Patents Assigned to Trimble AB
  • Patent number: 8345928
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for localizing, in relation to a mark located at a ground level, a surveying instrument having a housing including at least one camera. In at least one embodiment, the method includes aligning the vertical rotational axis of the surveying instrument with the mark using a pointing device; capturing an image of the ground below the housing with the camera arranged in a known camera position and orientation, wherein the camera position is eccentric to the rotation center of the surveying instrument; identifying an object point corresponding to the mark in the captured image; measuring image coordinates of the object point in the captured image; and determining the height of the rotation center of said instrument above the ground based on the image coordinates and camera calibration data. Furthermore, a surveying instrument for performing at least one embodiment of the method is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventor: Set Svanholm
  • Publication number: 20120326709
    Abstract: A method for a measuring instrument is disclosed, for separating the angular deviation of a rotational axis of an instrument body from a corresponding true rotational axis due to imperfections in at least one rolling-element bearing effectuating the rotational mounting of the instrument body into different parts corresponding to type of imperfection. The method comprises detecting rotary position of the at least one rolling-element bearing, and determining angular deviation of the rotational axis from the corresponding true rotational axis in a plurality of rotational positions of the instrument body, wherein the instrument body is rotated a plurality of successive full or partial revolutions about the rotational axis. There is also disclosed a measuring system and a measuring instrument to be used in such a measuring system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 11, 2010
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Applicant: TRIMBLE AB
    Inventors: Magnus Westermark, Mikael Hertzman
  • Publication number: 20120327271
    Abstract: A tracker unit for a measuring instrument and a method for operating a tracker unit are disclosed, to distinguish a specific target, such as at least one retroreflector, from other reflective objects in the vicinity of the measuring instrument. The tracker unit includes a plurality of photosensors and first and second optical radiation sources. Each photosensor adapted to generate at least one first set of signals during a period when the first optical radiation source is activated and the second optical radiation source is deactivated, and generate at least one second set of signals during a period when the second optical radiation source is activated and the first optical radiation source is deactivated. On basis of comparison between information extracted on basis of the first set of signals and the second set of signals, respectively, at least one specific target is distinguished from other reflective objects.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 11, 2010
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Applicant: TRIMBLE AB
    Inventor: Mikael Nordenfelt
  • Patent number: 8330942
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a measuring instrument and methods for such a measuring instrument for tracking a moving object, measuring a distance to an object. According to the invention, sets of target position data including at least horizontal (Ha) and vertical angle (Va) between the measuring instrument (1) and said at least one target (9) in consecutive measurements during a measurement session are obtained (40; 50; 60; 70); a model describing a path of and/or a distance to the target (9) is calculated; at least a present position of the target is estimated (44; 53; 65; 74) using the model; and, the estimated position of the target (9) is used (45; 56; 67; 79) when searching for the target (9).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventors: Mikael Nordenfelt, Thomas Klang
  • Patent number: 8289528
    Abstract: A position-determining apparatus, such as measuring or surveying instruments, is disclosed. In at least one embodiment, the present invention relates to a tilt sensor for a measuring instrument including a movable housing that is controllably rotatable around a rotational axis, wherein the rotational axis may be positioned so that it deviates from a true vertical axis being parallel with a gravitational axis. In at least one embodiment, the tilt sensor includes a gravity sensitive gradient indicating element arranged such that a surface of the element is positioned orthogonally to the true vertical axis during movements of the measuring instrument, wherein the gravity sensitive gradient indicating element is arranged in connection to the non-rotating base; and a detecting device adapted to produce at least one detecting signal and to receive at least one response signal, wherein a deviation between the rotational axis and the true vertical axis is detectable using the at least one response signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventor: Magnus Westermark
  • Patent number: 8279419
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and a geodetic scanner for determining the appearance of a target. In the method and geodetic scanner of the present invention, an initial can is performed to calculate or determine a set of optimal gain values for each one of a number of predetermined positions (151-166) at the surface of the target (150). Once gain values (g151-g166) have been determined for all predetermined positions, distances to each one of the predetermined positions are calculated using the gain values. The present invention is advantageous in that the measurement rate and the overall efficiency are increased.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventor: Mikael Hertzman
  • Publication number: 20120162749
