WO1999051479A1 - A method of controlling and positioning a movable object, and a system for performing the method - Google Patents

A method of controlling and positioning a movable object, and a system for performing the method

Info

Publication number
WO1999051479A1
WO1999051479A1 PCT/DK1999/000161 DK9900161W WO1999051479A1 WO 1999051479 A1 WO1999051479 A1 WO 1999051479A1 DK 9900161 W DK9900161 W DK 9900161W WO 1999051479 A1 WO1999051479 A1 WO 1999051479A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
transmitter
antenna
train
unit
units
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/DK1999/000161
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Freddy Petersen
Heine Ewi Pedersen
Original Assignee
Tss Traffic Supervision Systems A/S
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

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B61RAILWAYS
    • B61LGUIDING RAILWAY TRAFFIC; ENSURING THE SAFETY OF RAILWAY TRAFFIC
    • B61L3/00Devices along the route for controlling devices on the vehicle or vehicle train, e.g. to release brake, to operate a warning signal
    • B61L3/02Devices along the route for controlling devices on the vehicle or vehicle train, e.g. to release brake, to operate a warning signal at selected places along the route, e.g. intermittent control simultaneous mechanical and electrical control
    • B61L3/08Devices along the route for controlling devices on the vehicle or vehicle train, e.g. to release brake, to operate a warning signal at selected places along the route, e.g. intermittent control simultaneous mechanical and electrical control controlling electrically
    • B61L3/12Devices along the route for controlling devices on the vehicle or vehicle train, e.g. to release brake, to operate a warning signal at selected places along the route, e.g. intermittent control simultaneous mechanical and electrical control controlling electrically using magnetic or electrostatic induction; using radio waves
    • B61L3/125Devices along the route for controlling devices on the vehicle or vehicle train, e.g. to release brake, to operate a warning signal at selected places along the route, e.g. intermittent control simultaneous mechanical and electrical control controlling electrically using magnetic or electrostatic induction; using radio waves using short-range radio transmission
    • 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
    • G01S13/00Systems using the reflection or reradiation of radio waves, e.g. radar systems; Analogous systems using reflection or reradiation of waves whose nature or wavelength is irrelevant or unspecified
    • G01S13/74Systems using reradiation of radio waves, e.g. secondary radar systems; Analogous systems

Abstract

In a method, a movable object is controlled by means of a communications connection containing an antenna (1) which is arranged on the object and in which a current is fed, so that the antenna emits a magnetic field. Further, the communications connection contains one or more transmitter units (4) which are arranged to receive and to reflect signals from the antenna. The magnetic signal strength is determined as a function of the distance between the movable object and one of the transmitter units (4), and the places where the magnetic field has the value 0 or another threshold value are used as fix points. The method may e.g. be used for controlling the pattern of movement of driveless trains and to position these, as the information signals may contain start, move and stop commands. In a preferred embodiment, the stop command is executed so that e.g. said fix point is used as a starting point for the position of the stopping, but that the actual stopping takes place at a distance from the measured fix point. Further, a system for performing the method and comprising a group having at least two transmitter units is disclosed.

Description

A method of controlling and positioning a movable object, and a system for performing the method

The invention relates to a method of controlling and po- sitioning a movable object via a communications connection consisting of an antenna which is arranged on the object and which is adapted to transmit and receive control signals emitted from a transmitter unit, and wherein current is supplied in the antenna, which forms a mag- netic field in the antenna, which is induced in one of the transmitter units, wherein the antenna is moved toward one of the transmitter units which is affected by the magnetic field emitted from the antenna and provides a signal reflected from the transmitter unit, and wherein the received signal strength in the antenna is determined as a function of the distance between the antenna and the transmitter unit.

It is known from German Offenlegungsschrift No. 41 02 812 to place a line serving as an antenna in a permanent way and to detect by means of a radio transmitter and receiver when the receiver is positioned at a place where the received signal strength is 0. A train may hereby be brought to a standstill in a given position relative to the zero point.

