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Патент USA US2110172

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March 8, 1938.
E. D. PHINNEY
'
2,110,172
METHOD AND MEANS FOR REPRODUCING OPTICAL IMAGES AT A DISTANCE
Filed Feb. 29, 1923
INVEN TOR.
Patented Mar. 8, 1938
2,110,172
UNITED STATES PATENT. ‘OFFICE
2,110,172
METHOD AND MEANS FOR REPRODUCING.
OPTICAL IMAGES AT A DISTANCE
.
Edward D. Phinney, Mount Vernon, N. Y., as
signor to Radio Corporation of America, a cor
poration of Delaware
Application February 29, 1928, Serial No. 257,891
18 Claims.
This invention relates to communication sys
tems and in particular to those systems wherein
messages are transmitted to a distance by means
of optical images.
Various systems of transmitting optical images
have heretofore been devised, for example, one
type of system employs at the receiving station
an image reproducer comprising a plurality of
luminous points each corresponding to a de?nite
10 area of the image to be transmitted. A system of
this type is disclosed in United States Patent
#1,595,'735.
‘Another type of system employs a single‘ lumi
nous spot of ‘?xed area which is traversed by an
315 analyzing element such as a spirally perforated
disc. In all prior systems these receiving or image
‘integrating devices have been open to the serious
objection that they are necessarily dependent on
the retentivity period of the human eye. That
"20 is to say, the ‘original image was required to be
‘analyzed into a certain minimum of points which
were synchronously reproduced in succession on
the receiving mechanism.
Obviously therefore,
the brilliancy ‘of the image that could be repro
duced was seriously limited by the number of
2
points that could be projected in a unit time.
That is to say, considering that the entire pic
ture must be reproduced within at least one
twelfth of a second and assuming that the image
30 is divided into 2500 luminous points, each lumi
nous point at the receiving end is maintained
brilliant for approximately only one thirty
thousandth of a second. While the overall ‘bril
liancy of ‘the picture mightbe increased by speed
3
ing up the number of total integrations per sec
ond this speeding up is seriously limited by the
practical velocities attainable, and the conse
quent synchronizing problems encountered, with
Itheuse of rotating commutators.
Accordingly it is one of the outstanding objects
of the present invention to enable an image to
be reproduced in discrete points wherein the over
.all brilliancy is greater-than can be attained with
any apparatus according to the prior art. The
45 above noted object‘is attained by storing the suc
40
cessively transmitted impulses corresponding to
each complete image on a suitable storing device
and then using this stored record to reproduce
the image visually as a whole. Consequently the
entire image may be maintained on the visual
reproducing means for a greater length of time
than has heretofore been found possible.
It is a feature of the invention to provide a
(Cl. 178-45)
pulses whereby one completeimage may be visu
ally reproduced simultaneously with the record
ing of another successive image.
Another feature pertains to the means for stor
ing electrical image impulses prior to their visual
reproduction.
,
A still further feature pertains to a novel image
reproducing mechanism comprising a bank of
lamps and improved commutator mechanism for
‘controlling the integration of an entire image on 7
said bank of lamps.
Other features and advantages will be appar
ent after a consideration of the following descrip
tion and the appended claims.
For the purpose of enabling a clear understand
ing to be attained of one manner of practicing the
invention the same will be disclosed in connection
with a television system of the general type shown
in the United States patent to Schmierer
#1,595,735.
.
.
'
and transmitting mechanism.
.
.
.
Fig. 2 shows a receiving and image-integrating
mechanism according to the invention.
Referring particularly to Fig. 1, the numeral
I represents the object whose successive instan
taneous images are to be transmitted, for exam
ple, one of the frames of a motion picture ?lm.
The picture or object is illuminated by any suit 30
able light source represented by the ‘numeral 2.
The light which is re?ected from the object I
is collected by a suitable optical system ‘repre
sented by the numeral 3 and an image ‘thereof is
formed upon the analying disc 4 which may be
of any type well known in the art pertaining to
television.
