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Патент USA US2120971

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June 21,, 1938.
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A_ B_ BAlLEY
‘
2,120,971
SYSTEM AND METHOD OF DETERMINING DiSTANCE
Filed Dec. "21, 1935
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SYSTEM AND METHOD OF DETERMINING DISTANCE
Filed Dec. 21, 1935
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INVENTOR
A .8. BAILEY
ATTORNEY
,
June 21, 1938.
A. B. BAILEY
2,120,971
SYSTEM AND METHOD OF DETERMINING DISTANCE
Filed Dec. 21, 1935
I
3 sheetsesheet 3
A
-A.8. BAILEY‘
BY
‘
A TTOBNE v
Patented June 21, 138
'
2,120,971
SYSTEM AND METHOD OF DETERIVIINING
DISTANCE
‘
'
Arnold B. Bailey, New York, N. Y., assignor to
Bell Telephone Laboratories, Incorporated, New
York, N. Y., a corporation of New York
Application December 21, 1935, Serial No. 55,569
15 Claims.
This invention relates to the determination of
distance by means of longitudinal waves and more
particularly to a. means and method of establish
ing the altitude of an airplane in ?ight.
' An object of this invention is to ascertain dis
tance.
'
.
A more particular object of this invention is to
obtain an indication in an airplane of the dis
tance of the airplane above ground.
In thelast decade and a half, air transporta
(c1. 117-352) >
the particular height of the airplane or other
mobile object above the reflecting surface. Alter
nately, the pulse employed to transmit the wave
causes a condenser to commence to charge so
that the potential built up across the condenser
increases with time. ,The wave after re?ection
actuates the discharge of the condenser through
a plurality of gaseous space discharge devices.
The gaseous space dischargerdevices are biased so
that they ?ash at varying magnitudes of the elec
tion has made remarkable strides. From a few tromotive force resulting from the discharge of
lines covering short distances in the United States . the condenser. Since the magnitude varies with
a- relatively few years ago, commercial transcon
the charging time or the interval required for
tinental air routes now span the country from - the wave to travel to ground and ‘return, the num
15 New York to Los Angeles and from New Orleans
to Chicago.
Remarkable as this progress has
been, the potentiality and future utilization of
the airplane in transportation is stupendous. one
most important factor responsible for the advance
20 in air transportation in recent years is the de
velopment of sundry means for rendering air
transportation less hazardous. While at present
vthe'hazard of transportation by air is consider
ably less than that of a few years ago, airplane
25 disasters occur far too frequently. The landing
of an airplane in foggy weather or when visibility
15
ber of devices ignited indicates the distance.
A more comprehensive understanding of this
invention is obtained by reference to the accom
panying drawings in which:
' ‘
Fig. 1 is a schematic diagram of this invention
in which distance is indicated by the illumination 20
of onset a plurality of discharge devices;
.
Fig. 2 shows an embodiment of this invention
in which altitude is ascertained by the illumina~
tion of ‘one or more of a plurality of discharge
devices;
_
25
Fig. 8 is a schematic diagram in which the dis
is poor is perhaps one of the greatest contributory . tance is indicated in digits of a particular unit of
causes of airplane disasters. For safe landing .measurement; and
when blind ?ying, a quick, accurate indication
30 of the height of an airplane above ground, par
ticularly at .low altitudes, is highly essential.
In accordance with this invention,- an indica
tion of the height of an airplane above ground is
obtained by means. of transmission and reception
35 after re?ection of a sonic or supersonic wave. A
supersonic or'sonic wave vis transmitted at pre
determined intervals. The wave, after re?ection
from the ground, indicates by means of one or
several of a plurality of gaseous discharge device
40 the height of the airplane above ground.
Figs. 1A and 2A showthe indicating devices
employed in the system shown in Figs. 1 and 2, 30'
respectively, while Figs. 3A‘and 3B illustrate the
indicating device used on the system shown in
Fig. 3.