This technique has the drawback that the antenna line in the permanent way must be very long if a train is to be brought to a standstill from a very high speed. In prac- tice, the prior art cannot be used in connection with high travelling speeds.

An object of the invention is to develop a system of the above-mentioned type further so that it may be used in a more dynamic environment. Dynamic environment here means an environment in which objects can move at even very high speeds while maintaining an accurate positioning and control of the movements of the objects, including bringing the object to a standstill in an accurate position.

This object is achieved in that the control signals emit¬ ted from the transmitter units contain information on the pattern of movement of the movable object. If, e.g., it is a matter of determining the position of a given transmitter unit, this may take place either in that the transmitter unit is adapted to transfer positional information to the antenna, but it may also take place in that the transmitter unit transfers an identification signal and that a computer is arranged in the train, provided with information on the position of a transmitter unit with a given identification. The transmitter units are also called a TAG that may be compared to the art disclosed in Danish Patent Application No. 0247/98.

The invention involves the great advantage over the pre- viously mentioned prior art that a plurality of TAGs may be arranged for decelerating a train from a high speed, said TAGs being scanned successively by the antenna for correct deceleration of the train. A TAG, e.g. of the type described in the above-mentioned Danish patent ap- plication, may be quite small and inexpensive. When the extent of the TAG is small relative to the extent of the antenna on the train, the positions of the antenna in which the received signal strength is 0, may be determined very accurately. Fix points may hereby be provided along the section on which the movable object moves.

The transmitter units may hereby transfer information to the movable object, such as information on the position and speed of the movable object. It is expedient that the control signals contain information on stopping of the movable object. The places where the received signal strength is 0 may be used as fix points, but it may also be expedient to define the fix point by a threshold value which is different from 0.

As stated in claim 6, it is expedient that stopping of the movable object is determined as a given distance from the fix point.

This primarily provides the advantage that the movable object may be stopped with a soft transition from movement to standstill.

Finally, it is an advantage, as stated in claim 7, that a plurality of transmitter units or TAGs are arranged at a mutual distance along a section, and that the antenna of the movable object along the section receives start, move and stop commands from the transmitter units.

This provides a flexible system which may be used for controlling movable objects in a completely arbitrary manner according to desire and need.

Precisely in connection with control of train traffic and particularly of driverless trains it is of paramount importance that top security is provided, which necessarily requires that all train positions for start and stop can be controlled precisely, which may be ensured by using the principles of the invention. In case of high speed trains slipping or sliding of the wheels will always occur, and reliable deceleration can therefore only take place by means of a plurality of TAGs, which may be arranged at a mutual distance along the permanent way ac- cording to the invention. The invention also generally relates to a method of controlling train traffic, e.g. driverless trains, where the train has an antenna which is adapted to emit signals and to receive control signals emitted from a transmitter unit in the permanent way.

The method is characterized by generating control information on the basis of information which is received from two or more transmitter units in a group of transmitter units, cf. claim 8. The control information from the transmitter units may be supplemented with control information from an odometer which is connected with the wheels of the train. At low speeds, the odometer information may be used for stopping the train very accurately at a predetermined distance from a fix point. When the transmitter units may be localized and identified separately according to the invention, their mutual distance may be detected, which may be used for calibrating the odometer equipment.

Preferably, the train also has a train computer which may be provided with information on the respective train, e.g. length, braking properties and timetable, said information being compared to the information from the transmitter units for stopping the train at a predetermined place relative to the group of transmitter units.

The invention moreover relates to a system for performing the method according to claims 8-11 and of the type de- fined in the introductory portion of claim 12. The system is characterized in that it comprises groups of transmitter units arranged in the permanent way, each group having at least two transmitter units positioned at a predetermined mutual distance and adapted to transfer control signals to the antenna of the train. The control signals comprise information for positional determination of the respective transmitter unit.

The invention will be explained more fully below with reference to an embodiment shown in the drawing, in which

fig. 1 shows the basic structure of communications connections which are used in connection with the invention,

fig. 2 shows the basic structure of the communications connection, seen from above,

fig. 3 shows an example of a magnetic field characteristic which occurs in connection with the communications connection in figs. 1 and 2,

fig. 4 shows a preferred embodiment of a receiver for use in connection with the invention, while

fig. 5 basically illustrates a system for performing the method according to the invention.

