With Noncircular Coverage Patents (Class 239/729)
  • Patent number: 10939627
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system for aligning drive towers within an irrigation system. According to a preferred embodiment, the present invention includes a system and method for cascading alignment of independent drive systems. According to a preferred embodiment, a preferred method may include the steps of: transmitting controller timing data to the first intermediate drive tower and the second intermediate drive tower; assigning a first correction time slot to the second intermediate drive tower; assigning a second correction time slot to the first intermediate drive tower; receiving first alignment data by the second intermediate drive tower; receiving second alignment data by the first intermediate drive tower; performing a first alignment correction based on the first alignment data received by the second intermediate drive tower; and performing a second alignment correction based on the second alignment data received by the first intermediate drive tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Moeller, Tracy A. Thatcher
  • Patent number: 10862536
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for aligning spans using real-time kinetics (RTK) data communicated through a power line carrier system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2020
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Moeller, Tracy A. Thatcher
  • Patent number: 10681860
    Abstract: An automated farming system includes a frame. The frame includes a fixed base, a beam, and a support. A farming implement support extends from the beam and moves up and down in relation to the beam. The farming implement support moves along a length of the beam. The movable support includes a propulsion system and is configured to rotate around the fixed base. Movement of the farming implement support and the movable support allows for high density planting of crops in hexagonal patterns and/or a continuous spiral pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2020
    Assignee: DEERE & COMPANY
    Inventors: Nathan C. Heinrich, Richard J. Connell, Travis Newton, Jeremy B. Thompson, Ray M. Scheufler, Jesse D. Haecker
  • Patent number: 10531616
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system for providing power, control and communications within an irrigation system having at least one span and a drive system for moving the span. According to a preferred embodiment, the present invention preferably includes a pivot panel which includes a pivot panel processor for receiving, controlling and initiating the transmission of power and control signals to a plurality of solid state tower boxes. According to a further preferred embodiment, a system in accordance with the present invention preferably further includes a power-line BUS electrically connected to the pivot panel processor and to a power-line carrier. According to a further preferred embodiment, the power-line carrier of the present invention preferably provides power and electrical control signals to a number of solid state tower boxes. According to a further preferred embodiment, the solid-state tower boxes preferably control power to motor elements within each tower box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2020
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Tracy A. Thatcher
  • Patent number: 10264740
    Abstract: Systems, methods and apparatuses for irrigating soils and crops are described. The irrigation system may include a center pivot irrigation system and at least one irrigation apparatus. The irrigation apparatus may include at least one side frame, at least one back frame, at least one boom assembly, at least one means for enabling the apparatus to move, and/or at least one means for configuring the apparatus to the center pivot irrigation system. The disclosure may reduce and/or eliminate rut formation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: Pivot Pup Irrigation, LLC
    Inventors: Bruce C. Mortensen, Norman Delton Hansen, Ivan Hugh McCracken, II
  • Patent number: 10201822
    Abstract: The central-pivot sprinkler contains a central-pivot sprinkler and a controllable variable spray gun. The controllable variable spray gun has a spray gun main body (2), a booster pump (7), and a spray gun connecting pipe (16). A water inlet of the booster pump (7) is communicated with a sprinkler pipe (15) of the central-pivot sprinkler. A water outlet of the booster pump (7) is connected to a water inlet of the spray gun main body (2) by means of the spray gun connecting pipe (16). The forepart of the spray gun main body (2) is provided with a spray nozzle (12). The tail portion of the spray gun main body (2) can be mounted at the end of a crossing-body (1) of the central-pivot sprinkler by means of a spray gun horizontal-rotation mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Inventor: Suozhu Zhu
  • Patent number: 10172303
    Abstract: An improved pivot irrigation tower system is provided. The system includes a pivot operatively connected to a water source, a plurality of movable towers, a plurality of spans, and a plurality of sprinklers. One or more inverted airfoils are connected to, or incorporated into the design of, the pivot irrigation system to generate a downward force and/or to reduce drag on the system in response to the relative wind at a specific angle of attack. The system may include opposing pairs of inverted airfoils along a majority of the spans. The inverted airfoils may have means for removal of liquid from the top surfaces. The inverted airfoils may be rigidly and/or pivotally connected to the movable towers and/or the spans. The inverted airfoils may be designed with high camber and/or high camber angle. The quantity of the inverted airfoils may be greater at distances farther from the pivot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Inventor: Berneil L. Reed
