(19)
(11)EP 2 713 180 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
03.04.2019 Bulletin 2019/14

(21)Application number: 13184591.9

(22)Date of filing:  16.09.2013
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G01S 13/93  (2006.01)
G08G 5/06  (2006.01)

(54)

Systems and methods for performing vehicle collision-avoidance warning via sensor pulse

Systeme und Verfahren zur Durchführung einer Fahrzeugkollisionsvermeidungswarnung mittels Sensorimpuls

Systèmes et procédés de réalisation d'avertissement d'évitement de collision de véhicule via une impulsion de capteur


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 27.09.2012 US 201261706632 P
06.05.2013 US 201313888216

(43)Date of publication of application:
02.04.2014 Bulletin 2014/14

(73)Proprietor: Honeywell International Inc.
Morris Plains, NJ 07950 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • Kirk, James C.
    Morristown, NJ New Jersey 07962-2245 (US)

(74)Representative: Houghton, Mark Phillip 
Patent Outsourcing Limited 1 King Street
Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1DZ
Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1DZ (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-03/009254
US-A1- 2005 107 934
CA-A1- 2 549 870
US-A1- 2010 194 603
  
  • "Introduction to TCAS II, Version 7.1", , 28 February 2011 (2011-02-28), XP055247744, Retrieved from the Internet: URL:http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/med ia/Advisory_Circular/TCAS II V7.1 Intro booklet.pdf [retrieved on 2016-02-04]
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

BACKGROUND



[0001] Current methods of receiving a timely warning of impending collision between parked or taxiing aircraft vehicles and a host ground vehicle are costly. These solutions may fail to provide effective warning to the other vehicles.

[0002] International Publication No. WO 03/009254 by Ontario Limited discloses a method for avoiding collisions, the method including transmitting and receiving a signal processed by a Pulse Division Multiple Access (PDMA) protocol, and detecting one or more targets based on the received signals to provide an alert to vehicle operators.

[0003] Canadian Patent Application No. 2,549,870 by Ontario Inc. discloses a system comprised of radio frequency transceivers mounted on vehicles and humans whereby the transceivers detect one another and warn the wearer or vehicle operator of a possible collision.

[0004] U.S. Patent Application No. 2005/107934 by Gudat et al. discloses a positioning system for an entity at a work site, where the positioning system includes an RFID device including a memory configured to store a position of the entity and at least one other characteristic associated with the entity.

[0005] According to U.S. Patent Application No. 2005/107934 by Gudat et al., a transmitter associated with the RFID device can emit a signal including information relating to the position of the entity and to the at least one other characteristic of the entity.

SUMMARY



[0006] The present invention in its various aspects is as set out in the appended claims.

[0007] The present invention provides systems and methods for embedding a warning signal in a sensor pulse. When a taxi anticollision system of a host aircraft senses a threat headed for the aircraft, a warning signal is embedded in a sensor pulse to warn the offending vehicle that it is in the field of view of the host aircraft's sensor and is moving on a trajectory that is threatening collision with the host aircraft. Alternately, the radar issues a dedicated pulse for reading and alerting the receiving device.

[0008] In one aspect of the invention, the vehicle includes a receiver that, when it receives the coded warning, alerts the driver that caution must be observed.

[0009] In another aspect of the invention, vehicles outside the field of the host aircraft's sensor do not receive a warning or act on a received warning. The warning is a "broadcast" made to only those receivers in the beam of the sensor (i.e., in the radio transmission field). Other receivers may hear the signal due to multipath reflections, etc. - but a threshold set at the vehicles' receivers will eliminate most of those types of false warning.

[0010] In still another aspect of the invention, the host aircraft's sensor performs beamshaping to further narrow the field-of-view, thereby reducing the number of detectable vehicles.

[0011] In yet another aspect of the invention, the aircraft's sensor reads an RFID device embedded in a receiver on the target vehicle and correlates the location of the detected RFID receiver with the exact location returned by the radar (if the radar is so capable). Thus, a warning is issued to only that correlated receiver without sending an alarm to other receivers or operators in the sensor field.