While it is preferable to employ a
spirally perforated scanning disc for analyzing
the image in a point by point fashion it will be
understood that any other type of scanning 40
mechanism may be employed. The light which
passes from each successively scanned point of
the image is collected by an optical system repre
sented by the numeral 5 and is focused upon a
light sensitive element 6 which is preferably in 45
the form of a photo-electric cell of the potassium
or potassium alloy typev well ,known' to the art.
The cell 6 therefore produces ‘current impulses
whose strengths are proportional to the light in
tensities of the successive image points.
50
Suitable amplifying mechanism represented
schematically by the. numeral 1 ampli?es the
image currentswbef‘ore they are impressed upon
system for transmitting and'reprodu'cing optical
the transmission line 8.
images wherein the image is analyzed at the trans
applying the image currents directly to-the line 8,
mitting station in a point-by-point manner and
is reproduced at the receiving station as a whole
these currents may be caused to produce a
modulated carrier wave as is well known in the
without regard to the point-‘oy-point analyzation.
art of voice transmission. At the receiving sta
tion (Fig. 2) the image currents are preferably
Another/feature of the invention pertains to a
imethodoflreceiving and reproducing image im
20
Accordingly, Fig. l of the drawing shows sche
matically one well known form of image analyzing
If desired, instead of
demodulated and yfurther amplified by suitable 50
2
2,110,172
mechanism represented schematically by the
second. It is obvious therefore that this point
numeral ,9.
by-point method of reproducingqseriously curtails
the degree of brilliancy in the integrated image
I
v
.
“
_‘
In systems according, to the prior art these
ampli?ed image current impulses have been
and in some cases a blurring of the image results.
transmitted directly and in succession to visual This brilliancy, according to the invention, is
reproducing means which, for most practical pur 'materially increased and at the same time the
poses may take the form of ya glow discharge _ image is reproduced as a visual whole by storing
up the image impulses and reproducing the image
lamp. Lamps of this character suitable for re
sponding to image currents are wellknown in
the art and further description thereof is notbe
lieved necessary.
as a unit under control of the said stored im
pulses. For this purpose each‘of the electrodes; 1.0)
However, it is' preferable to' I 3, ‘M, I5, etc. has associated therewith a con-
employ a glow discharge lamp of the general type ‘denser I8, I9, 20, etc. These condensers are
disclosed in the United States Patentito Schmierer
15
#1,595,'735,
As represented
referredschematically
to hereinabove.
in Fig. 2, ' this
‘lamp comprises preferably a single ‘large evacu
ated envelope a portion of which is represented
by the numeral I0. Suitably mounted within the
envelope are a series of strip-like metallic elec
20 trodes 'I I, I2, etc.‘ Mounted within the envelope
and in cooperative relation with each of the strip
like electrodes“ II, I2, etc. are corresponding sets
of separate small electrodes 13,14, I5, etc“ It is
obvious therefore that each strip electrode, for
25 ‘example, the electrode I I, is common to the asso
ciated sets of separate electrodes I3, I4, etc; All
the strip electrodes-may be connected together
by a conductor I6 through one or more sets of
electrical elementsI‘I, to the-terminals ofa band
of condensers C1.