  • Patent number: 9480209
    Abstract: A method of operating a mobile irrigation system includes receiving water application amount and application pattern information from a user, automatically determining an irrigation plan using the amount information and the pattern information, and using an automated controller to operate the mobile irrigation system according to the irrigation plan. The irrigation system is operated by applying water at progressively decreasing levels as the irrigation system moves from a first position to a second position, and applying water at the same or similar progressively decreasing levels as the irrigation system is moved in a reverse direction from the second position back to the first position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Assignee: Lindsay Corporation
    Inventors: Jochen Pfrenger, Reece Andrews
  • Patent number: 9192109
    Abstract: A method for determining a position of a rotatable arm of a center pivot irrigation system may comprise providing a pivot arm position sensing system including a tower unit positionable at the rotatable arm and a GPS receiver at the tower unit, and receiving, from a user over a communication network, a schedule for operating the irrigation system as the rotatable arm rotates. The schedule may include at least two instructions for taking an action by the irrigation system with each instruction including an action and a corresponding location for the action. The method may further include downloading the schedule over a communication network to storage on the position sensing system, determining a location of the tower unit as the tower unit moves about the center of rotation using the GPS receiver, and initiating an action when the location corresponds to the location in one of the instructions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: AgSense, LLC
    Inventor: Mel Wieting
  • Patent number: 9101097
    Abstract: An irrigation system is disclosed that includes a ground-based platform. In an implementation, an irrigation system includes a span of overhead irrigation equipment. The irrigation system also includes a ground-based platform for coupling with the span of overhead irrigation equipment. The ground-based platform includes a drive for moving the ground-based platform. The irrigation system also includes a linkage for coupling the span of overhead irrigation equipment with the ground-based platform. The linkage is communicatively coupled with the drive of the ground-based platform for communicating information regarding a change in at least one of a position, a direction, or a speed of the span of overhead irrigation equipment with respect to the ground-based platform. The drive of the ground-based platform is configured to use the information received from the linkage to coordinate movement of the ground-based platform with movement of the span of overhead irrigation equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Craig S. Malsam, Dennis R. Theilen
  • Patent number: 9066475
    Abstract: An irrigation alignment apparatus is described that couples a main section assembly to an extension section assembly. In an implementation, the irrigation alignment apparatus includes a ball connector configured to couple to the main section assembly and a socket for receiving the ball connector, which is configured to at least partially pivot about the ball connector. The socket is coupled to the extension section assembly. The irrigation alignment apparatus also includes a socket pulley coupled to the socket about a centroid of the ball connector and is configured to at least partially pivot the socket about the ball connector. The socket pulley is configured to connect to a linking member that is coupled to a camshaft via a camshaft pulley. The camshaft is configured to indicate a positional alignment of the extension section assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Benjamin J. Toman
  • Patent number: 9060473
    Abstract: A moisture sensing water system comprising at least one moisture sensor coupled with at least one wheel coupled with a water conveyance system, the at least one moisture sensor pierces the ground during each rotation of the at least one wheel and performs a moisture sensing. A moisture information converter receives the moisture sensing information and converts the moisture sensing information into a signal indicative of the moisture content of the ground. A moisture content provider provides the signal indicative of the moisture content of the ground in a user accessible format to automatically control the amount of water disseminated by the moisture sensing watering system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: Trimble Navigation Limited
    Inventor: Robert James Lindores
  • Publication number: 20150060580
    Abstract: A center-pivot irrigation system having a plurality of towers interconnected by a plurality of spans actuatable about a center pivot, a plurality of solid-state sensors each mounted in fixed alignment with one of the spans or towers, and a control system communicably coupled with the solid-state sensors. The solid-state sensors may send acceleration, angular acceleration, angular rotation, heading, and/or angle measurements to the control system, which may use these measurements to calculate alignment of the spans relative to each other and/or the center pivot and to calculate locations of the spans or towers using a known location of the center pivot. The solid-state sensors may be solid-state gyroscopes, solid-state accelerometers, digital compass, and/or an inertial measurement unit (IMU).
