y 13, 1943- R. E. JASPERSON 2,444,933
AUTOHATIC NAVIGATIOHAL DIRECTOR Filed Aug. 7, 1946 9 Sheets-Shoot 1 Robert E. Josperson m W W July 13, 1948.
Filed Aug. 7, 1946 9 Sheets-Shut 2 Fig. 2 35 3mm Robert E. Jospcrson July 13, 1948. R. E. JASPERSON 2,444,933
AUTOEATIC NAVIGATIONAL DIRECTOR .Filed Aug. 7, 1946 9 Sheetg-Sheot 5 July 13, 1948. R. a JASPERSON 2,444,933
AUTOIATIC NAVIGATIONAL DIRECTOR Filed Aug. 7, 1946 9 Sheets-Sheet 4 J Fig. 5 3
Robert E. Jaspers'on July 13, 1948- R. E. JASPERSON AUTOIATIO NAVIGATION; DIREQTOR 9 Sheets-Shut 6 Filed Aug. 7, 194a FOLLOWER RELATIVE BEARI N G n 0 8 O D. d J E t r 6 b 0 Rv July 13, 1948. R. a JASPERSON 2,444,933
7 AUTOIATIC NAVIGATION DIRECTOR Filed mp7, 194s '9 Shuts-Shoo? '1 Robert E. dospcnon y 1943- R. E. JASPERSO N 2,444,933
wrouuc mwmumnu. nmgroa Filed Aug. 7, 1946 9 Shoots-Shut 8 Robert v E Jaspanon Fig. l3
July 13, 1948. R. E. JASPERSON AUTOIATIC NAVIGATIONAL DIRECTOR 9 Sheets-Sheet 9 Filed Aug. 7, 1946 AUTO Fig. [4
Robert E. Jasperson Patented July 13, 1948 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE (Granted under the act of March 3, 1883, as amended April 3t), 1928; 370 0. G. 757) 18 Claims.
This invention relates to means for determining and indicating automatically and continuously the geographical position of an airborne, sea or land craft or missile, and for directing said craft to any other geographical position by automatic reference to celestial bodies. In the form illustrated, it is particularly adapted for use on aircraft and guided missiles, since this type of vehicle usually changes its geographical position too rapidly to allow the normal time consuming observations and manual operation of navigational instruments now used on aircraft, to provide for proper and timely operation of the controls in the craft so as to direct it most expeditiously toward either a predetermined destination or toward a new destination suddenly determined upon.
One object of the present invention is to provide an instrument having means responsive to the relative location of celestial bodies for indicating automatically and continuously the geographical position of the instrument.
Another object is to provide a movable instrument having stabilized means which are trainable on and which will then automatically follow the position of two celestial bodes, and connecting linkage operated by these means for continuously indicating the instantaneous geographical position of the instrument.
A further object is to provide an instrument as defined in the above paragraph h'aving further automatic means for guiding a craft or missile in which it is mounted to any other predetermined geographical positon over a great circle route or a series of great circle routes successively.
These and other more specific objects will become apparent as the description of an illustrative embodiment of this invention proceeds, having reference'to the accompanying drawings, wherein: r
Fig. l is a schematic diagram showing the principal solution in spherical triangulation upon which this invention is based;
Fig. 2 is an outline sketch of the computer comprising a mechanical linkage used in the solution of the problems in spherical geometry involved, including a link for indicating the course to any new geographical location;
Fig. 3 illustrates one form of stabilized star follower which may be used in the present embodiment of the invention;
Fig. 3A is a partial detail section of the Geiger counter end of the follower tube taken at 3A-3A in Fig. 3;
Fig. 3B is an enlarged partial detail of the damper means for the follower tube mounting;
2 Fig. 4 is a portion of the wiring diagram of the circuit used in connection with this star follower in the above embodiment;
Fig. 5 is a sectional view of the relative bearing indicator of the heading and course, and including a counter showing the distance from a destination, with automatic control means for maintaining the great circle route to the destination;
Fig. 5A is a plan view of this indicator;
Fig. 6 is a view of the counter end of a setting device for setting or reseting angular values of the slides such as 9, l0 and 38 or of the discs such as 3 and 4;
Fig. 6A is a. plan view of the principal elements of this device;
Fig. 6B is a detail of the mechanism shown in Fig. 6A;
Fig. 7 is a perspective view of parts of a correctin device for correcting the altitude values delivered by the star followers in accordance with effects due to Coriolis acceleration as determined from true air speed, bearing and latitude;
Fig. 8 is a diagrammatic sectional view of an alternative form of star follower tube based on the use of an orthicon tube;
Figs. 8A and 8B are partial views 01 portions of this star follower tube;
Figs. 9, 9A and 93 indicate the normal and two oppositely displaced positions of one element of this follower tube with respect to the beam from a star;
Fig. 10 is a perspective view partially in section of still another form of follower tube;
Fig. 11 is a sectional view of this form of tube taken at I l-ll of Fig. 10;
Fig. 12 illustrates diagrammatically a further modification of the follower tube elements;
Fig. 13 is a composite diagram of all the elements of a complete instrument showing the connections between the several parts for automatically guiding a craft or missile along a desired great circle route or series of routes consecutively; and
Fig. 14 illustrates one form of circuit for use in connection with a resetting device such as shown in Figs. 6 and 6A.
The purpose of this invention as already pointed out, is primarily to provide means for determining and indicating automatically and continuously the geographical position of an aircraft or guided missile by means of direction followers of celestial bodies. Means may also be provided for actuating an aircraft automatic pilot in order to guide the aircraft along a predetermined course or to a given geographical position or consecutively to a series of geographical positions.
The fundamental principle may be understood by reference to Fig. 1 which represents the northern celestial hemisphere on which two celestial bodies, M1 and M2, are plotted, each in accordance with its declination and sidereal hour angle. Declination is measured along the great circle passing through a body and the celestial poles from the plane of the equinoctial as the reference plane. Sidereal hour angle is measured on the plane of the equinoctial throughout 360 from Aries (T) as a reference point. The declination and sidereal h'our angle of a navigational celestial body may be obtained from the American Air Almanac for any given instant of Greenwich civil time. The S. H. A. of the bodies M1 and M: as shown are approximately 133 and 27 and their D. are approximately 70 N and 75 N respectively. If Z-Dl and Z-D: represent the angular distances of bodies M1 and M: respectively from point Z, the intersection of these two great circle arcs Z-Di and ZD2 establishes the zenith Z of the instrument, which measures the altitudes of bodies M1 and M2 simultaneously, to be as shown. Zenith distances-:ZD1 and Z--D: equal 90 minus the respective true altitudes.
The latitude of the location of the instrument is the angular elevation of point Z or zenith above the equinoctial, as measured along the great circle passing through the pole and zenith, and may be seen to be approximately 65 N.
The longitude of the observer is the difierence between the Greenwich hour angle of Aries ('i) or 270 as shown, and the local hour angle of Aries (T) or 318, making it 48 E, as indicated. The G. H. A. (T) is obtained from the American Air Almanac for any given instant of Greenwich civil time. It is the angular measure on the plane of the equinoctial from the meridian of Greenwich westward to the meridian of Aries (T) The local hour angle of Aries (T) is measured on the plane of the equinoctial from the meridian of an observer east or west to the meridian of Aries (T) In the example shown in Fig. 1 the G. H. A. (T) is 270, the L. H. A. (T) is 36042=318. The difierence, 318270=48, establishes the longitude of the observer, and is east.
