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Mechanical & Electronic Fuze

Mechanical & Electronic Fuze

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Published by Vikas Chandra

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Published by: Vikas Chandra on Mar 03, 2009
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03/27/2013

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•Depending upon the target sensing mechanism and
electronic circuitry involved, the electronic fuzes are
classified in following types.
(i) Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze
(ii) Electronic Time (ET) Fuze.
(iii) Electronic Point Detonation (EPD) Fuze.
(iv) Universal Fuze

CONTENTS

171

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•The Radio Proximity Fuzes are also called Variable
Time (VT) Fuze as the operation time varies with
the range of the target. The proximity fuze is a self-
contained radio controlled fuze capable of
transmitting waves of radio frequency, and of
receiving a portion of these waves, which may be
reflected by the target. The fuze fires when the
returning signal is of sufficient strength, due to
proximity to the target, to trigger the firing circuit.

CONTENTS

172

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•Essentially, the fuze is an extremely rugged radio
transmitting and receiving station, which fits into
the nose of a projectile. The Radio PRX fuze may be
defined as “A fuze wherein primary initiation
occurs by remotely sensing the presence, distance,
and/or direction of a target or its associated
environment by means of a signal generated by the
fuze or emitted by the target, or by detecting a
disturbance of a natural field surrounding the
target.”

CONTENTS

173

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•The proximity fuzes are particularly very useful in
ground to air and air to ground applications where
the probability of hitting the target is less. Using
proximity fuze increases the probability of target
destruction as now we need to only bring the
ammunition in the vicinity of target and fuze does
the rest.

CONTENTS

174

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

(i) Fundamental make-up: The radio proximity fuze
basically consists of an antenna, oscillator/detector,
audio frequency amplifier, electronic safety circuit,
Power supply, firing circuit and other mechanical
safety and arming sub-assemblies. The block
diagram of a Proximity fuze is as follow.

CONTENTS

175

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

(ii) Working principle: Proximity fuzes functions on the
principle of Doppler effect. The Doppler effect states that, if
there is a relative motion between two objects then the
frequency of reflected waves would be different from that of
transmitted waves. If the two objects approach each other
than the frequency of reflected waves is greater than that of
transmitted waves and if they move in apposite direction
than frequency of reflected waves is less than that of
transmitted waves. The difference in frequency can be
utilized to sense the target.

CONTENTS

176

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

Figure 5.2: Block diagram of a Proximity fuze.

CONTENTS

177

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•The working principle of the PRX fuze shown in block diagram is as
follows. The power supply is activated only after firing the
ammunition by utilizing setback force. The rest of the circuitry gets
the power through safety switch and starts functioning.

Figure 5.2: Block diagram of a Proximity fuze.

CONTENTS

178

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•The proximity sensor unit (RF oscillator/detector) gets power after a delay as set in
‘Time delay unit’. This is to ensure that proximity sensor gets activated only in the
later part of trajectory of projectile and hence reducing any possibility of jamming
or influence from other electro-magnetic signals.

Figure 5.2: Block diagram of a Proximity fuze.

CONTENTS

179

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•The RF oscillator/detector generates the RF waves of required frequency, which are
then transmitted by antenna. The radio waves travel at the speed of light in space.
These waves will be reflected back to the oscillator by any target that gives a radio
reflection, such as metal objects, water, or earth.

Figure 5.2: Block diagram of a Proximity fuze.

CONTENTS

180

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•The detector receives some of the RF waves reflected from the target. The
transmitted and reflected waves interfere with each other to give a beat frequency.
The amplifier circuit amplifies the beat frequency, which is in audio frequency
range.

Figure 5.2: Block diagram of a Proximity fuze.

CONTENTS

181

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•The electronic safety circuit delays the path of power to reach firing circuit and
hence delaying the firing condenser to get charged till a certain time is lapsed after
firing the ammunition from the gun. This ensures safety during firing of ammunition
and avoids any premature functioning of the fuze.

Figure 5.2: Block diagram of a Proximity fuze.

CONTENTS

182

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•The condenser is charged by power supply voltage before the firing circuit receives
signal from audio amplifier, setting safety time in electronic safety circuit much less
than the total flight time ensures this. Once the condenser is charged, the projectile
is “armed” and ready to detonate when a target influences to do it so.

Figure 5.2: Block diagram of a Proximity fuze.

CONTENTS

183

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•The output of amplifier is coupled to the electronic switch of firing
circuit to trigger the firing mechanism of the fuze. At first the
projectile is so far from the target that the strength of reflected waves
and hence output signal of amplifier is too weak to trigger the firing
circuit.

Figure 5.2: Block diagram of a Proximity fuze.

CONTENTS

184

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•As the proximity fuze projectile approaches the target, the
amplitude of the beat frequency produced in the detector
circuit increases and hence the output of audio amplifier
also increases.

Figure 5.2: Block diagram of a Proximity fuze.

CONTENTS

185

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•When the projectile reaches a specified position relative to the target
and hence the output of the audio amplifier reaches a certain level, the
electronic switch of firing circuit is closed and the path between firing
condenser and electric detonator is completed.