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 29, 2013
    Publication date: March 5, 2015
    Applicant: Lindsay Corporation
    Inventor: Dick Philip Welch
  • Patent number: 8777133
    Abstract: An irrigation system and method for irrigating a field including a plurality of towers linked together by at least one rotatable torque tube. Each of the towers may comprise a frame, one or more wheels on which the frame may travel, a rotatable reel, and a line configured to be spooled onto the reel. A motor may be configured to rotate the torque tube, which may in turn actuate each of the reels to rotate simultaneously. One end of each of the lines may be anchored at a first location and the towers may be located at a second location. Rotation of the reels spools the lines onto the reels and thereby actuates the towers to travel from the second location to the first location. The irrigation system also comprises hoses to link one or more fluid-emitting devices positioned on each of the towers with a water source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Lindsay Corporation
    Inventors: Tom Korus, Luke Pare, Jochen Pfrenger
  • Patent number: 8690085
    Abstract: An irrigation device includes a pipe conduit (2) which is connectable to a water source. An irrigation arm (10) is arranged at an end of the pipe conduit (2) which is away from the water source. The irrigation device also includes at least one pump (24) for delivering water from the water source to at least one sprinkler (22) formed on the irrigation arm (10). The at least one pump (24) is arranged within a connection conduit from the water source to the sprinkler (22). The connection conduit is formed by the pipe conduit (2) and the irrigation arm (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Assignee: Grundfos Management a/s
    Inventors: Peter Busch, David Stuart
  • Patent number: 8561925
    Abstract: A lateral irrigation system comprising a plurality of towers and a plurality of lateral structures extending between and connected to the towers. The support structures may comprise a first support structure, a second support structure pivotable relative to the first support structure, and a third support structure pivotable relative to the second support structure. The irrigation system may also comprise a fluid delivery system having conduits attached to or extending through the support structures and configured to output water from orifices formed therein. The irrigation system may further comprise joints at which the second and third support structures may pivot. The second and third support structures may be configured to pivot into a substantially zig-zag or ā€œZā€-shaped configuration relative to the first support structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Lindsay Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas J. Korus, Jochen Pfrenger
  • Publication number: 20130026259
    Abstract: A lateral move irrigation system may comprise a plurality of towers configured to laterally travel across a field and a plurality of support structures each attached to and spanning a distance between two of the towers. The irrigation system may further comprise a fluid delivery system comprising conduits attached to or extending through the support structures and configured to output water from orifices formed therein. The irrigation system may also comprise a first joint at which one of the support structures may pivot relative to another of the support structures and a control system configured to pivot one of the support structures toward another of the support structures at a location of a field that is not passable when all of the support structures are laterally aligned with each other.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 29, 2011
    Publication date: January 31, 2013
    Applicant: LINDSAY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Thomas J. Korus, Jochen Pfrenger
  • Publication number: 20130026261
    Abstract: A lateral move irrigation system comprising a main section having a first end and a second end, a first end section pivotally joined at the first end of the main section, a second end section pivotally joined at the second end of the main section, and a fluid delivery system. The main section may comprise a plurality of main towers configured to travel across a field in a lateral direction and a plurality of main support structures fixedly connected to and extending between adjacent ones of the main towers. The main support structures may be laterally aligned from the first end to the second end of the main section. The fluid delivery system may extend through the main section, first section, and second section. The first section may be pivoted into a Z-shaped configuration and the second section may be pivoted about a single joint.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 29, 2011
    Publication date: January 31, 2013
    Applicant: LINDSAY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Thomas J. Korus, Jochen Pfrenger
  • Publication number: 20130026260