'
-
,
I
In the system shown in Fig. 1, a particular alti
tude or distance is indicated by the illumination 35
of one of a plurality of discharge devices. The
system‘ is capable of indicatinga particular dis
tance within two ranges of distances. A motor I
rotates a shaft 4 at a uniform speed by means of
sets of gears 2 and}. Fixedly attached to the
Ina speci?c embodiment, a pulse of current - shaft 4 is a cam 5 with an elevation on the pe
- employedto emit the wave-also charges a con
riphery thereof. The elevation on the periphery
denser. The wave after re?ection from the of the wheel 5. controls a pair of contacts 6 to en
ground and reception at the source, discharges ergize a. relay l0 through a contact 1 and an
45 the condenser. The electromotive force resulting armature v8 of 'a relay 9 from a source of current
from the discharge of the condenser is impressed a II. The engagement of a contact and armature
and thereby ignites one of a plurality of gaseous l2 of the relay l? results in the keying of the out
space discharge devices. The particular device put of an inductor-alternator l3 to. transmit a
ignited is dependent upon the period of time be
sonic or supersonic wave or‘train of waves from
tween the charging and dischargingof the con
a transmitter Id. The inductor~alternator I3 is
denser.‘ Since this time is directly correlated of the type described inan article entitled, “In
with the distance over which the wave travels ductor-alternators for Signaling Purposes” by F.
' from the source to the ground or other re?ecting
Merrill in Electrical Engineering, January
surface and returns to the source, the illuminaf 1934, Vol. 53, No. 1, pages 78 to 86 and is prefer
55 tion of one of the plurality of devices ‘indicates ~ably capable of producing oscillations of 1000
45
-
50
55
I
2,180,971
_
cycles. .Any other type of oscillator. however, -.discharge. I When the surge resulting from the
- may be employed instead of the inductor-alter
- nator l3. The transmitter I4 is preferably of the.
directional type and is located for the determina
tion of altitude on the underside of an airplane.
discharge of the condenser I1 is impressed upon
a particular device 23, however, the potential
across the device increases above its critical dis
charge value and the device becomes illuminated.
The elevation on the periphery ‘of the wheel 5 is _ Whenthe surge ceases, the device 23 continues .to 5
constructed so that for a brief interval once-dur
be illuminated since the circuit values are selected
‘ing each revolution of the“ shaft 4, the contact 6
so,.that it maintains the discharge with a lower
potential than that which is, necessary for initial
discharge. The circuit for maintaining the dis
relay III also results in the momentary charging charge ‘after the initial ignition of the device 23
of a condenser i'i from‘the source of current II '
is from ground, resistance 28, device 23, resistance
engages to transmit a wave‘or train of waves
10 from the transmitter l4. The energization of
v
'
1P
through a resistance l6 and an armature and
26, source '21 to ground.
Q
_
make .contact id of relay l0. After thewave or
.A'scavenger brush 32 ?xedly attached to the
15
train of waves is transmitted from the trans~ shaft'l is inrengageable' relation with'the plu
" mitter' I 4 it is re?ected upon the terrain or sea‘ rality of commutator segments 22 and is sepa
bottom and is impressed upon a microphone l8 rated from the brush 2| the arcuate length of one
located in close proximity to the transmitter l4. ' segment 22. The brush 32 is also in contact with a slip ring 33 connected to one electrode of each
microphone is located on the underside of the of theplurality of illuminating ‘devices 23 through.
If the system is employed on an airplane, the
airplane in closeproxim'ity of the transmitter l4.
; The impressed waves are ampli?ed by an ampli
?er to energize a relay I9. The ampli?er is indi
, cated by a labeled block diagram in the drawings.
Fixedly attached to the shaft 4 is a brush 2|..
, The brush is in enga'geable relation with a slip
'30 segments "22, numbered consecutivelyiA to IDA,‘
' is of'equal arcuate length. The brush 2| always
engages one of the commutator segments 22 ex
cept when in contactv with ‘a dead segment 25.
The brush 2| is iii-contact with the dead. segment
35 25 when the elevation on‘ the periphery of the cam
5 causes the engagement of the contacts 6.j' Ac
cordingly, the vcondenser II which is charged
40
' simultaneously with the engagement of the con
tacts 6 is not discharged.
.
