US3099813A - Electrolytic-ignition underwater sound source - Google Patents

Electrolytic-ignition underwater sound source Download PDF

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US3099813A
US3099813A US65539057A US3099813A US 3099813 A US3099813 A US 3099813A US 65539057 A US65539057 A US 65539057A US 3099813 A US3099813 A US 3099813A
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chamber
water
ignition
sound source
bell
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Edward P Anderson
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Engelhard Industries Inc
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Engelhard Industries Inc
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10KSOUND-PRODUCING DEVICES; METHODS OR DEVICES FOR PROTECTING AGAINST, OR FOR DAMPING, NOISE OR OTHER ACOUSTIC WAVES IN GENERAL; ACOUSTICS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G10K15/00Acoustics not otherwise provided for
    • G10K15/04Sound-producing devices
    • G10K15/043Sound-producing devices producing shock waves

Description

1963 E. P. ANDERSON 3,099,813

ELECTROLYTIC-IGNITION UNDERWATER souun SOURCE Filed April 26, 1957 FIG. 2

3,0%9,3li3 ELEiITROLYTlC-IGNHIQN UNDERWATER SQUND SUURQE Edward ll. Anderson, Livingston, NJ, assignor, by mesne assignments, to Engelhard industries, inc, Newark,

N.J., a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 26, 1957, Ser. No. 655,390 1 Claim. (Cl. 340-42) This invention relates to an underwater sound source, such sources of underwater sound being required for navigation, depth soundings, and signaling purposes.

It has been found in practice that sources heretofore utilized for these purposes are cumbersome, insufliciently intense, or of a frequency undesirable in this work.

Generally speaking, the underwater sound source of the invention comprises a container which is open at one end and which is hung submerged below the surface of a body of water with the open end of the container at the lower end thereof. The container includes an electrolysis apparatus and igniter or detonator mounted at a point adjacent the closed end of the container.

By electrochemical decomposition of the water in which the sound source is submerged, such as the salt water in the ocean, hydrogen and oxygen are produced in their decomposition ratios of 2:1 respectively, and these decomposition products are collected in the container, which may be of any suitable shape such as a bell or cylinder and the like, having a structural design capable of resisting the physical forces produced and being provided with suitable electrodes capable of functioning under the operational requirements of the device.

An igniter mounted in the upper closed portion of the sound source is used to detonate the explosive mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, and a suitable source of electric current, either direct or alternating, is provided to supply the electrical energy necessary to decompose the water by electrolysis.

Ordinarily, such underwater sound sources are required to sound at a predetermined interval, such as thirty seconds, for example. For this purpose a control device is provided which, when set to some predetermined frequency, automatically adjusts the power delivered to the anodes, such that the igniter will fire at a predetermined interval into a full charge of explosive gas mixture. In order to maintain a full charge of explosive mixture at various intervals, it is desirable that the electrical power utilized for electrolysis be modified in accordance with the interval to control the rate of gas generation for efiicient power usage.

The invention will be further illustrated by reference to the accompanying drawing in which:

FIGURE 1 is a sectional view of one embodiment of the novel underwater sound source of the invention,

FIGURE 2 is a detail view of the spark gap used in the igniter or detonator of the invention,

FIGURE 3 is a schematic drawing showing the electrical circuit involved in the present invention, and

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of a preferred embodiment of the novel underwater sound source of the invention.

Referring to FIGURE 1, the explosive chamber 2 may be bell-shaped, as shown, or of any other desired shape such as cylindrical, so that when the chamber is suspended below the surface of a body of water by the cable 4, it hangs in a position such that the open end thereof is at the bottom. The geometry of this chamber is such that the average specific gravity thereof, when filled with gm, exceeds the specific gravity of water, with the result that the chamber will submerge. The chamber is also designed so that the center of gravity thereof is located 3,@99,8l3 Patented July 30, 1963 close to the bell mouth 6, to eliminate tipping or rolling of the chamber when it is filled with gas. The bell geometry can control the predominant frequency.

A lever or arm 8 on one side of the chamber or bell may have a line 8' attached thereto so that the bell can be tipped after detonation, thus refilling the enclosed volume thereof and washing out any non-combustible decombustible decomposition products which may tend to collect in the upper portion of the bell or chamber. Theoretically, the hydrogen and oxygen will again form water upon detonation and leave no unburned gases remaining. In practice, however, this may not be the case since dissolved gases, such as carbon dioxide and oxygen, exist in the water and will not necessarily be removed except by physical tipping and flushing of the enclosure. Tipping and flushing of the hell are not essential to the operation thereof, but it is a desirable practice in order to obtain a signal of uniform intensity.