    Abstract: A lateral irrigation system comprising a plurality of towers and a plurality of lateral structures extending between and connected to the towers. The support structures may comprise a first support structure, a second support structure pivotable relative to the first support structure, and a third support structure pivotable relative to the second support structure. The irrigation system may also comprise a fluid delivery system having conduits attached to or extending through the support structures and configured to output water from orifices formed therein. The irrigation system may further comprise joints at which the second and third support structures may pivot. The second and third support structures may be configured to pivot into a substantially zig-zag or ā€œZā€-shaped configuration relative to the first support structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 29, 2011
    Publication date: January 31, 2013
    Applicant: LINDSAY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Thomas J. Korus, Jochen Pfrenger
  • Patent number: 8317114
    Abstract: A dual span center pivot irrigation system comprising first and second center pivot span structures pivotally secured at their inner ends to a fixed center pivot structure. Each of the center pivot span structures are independently operable with the movements thereof being coordinated by suitable controls. The center pivot span structures may be operated in at least three different modes, namely: (1) independent wiper; (2) follow the leader; and (3) independent full circle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Craig S. Malsam, Ron Flakus
  • Patent number: 7510132
    Abstract: A linear water feed apparatus for use in agricultural irrigation includes a linear-move machine with a mobile truss assembly supporting a plurality of individual sprinklers and adapted for movement in a specified direction across a field to be irrigated. The truss assembly is oriented transverse to the specified direction, and a supply pipe is arranged in the specified direction along or within the field to be irrigated. The supply pipe mounts a plurality of water supply hydrants at spaced locations along the pipe, each of the hydrants enclosing a water supply valve. A docking station is supported at one end of the truss assembly closest to the supply pipe, and is adapted to engage and open successive ones of the water supply valves in the plurality of hydrants. The docking station assembly includes a docking station that is suspended from a frame for floating movement about at least three mutually perpendicular axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2009
    Assignee: Nelson Irrigation Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph D. Sinden, Rex D. Ness, Chad D. Leinweber, Richard J. Berrier, Craig Nelson, Robert Rupar
  • Patent number: 7309035
    Abstract: A flow-through joint in an irrigation machine between the main pipeline section and a swing span, such as a corner span, permits a limited amount of generally linear displacement of the swing span within the joint for speed control or other purposes. A turret that rotates freely on the upright outlet port of the main pipeline section has a pair of coupling assemblies on opposite sides of the upright pivot axis through the outlet port, one of such coupling assemblies having a ball joint and the other being provided with relatively displaceable components. The arms of a connecting yoke on the inner end of the swing span are coupled with the ball joint on the one hand and the displaceable components on the other so as to provide the necessary swinging and pivoting motions while at the same time allowing displacing movement as necessary for control purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2007
    Assignee: Lindsay Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas J. Korus
  • Publication number: 20070267524
    Abstract: An irrigation system includes a central pivot connected to a source of fluid; at least one mobile intermediate tower; a mobile end tower; a plurality of support sections spanning the main tower, the intermediate tower, and the end tower; a fluid distribution conduit supported by the support sections and coupled to the source of fluid; and a plurality of water-emitting devices supported along the length of the fluid distribution conduit for delivering fluids from the conduit to crops beneath the irrigation system. A main controller is positioned at the main tower for controlling speed, direction, and fluid application functions of the irrigation system. An independent GPS controller is positioned at the end tower and includes a GPS receiver and a computing device. The GPS receiver receives satellite signals from a plurality of GPS satellites and determines a current location of the end tower as a function of the received satellite signals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 18, 2006
    Publication date: November 22, 2007
    Inventor: David Mack
  • Patent number: 6938842
