US20060257204A1 - Wireless reflective marker with internal light source - Google Patents

Wireless reflective marker with internal light source Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060257204A1
US20060257204A1 US11/128,586 US12858605A US2006257204A1 US 20060257204 A1 US20060257204 A1 US 20060257204A1 US 12858605 A US12858605 A US 12858605A US 2006257204 A1 US2006257204 A1 US 2006257204A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
marker
light
approximately
light emitting
reflector
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Abandoned
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US11/128,586
Inventor
Jacob Matiosian
Timothy Campion
John Talamo
Rand Eikelberger
Carey Pickard
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HYE LITES INDUSTRIES LLC
Hye Lites Ind LLC
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Hye Lites Ind LLC
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Priority to US11/128,586 priority Critical patent/US20060257204A1/en
Assigned to HYE LITES INDUSTRIES, LLC reassignment HYE LITES INDUSTRIES, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: CAMPION, TIMOTHY M., MATIOSIAN, JACOB, EIKELBERGER, RAND J., TALAMO, JOHN ARTHUR, PICKARD, CAREY
Publication of US20060257204A1 publication Critical patent/US20060257204A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E01CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS, RAILWAYS, OR BRIDGES
    • E01FADDITIONAL WORK, SUCH AS EQUIPPING ROADS OR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PLATFORMS, HELICOPTER LANDING STAGES, SIGNS, SNOW FENCES, OR THE LIKE
    • E01F9/00Arrangement of road signs or traffic signals; Arrangements for enforcing caution
    • E01F9/50Road surface markings; Kerbs or road edgings, specially adapted for alerting road users
    • E01F9/553Low discrete bodies, e.g. marking blocks, studs or flexible vehicle-striking members

Abstract

A marker for indicating boundaries or delineating traffic lanes in pavement such as roadways or airport runways is described. In an embodiment, the marker includes a high-strength plastic housing containing at least one retroreflective reflector, a light emitting diode (LED), at least one solar collector and a rechargeable battery. The retroreflective reflectors reflect light back to a light source, such as the headlights of a vehicle on a roadway or the light of an airplane on a runway. The LED can provide a light source that can be seen from greater viewing angles than the light reflected by the reflectors providing better visibility to operators of vehicles on curved roadways and allowing captains of airplanes to see the markers from the cockpit at closer range than if the markers used reflectors alone. In an embodiment, the marker also can include circuitry that controls the operation of the LED, the flow of current through the circuit and the charging of the battery.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to markers with reflectors and internal lights for use as boundary, obstruction, or hazard indicators in pavement, on fences, or otherwise placed to provide conspicuity to drivers, pilots and others.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • It is a common practice that roadways and airport runways use reflectors to provide improved conspicuity when compared to painted lines, particularly at night and in bad weather. These reflectors are often made of retroreflective elements which return light reflected back toward the light source as opposed to refracting the light as a mirror might. However, lights on aircraft in particular and automobiles to some extent may be fairly distant from the vehicle operator, reducing the visibility of the reflector. In addition, where a roadway turns, retroreflectors have diminished capabilities at distances due to the angle of the approaching light.
  • Devices with reflectors and light sources also are known. However, these devices involve external wiring and cannot fit into existing castings in roadways and runways. Wired devices can result in miles of wire, miles of pavement that must be cut and patched, power stations to drive the lights, and watertight compartments to hold the lights, connectors, and other components. Devices with light sources that do not fit within the recess of a standard casting are not as useful as markers with light sources that can be placed in the standard casting's recess. There is a need in the art for a wireless marker that can serve as both a reflector and a light emitting source, and that can be used with existing castings.
  • The present invention is directed at improving upon existing markers used with castings in roadways and runways.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention overcomes some drawbacks of previous systems. As will become evident below, the present invention can provide a marker with a light source that fits into the standard castings currently in roadways and airport runways. The present invention can provide a cost effective replacement for markers currently installed in pavement such as roadways and airport runways without the need to core the pavement to install each marker. The present invention can provide a replacement to the current markers and can provide a light source in addition to a reflective surface.
  • In some embodiments, the present invention provides the same conspicuity as currently used markers and also includes a light source that provides increased conspicuity. Additionally, the present invention can be sized to fit within standard sized steel castings to hold the device generally securely, providing some protection from snow plows and other vehicular traffic. Pre-existing tooling is in place for sawing and attaching these castings to pavement providing low cost installation in the applications described. Still further, in some embodiments the present invention is totally sealed with no wires exiting the enclosed device, simplifying the mounting and improving the reliability with diminished chance for moisture ingress into the device.