An electrode Iii is mounted in the lower portion of the bell in a position such that it maintains electrical contact, with the water in which the bell is submerged, until the bell is filled with gas, and being so located, this electrode will automatically serve to stop the flow of power to the electrode when the bell is filled with gas. The surface of this electrode should be made of some material such as platinum or palladium which will insure long life of the electrode in the corrosive environment to which it is subjected in use. This electrode may be a single electrode extending across the diameter of the chamber or bell, or it may be two or more electrodes mounted in concentric rings or arcs, for example, the design being dependent upon the length of service required and other economic considerations.

The electrode 10 is insulated from the bell or chamber body 2 by means of the insulation 12 and the circuit is completed by the bell body itself which serves as the other electrode. Current is supplied to the electrode Ill by means of the insulated cable 14, and to the bell body or chamber 2, by means of another cable which is secured to the bell body by any suitable means such as the bolt 16.

A spark igniter 18 is mounted in the upper portion of the hell or chamber so that the gas mixture may be electrically ignited or detonated, thereby causing the detonation signal. The design of this igniter is such that any residual water remaining on the spark gap electrodes does not tend to short out the signal and, referring to FIGURE 2, one means for the prevention of the shorting of this igniter is shown. The igniter body 18 is mounted so that the spark gap electrodes 20' and 22 respectively, extend in a generally downward direction, and the electrodes are formed at the lower ends thereof with hook-like projections, terminating at the points 24 and 26 respectively. Thus it will be seen that by virtue of this design, the igniter assembly will drain water from an area other than the ignition points or spark gap, thereby preventing the igniter from being shorted out by water dripping from the points of the electrodes. The igniter is fired by current carried by a high voltage conduit 28, shown in FIG- URE 1, which is connected to a high voltage source, not shown.

Referring to FIGURE 3, one embodiment of the electrical system used is shown in which an electric power supply 30, either alternating or direct, is used to support the electrolysis of the water, and suitable means for power adjustment such as the variable resistance 32 may be connected in series with the power supply. A suitable high voltage supply 34- may be used to ignite the combustible mixture and the ignition may be so arranged that the frequency of the discharge thereof may be manually or automatically controlled by the controller 36,

3 according to the ratio of gas generation which may be monitored through an appropriate ammeter 38.

Referring to FIGURE 4 of the drawings, a preferred embodiment ofthe invention is shown which includes a cylindrical body 40 which may be fabricated from any suitable non-corrosive material such as a suitable plastic or other non-conducting material, the cylindrical body member having a cylindrical well or cavity 42 therein. Mounted adjacent the lower end of the body member 40 are a pair of electrodes 44 and 46, these electrodes being supplied with current through the cables 48 and 50 respectively, these cables passing through the upper end of the body member 40 and being sealed therein against the passage of fluids through the channels occupied by the cables.

An i-gniter 2 is mountedin the upper end of the cavity 42, and consists of a filament wire of iridium or an alloy of iridium. The filament is connected to a pair of cables 54 and 56' for the purpose of supplying electric current thereto, these cables passing through the upper end of the body member 40 and being sealed therein :against the passage of fluids through the channels occupied by the cables.

In the operation of this embodiment of the invention, the mixture of hydrogen and oxygen formed in the upper end of the cavity 42, by electrolysis of water, is ignited or detonated by passing sufficient current through the iridium filament 52 to cause the gas mixture to ignite. Sufiicient current is passed through the filament to raise the temperature thereof to the vicinity of about 3300" F. The diameter of the filament wire is not critical as long as the desired high temperature is attained, but a Wire diameter of 0.003 inch has been found to give excellent results.

It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that many modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention without departing from the spirit thereof, and the invention includes all such modifications.

What is claimed is:

In an underwater sound source, an open-ended chamber, means for supporting said chamber below water with the open end facing downwardly when said chamber is filled with gas, means for electrolytically decomposing Water into hydrogen and oxygen to automatically fill a portion but not all of said chamber with hydrogen and oxygen, said last mentioned means including exposed metal electrodes, at least one of which terminates within said chamber and adjacent the open end of said chamber, whereby the electrolytic decomposition action ceases when said one electrode is exposed to the gases in said chamber and is out of contact with Water, an igniter assembly including at least one active ignition zone and a water draining area contiguous with said active ignition zone but below said zone, means for supplying current to said electrodes, means for selectively supplying power to said igniter assembly, and means for tilting said cham-- her to wash out the chamber and completely refill it with water.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 248,565 Edison Oct. 18, 1881 1,152,697 B odde Sept. 7, 1915 1,500,243 Hammond July 8, 1924 1,738,595 McBride Dec. 10, 1929 1,992,216 Kirst Feb. 26, 1935 2,164,858 West July 4, 1939 2,167,536 Suits July 25, 1939 2,240,941 Ohl May 6, 1941 2,679,205 Pierty May 25, 1954 2,797,399 Camp June 25, 1957 2,820,214 ONeill Jan. 14, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 30,253 Great Britain Dec. 21, 1898 18,025 Great Britain June 10, -9 400,085 Great Britain Oct. 19, 1933 OTHER REFERENCES Handbook of Engineering Material; D. F. Miner and J. B. Seastone; first ed.; 1955; John Wiley and Sons, New York, page 2-411 relied on.