Fig. 2 illustrates the computer which has means provided for setting up on great circle arcs the several known elements of the celestial triangle and for indicatin the resulting desired values, and for other purposes. Semi-circular metal rings l and 2 represent the great circles through two celestial bodies. They are pivotally mounted about a common vertical axis 3 representing the axis of the celestial sphere. These rings may be rotated and set to any given values of sidereal hour angles (S. H. A.) through the medium of worm gears 4 and 4', tangent screws 5 and 6 and Selsyn motors I and 8, respectively, actuated directly or by remote Selsyn generators in a manner to be described.
Declination values may be set on rings 1 and 2 by means of slides 9 and i actuated by tangent screws II and I2 meshing with worm gears H and i2 on the peripheries of the rings i and 2 and driven by Selsyn motors l3 and I4 remotely controlled by Selsyn generators. In Fig. 2 ring i is set to 180 S. H. A. and ring 2 to a value of S. H. A. of 0. Slides 9 and I0 are set to values of declination of 0.
Rings l and [6 represent .the great circle arcs passing through two celestial bodies and the zenith of an observer. They are hinged together at pin I! so as to be pivotable about the same common axis passing radially through the zenith point. Values of zenith distance may be set on rings l5 and 16 by means of slides l8 and I9, which are actuated remotely in a manner similar to that employed with the slides 9 and III on the declination circles. Slides [8 and i9 are secured to slides 9 and I0 by ball-and-socket joints l8 and [9. The slides l8 and I9 are shown in a position of zenith distance (0 altitude).
In Fig. 2 the zenith of an observer, as represented by pin I1, is in the north celestial pole (observer at the north pole). As varying values of sidereal hour angle, declination and zenith distance (altitude) are introduced, the position of the zenith will shift. To measure this shift in position a vertical ring 20, representing the local meridian of an observer, is employed. Pin I1 is slidably mounted on ring 20 by means or casing 2|, which is provided with ball bearings 2! to reduce friction and eliminate lost motion. The position of casing 2| and pin H with respect to ring 20 is measured by the rotation of gear wheel 22 meshing with a gear track 22' on the inner periphery of ring 20. The rotation of wheel 22 is transmitted directly to Selsyn generator 23 and indicated remotely as angular measure by a permanently connected Selsyn motor operating an indicator scale. This is a measure of latitude, here shown as 90 north. As the casing 2| is moved in either direction along the ring 2 t e indicator shows a corresponding decrease in north latitude, going through 0 at the equlnoctial plane, then increasing in south latitude toward 90 at the south pole.
Ring 20 is free to turn about a vertical axis as the position of easing 2! is varied by changes in the values of latitude. Secured to the shaft which supports ring 20 is an arm 24 to which is attached a gear wheel 25. For clarity this assembly is illustrated in phantom in a position 90 from the plane of the local meridian (ring 20).
A circular plate 26 is provided to introduce values of Greenwich hour angle of Aries (G. H. A. 'r) by means of tangent screw 21 and Selsyn motor 28. Gear wheel 25 meshes with a circular gear track 25' on the face of plate 26. The position of wheel 25 with respect to a reference point on this track (Greenwich) is a measure of the longitude of an observer and is indicated remotely by means of Selsyn generator 29 and a Selsyn motor at the observers station.
To summarize the operation of the local position indicator briefly: The altitudes of two navigational stars are automatically observed simultaneously by setting the star followers within range of the respective stars, and the, Greenwich civil time is noted. The known values sidereal hour angle, declination, Greenwich hour angle of aries and altitude are introduced into the computer directly or by remotely operated Selsyn systems if the operator's station is at a point remote from the instrument. The unknown values,-
latitude and longitude are thereby instantly computed and may be indicated directly on the instrument or by remote-reading Selsyn-operated indicators suitably located at the observer's remote station. Angular values may be inserted and indicated with an accuracy of 1' of arc in a manner to be described presently.
The azimuth (true bearing) of the celestial body M1 represented by the hinge axis between slides 9 and IS with respect to the local meridian of an observer (ring 20) is measured by the angle which ring l5 makes with ring 20 and is transmitted by Selsyn generator 30 (secured to ring It) to a Selsyn motor and is indicated remotely on a suitable scale at the observer's station. In a like manner the angle which ring i6 makes with ring 26 is transmitted by Selsyn generator II to a remote indicator where it is indicated as the azimuth of the celestial body represented by the hinge between slides Ill and I9 with resp ct to the local meridian. The purpose in thus indicating the azimuths of two stars will be disclosed present y.
Ring 32 represents the local meridian of any geographical point P1. It is pivotally mounted on a vertical shaft and may be rotated to any iven longitude by means of selsyn motor a driving tangent screw 34 meshing with worm gear 35. Its angular position with respect to the longitude scale on the face of plate 26 is measured by a gear wheel 36 meshing with a track 36' on plate 26 and indicated remotely by means of Selsyn 31, The latitude of the given point P1 is represented by slide 38 remotely actuated in a manner similar to that employed in setting values of declination and zenith angle.
A great circle arc represented by partial ring 39 joins the zenith of the given point P1 with the zenith Z of an observer (casing 2|). The angle which ring 39 makes with ring 20 is measured by the position of slide 40, rotatably secured to casing 2 l, with respect to casing 2|, and is transmitted through gear-train 4| and Selsyn generator 42 to a remote Selsyn motor where it is indicated as the great circle course from zenith Z of observer to zenith P1 of the given geographical point. A gear wheel 43 meshing with a track on the outer periphery of ring 39 measures the great circle distance from present position to destination and is transmitted by Selsyn 46' to a suitable remote dial. The preferred location of the controls and indicating dials mentioned herein is on the front or the top of the casing which houses the celestial computer just described if the observer's station is at the instrument.
The star follower, Fig. 3, represents one preferred method of measuring continuously the altitude of a celestial body and of conveying the observed data to the computer illustrated in Fig. 2 and for other purposes. The device consists of a platform 5i secured to a gimbal assembly 5| which is connected to a self-erecting gyroscope 62 by means of a link 53. The center of rotation of the external gimbal assembly coincides with the center of rotation of the gyroscope, whose spin axis is maintained in the vertical plane through the action of a steel ball rotating in cup 54. The gyroscope is of the type employed in the conventional flux-gate aircraft compass and forms no part of this invention.
When disconnected from the gyro the external Eimbal assembly is maintained in a state of balanced equilibrium by weight 55 attached to vertical gimbal ring 56. When in operation, platform 51 serves as a horizontal reference plane from which the altitude of a celestial body may be measured.
The measurement of the position of a star by this form of followers is based on the theory that the stars radiate gamma rays and that these rays may be utilized to position the axis of a tube with respect to the direct line from a star to a geographic location. As visualized therein the gamma rays from a star whose altitude is 0 are reflected and concentrated by parabolic reflector 61 into a 6 ing of an array of Geiger counters 68" suitably shielded from the direct gamma rays.
Means are provided through the medium of the gamma rays when deflected vertically oi: the target toward one of the vertically opposed Geiger counters 68'-to actuate motor 59 and cause tube 69 to be elevated or depressed. The angle of elevation of tube III is transmitted by Selsyn generator 6i to slide I8 or [9 of Fig. 2 as well as to a remote reading indicator. The angle of train of tube 60,- actuated by motor 62 and a suitable gear train 62' when tube is displaced in azimuth from the star so that the gamma rays are deflected toward one of the horizontally opposed Geiger counters 58'. is transmitted electrically by Selsyn generator 63 to shaft 65 of Fig. 5 which actuates pointer 66 to indicate the relative bearing of a star with respect to the fore-and-aft centerline of an aircraft.