[0012] In still yet another aspect of the invention, the host aircraft system performs beamshaping to narrow the field of the transmitted pulse warning to reduce the number of vehicles that receive the warning. This is different from narrowing for detection. The radar could have a wide field of view for finding threats, but when sending an alert, narrows the alert beam separately from beamforming related to detection.

[0013] In a still further aspect of the invention, the host aircraft system reads an RFID device embedded in the receiver of the target and sends a warning only to that device by using a unique address for that device, thus reducing the number of false alarms or irrelevant alarms sent to the operators of the receivers (drivers and equipment operators).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0014] Preferred and alternative embodiments of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the following drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a block diagram of exemplary systems configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIGURE 2 is side view of exemplary vehicles equipped with the system shown in FIGURE 1.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0015] As shown in FIGURE 1, a first vehicle 20 (e.g., taxiing aircraft, ground-based support vehicle, etc.) includes an antenna 24, a radar processor 30, a receiver 32, a transmitter 34, a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag detection component 38, and a target detection component 36.

[0016] The radar components (the radar processor 30, the receiver 32, and the transmitter 34) generate and emit a radar pulse via the antenna 24. Based on radar pulse return, the processor 30 detects and determines the coordinates of any obstacles, such as nearby service vehicles. The emitted radar pulse may include a RFID read pulse. The emitted signal reads a passive (unpowered) RFID device 44 that is part of a receiver and alerting device 40 located in/on a second vehicle/device 48, such as an aircraft, ground personnel, or ground equipment.

[0017] Return signals received at the antenna 24, the receiver 32, and the processor 30 are sent to the target detection component 36. RFID read information included in the received signals is sent to the RFID tag detection component 38. The components 36, 38 may be separate hardware processors, partitioned functions within the processor 30, or an integrated processing function. The target detection component 36 determines the track of the device 48 and, based on the determined track, determines whether the vehicle/device 48 is on a collision course with the vehicle 20 (i.e., the vehicle 20 is moving or the detected object is moving, or both). Then the processor 30 and/or the tag detection component 38 checks for a correlated RFID tag associated with the second vehicle/device 48 that is on a collision course. If an RFID tag is present, the processor 30 generates an alarm and attaches information associated with the vehicle/device 48 and/or the receiver and alerting device 40 included in the RFID tag to the alarm. The generated alarm is then transmitted.

[0018] The receiving and alerting device 40 includes a receiver antenna 54, a receiver 56, a processor 60, an output device 62, and a passive RFID antenna 52 connected to the RFID device 44. The RFID antenna 52 and the RFID device 44 may be included in a single integrated package. The RFID device 44 and the RFID antenna 52 provide identity information of the device 40 and or the device 48 when the vehicle 20 issues the read pulse.

[0019] RFID devices are configured to be passive. For example, the RFID device alters the reflected pulse from a passively received radar or radio pulse signal. Range for reading an RFID device is determined by the beampattern of the transmitter/receiver of the querying device.

[0020] One of ordinary skill in RFID design will be to balance the power of the radar pulse transmissions with the size of the passive antenna on the RFID device without undue experimentation to insure there is enough "target corss section" to capture and return the ID signal.

[0021] In one embodiment, when the receiver 56 is off, the processor 60 shorts the RFID device 44, thereby removing the ability to be read. When the receiver 32 and the processor 30 do not receive RFID information (RFID number (ID)) in response to a read pulse, the processor 30 determines that it cannot send a receiver-specific warning to the device 40. When the receiver 56 is on, the RFID device 44 communicates its RFID number to the processor 60. The processor 60 keeps the RFID device 44 active as a result of the receiver's 56 being on. The antenna 54 and the radar pulse receiver 56 receive incoming warnings with identification information (ID) and send them to the processor 60. The processor 60 correlates the ID in the received warning with the RFID ID of the RFID device 44 to determine if the warning is for the device 40. If the warning is meant for the device 40, the processor 60 generates an alarm signal that is sent to the output device 62. In response to receiving the alarm signal, the output device 62 produces an audio, a visual, and/or a haptic alarm. The type of output device alarm is based on a user's selection.

