(19)
(11)EP 2 966 400 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
13.01.2016 Bulletin 2016/02

(21)Application number: 14760829.3

(22)Date of filing:  03.03.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G01B 11/00(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2014/056084
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/136976 (12.09.2014 Gazette  2014/37)
(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
Designated Extension States:
BA ME

(30)Priority: 04.03.2013 JP 2013042220

(71)Applicants:
  • Railway Technical Research Institute
    Kokubunji-shi, Tokyo 185-8540 (JP)
  • Meidensha Corporation
    Tokyo 141-6029 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • MATSUMURA, Itaru
    Kokubunji-shi Tokyo 185-8540 (JP)
  • NEZU, Kazuyoshi
    Kokubunji-shi Tokyo 185-8540 (JP)
  • ABOSHI, Mitsuo
    Kokubunji-shi Tokyo 185-8540 (JP)
  • KAWABATA, Takuro
    Tokyo 141-6029 (JP)
  • NIWAKAWA, Makoto
    Tokyo 141-6029 (JP)
  • TABAYASHI, Seiji
    Tokyo 141-6029 (JP)

(74)Representative: Cabinet Plasseraud 
52, rue de la Victoire
75440 Paris Cedex 09
75440 Paris Cedex 09 (FR)

  


(54)OVERHEAD LINE POSITION MEASURING DEVICE AND METHOD


(57) An overhead line position measuring apparatus which also enables contactless three-dimensional position measurement using an inspection car as to an overhead line other than a contact wire. The overhead line position measuring apparatus includes: first and second three-dimensional measuring devices; first and second cameras; a region of interest setting part for setting at least one region of interest based on angle data and distance data generated by each of the first and second three-dimensional measuring devices; an image processing part for performing image processing on each of first and second image data respectively generated by the first and second cameras to mask the image except for the region of interest, and accumulating the first and second image data into amemory; an overhead line extracting part for extracting an overhead line satisfying a predetermined condition from a two-dimensional image represented by each of the accumulated first and second image data; and an overhead line position calculating part for calculating a position of the overhead line in relation to the railway vehicle based on coordinates of the overhead line extracted by the overhead line extracting part.




Description

TECHNICAL FIELD



[0001] The present invention relates to an overhead line position measuring apparatus and an overhead line position measuring method for measuring a three-dimensional position of an electric traction overhead line (hereinafter, also called "overhead line").

BACKGROUND ART



[0002] Generally, as a current collection system of electric railways, an overhead electric traction system is widely used in which an overhead line is situated over the railway track on which a railway vehicle passes, and electric power is collected from the overhead line by means of a current collector such as a pantograph mounted on a roof of the railway vehicle. The overhead line which contacts the pantograph to supply electric power to the railway vehicle is called a contact wire.

[0003] As a system for situating the contact wire, there are some systems such as a direct suspension system in which the contact wire is directly suspended at supporting points or the like, a catenary suspension system in which the contact wire is suspended at a constant height by using a catenary (messenger wire), and an overhead rigid conductor system in which the contact wire is suspended at a constant height by using structural angles. Further, as the catenary suspension system, there are a simple catenary system, a twin simple catenary system, a compound catenary system, and so on.

[0004] The simple catenary system is configured such that the contact wire is suspended from the messenger wire via metal rods called droppers. The twin simple catenary system is configured such that two pairs of overhead lines of the simple catenary systems are arranged side by side.

[0005] The compound catenary system is configured such that an auxiliary messenger wire is added between the messenger wire and the contact wire, the auxiliary messenger wire is suspended from the messenger wire via droppers , and the contact wire is suspended from the auxiliary messenger wire via the droppers. Thereby, uplift of the contact wire pushed up by the pantograph is made uniform.

[0006] The overhead rigid conductor system is configured such that the contact wire is suspended from the structural angles made of aluminum or copper via metal fittings called ears.

[0007] By the way, if the overhead line such as the contact wire gets out of a predetermined position, not only the pantograph cannot normally contact the contact wire, but also an accident or train trouble may be caused. Accordingly, it is necessary to measure the position of the overhead line and inspect whether the overhead line is in the predetermined position or not. On that account, a contact wire position measuring apparatus employing stereo line sensors and so on has been developed.