Fig. 3B shows one form of spring buifer or damper means for the tube mounting 60' which is hereinafter more fully defined.
Fig. 4 represents a preferred circuit for utilizing the gamma rays from a star.'when the tube is deilected from alignment with the star, to actuate the driving motors 59 and 62 of Fig. 3 to bring the tube into alignment. In Fig. 3A the target 58 of Fig. 3 is shown on an enlarged scale. This target consists of four Geiger tubes 69', or counters, of conventional design, arranged as shown in vertically and horizontally opposed positions with respect to the target. The concentrated beam of gamma rays is represented by a small circle 49 which travels in a circular or elliptical path under the influence of the precessional torque of the steel ball rotating on the horizontal cup 54 of Fig. 3. As long as the center of the path which beam 49 follows coincides with the direct line between the star under consideration and the geographic position of the instrument itself, the tube is trained directly on that star. Asthe position of the axis of the tube shifts from the direct line to the star, the beam of the gamma rays 49 bombards one or more of the four Geiger counters. If it impinges upon the upper counter, for example, an electrical impulse is created which, when suitably amplifled, may be utilized to vary the resistance in one leg of a conventional Wheatstone bridge. Assume that it causes a. decrease in resistance in R1 of the bridge A-B. The bridge becomes unbalanced, making point A positive with respect to point B. The voltage across A-B is impressed on the field oi the D. C. generator, causing the drive motor to rotate. This is motor 59 of Fig. 3 and results in tube It being elevated until beam 49 (Fig. 3A) no longer impinges on the upper Geiger counter. The Wheatstone bridge is then balanced and the voltage between points A and B is zero. In this case the output of the D. C. generator is zero so that the drive motor 59 is stopped.
If beam 2 is displaced so that its rays bombard the lower Geiger counter, the resistance of R: is decreased, and the drive motor rotates in the opposite direction. The speed at which the drive motor rotates is dependent on how much the resistance of R1 or R: is reduced.
As beam 49 impinges upon the Geiger counters at either side of the center of target 58, a similar Wheatstone bridge becomes unbalanced, causing motor 62 or Fig. 3 to train right or left to bring the center of the path of beam 49 (Fig. 3A) back to the center of target 58.
Thus tube ll of Fig. 3 is caused to poin beam which is focused upon a target 58 consist- 76 continuously at a given star, and the altitude and relative bearing of that star are transmitted continuously to the solver and the indicator by Selsyns 8| and 63, respectively.
An acceptable alternative method of control consists of a conventional image orthicon pickup tube which employs the principle of secondary electronic emission to convert photo-electrons produced by a source of light such as a star into an output signal which may be utilized to control the resistance of a Wheatstone bridge.
The output from Selsyn generator 30 or 3| of Fig. 2 is applied to shaft ll of Fig. which, through a suitable gear train ll, rotates dial 12, graduated into 360", with respect to a reference point 50 indicating the azimuth or true bearing of one of the stars being observed. The output from Selsyn generator .42 of Fig. 2 is applied to shaft 13 of Fig. 5. This value is the great circze course to be steered to destination and is transmitted through a gear train I3 to dial 14. That portion of this dial which is above dial 12 is transparent, while that portion outside of dial 12 contains a variable electric resistance 61 of any suitable form such as a compressed annular coil.
The output of Selsyn generator 83 represents the relative bearing of the observed star with respect to the fore-and-aft centerline of the aircraft. This value is transmitted through shaft 85 (Fig. 5) and a gear train to pointer 68. It represents on dial 12 the heading of the aircraft.
In example shown in Fig. 5 the true azimuth of a star as obtained from the computer is 110 while its relative bearing is 60. The difference between the two, i. e. 050, is the true heading of the aircraft. If the great circle course is 060, the plane's head must be moved to the right. In manual control it is necessary merely to match pointers to steer the course alloted.
Automatic steering is accomplished by means of an electrical contact ll secured to pointer 86. This contact slides across a resistance imbedded in the outer portion 61 of dial [4. The contact and resistance are connected to a Wheatstone bridge in a circuit similar to the one previously described, which in turn controls the speed and direction of rotation of a steering motor. When contact H is directly over bug 18, no current flows, but when H and '18 are not matched, a current does now, and the steering motor is actuated to bring the aircraft back on course.
The output of shaft 43 of Fig. 2 is transmitted through suitable Selsyns to shaft 19 of Fig. 5. This value is the great circle distance to destination and is displayed by means of suitable dials and a window 10 of the instrument.
It may be desirable to employ two indicators and controllers, each actuated in azimuth by a separate star as shown in the composite view of Fig. 13. One would then serve as a check on the performance of the other. Alternatively, the output from azimuth motors 30 and 3! of Fig. 2 may be applied successively to shaft H of Fig. 5.
In angular measurement, a preferred method for introducing and indicating angular values is illustrated in Figs. 6 and 6A. It is desirable that the ratio employed in the several worm wheel gear trains of Fig. 2 be 18:1. If the ratio between worm gear 4 and tangent screw 5, for example, is 18:1, the tangent screw will require l8 revolutions to cause one complete rotation of the worm gear.
In Fig. 6A a small D. C. motor 8| drives a Selsyn generator 82 through a gear train 82' with a ratio of 20:1 and also turns shaft 83, which is :onnected directly to a series of indicator dials These dials are of conventional design and merely add and display the number of turns applied to shaft 83. The unit dial connected to the actuating shaft may be sub-divided into 60 equal parts representing minutes of are or, preferably, may be geared in a 6:1 and a 10:1 series ratio to additional dials which will record minutes of are as numerals rather than graduations.
As applied to the sidereal hour angle scale 4' of Fig. 2, for example, if 360 turns be applied to shaft 83 of Fig. 6A, the numerals 3, 6 and 0 will appear on the face of counter 84. Due to the stepdown ratio of 20:1 only 18 turns will be applied to the shaft of selsyn generator 82. These Is turns result in one complete rotation of worm gear 4 (Fig. 2).
Means are provided for introducing in succession a variety of predetermined values (declination, for example) as follows:
At any desired point along the great circle track 39 of Fig. 2 a movable contact 68 may be secured. When wheel 43 reaches this contact, a switch (not shown) is opened which disconnects the star followers from the computer, a relay disconnects bevel gear 85 from bevel gear 86 (Fig. 6) and motor 8| is operated in reverse to reduce the original value of declination of slide 8 (Fig. 2) to zero. Gears 88 and 88 (Fig. 6A) are then re-engaged and motor 81 again is reversed in direction. A gear assembly 81 having a pinion gear 81' traveling in a spiral groove 81" of cam plate 88 is moved a predetermined distance along the groove corresponding to a new value of declination, at which point it reaches a preset contact l8! and the system is de-energlzed. The star followers are then reconnected to the computer mechanism. During the short interval required to perform this function, the autopilot is shifted to a conventional control which will guide the aircraft along the last course beina steered.
New values of sidereal hour angle and declination as we l as latitude and longitude of destination may be introduced in a similar manner as before. Likewise, the train and elevation of the star followers may be reset and the star followers shifted from one pair of working stars to another either separately or in unison, and the aircraft may be guided from one geographic position to another. The number of shifts in working stars and in geographic positions is limited only by the size and range of cam plate 88.