    Abstract: It is disclosed a method for driving a laser diode such as to enable mitigation or elimination of so called spiking effects related to the number of injected carriers in the laser overshooting the equilibrium value at the beginning of the lasing process. In this manner, among other things, the efficiency of a master oscillator power amplifier that may be utilized in range finding applications will be improved. It is further disclosed an optical pulse transmitter comprising such a laser diode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2009
    Publication date: June 28, 2012
    Applicant: TRIMBLE AB
    Inventors: Yuri Gusev, Mikael Hertzman, Evgeny Vanin, Christian Grässer
  • Publication number: 20120140203
    Abstract: An optical device is disclosed that may be employed in distance measuring devices. In at least one embodiment, the optical device includes a control unit that is adapted to cause at least one control signal generator unit to generate at least one control signal according to a predetermined temporal function on the basis of an elapsed time from a predetermined point in time. On the basis of the generated at least one control signal, at least one parameter of a receiver unit may be adjusted during the travel time of the optical pulse, wherein the at least one parameter affects the dynamic range of the receiver unit. In this way, the dynamic range of the receiver unit may be increased. A method is further disclosed for operating such an optical device, along with a distance measuring device including such an optical device and a surveying instrument including such a distance measuring device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 26, 2009
    Publication date: June 7, 2012
    Applicant: TRIMBLE AB
    Inventor: Yuri Gusev
  • Patent number: 8139203
    Abstract: The present invention provides devices and methods for multi-dimensional scanning of a scene. In particular, this invention provides scanning devices and methods employing controllable light beam scanning devices capable of sending a light beam onto a scene, and of receiving corresponding light returned from the scene, and controllers capable of operating the scanning device at selected beam orientations, and of gaining distance information from the scanning device at the beam orientations. The controller can dynamically define beam orientations using the distance information gained from preceding beam orientations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventors: Grégory Lepere, Pascal Souffez
  • Patent number: 8040528
    Abstract: A method for determining rotational position of a target in a target tracking System is disclosed. The target comprises a plurality of light emitting elements arranged circumferentially around the target. The target tracking System further comprises a tracker unit capable of detecting light emitted by said light emitting elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2011
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventor: Johan Carlèn
  • Patent number: 7930835
    Abstract: A method for aiming a surveying instrument towards a selected target is disclosed. The method includes, in at least one embodiment, capturing an image using a camera in the surveying instrument; selecting a target by identifying an object point in the image captured by the surveying instrument; calculating first horizontal and vertical rotation angles based on the object point identified in the image; rotating the surveying instrument over the first horizontal and vertical rotation angles to an intermediate line of sight; measuring a distance to a point along the intermediate line of sight; and calculating second horizontal and vertical rotation angles based on the object point in the image and on the measured distance. In at least one embodiment, the method may be implemented using computer software, hardware, firmware or a combination thereof. There is also disclosed a surveying instrument in which at least one embodiment of the method is implemented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2011
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventors: Set Svanholm, Christian Grässer, Michael Vogel, Nick Mein
  • Patent number: 7913405
    Abstract: One embodiment of the present invention concerns a target for use with a measuring instrument in distance measuring and surveying applications. The target includes a base element, at least one light reflecting area arranged at the base element, the at least one light reflecting area being arranged to reflect light beams being incident in an angular area of substantially 360° degrees in plane, and an identification unit arranged at the base element and being adapted to emit signals having predetermined characteristics, wherein the predetermined characteristics may be used to identify the target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2011
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventors: Ulf Berg, Anneli Utterbäck, Johan Carlèn
  • Patent number: 7908752
    Abstract: A geodetic instrument is disclosed, wherein an image sensor is used for locating the instrument above a desired point on the ground. The positioning of the image sensor with respect to the instrument vertical rotation axis is determined, or calibrated, using a method where two images are captured at different horizontal rotational positions for the instrument, and where the center pixel of the image sensor is related to the vertical rotation axis by means of image processing. It is also disclosed how reflecting elements, such as prisms, may be used for providing stereoscopic vision that can be used for determining the instrument height above the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventors: Mikael Hertzman, Magnus Westermark, Set Svanholm
  • Publication number: 20110001986
