Title:
Target/site location acquisition device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is provided a portable target/site location acquisition device including a grippable housing, a display attached to the housing, an optical sight affixed about the housing to be viewable from the same direction as the display, a display and data controller for effecting display of SVGA data, and a manipulatable means for manually operating a PC or PDA electronically connectable thereto for displaying and controlling the selected displayed indicia stored and processed in the PC or PDA.



Inventors:
Kutz, Giora (Kfar Saba, IL)
Application Number:
11/650144
Publication Date:
10/25/2007
Filing Date:
01/05/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
H04B1/38
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Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
HTUN, SAN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STETINA BRUNDA GARRED & BRUCKER (75 ENTERPRISE, SUITE 250, ALISO VIEJO, CA, 92656, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable target/site location acquisition device comprising: a grippable housing; a display viewable by at least one eye of a user, attached to said housing; an optical sight affixed about said housing to be viewable from the same direction as said display; a display and data controller for effecting display of SVGA data, and a manipulatable means for manually operating a PC or PDA electronically connectable thereto for displaying and controlling the selected displayed indicia stored and processed in said PC or PDA.

2. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said display further comprises a lens attached thereto for improved viewing.

3. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said display is fitted with an eye guard.

4. The device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising pitch and roll inclinometers operationally connected to said data controller.

5. The device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a digital compass operationally connected to said data controller

6. The device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a connector and said PC or PDA are connectable to said connector by a cable.

7. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said PC or PDA include SVGA data.

8. The device as claimed in claim 7, further comprising a SVGA/VIDEO switch enabling selectively directing SVGA or VIDEO data to said display.

9. The device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a GPS receiver for entering GPS data into the PC or PDA.

10. The device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a mechanism alerting the user that a transmission has been received by the device.

11. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said alerting mechanism is a palpating unit.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a target/site location acquisition device, and more particularly, to a portable, hand-held device (HHD) location determination, human/machine interface (HMI) device.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Portable location determination devices have a broad range of applications especially, but not limited to, military applications, e.g., for target acquisitions in the field and urban areas even during combat and adverse conditions.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore a broad object of the present invention to provide a portable, hand-held location determination device having high accuracy, low cost and being easy to operate.

In accordance with the present invention there is therefore provided a portable target/site location acquisition device comprising a grippable housing, a display viewable by at least one eye of a user, attached to said housing, an optical sight affixed about said housing to be viewable from the same direction as said display, a display and data controller for effecting a computer display, e.g., SVGA data, and a manipulatable means for manually operating a PC or PDA electrically connectable thereto for displaying and controlling the selected displayed indicia stored and processed in said PC or PDA.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described in connection with certain preferred embodiments with reference to the following illustrative figures so that it may be more fully understood.

With specific reference now to the figures in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purpose of illustrative discussion of the preferred embodiments of the present invention only and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention, the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the invention may be embodied in practice.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the location determination device, according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the device of FIG. 1, as seen by the user;

FIG. 4 is a cross-section of the hand-held portion of the device, and

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of the device according to the present invention, detailing its functions.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

There is illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3 a preferred embodiment of a portable HHD 2 for target/site location determination or data acquisition, constituting a human/machine interface (HMI) instrument. Seen is a near eye display 4 having optics 6, e.g., a lens, attached thereto for improved viewing and advantageously fitted with an eye guard 8. Parallel to the eye display 4 and vertically displaced above it, extends an optical sight 10, preferably a miniature optical sight, attached in a similar manner as the eye display 4 to a mount 12. Below the eye display 4 there are disposed means for manually operating and controlling selected displayed indicia such as right eye and left eye displays, command buttons 14, 16, e.g., mouse-type buttons, and a joystick-type stem 18 for moving the cursor. To the mount 12, there is affixed a gripping housing 20 having a fast connector 22 for effecting an electrical connection, e.g., by means of a cable, with a PC or a PDA. A near eye display button 24 and an azimuth capturing/freezing button 26 are conveniently disposed opposite to the command buttons 14, 16.

Referring to FIG. 4, there is shown a near eye display controller 28 advantageously incorporating SVGA/VIDEO auto-selector switch and data controller located inside the gripping housing 20. Also illustrated are pitch and roll inclinometers 32 and a digital compass 36.

The functional aspects of the HHD 2 are illustrated in FIG. 5. The portable HHD 2 is connectable to personal computer (PC) or a personal digital assistant (PDA) 34 via the fast connector 22. The HHD 2 may advantageously have the digital compass 36 and pitch and roll inclinometers 32 operationally feeding signals to the PC/PDA 34 through a data controller 38. PC/PDA 34 may also be continuously fed with data concerning its location via a GPS antenna 40 connected to a GPS receiver 42. The above-mentioned signal feedings enable the coordination between the user's real world view and the map screened on the near eye display. In addition, the HHD 2 is furnished with a near eye display user interface, on/off, brightness and contrast controller 44.

The operation of the device is as follows:

When a user wishes to acquire a target/site location, the latter is first identified by the user simply by looking at it through bare eyes or binoculars. The user then aims the HHD 2 at the target/site location through the optical sight 10 and by pushing button 26, freezes the azimuth to the target/site, as measured by the device's compass 36, e.g., a digital magnetic compass (DMC). If now the user repeats the operation from a different position, the combined gathered information will provide the target's/site's coordinates. Alternatively, the target/site location may be generated by intersecting the azimuth line as frozen in the HHD 2 and the data terrain-mapping (DTM) stored in the PC or PDA. A reverse procedure can also be performed. When a user would like to acquire orientation regarding a registered known target/site that is marked as an icon on the display 4, the user looks at the map on the screen and then operates the DMC 36 by button 26 and rotates the HHD 2 until the azimuth line generated from user's position onwards, coincides with the target's/site's icon on the map. The user can then see the target/site on the terrain by aligning the eyes with the optical sight 10.

As can now readily be appreciated, the portable HHD 2 is small, compact, and easy to operate, and thus, operable even with one hand. It allows the user to look at the computer-generated related DTM and relevant information, whilst the user's eyes can keep direct contact with the environment. In this way, the user can easily merge the computer-based information with the observed target/site and better interpret and comprehend the target/site positioned inside this area.

In order to maintain a high level awareness in, e.g. a battlefield while using an HHD 2, the user has to alternately observe the battlefield area and the HHD. This is achieved by periodically nearing the HHD to, or distancing the HHD away from, the user's eye. In the period of time when the HHD is not viewed, critical new data or message may be displayed on the device. It is most important for the user that during critical times, e.g. combat, the critical data or message just received will be in hand. Therefore, the HHD 2 can be furnished with a mechanism 46 (FIG. 5) for periodically alerting the user that data has been received. It is preferred that the indication would be, on the one hand, as quiet as possible, and not transmit any light, in order not to expose the user's location, while on the other hand, should be sufficiently noticeable during adverse conditions. A preferred solution is to implant into the device a palpating unit. The vibrations will commence when receiving an electronic signal indicating that important data or a message has been received.

Upon receiving an incoming transmission, a signal activates the palpating unit, providing the user with an indication that a new transmission has arrived. It is possible to have the unit palpate in different sequences, strengths or the like, to indicate to the user the degree of urgency of the new transmission.

While the figures illustrate an embodiment in which the portable, hand-held HHD 2 is connectable to a PC or PDA 34 via a connector 22, it should be realized that the proposed PC or PDA 34 are also portable and can be carried by the user, e.g., attached to the user's waist, or alternatively, the PC or PDA 34 could be incorporated inside the extended housing 20 by miniaturization of the PC or PDA components.

It will be evident to those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to the details of the foregoing illustrated embodiments and that the present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.