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1. WO2019055405 - GRAIN HANDLING SYSTEM AND METHOD

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. A grain handling system comprising:

a piece of equipment configured for moving grain particles;

a sensor subsystem including a particle movement sensor and an optical sensor;

said particle movement sensor comprising a microphone or an accelerometer in proximity to a particle movement path and configured for detecting a characteristic of said moving particles and generating an output signal corresponding to said moving particle characteristic;

said optical sensor configured for detecting an optical characteristic of said grain and

generating an output signal corresponding to said optical characteristic; and said particle movement and optical sensor output signals comprising a sensor subsystem input to said processor.

2. The grain handling system according to claim 1, further comprising an acoustic triggering component comprising:

said microphone is configured for detecting sound waves from said particles in said path, for transforming said sound waves into electrical signals, and for sending said electrical signals to said processor;

said processor configured for providing output based on particle movement and controlling an operating variable of said equipment piece in response to particle movement; and said processor configured for analyzing said electrical signals, for determining a pattern of grain particle delivery, for calculating a timing offset for optical data capture, and for triggering optical data capture at said timing offset upon receiving an electrical signal from said microphone.

3. The grain handling system according to claim 2, wherein said electronics module is further configured for using a feedback loop to adjust said timing offset to improve optical data quality.

4. The grain handling system according to claim 3, which includes functions for downsampling and filtering said electrical signals and computing an arrival frequency and a phase of said electrical signals.

5. The grain handling system according to claim 2 wherein said optical sensor includes:

an illumination source configured for directing light onto said particle movement path; a photosite array in proximity to said particle movement path;

a filter between said particle movement path and said photosite array;

said filter is configured for limiting passage of light into different parts of said photosite array such that certain locations on said photosite array only receive certain wavelengths of light from said grain particles;

a lens configured for placement within said harvesting machine in proximity to said grain material flow path; and

wherein said lens is configured for picking up light from said grain particles and directing said grain particle light into said filter.

6. A method of handling grain in a piece of equipment, which method comprises the steps of:

moving grain particles along a particle movement path in said piece of equipment;

providing a sensor subsystem including a particle movement sensor and an optical sensor; said particle movement sensor comprising a microphone or an accelerometer in proximity to said particle movement path;

detecting with said particle movement sensor a characteristic of said moving particles and generating an output signal corresponding to said moving particle characteristic; detecting with said optical sensor an optical characteristic of said grain particles and

generating an output signal corresponding to said optical characteristic; said particle movement and optical sensor output signals comprising a sensor subsystem input to said processor; and

providing a processor connected to said equipment piece and said sensor subsystem;

controlling with said processor an operating parameter of said equipment piece using input to said processor from said sensor subsystem.

7. The grain handling method according to claim 6, wherein said optical system determines a visual characteristic of said grain material selected from the group consisting of: clean grain; damaged grain; material other than grain (MOG); and combinations thereof.

8. The grain handling method according to claim 6, which includes the additional steps of:

using said moving particle characteristic to detect particle presence, an arrival frequency and phase offset characteristic of said moving particles;

applying a phase-based capture timing algorithm to said moving particle characteristic signals; and

adjusting in operating parameter of said equipment with said microprocessor in response to said moving particle characteristic signals.

9. A grain handling system comprising:

a piece of equipment configured for moving grain particles;

a sensor subsystem including a particle movement sensor;

a processor configured for receiving input from said sensor subsystem corresponding to particle movement; and

said processor configured for providing output based on particle movement.

10. The grain handling system according to claim 9, which includes said processor configured for controlling an operating variable of said equipment piece in response to particle movement.

11. The grain handling system according to claim 9 wherein said particle movement sensor comprises a microphone in proximity to a particle movement path and configured for acoustically detecting said particle movement.

12. The grain handling system according to claim 9 wherein said particle movement sensor comprises an accelerometer in proximity to a particle movement path and configured for detecting particle impact on said sensor.

13. The grain handling system according to claim 9 wherein said piece of equipment comprises a combine.

14. The grain handling system according to claim 9 wherein said piece of equipment comprises a grain elevator.

15. The grain handling system according to claim 9, which includes:

said sensor subsystem including an optical sensor configured for detecting an optical

characteristic of said grain and generating an output signal corresponding to said optical characteristic; and

said optical sensor output signal comprising a sensor subsystem input to said processor.

16. The grain handling system according to claim 15, which includes:

an illumination source configured for placement within said equipment adjacent to a grain particle movement path and configured for illuminating grain material in said path; an optical data capture sensor mounted within said harvesting machine and including a photosite array configured to be oriented towards said particle movement path and an electronics module connected to said photosite array;

wherein said electronics module is configured for providing an output to said computer input representing a visual characteristic of grain material in said path; and wherein said processor is configured for providing an output representing characteristics of said grain material in said path.

17. The grain handling system according to claim 16 wherein particle movement sensor provides an acoustic trigger to said processor enabling input of said optical sensor output.

18. The grain handling system according to claim 17, which includes:

an arrival frequency/phase finder detection function using particle movement sensor data set output for activating said acoustic trigger;

a phase-based capture timing algorithm on said processor timing acquisition of data sets characterizing said moving particles; and

said phase finder compensating for a timing shift in equipment operation and particle

movement.

19. The grain handling system according to claim 18, which includes a next capture timing function using said arrival frequency and phase shift for timing a particle presence data set capture.

20. The grain handling system according to claim 16 wherein said processor is configured for distinguishing characteristics of grain samples and determining the proportions of clean grain, damaged grain, and MOG.