    Abstract: This invention relates to a fluid flow control method that enables a self-propelled irrigation machine to apply varying amounts of fluid as might be required to suitably treat the surface area affected by each of the individual fluid application devices thereon. The control method regulates the total volume of fluid emitted by each application device to a predetermined value as it responds to a suitable control signal to permit or prevent fluid flow. This fluid flow control method involves time-based rapid cycling of the flow control apparatus to provide continuously variable fluid flow as is required to meet the desired average output of each emitting device as the flow requirement varies from time to time as needed to produce a selected, pre-determined application rate throughout the treated surface area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Lindsay Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Wayne D. Choat, Robert E. Callies
  • Patent number: 6923390
    Abstract: A guidance system for controlling the steering of a swing arm on a center pivot irrigation system is provided through the use of two satellite signal receiving antennas associated with a drive tower for the swing arm. The signal receiving antennas are mounted from the swing tower so that one of the antennas is in a position forwardly of a steerable wheel for the tower and the other antenna is located in a position rearwardly of the steerable wheel. The signal receiving antennas are mounted in such fashion that they rotate in a direct relation to the steering of the steerable wheel so as to provide position information for the steering of the drive tower that more efficiently and effectively maintains the drive tower on a desired path of travel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2005
    Assignee: Reinke Manufacturing Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Luke J. Barker
  • Publication number: 20040232261
    Abstract: This invention relates to a fluid flow control method that enables a self-propelled irrigation machine to apply varying amounts of fluid as might be required to suitably treat the surface area affected by each of the individual fluid application devices thereon. The control method regulates the total volume of fluid emitted by each application device to a predetermined value as it responds to a suitable control signal to permit or prevent fluid flow. This fluid flow control method involves time-based rapid cycling of the flow control apparatus to provide continuously variable fluid flow as is required to meet the desired average output of each emitting device as the flow requirement varies from time to time as needed to produce a selected, pre-determined application rate throughout the treated surface area.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 23, 2003
    Publication date: November 25, 2004
    Inventors: Wayne D. Choat, Robert E. Callies
  • Patent number: 6726132
    Abstract: A self-propelled irrigation machine including an elongated main boom pivoted at one end to a center pivot and supported on a plurality of self-propelled, non-steerable drive units. An extension boom is pivotally secured to the other end of the main boom for irrigating corner areas of the field. A steerable drive tower supports the extension boom and includes a pair of steerable drive wheels. The guidance and control for the extension boom includes a UWB receiver and a computer positioned on the steerable drive tower for receiving and processing UWB information as to the location of the steerable drive tower and for determining the optimal steer angle for the steerable drive wheels relative to the movement of the main boom. At least one UWB transmitters are located within receiving range of the UWB receiver. Signals transmitted by the UWB transmitters are received by the UWB receiver on the steerable drive unit and are used to determine current location and optimal steer angles relative to the main boom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Craig S. Malsam
  • Publication number: 20020185556
    Abstract: A self-propelled irrigation machine including an elongated main boom pivoted at one end to a center pivot and supported on a plurality of self-propelled, non-steerable drive units. An extension boom is pivotally secured to the other end of the main boom for irrigating corner areas of the field. A steerable drive tower supports the extension boom and includes a pair of steerable drive wheels. The guidance and control for the extension boom includes a UWB receiver and a computer positioned on the steerable drive tower for receiving and processing UWB information as to the location of the steerable drive tower and for determining the optimal steer angle for the steerable drive wheels relative to the movement of the main boom. At least one UWB transmitters are located within receiving range of the UWB receiver. Signals transmitted by the UWB transmitters are received by the UWB receiver on the steerable drive unit and are used to determine current location and optimal steer angles relative to the main boom.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 8, 2001
    Publication date: December 12, 2002
    Inventor: Craig S. Malsam