  • In some embodiments, the present invention uses components to optimize the “on” time of the internal light source while maintaining a low cost. The invention can include solar collectors and batteries to provide long running time for the LED. In addition, some embodiments include regulator circuitry which can provide steady, low current to the LEDs to prolong light output. In some embodiments batteries can be charged from circuits that help maximize their life by not charging or discharging at temperatures below their operating range. Components can be enclosed in sturdy housings capable of mounting in standard castings to hold up well against snow plows, aircraft, or trucks.
  • Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the following detailed description, claims and drawings in which like numerals are used to designate like features.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 depicts a top view of an embodiment of a marker.
  • FIG. 2 depicts a front view of the marker in FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 depicts a side view of the marker in FIGS. 1 and 2.
  • FIG. 4 depicts a top view of a standard casting with a recess into which the marker in FIG. 1 can be placed.
  • Before the embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or being carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. Rather, the phrases and terms used herein are to be given their broadest interpretation and meaning. The use of “including” and “comprising” and variations thereof is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items and equivalents thereof. The use of the terms “mounted,” “connected,” “coupled,” “positioned,” “engaged” and similar terms, is meant to include both direct and indirect mounting, connecting, coupling, positioning and engaging.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
  • Aspects of the invention relate to a marker that includes one or more internal light sources. In an embodiment, a marker can be used in roadways or pavement such as airport traffic areas, pedestrian crossing lanes or other roadways for motorized vehicles. In another embodiment, a marker can be placed on top of fences or other obstructions to improve their conspicuity.
  • In embodiments of the invention, a marker can be designed to fit within a standard casting. Many roadways and runways currently contain a standard casting. One such casting is made by NightLine Markers, Inc. and is known as the NightLine A-250 casting. A standard casting is shown in FIG. 4 and generally is made from steel and is embedded into the pavement of the roadway or runway. The exterior structure of the casting generally has dimensions of approximately 9¼ inches long, 6½ inches wide and 1¾ inches tall. The casting is generally embedded into pavement so that the most elevated surface A of the top of the casting is approximately flush with or slightly above the level of the pavement.
  • The standard casting can include a rectangular shaped recess C, which can serve to accept a marker or other device which is placed within the rectangular recess C. The rectangular recess C has a width of approximately 4¼ inches, a length of approximately 2 inches and a height of approximately ½ inch to the flush level of the casting A. The measurements are approximate and can vary by at least 20 percent.
  • The casting also can include surfaces B that are raised above the level of the recess C by approximately ¼ inch and angle upwards toward the flush level of the casting A as the surfaces B move outward from the recess C.
  • Because castings can be at, near or above the level of the road, they often are subject to strong pressures and forces. In some embodiments, a casting is placed within the structure of a roadway. The roadway is cut and the casting is placed within an opening.
  • Snowplows may move over the castings and markers and the plows often hit the highest part of the casting/marker assembly. In addition, aircraft can roll directly over the casting and the marker contained therein as they sit in a runway. Thus castings and markers of the present invention in some embodiments are able to generally accept pressure of approximately 6500 pounds. Preferably the castings and markers can accept pressure of at least approximately 6500 pounds. Markers placed in the recess of the casting can be subject to the same forces as the castings.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the housing of the marker is made from high-strength, transparent plastic. Such plastics include polycarbonate, acrylic, methyl methacrylate, nylon, nylon 666, polypropylene and can include Lexan. These plastics generally can withstand significant forces without failing and allow the marker to withstand the significant forces to which it is exposed. In an embodiment, the housing walls are approximately ⅛-½ inch in thickness. These housing walls can comprise the marker's top and bottom face, the front and rear face and the side faces. In a preferred embodiment, the housing of the marker is made from ¼ inch thick, highly transparent, untinted polycarbonate with ultraviolet light inhibitors to withstand these forces and to provide satisfactory light transmission for battery charging and light sensing purposes.
