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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Munition Guidance System and Method of Assembling the Same", for Approval

July 3, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Elkayam, Ami (Kiryat-Bialik, IL); Azar, Zeev (Zikhron-Yaakov, IL), filed on July 18, 2012, was made available online on June 19, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Elbit Systems Ltd.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention, in some embodiments thereof, relates to guided munition and, more particularly, but not exclusively, to a munition guidance system and method of assembling the same.

"A variety of means are known for controlling the flight of a projectile weapon subsequent to launch. Many such means include sophisticated inertial guidance mechanisms capable of accurately monitoring acceleration of the projectile weapon and thereby keeping track of the location of the projectile.

"For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,579,298 discloses means to axially deflect the nose of a projectile, using solenoid means disposed in the body of a rocket; U.S. Pat. No. 3,141,411 uses a plurality of incremental auxiliary charges to deflect a projectile; U.S. Pat. No. 4,374,577 discloses asymmetrical movable projectile nose and means which rotate the asymmetrical nose surface as required to deflect the path of the projectile; U.S. Pat. No. 4,444,119 discloses a projectile having a plurality of impulse generating explosive charges arranged according to translate the projectile laterally during flight; U.S. Pat. No. 4,672,753 discloses a sensor which detects the passage of electrolyte fluid for indicating a change in attitude of the sensor; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,628,729 teaches rotational acceleration sensors and static angle sensors for sensing the attitude of a vehicle.

"Additional background art includes U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,899,956 and 5,943,009; IL Patent Nos. 129106 and 133966; International Publication Nos. WO03027599, WO05015115, WO2006088687, WO2007089243, WO2010016967, WO2010083517 and WO8202765; and U.S. Published Application No. 20100044495."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "According to an aspect of some embodiments of the invention there is provided a munition guidance system. The system comprises a generally tubular enclosure, having an internal cavity adapted for receiving a munition, wherein an outer diameter of the enclosure is at most the largest outer diameter of the munition; and a processing and control unit enclosed within the enclosure and being configured for controlling guidance wings so as to maneuver the munition while flying.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the system is in a separate packing from the munition.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the system comprises an adaptor device having a protruding member compatible with a recess in the munition and an outer surface compatible with an inner surface of the enclosure.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the system comprises the guidance wings.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the guidance wings are enclosed within the enclosure and configured for being erected outwardly from the enclosure.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the processing and control unit is configured for controlling erection and/or rotation of the wings.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the system comprises a target identification unit for identifying a target.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the processing and control unit is configured for signaling the wings to maneuver the munition during flight responsively to target identification data received from the target identification unit.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the processing and control unit is configured for erecting the wings subsequently to positive identification signal received from the target identification unit.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the target identification unit comprises an optical identification unit.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the system comprises a global positioning system (GPS) for determining a location of the munition during flight, the GPS being associated with a data interface for receiving from an external source location data pertaining to an expected location of a target, and being configured for calculating expected relative location data based on the location of the munition and the expected location of the target.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the processing and control unit is configured for signaling the wings to erect and maneuver the munition during flight toward the target based on the relative location data.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the system comprises a plurality of guidance wings enclosed within the enclosure and configured for being erected outwardly from the enclosure; a target identification unit for identifying a target and transmitting relative location data pertaining to at least a direction to a target; and a global positioning system (GPS) for determining a location of the munition during flight, the GPS being associated with a data interface for receiving from an external source location data pertaining to an expected location of a target, and being configured for calculating expected relative location data based on the location of the munition and the expected location of the target. According to some embodiments of the invention the processing and control unit is configured for signaling the wings to erect and maneuver the munition during flight responsively to relative location data received from at least one of the target identification data and the GPS.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the processing and control unit is configured for selecting a single guidance scenario from the group consisting of: a first guidance scenario in which the erecting and the maneuvering is responsive to relative location data received from the target identification unit, and a second guidance scenario in which the erecting and the maneuvering is responsive to relative location data received from the GPS but not from the target identification unit.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the processing and control unit is configured for selecting the first guidance scenario if a positive identification signal is received from the target identification unit within a predetermined time of flight.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the processing and control unit is configured for selecting the first guidance scenario if a positive identification signal is received from the target identification unit while an estimated distance to the target is above a predetermined distance threshold.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the processing and control unit is configured for selecting the first guidance scenario if a positive identification signal is received from the target identification unit while an estimated remaining time until impact is above a predetermined impact time threshold.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the system comprises an inertial measurement unit (IMU) configured for sensing kinematic data pertaining to motion of the munition, wherein the processing and control unit is configured for processing the kinematic data to estimate a location of the munition during flight.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the enclosure comprises an opening for allowing an operator to access a safety element in the munition.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the enclosure comprises a collapsing member for triggering an impact fuse in the munition upon impact.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the processing and control unit is configured for detonating a warhead in the munition when the munition approaches a target.

"According to an aspect of some embodiments of the present invention there is provided a method of assembling a guided munition, comprising mounting the system described herein on a munition.

"According to some embodiments of the invention the munition is a mortar shell.

"Unless otherwise defined, all technical and/or scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains. Although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of embodiments of the invention, exemplary methods and/or materials are described below. In case of conflict, the patent specification, including definitions, will control. In addition, the materials, methods, and examples are illustrative only and are not intended to be necessarily limiting.

"Implementation of the method and/or system of embodiments of the invention can involve performing or completing selected tasks manually, automatically, or a combination thereof. Moreover, according to actual instrumentation and equipment of embodiments of the method and/or system of the invention, several selected tasks could be implemented by hardware, by software or by firmware or by a combination thereof using an operating system.

"For example, hardware for performing selected tasks according to embodiments of the invention could be implemented as a chip or a circuit. As software, selected tasks according to embodiments of the invention could be implemented as a plurality of software instructions being executed by a computer using any suitable operating system. In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, one or more tasks according to exemplary embodiments of method and/or system as described herein are performed by a data processor, such as a computing platform for executing a plurality of instructions. Optionally, the data processor includes a volatile memory for storing instructions and/or data and/or a non-volatile storage, for example, a magnetic hard-disk and/or removable media, for storing instructions and/or data. Optionally, a network connection is provided as well. A display and/or a user input device such as a keyboard or mouse are optionally provided as well.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"Some embodiments of the invention are herein described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. With specific reference now to the drawings in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of embodiments of the invention. In this regard, the description taken with the drawings makes apparent to those skilled in the art how embodiments of the invention may be practiced.

"In the drawings:

"FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a munition;

"FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of guidance system, according to some embodiments of the present invention; and

"FIGS. 3A-H are schematic illustrations of relations between the guidance system and the munition, according to some embodiments of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Elkayam, Ami; Azar, Zeev. Munition Guidance System and Method of Assembling the Same. Filed July 18, 2012 and posted June 19, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=6436&p=129&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140612.PD.&OS=PD/20140612&RS=PD/20140612

Keywords for this news article include: Software, Elbit Systems Ltd..

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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