Ultrasonic furrow or crop row following sensor

  • US 5,410,479 A
  • Filed: 08/17/1992
  • Issued: 04/25/1995
  • Est. Priority Date: 08/17/1992
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A method of sensing lateral displacement of a vehicle having a guidance system relative to a desired track between two crop rows or along a furrow comprising:

  • providing a pair of ultrasonic sensor means for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic ranging signals;

    mounting said pair of ultrasonic sensor means on a vehicle;

    orienting said pair of ultrasonic sensor means on a vehicle such that said ranging signals are directed downwardly and outwardly in opposite directions from said vehicle and towards adjacent crop rows or sides of a furrow such that said ranging signals strike said rows or furrow and are reflected back into the respective sensor;

    generating variable ranging outputs proportional to the distance of said sensor means from said row or furrow;

    filtering said variable ranging outputs to produce filtered variable ranging outputs wherein erroneous data in said output is eliminated;

    multiplying each said filtered variable ranging output by itself thereby producing squared ranging outputs and greatly increasing sensitivity to lateral displacements;

    comparing said squared ranging outputs to determine the validity thereof by comparing the relative changes of the two signals wherein if both said squared ranging outputs indicate the same direction of movement, said vehicle is determined to be moving in a vertical direction and the output is not validated, and if said squared ranging outputs indicated different directions of movement, said output is validated;

    computing from said validated squared ranging outputs, steering correction commands; and

    transmitting said steering correction commands to said guidance system whereby the vehicle is steered toward the desired track.

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