guided portion of its flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Douglas J. Elder
  • Patent number: 7506571
    Abstract: This invention relates to a breech assembly of a gun adapted to fire caseless charges, ignited and enhanced with electrothermal chemical (ETC) charges. The gun utilizes charges as propellant and a plasma generator cartridge (PGC) for generating plasma when an electrical current is applied thereto. The breech assembly comprises a breech ring, a tilting block assembly, with a spindle installed and a sliding block for supporting or locking the tilting block assembly in a sealed position. The tilting block assembly is movable between a PGC firing orientation and a PGC loading/removal orientation. The breech assembly further includes a crank means, which includes a guide means for rotating the tilting block assembly from the PGC firing orientation to the PGC loading/removal orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: Denel (PTY) Ltd.
    Inventors: Frederik Gert Johannes Breytenbach, Ernst Johann Heinrich Müller
  • Patent number: 7503249
    Abstract: A gun barrel for firing a projectile and particularly a rail gun barrel that comprises a pair of spaced apart rails and a pair of spaced apart insulators, which separate the rails, and together define a composite bore, all disposed centrally within an outer rigid tube. A prestressed filament-wound polymeric resin shell immediately surrounds and applies compressive stress to this composite, bore-defining structure. A pressure medium, positioned between the shell and the interior surface of the outer tube, is operative to apply compressive stress to the shell at least at locations generally radially outward of the rails. The compressive stresses applied by the combination of the prestressed shell and the pressure medium are additive and effectively preload the rails and the composite bore structure to resist overall forces encountered during projectile firing which, in a rail gun, include asymmetric loads upon the rails from electromagnetic repulsion forces and also axisymmetric bursting forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2009
    Assignee: General Atomics
    Inventors: Thomas R. Jackson, Thomas W. Hurn
  • Patent number: 7459807
    Abstract: An electrically powered launcher is disclosed that can accelerate small payloads to orbital velocities. The invention uses a novel geometry to overcome limitations of other design, and allows full exploitation of existing superconducting materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2008
    Assignee: The University of Houston System
    Inventors: Phil Putman, Kamel Salama
  • Patent number: 7444919
    Abstract: An electromagnetic (EM) launcher that receives electrical power is provided for ejecting a projectile. The launcher includes an armature for holding the projectile and a launch conduit for accelerating the armature along a longitudinal direction and thereby ejecting the projectile. The armature includes a Halbach array. The conduit includes a multi-phase linear synchronous motor (LSM) drive and short conducting elements. The Halbach array forms a plurality of concentric rings disposed longitudinally along the armature. Each ring contains a plurality of magnets distributed concentrically. Each magnet in the corresponding ring has a magnetic field oriented with north direction of the magnetic field pointing at one of radially inward, radially outward, longitudinally inward and longitudinally outward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2008
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Francis A. Mansfield
  • Patent number: 7409900
    Abstract: An electromagnetic launcher is provided for accelerating a projectile from a breech end to a muzzle end. The launcher includes a container, a rail contained therein and a support. The container includes an inner surface along an axial direction. The rail is contained within the inner surface and includes a load surface to support the projectile and an interface surface. The support is disposed between the interface surface and the inner surface. The rail and the support provide a value to an expression for critical velocity V cr = 2 ? EIk ? ? ? A , where E is Young's modulus for the rail, I is moment of inertia for the rail, k is foundation modulus for the support, ? is density for the rail and A is the cross-sectional area of the rail. The launcher is configured such that the critical velocity increases along the axial direction towards the muzzle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2008
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Nicholas V. Nechitailo, Keith B. Lewis
  • Patent number: 7398722
    Abstract: An electromagnetic propulsion system is disclosed having separate rails for ballistic guidance and for carrying current. In this system, one or more pairs of ballistic guidance rails are provided, with each ballistic guidance rail having a pair of current carrying rails joined to it to form a combined rail. Each combined rail is separated electrically from adjacent combined rails by electrically insulating blocks. Each of the current carrying rails in a given combined rail pair have the same electrical polarity, and the polarities alternate between adjacent combined rails. Armatures contact current carrying rails to complete the circuit to generate the accelerating Lorentz force on the armatures. Bore riders on the sabot and/or projectile are in contact with the ballistic guide rails. Separation of the current carrying and ballistic guidance functions increases resistance of the system to rail movement and bending, as well as reduced wear/damage to the rails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2008
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: James R. Sims, Jr.