‘In this connection it may be
noted that the capacities of ' the storing con
densers and the elements “are so chosen that for
a given applied voltage the discharge currents
through the’ lamp I0 produce the optimum optical
35 effect as regards apparent brilliancy‘and per
connected by a common conductor 2| with the
interconnected strip electrodes H, I2, etc. The
opposite terminals of the condensers I8, I9, 20 are 153
connected by conductors 22, 23, 24, etc. to' corre
sponding ?xed contacts 25, 26, 21, etc. in a rotat
ing commutatoror distributor R. These latter
terminals of the condensers C1 are also connected
by conductors 28, 29,30, etc. to corresponding 20
upper contacts in a multi-co-ntact switch SW1,
and thence through cooperating transfer contacts
3I, 32, 33, etc. to the corresponding electrodes I3,
I4, I5 of the lamp I0. The above traced circuits
between the condensers C1 and the electrodes I3, 22.5
I4, I5, etc. are closed under control of the cam 34
which is adapted to be rotated from the same
shaft‘ 35 which carries the brush 36 of the com
mutator R. For this purpose the switch actuat
ing lever'31 is provided with a cam follower 38
which cooperates with the raised and lowered
portions of the cam 34. When follower 38 is on
the raised face of the cam the above traced cir
cuits are closed, and conversely when the follower
38 is on the lower face of the cam, the transfer 5.35
manency of vimpression. While. only two strip
electrodes and cooperatingspaced-sets .of elec
contacts 3|, 32, 33, etc. are moved downwardly
into engagement with the cooperating Sets of
trodes are shown in the -drawing,~it will .be under
stood that a 'mu'ch'greater number will‘ be em-‘
lower contacts. It is obvious therefore that when
the contacts SI, 32, 33, etc. are closed on their
ployed. It will be obvious to those familiar with . upper contacts that discharge circuits are pro
the art that the number of electrodes required vided between each of the condensers in the“
will be determined by the degree of detail required bank 01 and the associated electrodes in the lamp
I0 and a discharge is produced between each
in the reproduced image; For example, assum
45
ing that the original image produced by lens 3 is
oneinch square, in-order that pleasing results
spaced electrode and the associated strip-elec
trode which discharge is proportional in intensity A5
.may be obtained- in the reproduction, it may be
necessary to analyze this image‘ into a plurality
of successive points of the order of 2,000 and up
to the charge on the associated condenser.
ward. Assuming that a 2,500 point analysis will
50 give the requisite detail, the lamp ID will there
fore be provided Witha set of '50 strip-like elec
trodes II,v l2, etc. eachgstrip electrode having
associated therewith ?ftyseparate electrodes I3,
I4, I5, etc. This arrangement therefore provides
55 a structure in which the. glow discharge elements
are arranged in a coordinate relation so that any
For the purpose of short-circuiting the con
densers C1 at the proper instant, the terminals
thereof are connected to the contacts of a short
circuiting switch SC1 which is operated by a cam 50
39 attached to the shaft 35. For the purpose of
.storing the next complete image while the con
densers C1 are simultaneously discharging and
producing the preceding image, there is provided
a duplicate bank of condensers C2 which have
their left-hand terminals connected to corre
point in the lamp may be‘ illuminated simply by sponding contacts in the right-hand portion of
energizing the proper strip electrode and the de
the commutator R and have their right-hand ter
sired one of the cooperating spaced electrodes. minals connected in common to the strip elec
.60 In Patent #l,595,'735 referred to hereinabove,
trodes II, I2. The left-hand terminals of the
there is disclosed mechanism-for producing a condensers C2 are also connected by conductors
selective discharge between the desired sets of >40, 4!, 42, etc. to corresponding contacts in the
‘electrodes within the lamp, employing sets of switch SW1, which contacts are closed through
cominutators which are rotated in synchronism
with the analyzing mechanism at the sending end. the transfer contacts 3|, 32, 33, etc. thence to the
By this arrangement the successive point-by ‘ corresponding electrodes I3, I4, I5, etc. when the
cam follower 38 is on the lower ,face of the cam
point analysis at the transmitting end is trans.