Spreadbury, E. 6.: Electrical Ignition Equipment; 1954; Constable and Company, Ltd, London; pp. 62 and 63 relied on.

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Cited By (16)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3276534A (en) * 1964-12-14 1966-10-04 John I Ewing Pneumatic sound source
US3332510A (en) * 1963-07-12 1967-07-25 Phillips Petroleum Co Generation of signals by rapid vaporization of metallic elements
US3401771A (en) * 1967-02-03 1968-09-17 Sinclair Research Inc Gas exploder apparatus for propagating seismic waves
US3401769A (en) * 1966-04-22 1968-09-17 Sinclair Research Inc Underwater gas explosion seismic wave generator
US3416128A (en) * 1966-10-14 1968-12-10 Gen Electric Electrode for electrohydraulic systems
US3730289A (en) * 1970-09-18 1973-05-01 P Barnhard Seismographic device
US4879452A (en) * 1988-04-04 1989-11-07 Erico International Corporation Exothermic welding apparatus and method
US5229977A (en) * 1992-06-17 1993-07-20 Southwest Research Institute Directional underwater acoustic pulse source
US6553911B1 (en) 1997-04-30 2003-04-29 Erico International Corporation Exothermic reactions and methods
US6835910B2 (en) 2002-01-25 2004-12-28 Erico International Corporation Welding apparatus and method
US20080277194A1 (en) * 2007-05-11 2008-11-13 Lockheed Martin Corporation Engine and technique for generating an acoustic signal
US20110005420A1 (en) * 2006-04-17 2011-01-13 Soundblast Technologies LLC. System and method for ignition of a gaseous or dispersed fuel-oxidant mixture
US20110120335A1 (en) * 2006-04-17 2011-05-26 Soundblast Technologies Llc System and method for generating and directing very loud sounds
US8302730B2 (en) 2006-04-17 2012-11-06 Soundblast Technologies, Llc System and method for generating and controlling conducted acoustic waves for geophysical exploration
US8905186B2 (en) 2006-04-17 2014-12-09 Soundblast Technologies, Llc System for coupling an overpressure wave to a target media
US9581704B2 (en) 2015-01-22 2017-02-28 Soundblast Technologies, Llc System and method for accelerating a mass using a pressure produced by a detonation

Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US248565A (en) * 1881-10-18 N- petess
GB190918025A (en) * 1909-08-04 1910-08-04 Alfred Julius Boult Improvements in or relating to Machines for Rounding or Trimming the Heel Seats of Boots and Shoes.
US1152697A (en) * 1909-05-22 1915-09-07 Theodore Bodde Submarine signaling.
US1500243A (en) * 1918-02-20 1924-07-08 Jr John Hays Hammond Submarine sound transmitter
US1738595A (en) * 1927-05-17 1929-12-10 Hercules Powder Co Ltd Method for firing explosives
GB400085A (en) * 1933-03-25 1933-10-19 Angelo Belloni Improvements in or relating to means for indicating the position and route of submerged submarines
US1992216A (en) * 1932-03-17 1935-02-26 Du Pont Method of blasting
US2164858A (en) * 1936-06-29 1939-07-04 Roger Williams Submarine sound system
US2167536A (en) * 1937-06-09 1939-07-25 Gen Electric Submarine signaling
US2240941A (en) * 1939-06-20 1941-05-06 Bell Telephone Labor Inc Oscillation source of the spark discharge gap type
US2679205A (en) * 1949-02-18 1954-05-25 Phillips Petroleum Co Method of and apparatus for producing seismic waves
US2797399A (en) * 1955-03-08 1957-06-25 Bendix Aviat Corp Underwater transducer
US2820214A (en) * 1949-05-28 1958-01-14 John P O'neill Sonar transducers