Tube 60 and motors 58 and 8| are secured to a horizontal bar as previously noted, rotat able about platform 5| but connected to it by means of a yoke 48, 48 containing two springs 45. 45 which are secured to an arm 44 which is an extension of the horizontal bar carrying tube 80 and its support 15. Also secured to this horizontal bar is a small gyro 48 with its spin axis in the horizontal plane. This o has but two degrees of rotational freedom. Its purpose is to stabilize tube 80 in the lineof sight-under the influence of sudden yawing of the aircraft. Such a deviation from course would tend to throw the star follower away from the star being followed with the possibility of losing it. Gyro 48 would tend to remain fixed due to its gyroscopic inertia and the result would be a stretching of one of the two springs. when the aircraft again settled down, the tension on the springs would be relieved and arm 44 would be aligned with the center of yoke 48, 46.
Automatic means such as shown in Fig. 7 are provided for correcting the altitude of a star to compensate for the coriolis effect of the earth's rotation. Coriolis acceleration is a function of true air speed, latitude and the relative bearing of the star observed. Corrections for thi effect are contained in the Air Almanac and may amount to as much as 30 minutes of are or more. The means provided for applying these corrections automatically consists of an adjustment of the position of pin IS with respect to ring 56. A collar 80 is attached to pin I8. This collar is actuated by a screw thread 89 turned by a Selsyn motor 90, the screw thread being rotatably mounted on ring 56.
The relative bearing of the observed star is transmitted by Selsyn generator 63 to arm 9i of a correction computer (Fig. 7). This computer also receives values of true air speed and latitude and returns the corrections electrically to Selsyn motor 90 responsive to the speed of rotation of the shaft 96.
The true air speed is measured by the rate of travel of wheel 43 along track 39 (Fig. 2) and is transmitted continuously to the T. A. S. shaft 92 of Fig. 7. The friction disc 93 attached to this shaft imparts rotary motion to a follower disc 94 mounted at right angles. The speed and direction of rotation of the follower disc is controlled by the position of one disc relative to the other, which position is a function of latitude. As shown in Fig. 7 the shaft 92 is positioned in accordance with a latitude of hence no motion is imparted to the follower disc since the correction is zero at latitude 0.
A third friction disc 95 is mounted at rig-ht angles to the follower disc as shown. Its position with respect to the follower disc is a function of relative bearing. The correction for relative bearing is zero at relative bearings 0 and 180 and is maximum at 90 and 270. In north latitude the sign of the correction is plus when the relative bearing lies between 0 and 180 and is minus between 180 and 360'. In south latitude the signs are reversed. The position of the relative bearing disc 95 with respect to the follower disc 94 is controlled by a bell crank lever arm 9| as illustrated.
The rotating motion finally imparted to the shaft 96 attached to the relative bearing disc 95 is converted into angular measure in a manner similar to that employed in an automobile speedometer, which forms no part of this invention.
This angular position is imparted to selsyn motor 90 of Fig. 3 as the total correction to altitude.
In operation, assuming a. pair of known stars M1 and M2 to be used as the reference stars, their elevation values continuously obtained by a pair of star followers are continuously transmitted by the respective Selsyn generators and motors to the slides I8 and I9, while their relative hour angles and their declinations, as obtained from the Air Almanac for the particular time of the year, are transmitted by Selsyn units I and 8, and I3 and I4 respectively, to move the slides 9 and I0 into their relative positions, duplicating the relative positions of the two stars in the celestial sphere. As a result, the cage 2| will assume the relative zenith position of the instruments location, as represented e. g. by the point Z in Fig. 1, if M1 and M2 represent the celestial positions of the two stars, having elevations D1 and D2, respectively, Z being 90".
The casing 2| would thus cause the ring 20 to assume a relative hour angle position corresponding to the longitude at the instruments location, which would be indicated by the relative position of the arm 24 with respect to the longitude track 25 on disc 26, this indication being transmitted by Selsyn generator 29 to the longitude scale 91 which may be placed near the observer. Disc 26 is turned by a clock mechanism I04 through clutch I05, which is used to disconnect the drive for properly setting the G. H. A. when starting up the instrument. The latitude may be obtained from the movement of pinion 22 along the internal gear 22' on the inside of ring 20, as transmitted by Selsyn generator 23 to a connected motor I06 for indicating the instant latitude of the instruments location on a latitude scale 98 placed near the observer.
Thus a means for continuously and automatically indicating an instruments changing location may be observed or recorded by recording instruments with respect to time if desired.
By incorporating additional elements this instrument may further be used to measure the distance and bearing to any other geographical positions along great circle routes successively, and may be connected to means for guiding a craft or missile in which the instrument is mounted along said great circle routes in any order desired.
This may be done by the addition of the ring 32 representing the hour circle of another geographical position, having a slide 38 thereon representing that position and being adjustable along the ring to the corresponding latitude of said position by a Selsyn motor 38' controlled by a generator 99 manually or automatically operated at a predetermined time by suitable control means. This slide 38 is pivotally connected to a concentrically formed great circle distance arm 39 slidably connected between a guide roller I00 and distance measuring gear 43 on the casing 2|. The gear 43 is connected through a Selsyn system to a counter 10 indicating its relative distance from the other geographical position represented by the pivot P1 mounted on the slide 38. The pivot is offset from the slide in the plane of the great circle arm 39 so as to allow the pivot to be moved into the S. latitude position within the opening MI in the ring support I02. The ring 32 may be set by means of motor 33 operating worm 34 to turn disc 35 with shaft I02 and gear 36 until the longitude of the desired geographical position is shown on longitude indicator I03.
In addition to the local latitude and longitude indicators 98 and 91, respectively, other indicators and controls may be provided, such as the relative bearing indicators IIO, III and control connection I25 to an autopilot I01 as well as resetting devices for automatically resetting any one or more of the pivots M1, M2 and P1, such as devices I08 and I09 for resetting the pivot P1, e. g., by moving the respective hour circles and slides thereon to new positions, as may be desired.
These parts may be seen diagrammatically illustrated in the composite view of Fig. 13, showing the relations of the several elements in one form of a complete instrument made in accordance with the present invention.
As already pointed out. the instrument is oriented on a vertical axis representing the celestial polar axis and a reference radial direction therefrom representing '1.
In operation, the pivots M1 and M2 are positioned in space with reference to this orientation in accordance with the location of two known stars in the celestial sphere as obtained from the Air Almanac. aries for M1 is entered by means of the Selsyn motor I, worm 5 and worm wheel 4 which is fixed to the hour circle I. This motor may be manually operated or by means of a Selsyn generator II2 on indicating counter I I 3 showing the hour angle in degrees and minutes. Generator II2 may be manually operated, or automatically by motor II 4 suitably controlled either manually or automatically as will be later described. The declination of M1 is entered through slide 9 in a similar manner by means of motor I3 on slide 9 which may be operated by Selsyn generator 82 on counter III which may be operated manually or by motor II9 through automatic control.
The hour angle and declination values for M: are similarly entered by operating Selsyns on counters I23 and I30, respectively.
A star follower I20, operatively connected to set slide I9 along the arcuate zenith distance arm I5 in accordance with the elevation of star M21, is set wthin range of M1 either manually by sighting it on the star, or remotely by turning Selsyn generators and 63 through operation of motors 59 and 62 to the approximate elevation and relative bearing, respectively, of the star as determined by manual observation, whereupon the follower will then adjust itself automatically on the star and deliver the true elevation value through Selsyn generator GI to the Selsyn motor on slide I0 for positioning point M1 at the true zenith distance from Z. Another star follower I 2| is similarly set on M: and controls the positioning of the slide I9 along the zenith distance arm I 6 in accordance with the true elevation of M2. Thus the local position ivot Z is established, determining the position of the local hour angle circle 20 indicating local longitude through the Selsyn generator 29 and motor I II for indication on counter 91, and the position of cage 2I along this circle 20, indicating the local latitude through Selsyn generator 23 and motor I06 for indication on colmter 98.