  • In an embodiment, the exterior of the marker can define a generally rectangular shape, but with a sloped face to provide reflection and/or light output at a low trajectory. The rear face of the marker and the side faces of the marker are generally vertical and at approximately a right angle to the bottom face of the marker. The bottom face of the marker and a portion of the top face of the marker are generally horizontal in one embodiment. In other embodiments, the rear, side, top and bottom faces do not meet at right angles, and meet at acute or obtuse angles.
  • In some embodiments, the front face of the marker is generally diagonal. The angle of the face is designed to provide visibility of the marker from an automobile, airplane or other approaching object or person. In one embodiment, the viewing angle of the marker is approximately 0 to 25 degrees vertical and +/−20 degrees horizontal. In some embodiments, there are no optics features in front of the LED, so different viewing angles may be had by simply selecting light sources, such as LEDs, with the desired angles. In one embodiment, the angle of the front face of the marker from horizontal is approximately 15-45 degrees, preferably approximately 20-40 degrees and more preferably approximately 30 degrees.
  • The top face of the marker may be generally highly transparent to allow light to pass into the marker. The rear face of the marker also may be generally highly transparent. The rear face also may be transparent only at the location where a solar sensor has been located. Where a solar sensor is not incorporated into the invention or is incorporated at a location other than the rear face (such as near the top face), the rear face may not be transparent and may instead be opaque, or partially transparent. In an embodiment, the front face of the marker can be transparent.
  • In an embodiment, the marker can include a reflector. This reflector can be a retroreflector. Common reflectors and retroreflectors are well known in the industry. The reflector can be one of many different colors. The color of a reflector here defines the color of the light the reflector reflects. In particular, the reflector can be white, red, yellow, green, orange, blue or another suitable color.
  • The reflector can redirect light and provide a source of light to oncoming objects that have light sources. For example, the light from the headlights of an oncoming car or the light from an airplane can be reflected by the reflector back toward the source of the light. A retroreflector can be used to reflect the light generally back to the initial light source. The captain of the vessel or driver can then see the reflection of the reflector and notice the placement of the marker.
  • In some embodiments, the marker can include a light source. Such a light source can be internal to the marker. A light emitting diode (LED) is an example of a light source. Other acceptable light sources that provide independent light from the marker can be used. In addition, numerous light emitting diodes are known in the art that can be used with the present invention. One such LED is a 30 degree LED available from Agilent, Liteon or other sources. Light sources that emit light in various different colors can be used. Examples of LED light sources that can be used include red, green, orange, blue, yellow and white LEDs, in addition to other colors. The LED can be coordinated to be the same color as the retroreflector.
  • In an embodiment, a light source in the marker can provide continuous light. In another embodiment, the light source can provide light for pulses or short segments, followed by segments of non-light. The light source, in some embodiments, is modulated through pulse width modulation such that the light is perceived by humans as constant. However, the light is turning on and off in a rapid manner. Where an LED is used, the LED is activated and displaying light when active and inactivated and not displaying any light when not active.
  • A light source can be placed in a position such that it can be seen through the front of the marker only. A light source also can be placed in a position such that it can be seen from only the top or a side of the marker. A light source can be placed in a position such that it can be seen through the front of the marker as well as the top of the marker and/or the side of the marker. A light source can be placed in a position such that it is not entirely or partially in front of or behind a reflector. In this manner, the light source provides less inhibition to the working of the reflector and the reflector provides less inhibition to the light source. The intensity of a LED that is incorporated into an embodiment of the invention can vary. In some embodiments the intensity of the LED allows the LED to be seen at a distance of approximately at least 1320 feet, preferably approximately at least 2640 feet. In an embodiment, light from the light source can pass through a generally diagonal front face upon leaving and may then be subject of easier viewing
  • A light source in the marker, in some embodiments, also can allow light from the marker to be viewed at a close distance. A light source in the marker can emit light in a vertical direction as well as a horizontal direction. Moreover, the light source is not limited to reflecting light. Light from a non-reflector light source can be seen at a distance of some height above the light source. In some embodiments, light from the light source can be seen at a distance of less than approximately 100 feet from the light source and a height of approximately more than 20 feet above the light source. In some embodiments, captains in the cockpits of airplanes can view the light sources at a distance closer to the marker than they are able to view reflected light. In an embodiment of the present invention, light sources in the marker can be viewed from the cockpit of a small plane at a distance at least as close as approximately 100 feet, preferably approximately 50 feet and more preferably approximately 20 feet.