[0008] For example, Japanese patent application publication JP-P2012-8026A discloses an overhead line position measuring apparatus. The apparatus includes : a first line sensor camera and a second line sensor camera respectively arranged on a roof of a vehicle and in a direction of railway sleepers, and for imaging an overhead line; a laser distance meter arranged near the first and second line sensor cameras and directed vertically upward, and for measuring a distance to the overhead line; a first image processing part for calculating position information of the overhead line in a line sensor image based on image data outputted from the first line sensor camera; a second image processing part for calculating position information of the overhead line in a line sensor image based on image data outputted from the second line sensor camera; a processing memory for storing the position information of the overhead line in the line sensor image outputted from the first and second image processing parts and distance information outputted from the laser distance meter; a stereo corresponding point searching part for searching for stereo corresponding points based on the position information of the overhead line in the line sensor image and the distance information; and a height and displacement calculating part for calculating a height and a displacement of the overhead line based on the stereo corresponding points.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION


Technical Problem



[0009] However, the overhead line position measuring apparatus disclosed in JP-P2012-8026A is aimed to measure a position of the contact wire, and no apparatus or method effective for contactlessly measuring a position of an overhead line other than the contact wire is yet developed. Based on only images obtained by two line sensors , it is difficult to separate the imaged overhead line from a background or specify a kind of the overhead line. Therefore, as to the overhead line such as the messenger wire or the auxiliary messenger wire other than the contact wire, there has been a problem that the position measurement using an inspection car cannot be conducted and it is necessary to manually measure the position thereof from the railway track by using a rod made of FRP (fiber reinforced plastics) or the like.

[0010] Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to enable contactless three-dimensional position measurement using an inspection car or the like as to overhead lines including not only the contact wire but also sectioning devices or supporting structures for advanced maintenance of the overhead lines. Further, another object of the present invention is to suitably separate an overhead line as an object to be measured from other overhead lines or a background to reduce an amount of the calculation or improve the calculation accuracy when calculating a position of the overhead line.

Solution to Problem



[0011] In order to solve the above-mentioned problem, an overhead line position measuring apparatus according to one aspect of the present invention includes: a first three-dimensional measuring device and a second three-dimensional measuring device arranged with a first distance on a first line extending in a horizontal direction and substantially orthogonal to a travelling direction of a railway vehicle, and for measuring a position of an overhead line to generate angle data and distance data; a first camera and a second camera arranged with a second distance on a second line extending in the horizontal direction and substantially orthogonal to the travelling direction of the railway vehicle, and for imaging a space including the overhead line to respectively generate first image data and second image data each representing a one-dimensional image; a region of interest setting part for setting at least one region of interest including the measured position of the overhead line based on the angle data and the distance data generated by each of the first and second three-dimensional measuring devices; an image processing part for performing image processing on each of the first and second image data respectively generated by the first and second cameras to mask the image except for the region of interest set by the region of interest setting part, and accumulating the sequentially processed first and second image data into a memory; an overhead line extracting part for extracting an overhead line satisfying a predetermined condition from a two-dimensional image represented by each of the first and second image data accumulated in the memory; and an overhead line position calculating part for calculating a position of the overhead line in relation to the railway vehicle based on coordinates of the overhead line extracted by the overhead line extracting part from two images represented by the first and second image data.

[0012] Further, an overhead line position measuring method according to one aspect of the present invention is to be used in an overhead line position measuring apparatus including a first three-dimensional measuring device and a second three-dimensional measuring device arranged with a first distance on a first line extending in a horizontal direction and substantially orthogonal to a travelling direction of a railway vehicle, and for measuring a position of an overhead line to generate angle data and distance data, and a first camera and a second camera arranged with a second distance on a second line extending in the horizontal direction and substantially orthogonal to the travelling direction of the railway vehicle, and for imaging a space including the overhead line to respectively generate first image data and second image data each representing a one-dimensional image, and the method includes the steps of: (a) setting at least one region of interest including the measured position of the overhead line based on the angle data and the distance data generated by each of the first and second three-dimensional measuring devices; (b) performing image processing on each of the first and second image data respectively generated by the first and second cameras to mask the image except for the region of interest set at step (a), and accumulating the sequentially processed first and second image data into a memory; (c) extracting an overhead line satisfying a predetermined condition from a two-dimensional image represented by each of the first and second image data accumulated in the memory; and (d) calculating a position of the overhead line in relation to the railway vehicle based on coordinates of the overhead line extracted at step (c) from two images represented by the first and second image data.