It is to be understood that the Greenwich hour angle of disc 26 is continuously maintained by operation of the disc 26 by clock mechanism I04 after it is once properly set by motor 28, with the clutch I temporarily released; the motor 28 is either manually operated to obtain the instant reading of a peripheral scale on disc 26 with reference to the pointer T, which is the Aries reference point. or motor 28 may be operated remotely by Selsyn generator II8 on indicator H9 showing the G. H. A. of aries.
Star followers I20 and I2I are operatively connected, as mentioned above, to move slides l8 and I9 in accordance with the changing values of elevations of the two stars so as to maintain the pivot Z on the local zenith as the instrument is moved along any course on the earth.
In order to establish a great circle course which is to be followed to any other geographical position, a pivot P1 attached to a great circle arm 39 is moved to that position by means of a slide 33 on hour circle 32, The circle 32 is moved in accordance with the longitude of this geographical position by operation of Selsyn motor 33 either directly or remotely through Selsyn generator I21 on counter I28 which indicates in degrees and minutes the hour angle of aries of this position, corresponding to its E or W longitude as determined from the position of gear 36 along the track 35' on the G. H. A. disc 26 and as indicated on counter I03 through Selsyn generator 31 The value of the hour angle of I and motor I28, The slide 38 is moved by Selsyn motor 38' operated by generator 99 on counter I32 in accordance with'the latitude of the geographical position as indicated on the counter. The great circle arm 39, being slidably mounted in cage 2| and geared to Selsyn generator 4% through gear 43 and rack 43. measures th distance from the geographical position to the local position of the instrument, which distance is indicated on counters I0 of indicators II 0 and III. The angle made between the great circl arm 39, which restricts the direction of cage 40 in which the arm is slidably mounted, and the local hour circle ring 20, which restricts the direction of the cage 2I which is slidably mounted thereon, is a measure of the true bearing of the great circle course to the geographical position P1, and is indicated by Selsyn generator 42 transmittin the value of this angle to motors I34 and I35 on indicators H0 and III to show the true course hearing on the dials of these. indicators.
The true bearing values of the stars as measured by Selsyn generators 36 and 3| are transmitted to motors I36 and I31 of indicators I I0 and I I I to be indicated by the corresponding dials. The relative bearing values 01' the stars as measured by the star follower Selsyn generators 03, 63 are transmitted to motors I38 and I39 of indicators H0 and III to be shown as heading with respect to the stars azimuth and may therefore be compared with the bearing of the great circle to the geographical position involved, so that the heading may be corrected to follow the great circle course. This may be done automaticall by an electric circuit through a contact I1 on the heading hand 08 and a resistance coil 61 for controlling a reversing motor (not shown) to operate the steering controls in an autopilot I 01 or other direction control means for matching the heading with the great circle course and thus directing the craft or missile to the other geographical position by the shortest geographical route. Automatic control means I08 and I09 may be provided, similar to the resetting device shown in Figs. 6 and 6A, for temporarily disconnecting the nstrument from the autopilot upon reaching this geographical position and resetting pivot P1 to a new geographical position. Additional resetting devices may be used to change the star followers to new stars which will be accessible during the succeeding journey if the stars being used have meanwhile approached the limit of the effective range. The resetting devices may also be started at any intervening point along the course before reaching the geographical point, by contacts 88 placed at intermediate points on the great circle arm 39 and on the cage 40, or by any arrangement of the contacts IBI on the disc in the respective resetting devices. For example, if it is desirable that one of the star followers be changed to another star en route, the point at which this change is to be accomplished may be selected by proper positioning of control contacts 68 (Fig. 2) to start the cycle of operations in the proper resetting devices for making such change.
One form of circuits used in the resetting devices that may e. g. be adapted to reset the latitude and longitude of the point P1 to a new destination toward which the craft or missile is to be guided, is shown in Fig. 14. The circuit shown includes the contacts Ill and I42 which come together when the point Z, or the local position, reaches the destination, or P1, along the great 13 circle arc 38. The closing of these contacts will operate solenoid I42 which operates the trip mechanism I 43 to release switch I44 into closin position on contact I45, whereupon the solenoid I46 on shaft I40 is energized and draws the gear 85 out of mesh with the gear 86 against the sprin tension of spring I41. This movement is transmitted to the reversing switch arm I48 on reversing switch I49 by means of the slot and pin connection I58 and at the same time switch II closes on contact I52 to complete the circuit of the motor 8i and operate it in reverse direction to turn the counter I32 in the case of the resettin device I08 back to zero, whereupon the blips I52 on the counter gears, when the counter registers zero, close all the switches I53 simultaneously to complete the circuit I54 and energize the solenoid I55 which operates to open switch I56, this switch being in the motor circuit stops its rotation at this point. Simultaneously with the opening of switch I56, rod I51 having the guide I58 thereon actuates lever I59 on which switch I54 is mounted to open said switch and cock the trip mechanism I43 so as to hold the switch I44 open until solenoid I42 is again energized, when the carriage or case 2I has reached the new destination at some later time. As the switch I44 is opened, the solenoid I46 is deenergized releasing gear 85 to return it to meshed position with the gear 66, returning the reversing switch I49 to forward operating position and allowing switch I 5| to close on contact I60, whereby the motor circuit is completed and the motor operates in forward direction turning the counter and moving the gear assembly 81 along its spiral track on disc 88 until a predetermined value on the counter is reached as determined by the location of the contact I6I on the spiral track whereupon the gear assembly grounds the circuit through the selective switch I62 and energizes the solenoid I63 to open the switch I64 located in the motor circuit, thereby to stop the motor and counter at a desired reading. The counter being connected to the Selsyn generator 99 operates Selsyn motor 38' on slide 38 to position it at the proper point on the meridian circle 32 in accordance with the latitude of the new destination P1. As the gear 85 is returned into meshed position with the gear 86, it will be noticed that rod extension I65 on this gear operates lever I66 to advance the selective switch I62 to the next contact position whereby to break the circuit energizing solenoid I63 by the grounding of the contact IBI through gear assembly 81, so that the switch I64 is again returned to closed position to permit the motor to be operated in reverse direction again whenever the solenoid I46 is again energized to disengage the gears as a result of the carriage 2| again reaching the new destination to start another resetting operation. The switch I61 in the connection between the bearing indicator I I0 and the autopilot I01 is mounted on the same axis with switches I48 and I64, there being a limited freeiom of operation between switch I61 and switches I48 and I64, the arm of switch I48 having a shoul- :ler contact with the arm of switch I61 to open the latter when I46 is moved into reverse position and the arm of switch I 64 having a shoulder contact with arm I61 to close this switch when the switch I64 is opened. Thus the autopilot is iisconnected from control by the bearing indi- :ator at the beginning of the operation of the resetting device, and is again reconnected when the resetting operation has been completed. Any number of the contacts I6I may be positioned 14 along the spiral track to determine the value to be reached on the counter of the instrument and therefore the position of the corresponding slide or other adjustment of the device to be reached during each consecutive resetting operation. For Purposes of illustration, Fig. 13 shows only two of .the resetting devices, connected to the slide 38 and gear 36 for resetting the latitude and longitude, respectively, of the new destination. Similar resetting devices may be adapted to 0D- erate other adjustments such as the slides 8 and ID for resetting the declinations, and discs 4 and 4' for resetting the hour angles of new stars to be followed by the star followers, and for resetting the star followers within range of such new stars, whereby they may be readily picked up for controlling the elevation slides IB'and IS in a manner already described.
Thus, in a broad sense, this invention includes a universal control means for directing a craft" or missile automatically along any great circle route or series of connected great circle routes consecutively between predetermined geographical locations. This means may be adapted for use in the daytime as well as at night, in view of the fact that the star followers may have tube elements containing optical elements responsive to the infra-red rays from the stars, and will therefore be sensitive to these rays in broad daylight as well as at night. To show the feasibility of using such elements, reference is made to an article in the June 17, 1946, issue of "Time,'? entitled "Split star ligh which reads:
Astronomers heard big news: Astro-Physicist Otto Struve and his stafi at the University of Chicagos Yerkes Observatory had perfected a powerful new spectrograph for photographing invisible infra-red radiations from the stars. Since the instrument can be used in broad daylight, stargazers can now go on a 24-hour shift.
Photographing infra-red (heat) rays is not new, but Professor Struves spectrograph is much more sensitive than any previously made. Using new red-sensitive plates developed during the war,
' and a gold-coated mirror (which reflects infrared rays better than a silver-plated one) the instrument can catch rays of wave-lengths twice as long as those visible to the naked eye. Its special advantage for daylight work is that, while visible light from the stars is scattered by the earth's atmosphere, the longer infra-red rays get through with relatively little interference.
In the star follower shown in Fig. 3, the tube and reflector mechanism 58, 51 may take any one of a number of difierent forms other than that illustrated in this figure. Several of these forms are shown in Figs. 8, l0 and 12. In Fig. 8 the tube IE8 is composed of a modified Schmidt telescope or star camera and an RCA'image orthicon photoelectric electronic tube I69. The operation of the director is as follows: Light rays entering the telescope tubes I10 pass through a Schmidt type correcting lens "I, they are focused by a spherical mirror I12 onto a reflectmirror I13 which passes the light to another reflecting mirror I 14 which in turn passes the light to a photoelectric cell mosaic I15 located in the RCA image orthicon" tube I 11. At this point the light energy is converted to electrical energy and multiplied in the same manner as in normal television for which the tube was designed. The electrical energy upon leaving the tube is passed through a small amplification circuit to a selector circuit and thence to the mechanical control circuit.
The controlling factor in this design is the size of the image orthicon tube which now has the dimensions of 3 inch 0. D. at the large end and 2 inch 0. D. on the barrel and 15 inches in length. This tube could undoubtedly be redesigned to a length of 8 to 10 inches, thereby considerably reducing the dimensions of the apparatus.
Four tubes I10 are indicated although it will be apparent that three or any number larger would be equally satisfactory. The tubes I10 are focused on the object I8l as shown in Fig. 8A. By more precise calculations a tube of smaller diameter and possibly a modified end aperture, such as semi-circular instead of circular, might be made. The length of the tube should be adjusted to the diameter so that a limited angle of rotation would provide a definite cut off.
The Schmidt type of lens is used for several reasons: It provides correction over wide angles, thereby allowing the use of a common spherical mirror in place of a more complex paraboloid type. It passes considerably more light, and finally it is believed that final tests will permit this lens to be made of plastic thus solving the manufacturing problem. The mirrors in all cases should be of the aluminum-backed type as this type provides better reflectivity especially of white light. The design of the mirrors should be such as to impinge small pencils of light on the photoelectric mosaic as shown at I in Fig. 8B. The size of these impingement circles does not have any particular significance so long as one spot does not merge with another. Theoretically these spots may displace slightly in accordance with any change of incident angle on the Schmidt lens, and this displacement was considered as a method of control. However, it is believed that the displacement would be so small in view of the size of the angles involved that the method would not be feasible. v
The optical system as now designed is to impinge on the photoelectric mosaic I15 four light beams of approximately equal intensity. It is felt that manual adiustment should be used to bring two of the tubes I10 into line with the object. The other two would be brought into line automatically, since a balance requires that all beams have equal intensity. This principle would require the selection of stars which would not have others of similar intensity within the ran e of the tubes, and this is entirely feasible, as there are many. The instrument also could be calibrated so as to operate only in well defined intensity levels thereby automatically correcting for objects too bright or too dim.
A more rigid selection may be used if desired. Instead of using a mirror (I14, Fig. 8) a diffraction grating (not shown) may be employed. In this use of the instrument, calibration would be made during manufacture so that a definite picture wave length would be preferred. Additional calibration could be made in the optical system by means of filters.
The electrical circuit would consist of an amplifier circuit I18 as required by the image orthicon tube I11 and a selector circuit I19 which would require a balanced picture impulse and would automatically activate the mechanical control to correct any unbalance which may appear in the picture. The entire circuit could be placed either in a space bounded by the end of the image orthicon tube and the outer shell. or in the spaces bounded by the telescope tubes, the "image orthicon tube, and the outer shell.
16 Miniature tubes and other electrical apparatus are available for this use.
The location of the supporting apparatus is not especially critical, but it is suggested that the radius of any curvature used pass through or near the center (with respect to length) of the telescope tubes, as this point would represent the maximum deflection with the least amount of travel.
The outer shell I should be made light tight at least to the end of the optical path to eliminate any scattered radiation, which would reduce the sensitivity of the unit. It may be necessary to shield the individual light beams by means of a, cross partition at the image orthicon" tube but this shielding can be accomplished without difllculty.
Referring to Figs. 9, 9A and 9B, in the first of these the angle of rotation is considered to be zero, as this figure represents the Position of each of the tubes I10 when the director is lined up with the object by a focus as shown in Fig. 8A. In Fig. 9A, the angle of rotation is one degree in the direction shown. Complete interception occurs at approximately two degrees. In Fig. 9B, the angle 'of rotation is one-half degree in the opposite direction. Complete interception occurs at onehalf degree because of interception at two points. The diameters of tubes I10 as shown are considerably exaggerated for clarity. Actually the preferred dimensions for a sixteen inch tube are approximately .288 inches for the small end and .750 inches for the large end. This is based on the assumption that the effective light diameter of the object is one-eighth inch. Then each tube is mounted on the director so that exact alignment of the director on the object will permit a one-eighth inch diameter beam to hit the lens in each tube. For purposes of illustration, the axis of rotation is taken as shown in Fig. 9B. The operation principle is as follows: Light rays I16 assumed to be parallel strike the lens as sh-Own in Fig. 9 (tube position when the director is trained directly on the object). If the tube is rotated clockwise (Fig. 9A) the light continues to strike the lens and the light intensity is not affected until the angle of rotation exceeds one degree. Continued rotation will progressively decrease the intensity because interceptio IS occurring on the one-eighth inch beam until at the angle of rotation equal to two degrees the interception is complete.
Referring back to Fig. 9 and assuming counterclockwise rotation as shown in Fig. 93, it may be seen that any rotation will at once start ray interception at two points so that an angle of rotation equal to one-half degree will reduce the intensity to zero. Actual measurement would show a curve function rather than a straight line reduction of intensity.
