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Title: No moving parts safe & arm apparatus and method with monitoring and built-in-test for optical firing of explosive systems

A laser initiated ordnance controller apparatus which provides a safe and m scheme with no moving parts. The safe & arm apparatus provides isolation of firing energy to explosive devices using a combination of polarization isolation and control through acousto-optical deviation of laser energy pulses. The apparatus provides constant monitoring of the systems status and performs 100% built-in-test at any time prior to ordnance ignition without the risk of premature ignition or detonation. The apparatus has a computer controller, a solid state laser, an acousto-optic deflector and RF drive circuitry, built-in-test optics and electronics, and system monitoring capabilities. The optical system is completed from the laser beam power source to the pyrotechnic ordnance through fiber optic cabling, optical splitters and optical connectors. During operation of the apparatus, a command is provided by the computer controller and, simultaneous with laser flashlamp fire, the safe & arm device is opened for approximately 200 microseconds which allows the laser pulse to transmit through the device. The arm signal also energizes the laser power supply and activates the acousto-optical deflector. When the correct fire format command is received, the acousto-optic deflector moves to the selected event channel, and the channel is verified to ensuremore » the system is pointing to the correct position. Laser energy is transmitted through the fiber where an ignitor or detonator designed to be sensitive to optical pulses is fired at the end of the fiber channel. Simultaneous event channels may also be utilized by optically splitting a single event channel. The built-in-test may be performed anytime prior to ordnance ignition.« less
  1. (Overland Park, KS)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
United States of America as represented by Department of Energy (Washington, DC) KCP
Patent Number(s):
US 5404820
Contract Number:
Research Org:
Kansas City Plant (KCP), Kansas City, MO (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
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