APPARATUS FOR MONITORING PERSONS
WITHIN PREDETERMINED AREAS, IN
PARTICULAR THE PASSENGERS OF AN
This invention relates to an apparatus for monitoring persons within predetermined areas, in particular for monitoring the position of passengers on board an aircraft.
Safety on board aircraft has for many years constituted a problem to which the aeronautical authorities have dedicated l o particular attention, especially since criminal activity has shown the extreme ease with which an ill-intentioned person can take possession of an aircraft in flight and determine the behaviour of the crew by armed threats. Following the continued increase in air traffic, this problem has become 15 increasingly more felt and the ground control measures before boarding have not always proved sufficient, particularly in consideration of the fact that even utensils of common use, such as knives, scissors, screwdrivers etc., can in the hands of an ill-intentioned person be used as a weapon 20 able to intimidate those against whom he wishes to act.
However, as it is not possible to compel passengers on board an aircraft to remain seated in their assigned position for the entire flight, especially if a long haul flight, the need arises to automatically monitor the position of all passengers 25 in order to receive a timely indication of an abnormal situation and to take all those measures necessary to prevent or at least reduce the consequences of a possible criminal act.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,075,670 discloses a signalling tag of the 30 type used in house arrest systems which has a tamper detection device for detecting removal of the tag from the monitored person. The signal is set to a tamper condition upon removal. The tamper detector can only by reset to the normal state by a reset signal which incorporates a charac- 35 teristic of the signal sent by the tag.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,650,766 discloses a wearable transmitter assembly including a housing containing a radio frequency transmitter and tamper detecting circuit that are attached to an appendage of an individual with a buckle and strap. A 40 light emitter and a light sensor are disposed in the housing and extend to the outside of the housing through one or more apertures.
The main object of the invention is to monitor a person's presence/continuance within predetermined areas for a cer- 45 tain time period.
Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus able to monitor from a predetermined station, preferably located within the flight deck, the position of all passengers on board an aircraft, while at the same time enabling the 50 passengers to move about in permitted spaces, within the limits in which such movements do not result in dangerous situations.
Another object of the invention is to effect this monitoring in such a manner as to exactly identify a passenger or 55 passengers behaving suspiciously.
Another object of the invention is to intervene in good time, possibly automatically, such as to indicate dangerous situations and to prevent such situations resulting in loss of aircraft control by the crew. 60
All these and further objects which will be apparent from the ensuing description are attained, according to the invention, by a person monitoring apparatus as described in claim 1.
A preferred embodiment of the invention is described in 65 detail hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tag to be applied to each person;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged longitudinal section therethrough;
FIG. 3 is an exploded longitudinal section therethrough on the line III—III of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged partial section therethrough on the line IV—IV of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a view thereof in the direction V—V of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the front part of an aircraft in which the apparatus of the invention is installed;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged vertical section therethrough on the line VII—VII of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 shows a first variant of the tag;
FIG. 9 is a section therethrough taken in correspondence with the sensor;
FIG. 10 shows a second variant thereof;
FIG. 11 is an exploded longitudinal section therethrough;
FIG. 12 shows a further variant thereof;
FIG. 13 is an exploded longitudinal section therethrough;
FIG. 14 is a section therethrough on the line XIV—XIV of FIG. 13;
FIG. 15 shows an enlarged detail of the cylinder; and FIG. 16 shows an implement for removing the tag. As can be seen from the figures, the apparatus of the invention comprises the following essential components: a plurality of tags 2, each of which contains the data
characteristic of the person 6 wearing it, a plurality of sensors 4 for sensing the tag 2 applied to the person,
a supervision and control unit 8 operationally connected to all the sensors 4.
Each tag 2 comprises a small plastic box 10 of substantially parallelepiped shape from which one of the minor walls is lacking, and in which the two side walls 12 are flat and the two major walls 14 are slightly arched to better adhere to the wrist of the person 6. That major wall 14 which is to adhere to the person's wrist presents two slots 16, 16' through which a strap 18 can be passed to secure it to said wrist.
In proximity to the slot 16 there are provided two small cylindrical seats 20 for housing the two ends of a metal pin 22, about which one end of the strap 18 is wrapped and hot-bonded. This is formed of synthetic material and carries embedded in its interior two metal conductors 24 which at one end are wound about and brazed to the pin 22 and at their other end emerge from the end of the strap 18.
In proximity to the other slot 16', provided in the major wall 14 of the box 10, there are provided in the two side walls 12 of the box two small holes for the passage of two small knurled winding knobs 26 for the strap 18. More specifically, the two knobs 26 engage with rotational constraint two threaded metal pins 28, which can be screwed axially into a winding roller 30 of insulating material for the strap 18. The connection between the two is obtained by providing the roller 30 with two holes 32 into which the two terminations of the two metal conductors 24 embedded in the strap 18 are inserted, to be then locked in their seat by fully screwing the two pins 28 into the roller 30. This screwing also securely fixes to the roller 30 two small toothed wheels 34 previously inserted between it and the two threaded pins 28.
A pair of elastic fins 36, formed on the inner side of the front wall 38 of the box 10, opposes the free rotation of the assembly formed by the two knurled knobs 26, the two threaded pins 28, the winding roller 30 and the two toothed wheels 34.