“Systems For Measuring And Displaying Wake Height” in Patent Application Approval Process (USPTO 20220276047): Patent Application – InsuranceNewsNet

Zurich, Allianz, Kemper, Allstate – InsuranceNewsNet


2022 SEP 19 (NewsRx) — By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Daily News — A patent application by the inventor Colgan, William (Grandview, OH, US), filed on February 28, 2022, was made available online on September 1, 2022, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by NewsRx correspondents.

This patent application has not been assigned to a company or institution.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: “No technology exists for the measurement and display of wave height. Existing wave measurement technology is focused on floating sense stations measuring waves in the open ocean. See JP4921048B2, U.S. Pat. No. 3,769,838 and AUS8195395B2 which are incorporated herein by reference. Such technology is typically used for the purpose of weather observation and forecasting. Management of wake in navigable waterways consists entirely of regulatory solutions, including the posting of signage to indicate “no wake” zones. No technology exists to measure the wake produced by a watercraft and to supply that information to the operator.

“Wave damage to harbors and navigable waterways remains a constant threat. The threat is twofold. The wave action both damages anchored watercraft and greatly accelerates the erosion process on seawalls, dredged harbors, and natural embankments. In 2017, the Boat Owners Association of The United States Marine Insurance Program ranked wake-related damage to boats as its 10th-most common claim, immediately following theft. Fort, C. (2018, August/September) Top 10 Marine Insurance Claims. BoatUS, 92-100. Many millions of dollars are spent every year on maintaining navigable waterways. Expenditures for dredging federally maintained harbors in the 2018 fiscal year totaled nearly $1.2 billion. EveryCRSReport. (2019, June 14) Harbor Dredging: Issues and Historical Funding. Retrieved from https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/IN11133.html. Boat wake is a significant contributor, and sometimes the most significant contributor in sheltered waterways, to wave erosion. In a 2017 report by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) of the Chesapeake Bay Program boat-generated waves were identified to be especially damaging because they represent “a significant source of erosive wave force due to their longer wave period and greater wave height” as compared to wind waves. The report suggests that it is the height itself of the waves that is especially damaging. Similarly, a Texas A&M University Department of Geography study reported that while vessel-generated waves represented only 5% of the cumulative wave energy over the study, they accounted for almost 25% of the cumulative wave force due to their larger height and longer period. The waves undercut shoreline, discourage vegetation growth, and negatively impact fauna by increasing turbidity.

“The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) estimated that in 2002 there were 12,000 marinas, boatyards, yacht clubs, dockominiums, parks, and related facilities. A typical expense for erosion control in a private marina is $20,000 annually. There are thousands of instances where wake control is desired, but limited options for controlling it.

“With the goal of limiting the destructive wake generated by watercraft, there are limited options available. The traditional approach has been to post “No Wake” signage in sensitive areas. Officially, the definition of “No Wake” is the minimum speed at which a vessel is controllable. This definition gives rise to a number of problems, most notably that many vessels can travel well above their minimum controllable speed without producing any wake. Operators are left to make a purely subjective, and therefore highly variable, judgment of the appropriate speed. Commonly, an operator travels at a speed that produces what he considers to be an acceptable wake. This wake may be significantly more than the harbormaster considers appropriate, but without any objective method of measurement, it’s impossible that wake control will be effective. Some sort of feedback to the operator is necessary. A speed limit is not effective, because some boats, like sailboats for example, can travel at a significant speed without producing any wake. Paradoxically, even some very small craft, like personal watercraft, produce a very significant wake at even a very low speed. It is an aspect of the invention disclosed herein to measure the wake produced by watercraft of all types. In another aspect of the invention, the disclosed device and methods measure wake height and report the measurement to the watercraft operator. This enables the operator to adjust his speed appropriately, and further permits a harbormaster to set a specific wake-height limit in a controlled waterway.”

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, NewsRx journalists also obtained the inventor’s summary information for this patent application: “In a preferred exemplary embodiment, the invention disclosed herein comprises a sensing station exposed to watercraft-generated wake. A sensor disposed within the sensing station is in electronic communication with a processor such that the sensor measures the height of the wake and subsequently reports the measurement(s) to the processor. In the preferred exemplary embodiment, the processor collects a plurality of measurements, performs a comparison of said data points, and determines a maximum and minimum wave height over a predetermined interval of time and then generates a wake height value utilizing those values. The processor is preferably in communication with a display such that the calculated wave height value is transmitted from the sensing station to the display. The display is preferably positioned in a manner calculated to be visible to the operator of the watercraft. The wave height value on the display is preferably of a size that can be read by the watercraft operator. In preferred embodiments the display must be located well in front of the watercraft, while the sensing station must be able to take measurements of the wake well behind the watercraft. Measurements may be transmitted from the sensing station to the display via wired or wireless connection in some exemplary embodiments.

“Disclosed are systems for measuring and displaying wake height. These systems include a sensing station and a display station.

“In one embodiment, the system includes a sensing station that is positionable near a body of water. The sensing station includes a sensor configured to measure the distance between the sensing station and the surface of a body of water. The sensing station further includes a control unit operatively connected to the sensor that is configured to receive measurement data from the sensor and calculate a wake height value. The sensing station further includes a transmitter operatively connected to the control unit that is configured to transmit the wake height value. The display station includes a receiver configured to receive the wake height value from the transmitter. The display station further includes an electronic display operatively connected to the receiver that is configured to display the wake height value.

