Patent application serial number 877850 has not been assigned to a company or institution.
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Tactical armored patrol vehicles, and in particular military support vehicles, are usually designed so as to protect passengers located within a vehicle cabin from threats. Such threats are not only from above or the sides of the vehicle, but also from below in the form of explosive devices. In places like
"The use of a V-shaped underbelly is intended to reduce deformation of the belly of the vehicle as a result of an explosion beneath the vehicle. The V-shape underbelly concept is a successful design which first deflects a portion of the explosive energy away from the vehicle and second, structurally absorbs the explosive energy through the permanent deformation of the underbelly inward toward the floor of the passenger cabin. However effective this design has been, there are still circumstances in which the vehicle is rendered disabled by the explosion. Accordingly, the increased survivability of the passengers from the explosion is potentially negated by the inability of the vehicle and its passengers to escape the zone of attack.
"The present device is intended to provide that extra measure of protection where the prior art devices have failed. The present device not only protects the passengers within the vehicle, but also allows the vehicle to remain mobile for escape from the zone of attack. Further, if in the act of such an escape the vehicle should encounter additional explosive devices, the present device continues to deflect and absorb the explosive force of each detonation so that the passengers may be delivered to safety."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "There is disclosed herein an improved system and method for an automatic reset underbelly for a military vehicle which avoids the disadvantages of prior systems while affording additional structural and operating advantages.
"Generally speaking, an auto-reset underbelly for a military vehicle is disclosed which comprises a top panel, first and second side panels, and first and second lower panels, all sequentially connected to form a hexagonal barrier. Along the connected panel edges, the panels are crenellated, interlocking to form hinged joints which are held together by a plurality of hinge rods. The hexagonal configuration has an initial apex and defines an interior volume with a biasing support within the interior volume. In some embodiments, the initial apex is adjustable and the biasing support automatically returns the hexagonal configuration to the initial apex.
"In various embodiments of the present device, the biasing support comprises one of either at least one piston attached to the third and fourth hinged joints, at least one piston attached to the first and second side panels, at least one piston attached to the top panel and the fifth hinged joint, or at least one pair of pistons with an end of each attached to the fifth hinged joint and another end of one of each piston attached to the first and second hinged joints. The pistons are one of either push cylinders, pull cylinders, or a combination of the two.
"In other embodiments of the device, reinforcement in the form metal structures are used on the first lower panel and on the second lower panel, and/or attached to the top panel. In some embodiments, the panels, hinge rods, and the reinforcements are comprised of high-strength ballistic steel. To minimize overall weight, the reinforcements on the first and second lower panels may have holes therein.
"A method for protecting a personnel cabin and/or the propulsion system of a military vehicle is also disclosed. In an embodiment, the method comprises the steps of attaching a deformable device to the belly of the vehicle, wherein the device comprises a plurality of panels defining an interior space, generally as described above. The device is located, in some embodiments, parallel or transverse to the vehicle frame and directly below the personnel cabin. Alternatively, the device may enclose the propulsion system of the vehicle, or parts thereof.
"When an explosive device is encountered and detonated by the vehicle, the device deforms by operation of the hinged joints to absorb the force of the explosion. Further, the V-shaped surface of the device deflects a portion of the force as well. Through operation of the biasing support, the panels are automatically returned to the original hexagonal configuration after the explosion.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 is a top view of a five-plate underbelly made in accordance with an embodiment described herein;
"FIG. 2 is a side view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;
"FIG. 3 is a side view of an alternate embodiment described herein;
"FIG. 4 is a side view of another alternate embodiment described herein; and
"FIG. 5 is a side view of still another alternate embodiment described herein."
URL and more information on this patent application, see: Oriet, Leo P. Auto-Reset Belly for a Military Vehicle. U.S. Patent Application Serial Number 877850, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Defense, Patents, Military.
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