  • The device can include a solar collector, otherwise known as a solar cell or solar energy converter. A solar collector is able to capture energy from the sun. Numerous solar collectors are understood in the industry and can be used with the marker. The solar collector is incorporated into the marker in such a way that it is able to collect the sun's rays of light. In one embodiment, a solar collector is placed toward the top section of the marker. The solar collector can be placed underneath a transparent top face of the marker. This solar collector receives light from the sun through the top face of the marker. Even during partial or full cloud cover, the solar collector may receive solar energy.
  • The energy a solar collector has collected can be transferred to a battery in the system. The battery, in an embodiment, is a lithium ion battery. The battery can be capable of accepting a level of charge from the solar collector. In an embodiment the battery can accept approximately a maximum of 5 volts, preferably a maximum of approximately 4.5 volts and more preferably a maximum of approximately 4.2 volts. The battery can be connected to a circuit in the marker that evaluates the level of charge in the battery. In an embodiment, where the level of charge approaches a cut-off level, a switch prevents additional charge from traveling to the battery.
  • In an embodiment, the level of charge in the battery does not pass below a pre-set level. Where the charge to the battery passes below certain levels, the battery can be deleteriously affected. In an embodiment, a switch is incorporated into a circuit in the marker. The switch prevents the battery from falling to a charge of less than approximately 2.65 volts.
  • In an embodiment, there are no external wires connected to the marker. The light source is internal to the marker and is powered by the energy collected by the solar collector and stored in the battery.
  • In an embodiment, the marker uses one solar collector. In another embodiment, the marker uses more than one solar collector. The solar collectors are underneath the top face of the marker. The solar collectors are connected to a circuit which in turn is connected to the battery. In a separate embodiment, the solar collectors are connected directly to the battery.
  • The solar collectors need not be of the same size. In an embodiment, the solar collectors are rectangular, and not of the same size. In another embodiment, the solar collectors are the same size. Numerous solar collectors that are well known in the industry can be used with the present invention.
  • The marker also can include a solar sensor. The marker also can include a light sensitive resistor, which acts as a sensor used to sense ambient light. This sensor discerns whether a daylight or non-daylight situation exists. The sensor can be a light sensitive sensor. The sensor can be located at a position such that it receives direct or indirect sunlight. The sensor also can be located at a position in which it generally is not in the path of light from an approaching vehicle such as a car or plane when the sensor is included in a marker in a casting in a roadway. In one embodiment, the solar sensor is located near the rear face of the marker. In another embodiment, the solar sensor is located near the top face of the marker. In another embodiment, the solar sensor is located near a side face of the marker. In one embodiment, the solar sensor is comprised of a cadmium sulfide cell. Acceptable solar sensors are understood in the industry.
  • In an embodiment, during a daylight situation, sensor can send a signal to a processor in the marker to note daylight situation. Due to this signal, processor keeps light source (other than the reflective light source) in an inactive mode. During non-sun hours or low-sun hours, solar sensor detects the absence of sunlight or low levels of sunlight and sends a signal or fails to send a signal with result that processor assures that the light source is in an active, on mode.
  • In another embodiment, the marker includes a signal receiving device, that can receive signals such as radio frequency signals or other signals from sources external to the marker. Upon receipt of such a signal, the signal receiving device can send a signal to a controller within the marker to note that the light source should be turned on, turned off or otherwise moderated (e.g., dimmed). In this manner, the light source in the marker can be remotely turned on or off or otherwise controlled.
  • The marker also can include additional circuitry. In an embodiment, the circuitry includes a switch that will shut the circuit down when the charge drops to a certain voltage level. In some embodiments, this voltage level is approximately 2.65 V. The circuitry also can include a switch that will prevent the circuit from overcharging the battery once the voltage reaches a certain voltage level. In some embodiments, this voltage level is approximately 4.2 V. In some embodiments, the circuitry can include a bimetallic temperature switch to limit charging of the battery to certain temperature conditions. In an embodiment, there is a diode preventing backflow of current from the circuit into the solar collectors. In an embodiment, the circuitry employs pulse width modulation, whereby the light source is cycled on and off at a rate undetectable to human observation, such that the light source appears to be constantly on, but preserving battery life. In one embodiment, LED drive circuitry is incorporated to employ a 1 to 2 Hz flashing feature. In addition to still greater conspicuity, this feature can double battery discharge time. In another embodiment, pulse width modulation may be used as a means of providing dimming for increased battery life.
