CA1258522A - Apparatus for timing sporting events - Google Patents

Apparatus for timing sporting events

Info

Publication number
CA1258522A
CA1258522A CA000522008A CA522008A CA1258522A CA 1258522 A CA1258522 A CA 1258522A CA 000522008 A CA000522008 A CA 000522008A CA 522008 A CA522008 A CA 522008A CA 1258522 A CA1258522 A CA 1258522A
Authority
CA
Canada
Prior art keywords
columns
speed
image
line
rows
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired
Application number
CA000522008A
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Heinz Hugli
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Compagnie des Montres Longines Francillon SA
Original Assignee
Compagnie des Montres Longines Francillon SA
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to FR8516423A priority Critical patent/FR2589604B1/en
Priority to FR8516423 priority
Application filed by Compagnie des Montres Longines Francillon SA filed Critical Compagnie des Montres Longines Francillon SA
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of CA1258522A publication Critical patent/CA1258522A/en
Expired legal-status Critical Current

Links

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/30Transforming light or analogous information into electric information
    • H04N5/335Transforming light or analogous information into electric information using solid-state image sensors [SSIS]
    • H04N5/369SSIS architecture; Circuitry associated therewith
    • H04N5/372Charge-coupled device [CCD] sensors; Time delay and integration [TDI] registers or shift registers specially adapted for SSIS
    • H04N5/37206TDI registers or shift registers specially adapted for SSIS
    • GPHYSICS
    • G04HOROLOGY
    • G04FTIME-INTERVAL MEASURING
    • G04F13/00Apparatus for measuring unknown time intervals by means not provided for in groups G04F5/00 - G04F10/00
    • G04F13/02Apparatus for measuring unknown time intervals by means not provided for in groups G04F5/00 - G04F10/00 using optical means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C1/00Registering, indicating or recording the time of events or elapsed time, e.g. time-recorders for work people
    • G07C1/22Registering, indicating or recording the time of events or elapsed time, e.g. time-recorders for work people in connection with sports or games

Abstract

APPARATUS FOR TIMING SPORTING EVENTS

ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE

The apparatus is a motion picture camera including a charge coupled photosensitive device provided with a multiplicity of unit sensors. The sensors are arranged in a matrix of M rows and N columns. The apparatus is equipped with a pulse generator for controlling the transfer of charges from sensor to sensor along the columns, the frequency of the pulses being adjusted to effect substantial correspondence between the speed of charge transfer and the speed of the image moving over the device. A shift register is arranged at the end of the columns so as to receive in parallel information from said columns and to transmit it in series to an output circuit for reconstitution of the image. The apparatus is used for timing sporting events.

Description

i25852;~

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention concerns an apparatus for timing sporting events including a motion picture camera installed at a fixed position and having a lens the axis of which is directed onto a line to be crossed by competitors so as to record the events occurrlng on said line.
Several devices corresponding to the above general definition have already been proposed. They permit the obtaining of an image of the course at the moment when the competitors cross a determined line, in particular the finish line. The image takes account moreover of the photographic identity of each of the runners and of the rank which they occupy relative to one another thanks to a time scale which is recorded on the same image.
One of the oldest of such arrangements generally called photofinish, is known from the Swiss patent 399.028 (= GB 1.045.434). It includes an apparatus comprising a photographic camera the film of which advances with uniform motion, means arranged to photograph only a narrow space or one line at a time, and means enabling the projection of time indications to be recorded on the film.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
- Figures 1 and 2 represent the prior art as discùssed hereinabove with reference to the photofinish system;
- Figures 3 and 4 likewise represent the prior art as discussed hereinabove relative to a linear or unidimensional device with photo-sensitive unit sensors;
- Figure 5 is a schematic representation of the motion picture apparatus according to the invention;
.

