Dec. 5, 1950 R. J. HERBOLD 2,532,402
NAVIGATING INSTRUMENT FOR CRAFT AND PILOT GUIDANCE Filed March 15, 1947 4 Sheets-Sheet l .OUR SE LATITUDE MOTOR LONGITUDE MOTOR CHRON OMETER MOTO R GYROSYN COM PASS lhwcmor oberii I. erbolcl u Q-QW Gnome Dec. 5, 1950 R. J. HERBOLD NAVIGATING INSTRUMENT FOR CRAFT AND PILOT summers 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 15, 1947 Dec. 5, 1950 HERBQLD 2,532,402
NAVIGATING INSTRUMENT FOR CRAFT AND PILOT GUIDANCE Filed March 15, 1947 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 attorney Dec. 5, 1950 R. J. HERBOLD 2,532,402
NAVIGATING INSTRUMENT FOR CRAFT AND PILOT GUIDANCE Filed March 15, 1947 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 '12. '10 A" Ll- A MPLI- E QFIER' Q D.C. 13.0.
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@F-aaa Junenlor Robea IHerbold Patented Dec. 5, 1959 @FFICE NAVIGATING INSTRUMENT FOR CRAFT AND PILOT GUIDANCE Robert J. Herbold, Denver, 0010., assignor to Lafayette M. Hughes, Denver, Colo.
Application March 15, 1947, Serial No. 735,030
This invention relates to a navigation instru- Y ment, andmore particularly to an instrument which automatically determines the position of a craft relative to a charted course and guides the craft or. its pilot to a plotted destination.
plotted course be determined automatically and without requiring that a pilot calculate his posi tion relative to the course and guide the craft in accordance with his own judgment. In the control of an aircraft which travels at a ver high speed any mistake in judgement by a pilot can throw the craft seriously off course. Hence, it is further desirable that a craft be guided automatically, either all of the time or at the will of anoperator, so that it will travel according to a plotted course and towards a destination of known location on the earth.
The primary object of this invention is to satisfy such ends and provide an instrument which will automatically determine the position of the moving craft relative to a course plotted on achart. 7
Another object is to provide a navigation instrument in which latitude and longitude determinations are made by ascertaining the position of the craft relative to a plotted course.
A further object is to provide a device which automatically maintains a celestial fix for determining both latitude and longitude of position and which 'will automatically indicate the craft position relative to a. predetermined course. 7
Another object is to provide such an automatic apparatus which will guide the craft from an oil course position to one in which it remains substantially on course.
A further object is to provide an instrument capable of controlling craft guidance which auses the craft to follow automatically a course plotted according to latitude and longitude and wherein only the destination of the craft needs to be accurately plotted.
position and the automatic guidance of the craft.
Further objects will be apparent in the following disclosure. 7 p In accordance with my invention, I have provided an electronic device controlled by radiant energy from a celestial body which is automatically movable to maintain afix thereon. The differential movements of the device or resultani varied conditions caused by the craft travelling reative to the earth's latitude and longitude gives an instantaneous indication of craft position with reference to a plotted destination and a course thereto. Mechanism controlled by an deviation of the indicated course from the plotted course governs the craft guidance apparatus.
A preferred construction comprises a chart having a desired destination plotted in corrected latitude and longitude angles and a course thereto. The chart may be a sphere, or a segment oi one, mounted to rotate in the direction and at the angular rate of apparent movement of a celestial body, such as the sun, on which a fix is maintained automatically by a light seeking electronic device. A course follower is moved automatically over this chart by mechanism controlled by movement of the light seeking device or a variation of conditions in governing electric circuits, as is required to maintain the fix, and any movement of the follower off the plotted course governs further electronic apparatus that serves to control the craft guidance apparatus automatically so as to minimize any deviation from the intended course.
Referring to the drawings illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention:
Fig. 1 is a vertical elevation, partly in section, of the apparatus as it would appear at the north pole;
Fig. 2 is an enlarged sectional fragmentary view showing the light pick-up and the course follower associated with the sphere;
Fig. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation of the courser and part of the light tube taken at right angles to the view of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is a sectional view on the line 4-4 of the Fig. 2;
Fig. 5 is a diagrammatic perspective view taken at right angles to Fig. 1 showing the arrangement of the electrical contacts when the craft is at about 40 N. latitude;
Fig. 6 is a similar view taken at right angles to Fig. 5;
Fig. 7 is a plan view of the resistance element Fig. 8 is a wiring diagram of the circuits for orientation of the light pick-up;
Fig. 9 is a wiring diagram of the bridge and electrical apparatus controlled thereby which chart.
moves the course follower automatically in relation to-latitude;
Fig. 10 is a wiring diagram of the electronic apparatus controlled by the course follower which operates the craft guidance and Fig. 11 is a partial wiring diagram of an amplifier circuit controlled by a light seeking electronic cell.
The preferred form of this device, as shown in Fig. 1, comprises a sphere ill or a chart surface segment simulating the earth or a surface portion thereof, which is gyroscopically mounted and positionally controlled so that its axis is held in a definite relation to or parallel with the earths axis. This sphere I is mounted to be rotated by a chronometer mechanism II at the angular rate of rotation of the earth or according to celestial time and in the direction of apparent movement across the sky of a celestial body which serves as an astronomical fix from which latitude and longitude positions of the craft are determined.
A course for the craft relative to the earth may be simulated by a course l2 plotted on the chart, whose terminals or other points are determined by latitude and longitude angles corrected for magnetic declination or other errors. The craft is guided by reference to such a plotted course. The latitude of the crafts position relative to the earth is ascertained continuously by an electronic. device comprising a pilot or light tube H which automatically maintains a fix on a celestial body, such as the sun or-a star or group of stars, and governs electrical mechanism that in turn causes a course follower l5 to move automatically with a change in craft latitude and longitude and indicate the craft position on the Further electrical mechanism controlled bythe position of the course follower relative to the plotted course serves to control the craft midder and cause the craft to follow the plotted course. Indicating mechanism governed automatically by the mechanism also serves to ad ise the craft pilot and navigator as to the craft position at all times.
Sphere mounting mechanism;
The surface of the sphere I0 is shown as provided with latitude and longitude lines and it may, if desired, be provided with a map, the longitude lines and map being reversed east to west. The sphere is suitably mounted on a support stabilized against craftmovement. To this end, it is supported by a base I6 which is universally mounted on a bracket I! on the craft. This base It is mounted on the top of a vertically depending rod l8 pivoted on a gimbal ring l9 which is in turn pivoted at 90 thereto within a ring at the top of the bracket. The base is stabilized by suitable remote control mechanism or directly by a gyroscope 20 carried on the bottom of the rod I8 supported by the gimbal rings, so that the sphere axis is not affected by lateral craft movement.
The sphere is further mounted for universal movement relative to its support l6 so that the sphere axis may be tilted into parallelism with the earth axis. This mount comprises a vertically extending quadrant arm 2| keyed at its lower end on a shaft 22 mounted for rotation through 360 about a vertical axis which preferably coincides with the vertical North and South Pole axis of the sphere Ill. The shaft 22 is vertically mounted in suitable bearings in a boss 23 south plane, the quadrant arm.2l is gyroscopi;
cally held in an east and west direction. This is accomplished by means of a suitable compass connected to the arm by a remote or a direct control mechanism. This preferably comprises a Sperry Gyrosyn self-synchronizing gyroscopic compass 25 which includes a horizontal flux valve that detects magnetic lines of force of the earth's field and seeks a magnetic north and south direction. compass is transmitted electrically through a power amplifier and a Selsyn or servomotor 25 connected through gear 27 to apply torque to a short vertical shaft 28 carried by the boss 23 and geared to the gear 24 on arm 2|. The high speed gyro is the rotor of a 3 phase induction motor. and a variable, transformer pick-ofi. detects angular movements of the arm 2| relative to the gyro and the servomotor 26 responds to stabilize the quadrant arm 2| and hold it in a proper pottion. This type of compass and servo control is not affected by tilting and pitching of the craft; andthe gyro compass may be installed in any suitable location relative to the sphere.
The upper end of the quadrant arm 2| carries a further quadrant arm 30 which is arranged to rotate about a horizontal axis passing through the center of sphere H) which is provided by the pivot shaft 3| suitably mounted in a bearing on the upper end of the quadrant arm 2|. The quadrant arm 30, which is keyed to the shaft 31, may swing through an. arc of 360', while the arm 2| is oriented and thereafter held stationary in an east and west direction. Thus the polar axis of the sphere in swings in a north and south plane when controlled by the gyro compass.
The sphere I 0 is mounted on a polar rod or shaft 35 and connected thereto through a suitable friction clutch so arranged that the sphere Ill may be rotated relative to the rod when corrections are to be made for longitude. This clutch may comprise a boss 36 secured to the outside of the sphere and which carries a spring pressed driver or plug .31 held frictionally against the shaft 35, so that the latter normally drives the sphere when rotated. The lower end of the polar shaft 35 is rotatably mounted in a bearing sleeve 38 within the quadrant arm 30, which is arranged at an angle of to the axis of the shaft 3|, so that the sphere may be rotated like the earth about its polar axis while the latter is held in a north and south plane through the earth axis.
The sphere I0 is rotated about its polar axis relative to the quadrant arm 30 by the chronometer mechanism H mounted on the under side of the swinging arm 30. The chronometer comprises any suitable mechanical or electrical clock mechanism of required characteristics, such as a 24 hour solar clock. A worm on the chronom the sphere' it may be rotated at the rate of one revolution per solar day or sidereally at the ap- The direction sensed by the parent rate of star movement and in thedirection of the apparent movement of the sun from east to west.
Pilot tube Orientation The craft position at any instant is determined by reference to the north south axis of the sphere l and to a solar or sidereal fix. This fix is obtained by a light seeking electronic device arranged in the cylindrical light tube l4 (see Figs. 2 and 3). The tube is mounted on a base 4| which has a downwardlyprojecting lug "42 pivoted on the bearing pin 43 secured in a bracket 44 on the arm 45. The arm 45 is shaped as an arc which spans over 180 of the sphere I 0 and intersects the north and south pole axis thereof. It is arranged to be swung about the pole axis through the entire 360, so that the light tube I 4 mounted thereon may follow the sun from any position of the craft relative to the earth.-
Since the declination of the sun varies during the year, the light tube is angularly adjusted and preferably manually to an angle determined by the protractor 41 mounted to swing with the light tube l4 and a fixed pointer 48 mounted on the ar-m 45, so that once the declination of the sun has been determined from astronomical tables the tube may be tilted to the correct angle to pick up the sun, provided the sphere axis is tilted into parallelism with the earth axis and accord-- ing to the angle of latitude of the craft. Thus the pilot or light tube. l4 may be set to follow the sun from sunrise to sunset provided the polar axis of the sphere I0 is parallel with the earth's axis.
The arm 45 and the pilot tube thereon are swung freelv about the north and south polar shaft 35 of the sphere ill by electrically controlled mechanism which is in turn governed by light detector photocells within the tube I4. To this end, the semi-circular arm 45 is keyed at its lower end (Fig. l) to the bearing sleeve 38 which is rotatable relative to the polar rod 35. A gear 50, which bears on a hub on arm 30, is suitably secured to and supports the under side of the arm 45. The gear is keyed to the bearing sleeve 38 and is concentric therewith. It is arranged to be driven by a reversible electric servo or Selsyn motor 52 mounted on the extended end of the quadrant 30. This motor is controlled to swing the half circle arm 45 at the apparent rate of sun or star movement. Thus, if the quadrant arm 2| has been oriented to an east and west position and the quadrant arm 30 has been swung to hold the sphere'axis parallel with the earth's axis and in a north and south plane, then the motor 52 can be operated to cause the light detecting pilot tube l4 to maintain a fix on the sun. Since the light detector mechanism swings with the arm 45 to a definite longitudinal position in order topick up the sun, this position of the arm 45 relative to the rotating sphere l0 gives the craft longitude, provided the arm was set initially over the correct longitude of the starting point for the craft.
