GB2300082A - Distance measuring apparatus - Google Patents

Distance measuring apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2300082A
GB2300082A GB9508026A GB9508026A GB2300082A GB 2300082 A GB2300082 A GB 2300082A GB 9508026 A GB9508026 A GB 9508026A GB 9508026 A GB9508026 A GB 9508026A GB 2300082 A GB2300082 A GB 2300082A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
object
image
determining
means
measuring apparatus
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.)
Granted
Application number
GB9508026A
Other versions
GB2300082B (en
GB9508026D0 (en
Inventor
Michael Francis Armour
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.)
BAE Systems PLC
Original Assignee
BAE Systems PLC
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
Application filed by BAE Systems PLC filed Critical BAE Systems PLC
Priority to GB9508026A priority Critical patent/GB2300082B/en
Publication of GB9508026D0 publication Critical patent/GB9508026D0/en
Publication of GB2300082A publication Critical patent/GB2300082A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2300082B publication Critical patent/GB2300082B/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Application status is Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01CMEASURING DISTANCES, LEVELS OR BEARINGS; SURVEYING; NAVIGATION; GYROSCOPIC INSTRUMENTS; PHOTOGRAMMETRY OR VIDEOGRAMMETRY
    • G01C3/00Measuring distances in line of sight; Optical rangefinders
    • G01C3/22Measuring distances in line of sight; Optical rangefinders using a parallactic triangle with variable angles and a base of fixed length at, near, or formed by the object
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S11/00Systems for determining distance or velocity not using reflection or reradiation
    • G01S11/12Systems for determining distance or velocity not using reflection or reradiation using electromagnetic waves other than radio waves
    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B7/00Mountings, adjusting means, or light-tight connections, for optical elements
    • G02B7/28Systems for automatic generation of focusing signals
    • G02B7/30Systems for automatic generation of focusing signals using parallactic triangle with a base line
    • G02B7/32Systems for automatic generation of focusing signals using parallactic triangle with a base line using active means, e.g. light emitter

Abstract

Distance measuring apparatus for determining the height or range of an object from a viewing point, said apparatus comprising imaging means for forming an image of the scene viewed along an optical axis, and means for determining the size of the image of said object within the image of the viewed scene, thereby to determine the distance of the said object from said imaging means, based upon the actual size of said object. Two measurements in different directions can give object attitude (fig 2).

Description

Distance Measurina Apparatus This invention relates to distance measuring apparatus for measuring the height or range of an object from a viewing point, and in particular, though not exclusively, to an altitude measurement system for measuring the height of an object above a viewing point.

In many applications it is important to be able to measure the height of an aircraft or other flying body from outside, without using an altimeter or other height measuring apparatus on board the aircraft. In the past this has been done on trial aircraft for example by using optical tracking facilities provided by two kine-theodolites located at each end of an airfield runway which determine the height of the aircraft using triangulation techniques. However kine-theodolites are expensive to purchase, maintain and operate. Thus a need exists for a means of accurately measuring the height of a flying body from the ground which measures the height independently of any height indicating apparatus on the flying body and without the need for specialist precision optical equipment such as kinetheodolites.

Accordingly, in one aspect of this invention there is provided distance measuring apparatus for determining the height or range of an object from a viewing point, said apparatus comprising imaging means for forming an image of the scene viewed along an optical axis, and means for determining the relative size of the image of said object within the image of the viewed scene, thereby to determine the distance of the said object from said imaging means, based upon the actual size of said object.

In another aspect, there is provided a method of determining the height or range of an object from a viewing point, which comprises forming an image of a viewed scene containing said object, determining the actual size of said object, determining the relative size of the image of said object within the image of the viewed scene, and thereby deducing the distance of the object from said viewing point.

Whilst the invention has been described above it extends to any invention combination of the features set out above or in the following description.

The invention may be performed in various ways and an embodiment thereof will now be described by way of example only, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which:- Figure 1 is a schematic view showing an arrangement for calculating the height of an aircraft using an upwardlooking video camera, and Figure 2 is a schematic view of a typical image of an aircraft as seen by the video camera in the arrangement of Figure 1.

