Title:
DEPLOYABLE WATCHTOWER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A deployable and erectable watch tower for accommodating personnel in an upper chamber thereof is disclosed. The deployable and erectable watch tower is translocatable by haulage and includes an erectable unit; a base frame; a hydraulic actuator for erecting the erectable unit, an upper chamber of the erectable unit having transparent windows and a roof; sideways foldable legs for supporting the base frame on the ground; and ground stilts for supporting the legs on the ground. The deployable and erectable watch tower may further include armoured elements attached at least to the erectable unit.



Inventors:
Klein, Amos (Kiriat Haim, IL)
Application Number:
11/761443
Publication Date:
12/13/2007
Filing Date:
06/12/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H12/34
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Primary Examiner:
WENDELL, MARK R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
YORAM TSIVION (PARDES HANNA, IL)
Claims:
1. A deployable and erectable watch tower (DEWT) for accommodating personnel in an upper chamber thereof, wherein said DEWT is translocatable by haulage, said DEWT comprising: an erectable unit; a base frame; a hydraulic actuator for erecting said erectable unit, said actuator supported at its lower end by said base frame and at its upper end by said erectable unit; an upper chamber of said erectable unit having transparent windows and a roof; sideways foldable legs for supporting said base frame on the ground; and ground stilts for supporting said legs on the ground.

2. A deployable and erectable watch tower (DEWT) as in claim 1 further comprising armoured elements attached at least to said erectable unit.

3. A deployable and erectable watchtower (DEWT) as in claim 1 wherein said ground stilts are extendable selectively.

4. A deployable and erectable watchtower (DEWT) as in claim 1 wherein said support legs are spreadable selectively.

5. A deployable and erectable watchtower (DEWT) as in claim 1 wherein said erectable unit is telescopic.

6. A deployable and erectable watchtower (DEWT) as in claim 1 wherein a support structure is furnished in the gap between said lower part of the erected erectable unit and a horizontal plane created by said base frame.

7. A deployable and erectable watchtower (DEWT) as in claim 1, wherein a ladder for climbing to said upper chamber is installed inside said erectable unit.

8. A deployable and erectable watchtower (DEWT) as in claim 1, wherein said hydraulic actuator is pivotally connected to a main tower pivot at its upper end.

9. A deployable and erectable watchtower (DEWT) as in claim 8, wherein said main tower pivot is situated at a position above said erectable unit when said unit is prostrate.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is in the field of terrestrial defensive measures. More specifically the invention is a watchtower.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Watching over specified locations is a matter of securing a specific zone or passage, and may be associated with dangerous or even deadly activities. Watchmen in their duty of surveillance or inspection over designated areas may be put into dangerous situations during their duty hours. The well-being of the watchmen is not only an interest of the watchmen themselves but also a matter of the quality of service provided by the personnel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic description of an exemplary watchtower showing main aspects of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic side view description of an exemplary watchtower in a non erected state but with ground stilts protruding;

FIG. 3A is a schematic description of erectable unit in prostrate position.

FIG. 3B is a schematic description of the erectable unit in upright position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention a deployable and erectable watchtower (DEWT) is provided. The folded watchtower is translocated by haulage by means of a suitable vehicle and deployed by implementing several simple actions performed while still on the vehicle. When the watchtower is in a functional state, the carrying vehicle Is free to move away from the site of deployment.