Each of the, plurality of commutator-segments‘
is connected to one electrode of a separate
dielectrode luminous discharge device filled with
neon gas. The other electrode of each device 23'
is connected through a protective resistance 26
2'0
brush 32 is ?xedly attached to the shaft 4 so
that it precedes the brush2| in the rotation 01'
the shaft 4 by the arcuate length of one commu
tator segment. Accordingly, ‘when the scavenger 25
brush 32 is in contact with one segment 22, brush
2| is in contact with the segment which the brush
ring 20 and a, plurality of commutator segments
22 to connect the slip ring with one. of the plu
rality of segments 22. . Each of' the commutator
their respectively ‘associated resistance 26. The
32 had just previously’ engaged. When the brush
32 makes contact with a' commutator segment 22
the electrodes'of-the illuminating device 23 with 30
which the segment is associated, are connected
to each other through resistance 26 to shunt the '
source 21. The shunting of the source 2'!‘ results
in the de~ignition of the device 23. .
The above-described system indicates a. par
ticular distance within a‘ predetermined range. as,
A longitudinal wave or train of waves is trans
mitted by the transmitter M as a result of the
engagement of contacts 6 once during each rev
olution of the shaft 4. Simultaneously with the 40
transmission of the train of, waves, the condenser
I1 is charged from the source ||. The condenser
is discharged through the particular segment 22
45 to one terminal of a source. of current‘ 21. The ' with which the brush 2| is in contact when the
. re?ected wave or train of waves is impressed upon
45
other terminal of the source 21 is at ground po
the microphone l8. ' The device 23 corresponding
'tential. The electrode of each device 23 con
to the particular segment is illuminated. Since
nected to its respectively associated segment is the brush-2| is rotated at a constant speedand all
connected-through a resistance 28 to ground. ‘
of the segments 22 are 'of equal arcuate length,
50 The slip ring ‘Mi is connected to the make contact
the particular device illuminated indicates the
'of relay l9 through_ a copper oxide recti?er 29
and a break contact 30 and armature 3| of re
lay 9. The armature of relay i9 is connected to
'one‘ plate of the condenser |'|, the other plate
55 of condenser | ‘I being connected to ground.
When a wave. or train of waves after re?ection on
the terrain is impressed upon the microphone l8
. the ‘recti?ed current in the output of the ampli?er
‘ energizes relay l9 to complete a circuit by the
engagement of its armature and make contact
from ground through condenser H, the armature
and make contact of relay l9, armature 3|, con
> tact 30, copper oxide recti?er 29, slip ring 20,
brush 2|, one of the plurality of segments ,22.
85 the respectively associated illuminating device 23
of the segment 22 with which the brush is in con
tact, resistance 26, source‘ 21 to ground. The
time elapsing’hetween transmission of the wave
gistance
between the system and re?ecting sur
ace.
In‘ this manner the altitude or depth is in-'
dicatedby the illumination of a particular device. 55
The limit of distance which may be ascertained.
however, cannot of necessity exceed the distance
traversed by-the, train of waves in the molecular
medium through which the waves pass to a re
?ecting surface and return to the transmitter in
‘the time required for the shaft 4 to revolve one
complete revolution. Frequently, as in an air
plane, the pilot requires knowledge of the exact‘
number of feet when the plane is less than ten
feet above the terrain, while for distances from
10 to 100 feet the’ approximate altitude is all '
that ' is desired. For determining the altitude
condenser I1 is accordingly discharged-and its," from
one to'tenfeet the shaft 4 is rotated by gear
potential applied to the. particular illuminating
70 device associated with the segment 22 upon which
the brush 2| is at‘that time engaged. The char
acteristic of illuminating devices 23 ‘is such and
the value of the source 21» is selected so? that
under static conditions with no transient voltage
across the resistance 28 the device 23 does not '
50
and the reception of the re?ected wave or'the
3 so that each of the illuminating devices 23 in
dicates the altitude in units of one'foot for an 70
altitude of'from one to ten feet. - The segments
. 22 are numbered
IA to IOA to indicate the num- '
ber of ‘feet indicated‘ by the devices .23 associated
with these segments when in contact with the
brush 2| upon discharge of the condenser I‘I.