  • The marker can be designed to sustain significant force in a downward direction. In some applications, a marker may be subject to the force of an airplane rolling over it or of a snowplow blade hitting it. Support ribs can be included in the marker. The support ribs, in some embodiments, can assist the stability and strength of the marker in sustaining some forces. Support ribs can be vertical ribs that run from the inside of the top face of the housing to the inside of the bottom face. Support ribs can be parallel with the rear face, a side face or parallel with the front face. Support ribs also can be in configurations that are not parallel with a face of a marker. In one embodiment two or more support ribs can run side by side parallel to the side faces of the housing.
  • In some embodiments, support ribs can create separate compartments. The support ribs in embodiments can divide the interior of the marker into discreet spaces. The support ribs can be closer to the center of the marker than the side faces. In some embodiments, openings and partitions can exist in the support ribs to allow for passage of materials such as wires from separate compartments or spaces within the marker.
  • In an embodiment, one support rib or several support ribs also can be incorporated that run parallel to the rear surface. These support ribs can be generally vertical and can be located behind the diagonal front face. The support ribs can include openings and partitions that allow for passing of wires or other materials between compartments created by the support ribs. In another embodiment, one support rib or several support ribs that run parallel to a side face can be incorporated into the marker. In a further embodiment, ribs can be incorporated that are at right angles to each other. These ribs can connect or can be fully unconnected but run in directions that are at right angles.
  • Support ribs in embodiments of the invention can run the full length of the marker. Support ribs also can run only a portion of the length of the marker. A support rib can be positioned such that it does not divide the marker into compartments, but merely serves as a partial wall or partial prop within the marker.
  • In one embodiment, two support ribs can be placed parallel to the rear wall. The two support ribs are close to each other and each is placed near and slightly behind the line where the horizontal front face meets the top face. In an embodiment, two support ribs are included that are close to each other and parallel to a side wall. The support ribs are closer to the center of the marker than they are to either side wall.
  • In an embodiment, a marker can include a cushion on the bottom face. The cushion moderates the force to which the marker may be subjected. The cushion can have resiliency which allows for compression when the marker is subject to a force in the downward direction. The cushion can assist in preventing breakage of the marker. The cushion can encompass the entirety of the bottom face or the cushion can be placed on portions of the bottom face of the marker. In an embodiment, the marker can include an adhesive on its bottom face. The adhesive can aid in securing the marker to the casting. The adhesive can perform the functions of a cushion described above.
  • The marker, in some embodiments, can include a potting compound, encapsulating compound or other filler in its interior. The filler can serve to stabilize the marker and secure the electrical components of the marker, especially when the marker is subject to strong forces. The filler can be placed in several compartments of the marker, and the ribs and internal walls and support ribs of the marker can be designed such that the filler (e.g., potting compound) does not flow into compartments that would cause the compound to block light from a light emitting source. In an embodiment of the invention, a marker is generally watertight. In another embodiment the compartments of the marker that include any circuitry or other electronics are watertight. In some embodiments, the filler can serve to help make the marker generally watertight.
  • In some embodiments, the marker is able to withstand temperature variations of approximately one hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit over the course of twelve months.
  • EXAMPLE
  • In an example of an embodiment of the invention, shown in FIGS. 1-3, the front face 18 of a marker 5 is at a diagonal from the horizontal. In an embodiment the angle of the front face is 20-40 degrees from horizontal. The front face 18 has a width of no more than approximately 4 inches and preferably approximately 4 inches. The front face 18 has a length of approximately 12/16- 14/16 of an inch and preferably approximately 13/16 of an inch. The top face 10 and the bottom face 12 of a marker are generally horizontal and parallel to each other. The top face 10 and bottom face 12 each have a width between side faces 14 and 15 of no more than approximately 4 inches and preferably approximately 3¾-4 inches. The bottom face 12 has a width of no more than approximately 2 inches and preferably approximately 1⅞-2 inches. The top face 10 has a width of no more than approximately 1⅜ inch and preferably approximately 1¼-1⅜ inch. Side faces 14 and 15 of a marker are generally horizontal and parallel to each other and have a height of no more than approximately ½ inch and preferably approximately 7/16-½ inch. The rear face 16 is generally vertical and has a height of no more than approximately ½ inch and preferably approximately 7/16-½ inch. The rear face 16 has a width no more than approximately 4 inches and preferably 3¾-4 inches.
  • Behind the front face 18 are retroreflectors 80 and 82. Retroreflectors 80 and 82 are of different lengths. Retroreflector 80 has a greater length than retroreflector 82. The retroreflectors 80 and 82 are incorporated into the marker at an angle similar to the horizontal angle of the front face 18.
  • The marker 5 includes support ribs 20, 22, 32 and 42. Support ribs 32 and 42 are parallel to each other and can be mirror images. Support ribs 32 and 42 can include the portions of these support ribs noted by numerals 30, 34 and 40, 44. In such a scenario, support ribs 32 and 42 contain apertures between the portions of the ribs marked 32 and 42 and the portions marked 30, 40 and 34, 44. These apertures allow for wires to be passed between the compartments generally formed by the ribs. Support ribs 32 and 42 also can be separate from ribs 30, 40 and 34, 44. In such a scenario the ribs have spaces between them; ribs 32, 30 and 34 generally run in the same line and ribs 42, 40 and 44 generally run in the same line. Support ribs 20 and 22 run in the same line. The separation between the ribs allows for wires to be passed between the compartments generally formed by the ribs. Support ribs 20 and 22 are not connected and provide an aperture for light source 90. Support ribs 20, 22, 32 and 42 extend from the inside of the top face 10 to the inside surface of the bottom face 12 and thereby provide support for the marker 5. Light source 90 is a LED.
  • Battery 60 is incorporated into the interior of marker 5. The battery is connected to circuit board 70, which also is incorporated into the interior of marker 5. Battery 60 and circuit board 70 are in separate compartments that are partially separated by support ribs 32 and 42.
  • Solar collector 50 (shown in dashed lines) is incorporated beneath top face 10 of marker 5. Solar collector 52 (shown in dashed lines) also is incorporated beneath top face 10. The two solar collectors are separated by ribs 32 and 42. Solar collectors 50 and 52 are connected to circuit 70.
  • Marker 5 also incorporates a solar sensor 100 to sense day light and non-day light (also referred to as night light) conditions. Sensor 100 is connected to circuit 70.
  • Variations and modifications of the foregoing are within the scope of the present invention. It should be understood that the invention disclosed and defined herein extends to all alternative combinations of two or more of the individual features mentioned or evident from the text and/or drawings. All of these different combinations constitute various alternative aspects of the present invention. The embodiments described herein explain the best modes known for practicing the invention and will enable others skilled in the art to utilize the invention. The claims are to be construed to include alternative embodiments to the extent permitted by the prior art.
  • Various features of the invention are set forth in the following claims.

Claims (27)

1. A marker comprising:
a solar collector,
a reflector,
a light source,
a solar sensor, and
a rechargeable battery,
wherein the marker has a height of no more than approximately ½ inch, a length of no more than approximately 2 inches, and a width of no more than approximately 4 inches.
2. The marker of claim 1 wherein the marker is capable of fitting within a standard casting.
3. The marker of claim 2 wherein the light source, is a light emitting diode and the reflector is a retroreflective reflector.
4. The marker of claim 3 wherein the light is emitted from the light emitting diode at least in part in the same direction as light is reflected from the retroreflective reflector.
5. The marker of claim 1 wherein the marker is adaptable to withstand a downward force of approximately at least 6500 pounds.
6. The marker of claim 3 further comprising a first controller adaptable to limit voltage feedback from the battery, and a pulse width modulation controller.
7. The marker of claim 2 wherein the solar sensor comprises a photocell indirectly connected to the battery, said photocell adaptable to allow current to flow from the battery during night light conditions and adaptable to restrict current flow from the battery during day light conditions;
8. The marker of claim 3 further comprising a bottom surface and an adhesive that is attached to the bottom surface.
9. The marker of claim 4 further comprising a top surface anti a bottom surface that are comprised of one or more of the following plastics: polycarbonate, acrylic, methyl methacrylate, nylon, nylon 666, polypropylene and lexan.
10. A marker comprising:
a housing including,
a solar collector,
a rechargeable power source, and
a light emitting source,
said marker adaptable to fit in a standard casting below the top elevation of the standard casting.
11. The marker of claim 10, further comprising a reflector facing in the same general direction as the light emitting source.