Referring to Figure 1, a CCD (Charge Coupled Device) video camera 10 is located on flat, level ground pointing vertically upwards towards the aircraft 12. The height of the camera film plane used in the expression below is hc.,,..

the camera field of view is , and the height of the aircraft 12 above ground is shown as In use, the aircraft 12 is flown over the camera 10 so that the camera sees at least one T.V. frame with the aircraft fully within the frame, and this frame is analysed, either by an image processor (not shown) which receives data from the video camera, or manually. The height is determined by noting the relative size of the aircraft within the scene viewed by the camera, and knowing the actual size of the aircraft. The image is analysed by noting the addresses of the pixels in the CCD array of the camera which correspond to well-defined points on the aircraft, in this example the noses of the wing-tip pods 14 (see Figure 2), whose actual separation is known. From the addresses, the X and Y separations, AXVISTA and AYVISTA are determined.These values are fed into the following expression to determine the height of the aircraft from the ground, taking into account the actual separation of the wing tip pods, the bank angle of the aircraft, and the field of view of the camera: <img class="EMIRef" id="026739690-00030001" />

<tb> <SEP> -h <SEP> S. <SEP> cos+.512 <tb> ha/c=camera <SEP> 2. <SEP> S.cos.512 <tb> <SEP> 2. <SEP> tana,,. <SEP> JXVI;)Z+(L\y,,)2 <tb> where = - the height of the aircraft above ground camera = the height of the camera plane off the ground S = the span between the noses of the wing tip pods m = aircraft bank angle = = camera field of view AXVISTA = X difference on CCD between wing tip pods AYVISTA = Y difference on CCD between wing tip pods and the CCD array is 512 x 512 pixels.

The height as determined may be referred to a particular datum position on the aircraft by appropriate res6l- ution, knowing the attitude of the aircraft. This may be required, for example if the height is also being measured for test purposes using a static nose boom.

In practice we have found that it is beneficial to determine the field of view (g) ) empirically as manufacturer's estimates may vary by up to 10% or so, and this will degrade the accuracy of this system.

In the above system, the focal length or field of view of the camera is preferably selected with regard to the expected height of the aircraft, such that the image of the aircraft fits comfortably within the field of view. Thus, where the height of an aircraft of given size is to be measured at higher fly past altitudes, the lens of the camera is preferably changed for one of greater focal lengths.

The aircraft speed may be determined by monitoring movement of the aircraft, by comparing the images from two separate frames at a known time interval, monitoring the distance travelled within the viewed scene of a distinctive part of the aircraft, converting this to distance, given knowledge of the effective scale within the image (e.g. the wing tip pod separation) and then converting to speed.

Again this can be compensated for the attitude of the aircraft by revolving about the body axes, as was effected in the above expression, for the aircraft bank angle. The camera data may be stored for later analysis or it may be processed automatically by an image processor.

Where the output of the video camera is stored for subsequent processing and analysis, and comparison with data gathered on board the aircraft, the data collected on the ground and that on board the aircraft may require precise time correlation. This may be achieved by making both the ground station and the aircraft use the same time base.

Claims (7)

Claims
1. Distance measuring apparatus for determining the height or range of an object from a viewing'point, said apparatus comprising imaging means for forming an image of the scene viewed along an optical axis, and means for determining the relative size of the image of said object within the image of the viewed scene, thereby to determine the distance of the said object from said imaging means, based upon the actual size of said object.
2. Distance measuring apparatus according to Claim 1, wherein said imaging means is relatively fixed, and said apparatus further includes means for determining relative movement with time of the image of said object within the image of the viewed scene, thereby to determine the velocity of said object.
3. Distance measuring apparatus according to Claim 1 or 2, wherein said means for determining the relative size includes means for determining the respective co-ordinates of two reference points on the object.
4. Distance measuring apparatus according to Claim 3, wherein said imaging means comprises an image-forming lens of predetermined focal length, and a pixellated image sensor, and said means for determining the respective coordinates includes means for determining the pixel or pixels containing each of said reference points.
5. Distance measuring apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein said imaging means is oriented with its optical axis pointing vertically, whereby the height of said object above said imaging means may be determined.
6. A method of determining the height or range of an object from a viewing point, which comprises forming an image of a viewed scene containing said object, determining the actual size of said object, determining the relative size of the image of said object within the image of the viewed scene, and thereby deducing the distance of the object from said viewing point.
7. A method according to Claim 6, wherein the relative size of the image is determined by identifying the relative positions of two reference points on the object.
GB9508026A 1995-04-21 1995-04-21 Altitude measuring methods Expired - Fee Related GB2300082B (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9508026A GB2300082B (en) 1995-04-21 1995-04-21 Altitude measuring methods