2,120,971
3
corresponds to an altitude of onefoot, 2A to two
cam member 34. The momentary operation of
the relay 38 completes a circuit from the battery
feet and. WA to ten feet. For indicating the num
45 for operating the relay 9. After release of the '
ber of feet altitude from ten to one hundred feet
in ten feet units-apparatus identical to that here
relay 38 and before release of the relay 8 the
coil 48 is energized for operating the relay 4|.
The releasing of the relay 9 by opening the ener
gizing circuit thereof insures'a delay in the re
lease of the relay. This delay in the release of
the relay 9 is su?icient to insure the operation
The number IA in the center of the segment 22
tofore described is employed.
-
When the altitude or depth exceeds ten feet
the transmitter I4 and microphone I8 shift from
the system for- indicating from one to ten feet
10 heretofore described to that for measuring ten
to one hundred feet. The shifting from the low
range indicator to the high range indicator is
of the relay 4| . Furthermore, the armature of 10
any relay never opens the contacts controlled
thereby until a small interval has elapsed after
accomplished by the discharge of the condenser ' the energizing circuit has been opened. This
I'I through a relay 38. The condenser I1 is dis
' applies to the relay 9 in providing delay in the
15 charged through the relay 38 by the engagement
of a pair of contacts 35. A cam 34 having an
15
opening of the relay contacts.
The circuit including relays 9, 38 and 4| is such
elevation on the periphery thereof and ?xedly
attached to the shaft‘ 4 controls the pair of con
tacts 35 so that. once during each revolution of
20 the shaft 4 the contacts 35 momentarily are
closed. The cam 34 is arranged on the shaft 4 to
control the contacts 35 so that these contacts en
gage -just prior to the transmission of waves by
the transmitter I4 and‘ after the brush 2| has
that the ?rst actuation of relay 38 causes relay -
completely swept all of the commutator segments
22 numbered IA to I8A. Accordingly, if the dis-_
charge of the condenser I1 is not impressed across
one of the devices '23 through the segments 22
in one complete revolution of the shaft 4, it is
discharged through an armature 31 and a break
contact 38 of relay 9 and contacts 35 to energize
relay 38.
.
The armature of relay 38 is connected to
,ground, while the make contact is connected to
the armature of a relay 4|. The relay 4| has two
windings, a small winding 39 and a- large winding
48. The passage of current through the small
winding 39 is insu?icient to actuate the armature
‘ of relay 4|, but when that armature engages its
9 to be energized and remain energized until an
other impulse of current passes through relay 38.
A second impulse for operating the relay 38 may 20
come from the condenser I ‘I through the ring I28,
brush I2| and segment I24 when the depth is
less than 10 feet. Upon passage of the second im
pulse through relay 38, the relays 9 and 4| are
deenergized. Upon passage of the second im-, 26
pulse through the relay 38 a ground is mo
mentarily placed on its contact. This condi
tion causes‘a short circuit of the winding of re
lay 9 in serieslwith the winding 48 of relay 4|
which causes relay 9 to quickly release. This 30.
operation also causes relay 4| to release since
its winding 48 is shorted in series with the wind
ing of relay 9. After the second impulse is re
ceived the relay 9 remains deenergized until an
other impulse passes through relay 38 when relay 35
9 is again actuated and locked. This cycle of
operation continues to shift alternately, in re
sponse to an impulse through the relay 38, the
transmitter, condenser I1 and microphone from
make contact the energization of winding 39' is
su?icient to maintain the engagement of the
one range of distances to that of another.
40
I The engagement of armatures 8 and 3| of relay
make contact and armature of relay 4|. The
break contact of relay 4| is connected to one lead
of the winding 48 and one lead of the relay ‘9.
