The U.S. government has awarded a patent to an employee of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, for a design that reduces munition weight and volume for projectile launchers.
The patented design by the employee, Paul Jackson, reduces total munition weight and volume by providing a projectile launcher with a permanent high-low pressure system within the launcher system itself, rather than in the ammunition.
“Much of the weight and volume of standard cartridges is the casing,” Jackson said. “Reducing this means less for the warfighter to carry.”
In the design, the pressure cartridge can be changed to adjust pressure and velocity. The pressure canister is intended for one-time use. A variety of projectiles can be selected depending on lethal or nonlethal needs. Compatible ammunition includes 40 mm rounds, bean bags, tear gas and grenades.
Jackson is an electrical engineer by education, but he is also firearm enthusiast in his spare time. He began building prototypes in his garage.
“Eventually I reached the limit of my machine shop test equipment,” he said.
That is the point when he brought his idea to AMRDEC to begin the patent process. AMRDEC’s patent board meets once a year and accepts applications for patents based on its resources.
“Since Jackson’s ideas were novel and useful, we suggested he begin work with a lawyer to put his findings into patent language,” said William Haymond, Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command legal.
In addition to assisting with the writing, patent lawyers also assisted with obtaining professional drawings. The completed patent application was submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for approval. After a few clarifying questions the USPTO approved the patent.
From conception to approval, the process lasted about two and a half years.
“This idea was easy to support because it was well thought out and, at the same time, simple,” Haymond said.
“While this technology is not currently in use in the Department of Defense, it would be suitable in the military and police field,” Jackson said.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense