Available Technology

System for guiding a vehicle to a position

A system provides guidance to a vehicle on an approach to a position. A guidance transmitter stationed at the position includes light sources arranged in an array and a controller coupled to the light sources. The array defines a primary field-of-view (FOV) from which all light sources are visible. The light sources are divided into a plurality of sections with each section having a portion of the light sources associated therewith. Operation of each section of light sources is governed by the controller in accordance with unique cyclical on/off sequences. A primary waveform of light energy is defined by a composite of the cyclical on/off sequences visible from within the primary FOV. A plurality of secondary waveforms of light energy are defined by the cyclical on/off sequences visible from positions outside of the primary FOV. A guidance receiver mounted on a vehicle traveling towards the position of the guidance transmitter includes (i) sensor(s) for sensing light energy generated by those light sources visible thereto, (ii) a database for storing calibration waveforms indicative of corresponding guidance correction signals, and (iii) a processor for determining which one of the calibration waveforms matches or is closest to the sensed one of the primary waveform and secondary waveforms. The guidance correction signal associated with the matching calibration waveform can be used to control navigation of the vehicle.

Chris Aaron Richburg

Donald D. Hobden

Patent Number: 
Patent Issue Date: 
April 7, 2006
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