i2S~352;~

- Figure 6 is a front view of the photo-sensiti~e device equipping the motion picture apparatus according to the invention;
- Figure 7 is a schematic view in perspective of the apparatus according to the invention, and - Figure 8 is a diagram representing the control signals of the device as a function of time.
This apparatus is illustrated on figure 1 of this description. The moving body is displaced at a speed Vm in front of the lens 1 of the camera. Behind the lens is to be found a screen 4 provided with a slot 2. Behind the slot runs a photographic film 3. The image of the moving body moves at the speed Vi in front- of the screen while the film runs at the speed V. An adjustment is made so that the speed V is as close as possible to the speed Vi. The effect of the slot is that the film receives only a part of the entire image seen by the lens, this part being one line of the image. The running of the film behind the slot has an effect to expose the film successively in time with the same line of the image. The photofinish thus records a bidimensional image which represents according to an axis (perpendicular to figure 1), the profile of the intensity of a line of the image and in accordance with the other axis (in the plane of figure 1), the time evolution of this profile. ~he visual analysis of the image enables reconstituting the order in time of the appearance of different moving bodies in the field of the line.
Finally, by the addition onto the film of reference points giving information on the exact time of recording, the appearance of the different moving bodies may be measured in time. This arrangement is employed for instance to measure the order and the time of passage of competitors over a finish line.

lZ5~35%'~

In the system which has just been described, the exposure time Te of film 3 is the time of transit of this film behind slot 2, i.e. Te = 6 /V, if 6 is the width of the slot. In practice, there is desired an exposure time of the film which is as great as possible, so as to enable taking views of subjects poorly illuminated or passing at high spead. This exposure time is at the same time limited by the blurring of the image materialized for instance by trails appearing at the edge of the moving body and which are provoked by a difference of speed between the speed V of the film and the speed Vi of the image of the moving body. This blurring determines the time resolution of measurement.
The phenomenon of blurring may be explained by means of figure 2 which reproduces at an enlarged scale a part of figure 1 including screen 4 and slot 2. In this figure there has been represented the same point P of the image of the moving body which is displaced from A to B
at speed Vi. During the same time lapse, the film is driven at a speed V slightly less than Vi in a manner such that when the image has advanced from A to B the film advances only from A to C. There results therefrom a trail from the j~oint P which will leave an impression on the film over a length ax which is a representation of the spatial blurring. To this spatial blurring there naturally corresponds a temporal blurring Tf which may be put into relationship with the exposure time Te of the film and which takes into account the spread between the speeds V and Vi. This relationship may be given as follows:
Tf = ~ Te (1) where ~ = V - Vi V ::

~ZS8SZ;~

In case speeds V and Vi are substantially equal, the factor u~ approaches zero and it follows that Tf << Te, which signifies that the exposure time is much greater than the temporal blurring.
Here there may be cited a practical example drawn from an athletic course. The film of the camera is ad~usted to a speed V of 35 mm/sec. The image of the course moves past in reality at the speed Vi of 28 mm/sec, giving a factor ~l Of 0.2. If one specifies a temporal blurring Tf of l ms, there will result therefrom an exposure time Te of 5 ms according to the relationship (l) given hereinabove.
There results from what has just been said that the photofinish as known today is advantageous in view of the comfortable time of exposure which it provides. At the same time, it exhibits certain disadvantages. It requires in effect a chemical development of the film which delays access to the results of the course. It requires good accessibility to the camera which limits its utilization to certain positions. There may also be mentioned its relatively great space requirement and mediocre reliability in view of the mechanical parts making up its construction.
To overcome these difficulties, the assignee of the present invention has disclosed in Swiss patent 590.518 another system for determining the time separating the passages of moving bodies across a reference line substantially perpendicular to their trajectory. This system consists of employing a television camera which is directed onto the reference line, recording the signals provided by said camera and simultaneously signals furnished by time keeping means, and reproducing these signals by the aid of a monitor. In order to realize 12S8S~;~