In an example of a watchtower in accordance with the present invention, as can be seen in FIG. 1 to which reference is now made, the DEWT incorporates prominent features described next. Four sideways foldable support legs (SLs) 20 (only three shown) are all pivotally connected to base frame 24 of the DEWT. The folding pivot facilitates folding of the legs 20 between a contracted position and a deployed position around axis 26. The contracted position allows haulage on a vehicle traveling on roads or off road, with legs contracted, adjacent base frame 24. Erectable unit 42 establishes an upright position as the transit from prostrate position is energized by a hydraulic system. Pistons 48 of the hydraulic actuator are pivotally connected: to the erectable unit 42 on one side and to base frame 24 on their other side. Main tower pivot (MTP) 50 is located in a position besides the erected unit when fully erected. When prostrate, the MTP is located above erectable unit 42. The prostrate position of erectable unit 42 is described in FIG. 2 to which reference is now made. In this state, the DEWT is more haulage stable, having a lower center of gravity with respect to the erected state of the erectable unit 42. MTP 50 is at this arrangement situated above erectable unit 42. Hydraulic actuator 52 extends with its lower end on base frame 24 and with its upper, pivoted end attached to erectable unit 42 by pivot 56. Height-adjustable ground stilts 60 showed protruding each from their respective housing 62.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention the erectable unit is also telescopic such that two or more telescopic coaxial subunits are extractable providing for a higher tower, yet compactable for haulage purposes. This property is described in FIGS. 3A and 3B to which reference is now made. In FIG. 3A, erectable unit 42 is prostrate as in the haulage position. As hydraulic actuator 52 is protruded, the erectable unit rises in the direction of arrow 70 to an erected state as in FIG. 3B. The three telescopic units 72, 74 and 76 are shown expanded. In some embodiments the expansion is not singular, providing for regulation of the height of the watchtower. In this case the upper chamber of the watchtower is telescopic unit 76. When the erectable unit is fully erected as in FIG. 3B, in gap 78 a support structure is inserted to support the erectable unit on the horizontal plane created by the base frame, obviating the support by the hydraulic actuator.

Upper Chamber

The upper chamber serves to accommodate the personnel as well as additional tasks. The windows in the upper chamber such as window 80 are transparent and typically wide to support sufficient visibility angle to the personnel in the upper chamber. Optional opening 82 on the roof provides for ventilation. However, typically the DEWT of the invention uses electrical power such as obtained from a generator or from external supply to run an air conditioning system inside the upper chamber. The roof may also be used for supporting antennas, solar energy converter, reconnaissance equipment etc. Apertures in the wall of the upper chamber are provided in some embodiments to allow for shooting towards targets outside of the watchtower.

Personnel Accommodation

To provide for both the wellbeing and efficient duty fulfillment of the personnel manning the watchtower, several provisions are made in connection with the tower itself. Windows are supplied with bulletproof and shock proof glass, such as ballistic glass. Climbing from the lower part of the watch tower to the upper chamber is preferably performed using a ladder installed inside the tower. Provisions for food, air conditioning and toilet are effected inside the erectable unit.

Passive Defensive Measures

In addition to the windows, as described above, the upper chamber as well as other parts of the DEWT may be furnished with defensive protection means. Although the basic building materials of the erectable unit as well as other parts of the DEWT may be made of bulletproof or shrapnel proof material in compliance various protection standards, armor elements such as plates, made of metal or ceramics or plastic resins as known in the art, are optionally appended to structural elements of the DEWT. Also, the entrance to the erectable unit and the roof of the upper chamber may be provided with such passive protecting elements.

Advantages of Using the Tower of the Invention

Static watch posts are made more vulnerable as time goes on, because potential hostile activities are more easily planned and carried out against static targets. The static location therefore potentially increases the effectiveness of hostile activities based on the specific knowledge. The tower of the invention is easily deployed by spreading the support legs and leveling the ground stilts to cope with uneven ground level. The telescopic embodiment is especially accommodated for letting the DEWT reach high enough but not too high in cases that topography or local hostile post dictate a certain amount of exposure limitation. In addition, the DEWT of the invention can be deployed in enclosed areas as well as in the open field with rugged terrain etc. Selecting a suitable angle of leg spreading, and selecting a suitable ground stilt extension level facilitate safe deployment of the DEWT in crowded, enclosed or otherwise spatially limiting terrain.

Deployment

The DEWT can be fully deployed while still on the vehicle. The vehicle is not required to leave for full activity. The spreading of legs and extending of ground stilts are typically carried out by manual labour but may be equally well performed by electrical or other actuators. The erection of the erectable unit is carried out typically by a hydraulic actuator but electrical actuator or even manual gear may be used for that purpose.