Advantageous Effects of Invention



[0013] According to one aspect of the present invention, even in the case where plural overhead lines are situated to overlap with each other when captured from one three-dimensional measuring device, it is possible to separately measure those overhead lines by using plural three-dimensional measuring devices. As a result, it becomes also possible to conduct contactless three-dimensional position measurement with high accuracy by using an inspection car or the like as to an overhead line other than the contact wire, and therefore, advanced maintenance of the overhead lines is achieved. Further, by combining setting of a region of interest based on overhead line position measurement using plural three-dimensional measuring devices with stereo measurement using plural cameras, it is possible to reduce an amount of the calculation or improve the calculation accuracy when calculating a position of the overhead line.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS



[0014] 

Fig. 1 shows a railway vehicle provided with an overhead line position measuring apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 2 is a schematic diagram comparatively showing images before and after image processing by an image processing part;

Fig. 3 shows examples of a coefficient matrix of a Sobel filter;

Fig. 4 is a diagram for explanation of a principle for calculating a position of an overhead line; and

Fig. 5 is a flow chart showing an overhead line position measuring method according to an embodiment of the present invention.


DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



[0015] Hereinafter, an embodiment of the present invention will be explained in detail by referring to the drawings.

[0016] Fig. 1 shows a railway vehicle provided with an overhead line position measuring apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention. The overhead line position measuring apparatus may include two laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12, two line cameras 13 and 14, and a lighting device 15. These may be arranged on a roof of the railway vehicle 10 such as an inspection car as shown in Fig. 1, or may be arranged on a workbench of a road-rail vehicle or a maintenance vehicle. In addition, the overhead line position measuring apparatus may include a displacement sensor (or an acceleration sensor) 16.

[0017] Further, the overhead line position measuring apparatus may include a region of interest setting part 21, an image processing part 22, a processing memory 23, an overhead line extraction part 24, an overhead line position calculating part 25, a storage part 26, and a display part 27. These may be arranged within the railway vehicle 10 as shown in Fig. 1, or may be arranged outside the railway vehicle 10. In the latter case, for example, at the time of data measurement, data outputted from the laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12, the line cameras 13 and 14, and the displacement sensor 16 is once recorded in a removable recording medium such as an external hard disk drive. Then, after the data measurement, the data recorded in the removable recording medium is supplied to the region of interest setting part 21, the image processing part 22, and the overhead line position calculating part 25.

[0018] Here, at least one of the region of interest setting part 21, the image processing part 22, the overhead line extraction part 24 , and the overhead line position calculating part 25 may be configured of a PC (personal computer) including a CPU (central processing unit), and a software (program) for causing the CPU to perform various processing. The software is recorded in a recording medium of the storage part 26. As the recording medium, a hard disk, a flexible disk, a USB memory, MO, MT, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or the like can be used.

[0019] Over the railway vehicle 10, overhead lines such as a contact wire, a messenger wire, an auxiliary messenger wire (not shown), a feeder, a protective wire, a distribution line (not shown), and a sectioning device (not shown) are situated in substantially parallel to a traveling direction of the railway vehicle 10 (Z-axis in Fig. 1). The feeder is connected to the contact wire at a predetermined interval in the case of direct current feeding system, and connected to a transformer for transmitting electric power to the contact wire in the case of alternating current feeding system, and thereby, the feeder is used for transmitting electric power to the railway vehicle 10 via the contact wire. The protective wire is used for detecting a short-circuit accident. The distribution line is used for supplying electric power to a signal protection apparatus. The sectioning device is used for electrically or mechanically dividing the overhead line. In the present application, the "overhead line" includes the contact wire, the messenger wire, the auxiliary messenger wire, the feeder, the protective wire, the distribution line, the sectioning device, and so on.

[0020] The laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12 are arranged with a first distance on a first line (X-axis in Fig. 1) extending in a horizontal direction and substantially orthogonal to the traveling direction of the railway vehicle 10. The laser scanning range sensor 11 projects a laser beam at a project angle within a first range in a plane (XY-plane in Fig. 1) substantially orthogonal to the travelling direction of the railway vehicle 10 to scan a space including the overhead line. Also, the laser scanning range sensor 12 projects a laser beam at a project angle within a second range in the plane substantially orthogonal to the travelling direction of the railway vehicle 10 to scan a space including the overhead line. Thereby, each of the laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12 measures a position of the overhead line to generate angle data representing a direction in which the overhead line exists and distance data representing a distance to the overhead line.

[0021] For example, each of the laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12 generates a laser beam having a pulse form by using a laser diode, and projects the laser beam toward the surrounding space via a rotary mirror (polygon mirror or the like) to scan the overhead line in a cross direction. Further, each of the laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12 detects light reflected from the overhead line by using a photodiode or the like.

[0022] The projecting direction of the laser beam projected from each of the laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12 is changed by a predetermined angle step by using an angle encoder. The direction in which the overhead line exists is obtained based on an output signal of the angle encoder when the reflected light is detected, and angle data representing an angle at which the overhead line exists is generated. Further, a distance to the overhead line is obtained based on a time period from the time when the laser beam having a pulse form is projected to the time when the reflected light is detected, and distance data representing a distance to the overhead line is generated.

[0023] Thus, even in the case where plural overhead lines are situated to overlap with each other when captured from one laser scanning range sensor, it is possible to separately measure the plural overhead lines by using two laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12. However, a measurement result obtained by each of the laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12 generally includes an error which is about 10mm in the case where the measured distance is 1m. Accordingly, the laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12 cannot measure an accurate position of the overhead line, and it is necessary to measure the accurate position of the overhead line by using the line cameras 13 and 14.

[0024] The line cameras 13 and 14 are arranged with a second distance on a second line extending in the horizontal direction and substantially orthogonal to the travelling direction of the railway vehicle 10. The second line may be identical with the first line (X-axis in Fig. 1). The line cameras 13 and 14 image a space including the overhead line to respectively generate first image data and second image data each representing a one-dimensional line sensor image.

[0025] The lighting device 15 is arranged along a third line extending in a horizontal direction and substantially orthogonal to the travelling direction of the railway vehicle 10. The third line may be identical with the second line. The lighting device 15 lights up the space to be imaged by the line cameras 13 and 14 in the night and so on. Thereby, the overhead line is lighted up brightly.

[0026] Each of the line cameras 13 and 14 includes a line sensor having pixels arranged along the second line, and a lens attached in front of the line sensor and for collecting light from an ambient space to the pixels of the line sensor. The lens can make imaging angles within a plane (XY-plane in Fig. 1) substantially orthogonal to the travelling direction of the railway vehicle 10 correspond to positions of the pixels of the line sensor in a manner of 1:1. Accordingly, it becomes possible to obtain an imaging angle of the overhead line in the line camera 13 or 14 based on the position of the pixel of the line sensor.

[0027] The region of interest setting part 21 sets at least one region of interest, which includes the measured position of the overhead line, within the plane (XY-plane in Fig. 1) substantially orthogonal to the travelling direction of the railway vehicle 10 based on the angle data and the distance data generated by each of the laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12. Then, the region of interest setting part 21 calculates position information of the region of interest in the one-dimensional line sensor image.

[0028] For example, the region of interest setting part 21 calculates, as the position information of the region of interest, a first angle range in which the first line camera 13 captures the region of interest based on the angle data and the distance data generated by the laser scanning range sensor 11. Also, the region of interest setting part 21 calculates, as the position information of the region of interest, a second angle range in which the second line camera 14 captures the region of interest based on the angle data and the distance data generated by the laser scanning range sensor 12.

[0029] Further, the region of interest setting part 21 may set the region of interest in consideration of a position and a thickness of the overhead line represented by the angle data and the distance data generated by the laser scanning range sensor 11 or 12, and a measurement error of the laser scanning range sensor 11 or 12. For example, in the case where an overhead line having a radius of 6mm is measured at a position which is 1m away from the laser scanning range sensor, and a measurement error is 10mm at a position which is 1m away from the laser scanning range sensor, a region within a radius of 16mm from a center position of the overhead line represented by the angle data and the distance data is set as the region of interest. Further, the region of interest may be set by multiplying the value by a margin coefficient (for example, 1.2 to 1.5).

[0030] The image processing part 22 performs image processing on each of the first and second image data respectively generated by the line cameras 13 and 14 to mask the image except for the region of interest set by the region of interest setting part 21. For example, the image processing part 22 may replace values of the image data representing an image except for the region of interest with "0", or may select and extract only an image of the region of interest.

[0031] In the case where the region of interest setting part 21 sets plural regions of interest for each of the first and second image data, the image processing part 22 performs image processing to mask the image except for a region of interest sequentially selected from among the plural regions of interest. Thereby, the first image data representing plural images corresponding to the plural regions of interest and the second image data representing plural images corresponding to the plural regions of interest are obtained.

[0032] Here, in one image performed with the image processing, only a line constituting one overhead line is expressed in general. Accordingly, it is possible to suitably separate an overhead line as an object to be measured from other overhead lines or a background, and therefore, it becomes also possible to conduct contactless position measurement with high accuracy by using an inspection car or the like as to an overhead line other than the contact wire. Further, when calculating a position of the overhead line based on two images represented by the first and second image data, it is possible to reduce an amount of the calculation or improve the calculation accuracy.

[0033] For example, in the case where the region of interest setting part 21 calculates a first angle range in which the line camera 13 captures the region of interest, the image processing part 22 performs image processing on the first image data to mask the image except for the first angle range in which the line camera 13 captures the region of interest.

[0034] Similarly, in the case where the region of interest setting part 21 calculates a second angle range in which the line camera 14 captures the region of interest, the image processing part 22 performs image processing on the second image data to mask the image except for the second angle range in which the line camera 14 captures the region of interest.

[0035] In the night, or in an underground section or a tunnel section, in the case of lighting the overhead line by using the lighting device 15, the overhead line is lighted up brighter than the background, and therefore, a luminance value of the image data becomes larger in a region corresponding to the overhead line. On the other hand, in the daytime, in the case of fair weather, the overhead line seems darker than the background, and therefore, a luminance value of the image data becomes less in a region corresponding to the overhead line. Accordingly, it becomes possible to extract the overhead line based on the luminance value of the image data.

[0036] While the railway vehicle 10 is driving, the line cameras 13 and 14 sequentially images spaces including the overhead line to generate the first and second image data, respectively, and the image processing part 22 sequentially performs image processing on the generated first and second image data. The image processing part 22 accumulates the sequentially image processed first and second image data into the processing memory 23. By combining the first image data for a predetermined number of lines (for example, 1000 lines), one two-dimensional image is generated. Also, by combining the second image data for a predetermined number of lines (for example, 1000 lines), one two-dimensional image is generated. Thereby, the first image data and the second image data each representing a two-dimensional image are obtained. In the case where the region of interest setting part 21 sets plural regions of interest for each of the first and second image data, the first and second image data each representing plural two-dimensional images corresponding to the plural regions of interest are obtained.

[0037] Fig. 2 is a schematic diagram comparatively showing images before and after the image processing by the image processing part. Fig. 2 (A) shows an image before the image processing, and Fig. 2 (B) shows an image after the image processing. In each of Figs. 2 (A) and 2 (B), a two-dimensional image based on image data obtained by one line camera for a predetermined period is shown. Here, the vertical axis represents an angle θ at which the line camera captures the overhead line, and the horizontal axis is Z-axis which corresponds to the time axis in the case where the railway vehicle drives at a constant speed. A time interval at which the image data is stored into the processing memory or the like may be controlled according to the driving speed of the railway vehicle. Alternatively, the image data is stored into the processing memory or the like at a constant time interval while the driving speed of the railway vehicle is stored into the processing memory or the like, and subsequently, the time axis may be converted into the Z-axis.