  • Patent number: 6290151
    Abstract: A guidance system for providing a steering control for a swing arm on a center pivot irrigation system is provided through the use of two satellite signal receivers. A first signal receiver is located at the center pivot to provide calculated position information for a comparison with the known position of the center pivot. An error signal is generated and is utilized to adjust position information provided by the second signal receiver to produce an improved position information for the swing arm. Such improved position information is compared to the desired path of travel for the swing arm and a steering signal is generated therefrom, which steering signal controls the steering of the swing arm along its desired path of travel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2001
    Assignee: Reinke Manufacturing Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Luke J. Barker, Darin J. Neff
  • Patent number: 6186423
    Abstract: An irrigation system for a field, wherein a circular central portion of the field is irrigated by a center pivot irrigation machine, comprising a buried primary water line which extends from a source of water to the vicinity of the field area to be irrigated. At least one, and normally several, header water lines are in fluid communication with the primary water line and extend therefrom with a three-way pulse valve being imposed in each of the header water lines. A plurality of distribution water lines are in fluid communication with each of the header water lines and extend therefrom downstream of the pulse valve. A plurality of spaced-apart, in-line pulse emitter valves are imposed in each of the water distribution lines and have a water discharge orifice associated therewith for discharging water outwardly from the water distribution line to the area immediately adjacent thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2001
    Inventor: John A. Chapman
  • Patent number: 6095439
    Abstract: A self-propelled irrigation machine including an elongated main boom pivoted at one end to a center pivot and supported on a plurality of self-propelled, non-steerable drive towers. An extension boom is pivotally secured to the other end of the main boom for irrigating corner areas of the field. A steerable drive tower supports the extension boom and includes a pair of steerable drive wheels. The guidance and control for the extension boom utilizes GPS receivers as position sensors. The system is comprised of two GPS units, two microprocessor based smart boxes, a communications link running from the pivot to the steerable drive unit, and an angle sensor to monitor the angle of the corner arm steerable wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Vince G. Segal, John A. Chapman
  • Patent number: 6085999
    Abstract: An irrigation system is disclosed which includes a center pivot support having an elongated main water boom pivotally connected thereto which extends outwardly therefrom. An elongated extension boom is pivotally connected at its inner end to the outer end of the main boom and is supported by a steerable drive tower. A corner arm sensor is provided for sensing the angle of the extension boom with respect to the main boom. A plurality of first sprinklers are positioned on the extension boom along the length thereof and a plurality of second sprinklers are positioned on the extension boom along the length thereof. The water which is normally allocated to the end gun on the outer end of the extension boom is supplied to the second sprinkler during certain periods of time that the end gun is not activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Jerry D. Gerdes, Dale A. Christensen
  • Patent number: 6045065
    Abstract: The method of controlling the speed of the last regular drive unit (L.R.D.U.) of a center pivot irrigation machine having a corner span pivotally connected thereto comprising: placing an angle sensor at the pivotal connection of the main boom and the extension boom for monitoring the angle therebetween upon predetermined time increments; changing the speed of the L.R.D.U. according to the formula:NEW SPEED=(LS).sup.2 /(LS+PC).sup.2 .times.L.R.D.U. Speed Settingwhere PC is the projected corner length, LS is the corner length and wherein PC is computed according to:PC=[(LC).sup.2 +(LS).sup.2 -(2.times.LC.times.LS.times.cos AC.degree.)].sup.1/2 -LSwhere AC is the corner angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Jerry D. Gerdes
  • Patent number: 6045066
    Abstract: An irrigation system is disclosed which includes a center pivot support having an elongated main water boom pivotally connected thereto which extends outwardly therefrom. An elongated extension boom is pivotally connected at its inner end to the outer end of the main boom and is supported by a steerable drive tower. A corner arm sensor is provided for sensing the angle of the extension boom with respect to the main boom. A plurality of sprinklers are positioned on the extension boom along the length thereof and are controlled by a computer which is programmed with a table of sprinkler sequences. The computer calculates the areas being covered by the extension boom as the system is moved through the field and determines the best sprinkler sequence for the sprinkler on the extension boom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Jerry D. Gerdes, Rudy R. Unruh
