Electrical contact between rotating components

Minimizing the wiring and simplifying the electrical connection between turret-mounted devices and their stowed power source


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Fully rotatable turrets are used in the military – commonly placed on Humvees and other smaller vehicles – to provide access through the roof whereby a soldier can operate a gun or other equipment.  These basic turret designs can also be seen in fire and law enforcement vehicles and on construction and maintenance vehicles. Often devices used by operators standing or sitting in the turret, or operating above the turret on a ladder, require electrical power which is supplied by wires freely passing from the vehicle cab through the turret opening and to the powered device. This creates problems with cables getting caught on equipment or personnel or twisted from the continual rotation of the turret, which can easily lead to disconnections and loss of power.  Alternatively, traditional slip rings may provide electrical communication between the stationary portion and the rotating portion of the turret but these are not designed to provide adequate clearance for a person or associated equipment.

To address the above problems, Navy researchers have developed a way to connect power to the rotating ring assembly of the turret from the cab.  From there, the device requiring electrical power is plugged into the ring assembly by a short fixed or flexible connection.  With this design, no wires pass through the turret. The crux of this invention is a tower of electrical blades which remain in contact with electrical conductors running along the inside circumference of the turret ring. Regardless of the position of the rotating portion of the turret, the electrical blades remain connected to the contact rings.

This application is a divisional of US patent 7,635,266.

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