If the sphere axis is tilted in a north and south axial plane to cause the latitude line on the sphere, which indicates the craft position, to pass through the top point or zenith of the sphere, then the sphere axis is parallel with the earth axis. The latitude of the craft position is automatically determined by an electrical control mechanism that swings the quadrant arm 30 to a position parallel with the earth axis, where the light tube may pick up the sun when arm 45 is swung to the correct angle, provided the tube has been tilted according to the declination of the sun for that day. This swinging movement of arm 30 is effected by means of a helical gear 54 (Fig. 1) keyed to the short shaft 3| that carries and is keyed to the upper end of the quadrant arm 30. This gear 54 is suitably driven by a gear on the shaft of a Selsyn, srvo or other reversible electric motor 55 mounted on the side of the quadrant arm 2 I. A bearing sleeve 56 fixed in a horizontal ripening in the quadrant arm 2| rotatably supports'the shaft 3| with its axis in the equatorial plane of the sphere.
Electronic control of pilot tube to cut down the ambient light. The tube has its outer end closed except for a, central circular aperture 60 through which sunlight or starlight may enter. This light is intended to activate one or two of the four suitably constructed photosensitive elements BI, 52, 63, 64 (Figs. 2 and 4) provided the light ray is nearly central of the tube. These elements are preferably fiat cathode plates associated with a ring shaped anode 65. The cathodes are arranged in the four quadrants, north, east, south and west, and they are spaced to provide a circular non-sensitive space therebetween. A disk 66 of opaque metal is preferably mounted centrally of the tube (Fig. 2) above the space between the cathodes, so that if the sun ray is exactly central, it does not project into the space between the cathode plates;
but if the light ray moves slightly to one side, then it will strike one of the plates and activate the same. The photocell may be photoconductive, voltaic or emissive. It is here shown as a photoemissive cell of standard construction protected by a glass envelope 61 and mounted on a base 68 provided with the usual contact prongs for making the desired connections.
Referring to Fig. 8, the north cathode Bl, activated by light from a northerly angle, is connected through an amplifier circuit 10 of standard construction to the anode 65. The amplifier circuit (Fig. 11) may be made through a suitable pentode or other electronic tube and the energizing A, B and 0 batteries in circuit with a milliammeter, or it may be otherwise arranged as desired. Similarly, the south light activated cathode 83 and anode 55 are connected through an amplifier H; and the east and west light activated cathodes 52 and 64 connect with the anode through amplifiers I2 and 13. The north and south amplifiers l0 and H are connected with the two separate coils l4 and 15 of a double throw single pole relay having a movable contact arm 15 adapted to make a contact with one or the other of two terminals 11 of a reversible north and south direct current latitude motor 55 (Fig. 1) which swings the latitude adjusting quadrant arm 30. Similarly, the east and west amplifier systems 12 and 13 are connected to the coils of a relay I8 to control the east and west reversible direct current longitude motor 52 (Fig. l) which swings the half circle arm 45 that is to be moved according to a variation in longitude. Each amplifier circuit may be of the type shown for the north cathode in Fig. 11.
Thus, if the sun enters the light tube l4 and strikes only the north cathode 5|, it causes the reversible latitude motor 55 to move in such a direction as to swing the tube towards a centralizing pwition for the sun ray. If the sun light hits the opposing south cathode 63, then the motor is rotated in the opposite direction. Similarly, the east and west cathodes 62 and 64 operate through the reversible longitude motor 52 to swing the semi-circular arm 45 east or west relative to the meridians of the sphere In, so as to cause the arm 45 to move with the sun and hold the light tube l4 in alignment with the sunlight as the sun travels west. If the craft is steady relative to a latitude line, or travels east and west, the quadrant arm 38 remains steady and the axis of the sphere I is not tilted, and the only motion is that of the longitude arm 45 which causes the light tube to follow the sun. If the craft moves in any other direction, whether to the north or the south, then both arms swing to keep the sphere axis tilted at the correct angle and the light tube fixed on the sun as it moves through the sky in an apparent east to west motion.
This construction may be employed to indicate latitude and longitude directly, since the sphere ID will be held with its axis so positioned that the latitude line passing through the craft position will also pass through a zenith or top point of the sphere l8; hence a plumbbob suspended above the sphere to indicate the exact top point will indicate the latitude of the craft relative to the earth, subject to correction for magnetic declination.
The longitude of the craft relative to the earth may be determined by noting the meridian line intersected by the center line of the pilot tube l4. The arm 45 may have a central slot so located that the sunlight may pass through it to the sphere l8, and this indication of longitude may be used to guide a pilot in the manual control of a craft whether .on the water or in the air.
In order to bring the light tube [4 initially into alignment with the sun rays from any position, I provide a suitable electrical hunting mechanism shown in Figs. 2, 3, 4 and 8. A preferred construction comprises the four photoemissive cells 88, 8!, 82 and 83 of standard con-. struction arranged outside of and around the pilot tube and 90 apart. These are separated from one another by the arcuate opaque light shields 84 which are so arranged that each tube is free to receive light mainly from a sector having an angle less than 180, so that east light will aiTect, primarily the east tube 8|, while of two double pole single throw relays 88 and 89, as illustrated. The left hand coil of the relay 88 is energized through its amplifying system when the photocell 80 is activated by north light. The other coil of this same relay is connected through amplifier 86 with the light tube 82 that receives the south light. Similarly, the other relay 89 has its coils connected respectively throu h the amplifiers with the photo tubes 8| and 83 which receive the east and west lights.
with the two motors thatare actuated by the cells within the pilot tube I4. That is, the east and west hunting system connects with longitude motor 52 that varies the longitude position 01' the half circle arm 45, so that an east light activation swings the pilot tube [4 towards the west, for example. North and east light activation of the corresponding cells moves the pilot tube generally towards the southwest. That is, the motor moves the tube l4 away from activation oi the hunting cells that are illuminated. The other hunting system activated by the north and south light is connected with the latitude motor 55 that swings the quadrant arm 38 to make a latitude variation. Thus, the hunting photocells outside of the pilot tube l4 will serve to pull the light tube over to a position where the light ray no longer activates the hunting cells differentially and may now pass through the aperture to activate one of the cathodes GI, 82, 63 and 64 and give a precise control of the pilot tube I4. After the inner cells take control of the pilot tube, then the extraneous light striking the outside cells is immaterial. If desired, various other shield and cell arrangements may be provided to attain the proper hunting action. The photocells inside of the tube l4 do not take control of the movement of the pilot tube until they are activated by a direct ray of sunlight; and the amplifiers are regulated in accordance with the desired light intensity for proper operation of the relays.
Course follower The position of the craft relative to the earth is indicated on the pilot sphere ID by a course follower l5 which is slidably mounted on the half circle arm 45. The courser gives a direct indication of craft position; but for automatic craft guidance, it is arranged to direct a spot of light on the sphere at the latitude and longitude corresponding with the actual position of the craft. This courser i5 preferably includes a self-contained light system. The light spot may be derived from one or several electric light bulbs 82 (Fig. 2) arranged annularly inside an opaque casing or light shield 93 shaped as a frustum of a cone. An internal annular shield 84 serves to confine the light rays to a ring shaped space between the two shields. A suitable lens and diaphragm system 95 is arranged Within the annular space to condense the light from each of the bulbs 82 and focus it as a fine point of light 93 on the surface of the sphere ID.
The light spot 96 is guided across the surface of the pilot sphere 18 to give a latitude and longitude determination by means of an electrically controlled mechanism which swings the arm 45 and moves the courser l5 along the arm. The half circle arm 45 is shaped as an I-beam (Fig. 8) with its inner and outer flanges 91 and 98 concentric with the pilot sphere. The arm 45 is free at its outer north pole end, since it is supported only by the rotatable sleeve 38, and it does not interfere with a movement of the courser. The top plate 98 of the courser (Fig. 3) has short I flan es I00 and IOI which are shaped to slide These light hunting cell circuits are connected fre ly along the inner flange of the I-beam.
The courser may be moved along its arcuate path by a suit ble mechanism, such as a rack and pinion or a cable drive, moved by an e ectric motor. Thi may comprise a reversible electric motor I84 (Fig. 1) mounted on the upper free end of the swinging half circle arm 45. The motor has its shaft connected through suitable sphereis ievel gears I05 with a drum or pulley I05 around which a few turns of cable I01 are wrapped. This pulley is mounted on a pivotal pin suitably carried by the two flanges 91 and 59 oi! the arm 45 and arranged radially oi the sphere. A second pulley I09 is radially mounted on the opposite lower end of the arm 45 (Fig. l) These two winding pulleys are located on the ends of the arm 45 which project beyond the pivotal axis of the sphere soas to. permit a full 180 movement of the courser. Except where attached to the courser, the cable I01 slides in a groove IIO (Fig. 3) on the surface of the inner supporting flange 91. The cable passes around the two pulleys and its ends are clamped to the flange I 01' the courser. Thus, the cable is endless and the reversible motor I04, when energized, will move the courser along its arcuate support to position the light spot 95 according to the latitude oi the craft.
Electrical control of courser The direct current reversible motor I04 that governs the courser is controlled by an electric circuit as shown in the wiring diagram of Fig. 9. This electrical system comprises a Wheatstone bridge having a standard resistance H2 in one arm and an adjustable resistance I I3 in the other arm to balance the same. The third resistance I Hot that bridge is shaped as a helical coil (Fig. 7) or other suitable resistance arranged as a circle on the top of the arcuate arm 2| and concentric with the pivot 3I. The lead wire I I5 connects suitably to this resistance. A contact arm H5, arranged to wipe over theexposed surfaces of the insulated convolutions of this resistance coil, is mounted on the swinging quadrant arm 30, so that when the latitude control motor 55 is actuated to swing the arm 30 and tilt the sphere axis, the contact I I5 moves to a definite position on the resistance which is related to the latitude of the craft. If the arms 2| and 30 are parallel, as shown in Fig. 1, and the courser I5 is at the top of arm 45, then the contact arm H5 is 180 from the lead wire II6 (Fig. 7) and all of the resistance is cut in Any further tilting of the arm carrying contact II5 decreases one arm of the circular resistance, so that the courser maytrave l, only 180 and must retrace its course as 1 tilted more than 180. The courser is to belocated at that angle from the pole of the sphere which is the same as the angle between arms 2| and 30.
The fourth resistance H8 is a wire (Figs. 2, 3, 5 and 9) mounted on the inside of the outer flange 98 of the arm and its exposed contact surface is wiped by a contact arm II9 fixed on flange I00 of the courser. The effective resistances of the coil I I4 and the wire I I8 are the same; and the bridge is to be balanced, as shown by a galvanometer I20, so that the portions of the two resistances II4 and H8 in the circuit shall be equal. That is, the angle which the arcuate support 30 carrying contact I I5 makes with a horizontal plane through the axis of pin 3| on the fixed arm 2| represents the angle of latitude of the craft position; and the courser I5 is to be moved along the arm 45 until its position is such that the contact H9 on wire II 8 marks off that same latitude angle from the spheres equator. If arm 30 is vertical, the courser will be at the north pole, and each resistance is fully cutin, as shown in Figs. 1 and 7, or each may be fully cut out if desired The wiper or contact arm I I9 which moves along the wire I I8 may be electrically connected to the arm 45 (Fig. 2), which in turn is suitably connected with contact arm II5 that moves over the adjustable resistance II4 on the arm 2|, such as through the arm 30. That is, the outer or north pole end 01' wire H8 is insulated, and the south pole end of the wire is connected tothe variable contact of resistance H3 (Fig. 9) and the two contacts H5 and H9 are connected.
A suitable battery I25 (Fig. 9) or other D. 0. power supply provides current for the bridge, and any unbalance in this bridge moves the swinging arm I25 of a double throw polarized relay (Fig. 9) in one direction or the other to reverse the current flow in the circuit of a battery I21 that actuates the motor I04 and moves the courser in a direction determined by the position of the contact-arm I25 of the relay. The circuits are such that movement of the arm 30 to an angle of 40 with a horizontal plane through axis 3| causes the courser I5-to move to that latitude line of 40 N. When the craft moves northerly towards the pole the arm 30 swings down towards a vertical position and ultimately all of resistance II4 is cut in. At the same time, all of resistance H5 is cut in. I
When the craft passes over the north pole and proceeds south, the courser I5 must retrace its course to indicate a lower latitude. That is, as the arm 30 swings past a vertical position, the contact I I5 moves to reduce the resistance in one arm of the circular coil- I I4 and resistance is now being cut out. This causes the courser to move south relative to the sphere. Any change in latitude of the craft carrying the instrument, disregarding any east and west movement, will unbalance the bridge and cause the motor I04 to run in that direction which moves the courser to balance the bridge, and this proceeds automatically until the craft reaches its destination.
Hence the contact arm II 9 is in a position corresponding with the location of contact arm II 5 on the other bridge arm, so that these two bridge arms remain in circuits having equal resistances. spring centered contact arm I25 01 the relay swings to a neutral position, and the motor I04 is inactive a material change in latitude position occurs. Any inaccuracy in the tension of the cable and such is not important, since the courser must move to a point where the bridge is balanced. When the craft crosses the equator going south, the courser contact H9 merely passes the or half-way point and cuts 'out more resistance until the craft reaches the south pole where there is no resistance in that arm of the bridge circuit. The same condition applies to the resistance II4, except that the contact II5 crosses the intersection I28 (Fig. 7) between the two semi-circular coils II4 and proceeds along the other resistance wire.
Craft guidance mecha ism Insofar as above explained, the mechanism may be used for the guidance. of the pilot or the navigator who manually controls the craft, since he is now informed by the light spot on the sphere as to his exact location relative to the earth. If his course I2 has been plotted on the surface of the sphere I0, as shown in Fig. 1, then it is merely necessary for him to so steer the craft that the light spot 95 follows the course. This requires merely an accurate predetermination of the latitude and longitude of key points and no map is needed; but if a map is used, it should be re- When the bridge is in balance, the
11 versed from east to west to correct for the fact that the rotation of the earth is the opposite of the apparent motion'of the sun or other celestial fix. If the plotting of course I2 on the sphere has been accurately done and with due allowance for errors in the control instruments, such as the errors of a magnetic gyro compass which does not point to the true north, but only to the magnetic north, then the pilot may travel on course. If the end point of the course has been accurately plotted, it is immaterial as to whether or not the craft has followed exactly the course line I2. When the spot light 96 reaches that end point on the sphere, the craft has reached its destination, except for permissible location errors. Hence the craft guidance becomes increasingly accurate as the destination is approached.
This apparatus is, however, constructed to control the guidance of the craft automatically, such as where one or more rudders of the craft may be operated electrically under the control of a reversible electrical motor I30 (Fig. 10). This motor is preferably connected through a Selsyn or servomotor system which governs a powerful motor capable of operating and holding the craft rudder in a desired position, as will be understood. The rudder is controlled to move through a predetermined arc to such a position that the craft is slowly brought on course if it has deviated therefrom.
This control is effected by an electronic apparatus shown primarily in Fig. 10, in which the'spot light 96 is employed not only to give an indication whether the craft is on course but to cause it to return to the correct course as determined by the plotted line. This is accomplished without computation of latitude and longitude and without actual knowledge of the crafts position at any instant. The course line I2 may be plotted on the sphere I or a segment thereof as a di- I33 and I 34' vision line between two surfaces (Figs. 1 and 2) which have definite differences in light reflection. The surface I33 may be of high reflectivity and the surface I34 may be of medium or low reflectivity, but not of full light absorption. The strip I33 may be a metal having a polished mirror surface, and the strip I34 may be a metal having a duller or matt surface which reflects about half as much light as does the polished mirror I33. These surfaces are intended to govern electronic apparatus which is activated differentially by the different light intensities reflected by the two surfaces. The line I2 may be a black, light absorptive line having the effective width of the light spot 96, so that there is no reflection if the craft is on course and the light spot 96 rests only on the black line.
The light spot 96 is employed to control electronic apparatus by being reflected back through a lens I36 (Figs. 2 and located inside of the courser I5 and within the light annulus that forms the spot 96. The reflected light collected by the lens I36, which may be a suitable optical construction, activates the cathode I31 or the sensitized surface of a photocell mounted Within the courser. This cell may be of the photoemissive, conductive or voltaic type. As shown in Fig. 10, it comprises an anode I38 connected with the cathode through a suitable battery and amplifier system I40 and with a double relay system arranged to control the direction of rotation of the reversing direct current electric motor I30 that governs the rudders or a further rudder control motor which controls the lateral guidance of the craft.
- cordance with standard practice.
This system comprises one relay I42 which is controlled by the light spot 96 striking the lesser reflective light surface I34, while the other relay I43 is governed by the movement of the light spot to the more highly reflective surface I 33. Each relay has its contact arm resting in an open position when the light spot 96 strikes only the black course line I2, which has such a high absorption that not enough light is reflected back to activate the selected photocell. The line I2 has the same width as the light spot 96. The spring I46 which holds the contact arm of relay I42 open is so adjusted that the relay arm closes when the light spot 96 moves to illuminate the strip I 34 of low reflectivity. That is, the amplified current is strong enough to move the contact arm of the relay I42. At that time, the circuit will be so made that the motor I30, which is driven by a battery I41 or other suitable source of power, is rotated in such a direction as to cause the rudder to be so moved as to swing the craft back to that position where the light spot will again fall wholly on the line I2. The spring I48 of the other relay I 43, which causes rotation of the motor I30 in the opposite direction, has such strength that the contact arm of the relay will close its circuit to the motor when the light spot 96 strikes the highly reflective surface I33. When this relay closes, it will be at the same short circuit the coil of the other relay I42. But when the darker surface I34 is activated, the spring I48 is so strong that this relay I43 cannot be actuated by the current provided by the amplifier circuit I40. 0n the other hand, when the light hits the highly reflective surface I33 there is such a high activation of the photocell cathode I3'I that a large amount of current is developed sufiicient to close the circuit of relay I43 against its strong spring I48. Thus, this differential relay serves to reverse the current from battery I41 to the motor I30 as required to bring the craft back to and keep it on course.
The electronic devices of the various parts of the apparatus may be made and arranged in ac- The photocells of the pilot tube, both inside and out, are to be particularly sensitive to infrared light because of the necessity for picking up a celestial body during a stormy period. For example, I may use an argon gas filled photoemissive tube having a cathode of caesium on caesium oxide applied to a base of silver for activation by the rays from the sun. For a photovoltaic cell, I may use a copper oxide or photronic cell. A resistance cell may be of the selenium type, or I may use a thalofide cell having a platinum disk provided with a coating of thallium metal sensitized by oxygen and sulfur. Molybdenum sulfide is sensitive to infrared and may be employed. Various types of thermocouples may be employed. The term light as used herein applies to any electromagnetic Wave or radiant energy derived from a celestial body and particularly the light within the range of the infrared and ultraviolet portions of the spectrum which will serve to maintain the required fix.
Operation If it is desired to fly eastwardly from Denver, Colorado, located at approximately 40 N. latitude, west longitude, to Capetown, South Africa, located at approximately 33 south latitude and 19 east longitude (see D and S on Fig. 1), it is merely necessary to plot accurately on the sphere the exact positions of the two end points, or at least the destination, and then draw a great circle 13 or other line I2 between these points. The longitude lines are reversed, so thatS is east of D on the sphere. That line may be made of any desired shape, suchas where it is wished to avoid certain locations, such as storm centers or cities, or to fly over others en route. Then two strips I33 and I34 of required light reflective properties are so shaped and secured to the sphere that theline I2 connects the two end points. It will be noted that the sphere I need not be employed, and that only the strips I 33 and I 34 need to be mounted in their proper locations for rotation relative to a polaraxis. If the gyrosyn compass is a magnetic north seeking compass and does not point to the true north pole, then mathematical corrections are to be made for this error, as well as for refraction, etc., as is understood by navigators, to plot the correct location of the end points of the curve I2. All corrections are made in the curve and not in the controls.
If the longitude and latitude of the starting point are known, then the arm 30 and courser I5 may be set by slipping their friction drives, as may be suitably provided, so that the light point 96 strikes the sphere at that known location. This may require slipping the sphere polar axle 35 relative to its clutch drive 31 so that the sphere will rotate in a correct time relationshipwith the position of the sun at Denver. This corrects for longitude, and the chronometer needs merely to drive the sphere or plates I33 and I34. If the longitude is know known, this maybe determined by comparing a chronometer running on Greenwich standard time with the solar time of the starting point. Denver time is 7 hours later than Greenwich thne. Latitude correction is accomplished automatically by the electronic hunting device, provided the tube I 4 has been angularly adjusted for the declination of'the sun, and particularly for the time of arrival at the destination. If desired, this may be efiected automatically by means of a chronometer driven cam having a sine curve shaped to tilt the tube as required to compensate for the annual variation. It is however preferred that this correction be made manually, since the declination varies to an immaterial amount during a short trip. After the chronometer II has been started, the sphere III will rotate with the sun movement and the pilot tube I4 will seek and follow the sun throughout the day, with the light spot 96 remaining at the correct latitude and longitude while the craft is moving or stationary. The same considerations apply ifa sidereal fix is employed.
It is not necessary to know the latitude of the starti g position, since the sphere axis and the courser are correctly positioned for the latitude of Denver 40 N. by the automatic movement of the supporting arm 30, provided the arm 2| is maintained east and west by the gyrosyn compass. The motor 55 tilts the arm 30 when it is energized by activation of the north or south cathodes of the pilot tube, first by the outside cells 80 and 82 and ultimately by the inner cells GI and 63. That is, the sphere axis is automatically tilted by the electronic controls that are .activated when the pilot tube itself seeks to align its center line with a ray of sunlight.
Likewise, the longitude position of the half cir-' cle arm 45 is automatically determined by the other cells of the pilot tube energizing the longitude motor 52. The photocells are sensitive to infrared "light so that if the day is cloudy, the cells will be activated by the light that pene- 96 points to the latitude of craft position. It
will benoted that this construction does notdepend on a gyro compass to tiltthe sphere axis, and that this is done automatically bythe electronic pilot tube controls. The gyrosyn compass is merely required to hold arm 2| in an eastwest position, and errors in that positioning are corrected in the plotting of the curve I2.
When the craft takes oif from D to S in a generally southeast direction, (Fig. 1) any material change of latitude and longitude may cause the l ght spot 96 to deviate from the black line I2 and so activate the photosensitive element I38. If the indicated craft position is north of the line I2, the light pencil 96 will strike the surface I33 of high reflectivity and cause a high activation of the cathode I38, whereby suflicient current is developed to close the circuit of the relay I43. This causes the associated battery or other source of power to ac tuate the small D. C. motor I30 in such a rotative direction as to result in the craft rudder being turned to bring the craft back towards the south. A south deviation results in the craft moving more to the north. Suitable constructions are to be employed to preventthe rudder from being turned too far and to insure only'a small angular change of direction of the craft. Thus the electronic apparatus governed by the photosensitive element I38 will hunt back and forth until the craft is brought on course and held there. If the light pencil contacts only with the black line I2, then the craft rudder is not actuated but is held stationary; It will be understood that this relates to the over all control of the lateral movement of the craft and that other stabilizing and control mechanisms may be employedto take care of minor changes in direction of the craft and to hold it steady. The control of the rudder by the mechanism herein described is superimposed upon the other rudder controls.
Since the craft is moving easterly, the arm'45 is revolved westerly about the sphere axis faster than the sphere I0 rotates, and the position of the arm relative to the sphere continues to give the instantaneous longitude position. The latitude position is obtained by the automatic movement of the courser I5 by the Wheatstone bridge control mechanism of Fig. 9. Thus, any deviation of the position determined by the electronic control mechanism from the position determined by the curve I2 results in changing the craft course to follow the course line I2, even if that line has been incorrectly plotted. But errors in that line become immaterial or are noncritical if the destination is exactly plotted. Also, by using enlarged segments I33 and I34 and making necessary corrections therefor, one may obtain a reasonable accuracy in finding the destination. As the craft proceeds southerly and reaches positions of lower latitude, the sphere axis gradually approaches a horizontal position so that when the craft crosses the equator, the sphere axis will be horizontal and the plane of the equator of the sphere will pass through the zenith with the courser positioned on that line in such east or west location as is determined by the time of day. The sphere axis continues to tilt with the south pole moving up wardly and the craft guidance continues automatically.
It will be appreciated that various modifications may be made in this construction within the scope of my invention, and the above disclosure is to be interpreted as setting forth the principlesand preferred embodiments thereof without imposing limitations .on the appended claims.
1. A navigating instrument for craft comprising a chart having the latitude and longitude of a destination plotted thereon, acourse follower movable relative to the chart, an electronic .device which is automatically controlled by radiant energy directed from and movable to maintain a fix on a celestial body during the craft movement, and means governed by variations in movement of said device as it maintains said fix which moves the course follower to a position related to the instantaneous latitude and longitude of the craft position.
2. A navigating instrument for craft comprising a chart having plotted thereon the latitude and longitude of a destination and a line connecting the destination with a starting point, a course follower movable over the chart, an electronic device which is automatically controlled by radiant energy from a celestial body, mechanism governed by said device which causes the device to hunt for and to maintain a fix on the celestial body during the craft movement, and electrical mechanism controlled by movement of the device in maintaining said fix which moves the course follower over the chart to a position related to the instantaneous latitude and longitude of the craft and indicates the craft position relative to the course line.
3. A navigation instrument for a craft having a rudder for guiding its lateral movement and apparatus for controlling the rudder comprising a chart having plotted thereon the latitude and longitude of and a course of non-critical shape to a destination, a course follower mounted for movement relative to the plotted course, a light seeking electronic device which is automatically controlled by direct radiant energy from and movable to maintain a fix on a celestial body during the craft movement, means controlled by movement of the 'device which causes the course follower to move relative to the course substantially in accordance with the actual path of the craft and electrical apparatus controlled by the position of the course follower relative to the charted course which governs said rudder apparatus.
4. A navigating instrument for a craft which is to proceed to a given destination comprising a chart having plotted thereon the latitude and longitude positions of said destination, a follower movable over the chart relative to said destination, an equatorially mounted electronic device on the craft activated by light from a celestial body, electrical mechanism controlled by the activation of said, device which causes the device to move angularly and automatically maintain a fix on the body as the craft moves and electrically operated mechanism responsive to the angular movement of the device in maintaining said fix which move the follower relative to the chart in accordance with the instantaneous latitude and longitude positions of the craft.
5. An instrument according to claim 4 in which the electronic device comprises a light tube, a set of inner light activated elements within the tube and a set of outer light activated elements outside of the tube, and comprising electrical mechanism initially governed by the elements outside of the tube which causes the tube to hunt for and find the light from the celestial body and thereafter governed by the inner elements so that the electronic device hunts for and maintains a celestial fix.
6. A navigating apparatus for craft comprising a chart having a course of non-critical shape to a destination plotted thereon, an angularly movable electronic device activated by radiant energy from a celestial body, electrically operated mechanism controlled by the activation which automatically moves the device angularly to maintain a celestial fix on said body, craft guidance apparatus, a course follower which is movable relative to the charted course, means controlled by angular movement of said device which moves the follower relative to the chart to a position which corresponds with the instantaneous craft position, and mechanism controlled by a deviation of the follower from the plotted course which governs the craft guidance apparatus so as to decrease that deviation.
7. A navigating instrument for craft comprising a light seeking electronic light activated device which is revoluble about an axis in a north and south plane, a universally mounted sphere having latitude and longitude markings and providing a charted course which is revoluble coaxially with the device, mechanism to revolve the sphere in an east to west direction at the angular rate of earth rotation, means governed by activation of the electronic device to tilt the axis of revolution of the sphere and the device and to swing the device about said axis so as to maintain the device aligned with a ray of light from a celestial body, a course follower movable over the chart and means governed by the tilting of said axis and the swinging movement of the device relative to the chart which positions the course follower relative to the sphere markings in accordance with the craft position.
8. Apparatus according to claim 7 comprising craft guidance apparatus and electrical control mechanism therefor governed by the course follower in accordance with a deviation of the follower from said plotted course.
9. A navigating instrument for a moving craft comprising an equatorially mounted electronic light seeking device which is responsive to radiant energy from a celestial body, means including a magnetic pole seeking compass which orients the device angularly so that it may revolve about an axis substantially parallel with the earth axis, mechanism governed by activation of the device which causes it to maintain a fix on said body, a chart having a, destination plotted thereon with reference to latitude and longitude and corrected for magnetic declination from the true north and south, a course follower, and means governed by said device which locates the follower with reference to the charted destination as an uncorrected instantaneous position of the craft, whereby as the craft approaches the destination the error due to magnetic declination decreases to a minimum.
10. A navigating instrument according to claim 9 in which a course to the destination is plotted on the chart comprising craft guidance apparatus and electrical mechanism controlled by a deviation of the course follower from the plotted course which causes said apparatus to guide the craft in a direction whichdecreases said deviation.
ll. A navigating instrument for craft comprising a universally mounted sphere providing a chart having a course plotted thereon, means to maintain the sphere axis in a north south plane, a pilot tube revoluble about the sphere axis which has an electronic device activated by light from a celestial body, means governed by said device which automatically maintains the tube aligned with said light as the craft moves, means for rotating the sphere about the sphere axis in an east to west direction at the apparent rate of movement of the celestial body, a course follower movable over the chart, and electrical apparatus controlled by the movement of said pilot tube in maintaining its fix which positions the course follower relative to the chart in accordance with the instantaneous latitude and longitude of the craft.
12. A navigating apparatus for craft comprising a universally mounted sphere providing a chart having a course plotted thereon, means for rotating the chart about the sphere axis in the apparent direction of and at the rate of movement of a celestial body used as a fix, a pilot tube having an electronic device activated by light from said fix,'means governed by said device which maintains the pilot tube aligned with said light, means governed by the device which maintains the sphere axis substantially parallel with the earth's axis, a course follower movable relative to the chart and electrical apparatus controlled by movement of the pilot tube relative to the chart as caused by the craft movement which positions the course follower to give an instantaneous determination of the approximate craft location.
13. A navigation instrument for craft comprising a sphere having a chart thereon, a mount for rotating the sphere about its axis and for tilting the axis relative to the earth axis, means for rotating the sphere in an east to west direction at the apparent angular rate of movement of a celestial body, a pilot tube having an electronic light pick-up device mounted to swing about the sphere axis and to be tilted by movement of said axis, said device being activated by a ray of light from said body, means governed by said device for moving it and the sphere so as to maintain a fix on the celestial body, a course follower mounted to swing with the pilot tube and to move laterally relative thereto, electrical mechanism controlled by the motion of the pilot tube to maintain a fix which tilts the sphere axis into parallelism with the earth axis and swings the pilot tube to maintain the fix, and means governed by the sphere tilting which moves the course follower over the chart inaccordance with the position of the craft.
14. A navigating instrument for craft comprising a sphere providing a chart having a destination plotted thereon, supports for revolving the sphere about its axis and for tilting the axis,
means for holding the axis substantially in a 'north and south plane, a light sensitive device l8 mechanism controlled by the tilting of the sphere axis to maintain said fix which moves the course follower in an axial plane, so that the follower position is related to the craft position and the destination.
15. A navigating instrument according to claim 14 for a craft having rudder control apparatus comprising electrical mechanism governing said apparatus which operates when the follower is off the plotted course to move the craft in that direction which moves the follower towards the plotted course.
16. A navigating instrument according to claim 14 for craft having rudder control apparatus comprising a chart having a course plotted thereon, a course follower movable over the charted course and mechanism governed by a deviation of the follower from the course which causes the rudder control apparatus to steer the craft in a direction which returns the follower towards the course.
17. A navigating instrument according to claim 14 for a craft having rudder control apparatus comprising a chart having a course plotted thereon, a course follower, mechanism which positions the follower relative to the chart according to the instantaneous craft position and'mechanism governed by a deviation of the follower from the course which causes the rudder control apparatus to steer the craft in a direction which returns the follower towards the course.
18. A navigating instrument for a craft comprising a chart having a course plotted thereon which is defined by surfaces of different light reflecting characteristics, a course follower movable over the course which directs a ray of light onto the chart, an electronic light seeking device which is automatically controlled by radiant energy directed from and movable to maintain a fix on a celestial body during the craft movement, mechanism controlled by movement of said device which positions the follower automatically according to the instantaneous craft position, an electronic device including a photosensitive element activated differentially by light reflected from said surfaces and electrical apparatus governed by said device in accordance with the position of the follower light ray relative to the course defined by said surfaces.
19. A navigating instrument according to claim 18 for a craft having rudder control apparatus in which the electrical apparatus governed by the electronic device is connected to control the rudder and move the craft towards the charted course.
20. A navigating apparatus comprising an equatorially mounted electronic light seeking device, electrical mechanism governed by activation of said device which automatically moves it to maintain a fix on a celestial body, a chart providing a plotted course of non-critical shape which is defined by two surfaces of different light reflective qualities, a course follower movable over the chart which directs a ray of light thereon,
means governed by a variation in movement of 19 prising a rotatable sphere having the latitude and longitude of a destination plotted thereon, means providing a universal mount for the sphere, means to rotat the sphere at the angular rate 01' earth rotation, an arcuate arm revoluble aboutthe axis or and close to the sphere, an electronic light seeking device mounted on the arm which is activated by direct radiation from a celestial body, electrical mechanism governed by said device which causes the latter to maintain a fix on said body by tilting the sphere and revolving the arm, a, courser movable along said arm, and means governed by tilting movement of the sphere which causes the courser to move along the arm in accordance with a variation in latitude position of the craft.
22. An instrument according to claim 21 comprising light reflective, surfaces on the chart defining a course to a destination, a light .on the courser directed towards the plotted course, an electronic device which is differentially activated by the lightreilected from said surfaces, craft guidance mechanism and means controlled by the differentially activated electronic device which governs the craft guidance mechanism and causes the craft to move according, to the plotted course.
23. A navigating instrument for craft having craft guidance apparatus comprising an equatorially mounted light seeking electronic device which is automatically controlled by the radiant energy directed from and movable to maintain a fix on a celestial body during the craft movement, a chart having a course to a destination plotted thereon according to latitude and longitude and to correct for instrument errors but without being limited to a great circle, a course follower movable over the chart, latitude and longitude determining mechanism governed by said device which responds to changes in the latitude and longitude of the craft position, mechanism governed by the latitude and longitude determining mechanism while the electronic device maintains its fix which causes the course follower to move over the chart and to be positioned in accordance with the instantaneous latitude and longitude position of the craft, and electrical mechanism rendered operative by a deviation of the follower from the plotted course which governs the craft guidance apparatus and causes the craft to approach and substantially follow the course.
- ROBERT J. HERBOLD.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,016,240 'Alexiefl Jan. 30, 1912 2,102,512 Chance Dec. 14, 1937 2,155,402 Clark Apr. 25, 1939 2,354,917 Jones Aug. 1, 1944 2,419,641 Hart Apr. 29, 1947 2,424,193 Rost et a1. July 15, 1947 2,444,933 Jasperson July 13, 1948