[0022] The RFID receiving and alerting device 40 may be:
  • carried in a shirt pocket;
  • clipped, mounted, or bonded to the vehicle (e.g., aircraft or ground support vehicle dashboard or windshield); and/or
  • implemented in an electronic flight bag or comparable device (e.g., cell phones, tablet computer (Ipad)).


[0023] Alerts may be one or more of the following:
  • haptic (vibration or other touch sense);
  • audio (alarms, voice warning); and/or
  • visual (flashing light, strobe, rotating light, etc.).


[0024] FIGURE 2 shows a taxiing aircraft 100 that includes the components included in the vehicle 20 shown in FIGURE 1. In one embodiment, the aircraft 100 includes a radar transceiver at the wingtip(s) that generates a read pulse. The generated read pulse is received at any proximate other vehicles, such as a service vehicle 110 that includes the receiving and alerting device 40. In response to receiving the read pulse, the receiving and alerting device 40 in the service vehicle 110 includes RFID information in a return signal generated as a result of receiving the read pulse. If the system within the aircraft 100 determines that the service vehicle 110 poses a collision threat, a warning signal that includes the RFID information for the service vehicle 110 is generated and transmitted. When the service vehicle 110 receives the warning signal, it determines that the warning signal is for the service vehicle 110, based on the RFID information, and outputs an alert to the operator of the service vehicle 110 as a result.

[0025] In one embodiment, the present invention is integrated into a radar-based anticollision system (ACS) designed to protect an entire aircraft, or various components, such as wingtips or engines. The hosting ACS may be a comprehensive protection system or may be directed at only partial coverage, such as wingtips or engine nacelles.


Claims

1. A system comprising a first device (40) and a second device the second device, located on a host vehicle (20),
wherein the first device comprises:

at least one antenna (52, 54);

a receiver (56) in signal communication with the at least one antenna;

a passive radio frequency identification, RFID, device (44) in signal communication with the at least one antenna, the passive RFID device configured to provide a return signal comprising RFID identification information via the at least one antenna in response to receiving a read pulse via the at least one antenna;

a processor (60); and

an output device (62);

wherein the second device comprises:

a transceiver (32, 34); and

a processor (30) coupled to the transceiver and configured to transmit a radar signal that includes the read pulse via the transceiver, wherein the processor is further configured to:

receive the return signal from the passive RFID device, determine, based on a plurality of received return signals, a track of the first device,

determine, based on the track of the first device, whether the first device and the second device are on a collision course, and

send a warning signal to the first device in response to determining that the first device and the second device are on the collision course, the warning

signal comprising warning identification information;

wherein the processor (60) of the first device is configured to:

receive the warning signal from the second device via the receiver (56),

determine whether the warning identification information in the warning signal matches the RFID identification information to determine if the warning signal is for the first device, and

generate an alert signal in response to determining that the warning identification information matches the RFID identification information,

the output device being configured to provide an alert based on the generated alert signal.


 
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the processor (60) of the first device is further configured to determine status of the receiver (56), and deactivate the passive RFID device (44) if the status of the receiver is in at least one of an off state or a standby state.
 