The other lead of the relay 9 is connected to the
winding 39 and the make contact of relay 4|,
while the other lead of the winding 48 is con
9 to their respectively associated make contacts
43, and 44 results in the shifting from one set of
illuminating devices 23 with their associated seg
ments, slip rings and brushes to an identical set 45
of illuminating devices |23 with their associated
nected to the make contact of a grounded arma
capable of indicating the particular distance
ture 42 associated with the relay 9. Current is
within another range of distances. A shaft I 84
of the apparatus for indicating a second range of 50
50 supplied to relays 9 and 4| by a source of cur
rent 45 grounded at one terminal and connected
at the other terminal to the winding, 39. The
momentary engagement of the armature and
make contact of relay 38 causes current to ?ow
ground, the source 45, the small winding 39,
55 from
relay 9, the armature’ and break contact of relay
4|, armature and make contact of relay 38 to
ground. The momentary operation of relay 38
insures against a short circuit around the wind-_
60 ing 48 when the relay 9 operates. The passage of
current through the small winding 39 is insuf
?cient to actuate the armature of relay 4|. The
passage of current through relay 9 causes the en
gagement of all the armatures and make contacts
65 of that relay including the grounded armature .42
with its make contact. As a result of the en
gagement of the armature 42 with its make con
tact, current is supplied from the source 45
through'the small winding 39, relay 9 and large
70 winding 48. The energizationof large winding
segments, slip rings. brushes and other apparatus
distances, is driven by the motor I through the
set of gears 2 and a set of gears I83.
The set
of gears I83 is such that the shaft I84 revolves at
a speed in a-manner similar to that of shaft
4 to indicate a particular distance within the 55
second range. For example, the second appara
tus may indicate distances from ten to one
hundred feet. If the ?rst range indicates from
one to ten feet, shaft 4 revolves at ten times the
speed of the shaft I84. The make contact 43 is 60
connected to a pair of contacts I86 similar to the
contacts 6 to transmit waves once during each
revolution of the shaft I84. Contact 44 is con
nected to slip ring I28 to impress the surge re
sulting from the discharge of condenser I ‘I on 65
one of a plurality of segments I22. The plu
rality of segments I22, a plurality of illuminating
devices I23, a slip ring I28,-and a brush I32 are
identical and perform the same functions re
spectively as segments 22, illuminating devices 23, 70
48 causes the locking of the-make contact and
armature 42- of relay 9 and the actuation and
slip ring 28 and brush 32. A slip ring I33 is em
lockingcf the armature and make contact of
ring '33. A segment I24 is located in the sweep
of the brush |2| so that brush I2I makes contact
relay 4| .
In operating the relay' 4| as above set
75 forth, the relay 38 is momentarily operated by the
ployed which serves the same function as the slip‘
with the segment I24 if the distance is less than 75
4.
2,120,971
'
_
the minimum indicated by the devices, I23. Seg I ~the brush 2| is rotated'at a constant speed the
ment I23 is'connected to relay 33 and when a. particular device illuminated indicates the time
surge from condenser I1 is impressed on that
between the transmission and reception
segment, relay. "33 ‘is energized. Accordingly, elapsing
of the re?ected wave, or they distance between
when the altitude or‘depth from the system is less the~transmitter and the re?ecting surface. If.
than the
indicated by the devices I23,v for example, the brush 2i is in contact with the
relay 33 is actuated. A ‘portion of the slip ring segment 22 marked 5A, the device 23 adjacent
I33 is broken or insulates so that a circuit for the to the numeral 5 in ‘Fig. 1A is illuminated. If
energization of relay 33 is not completed ‘when the
distance between the transmitter I3 and re
the brush' I132 engages the segment I23_.,
?ecting
surface is greater than ten feet. the con
The energization of relay 33 causes the en- _ denser " is discharged by the engagement of the
gagement of its armature and make contact. contacts 35 to energize why”. The energiza
Since the armature and’make ‘contact of relay
3I has been locked with its make contact during
the previous energization of relay 33» resulting
from the engagement of contacts 35 of the ?rst
indicating apparatus, the momentary engage
ment of the armature and make contact of relay
33 causes the source of current 35 to be eifectively
gtion \of- relay 33 causes the energization of relay
"3 to“'shift the indication from devices 23 to de- '
vices I23\and to transmit a’ wave or train of waves 16
once during each ‘revolution of the shaft I 33.