In using the principle described above for the overall control, four tubes are mounted at intervals of degrees about the RCA "image orthicon tube as shown in Fig. 8. Each tube is trained on the object as in Fig. 9 so that at point of maximum focus the resultant alignment would show the object in each tube as shown in Fig. 8A. Directed in this manner a shift in any direction will reduce the amount of light striking at least one of the lenses. In the event that light reflected from the sides of the tubes I10 reduces the sensitivity, the tubes may be lined or prepared for light absorption characteristics, in order that only the direct light rays striking the lens would be transmitted.
Referring again to Fig. 8 it is seen that mirrors I12 and I13 act to collect and channel the light rays to produce the final parallel beam I16 refiected from minor I'll to the photoelectric surface I15. Each tube IIII is expected to produce its own individual light beam on the photoelectric surface as shown in original Fig. 83. Fig. 83 represents a sectional view taken just forward of the mirrors and looking in the direction of the image orthicon" tube. It is at this point of the final light beam from mirror I14 to the photoelectric surface I15 (Fig. 8) that the essence of the balanced picture becomes important as this final ray for each tube represents a. sum of all light entering each tube whether from the object or not. For this reason at least some precautions against reflected radiation may be necessary.
The principle of the balanced picture" is as follows: Assume for the moment that the image orthicon tube were connected into a regular television hookup and receiver. when the director is in exact alignment with the object, the picture on the receiving screen would show a black field and four sources of light of the same intensity. As the director swung out of alignment, the intensity of at least one of the sources would diminish. To restore the intensity, the director would be moved so as to bring the object into the focus of all tubes. To do this automatically the image orthicon" tube would be disconnected from the transmitter and would be connected to an electrical circuit capable of analyzing the impulse from the tube. Since four equal intensity beams impinging upon the photoelectric surface will give a definite type of signal from the tube, a circuit capable of controlling mechanism to change from an unbalanced signal to a "balanced condition is not diflicult. As suggested the intensity control feature would be built into this same circuit.
Essentially two features are apparent: The original manual adjustment must come within 1 one degree of the direction of the source of the beam in any direction; and secondly, the final accuracy of the instrument depends on an electronic control. By using this type control the sensitivity level may be raised to meet easily the limits of any final accuracy desired.
The tube dimensions and angle calculations are approximate in the sense that final calculations depend entirely on the axis of rotation of the director, and the fi ures above are given as indicative values in order to explain the principles involved. Since this control is really a mechanical light cut-oil the problem is one of aligning the four tubes to obtain a maximum light quantity change with a minimum of deflection. The analyzing circuit should be sensitive enough to operate on changes in the order of -10 per cent. Greater sensitivity could be obtained but it is felt that secondary stars within the effective radius (calci1) might cause an error. Should less than five per cent sensitivity be required, it would be possible to design a movable opaque slide which would be inserted in the tube directly in front of the lens in such a manner as to reduce the effective rotational angle from two degrees to one degree. The control mechanism for these slides would be actuated at a predetermined balance level of the four beams, i. e., the energy level of all beams as recorded by the "image orthicon" signal being within a spread of twenty-five per cent.
It is felt that definite energy control levels must be incorporated if the instrument is to be "foolproof with respect to interception, accidental or intentional, by sun, moon, or high altitude long burnin flares. This cutotf may be provided for by a direct connection from the signal ana lyzer circuit (and in this case energy level control circuit) to the control system outlined in the description of the resetting device of Figs. 6 and 6A.
Another form of tube that may be used in the star follower is shown in Figs. 10 and 12.
This form is adaptable for use with either the image orthicon" tube (Fig. 12) or Geiger counters (Fig. 10) with equal facility.
In the preceding follower tubes, the telescope tubes are accurately preset to provide optimum cutoff limits. In the form shown in Fig. 10, the ontrol centers on the movement of a single telescope tube I82, and a reflecting pyramid I83 mounted in the base I84 of the telescope tube 185.
The principles of construction and operation are as follows: A small telescope tube I82 of such dimensions as to provide individual star sighting is mounted directly in front of a small reflecting pyramid I83. In the design shown, the pyramid apex included angle is one hundred twenty degrees. This determines the angle of incidence and reflection at sixty degrees. These angles are not critical in size so long as the light wave length and the laws of reflection and refraction are observed, and the angles may be varied to meet the assembly requirements of the director. In this design the center of rotation is preferably located on the vertical centerline of the pyramid at a point in back of the apex as at I85. By selecting a center point at the proper distance from the apex, rotation of one-half degree may be made to cause complete blackout of light on one surface (rotation in one plane) If the use of Geiger counters is desired, a counter I 81 equipped with special quartz glass windows I89 is positioned so that the rays of light I88 from any one side of the pyramid will strike the window I89 in the corresponding counter I81. Three other Geiger counters I81 are placed in similar ositions on the other sides of the pyramid I83, The counters are connected to electronic circuits which measure the change in counting rates and activate the control mechanisms to provide a balanced discharge rate among the counters in a manner already described. A dummy counter of similar design but shielded from any light rays is incorporated into the circuit controlling each pair of Geiger counters to provide a reference point upon which the dinerence noted in the electronic control circuit is based. In this manner instantaneous calibration is provided should the director be subjected to varying conditions of ionization in the environment, e. g., a variation in the intensity of cosmic rays occasioned by a change in altitude.
The use of Geiger counters is dependent upon the fact that a Geiger counter equipped with a quartz window is very sensitive to ultraviolet light and will show drastic increases in ionization rates when subjected to ultraviolet rays of low intensity such as those rays emitted by a burning match. It is probable that the Geiger counters would react to provide a measurable difference without the use of lenses in the telescope tube. However, it is felt that ground quartz lens used in a regular telescope tube would improve considerably the sensitivity. Stars vary considerably in the amount of ultraviolet light emitted, with the double stars emitting the highest quanta,
It is readily apparent that four "image orthicon tubes could be used in place of the four Geiger counters. Nevertheless, the use of the pyramid splits the light beam into quarters (in essence) and it is felt that at least a low-power telescope combination of lenses must be used in order to reach the light energy level required by the "image orthicon tube, This move toward a low power telescope is justifiable because the following simplification may be made: A low power telescope designed to raise the energy level of each quarter of light beam into the range of the "image orthicon tube is inserted into the system. However, instead of placing an "image orthicon" tube at each side of the pyramid, an additional mirror I90 (or mirrors) is used as shown in Fig. 12. Each system of mirrors (for each side of the pyramid) is designed so that the light I88 from that side of the pyramid impinges upon a definite section of a single image orthicon" tube Ill (same as in Fig. 8). The "image orthicon" tube requires the same balanced picture" previously referred to and has the same operating controls and conditions, In the interest of space the image orthicon tube may be mounted beside the telescope tube.
In the matter of locating the object when using the pyramid reflector, the o igi al manual adjustment should bring into the field at least two sides of the pyramid, and automatic control would then center the object on the apex.
In summarizing. essentially four modifications are readily apparent. The are:
1. Four telescopic tubes and one image orthicon tube.
2. Four telescopic tubes and four Geiger counters (a fifth necessary for instantaneous calibration).
3. One telescopic tube and pyramid reflector and four Geiger counters (a fifth required as in 4. One telescopic tube and pyramid reflector and one "image orthicon tube.
In the composite navigation director, the choice of star follower, whether it be a Geiger cozmter type or orthicon tube type, and its specific form, is a matter of design and does not afl'ect the director combination as a whole, For universal use in broad daylight as well as at night, however. a form of tube including elements sensitive to the invisible infra-red rays which comprise more than half of the radiation from most stars would be preferable.
Obvious modifications in the form of the various parts and arrangement of the several elements therein may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.