[0038] As shown in Fig. 2 (A), in the image before the image processing by the image processing part, three lines L1 to L3 constituting the overhead lines are expressed. On the other hand, as shown in Fig. 2 (B), in the image after the image processing by the image processing part, lines L1 and L3, which are out of an object to be measured, are masked by selecting and extracting the image of the region of interest, and only a line L2 as an object to be measured is expressed.

[0039] Referring to Fig. 1 again, the overhead line extracting part 24 performs overhead line extracting processing on each of the first and second image data accumulated in the proces sing memory 23 and representing a two-dimensional image. That is, the overhead line extracting part 24 detects a region of the overhead line satisfying a predetermined condition related to a luminance value, an angle, or the like in the two-dimensional image represented by each of the first and second image data accumulated in the processing memory 23, and thereby extracts the overhead line. The overhead line extracting processing can be performed by detecting edges of the overhead line, detecting a stripe (bar having a rectangle shape) including the overhead line, or integrating values of the image data in the time axis (Z-axis) direction. Hereinafter, the case of detecting an edge of the overhead line will be explained.

[0040] The overhead line extracting part 24 performs edge detection processing on each of the first and second image data accumulated in the processing memory 23 and representing a two-dimensional image, and extracts an edge satisfying a predetermined condition from among the detected plural edges. The edge detection processing is performed according to, for example, a convolution operation using a Sobel filter by obtaining intensity and an angle of the edge.

[0041] Fig. 3 shows examples of a coefficient matrix (operator) of the Sobel filter. The Sobel filter is a filer to be used for calculating a first order space derivative to detect an outline. The overhead line extracting part 24 multiplies values of nine pixels including a center pixel under consideration and peripheral pixels surrounding the center pixel by a coefficient matrix for horizontal edge detection as shown in Fig. 3 (A), and sums up the multiplication results to obtain a horizontal edge detection value "Ix". Further, the overhead line extracting part 24 multiplies values of nine pixels including a center pixel under consideration and peripheral pixels surrounding the center pixel by a coefficient matrix for vertical edge detection as shown in Fig. 3 (B), and sums up the multiplication results to obtain a vertical edge detection value "Iy".

[0042] The intensity "I" and the angle "α" of the edge are obtained by using the following expressions.





[0043] The overhead line extracting part 24 extracts an edge having the intensity "I" larger than a threshold value and the angle "α" within a predetermined range from among the plural edges detected by the edge detection processing, and generates edge coordinates representing a position of the extracted edge. Actually, the overhead line has a thickness, and therefore, two edges are extracted for one overhead line. Then, coordinates of selected one of those edges may be used, or averaged coordinates of those edges may be obtained. Further, in the case where a portion of the edge is lost, the lost portion may be filled up with an extended line of the back and forth edges to generate the edge coordinates.

[0044] The coordinates of the overhead line includes, for example, an angle θ1 at which the line camera 13 captures the overhead line and an angle θ2 at which the line camera 14 captures the overhead line with respect to each Z-coordinate. The overhead line extracting part 24 outputs the coordinates of the overhead line to the overhead line position calculating part 25. The overhead line position calculating part 25 calculates a two-dimensional position of the overhead line in relation to the railway vehicle 10 based on the coordinates of the overhead line extracted by the overhead line extracting part 24 from two images represented by the first and second image data.

[0045] Fig. 4 is a diagram for explanation of a principle for calculating the position of the overhead line. Fig. 4 shows the line cameras 13 and 14, and a position P(x, y) of the overhead line in XY-plane. The overhead line position calculatingpart 25 obtains the position P(x, y) of the overhead line in relation to the railway vehicle 10 based on the angle θ1 at which the line camera 13 captures the overhead line and the angle θ2 at which the line camera 14 captures the overhead line.

[0046] As shown in Fig. 4, a distance between the line camera 13 and the line camera 14 is defined as "d" (known), a distance between the line camera 13 and the overhead line is defined as "r1", and a distance between the line camera 14 and the overhead line is defined as "r2", and then, the following expressions hold.




The distance "r1" can be obtained from these expressions.


Accordingly, "x" and "y" are calculated as follows.





