Optical system for viewing a remote location

  • US 5,619,370 A
  • Filed: 03/28/1994
  • Issued: 04/08/1997
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/28/1994
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. In a vehicle having a reverse gear setting and a blind spot behind the vehicle that can not be seen by the operator of the vehicle when sitting within the vehicle, an optical system for viewing the blind spot, comprising:

  • at least one objective lens arrangement coupled to said vehicle, wherein said at least one objective arrangement is oriented to view the blind spot;

    a rear view mirror assembly disposed within said vehicle, said rear view mirror assembly including;

    a focusing lens arrangement; and

    an imaging plane disposed proximate said focusing lens arrangement, said imaging plane having a front surface viewable from within the vehicle and a rear surface oriented toward said focusing lens arrangement, wherein said front surface of said imaging plane appears substantially reflective from within said vehicle when second surface is not illuminated from said focusing lens arrangement; and

    an image conduit coupling said at least one objective lens arrangement to said rear view mirror assembly at a point proximate said focusing lens arrangement, wherein an image of the blind spot, viewed by said at least one objective lens arrangement, is capable of being propagated across said image conduit and directed toward said focusing lens arrangement, and said focusing lens arrangement focuses the image onto said rear surface of said imaging plane for viewing through said imaging plane; and

    an optical diaphragm operationally coupled to the reverse gear setting of the vehicle for selectively changing the system between an ON condition when the vehicle is in the reverse gear setting, wherein the image from said at least one objective lens impinges upon said rear surface of said imaging plane, and an OFF condition when the vehicle is not in the reverse gear setting, wherein the image from said at least one objective lens is obscured prior to reaching said imaging plane.

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