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9508026A GB2300082B (en) 1995-04-21 1995-04-21 Altitude measuring methods

Publications (3)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB9508026D0 GB9508026D0 (en) 1995-06-07
GB2300082A true GB2300082A (en) 1996-10-23
GB2300082B GB2300082B (en) 1999-09-22

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Cited By (27)

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EP1424567A1 (en) 2002-11-22 2004-06-02 The Boeing Company Method and apparatus for covertly determining the rate of relative motion between two objects
EP1876414A1 (en) * 2006-07-07 2008-01-09 Honeywell International Inc. Passive optical locator
US7453395B2 (en) 2005-06-10 2008-11-18 Honeywell International Inc. Methods and systems using relative sensing to locate targets
EP2224260A1 (en) * 2009-02-27 2010-09-01 AAI Corporation Method and apparatus for target range determination
US7959110B2 (en) 2007-04-11 2011-06-14 The Boeing Company Methods and apparatus for resisting torsional loads in aerial refueling booms
US8132759B2 (en) 2007-03-21 2012-03-13 The Boeing Company System and method for facilitating aerial refueling
US8606401B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-12-10 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robot navigation system
US8670866B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2014-03-11 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet and dry cleaning
US8761931B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2014-06-24 Irobot Corporation Robot system
US8782848B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2014-07-22 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for dry cleaning
US8800107B2 (en) 2010-02-16 2014-08-12 Irobot Corporation Vacuum brush
US8838274B2 (en) 2001-06-12 2014-09-16 Irobot Corporation Method and system for multi-mode coverage for an autonomous robot
US8930023B2 (en) 2009-11-06 2015-01-06 Irobot Corporation Localization by learning of wave-signal distributions
US8972052B2 (en) 2004-07-07 2015-03-03 Irobot Corporation Celestial navigation system for an autonomous vehicle
US8985127B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2015-03-24 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet cleaning
US9144361B2 (en) 2000-04-04 2015-09-29 Irobot Corporation Debris sensor for cleaning apparatus
US9167946B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2015-10-27 Irobot Corporation Autonomous floor cleaning robot
US9215957B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2015-12-22 Irobot Corporation Autonomous robot auto-docking and energy management systems and methods
US9229454B1 (en) 2004-07-07 2016-01-05 Irobot Corporation Autonomous mobile robot system
US9317038B2 (en) 2006-05-31 2016-04-19 Irobot Corporation Detecting robot stasis
US9320398B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2016-04-26 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robots
US9446521B2 (en) 2000-01-24 2016-09-20 Irobot Corporation Obstacle following sensor scheme for a mobile robot
US9480381B2 (en) 2007-05-09 2016-11-01 Irobot Corporation Compact autonomous coverage robot
US9486924B2 (en) 2004-06-24 2016-11-08 Irobot Corporation Remote control scheduler and method for autonomous robotic device
US9492048B2 (en) 2006-05-19 2016-11-15 Irobot Corporation Removing debris from cleaning robots
US9582005B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2017-02-28 Irobot Corporation Robot confinement
US9949608B2 (en) 2002-09-13 2018-04-24 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device

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US8788092B2 (en) 2000-01-24 2014-07-22 Irobot Corporation Obstacle following sensor scheme for a mobile robot
US9128486B2 (en) 2002-01-24 2015-09-08 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US8396592B2 (en) 2001-06-12 2013-03-12 Irobot Corporation Method and system for multi-mode coverage for an autonomous robot
US8386081B2 (en) 2002-09-13 2013-02-26 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
EP2270619B1 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-05-08 iRobot Corporation Modular robot
KR20080072961A (en) 2005-12-02 2008-08-07 아이로보트 코퍼레이션 Coverage robot mobility

