Marking apparatus having operational sensors for underground facility marking operations, and associated methods and systems

  • US 8,467,969 B2
  • Filed: 06/09/2010
  • Issued: 06/18/2013
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/02/2008
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A marking apparatus for performing a marking operation to indicate a presence or an absence of at least one underground facility, the marking apparatus comprising:

  • a hand-held housing;

    a holder configured to hold to the hand-held housing at least one marking dispenser containing a marking material;

    a location tracking system mechanically coupled to the hand-held housing and configured to determine a location of the apparatus;

    at least one processor communicatively coupled to the location tracking system; and

    at least one input device communicatively coupled to the at least one processor, configured to sense at least one operating condition of the apparatus, and provide an output signal to the at least one processor indicative of the sensed at least one operating condition,wherein the at least one input device includes at least one of;

    an inclinometer configured to sense a degree of inclination of the marking apparatus;

    a compass configured to sense a heading of the marking apparatus;

    a proximity sensor configured to sense a distance between the marking apparatus and a target surface for the marking material;

    a yaw rate sensor configured to sense a yaw rate of the marking apparatus;

    a first accelerometer disposed at a first position on the marking apparatus and a second accelerometer disposed at a second position on the marking apparatus;

    a pressure sensor configured to sense a pressure applied to the marking apparatus;

    an audio recorder configured to sense an acoustic signal emitted by the at least one marking dispenser; and

    an image capture device.

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