Figure 5.2: Block diagram of a Proximity fuze.

CONTENTS

186

4.4.1 Radio Proximity (PRX) Fuze

•The firing condenser is discharged into the electric
detonator dissipating sufficient energy to start the
detonation process.

Figure 5.2: Block diagram of a Proximity fuze.

CONTENTS

187

4.4.2 Electronic Time (ET) fuze:

•ET fuze uses electronic time delay circuits to
introduce the delay between firing of the
ammunition and its explosion. The electronic time
delay circuits are implemented with the help of
counter Integrated Circuits (ICs). The configuration
of counter decides the delay time, which can be
altered by changing the circuit parameters.
Programmable counters with hand held setters are
used now a days in modern ET fuzes.

CONTENTS

188

4.4.2 Electronic Time (ET) fuze:

•ET fuze may be defined asA fuze that contains a
graduated time element to regulate the time interval
after which the fuze will function.” Electronic Time
(ET) fuze are used in applications where the range
of the target is known and ammunition is required to
function after a predetermined time & also in smoke
and illumination rounds.

CONTENTS

189

4.4.2 Electronic Time (ET) fuze:

(i) Fundamental make-up: The ET fuze basically
consists of an electronic time delay circuit,
electronic safety circuit, power supply, firing circuit,
and other mechanical sub-assemblies. The block
diagram of an ET fuze is as follows.

CONTENTS

190

4.4.2 Electronic Time (ET) fuze:

Figure 5.3: Block diagram of an Electronic Time fuze

CONTENTS

191

4.4.2 Electronic Time (ET) fuze:

(ii) Working principle: The power supply is activated
by exploiting setback force. The safety switch
hinders the path of power supply to electronic time
delay unit and electronic safety circuit. Safety
switch is closed either by setback force itself or by
spin force of specified magnitude or by any other
mechanism (it depends on design).

CONTENTS

192

4.4.2 Electronic Time (ET) fuze:

•The safety switch is closed and the power is applied
to electronic safety circuit and electronic time delay
unit simultaneously. The ET fuze usually have two
types of specifications for time delay one is the
‘safety time’ which is determined by the time setting
of the electronic safety circuit and the other one is
the ‘operation time’ which is determined by the time
setting of the electronic time delay unit.

CONTENTS

193

4.4.2 Electronic Time (ET) fuze:

•The ‘safety time’ and ‘operation time’ can be factory set or,
if fuze is programmable, they can be set by user depending
on his requirement. The electronic safety circuit stops the
firing condenser of firing circuit to get charged for a
specified safety time. When the specified safety time is
lapsed, the electronic safety circuit enables the firing
condenser to get power from power supply and charge to
the required potential. The time delay unit starts counting as
soon as it gets power from power supply.

CONTENTS

194

4.4.2 Electronic Time (ET) fuze:

•The factory set time or user set time (if the timer is
programmable) is counted by the counter and upon
lapse of this time interval time delay unit generates a
trigger pulse. Trigger pulse is applied at the trigger
input of the electronic switch of the firing circuit,
which in turn closes the path between firing
condenser and electric detonator. The energy stored
in firing condenser is dissipated in the electric
detonator, which starts the detonation process

CONTENTS

195

4.4.3 Electronic Point Detonation (EPD)
Fuze

•EPD fuze is the simplest type of electronic fuze. It functions
when the projectile hits any hard object. The impact switch
acts as the target sensor i.e. as soon as projectile hits the
target the switch closes and causes detonation. EPD fuze
action is also used as a back up mode in most of the modern
Proximity and Electronic Time fuzes to ensure that if fuze
does not function in its set mode (PRX or ET) than it
functions at least on hitting some hard object. Electronic
point detonation fuze may be defines asA fuze that is set
in action by the striking of a projectile or bomb against an
object”.

CONTENTS

196

4.4.3 Electronic Point Detonation (EPD)
Fuze

(i) Fundamental make-up: The EPD fuze consists of
impact switch, power supply, firing circuit,
electronic safety circuit, and other mechanical sub-
assemblies. Block diagram of an EPD fuze is as
follows.

CONTENTS

197

4.4.3 Electronic Point Detonation (EPD)
Fuze

Figure5.4: Block diagram of an EPD fuze

CONTENTS

198

4.4.3 Electronic Point Detonation (EPD)
Fuze

(ii) Working principle: The EPD fuze has very less
electronics integrated in it. Electronic circuits
perform only firing and safety functions. The power
supply is activated by setback force as soon as the
ammunition is fired. The electronic safety circuit
counts the time and upon lapse of set time, it feed
the power to firing circuit and the condenser of
firing circuit gets charge by the power supply.

CONTENTS

199

4.4.3 Electronic Point Detonation (EPD)
Fuze

•Once this condenser is charged, the projectile is
“armed” and ready to detonate when projectile hits a
hard object. The impact switch closes when
projectile hits an object and triggers firing circuit.
The path between the firing condenser of firing
circuit and electric detonator is closed by impact
switch and energy stored in firing condenser is
dissipated into the electric detonator, which then
starts the detonation process.

CONTENTS

200

4.4.4 Universal fuze

•The definition of Universal Fuze is not unique, one may
define universal fuze in his own way. The idea of Universal
fuze is to make a single type of fuze, which can be used in
many applications. This provides user more flexibility in
managing his inventory. The Universal fuze can be defined
in terms of its applicability to multi caliber systems in same
ammunition type, or applicability to multiple ammunitions,
or both multiple caliber and multiple ammunitions.
Following may be one set of universal fuze.

CONTENTS

201

4.4.4 Universal fuze

(i) Programmable Electronic Time Fuze with EPD
back up:
The programmable ET fuze can be used in
multiple caliber ammunitions since the user has the
luxury to set the operation time depending on
caliber of ammunition. With programmability of
operation time, it also has EPD mode as back up or
option to set EPD as operation mode

CONTENTS

202

4.4.4 Universal fuze

(ii) Programmable Proximity Fuze with EPD back-
up:
The programmable PRX fuze can be used in
multiple caliber ammunitions since the user has the
luxury to set the Height-of-Burst, depending on
caliber of ammunition. With programmability of
Height-of-Burst, it also has EPD mode as back up or
option to set EPD as operation mode

CONTENTS

203

4.4.4 Universal fuze

(iii) Multi-Option Fuze (MOF): The Multi-Option
fuze has all three modes of operation: Proximity
(PRX), Electronic Time (ET) and Electronic Point
Detonation (PD). The EPD mode can be selected as
operation mode or it can be set as back up mode
with PRX or ET mode. The user has the luxury to
select the operation mode either PRX or ET with or
with EPD back up or EPD mode only as operation
mode.

CONTENTS

204

4.4.4 Universal fuze

•In ET mode, the operation time can be set by the
user, making it useful in all caliber ammunitions.
Similarly, in PRX mode the Height-of-Burst can be
set by user, making it useful in all caliber
ammunitions. Block diagram of a typical Multi-
Option Fuze is as follows.

CONTENTS

205

4.4.4 Universal fuze

Figure5.5: Block diagram of Multi-Option Fuze

CONTENTS

206

4.4.4 Universal fuze

4.4.4.1 Working Principle: Multi-Option Fuze
(MOF) is a combination of all three fuze action, i.e.
proximity, time and point detonation. The basic
construction has all the components used in PRX,
ET and EPD fuzes along with other components
such as ‘Selector Switch’, ‘Height-of-Burst Setter’
and ‘Time Setter’.

CONTENTS

207

4.4.4 Universal fuze

•The selector switch can be an electronic switch
implemented with the help of a de-multiplexer or a
manual one to many electrical switch. The selector
switch is used to select the operation mode of the
fuze. There are three possible operation modes in
this fuze viz.
ii)Proximity with EPD back up,
iii)Electronic Time with EPD back up,
iv)And Only EPD.

CONTENTS

208

4.4.4 Universal fuze

•Selecting one of these operation modes, the path of
power supply to the corresponding circuit module is
activated by selector switch via safety switch
(except in case of EPD, where no power is
required). The function of safety switch is same as
explained in PRX and ET fuze. Depending on the
mode selected, the corresponding circuit module
(proximity sensor or programmable time delay unit)
gets power and starts functioning.

CONTENTS

209

4.4.4 Universal fuze

•The principle of working of PRX sensor and
Electronic Timer is same as explained in PRX fuze
and ET fuze respectively, the only difference being
is that, in case of MOF fuze electronic timer is
programmable and hence operation time can be set
by the user. The ‘operation time’ is set with the help
of ‘Time Setter’ unit. Time Setter unit can be a part
of fuze or it can be a separate entity.

CONTENTS

210

4.4.4 Universal fuze

•Similarly ‘Height-of Burst Setter can be a part of
fuze or it can a separate entity. Making it a separate
entity has the advantage that only one setter can be
used for many fuzes and hence saving the cost. The
working principle of rest of the components of MOF
fuze is same as explained in PRX and ET fuze.

CONTENTS

211

4.5 LIMITATIONS OF ELECTRONIC FUZE

•The electronic circuits though adds many valuable
features to the fuze, but these additional feature
comes at the cost of complex design and
susceptibility of electronic fuze to some
environmental and working conditions. Few
limitations of electronic fuze are described below

CONTENTS

212

4.5 LIMITATIONS OF ELECTRONIC FUZE

susceptibility to electromagnetic interference (EMI): this
problem becomes more severe in case of proximity fuzes
as it can lead to wrong target sensing and hence making
the fuze to function before it actually reaches in the
vicinity of target

(Ii) possibility of jamming: the proximity fuzes are
susceptible to jamming. If enemy knows the technical
specifications (e.G. Operating frequency etc.), He can
easily misguide the fuze. Using appropriate modulation
and coding schemes can solve this problem.

CONTENTS

213

4.5 LIMITATIONS OF ELECTRONIC FUZE

(iii) additional reliability constraints due to integration
of electronic circuits in to the fuze.
(iv) fuze design becomes more complex due to
integration of electronic circuitry and its interfacing
with mechanical sub-systems.

CONTENTS

214

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