[0047] Further, the overhead line position calculating part 25 may calculate a two-dimensional position of the overhead line in relation to a railway track (rails) based on a relationship between the railway track and a reference position of the railway vehicle 10 (for example, the origin of XY-coordinates). By sequentially performing the above-mentioned calculation for plural Z-coordinates, a three dimensional position of the overhead line extending along the railway track can be calculated while taking a position of the railway track as a reference. In the present embodiment, by using two laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12, it is possible to improve the calculation accuracy when calculating the position of the overhead line.

[0048] The displacement sensor 16 observes displacement due to rolling or vertical motion of the railway vehicle 10 to output displacement data representing displacement of the railway vehicle 10 in relation to the railway track. The overhead line position calculating part 25 may correct the coordinates of the position of the overhead line based on the displacement data outputted from the displacement sensor 16. In the case where an acceleration sensor is used in place of the displacement sensor, the overhead line position calculating part 25 may obtain displacement based on acceleration data outputted from the acceleration sensor, and correct the coordinates of the position of the overhead line. Further, the overhead line position calculating part 25 may store overhead line position data representing the coordinates of the calculated position of the overhead line into the storage part 26, or generate a graph showing the calculated position of the overhead line to cause the display part 27 to display it.

[0049] Next, an overhead line position measuring method to be used in the overhead line position measuring apparatus according to the present embodiment will be explained referring to Figs. 1 and 5. Fig. 5 is a flow chart showing an overhead line position measuring method according to an embodiment of the present invention. It should be noted that processes which are independent from each other may be conducted in parallel.

[0050] At step S1 as shown in Fig. 5, each of the laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12 measures a position of an overhead line to generate angle data representing a direction in which the overhead line exists and distance data representing a distance to the overhead line.

[0051] At step S2, the line cameras 13 and 14 image a space including the overhead line to respectively generate first image data and second image data each representing a one-dimensional line sensor image. At one time imaging, one line of line sensor image is generated by each of the line cameras 13 and 14.

[0052] At step S3, the region of interest setting part 21 sets at least one region of interest including the measured position of the overhead line based on the angle data and the distance data generated by each of the laser scanning range sensors 11 and 12. The process at step S3 may be performed for each line of the line sensor image, or may be performed for each line group including plural lines of the line sensor image while adding correction in consideration of continuity of an image.

[0053] At step S4, the image processing part 22 performs image processing on the first image data generated by the line camera 13 to mask the image except for the region of interest set at step S3, and accumulates the sequentially processed first image data into the processing memory 23.

[0054] Similarly, at step S5, the image processing part 22 performs image processing on the second image data generated by the line camera 14 to mask the image except for the region of interest set at step S3, and accumulates the sequentially processed second image data into the processing memory 23.

[0055] When a predetermined number of lines of the first and second image data have been accumulated in the processing memory 23, at step S6, the overhead line extraction part 24 extracts an overhead line satisfying a predetermined condition from a two-dimensional image represented by the first image data accumulated in processing memory 23.

[0056] Similarly, at step S7 , the overhead line extraction part 24 extracts an overhead line satisfying a predetermined condition from a two-dimensional image represented by the second image data accumulated in processing memory 23.

[0057] At step S8, the overhead line position calculating part 25 calculates a three-dimensional position of the overhead line in relation to the railway vehicle 10 based on coordinates of the overhead line extracted from two images represented by the first and second image data. Thus, the three-dimensional position of the overhead line is calculated from the predetermined number of lines of the image data, and then, processing of the next predetermined number of lines of the image data is performed.

[0058] In the above-mentioned embodiment, the case of using two laser scanning range sensors and two line cameras has been explained. However, the present invention is not limited to the embodiment, and three or more laser scanning range sensors and three or more line cameras may be used. Further, other than the laser scanning range sensors, devices capable of three-dimensional measurement such as TOF (time of flight) cameras may be used. (In the present application, the laser scanning range sensor, the TOF camera, or the like is generally called "three-dimensional measuring device".) Also, area cameras may be used in place of the line cameras. Thus, many modifications are possible within technical ideas of the present invention by a person having ordinary skill in the art.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY



[0059] The present invention can be applied to an overhead line position measuring apparatus for measuring a three-dimensional position of an overhead line.