  • Patent number: 6042031
    Abstract: An irrigation system is disclosed which includes a center pivot support having an elongated main water boom pivotally connected thereto which extends outwardly therefrom. An elongated extension boom is pivotally connected at its inner end to the outer end of the main boom and is supported by a steerable drive tower. A deflection sensor is positioned on the extension boom for sensing vertical deflection of the extension boom which is caused by relative movement of the main boom with respect to the extension boom. A control connects the deflection sensor with the drive for driving the steerable drive tower upon the deflection sensor sensing a predetermined amount of deflection of the extension boom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Dale A. Christensen, Carl R. Ostrom
  • Patent number: 6039273
    Abstract: A corner pivot irrigation machine comprising a main arm extending outwardly from a center pivot structure supported upon and driven by a plurality of non-steerable drive towers. An elongated corner arm is pivotally secured to the outer end of the main arm and is supported by a steerable drive tower including an elongated beam positioned beneath the water line of the corner arm and having a pair of drive wheel supports positioned at the opposite ends thereof which are rotatable with respect thereto about vertical axes. A steering motor, driven by a conventional guidance system, is mounted on the main beam and is connected to the rotatable drive wheel supports by an adjustable linkage to enable the linkage to be selectively adjusted when the machine is to be operated in a reverse direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Dale A. Christensen
  • Patent number: 6036122
    Abstract: An irrigation system is disclosed which includes a center pivot support having an elongated main water boom pivotally connected thereto which extends outwardly therefrom. An elongated extension boom is pivotally connected at its inner end to the outer end of the main boom and is supported by a steerable drive tower. A corner arm sensor is provided for sensing the angle of the extension boom with respect to the main boom. First and second lines of sprinklers are provided on the main boom along the length thereof with the nozzle size thereof increasing from the inner to outer ends thereof. A third line of sprinklers are positioned on the extension boom along the length thereof, the nozzle size of which increases from the inner end of the extension boom to the outer end thereof. A fourth line of second sprinklers are also positioned on the extension boom along the length thereof, the nozzle size of which increases from the outer end of the extension boom to the inner end thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2000
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Jerry D. Gerdes, Rudy R. Unruh
  • Patent number: 6036121
    Abstract: The method of controlling the speed of the last regular drive unit of a center pivot irrigation system having a corner irrigation system pivotally connected thereto is disclosed comprising the steps of: placing a pressure transducer at the downstream side of the main water line for monitoring the changes in main water line pressure as the sprinklers on the extension water line are sequenced; driving the last regular drive unit at a predetermined speed; recording the output of the pressure transducer at predetermined intervals; comparing the recorded output at the predetermined intervals to the pressure recorded when all the sprinklers on the extension line are turned off; and varying the speed of the last regular drive unit according to the formula NEW SPEED=(END PRESSURE/RETRACTED END PRESSURE).sup.1/2 .times.L.R.D.U. SPEED SETTING.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2000
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Jerry D. Gerdes
  • Patent number: 6029914
    Abstract: An irrigation system is disclosed which includes a center pivot support having an elongated main water boom pivotally connected thereto which extends outwardly therefrom. An elongated extension boom is pivotally connected at its inner end to the outer end of the main boom and is supported by a steerable drive tower. A corner arm sensor is provided for sensing the angle of the extension boom with respect to the main boom. A plurality of first sprinklers are positioned on the extension boom along the length thereof, the nozzle size of which increases from the inner end of the extension boom to the outer end thereof. A plurality of second sprinklers are also positioned on the extension boom along the length thereof, the nozzle size of which increases from the outer end of the extension boom to the inner end thereof. By utilizing the two lines of sprinklers in combination, the proper amount of water can be applied for all corner arm positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Jerry D. Gerdes, Rudy R. Unruh