“In another embodiment, the system includes a sensing station that is positionable near a body of water. The sensing station includes an ultrasonic distance measurement sensor configured to measure the distance between the sensing station and the surface of a body of water. The sensing station further includes a control unit operatively connected to the sensor that is configured to receive measurement data from the sensor and calculate a wake height value. The sensing station further includes a transmitter operatively connected to the control unit that is configured to transmit the wake height value. The display station includes a receiver configured to receive the wake height value from the transmitter. The display station further includes an electronic display operatively connected to the receiver that is configured to display the wake height value.

“In yet another embodiment, the system is for measuring wake height in a water channel that includes an entrance and extends a distance therefrom. The system includes a sensing station that is positionable that includes a sensor configured to measure the distance between the sensing station and the surface of a body of water. The sensing station further includes a control unit operatively connected to the sensor that is configured to receive measurement data from the sensor and calculate a wake height value. The sensing station further includes a transmitter operatively connected to the control unit that is configured to transmit the wake height value. The display station includes a receiver configured to receive the wake height value from the transmitter. The display station further includes an electronic display operatively connected to the receiver that is configured to display the wake height value. In this embodiment, the sensing station is positioned near the entrance of the channel and the display station is positioned further down the channel.

“Other examples of the disclosed system for measuring and displaying wake height will become apparent from the following detailed description, the accompanying drawings, and the appended claims.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. A system for measuring and displaying wake height, the system comprising: a sensing station positionable near a body of water, the sensing station comprising: a sensor configured to measure the distance between the sensing station and the surface of a body of water; a control unit operatively connected to the sensor that is configured to receive measurement data from the sensor and calculate a wake height value; a transmitter operatively connected to the control unit that is configured to transmit the wake height value; a display station comprising: a receiver configured to receive the wake height value from the transmitter; an electronic display operatively connected to the receiver that is configured to display the wake height value.

“2. The system of claim 1, wherein the sensing station further comprises a waterproof housing that houses the sensor and the control unit.

“3. The system of claim 1, wherein the sensor projects a field of view that is 8 inches or less in diameter over the surface of the water.

“4. The system of claim 1, wherein the control unit comprises an analog input module and the sensor is configured to transmit measurement data to the control unit via an analog signal.

“5. The system of claim 4, wherein the analog input module is configured for 4-20 milliamp analog signals.

“6. The system of claim 1, wherein the transmitter is a serial-to-Bluetooth module and the receiver is a Bluetooth receiver.

“7. The system of claim 6, wherein the control unit transmits the wake height value to the transmitter via a RS232 serial connection.

“8. The system of claim 1, wherein at least one of the sensing station and the display station further comprises a solar panel configured to power the associated station.

“9. The system of claim 1, wherein the display is a numeric display.

“10. The system of claim 9, wherein the numeric display comprises 5-inch numbers.

“11. The system of claim 1, wherein: the sensor is configured to deactivate upon the occurrence of a predetermined condition; the system further comprises a second sensor operatively connected to the control unit that is configured to detect the occurrence of the predetermined condition; and the control unit is configured to reactive the sensor when the second sensor detects the occurrence of the predetermined condition.

“12. The system of claim 11, wherein the predetermined condition is nightfall and the second sensor is a photo sensor.

“13. The system of claim 11, wherein the predetermined condition is movement in the body of water and the second sensor is an ultrasonic distance measuring sensor.

“14. A system for measuring and displaying wake height, the system comprising: a sensing station positionable near a body of water, the sensing station comprising: an ultrasonic distance measurement sensor configured to measure the distance between the sensing station and the surface of a body of water; a control unit operatively connected to the sensor that is configured to receive measurement data from the sensor and calculate a wake height value; a transmitter operatively connected to the control unit that is configured to transmit the wake height value; a display station comprising: a receiver configured to receive the wake height value from the transmitter; an electronic display operatively connected to the receiver that is configured to display the wake height value.

“15. The system of claim 1, wherein the sensor is configured to repeatedly take measurements at time intervals of 1 second or less.

“16. The system of claim 1, wherein: the control unit is configured to determine a maximum and a minimum distance value from the measurement data received from the sensor over an interval of time; and the control unit is configured to calculate the wake height value by subtracting the minimum distance value from the maximum distance value.

“17. The system of claim 16, wherein the interval of time is between 5 and 15 seconds.

“18. The system of claim 16, wherein the control unit is configured to round the wake value height to the nearest integer value.

“19. The system of claim 16, wherein the control unit is configured to calculate the wake height value in at least one of inches and millimeters.

“20. A system for measuring and displaying wake height in a water channel, the water channel comprising an entrance and extends a distance therefrom, the system comprising: a sensing station comprising: a sensor configured to measure the distance between the sensing station and the surface of a body of water; a control unit operatively connected to the sensor that is configured to receive measurement data from the sensor and calculate a wake height value; a transmitter operatively connected to the control unit that is configured to transmit the wake height value; a display station comprising: a receiver configured to receive the wake height value from the transmitter; an electronic display operatively connected to the receiver that is configured to display the wake height value; wherein the sensing station is positioned near the entrance of the channel and the display station is positioned further down the channel.”

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Colgan, William. Systems For Measuring And Displaying Wake Height. Filed February 28, 2022 and posted September 1, 2022. Patent URL: https://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220220276047%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20220276047&RS=DN/20220276047

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)





Source link