12. The marker of claim 11, wherein the reflector is a retroreflective surface, wherein the light emitting source comprises a light emitting diode and wherein the reflector is angled and is approximately the same color as the light from the light emitting source.
13. The marker of claim 10, wherein the housing further comprises a top surface which is substantially clear to optimize solar collection.
14. The marker of claim 13, wherein the top surface is comprised of polycarbonate.
15. The marker of claim 10 wherein the housing is comprised of plastic with a thickness of ⅛-½ inch.
16. The marker of claim 10, further comprising a photocell that is adaptable to control whether the light emitting source is on or off and a dic de to prevent current from flowing from the battery to the solar collectors.
17. The marker of claim 10, further comprising a controller that is adaptable to regulate a current flowing from the rechargeable power source to the light emitting source to maintain a constant current flow and brightness level from the light emitting source.
18. A marker system comprising; a solar collector, a light emitting diode, a top surface and a bottom surface, a front angled surface and a rear flat surface, a first side surface and a second side surface, a rechargeable battery, a retroreflective reflector behind the front angled surface, said retroreflective reflector placed such that it is not directly in front of the light emitting diode.
19. The marker system of claim 18 further comprising a circuit, an electric control switch that regulates the current flowing through the circuit, a diode preventing current from flowing from the battery to the solar collector, and a photocell, wherein the top surface and the front surface are comprised of one or more of the following plastics: polycarbonate, acrylic, methyl methacrylate, nylon, nylon 666, polypropylene and lexan, wherein the marker has a height of no more than approximately ½ inch, a length of no more than approximately 2 inches, and a width of no more than approximately 2 inches, and wherein light from the light emitting diode can be seen from the cockpit of a small plane from a distance of approximately 100 feet from the marker.
20. The marker system of claim 18 further comprising a standard casting.
21. The marker of claim 10, wherein the marker has a height of approximately ½ inch, a length of no more than approximately 2 inches, and a width of approximately 4 inches.
22. The marker of claim 10 wherein the marker is adaptable to withstand a downward force of at least 65000 pounds.
23. The marker of claim 10 further comprising a pulse width modulation controller.
24. The marker of claim 10 wherein the housing further comprises a bottom surface and an adhesive that is attached to the bottom surface.
25. The marker of claim 13 wherein the housing is comprised of a top surface and a bottom surface that are comprised of one or more of the following plastics: polycarbonate, acrylic, methyl methacrylate, nylon, nylon 666, polypropylene and lexan.
26. The marker of claim 10 wherein light from the light emitting source can be seen from the cockpit of a small plane from a distance of approximately 100 feet from the marker.
27. The marker of claim 10 further comprising a reflector facing in the same general direction as the light emitting source and wherein the housing is comprised of a top surface that is comprised of a substantially clear plastic, a bottom surface, and an adhesive that is attached to the bottom surface.
US11/128,586 2005-05-13 2005-05-13 Wireless reflective marker with internal light source Abandoned US20060257204A1 (en)

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20100098488A1 (en) * 2008-10-22 2010-04-22 Huck Lennox M Solar Powered Road Marker Light
US20120085337A1 (en) * 2010-10-11 2012-04-12 Jui-Wen Chen Solar power ground engagement device with an ecological environmental protection function
US8840335B2 (en) 2011-09-11 2014-09-23 Solar Bright Limited Road marker or light based warning device
US9702098B1 (en) 2014-01-13 2017-07-11 Evolutionary Markings, Inc. Pavement marker modules

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20100098488A1 (en) * 2008-10-22 2010-04-22 Huck Lennox M Solar Powered Road Marker Light
US20120085337A1 (en) * 2010-10-11 2012-04-12 Jui-Wen Chen Solar power ground engagement device with an ecological environmental protection function
US8840335B2 (en) 2011-09-11 2014-09-23 Solar Bright Limited Road marker or light based warning device
US8985893B2 (en) 2011-09-11 2015-03-24 Solar Bright Limited Road marker or light based warning device
US20150161889A1 (en) * 2011-09-11 2015-06-11 Solar Bright Limited Road marker or light based warning device
US9697732B2 (en) * 2011-09-11 2017-07-04 Solar Bright Limited Road marker or light based warning device
US9702098B1 (en) 2014-01-13 2017-07-11 Evolutionary Markings, Inc. Pavement marker modules

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