Figs. 1 and 2 schematically show an antenna which is generally designated 1, and which has four conductors 6, 7, 8, 9.

The antenna is adapted to emit and receive signals via a unit 10, e.g. as explained in Danish Patent Application No. 0247/98.

As will be seen in fig. 2, the direction of a current supplied from the unit 10 in the antenna is shown by arrows. Additionally, fig. 1 schematically shows a section 5 below which a transmitter unit 4, which consists of a tag known per se, is arranged.

The system according to figs. 1 and 2 operates in the following manner.

When the antenna is moved along the path 5 toward the transmitter unit 4, the magnetic field that occurs be- cause of the current in the antenna 1 will affect the transmitter unit 4, which will reflect a signal back to the antenna 4 proportional to the field emitted from the antenna.

The strength of this reflected signal will depend on the distance between the antenna and the transmitter unit, as will be explained more fully in connection with fig. 3.

It is shown in fig. 3 that when the antenna unit 1 with the conductor 6 moves in the X-direction toward the transmitter unit 4, the magnetic field (B) will increase numerically as shown at 11 when the antenna 4 reaches the tag 4. A short distance before the conductor passes the transmitter unit 4, the magnetic field will reach a nu- erical maximum, as shown at 12, and then decrease sharply until the field is 0, as shown at 12A, where the conductor 6 is positioned above the transmitter unit 4, which corresponds to the mutual positions of the antenna 1 and the transmitter unit 4 shown in figs. 1 and 2. At the point 12A, a phase shift of the magnetic field takes place. When the antenna is then moved further on, the magnetic field will increase in a positive direction. As will thus be seen, the magnetic field increases as shown at 13 and reaches a maximum, where it again decreases at the central part of the antenna, shown at 14, and then reaches a minimum at 15, following which the magnetic field again increases when the second conductor 8 approaches the tag 4. This is shown at 17, which is symmetrical with the portion 13 shown in fig. 3. As soon as the conductor 8 is positioned above the transmitter unit 4, a zero point will be obtained again, shown at 18A, following which the magnetic field will increase to reach a maximum shown at 18 and then decrease toward zero when the antenna is moved even further away.

As will be appreciated, the zero points 12A, 18A, which are positioned at a fixed mutual distance, may be used e.g. for determining the speed of the antenna relative to the transmitter unit, it being possible simply to detect the times at which the antenna conductors 6, 8 pass the transmitter unit 4.

It appears from fig. 3 that the signal strength is relatively small outside the zero points 12A and 12B. In particular if the signal strength generally decreases, the threshold value 0 is not so well-defined as the shown threshold values TA and TB, which will increase the accuracy of the fix points.

As the threshold values are determined by purely physical conditions, they may advantageously be used as fix points, e.g. in connection with the stopping of a movable object, as an antenna is then merely to be placed on the movable object and to be connected to a transmitter unit. If the object is to be stopped accurately at a given dis- tance from the fix point, this may be done by means of an encoder or an electronic odometer positioned on the movable object.

It will moreover be appreciated that if a plurality of transmitter units are arranged along e.g. the section 5 in fig. 1, they may be used for controlling the movable object, as the transmitter units 4 may be arranged such that they give control information to the antenna, which is accurately adapted to the desired pattern of movement of the object. This will be explained more fully in con- nection with fig. 5.

Finally, it is noted that the information from the transmitter unit 4 may be transferred to the unit 10 via the antenna 1, as is explained in the above-mentioned Danish patent application.

Fig. 4 shows a transmitter/receiver for use in connection with the invention.

This system, which is generally designated 20, essentially corresponds to the disclosure of the above-mentioned Danish patent application, and will therefore just be explained to the extent to which it is necessary for the understanding of the principles of the invention.