3. The system of claim 1, wherein the first device (40) is located on an airport support vehicle (48).
 
4. The system of claim 1, wherein the first device (40) is located on an aircraft (48).
 
5. The system of claim 1, wherein the second device is located on a vehicle (20).
 
6. A method comprising:

transmitting, by a second device located on a host vehicle (20), a radar signal that includes a read pulse;

receiving, by at least one antenna (52, 54) of a first device (40), the read pulse;

providing, by a passive radio frequency identification, RFID, device (44) of the first device that is in signal communication with the at least one antenna, a return signal comprising RFID identification information via the at least one antenna in response to receiving the read pulse;

determining, by the second device, based on a plurality of received return signals, a track of the first device;

determining, by the second device, based on the track of the first device, whether the first device and the second device are on a collision course;

responsive to determining that the first device and the second device are on the collision course, sending, by the second device, a warning signal to the first device, the warning signal comprising warning identification information;

receiving, by a receiver (56) of the first device, the warning signal from the second device;

determining, by the first device, whether the warning identification information in the warning signal matches the RFID identification information to determine if the warning signal is for the first device, and

responsive to determining that the warning identification information matches the RFID identification information, generating, by the first device, an alert signal; and

outputting, by an output device (62) of the first device, an alert based on the generated alert signal.


 
7. The method of claim 6, further comprising:

determining, by the first device (40), the status of a receiver (56) coupled to the at least one antenna; and

deactivating, by the first device, the RFID device (44) if the status of the receiver is in at least one of an off state or a standby state.


 


Ansprüche

1. System, umfassend eine erste Vorrichtung (40) und eine zweite Vorrichtung, wobei sich die zweite Vorrichtung an einem Trägerfahrzeug (20) befindet,
wobei die erste Vorrichtung Folgendes umfasst:

zumindest eine Antenne (52, 54);

einen Empfänger (56) in Signalkommunikation mit der zumindest einen Antenne;

eine passive Funkfrequenzidentifikations-(Radio Frequency Identification, RFID)-Vorrichtung (44) in Signalkommunikation mit der zumindest einen Antenne, wobei die passive RFID-Vorrichtung dazu ausgelegt ist, ein Rücksignal mit RFID-Identifikationsinformationen über die zumindest eine Antenne als Reaktion auf ein Empfangen eines Leseimpulses über die zumindest eine Antenne bereitzustellen;

einen Prozessor (60) und

eine Ausgabevorrichtung (62);

wobei die zweite Vorrichtung Folgendes umfasst:

einen Transceiver (32, 34) und

einen Prozessor (30), der an den Transceiver gekoppelt ist und dazu ausgelegt ist, ein Radarsignal zu übertragen, das den Leseimpuls über den Transceiver einschließt, wobei der Prozessor ferner zu Folgendem ausgelegt ist:

Empfangen des Rücksignals von der passiven RFID-Vorrichtung,

Bestimmen, basierend auf einer Vielzahl von empfangenen Rücksignalen, einer Bahn der ersten Vorrichtung,

Bestimmen, basierend auf der Bahn der ersten Vorrichtung, ob die erste Vorrichtung und die zweite Vorrichtung auf einem Kollisionskurs sind, und

Senden eines Warnsignals zu der ersten Vorrichtung als Reaktion auf ein Bestimmen, dass die erste Vorrichtung und die zweite Vorrichtung auf dem Kollisionskurs sind, das Warnsignal umfassend Warnidentifikationsinformationen;

wobei der Prozessor (60) der ersten Vorrichtung zu Folgendem ausgelegt ist:

Empfangen des Warnsignals von der zweiten Vorrichtung über den Empfänger (56),

Bestimmen, ob die Warnidentifikationsinformationen in dem Warnsignal mit den RFID-Identifikationsinformationen übereinstimmen, um zu bestimmen, ob das Warnsignal für die erste Vorrichtung ist, und

Erzeugen eines Alarmsignals als Reaktion auf ein Bestimmen, dass die Warnidentifikationsinformationen mit den RFID-Identifikationsinformationen übereinstimmen,

wobei die Ausgabevorrichtung dazu ausgelegt ist, einen Alarm basierend auf dem erzeugten Alarmsignal bereitzustellen.


 
2. System nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Prozessor (60) der ersten Vorrichtung ferner dazu ausgelegt ist, einen Status des Empfängers (56) zu bestimmen und die passive RFID-Vorrichtung (44) zu deaktivieren, wenn der Status des Empfängers in zumindest einem von einem Aus-Zustand oder einem Standby-Zustand ist.
 
