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Publication numberUS3168023 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 2, 1965
Filing dateSep 7, 1961
Priority dateSep 7, 1961
Publication numberUS 3168023 A, US 3168023A, US-A-3168023, US3168023 A, US3168023A
InventorsHarmon Donald E
Original AssigneeHarmon Donald E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Measuring device
US 3168023 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 2, 1965 D. E. HARMON MEASURING DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 7, 1961 Donald E Harmon BY/MQ; 51

ATTORNEY Feb. 2, 1965 o. E. HARMON MEASURING DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 7, 1961 EIHrmon INV ENT OR flonald United States Patent 3,168,023 MEASURING DEVECE Donald E. Harmon, 5001 Strathinore Ave, Kensington, Md. Filed Sept. 7, 1961, Ser. No. 136,583 6 Claims. (Cl. 9511) This invention relates to railway maintenance and railway equipment and more particularly to a machine for measuring the height and width of clearance within tunnels through which railway cars travel.

As is well known to railroad maintenance men familiar with the problem of measuring height and width clearance in various tunnels through which railway cars travel, it is oftentimes necessary to employ a surveying crew of three or four men in order to make a survey of either or both of the height and width of clearance of many tunnels on railway lines. This is a necessary procedure in order to determine, from time to time, when a tunnels height or width is becoming too small for the roll stock of a railway.

As is further known to railway maintenance men, the continual maintenance of railway tracks and the addition of ballast where necessary, at times raises the level of railway tracks. Within tunnels, this becomes a problem due to the fact that the clearance of the stock cars is a necessary requisite for proper railway operation.

As is readily understood, there is need in railroad maintenance of a height measuring device or machine which can perform the job of measuring the height and sides of a tunnel without the necessity of employing a large work force and with the least possible waste of time. My invention has been made with the foregoing considerations in mind and have many important objectives in its creation and use.

An important object of my invention is the provision of a measuring device which can be self-propelled along a railway track to a tunnel, or other desired location, for the purpose of quickly, easily and economically measuring the height of a tunnel with a minimum of man power, and for obtaining accurate measurements of the height or width of the tunnel.

Another important object of my invention is the provision of a minimum clearance measurement device mounted on a conventional railway inspection car for use in measuring the height of tunnels along railway tracks.

Another important object of my invention is the method and use of a special optical system and a collimated light source mounted on a railway inspection cab to project a bright plane of light onto tunnel surfaces, which in conjunction with a camera, will provide an economical measuring device.

Another important object of my invention is the method and use of a camera with wide angle exposure lens in cooperation with a special optical system, and a collimated light source for photographing and measuring the height and width of tunnel surfaces along railway tracks.

Another important object of my invention is the provision of a method of use of a camera with an optical system and collimated light source mounted on a conventional railway maintenance car for speedy travel through a tunnel to measure the height and width of such tunnel.

Other features and advantages not specially enumerated will become apparent after a consideration of the following descriptions and the appended claims.

In the drawing which represents a certain preferred embodiment of my invention:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of my invention mounted on a railway inspection car for travel through a railway tunnel; I

FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of the outrigger frame and device of my invention mounted thereon;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged top elevational view of the lens and light source system of my invention; and

FIGURE 4 is a view of a projection device with a calibrated grid incorporated therein for direct reading and use with my invention.

Reference is again made to FIGURE 1 wherein is shown a four wheeled self-propelled track vehicle 19 arranged for travel over railway track 12, by means of wheels W. The vehicle is powered by a conventional motor and transmission mechanism (not shown). Outrigger frame 14 is mounted on the track vehicle 19 and is formed with outwardly converging longitudinal extending arms 16-16. Arms 16, at its rear extremities, are bent downwardly at 17-17 to form downwardly extending projections 1818. Each of the downwardly extending projections 18 are attached to the associated top of the rear of the cab frame 2t? by any well known means at 1'9. Extending upwardly and attached in any conventional manner to the front cab frame 2%), is a leg 22, which is attached to each of the outrigger arms 16 at 21 by any conventional means, such as welding. The attachment of each leg 22 to its respective arm 16 is forwardly of the bend 17, as is clearly shown in FIGURE 1.

Extending rearwardly from the connection of each leg 22 to the front of the cab frame 20 is a brace arm 24. Brace arm 24 is connected to the extension 18 of arm 16 intermediate the band 17 and the connection of the extension arm to the cab frame at 19.