As will be seen in fig. 4, the system 20 is connected to the antenna 1. The antenna 1 can transmit and receive signals from an antenna circuit 22, which in turn may receive a transmit signal from an oscillator 21 for the supply of current to the antenna 1. When the antenna 1 receives signals e.g. from one of the transmitter units 4 in the preceding figures, the signals, as is explained in connection with the above-mentioned patent application, will be fed to a receiver, which is arranged so as to be able to divide the output signal into a DC signal which is used as an indication of the presence of a transmitter unit, and an AC signal, here shown by ID, which may be an information signal, e.g. an identification signal emitted from the transmitter unit 4. The whole thing is con- trolled in a microcontroller 32, which is moreover capable of transmitting and receiving data via a connection 33 to peripheral equipment not shown. Compared to the receiver according to the above-mentioned Danish application, the receiver is additionally arranged such that it can determine the zero points/fix points which are men- tioned in connection with figs. 1-3.

Thus, the invention provides an extremely flexible system which is particularly suitable in connection with the control of driverless trains, it being possible partly to position, partly to stop and partly to control various parameters in connection with the steering/control of the driverless trains.

Fig. 5 shows a permanent way 5 having a pair of TAGs 4. Furthermore, a train 34 is outlined and inside it the units 1 and 20 from fig. 4, an odometer 36, a control circuit 35, a train computer 37 and a radio antenna 38 are shown. The mode of operation of the system will be described in connection with the case where a train is to be decelerated from a high speed and to stop at an accurate place, e.g. at a train platform.

According to the invention, a plurality of TAGs, e.g. five, are provided, said TAGs being distributed over a section of some kilometres from the platform. At a distance from the platform where the speed of the train is high, the TAGs are relatively far apart, while the TAGs are positioned mutually more closely close to the platform. When the circuit 20 detects that the antenna 1 has passed the first TAG, a message will be sent to the train computer 37 which registers that this TAG is the first one in a deceleration course. The train is decelerated in accordance with braking parameters stored in the train computer. The braking process may be monitored by means of the odometer 36 and the control circuit 35. The train computer 37 can predict when and at which speed the train 10

is to pass the next TAG, and if a deviation should be observed, it is possible to change the braking characteristic which is stored in the train computer. It will be appreciated that possible slipping or sliding of the wheels may be compensated completely in this manner. Preferably, the system will be arranged such that the train passes the last TAG before the platform at a quite low speed, so that the final stopping takes place on the basis of the odometer information. The train computer 37 contains in- formation on how long the train is, so that the train may be stopped at the accurate place on the platform. Because the TAGs 4 are small relative to the extent of the antenna 1, the zero crossing explained in connection with fig. 3 may be detected with a very great accuracy, of the order of less than one centimetre. It is thus possible to bring a high speed train to a standstill in an accurate position. Finally, the train computer 37 may be connected via a radio antenna 38 to a monitoring centre which can both transmit information to the train and receive infor- mation on the pattern of movement of the train.