this, there is employed a camera by means of which a linear unidirectional scan is effected coinciding with the reference line, and a pickup effecting a linear bidirectional scan in a manner such that the successive scans of the reference line by the camera are spread out over the screen of the pick-up in a direction perpendicular to that in which is effected in the unidirectional scans, that is to say in the direction of the trajectory of the moving bodies. This patent mentioned that such camera may be of a conventional type, but wherein however the two scans have been permuted in a manner such that the more rapid scan is effected according to the vertical direction, the slower scan having been suppressed. As a variant it is mentioned that preferably a camera will be employed using diodes of the solid state type.
This system is shown on figures 3 and 4 of the present description. Here the moving body is displaced at the speed Vm in front of the lens l of the camera.
Behind the lens there is placed a unidimensional photosensitive device 5 using solid state sensors. The image of the moving body runs at speed Vi in front of the device 5. Figure 4 shows how the device is built such including a row of photosensitive unit sensors 6 disposed side by side. The incident light coming from the reference line to be sensed produces charges on each of these sensors which charges represent the intensity profile of the line of the image at a given instant.
These charges are periodically transferred in the sense of arrow 9 into a shift register 7 bearing as many elements 8 as the sensor 6. A clock signal 12 operating at high frequency transfers the contents of the line towards amplifier 10 in the form of a video signal ll.
These video signals are then memorized, and subsequently :-~5~5~

visualized in a manner to represent in the form of an image the temporal evolution of the line under observation (finish line for instance).
Several uni-dimentional devices are presently available on the market. They are all equipped with a substantial number of sensors (> 1000) to assure high resolution. For further details on this subject, reference may be had to the technical notes of the manufacturers, for instance to the note concerning the device TH 7803 of Thomson-CSF. One may even obtain complete cameras from the Fairchild company under the reference CCD 1100C to 1500C.
In the system which has just been described, it has been seen that the incident light produces charges on the row of sensors 6 which charges are periodically transferred towards the output 10 via the shift register 7. The selection of the duration of this period which will be referred to as To, determines at the same time that of the exposure time Te and of the temporal blurring Tf which, since here the sensor is stationary, is equal to:
Tf = Te = To (2) Thus, to repeat the same example suggested wi~h reference to the photofinish, and if here one determines the temporal blurring Tf to be l ms, the exposure time Te is equal to 1 ms. It is understood that the unidimensional system is less favourable than the photofinish since it presents a relationship Tf/Te equal to l, while the relationship was equal to u in the system employing the photo-finish.
There results from what has just been said that the unidimensional system as discussed above exhibits low luminous sensitivity which limits its range of application to scenes which have a substantial i852;~

illumination.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
To overcome the difficulties presented by both of the two systems described hereinabove, the apparatus provided in accordance with the present invention, is characterized by the fact that the camera comprises a bidimensional photo-sensitive charge coupled device including a multiplicity of sensors arranged in rows and columns, the rows being in a direction parallel to the image of the line of passage of the course, and the columns being in the direction of the running of the course and a pulse generator is provided for controlling the transfer of charges from sensor to sensor along the columns, the frequency of the pulses being adjusted to effect substantial correspondence between the speed of charge transfer and the speed of the image moving over the device, a shift register being arranged at the end of the columns so as to receive in parallel info~nation from said columns, and to transmit it in response to a clock signal in series to an output circuit so as to reconstitute row by row the image received by the device.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Figure 5 shows schematically a motion picture camera arranged in accordance with the invention for timing sporting events. This camera is installed at a fixed position, the axis of its lens 1 being directed onto a line 20 over which competitors must pass (departure line, intermediate line or finish line). Behind lens 1 there is placed a charge coupled photo-sensitive device 21 which will be subsequently described. A moving object 22 is displaced over a track of the course at a speed Vrn.
The image of this moving body is displaced over the photosensitive device at the speed Vi. If the distances a and b represent respectively the distance from the lens .