Claims

1. An overhead line position measuring apparatus comprising:

a first three-dimensional measuring device and a second three-dimensional measuring device arranged with a first distance on a first line extending in a horizontal direction and substantially orthogonal to a travelling direction of a railway vehicle, and for measuring a position of an overhead line to generate angle data and distance data;

a first camera and a second camera arranged with a second distance on a second line extending in the horizontal direction and substantially orthogonal to the travelling direction of said railway vehicle, and for imaging a space including the overhead line to respectively generate first image data and second image data each representing a one-dimensional image;

a region of interest setting part for setting at least one region of interest including the measured position of the overhead line based on the angle data and the distance data generated by each of said first and second three-dimensional measuring devices;

an image processing part for performing image processing on each of the first and second image data respectively generated by said first and second cameras to mask the image except for the region of interest set by said region of interest setting part, and accumulating the sequentially processed first and second image data into a memory;

an overhead line extracting part for extracting an overhead line satisfying a predetermined condition from a two-dimensional image represented by each of the first and second image data accumulated in the memory; and

an overhead line position calculating part for calculating a position of the overhead line in relation to said railway vehicle based on coordinates of the overhead line extracted by said overhead line extracting part from two images represented by the first and second image data.


 
2. The overhead line position measuring apparatus according to claim 1, wherein each of said first and second cameras includes a line sensor having pixels arranged along the second line, and a lens attached in front of said line sensor and for collecting light from an ambient space to the pixels of said line sensor such that imaging angles within a plane substantially orthogonal to the travelling direction of said railway vehicle correspond to positions of the pixels of said line sensor.
 
3. The overhead line position measuring apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said region of interest setting part sets plural regions of interest for each of the first and second image data, and said image processing part performs image processing to mask the image except for a region of interest sequentially selected from among the plural regions of interest, and thereby accumulates the first image data representing plural images corresponding to the plural regions of interest and the second image data representing plural images corresponding to the plural regions of interest into said memory.
 
4. The overhead line positionmeasuring apparatus according to any one of claims 1-3, wherein said region of interest setting part calculates a first angle range in which said first camera captures the region of interest and a second angle range in which said second camera captures the region of interest.
 
5. The overhead line positionmeasuring apparatus according to claim 4 , wherein said image processing part performs image processing on the first image data to mask the image except for the first angle range in which said first camera captures the region of interest, and performs image processing on the second image data to mask the image except for the second angle range in which said second camera captures the region of interest.
 
6. The overhead line positionmeasuring apparatus according to any one of claims 1-5, further comprising a lighting device arranged along a third line extending in the horizontal direction and substantially orthogonal to the travelling direction of said railway vehicle, for lighting up the space to be imaged by said first and second cameras.
 
7. The overhead line positionmeasuring apparatus according to any one of claims 1-6, wherein said second line is identical with said first line.
 
8. An overhead line position measuring method to be used in an overhead line position measuring apparatus including a first three-dimensional measuring device and a second three-dimensional measuring device arranged with a first distance on a first line extending in a horizontal direction and substantially orthogonal to a travelling direction of a railway vehicle, and for measuring a position of an overhead line to generate angle data and distance data, and a first camera and a second camera arranged with a second distance on a second line extending in the horizontal direction and substantially orthogonal to the travelling direction of said railway vehicle, and for imaging a space including the overhead line to respectively generate first image data and second image data each representing a one-dimensional image; said method comprising the steps of:

(a) setting at least one region of interest including the measured position of the overhead line based on the angle data and the distance data generated by each of said first and second three-dimensional measuring devices;

(b) performing image processing on each of the first and second image data respectively generated by said first and second cameras to mask the image except for the region of interest set at step (a), and accumulating the sequentially processed first and second image data into a memory;

(c) extracting an overhead line satisfying a predetermined condition from a two-dimensional image represented by each of the first and second image data accumulated in the memory; and

(d) calculating a position of the overhead line in relation to said railway vehicle based on coordinates of the overhead line extracted at step (c) from two images represented by the first and second image data.


 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description