Claims

11P a t e n t C l a i m s
1. A method of controlling and positioning a movable ob- ject via a communications connection consisting of an antenna which is arranged on the object and which is adapted to transmit and receive control signals emitted from a transmitter unit, and wherein
- a current is supplied in the antenna, which forms a magnetic field in the antenna, which is induced in one of the transmitter units,
the antenna is moved toward one of the transmitter units which is affected by the magnetic field emitted from the antenna and provides a signal reflected from the transmitter unit, and
the received signal strength in the antenna is deter- mined as a function of the distance between the antenna and the transmitter unit,
c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the control signals emitted from the transmitter units contain information on the pattern of movement of the movable object.
2. A method according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the information on the pattern of movement of the movable object comprises information on the position of the transmitter unit.
3. A method according to claims 1-2, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the transmitter signal strength is proportional to the field emitted from the antenna, and that the positions of the antenna in which the received signal 12
strength of the magnetic field causes this to be 0, are determined.
4. A method according to claim 3, c h a r a c t e r - i z e d in that the fix point is determined as the place where the received signal strength exceeds a predetermined threshold value.
5. A method according to claims 1-4, c h a r a c t e r - i z e d in that the control signals contain information on the stopping of the movable object, the places where the received signal strength is 0 being used as fix points .
6. A method according to claim 5, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that stopping of the movable object is determined as a given distance from the fix point.
7. A method according to any one of the preceding claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that a plurality of transmitter units are arranged at a mutual distance along a section, and that the antenna of the movable object along the section receives start, move and stop commands from the transmitter units.
8. A method of controlling train traffic, e.g. driverless trains, said train having an antenna which is adapted to emit signals and to receive control signals emitted from a transmitter unit in the permanent way, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that control information is generated on the basis of information which is received from two or more transmitter units in a group of transmitter units.
9. A method according to claim 8, c h a r a c t e r - 13
i z e d in that the control information is generated in response to odometer information which is received from the wheels of the train.
10. A method according to claim 8 or 9, wherein the train is provided with a train computer, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the computer is provided with information on the respective train, e.g. the length, braking properties and timetable of the train, said informa- tion being compared with the information from the transmitter units for braking the train at a predetermined place relative to the group of transmitter units.
11. A method according to claims 8-10, c h a r a c - t e r i z e d in that the mutual distance between two transmitter units is used for calibrating the odometer information.
12. A system for performing the method according to claims 8-11 and for controlling train traffic, e.g. driverless trains, said train having an antenna which is adapted to emit signals and to receive control signals emitted from a transmitter unit in the permanent way, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that it comprises groups of transmitter units arranged in the permanent way, each group having at least two transmitter units which are positioned at a predetermined mutual distance and which are adapted to transfer control signals to the antenna of the train.
13. A system according to claim 12, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the control signals comprise information for positional determination of the respective transmitter unit.
PCT/DK1999/000161 1998-03-24 1999-03-24 A method of controlling and positioning a movable object, and a system for performing the method WO1999051479A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
DK0415/98 1998-03-24
DK41598 1998-03-24

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO1999051479A1 true true WO1999051479A1 (en) 1999-10-14

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Country Link
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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE102006033211A1 (en) * 2006-07-12 2008-01-24 Siemens Ag System, particularly mass transit rail system and method for vehicle-track recording for such a system
WO2011103999A1 (en) * 2010-02-23 2011-09-01 Bombardier Transportation Gmbh Detecting the presence of a vehicle

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4302811A (en) * 1979-09-10 1981-11-24 General Electric Company Automatic train operation with position stop and velocity control
US4768740A (en) * 1983-12-09 1988-09-06 Westinghouse Brake And Signal Company Limited Vehicle tracking system
DE4102812A1 (en) * 1991-01-31 1992-08-13 Ivv Ingenieurgesellschaft Fuer Fine positioning equipment stopping railway vehicle at predetermined point - includes vehicle-borne receiver and transmitter linked by inductive loop of decreasing width on approach track
WO1996009199A1 (en) * 1994-09-23 1996-03-28 Heine Ewi Pedersen A traffic control system, use of it, and a method of controlling the movement of a mobile unit

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4302811A (en) * 1979-09-10 1981-11-24 General Electric Company Automatic train operation with position stop and velocity control
US4768740A (en) * 1983-12-09 1988-09-06 Westinghouse Brake And Signal Company Limited Vehicle tracking system
DE4102812A1 (en) * 1991-01-31 1992-08-13 Ivv Ingenieurgesellschaft Fuer Fine positioning equipment stopping railway vehicle at predetermined point - includes vehicle-borne receiver and transmitter linked by inductive loop of decreasing width on approach track
WO1996009199A1 (en) * 1994-09-23 1996-03-28 Heine Ewi Pedersen A traffic control system, use of it, and a method of controlling the movement of a mobile unit

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE102006033211A1 (en) * 2006-07-12 2008-01-24 Siemens Ag System, particularly mass transit rail system and method for vehicle-track recording for such a system
WO2011103999A1 (en) * 2010-02-23 2011-09-01 Bombardier Transportation Gmbh Detecting the presence of a vehicle

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