Title:
Hand-carried weapon having a remote visual display
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A weapon system in accordance with the present invention includes a rifle, a thermal sight that is mounted to the rifle, a helmet and a remote visual display that mounted to the helmet. The weapons system further includes an interconnecting means that connects the remote visual display to the thermal sight. The interconnecting means includes a first cable that is semi-permanently connected to a video port on the thermal sight and has a free end that terminates at a jack. A second video cable is permanently wired to the remote visual display and has a free end that terminates at a plug. To sight the hand-carried weapon without having to look through the sight, the jack is inserted into the plug, to thereby provide video from the sight to the remote visual display. The user fired the rifle from behind cover by viewing the sight reticles through the remote display.



Inventors:
Lee, Yau S. (Fairfax, VA, US)
Roberts, Mark A. (Fredericksburg, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/057765
Publication Date:
09/07/2006
Filing Date:
02/15/2005
Assignee:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41G1/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ALIMENTI, SUSAN C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY (FORT BELVOIR, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for aiming a hand-carried weapon comprising the steps of: A) mounting a sight on said weapon; B) affording a remote display; C) connecting said remote display to said sight; and, D) sighting said weapon through said remote display.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said hand-carried weapon is a rifle.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein said sight step A) is accomplished with an infrared sight.

4. The method of claim 2 wherein said step B) is accomplished with a remote display that is sized to allow for simultaneous viewing through the display and the user's field of view.

5. The method of claim 4 wherein said remote display sized to be viewed with one eye.

6. The method of claim 4 wherein said sight has a video port and wherein said step C) further comprises the steps of: E) connecting the first end of a first video cable to said video port of said sight, said video cable having an opposing second end which terminates at a jack; F) wiring a second video cable to said remote visual display, said second video cable terminating at a plug; and, G) inserting said jack into said plug to establish a video line from said sight to said remote visual display.

7. A system comprising: a hand-carried weapon; a sight mounted to said weapon; a remote visual display; a means for interconnecting said visual display to said sight; said interconnecting means allowing the user to aim said weapon through said sight by looking at said remote visual display.

8. The system of claim 7 further comprising: a helmet, said remote visual display mounted to said helmet.

9. The system of claim 7 further comprising; goggles, said remote visual display mounted to said goggles.

10. The system of claim 8 wherein said sight is a thermal infrared sight.

11. The system of claim 7 wherein said interconnecting means further comprises: a first video cable having a first end terminating at a Cristek fitting and a second end terminating at a jack; a second video cable having one end permanently wired to said micro-optical display and an opposing end terminating at a plug; and, said jack being selectively inserted into said plug to provide video output from said sight to said remote visual display.

12. The device of claim 12 wherein said remote visual display is sized to allow for aiming of said weapon through said display without obscuring the field of view of said user.

Description:

GOVERNMENT INTEREST

The invention described herein may be manufactured, used, sold, imported, and/or licensed by or for the Government of the United States of America.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention applies generally to weapon sights. More particularly, the present invention is useful as a thermal sight with a remote visual display that allows an operator to sight a hand-carried weapon without having to physically look through the sight.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Thermal, or infrared (IR), sights that are adapted to be mounted on portable weapons systems are well known in the prior art. Thermal sights are useful for obtaining targeting data in the IR spectrum. In some cases, these sights are mounted to hand-carried weapons such as rifles. However, the bulk of the thermal sight (Specifically, the height at which it sits above the weapon) makes it difficult for the user to look through the sight when firing the weapon. When the user fires the weapon from the prone position, this condition worsens, and the user may actually have to expose oneself to hostile fire.

When the sight is mounted to a heavier-caliber hand-carried weapon, such as a .50 caliber machine gun, the gunner has to acquire the target then remove his/her eye from the gun before firing. Otherwise, the recoil from the weapon causes the weapon to strike the user in the face with sufficient force to give the user a black eye. Because of these constraints, it is very difficult to use thermal sights to aim hand-carried weapons, and thermal sights are generally used only for observation or when the hand-carried weapon is mounted in a static position.

What is desired is a device that would allow soldiers to rapidly engage targets by placing the sight reticles as viewed through a remote display on the target while simultaneously firing the weapon. An additional benefit of such a device is an “around the corner” capability; since the user can see wherever the sight is pointed, the user could shoot or observe from behind cover.

In view of the above, it is therefore one object of the invention to provide a weapon sight having a remote display which allows for firing the gun without actually viewing the target through the sight. It is another object of the present invention to provide a weapons sight with a remote display that allows for aiming of the weapon from behind cover without exposing the user to hostile fire. Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a weapon sight with a remote display that is goggle/helmet mounted, to allow the user's hand to remain free for operation of the weapon. It is another object of the present invention to provide a weapon sight with a remote display that is does not obscure the user's normal field of view, and further that allows for simultaneous views of the user's normal field of view and the view through the weapon sight. Another object of the present invention is to provide a thermal sight with a remote display that allows for quick connect/disconnect of the sight from the remote display. A further object of the present invention is to provide a weapon sight with a remote display, wherein the sight is easy to manufacture in a cost-efficient manner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A weapon system in accordance with the present invention includes a hand-carried weapon and a sight that is mounted to the weapon. Preferably, the hand-carried weapon is a shoulder-fired rifle, and the sight is a thermal sight to allow for aiming of the weapon according to infrared targeting data.

To sight the hand-carried weapon without having to look through the sight, the system of the present invention further includes a remote visual display. The remote visual display is preferably mounted to a helmet, which further frees the operator's hand for firing of the weapon. An interconnecting means such as a cable connects the remote visual display to the thermal sight. On one end of the cable, a Cristek connector is preferably used to connect to the thermal sight. At the other end, a connector is attached to the remote visual display. A control box is in incorporated in the cable to selectively provide power to the remote visual display. The remote visual display is sized to allow for viewing with one eye of the user, without obscuring the field of view of the other eye of the user.

For the methods of the present invention, the aforesaid thermal sight is mounted on the weapon and the remote display is mounted to a helmet. The interconnect means is attached to the sight and to the remote visual display. The operator then sights the weapon through the remote display.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features of this invention will be best understood from the accompanying drawings, taken in conjunction with the accompanying description, in which similar characters refer to similar parts, and in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the weapon system of the present invention when deployed in an operational environment.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the sight, helmet and remote visual display portions of the system of FIG. 1, along with the cable that connects the remote visual display to the sight.

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the remote visual display portions of the weapon system of FIG. 1.

WRITTEN DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the Figures, the weapon system of the present invention is shown and is generally depicted by reference character 10. In brief overview, and as shown primarily in FIGS. 1 and 2, the system includes a hand-carried weapon 12, and a sight 14 that is mounted to the weapon. A remote visual display 26 is connected to the sight via a first video cable 16 and a second video cable 20 in a manner more fully described hereinafter. The display 26 is also mounted on a helmet 28 which is worn by the user 30. With this configuration, the user can look through the remote visual display to sight the weapon from behind cover 32.

Preferably, the hand-carried weapons if a rifle, although hand-carried weapons such as pistols can be used to practice the invention. Most sights which can be mounted to a hand-carried weapon are suitable for use with the present invention, provided the sight has a video output port for connection to the display 26. Preferably, the Thermal Weapon Sight (TWS), which is manufactured by Raytheon, is used. The remote display 26 preferably is very small and has structure which allows for rapid placement in and removal from the user field of view. The remote display further should be sized so that it allows for viewing through the display by the user with one eye, in order for the user's maintain his/her field of view while using the system. One such display is the CV-3 Color Video Viewer, which is manufactured by MicroOptical®. Other remote visual displays could also be used to practice the present invention.

As shown primarily in FIG. 2, the first video cable 16 is semi-permanently attached to the sight 14 at sight end 18 with a Cristek fitting 34 that mates to video port 36 on the sight. The other end of the cable terminates in a jack 38. The second video cable 20 is permanently wired to remote visual display 26 at video end 22. A control box 39 and associated rechargeable battery 40 is located in the middle of the second video cable, for selectively providing to the remote visual display portion of the device. The opposite end of second video cable 20 terminates at plug 42.

For operation, power is provided by control box 39. Jack 38 is inserted into plug 42 to allow for the video from the sight to be transmitted to the remote visual display via first video cable and second video cable. It should be appreciate that the jack and plug arrangement allows for a quick-disconnect capability, which provides for unencumbered movement should the operator need to disconnect quickly (i.e. if the operator is under fire and need to shift position for better cover). In the preferred embodiment, the plug is a four conductor TP-101, and the corresponding preferred jack is a TJ-101, which are both manufactured by Nexus®.

Referring now to FIG. 3, the remote visual display of the present is shown in greater detail. As shown, remote visual display includes a clip 44 that can be attached to a helmet via a bracket (not shown). Alternatively, the clip can be attached to goggles or other headwear in a manner known in the art. A swivel arm 46 is pivotally mounted to clip 44 at one end and to display housing 48 at the other end. The display housing partially encloses an optical train 50 and a display lens 52.

There are several characteristics of the remote visual display 26 that are worth of note. The swivel arm allows for the user to flip the display down into the user's field of view when it is needed to sight the weapon by viewing the video from sight 14 through the remote visual display. When the remote display is in position, the display lens is sized for viewing with one eye. Accordingly, the display lens is rectangular-shaped with dimensions or approximately one half inch by one half inch. This allows the user to aim the weapons through the remote visual display without obstructing his/her entire field of view. When the remote display is not needed, the user pivots swivel arm 46 and out of the user's field of view.

When the display is not needed (such as when the gun is being fired directly through the sight, for example), the user moves swivel arm 46 about its pivot point to flip the display lens 52 up and remove the remote visual display from the user's field of view.

For the methods of the present invention, the sight is mounted on the weapon, and the first video cable is attached to the sight by mating the Cristek fitting 34 onto video port 36. The user attaches the remote visual display 26 to a helmet and dons the helmet.

The user plugs the jack of the second video cable into the plug of the first video cable, and operates the control box 39 to provide power to the remote visual display. The user then sights the hand-carried weapon by viewing the sight reticles through the remote visual display.

While the hand-carried weapon having a remote optical display of the present invention, as herein shown and described in detail, is fully capable of obtaining the objects and providing the advantages above stated, it is to be understood that the presently preferred embodiments are merely illustrative of the invention. As such, no limitations are intended other than as defined in the appended claims.