34. A short-circuiting switch SCz similar to
lated into a corresponding ivoint-by-point illu
60
switch SC1 is provided for the purpose of short
circuiting the condensers C2 atv the proper instant, 70
2,500 point picture is to be reproduced in at least switch SCz being operated by a similar cam 43.
one-twelfth ‘of asiecond; (corresponding to the Due to the duplicate arrangement of the con
minimum retentivitiy period of the human eye) denser banks C1 and C2, each bank acts valter‘
mination of the receiving lamp. ' 'With systems of
this character it is obvious therefore that if a
each point of the r eceivinglamp is illuminated nately as a storing means for a complete set of
.75 for substantially only 7 one tinny-inwards Of 3' ‘successive instantaneous image impulses and as 175
2,110,172
a discharge means for simultaneously energizing
the proper sets of electrodes in the lamp H].
A general description of the apparatus having
been given, the method of operation thereof is as
follows:
The points-of the image at the transmitting sta
tion having been translated into corresponding
modulated current impulses inthe well known
manner, are received over the line 8 and ampli?ed
10 by the mechanism‘ 9. It will be assumed for the
present that the brush 3B is in the full line posi
tion shown in the drawing, it being understood
that said brush is rotated at half the speed of the
analyzing disc 4 under control of synchronizing
means.
As soon as brush 3.5 advances to the
dotted line position the cam A3 momentarily oper
ates switch SC2 and short-circuits all the con
densers in the bank C2. After a fraction of an
instant the switch 302 is released and the charg
20 ing circuits for condensers C2 are closed. , Im
mediately thereafter brush 36 engages contact M
which contact it will be understood closes syn
chronously with the scanning of a corresponding
25
point of the image. Accordingly, the incoming
image modulated impulse flows over conductor
46 to the right-hand terminal of condenser 47,
the left-hand terminal of said condenser being
connected through contact 44, brush 36, ring 50
3
while the ‘other condenser bank is simultaneously
discharging an entire 'imagezthrough the lamp l0.
While in the foregoingdescription it has been
chosen to embody the ‘invention in’ speci?c ap
paratus, it will be understood that the invention
is not con?ned thereto since its essence consists
of the recording in a non-pictorial fashion of a
complete record of an image at the same time that
a preceding recorded image is being reproduced
visually. While condensers have been shown for
e?ecting this storing it will be understood that
equivalent mechanical devices might be employed
with the same effect.‘ Similarly, instead of using
a single large reproducing lamp the same may be
replaced by a plurality of individual lamps with
out departing from the spirit of the invention. It
is also within the compass of the invention to
employ other Well known visual reproducing
means in place of glow discharge elements.
While it has been chosen to short-circuit the 20
storing condensersby multi~contact switches it
will be understood that in certain cases these
switches may be optional, reliance being placed
upon the condensers themselves to completely dis
charge‘ through the lamp. Likewise, while ele
25
ments 1'! havebeen shown for sustaining dis
charge by controlling the time constant ‘of the
discharge circuit these elements are optional. I In
tothe conductor 5! andthence to the other side
30 of the transmission line, thus charging the con
denser to a certain value. The succeeding image
impulses are similarlyreceived and successively
stored on the remaining condensers of the bank
C2 until the entire image has been thus recorded
other words, the internal resistance of the lamp
itself may be sui?cient to sustain the discharge 30
for the desired length .of time. In any event, the
capacities of‘ the storing condensers is so chosen
with respect to the remaining‘constants of the
discharge circuit that for 'a given applied voltage
. in the form of charges on the individual con
the discharge currents through the lamp produce 35
parent brilliancy and permanency of impression.
densers. After the last condenser has been
charged corresponding to contact v52' the cam
39 operates switch SC1 and removes anyj-r‘esidual
charge on the condensers C1, which have, during
the preceding interval, been discharging through
the lamp I0. At this instant also the follower. 38
rides on the lower face of cam 34 and closes dis
charge circuits between the condensers in bank
C2 and the corresponding electrodes in the lamp
I0. Thus the non-pictorial record of the image
which was stored in the condensers C2 is simul
taneously transferred through ‘the contacts of
switch SW1 to cause the selective illumination of
the corresponding electrodes in the lamp l0 and
with brilliances corresponding to the extent of
charge 'on the respective condensers.