3. System nach Anspruch 1, wobei sich die erste Vorrichtung (40) an einem Flughafenunterstützungsfahrzeug (48) befindet.
 
4. System nach Anspruch 1, wobei sich die erste Vorrichtung (40) an einem Luftfahrzeug (48) befindet.
 
5. System nach Anspruch 1, wobei sich die zweite Vorrichtung an einem Fahrzeug (20) befindet.
 
6. Verfahren, umfassend:

Übertragen, durch eine zweite Vorrichtung, die sich an einem Trägerfahrzeug (20) befindet, eines Radarsignals, das einen Leseimpuls einschließt;

Empfangen, durch zumindest eine Antenne (52, 54) einer ersten Vorrichtung (40), des Leseimpulses;

Bereitstellen, durch eine passive Funkfrequenzidentifikations-(Radio Frequency Identification, RFID)-Vorrichtung (44) der ersten Vorrichtung, die in Signalkommunikation mit der zumindest einen Antenne ist, eines Rücksignals mit RFID-Identifikationsinformationen über die zumindest eine Antenne als Reaktion auf ein Empfangen des Leseimpulses;

Bestimmen, durch die zweite Vorrichtung, basierend auf einer Vielzahl von empfangenen Rücksignalen, einer Bahn der ersten Vorrichtung;

Bestimmen, durch die zweite Vorrichtung, basierend auf der Bahn der ersten Vorrichtung, ob die erste Vorrichtung und die zweite Vorrichtung auf einem Kollisionskurs sind;

als Reaktion auf ein Bestimmen, dass die erste Vorrichtung und die zweite Vorrichtung auf dem Kollisionskurs sind, Senden, durch die zweite Vorrichtung, eines Warnsignals zu der ersten Vorrichtung, das Warnsignal umfassend Warnidentifikationsinformationen;

Empfangen, durch einen Empfänger (56) der ersten Vorrichtung, des Warnsignals von der zweiten Vorrichtung;

Bestimmen, durch die erste Vorrichtung, ob die Warnidentifikationsinformationen in dem Warnsignal mit den RFID-Identifikationsinformationen übereinstimmen, um zu bestimmen, ob das Warnsignal für die erste Vorrichtung ist, und

als Reaktion auf ein Bestimmen, dass die Warnidentifikationsinformationen mit den RFID-Identifikationsinformationen übereinstimmen, Erzeugen, durch die erste Vorrichtung, eines Alarmsignals; und

Ausgeben, durch eine Ausgabevorrichtung (62) der ersten Vorrichtung, eines Alarms basierend auf dem erzeugten Alarmsignal.


 
7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 6, ferner umfassend:

Bestimmen, durch die erste Vorrichtung (40), des Status eines Empfängers (56), der an die zumindest eine Antenne gekoppelt ist; und

Deaktivieren, durch die erste Vorrichtung, der RFID-Vorrichtung (44), wenn der Status des Empfängers in zumindest einem von einem Aus-Zustand oder einem Standby-Zustand ist.


 


Revendications

1. Système comprenant un premier dispositif (40) et un second dispositif, le second dispositif étant situé sur un véhicule hôte (20),
dans lequel le premier dispositif comprend :

au moins une antenne (52, 54) ;

un récepteur (56) en communication par signaux avec l'au moins une antenne ;

un dispositif d'identification de fréquences radioélectriques, RFID, passif (44) en communication par signaux avec l'au moins une antenne, le dispositif RFID passif étant configuré pour fournir un signal de retour comprenant des informations d'identification RFID par l'intermédiaire de l'au moins une antenne en réponse à la réception d'une impulsion de lecture par l'intermédiaire de l'au moins une antenne ;

un processeur (60) ; et

un dispositif de sortie (62) ;

dans lequel le second dispositif comprend :