- 8a -to the moving body and the distance from the lens to the device, the speed Vi will be:
vi = bvm a The photosensitive charge coupled device is shown in a facing view on figure 6. It includes a multiplicity of unit sensors arranged in rows and in columns, i.e. M
rows and N columns. In the arrangement provided here, such rows are directed parallel to the image of the passage line of the course and the columns are arranged in the sense of the running of said course. Thus, as will be

Claims (3)

THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION IN WHICH AN
EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OR PRIVILEGE IS CLAIMED ARE DEFINED AS
FOLLOWS:
1. An apparatus for timing sporting events including a motion picture camera installed at a fixed position and having a lens, the axis of which is directed onto a line to be crossed by competitors so as to record the events occurring on said line, said camera comprising a bidimensional photosensitive charge coupled device including a multiplicity of sensors arranged in rows and columns, the rows being in a direction parallel to said line and the columns in the direction of the running of the course and a pulse generator for controlling the transfer of charges from sensor to sensor along the columns, the frequency of the pulses being adjusted to effect substantial correspondence between the speed of charge transfer and the speed of the image moving over the device, a shift register being arranged at the end of the columns so as to receive in parallel information from said columns and to transmit it in response to a clock signal in series to an output circuit so as to reconstitute row by row the image received by the device, the pulses furnished by the generator controlling the charge transfer being employed as a time base at a time scale corresponding to the events being recorded, said scale being blended into the image resulting from said events.
2. An apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein the frequency of the pulse generator is manually adjustable by an operator so as to adapt the speed of charge transfer to the speed of the course image.
3. An apparatus for timing sporting events including a motion picture camera installed at a fixed position and having a lens, the axis of which is directed onto a line to be crossed by competitors so as to record the events occurring on said line, said camera comprising a bidimensional photosensitive charge coupled device including a multiplicity of sensors arranged in rows and columns, the rows being in a direction parallel to said line and columns in the direction of the running of the course and a pulse generator for controlling the transfer of charges from sensor to sensor along the columns, the frequency of the pulses being adjusted to effect substantial correspondence between the speed of charge transfer and the speed of the image moving over the device, a shift register being arranged at the end of the columns so as to receive in parallel information from said columns and to transmit it in response to a clock signal in series to an output circuit so as to reconstitute row by row the image received by the device, the frequency of the pulse generator being manually adjustable by an operator so as to adapt the speed of charge transfer to the speed of the course image.
CA000522008A 1985-11-04 1986-11-03 Apparatus for timing sporting events Expired CA1258522A (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
FR8516423A FR2589604B1 (en) 1985-11-04 1985-11-04 APPARATUS FOR TIMING SPORTS RACES
FR8516423 1985-11-04

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
CA1258522A true CA1258522A (en) 1989-08-15

Family

ID=9324551

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
CA000522008A Expired CA1258522A (en) 1985-11-04 1986-11-03 Apparatus for timing sporting events

Country Status (9)

Country Link
US (1) US4743971A (en)
EP (1) EP0223119B1 (en)
JP (1) JPH067173B2 (en)
AT (1) AT49312T (en)
AU (1) AU582528B2 (en)
CA (1) CA1258522A (en)
DE (1) DE3668086D1 (en)
ES (1) ES2013235B3 (en)
FR (1) FR2589604B1 (en)

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
JPS62109186A (en) 1987-05-20
AU582528B2 (en) 1989-03-23
EP0223119B1 (en) 1990-01-03
ES2013235B3 (en) 1990-05-01
AU6466886A (en) 1987-05-07
AT49312T (en) 1990-01-15
US4743971A (en) 1988-05-10
DE3668086D1 (en) 1990-02-08
FR2589604B1 (en) 1988-01-22
FR2589604A1 (en) 1987-05-07
EP0223119A1 (en) 1987-05-27
CA1258522A1 (en)
JPH067173B2 (en) 1994-01-26

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