Patent Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US248565A (en) * 1881-10-18 N- petess
US1152697A (en) * 1909-05-22 1915-09-07 Theodore Bodde Submarine signaling.
GB190918025A (en) * 1909-08-04 1910-08-04 Alfred Julius Boult Improvements in or relating to Machines for Rounding or Trimming the Heel Seats of Boots and Shoes.
US1500243A (en) * 1918-02-20 1924-07-08 Jr John Hays Hammond Submarine sound transmitter
US1738595A (en) * 1927-05-17 1929-12-10 Hercules Powder Co Ltd Method for firing explosives
US1992216A (en) * 1932-03-17 1935-02-26 Du Pont Method of blasting
GB400085A (en) * 1933-03-25 1933-10-19 Angelo Belloni Improvements in or relating to means for indicating the position and route of submerged submarines
US2164858A (en) * 1936-06-29 1939-07-04 Roger Williams Submarine sound system
US2167536A (en) * 1937-06-09 1939-07-25 Gen Electric Submarine signaling
US2240941A (en) * 1939-06-20 1941-05-06 Bell Telephone Labor Inc Oscillation source of the spark discharge gap type
US2679205A (en) * 1949-02-18 1954-05-25 Phillips Petroleum Co Method of and apparatus for producing seismic waves
US2820214A (en) * 1949-05-28 1958-01-14 John P O'neill Sonar transducers
US2797399A (en) * 1955-03-08 1957-06-25 Bendix Aviat Corp Underwater transducer

Cited By (27)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3332510A (en) * 1963-07-12 1967-07-25 Phillips Petroleum Co Generation of signals by rapid vaporization of metallic elements
US3276534A (en) * 1964-12-14 1966-10-04 John I Ewing Pneumatic sound source
US3401769A (en) * 1966-04-22 1968-09-17 Sinclair Research Inc Underwater gas explosion seismic wave generator
US3416128A (en) * 1966-10-14 1968-12-10 Gen Electric Electrode for electrohydraulic systems
US3401771A (en) * 1967-02-03 1968-09-17 Sinclair Research Inc Gas exploder apparatus for propagating seismic waves
US3730289A (en) * 1970-09-18 1973-05-01 P Barnhard Seismographic device
US4879452A (en) * 1988-04-04 1989-11-07 Erico International Corporation Exothermic welding apparatus and method
US5229977A (en) * 1992-06-17 1993-07-20 Southwest Research Institute Directional underwater acoustic pulse source
US6553911B1 (en) 1997-04-30 2003-04-29 Erico International Corporation Exothermic reactions and methods
US6703578B2 (en) 1997-04-30 2004-03-09 Erico International Corporation Exothermic reactions and methods
US6835910B2 (en) 2002-01-25 2004-12-28 Erico International Corporation Welding apparatus and method
US8136624B2 (en) 2006-04-17 2012-03-20 Soundblast Technologies Llc System and method for ignition of a gaseous or dispersed fuel-oxidant mixture
US8302730B2 (en) 2006-04-17 2012-11-06 Soundblast Technologies, Llc System and method for generating and controlling conducted acoustic waves for geophysical exploration
US8905186B2 (en) 2006-04-17 2014-12-09 Soundblast Technologies, Llc System for coupling an overpressure wave to a target media
US20110005420A1 (en) * 2006-04-17 2011-01-13 Soundblast Technologies LLC. System and method for ignition of a gaseous or dispersed fuel-oxidant mixture
US7886866B2 (en) * 2006-04-17 2011-02-15 Soundblast Technologies, Llc System and method for ignition of a gaseous or dispersed fuel-oxidant mixture
US8292022B2 (en) 2006-04-17 2012-10-23 Soundblast Technologies Llc System and method for generating and controlling conducted acoustic waves for geophysical exploration
US8172034B2 (en) 2006-04-17 2012-05-08 Soundblast Technologies Llc System and method for generating and directing very loud sounds
US20110120335A1 (en) * 2006-04-17 2011-05-26 Soundblast Technologies Llc System and method for generating and directing very loud sounds
US20110192307A1 (en) * 2006-04-17 2011-08-11 Soundblast Technologies Llc System and method for ignition of a gaseous or dispersed fuel-oxidant mixture
US20080277195A1 (en) * 2007-05-11 2008-11-13 Lockheed Martin Corporation Engine and technique for generating an acoustic signal
US8064291B2 (en) 2007-05-11 2011-11-22 Lockheed Martin Corporation Engine and technique for generating an acoustic signal
US7944776B2 (en) 2007-05-11 2011-05-17 Lockheed Martin Corporation Engine and technique for generating an acoustic signal
US7936641B2 (en) 2007-05-11 2011-05-03 Lockheed Martin Corporation Engine and technique for generating an acoustic signal
US20080277196A1 (en) * 2007-05-11 2008-11-13 Lockheed Martin Corporation Engine and technique for generating an acoustic signal
US20080277194A1 (en) * 2007-05-11 2008-11-13 Lockheed Martin Corporation Engine and technique for generating an acoustic signal
US9581704B2 (en) 2015-01-22 2017-02-28 Soundblast Technologies, Llc System and method for accelerating a mass using a pressure produced by a detonation

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