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US9446521B2 (en) 2000-01-24 2016-09-20 Irobot Corporation Obstacle following sensor scheme for a mobile robot
US9144361B2 (en) 2000-04-04 2015-09-29 Irobot Corporation Debris sensor for cleaning apparatus
US9582005B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2017-02-28 Irobot Corporation Robot confinement
US9167946B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2015-10-27 Irobot Corporation Autonomous floor cleaning robot
US9622635B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2017-04-18 Irobot Corporation Autonomous floor-cleaning robot
US9104204B2 (en) 2001-06-12 2015-08-11 Irobot Corporation Method and system for multi-mode coverage for an autonomous robot
US8838274B2 (en) 2001-06-12 2014-09-16 Irobot Corporation Method and system for multi-mode coverage for an autonomous robot
US9949608B2 (en) 2002-09-13 2018-04-24 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US7171028B2 (en) 2002-11-22 2007-01-30 The Boeing Company Method and apparatus for covertly determining the rate of relative motion between two objects
EP1424567A1 (en) 2002-11-22 2004-06-02 The Boeing Company Method and apparatus for covertly determining the rate of relative motion between two objects
US9215957B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2015-12-22 Irobot Corporation Autonomous robot auto-docking and energy management systems and methods
US9486924B2 (en) 2004-06-24 2016-11-08 Irobot Corporation Remote control scheduler and method for autonomous robotic device
US9229454B1 (en) 2004-07-07 2016-01-05 Irobot Corporation Autonomous mobile robot system
US8972052B2 (en) 2004-07-07 2015-03-03 Irobot Corporation Celestial navigation system for an autonomous vehicle
US9223749B2 (en) 2004-07-07 2015-12-29 Irobot Corporation Celestial navigation system for an autonomous vehicle
US8670866B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2014-03-11 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet and dry cleaning
US8782848B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2014-07-22 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for dry cleaning
US9445702B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2016-09-20 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet and dry cleaning
US8774966B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2014-07-08 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet and dry cleaning
US8985127B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2015-03-24 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet cleaning
US8966707B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2015-03-03 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for dry cleaning
US7453395B2 (en) 2005-06-10 2008-11-18 Honeywell International Inc. Methods and systems using relative sensing to locate targets
US7518713B2 (en) 2005-11-08 2009-04-14 Honeywell International Inc. Passive-optical locator
US9392920B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2016-07-19 Irobot Corporation Robot system
US8761931B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2014-06-24 Irobot Corporation Robot system
US9320398B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2016-04-26 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robots
US9144360B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2015-09-29 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robot navigation system
US8606401B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-12-10 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robot navigation system
US10244915B2 (en) 2006-05-19 2019-04-02 Irobot Corporation Coverage robots and associated cleaning bins
US9492048B2 (en) 2006-05-19 2016-11-15 Irobot Corporation Removing debris from cleaning robots
US9955841B2 (en) 2006-05-19 2018-05-01 Irobot Corporation Removing debris from cleaning robots
US9317038B2 (en) 2006-05-31 2016-04-19 Irobot Corporation Detecting robot stasis
EP1876414A1 (en) * 2006-07-07 2008-01-09 Honeywell International Inc. Passive optical locator
US8132759B2 (en) 2007-03-21 2012-03-13 The Boeing Company System and method for facilitating aerial refueling
US7959110B2 (en) 2007-04-11 2011-06-14 The Boeing Company Methods and apparatus for resisting torsional loads in aerial refueling booms
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US10299652B2 (en) 2007-05-09 2019-05-28 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robot
US9480381B2 (en) 2007-05-09 2016-11-01 Irobot Corporation Compact autonomous coverage robot
US8675183B1 (en) 2009-02-27 2014-03-18 Aai Corporation Method and apparatus for target range determination
EP2224260A1 (en) * 2009-02-27 2010-09-01 AAI Corporation Method and apparatus for target range determination
US8930023B2 (en) 2009-11-06 2015-01-06 Irobot Corporation Localization by learning of wave-signal distributions
US10314449B2 (en) 2010-02-16 2019-06-11 Irobot Corporation Vacuum brush
US8800107B2 (en) 2010-02-16 2014-08-12 Irobot Corporation Vacuum brush

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB2300082B (en) 1999-09-22
GB9508026D0 (en) 1995-06-07

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PCNP Patent ceased through non-payment of renewal fee

Effective date: 20020421