Extending forwardly from the lower portion of the cab frame to a point adjacent the outer end 26 of each of the outrigger arms 16 and located directly below said outrigger arm, in the plane thereof is a bracing member 28. Each bracing member 28 is connected to the lower front of the cab frame at 30 by any suitable mechanical means, and is rigidly attached to the associated outrigger arm 16 at 32, such as by welding.

A brace member 34, is rigidly connected between each outrigger arm 16 and the bracing member 28 intermediate the ends of members 14 and 28. Another brace member 36 is connected on each side between the upper forward portion of the top of the vehicle frame and to the brace member 28 intermediate the ends of member 28.

In the preferred embodiment of my invention shown in FIGURE 1, the brace members 34 and 36 are connected together to the member 28 at a common point and the members 22, 24 and 36 are connected together to the top of the vehicle at a common point.

A platform 38 is mounted on the outer front ends of the outrigger arms 16, to provide a base for a camera carried on the outer ends of said arms. It being understood that the platform also rigidly connects the outer ends of the outrigger arms in a fixed position. A plate member 40 is connected to the rearward portion of the outrigger arms 16, immediately above the vehicle 10 to provide a base for a light system provided in my invention. As shown in FIGURE 1, the platform 40 extends in the plane of the outrigger arms frame 16 rearwardly beyond the bend 17.

As is clearly obvious from the descriptions herein set forth, the outrigger frame 14 comprising members 16, 13, 2.2, 34, and 36 forms a sturdy and compact framework for supporting my invention.

Mounted on the outer front end of the outrigger frame 14 on the platform 38, is a housing 42 within which I mount camera 44 provided with a wide angle exposure lens. it is to be understood that any conventional camera suitable to obtain the desired results may be provided for the purpose of my invention.

Mounted on platform 40 of the outrigger frame 14 is a light source arrangement 46.

The necessity for obtaining rapid data over a range of various light intensities found within a tunnel requires a more intense surface illumination. It is, therefore, desired that the maximum power be provided which is compatible with the power provided on the maintenance car. To this end it is desirable that an intense single beam which can be projected about an axis parallel to the tracks be utilized so that a light source having good collimation in both Vertical and horizontal planes be provided.

In view of the desirability of a narrow sheet of intense light, an axicon or cone reflector 48 is provided forwardly of the light source for throwing a super bright light plane about the tunnel through which the railway inspection car travels. The axicon or cone reflector is indicated at 48 and is extended forwardly from the light source arrangement 46 as an extension of the plate member 40. The light source comprises a housing 47 within which a high pressure are lamp 49 is mounted. Between the arc lamp and the axicon and located within the light source housing is a condenser lens 50. Intermediate the ends of the housing is a partition wall 52 within which an apperture 54 is provided centrally thereof. A collimating lens 56 is positioned within the housing adjacent the outer extremity thereof.

The high pressure are lamp is provided with power lines 60-60, which are connected by conventional means to a power source. A spindle frame 62 mounts the condenser lens within the light source housing and a similar spindle frame 64 mounts the collimating lens within the light source housing.

As is believed obvious, the light from the high pressure are lamp 49 is thrown upon the condenser lens 50 and the light is reflected through aperture 54 in the partition 52 to the collimating lens 56. From the collimating lens, the light is then directed to the axicon to provide a super bright light plane '70, shown in FIGURES 1 and 3.

As is further believed obvious, as the railway maintenance vehicle with my invention attached, proceeds through the tunnel T, the camera with its wide angle lens is operated to take pictures along the lines PP, to thus obtain the necessary data for measuring the height and width of the tunnel. Obviously, since the camera is fixed at a determined distance X, away from the axicon and since the angle 4) is variable, depending upon the location at which the plane of light strikes the ceiling or sides of the tunnel, it is a mere mathematical expedient to determine the height or width of the walls.

However, to overcome the necessity of mathematical computation, I have provided fixed measuring guides, 74, 76 and 78 arranged at horizontal spaced fixed distances Y, on the front of the maintenance vehicle 10, so that as the camera 44 takes the picture of the light plane on the walls and ceiling of the tunnel it will simultaneously fix in the picture the distance Y between the measuring guides 74, 76 and '78. It being understood that distance Y is constant between guides 74 and 76 and between guides 76 and 78. Thus as the developed film reel 80 is mounted for inspection within the projection box 82, the film image is directed by means of reflecting mirror 84 onto the display grid 86. The operator will then align the guides 74, 76 and '78 on the grid 86, by means of conventional controls, not shown. Thus the operator can then read the height distance or width distance on the calibrated grid without the necessity of mathematical calculations.

To insure accuracy, it is anticipated that the calibrated grid may first be made from a photograph of the distance scale previously placed in the light plane and then photographed. However, this is not necessary to effect the 4 purpose of direct reading with my device where an exact or precise measurement is not required. When the film is adjusted on the projection so that the guides 74, 76 and 78 are matched to the grid lines, good readings within reasonable tolerances are possible.

A panel board is provided with controls to remotely operate the power source and the camera from the maintenance vehicle. Because of the cameras relative inaccessibility, a motor driven 35 mm. wide angle lens cam era with a large exposure magazine will be used. Al though a 35mm. wide angle lens camera is provided in the preferred operation of my invention, it is obvious that any other camera with suitable mechanism can be provided. It is further anticipated that one large roll of film could be provided to take all necessary measurements for a days operation. The camera utilized could be one provided with battery operation.

Operation As appears readily understood from the figures in the drawings and from the above description, the vehicle with my invention mounted thereon, is brought Within a tunnel through which the railway track extends. As the machine enters the tunnel, the operator of my device will activate the arc lamp from panel 40 so as to shoot a super bright light plane about the axicon 48. The camera is then operated by the operator by manual control or by use of a remote timing device arranged to photograph at desired pre-determined intervals to take pictures of the light plane on the tunnel ceiling and walls. After photographs have been taken and developed, the reel of film is then placed in the projector and the film image is projected upon the grid screen for direct reading of the height and width of the tunnel.

It appears obvious that With the use of a fixed timing device set for the pre-determined rate of speed of travel of the inspection vehicle through the tunnel, the exact distance within the tunnel that a picture has been taken may be easily determined by mathematical computation.

It is to be noted here that although my invention is mounted on a railway maintenance vehicle, it is within the scope of my invention to mount an outrigger frame with a spaced camera, light source and cone reflector on any other type vehicle with a simple modification of the structure shown. Also, as it is believed obvious, the object of my invention of measuring distance, can be applied in other situations requiring measurement of heights or widths other than in tunnels. Numerous modifications and variations of the present invention will occur to those skilled in the art after a careful study of the invention which I have herein disclosed.

As believed further obvious, the operator of my machine can control directly the operation of the camera by manually taking pictures at certain definite spaced distances within a tunnel, or other like locations, or he can start in operation a device which will automatically take pictures at spaced, pre-determined intervals with but minor modifications or change of the structure herein used. All such modifications and variations which come within the spirit and scope of the present invention are intended to be included herein as fully and completely as if they had been specifically illustrated, described and claimed herein.

The embodiment specifically described and claimed here is exemplary only and is not intended to limit the scope of this invention.

The exact construction and relative positioning of the various component parts of this invention is by way of example and may be modified substantially within the ;cope and spirit of my invention without departing thererom.

Having thus described and disclosed my invention, what is claimed as new is:

1. In apparatus for measuring the height and width of a tunnel or the like, a self-propelled vehicle, an outrigger frame mounted on said vehicle and extending outwardly therefrom, a first platform mounted on the outer portion of said outrigger frame, a second platform mounted intermediate the end portions of said outrigger frame, a camera mounted on said first platform, a housing including a light source arrangement mounted on said second platform in cooperative association with said camera, said light source projecting a 360 vertical plane of light, and fixed reference points supported on said vehicle and within said plane of light.

2. In apparatus for measuring the height and width of a tunnel or the like, a vehicle, an outrigger frame mounted on said vehicle and extending outwardly therefrom, a first platform mounted on the outer portion of said outrigger frame, a second platform mounted intermediate the end portions of said outrigger frame, a camera mounted on said first platform, a housing including a light source mounted on said second platform, said light source mounted a fixed distance from the focal point of said camera on a horizontal axis passing through said focal point of said camera and said light source, a cone reflector mounted on said outrigger frame on said horizontal axis in cooperative association with said camera and with said light source, cone reflector projecting a 360 vertical plane of light, and fixed reference points supported on said vehicle and within said plane of light.

3. In apparatus for measuring the height and width of a tunnel or the like, a vehicle, an outrigger frame connected to said vehicle and extending outwardly therefrom, a first platform mounted on the outer portion of said outrigger frame, a second platform mounted on said outrigger frame intermediate the end portions of said outrigger frame, a camera mounted on said first platform, a light source housing mounted on said second platform, an arc lamp mounted in said housing, a first lens mounted in said housing, and a second lens mounted in said housing between said first lens and said are lamp, said are lamp and said first and second lens projecting a vertical 360 plane of light, and fixed reference points supported on said vehicle and within said plane of light.