    Abstract: A position-determining apparatus, such as measuring or surveying instruments, is disclosed. In at least one embodiment, the present invention relates to a tilt sensor for a measuring instrument including a movable housing that is controllably rotatable around a rotational axis, wherein the rotational axis may be positioned so that it deviates from a true vertical axis being parallel with a gravitational axis. In at least one embodiment, the tilt sensor includes a gravity sensitive gradient indicating element arranged such that a surface of the element is positioned orthogonally to the true vertical axis during movements of the measuring instrument, wherein the gravity sensitive gradient indicating element is arranged in connection to the non-rotating base; and a detecting device adapted to produce at least one detecting signal and to receive at least one response signal, wherein a deviation between the rotational axis and the true vertical axis is detectable using the at least one response signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2008
    Publication date: January 6, 2011
    Applicant: TRIMBLE AB
    Inventor: Magnus Westermark
  • Patent number: 7860299
    Abstract: Methods and devices for processing image data stored as three-dimensional point clouds related to a scene by selecting a profile definable in a two-dimensional surface, and matching the profile to one or more subsets of the cloud of points to identify surfaces in the scene having the same profile so that data sets representing the successive matched surface portions can be generated to provide a surface model of all or part of the scene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2010
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventor: Thomas G. Chaperon
  • Publication number: 20100309311
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for localizing a surveying instrument having a housing including at least one camera in relation to a mark located at a ground level. The method comprises the steps of capturing a first image of the ground below the housing in a first camera position and orientation, wherein the first camera position is eccentric to a vertical rotational axis of the surveying instrument, identifying an object point corresponding to the mark in the first image, measuring first image coordinates of the object point in the first image. The method further comprises the steps of capturing a second image of the ground below the housing in a second camera position and orientation, identifying in the second image, an object point corresponding to the mark, and measuring second image coordinates of the object point in the second image.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 26, 2008
    Publication date: December 9, 2010
    Applicant: Trimble AB
    Inventor: Set Svanholm
  • Patent number: 7762135
    Abstract: There is disclosed methods and apparatus for compensated measurement of angular displacement within an instrument (600), such as a total station. Improved and compensated measurement of angular displacement is obtained by using a combination of e.g. an angular resolver (145) and an inertial sensor (645). A compensated angular position measurement is produced by combining at least portions of the output signals obtained from the angular resolver and the inertial sensor, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventors: Mikael Hertzman, Thomas Klang
  • Publication number: 20100149518
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a measuring instrument and methods for such a measuring instrument for tracking a moving object, measuring a distance to an object. According to the invention, sets of target position data including at least horizontal (Ha) and vertical angle (Va) between the measuring instrument (1) and said at least one target (9) in consecutive measurements during a measurement session are obtained (40; 50; 60; 70); a model describing a path of and/or a distance to the target (9) is calculated; at least a present position of the target is estimated (44; 53; 65; 74) using the model; and, the estimated position of the target (9) is used (45; 56; 67; 79) when searching for the target (9).
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 8, 2007
    Publication date: June 17, 2010
    Applicant: TRIMBLE AB
    Inventors: Mikael Nordenfelt, Thomas Klang
  • Patent number: 7640068
    Abstract: A surveying instrument performs tracking of a target by controlling an orientation of a measuring unit relative to the target in two different angular directions. The control in one angular direction is based on detected light intensities which are modulated according to a first time pattern, and control of the orientation in the other angular direction is based on detected light intensities modulated according to a second time pattern just different from the first time pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2009
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventors: Johan Johnson, Anneli Utterback
  • Patent number: 7589313
    Abstract: An absolute optical encoder apparatus for measuring an absolute position comprises an optical disk or scale element (100) having both incremental and absolute code tracks formed thereon. In the embodiment, a photoemitter light source (110, 111) illuminates the tracks onto a CCD area array sensor (115, 116) such that an image is formed from a pixel matrix having of rows and columns. Two detector line rows (410, 420) of the pixel matrix are each read out from the portion of the matrix comprising the incremental and absolute code tracks respectively. Inaccurate mounting of the disk or scale element can cause fluctuations in the period of the code tracks resulting from the rotation of the disk or movement of the scale element. The mounting inaccuracies are compensated for either by matching the spatial frequency by dynamically changing row of detector line read from the incremental image of the code track or by altering the numerical value of the pattern period used in the Fourier phase algorithm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Assignee: Trimble AB
    Inventors: Mikael Nordenfelt, Mikael Hertzman, Staffan Palm, Magnus Westermark