For the
the optimum optical force both as regards ap
Other modi?cations will be apparent to those
familiar with ,the'art of. television and it is con
templated that these modi?cations are within th 40
scope of the invention.
'
“What I claim is:
.
1. In a televisionsystem, meansfor translating
picture points into corresponding electricalim
pulses, means for receiving and non-visually stor
ing said impulses in sequence to a plurality of
luminous sources, and means for simultaneously
releasing the stored impulses and thereby render
ing all said sources effective in the reproduction
of the image under control of said stored im 50
pulses.
'
purpose of maintaining this discharge image any
_ 2. In a television system, the method of in
suitable means such as the inductance or re
creasing the brilliancy .of a reproduced image
comprising non-visually storing in a sequential
manner a complete image prior to its visual re
55
sistance elements ll may be connected in series
with the discharge circuit. to increase the time
constant of the discharge.
.
-
Accordingly, the entire image, due to the simul
taneous discharge of the condensers C2 will re
main on the lamp 13, while the brush 36 is con
tacting with the left-hand set of contacts of the
switch R. During this latter half of the revolu
tion of brush 36 the incoming image impulses are
transmitted successively‘to the condensers C1 in a
manner similar to that described in connection
with condensers C2, this charging of condensers
C1 being unaffected bythe discharge. of con
densers C2 since the circuits for conductors 28,
29, 30, etc. are open at this time at the contacts
of switch SW1, thus the next ' image is being
stored on the condenser bank G1 at the same time
that the bank C2 is discharging through the lamp
H3. The foregoing sequence of operations is re
peated for each revolution of brush 36, that is
to say, one entire'image is being stored in a
point-by-point fashion upon one condenser bank,
production, and simultaneously releasing the
stored energy for translating all elemental por
tions of said non-visual record simultaneously ‘
into a corresponding visual record.
3. The method of electrically transmitting
images which comprises analyzing the image into
a plurality of image. points, transmitting current
impulses corresponding to the image point char
acteristics, and non-visuallystoring said impulses
in sequence prior to visual reproduction and then
subsequently releasing the complete series of
stored impulses simultaneously to produce an
electro-optical representation of a complete sub
ject.
.
.
4. The method of transmitting and reproducing
images electrically which comprises analyzing the
image into corresponding vimage points, translat
ing said points into,corresponding electric cur.
rent impulses, storing said impulses in sequence
to produce a non-visual record of the image. and
60
65
2,1 10,172
‘then-translating said series of non-visual storage
vconnecting .said storing devices to said reproduc
records simultaneously into a complete visual ree
ing device, and means-for causing an image tobe
production of the image.
stored on one of said ‘sets of devices while the
'
’
‘
'
5. ‘Ina television system;,the combination of
means for translating an image into correspond
ing electric impulses, means for transmitting said
impulses successively, means for non-visually
storing in a sequential manner said successively
transmitted impulses, and means effective upon
the complete storing of said impulses for simul
taneously releasing the stored impulses for re
producing ‘the entireseries of image points there
from so as to produce simultaneously a complete
electro-optical image representation.
'
6. The method of} electrically reproducing
images which comprises producing sets of elec
trical impulses corresponding to the successive
images, sequentially storing one'set of impulses
and discharging all of ‘the impulses of another
20 set simultaneously and during the period when
the ?rst set of impulses is stored whereby each
15
image is reproduced as a unit.
I
-
_‘7. In a television system means for producing
sets of electrical impulses corresponding to suc
25 cessive images, means for non-visually storing one
set of impulses and means for releasing as a unit
during the time period of storage of one set'of
impulses a previously stored set of impulses to
reproduce the corresponding image as a unit.