4. In apparatus for measuring the height and width of a tunnel or the like, a vehicle, an outrigger frame connected to said vehicle and extending outwardly therefrom, a first platform mounted on the outer portion of said outrigger frame, a second platform mounted intermediate the end portions of said outrigger frame, a camera mounted on said first platform, a light source housing mounted on said second platform, an arc lamp mounted in said housing, a first lens mounted in said housing, and a second lens mounted in said housing between said first lens and said are lamp, a cone reflector mounted on said outrigger frame whereby light from said are lamp passing through said first and second lens onto said cone reflector is projected in a vertical 360 plane of light, and fixed reference points supported on said vehicle and within said plane of light.

5. In apparatus for measuring the height and width of a tunnel or the like, a vehicle, an outrigger frame connected to said vehicle and extending outwardly therefrom, a first platform mounted on the outer portion of said outrigger frame, a second platform mounted intermediate the end portions of said outrigger frame, a camera mounted on said first platform, a light source housing mounted on said second platform, an arc lamp mounted in said housing, a first lens mounted in said housing, and a second lens mounted in said housing between said first lens and said are lamp, a cone reflector mounted on said outrigger frame whereby light will pass through said first and second lens onto said cone reflector to provide a light plane for use in measuring with said camera, and fixed reference points supported on said vehicle and within said light plane.

6. In apparatus for measuring the height and width of a tunnel or the like, a self-propelled vehicle, an outrigger frame connected to said vehicle and extending outwardly therefrom, a first platform mounted on the outer portion of said outrigger frame, a second platform mounted intermediate the end portions of said outrigger frame, a camera mounted on said first platform, a light source housing including a light source arrangement mounted on said second platform, a cone reflector mounted on said outrigger frame between said camera and said light source arrangement whereby a light thrown onto said cone re fiector by the light source arrangement will be transmitted as a plane about the axis of said cone reflector onto the inside walls of said tunnel for measuring purpose in cooperation with said camera, and fixed reference points supported on said vehicle and within said light plane.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 689,361 12/01 Moe 33-17 752,617 2/04 ePue 3317 2,632,801 3/53 Donaldson 9511 X 2,894,436 7/59 Eber 95-11 2,899,856 8/59 Shull 9511 X 2,932,243 4/ Woronoff 11 X FOREIGN PATENTS 512,386 7/52 Belgium.

1,039,549 5/53 France.

NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner. JOHN M. HORAN, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US752617 *May 31, 1902Feb 16, 1904 Method of identification
US2632801 *Jun 5, 1948Mar 24, 1953Donaldson Charles ADeep well camera
US2894436 *Sep 9, 1954Jul 14, 1959Lytax Werke G M B HCamera for photographing the inner surface of a hollow body
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3469919 *Jul 14, 1965Sep 30, 1969Zellner Floyd LElectronic surveying instrument
US4063283 *Apr 3, 1975Dec 13, 1977Chemetron CorporationAutomatic envelope measuring system
US4179216 *May 18, 1978Dec 18, 1979Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen-Industriegesellschaft M.B.H.Apparatus for measuring the profile of a railroad tunnel
US4180322 *May 1, 1978Dec 25, 1979Alcyon Equipment S.A.Interior measurement of enclosed spaces
US4469418 *Oct 20, 1982Sep 4, 1984B.K.S. Surveys LimitedSurveying method and apparatus
US8345099 *Jan 25, 2010Jan 1, 2013EnscoOptical path protection device and method for a railroad track inspection system
US20110181721 *Jan 25, 2010Jul 28, 2011Bloom Jeffrey AOptical path protection device and method for a railroad track inspection system
DE2917021A1 *Apr 26, 1979Nov 15, 1979Alcyon Equip SaVorrichtung zum messen von innenprofilen eines geschlossenen raumes
EP0487465A1 *Nov 7, 1991May 27, 1992Ente Per Le Nuove Tecnologie, L'energia E L'ambiente ( Enea)An automatic system for the detection of the internal contour of railway tunnels and the like
Classifications
U.S. Classification396/19, 396/200, 33/281
International ClassificationB61K9/02, B61K9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB61K9/02
European ClassificationB61K9/02