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         underneath the helicopter or crane, and around the helicop-
         ter or crane for some distance. In some embodiments, sensor
         20 only needs to typically be at a distance of about 1 to 30
         or 40 yards or so, depending on altitude of the helicopter.
         In other embodiments, and as will be further explained, a
         sensor 20 on a helicopter or loading crane may need to have

                                                              Figure 8: Third schematic diagram illustrating operation of the system.

                                                              points toward the receiver.
                                                               In other embodiments, the light sources at a known orien-
                                                              tation on the beacon may be a different color or wavelength
                                                              to further assist in determining orientation of the beacon.
                                                              With this construction, there is no need to ascertain any fur-
                                                              ther orientation of the beacon with respect to the receiver,
         Figure 6: First schematic diagram illustrating operation of the system.  the processor is configured to simply look for orientation of
                                                              the beacon and then apply the measured offset between the
         a greater field of view, such as perhaps 45 degrees or so to   beacon and receiver. In other embodiments, other references
         encompass a plurality of loads in order to select a predeter-
         mined load for transport. In this instance, lens 120 (figure
         7) may be a lens that encompasses a somewhat wider field of
         view, so that a plurality of beacons associated with loads are
         in a field of view of the sensor.
           Light beacon  30 is associated with load  70 by being
         mounted thereon  at a known  location  on  load  70,  placed
         on the ground at a known location near load 70, or placed
         or mounted on a platform carrying load 70, such as a ship,
         truck or other conveyance. As such, since the beacon serves
         as a reference point by which to guide the helicopter or crane
         in six degrees of freedom, it is important that orientation be-
         tween beacon 30 and receiver 60 is a priori known. In some   Figure 9: Block diagram  illustrating, by  way of example, a sensor
         embodiments, This is accomplished by placing the beacon a   assembly.
         known distance from the receiver, such as 1-3 feet or more,
         with pointing indicia on the beacon pointing directly toward   may be used to align the beacon with the receiver, as will be
         the receiver attached to the load. As such, the person putting   further explained.
         the beacon on the load must measure the distance from the   In another  embodiment, a beacon may be placed at a
         beacon to the receiver, and ensure that the pointing indicia   known location on a forklift pallet, and a forklift equipped
                                                              with a processor of the present invention. As such, the fork-
                                                              lift may  be automatically guided to pick  up  a designated
                                                              pallet and its load, and transport the pallet and load to a
                                                              desired location. In a warehouse environment, specific loca-
                                                              tions where pallets or the like are stored may be designated
                                                              by another beacon, or a permanently installed string of bea-
                                                              cons may be installed along shelves, the floor, a wall or other
                                                              storage areas. In this instance, each beacon on the string
                                                              (or individually placed beacons) would uniquely identify a
                                                              respective location to a forklift, which would then allow the
                                                              forklift to pick up a pallet and load and transport it to the
                                                              designated location.
                                                               Figures 8-10 generally illustrate operation of the system
                                                              for attaching loads. Figure 8 shows that sensor 20 detects
                                                              beacon 30, passes its information to processor 90, which di-
                                                              rects lifting device 10 so that automated grapple 50 is direct-
                                                              ly over receiver 60. As illustrated in figure 9, when sensor
                                                              20, observing beacon 30, and processor 90 determine that
         Figure 7:  Second schematic diagram illustrating operation of the   grapple 50 is in the right position, processor 90 directs the
         system.                                              lifting device to lower grapple 50 until it engages receiver

         60     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   June 2018
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