The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
What is claimed is:
l. A navigational director for a high speed aircraft or missile comprising: a pair of star followers i'or automatically and continuously measuring the true altitude and relative bearing of each of two stars; a computer responsive to these altitude measurements to determine the instant geographical position of the director when the proper values of the celestial locations of the two stars have been entered; indicators operated by the computer for indicating continuously the instantaneous longitude andlatitude of the directors geographical position and its true heading 20 and heading relative to each of said star azimuths as well as the bearing of a desired course; and a controller for said craft or missile operated in response to said bearing and heading indicators to maintain the true heading on said course.
2. A navigational director for a high speed aircraft or missile comprising: a pair of star followers responsive to infra-red rays from any star within approximately a ten degree range of a manual preadjustment, for automatically and continuously measuring the true altitude and relative bearing of each of two stars; a computer responsive to these altitude measurements to determine the instant geographical position of the director when the proper values of the celestial locations of the two stars have been entered; indicators operated by the computer for indicating continuously the instantaneous longitude and latitude of the directors geographical position and its true heading and heading relative to each of said star azimuths as well as the bearing of a desired course; and a controller for said craft or missile operated in response to said bearing and heading indicators to maintain the true heading on said course.
3..A navigational director for a high speed aircraft or missile comprising: a pair of star followers equipped with an "image orthlcon" and responsive to rays from any star within approximately a ten degree range of a manuaLpreadjustment, for automatically and continuously measuring the true altitude and relative bearing of each of two stars; a computer responsive to these altitude measurements to determine the instant geographical position of the director when the proper values of the celestial locations of the two stars have been entered; indicators operated by the computer for indicating continuously theinstantaneous longitude and latitude of the directors geographical position and its true heading and heading relative to each of said star azimuths as well as the bearing of a desired course; and a controller for said craft or missile operated in response to said bearing and heading indicators to maintain the true heading on said course.
4. A navigational director for a high speed aircraft or missile comprising: a pair of star followers eq ipped with Geiger counters and responsive to rays from any star within approximately a ten degree range of a manual preadjustment, for automatically and continuously measuring the true altitude and relative bearing of each of two stars: a computer responsive to these altitude measurements to determine the instant geographical position of the director when the proper values of the celestial locations of the two stars have been entered; indicators operated by the computer for indicating continuously the instantaneous longitude and latitude of the directors geographical position and its true heading and heading relative to each of said star azimuths as well as the bearing of a desired course; and a controller for said aircraft or missile operated in response to said bearing and heading indicators to maintain the true heading on said course,
5. A navigational director for a high speed aircraft or missile comprising: a pair of star followers selectively responsive to rays from any star of a specified intensity, within approximately a ten degree range of a manual preadiustment, for automatically and continuously measuring the true altitude and relative bearing of each of two stars; a computer responsive to these alti- 21 tude measurements to determine the instant geographical position of the director when the proper values of the celestial locations of the two stars have been entered; indicators operated by the computer for indicating continuously the instantaneous longitude and latitude of the director's geographical position and its true heading and heading relative to each of said star azimuths as well as the bearing of a desired course; and a controller for said aircraft or missile operated in response to said bearing and heading indicators to maintain the true heading on said course.
6. A navigational director for a high speed aircraft or missile comprising: a pair of star followers for automatically and continuously measuring the true altitude and relative bearing of each of two stars; a computer responsive to these altitude measurements to determine the instant geographic position of the director when the proper values of the celestial locations of the two stars have been entered, said computer including means for determining the course and distance to any other geographical position over a great circle route; indicators operated by the computer for indicating continuously the instantaneous longitude and latitude of the director's geographical position and its true heading and heading relative to each of said star azimuths as well as the bearing of a desired course; and a controller for said aircraft or missile operated in response to said bearing and heading indicators to maintain the true heading on said course.
7. A navigational director for a high speed aircraft or missile comprising: a pair of star 101- lowers for automatically and continuously measuring the true altitude and relative bearing of each of two stars; a computer responsive to these altitude measurements to determine the instant geographical position of the director when the proper values of the celestial locations of the two stars have been entered, said computer including means for determining the course and distance to any other geographical position over a great circle route; indicators operated by the computer for indicating continuously the instantaneous longitude and latitude oi the director's geographical position and its true heading and heading relative to each of said star azimuths as well as the bearing and distance to said other geographical position; a controller for said aircraft or missile operated in response to said bearing and heading indicators to maintain the true heading on said course; and resetting devices responsive to the movement of the director into a predetermined position for shifting one or both of said star followers to new stars.
8. A navigational director for a high speed aircraft or missile comprising: a pair of star followers for automatically and continuously measuring the true altitude and relative bearing of each of two stars; a computer responsive to these altitude measurements to determine the instant geographical position of the director when the proper values of the celestial locations of the two stars have been entered, said computer including means for determining the course and distance to any other geographical position over a great circle route; indicators operated by the computer for indicating continuously the instantaneous longitude and latitude of the directors geographical position and its true heading and heading relative tov each of said star azimuths as well as the bearing and distance to said other geographical position; a controller for said aircraft or missile operated in response to said bear- 22 ing and heading indicators to maintain the true heading on said course; and resetting devices responsive to the movement of the director to a predetermined position along its course to reset any of the controlling elements.
9. A navigational director for a high speed aircraft or missile comprising: a pair' of star followers for automatically and continuously measuring the true altitude and relative bearing of each of two stars; a computer responsive to these altitude measurements to determine the instant geographical position of the director when the proper values of the celestial locations of the two stars have been entered, said computer including means for determining the course and distance to any other geographical position over a great circle route; indicators operated by the computer for indicating continuously the instantaneous longitude and latitude of the director's geographical position and its true heading and heading relative to each or said star azimuths as well as the bearing and distance to said other geographical position; a controller for said aircraft or missile operated in response to said bearing and heading indicators to maintain the true heading on said course; and resetting devices for changing any of the controlling elements to provide a continuous control of said craft or missile along a series of courses along predetermined great circle routes consecutively through any number of geographical positions.
10. In a navigational director for a high speed aircraft or missile. a star follower for automatically and continuously measuring the true altitude and relative bearing 01' a star comprising: a
star follower tube mounted for adjustment in elevation on a base rotatable about a stabilized vertical axis, said base having means for damping its movements about said axis; light sensitive means in said tube responsive to alignment 01 said tube on said star; reversible motors for moving said tube to vary its elevation and to adjust said base about the vertical axis; control means for said motors responsive to said light sensitive means for maintaining aid tube aligned with said star; indicator means for indicating the true altitude and relative bearing of said star with respect to the course of said craft or missile operated in accordance with the elevation of said tube and the position 0! said base about said vertical axis.
11. In a navigational director for a high speed aircraft or missile, a star follower for automatically and continuously measuring the true altitude and relative bearing of a star comprising: a star follower tube mounted for adjustment in elevation on a base rotatable about a gyro-stabilized vertical axis. said base having means for damping its movements about said axis; means sensitive to the infra-red rays in said tube responsive to alignment of said tube on said star; reversible motors for moving said tube to vary its elevation and to adjust said base about the vertical axis; control means for said motors responsive to said ray sensitive means for maintaining said tube aligned with said star; indicator means for indicating the true altitude and relative bearing of said star with respect to the course of said craft or missile operated in accordance with the elevation of said tube and the position of said base about said vertical axis.
12. In a navigational director for a high speed aircraft or missile, a star follower for automatically and continuously measuring the true altitude and relative bearing of astar comprising: