Title:
Multiple sting ball grenade dispenser
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A stingball delivery system, having a housing, a plurality of submunitions, and a plurality of stingballs contained within the housing. The housing has a cylindrical tube and a plurality of curved segments fitted to the cylindrical tube. The cylindrical tube has a fixed end cap and a removable end cap. The submunitions are stacked within the channel defined by cylindrical tube. When the removable end cap is ejected by a pyrotechnic fuze, a plurality of pyrotechnic charges eject the submunitions from the housing individually and sequentially. The ejection of each submunition exerts a force to raise the housing several feet into the air. Each of the submunitions includes a plurality of radially distributed barrels for packaging the stingballs therein. After the submunitions are ejected from the housing, the stingballs are pyrotechnically expelled from the submunitions along predetermined trajectories.



Inventors:
Law, Raymond C. (Anaheim Hills, CA, US)
Donne, Alexsana G. (Rolling Hills Estates, CA, US)
Walker, Mark (Fullerton, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/434679
Publication Date:
11/22/2007
Filing Date:
05/16/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
102/480
International Classes:
F42B27/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BERGIN, JAMES S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STETINA BRUNDA GARRED & BRUCKER (ALISO VIEJO, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A stingball delivery system, comprising: a housing having a spherical rolling surface; at least one submunition contained within the housing, the submunition being operative to exert a force to raise the system into air while being ejected from the housing, the submunition including a plurality of barrels arrayed about a central axis of the housing; and a plurality of stingballs contained in the barrels and to be expelled from the barrels after the submunition being ejected from the housing.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the housing includes a cylindrical tube for containing the submunition therein.

3. The system of claim 2, wherein the cylindrical tube includes one fixed end cap and one removable end cap.

4. The system of claim 3, wherein the cylindrical tube further comprises a pyrotechnic fuze to eject the removable end cap.

5. The system of claim 3, wherein the cylindrical tube further comprises an electronic device for ejecting the removable end cap.

6. The system of claim 3, wherein the cylindrical tube further comprises a compression structure for ejecting the removable end cap.

7. The system of claim 2, wherein the housing further includes a plurality of curve segments fitted to the cylindrical tube to provide the spherical rolling surface.

8. The system of claim 1, wherein stingballs have multiple calibers.

9. The system of claim 1, wherein the stingballs are fabricated from n-butyl, rubber, polycarbonate or plastic.

10. The system of claim 1, wherein each of the stingballs contains pepper powder, powder, a malodrant, a laychramator, paint, dye, liquid, a boi-flurescent material, a fluorescent material or a marking material.

11. A stingball delivery system, comprising: a housing; and a stack of submunition extending along a central axis of the housing, wherein each of the submunition includes a plurality of barrels arrayed about the central axis.

12. The stingball delivery system of claim 11, wherein the submunitions are in the form of wheels extending within the housing and the barrels are in the form of spokes on the wheels.

13. The stingball delivery system of claim 11, wherein the housing comprises a removable end cap.

14. The stingball delivery system of claim 12, further comprising a mechanism to eject the removable end cap, so as to force the submunitions individually and sequentially ejected from the housing at predetermined intervals.

15. The stingball delivery system of claim 14, wherein the submunitions, while being ejected from the housing, exerts a force to raise the housing into air.

16. The stingball delivery system of claim 15, wherein the housing is raised into air for several feet.

17. The stingball delivery system of claim 15, further comprising a structure fitted to the housing for keeping the system upright while the submunitions are ejected from the housing.

18. The stingball delivery system of claim 14, further comprising a plurality of stingballs packaged within the barrels.

19. The stingball delivery system of claim 18, wherein the stingballs are expelled from the submunitions at different timings from the ejection of the submunitions.

20. The stingball delivery system of claim 11, wherein the barrels are tilted with a predetermined angle above a horizontal plane.

21. The stingball delivery system of claim 11, wherein the barrels are tilted to control trajectories of the stingballs.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT RE: FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates in general to a non-lethal weapon used for access denial and crowd control in riots and other environments such as urban warfare, hostage rescue and embassy security in which combatants are interspersed with non-combatants.

FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional stingball grenade that is often typically used for crowd control in the above mentioned environments. As shown, the stingball grenade is operative to explosively disperse multiple small caliber rubber balls (stingballs) at one time in an approximately spherical pattern. The effectiveness of this type of weapon normally has two major drawbacks. The first drawback includes the inherent inefficiency of the dispersion pattern adapted thereby. The dispersion pattern of the stingball grenade as shown in FIG. 1 often causes a substantial fraction of stingballs to be fired into the air without striking any target. In addition, a significant amount of the available stingballs fires along a trajectory capable of striking the upper part of the targets. This raises serious concern about eye safety. Ultimately, only a minority of the available stingballs actually strike the targets in a safe area to cause the desired blunt trauma without permanent injury. The second drawback of the conventional stingball grenade as shown in FIG. 1 includes the single-event nature that results in a distraction and deterrent effect of very short duration. Once the stingball grenade goes off, the only lasting effect is the pain and bruising caused by the stingballs that hit the targets. This will not be enough to deter truly committed individuals, who will most likely continue their course of action until stopped by other, possibly lethal, means.

BRIEF SUMMARY

A stingball delivery system with enhanced overall distraction and deterrence effectiveness is provided. The stingball delivery system includes an exterior housing employing continuously self-righting features that encourage proper orientation of the device for improved control over the stingball trajectory. A plurality of submunitions contained within the housing are sequentially dispersed in random locations about the housing. Each submunition then disperses the stingball payload from the corresponding random location after a delay time after the dispersion thereof. This results in a nearly continuous string of loud reports, punctuated by frequent volleys of high-velocity stingballs from different locations. Further, the submunition employs multiple discrete barrels arrayed about a central axis of the housing to control both velocity and trajectory of the stingballs. The barrels are angled to control the trajectory of the stingballs, such that the stingballs can be targeted to lower portions of the body to avoid permanent injury such as eye injury.

As provided, the system includes an exterior housing, a plurality of submunitions, and a plurality of stingballs contained within the housing. The exterior housing has a cylindrical tube and a plurality of curved segments fitted to the cylindrical tube. The cylindrical tube has a fixed end cap and a removable end cap. The submunitions are stacked within the channel defined by cylindrical tube. When the removable end cap is ejected by a pyrotechnic fuze, a plurality of pyrotechnic charges eject the submunitions from the housing individually and sequentially. The ejection of each submunition exerts a force to raise the housing several feet into the air. Each of the submunitions includes a plurality of radially distributed barrels for packaging the stingballs and additional pyrotechnic charges therein. After the submunitions are ejected from the housing, the stingballs are pyrotechnically expelled from the submunitions along predetermined trajectories.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features and advantages of the various embodiments disclosed herein will be better understood with respect to the following description and drawings, in which like numbers refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional stingball grenade;

FIG. 2 shows a perspective exterior view of a stingball grenade provided in one embodiment;

FIG. 3 shows a cross sectional view of the stingball grenade as shown in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is an exterior view of a submunition of the stingball grenade as shown in FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, the housing of the stingball grenade as provided includes a hollow circular tube 1 having a fixed end cap 2 and a removable end cap 3. The exterior housing is fitted with several evenly spaced, curved segments 4 to create a virtual sphere rolling surface. The segments 4 allow the cylindrical housing to roll in any direction like a ball. The center of the effective rolling surface is located along the central axis of the circular tube 1. Preferably, the center of the effective rolling surface is offset from the center of mass of the housing such that gravity always acts to rotate the housing to the preferred upright position. As shown in FIG. 3, the stingball grenade further comprises a stack of submunitions 6 (also referred to as stingball pucks) extending along the channel defined by the circular tube 1. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, each of the submunitions 6 includes a plurality of radially distributed barrels 8 for carrying stingballs 7.

In one embodiment, the barrels 8 can be designed with various dimensions for holding the stingballs 7 with multiple calibers. The stingballs 7 may be fabricated from n-butyl, other rubber material, polycarbonate or other plastic balls. In addition, each of the stingballs 7 may contain pepper powder or other powder, a malodrant, a laychramator, paint, dye or liquids, a bio-fluorescent, fluorescent or other marking material.

Upon deployment, the removable end cap 3 is ejected from the circular tube 1 by a pyrotechnic fuze 5. The pyrotechnic fuze 5 may be replaced with other electronic devices or compression structure that provides the same effect. Once the removable cap 3 is ejected 3, the submunitions 6 are individually and sequentially forcefully ejected at predetermined intervals. In the preferred embodiment, this ejection force is provided by pyrotechnic charges packaged inside each submunition. However, the pyrotechnic charges may be replaced with other electronic devices or compression structure that provides the same effect. Due to the self-righting action of the curved segments 4, the stingball grenade is upright at the time that the submunitions 6 are ejected. The force exerted by each ejection raises the whole stingball grenade several feet into the air, whereupon the stingball grenade falls down and rolls to a random location. In this manner, the submunitions 6 are dispersed throughout the operation area of the invention. Once each of the submunitions 6 is ejected, the submunition 6 expels its payload of stingballs 7 after a short delay. In the preferred embodiment, this ejection force is provided by pyrotechnic charges packaged inside each submunition. However, the pyrotechnic charges may be replaced with other electronic devices or compression structure that provides the same effect. Therefore, a separation event and a stingball expulsion event are provided for each submunition 6, which increases the distraction effect. In an alternate embodiment, all submunitions 6 may be ejected at once, and thus dispersed throughout the operation area in a single event. In this embodiment, each submunition 6 would have a different duration time delay, such that the stingball expulsion events would occur in an unpredictable sequence. As mentioned above, the stingballs 7 are packaged in the barrels 8 which are arrayed about the central axis of the submunition 6 like spokes on a wheel. This packaging method allows the velocity of the stingballs 7 to be tightly controlled. In addition, each barrel 8 is tilted above the horizontal plane by a specific angle, allowing the stingball 7 trajectory to be carefully controlled. The design of the submunitions 6 allows more stingballs 7 to strike the target in a safer portion of the body. Therefore, the deterrent effect is improved, while the chance of permanent injury is reduced.

The above description is given by way of example, and not limitation. Given the above disclosure, one skilled in the art could devise variations that are within the scope and spirit of the invention disclosed herein. Further, the various features of the embodiments disclosed herein can be used alone, or in varying combinations with each other and are not intended to be limited to the specific combination described herein. Thus, the scope of the claims is not to be limited by the illustrated embodiments.