un émetteur-récepteur (32, 34) ; et

un processeur (30) couplé à l'émetteur-récepteur et configuré pour émettre un signal radar qui comporte l'impulsion de lecture par l'intermédiaire de l'émetteur-récepteur, le processeur étant configuré en outre pour :

recevoir le signal de retour depuis le dispositif RFID passif,

déterminer, en fonction d'une pluralité de signaux de retour reçus, une trajectoire du premier dispositif,

déterminer, en fonction de la trajectoire du premier dispositif, que le premier dispositif et le second dispositif se trouvent ou non sur un cap de collision, et

envoyer un signal d'avertissement au premier dispositif en réponse à la détermination que le premier dispositif et le second dispositif se trouvent sur un cap de collision, le signal d'avertissement comprenant des informations d'identification d'avertissement ;

dans lequel le processeur (60) du premier dispositif est configuré pour :

recevoir le signal d'avertissement depuis le second dispositif par l'intermédiaire du récepteur (56),

déterminer que les informations d'identification d'avertissement dans le signal d'avertissement concordent ou non avec les informations d'identification RFID pour déterminer que le signal d'avertissement concerne ou non le premier dispositif, et

générer un signal d'alerte en réponse à la détermination que les informations d'identification d'avertissement correspondent aux informations d'identification RFID,

le dispositif de sortie étant configuré pour produire une alerte en fonction du signal d'alerte généré.
 
2. Système selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le processeur (60) du premier dispositif est configuré en outre pour déterminer un statut du récepteur (56), et désactiver le dispositif RFID passif (44) si le statut du récepteur est au moins un d'un état désactivé ou d'un état de veille.
 
3. Système selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le premier dispositif (40) est situé sur un véhicule de support d'aéroport (48).
 
4. Système selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le premier dispositif (40) est situé sur un aéronef (48).
 
5. Système selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le second dispositif est situé sur un véhicule (20).
 
6. Procédé comprenant :

la transmission, par un second dispositif situé sur un véhicule hôte (20), d'un signal radar qui comporte une impulsion de lecture ;

la réception, par au moins une antenne (52, 54) d'un premier dispositif (40), de l'impulsion de lecture ;

la fourniture, par un dispositif d'identification de fréquences radioélectriques, RFID, passif (44) du premier dispositif qui est en communication par signaux avec l'au moins une antenne, d'un signal de retour comprenant des informations d'identification RFID par l'intermédiaire de l'au moins une antenne en réponse à la réception de l'impulsion de lecture ;

la détermination, par le second dispositif, en fonction d'une pluralité de signaux de retour reçus, d'une trajectoire du premier dispositif ;

la détermination, par le second dispositif, en fonction de la trajectoire du premier dispositif, que le premier dispositif et le second dispositif se trouvent ou non sur un cap de collision ;

en réponse à la détermination que le premier dispositif et le second dispositif se trouvent sur un cap de collision, l'envoi, par le second dispositif, d'un signal d'avertissement au premier dispositif, le signal d'avertissement comprenant des informations d'identification d'avertissement ;

la réception, par un récepteur (56) du premier dispositif, du signal d'avertissement provenant du second dispositif ;

la détermination, par le premier dispositif, que les informations d'identification d'avertissement dans le signal d'avertissement correspondent ou non aux informations d'identification RFID pour déterminer que le signal d'avertissement concerne ou non le premier dispositif, et

en réponse à la détermination que les informations d'identification d'avertissement correspondent aux informations d'identification RFID, la génération, par le premier dispositif, d'un signal d'alerte ; et

la production en sortie, par un dispositif de sortie (62) du premier dispositif, d'une alerte en fonction du signal d'alerte généré.


 
7. Procédé selon la revendication 6, comprenant en outre :

la détermination, par le premier dispositif (40), d'un statut d'un récepteur (56) couplé à l'au moins une antenne ; et

la désactivation, par le premier dispositif, du dispositif RFID (44) si le statut du récepteur est au moins un d'un état désactivé ou d'un état de veille.


 




Drawing









REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description