  • Patent number: 6007004
    Abstract: An irrigation system is disclosed which includes a center pivot support having an elongated main water boom pivotally connected thereto which extends outwardly therefrom. A corner span is pivotally connected at its inner end to the outer end of the main boom and is supported by a steerable drive tower. An angle sensor is provided at the pivotal connector of said main boom and said corner span. A span sensor is positioned on the corner boom for sensing shape changes in the corner span. A control connects the span sensor and angle sensor with the drive and steering for driving and steering the steerable drive tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1999
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Rudy R. Unruh
  • Patent number: 5947393
    Abstract: An irrigation system is disclosed which includes a center pivot support having an elongated main water boom pivotally connected thereto which extends outwardly therefrom. An elongated corner span is pivotally connected at its inner end to the outer end of the main boom and is supported by a steerable drive tower. A span sensor is positioned on the corner span for sensing changes in shape of the corner span. A control connects the span sensor with the drive for driving the steerable drive tower and the motor on the last regular drive unit on the main water boom to adjust the speed thereof upon the span sensor sensing predetermined changes in the shape of the corner span.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Rudy R. Unruh
  • Patent number: 5695129
    Abstract: A flexible joint accommodates relative horizontal motion between the main pipeline of a center pivot irrigation machine and a swing span without unduly stressing the spans. The flexible joint has a spindle mounted for rotation about a vertical axis in a socket at the outer end of the main pipeline section. The spindle has a horizontal pivot shaft mounting an arm assembly for rotation about the shaft. The opposite end of the arm assembly carries a second pivot shaft pivotally mounting a link. The swing span is attached to the link. A brake is provided to limit coasting of the swing span.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 9, 1997
    Assignee: Lindsay Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Thomas J. Korus
  • Patent number: 5341995
    Abstract: A relocatable irrigator for easily converting between irrigation and transport modes of operation. The irrigator includes a number of carriages separated by pipeline spans. The pipeline spans are bridged between adjacent carriages and define a spray line. There is a master carriage and a number of slave carriages coupled together. Each slave carriage includes a steerable wheel assembly and a steering mechanism wherein the slave carriages may be steered remotely from the master carriage between irrigation and transport positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1994
    Inventor: Alfred T. Leatch
  • Patent number: 5246164
    Abstract: Disclosed are a method and apparatus (10) for cataloging or dividing a given field, under irrigation by an irrigation system (100), into a plurality of zones which can be monitored for irrigation water and chemical requirements and then, delivering by way of the irrigation system, the appropriate amount of irrigation water and/or chemicals to each zone as so defined. Each of the sprinkler assemblies (105) is independently controlled by a solenoid operated valve (16), responsive to a control module (15). The control modules (15), in turn, are electronically interconnected with a data acquisition and control unit (12) which is capable of sending to the control modules (15) coded signals for either activating the sprinkler head (105) or deactivating each individual sprinkler head (105).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1993
    Inventors: Ian R. McCann, Jeffrey C. Stark
  • Patent number: 4674681
    Abstract: This is concerned with an irrigation system or mechanism which is constructed and arranged and intended to water non-circular fields which may be considered polygonal sided intersecting at the corners. The system and method includes the use or combination of two types of irrigation systems, the first a so-called lateral move or free-standing span system and the second, either a so-called center pivot irrigation unit or a lateral move unit. The free-standing span moves along the outside of the field following the edge or border or fence with turns at intersections and the main irrigation unit moves inside of it and is coordinated and connected to it so that at times they overlap and at times they are distended with water, preferably, being supplied to the free-standing span by the main irrigation unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1985
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1987
    Assignee: Lindsay Manufacturing Co.
    Inventors: Charles H. Meis, David A. Siekmeier