8. In a television system means for translating
30
the elements of an image into corresponding elec
tric impulses and means for receiving and trans
lating said impulses into an "electrostatic repro
duction of the image produced sequentially for
each point thereof, said last mentioned means
comprising a plurality of banks of impulse stor
ing devices, a variable light source and means
for connecting each of the storage devices in said
bank to said light source and ‘simultaneously re
40 leasing all of the stored charges to energize the
light
sources.
.
'
.
,9. In a television system means for producing
current impulses corresponding to the elements
of an image to be transmitted, a plurality of de
45 vices for storing said impulses, commutator means
other of said‘sets is connected to said reproducing
device.
'
13. ‘Means for reproducing an image under con
trol of electric-image impulses comprising a set
of impulse storing devices, a commutator for con
trolling the selective energization of said storing
devices, a switch actuated in response to the
selective energization of said devices correspond
ing to a complete image, an image reproducing
device adapted tov be selectively energized in ac
cordance with the energization of said storing
devices when said switch is actuated and another 15
switch for returning said storing devices to their
normally deenergized condition in readiness for
the reception of a set of impulses corresponding
to a succeeding image.
'
14. The method of signalling, which comprises ~
producing by scansion- a series of electrical im
pulses representative of a subject, producing from
the impulses a series of time displaced electro
static charges, and releasing the stored charges
simultaneously at a time period subsequent to
the time when charges representingva complete
subject are produced.
15. In a signalling system, means for producing
a series of time displaced impulses corresponding
to the message to be transmitted, means for stor
ing said impulses in sequence, means for retrans
mitting the said impulses simultaneously at a
time period subsequent to the ‘sequential storage
of a series of impulses corresponding to the mes
sage, and means’for receiving the simultaneously
retransmitted impulses to reproduce as a unit the
original message from which the charges were
initiated.
‘
16.» In receiving apparatus employed in the art
herein described, the combination of a picture
plane, means embodying a gaseous lamp for tran
siently exciting illumination of said picture
plane in elementary areas, means for sequentially
storing a series of electro-static charges repre
senting each elemental area of ‘the picture to be
electro-optically reproduced, means for simulta
neously releasing all of said stored charges sub
under control of said impulses, an image repro
sequent to said storage, and means including a
ducing device and commutator means for simul
taneously connecting all of said storage devices , condenser and a resistance in circuit with the
gaseous lampv for securing persistence of illumi
,.
50 to said image reproducing device.
nation of said elementary areas subsequent to
10. In a television system means for receiving
the release of said charges for a time approxi
and reproducing an image at a distance com
for successively energizing said storing‘ devices
prising a plurality of sets of image impulse stor
ing devices, an ‘image reproducing device and
mately equal‘ to persistence of vision of the
55 means comprising a commutator and a plurality
17. In a television system, means for increasing
of switches for causing one of said sets of storing
devices to store one image while another of said
sets of storing devices is energizing said image
reproducing means.
60
.
11. In a television system means for producing
current impulses corresponding to image ele
ments, a plurality of storing devices for storing
said impulses, a commutator for selectively ener
gizing said storing devices, an image reproducing
65 device, a switch for connecting ‘said selectively
energized storing devices simultaneously to said
reproducing device.
12. In a television system means for producing
current impulses corresponding to image ele
70 ments, a‘ plurality of sets of devices for storing
said impulses, an image reproducing device adapt
ed to be energized under control of said storing
devices, a multi-contact switch for alternately
human eye.
,
the brilliancy of a reproduced image comprising
means for electrically storing in a sequential
manner a complete image prior to its visual re
production, subsequent to the period of storage
releasing the complete series of stored charges
simultaneously, and producing light values over
each elemental area of a viewing plane in accord
ance with the simultaneously released charges.
I 18. In an electroeoptical image producing sys
tem, means for scanning the elemental areas of
a?eld of view cyclically in succession to produce
an image current, an' image producing device
comprising a plurality of groups of elements, and
means for actuating the elements of one group
only during one scanning period and another
group in the same general order during a suc
ceeding scanning period.
EDWARD D. PHINNEY.
30
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