A sonic or supersonic wave is then transmitted .
by the tran‘sihitter I3. 3 After- re?ection ‘ on the
terrain the wa‘ve‘or train of waves is impressed
upon the microphone I3. The discharge of the
armature 32 and make contact. ’ As a result the
condenser I‘! in response to the re?ected waves
two windings 33 and 33 of relay 3| are deener
is impressed upon one of the segments I22. If,
gized to disengage ‘the armature and make con- ' for example, the ‘distance of the plane be twenty
tact of that relay with its make contact. The
‘above theterraim'the segment "2 marked
deenergization of relay 3 causes 'armatures'3, 31 feet
23B is in contact with the brush I 2I at the time '
and 3| to engage with their respectively asso
of discharge of the condenser I'I. When the re
ciated break contacts ‘I, 35 and _33 to shift the ?ected waves are impressed upon the microphone
system to indicate the low range of altitude’ or I3, vthe surge from the condenser I'I illuminates
depth by the devices 23. when ‘the depth or device I23 adjacent to the numeral 23 in Fig. 1A.
altitude exceeds the maximum indicated byvthe Device I23 adjacent to the numeral 23 remains
devicesg23, the relay 3 is energized to shift the illuminated until it is de-ignited by the rotation
indication’ to devices I23 in the manner hereto
of the scavenger brush I32. If the plane drops
fore described.
‘
.
to less than ten feet, for example, eight, feet,
, Fig.-1A shows an indicating board 31 upon - the condenser I1 is discharged through the scg- ‘
35 which the devices 23 and‘ I234are mounted.‘ The
ment I23 to energize relay 33. The energization
devices 23 may be arranged in a circular pattern, of relay 33 shifts the‘indication to devices 23.
with a number corresponding to the number of
A wave or train of waves is then transmitted
feet indicated'by each device immediately adja
once during each revolution of the shaft 3. Upon cent to that device. The devices I23 are ar
reception of the re?ected wave the condenser II
ranged in a similar manner with a number cor
is'discharged. through the device 23-adjacent to
responding to the altitude or depth in feet in-v the number 3 shown in Figf 1A. This cycle of
dicated by each device. In the embodiment illus -. operation continues to indicate constantly the
trated the devices 23 indicate the‘range from one - altitude of the airplane.
to ten feet, while devices I23'indicate a range
45 from ten to one hundred feet. Device 23 im Vin Fig. 2 is a schematic diagram of an altimeter‘
accordance with thisinvention in which the
mediately adjacent to No. 1, Fig. 1A, is illuminated altitude
above the terrain is ascertained by the
when the surge from condenser I1 is impressed ‘illumination
of one or more of a plurality of
upon segment 22 labeled IA. In like manner discharge devices. _A low! frequency oscillator
‘the devices 23 adjacent the numbers 2 to I3 are comprising a gaseous space discharge device 53
50 illuminated when the condenser I1 is discharged having a self-biasing resistance to ailford suffi
50
through segments 22 marked 2A to I 3A, respec
cient bias to sustain oscillations and a relay 5|
tively. Devices I23 adjacent to the numerals iii in
the output energizes the relay 5i at predeter-i
removed from relay 3 to disengage its grounded
is
to I33 are illuminated when the brush I2I is in
contact with the segments I22 marked _I3B to
I333, respectively, at the moment of the dis
charge 'of the condenser H.
Y
_
'
mined intervals. In the operation of the oscil
lator by the gas-?lled tube 53 assume that the
condenser is discharged and that the tube 53
is not ignited. The condenser being uncharged
The transmitter I3 and microphone I3 are o?'ers little opposition‘ to the battery potential so
located at a point the distance from a re?ecting that the tube 53 is quickly broken down. - Upon
surface to which it is desired to be estimated. . breakdown of the tube
53 the condenser is
If thealtitude'of an airplane above the terrain
charged and when the charge on the condenser 00
reaches a predetermined point the opposition to
placed on the underside of .the airplane. The battery potential is su?icient to insure the de-ig
transmitter and microphone are located from
niting of the tube 53. The condenser then dis
’ each other at not greater than twice the minimum - ’
charges through the coil of the relay 5| to effect
distance to be indicated if shielding ‘is not em
momentaryoperation of the relay 5|. The above
ployed. Once during each revolution of the shaft cycle‘
of operations is then'repeated.‘ The grid
w is required the transmitter and microphone are 4
3 a. wave or train of waves is transmitted from
the transmitter I3. At the moment of' trans
, mission the condenser I ‘I is charged.
The con
denser --II is discharged in response to‘ the re
ception of the re?ected wave or train of waves by
the microphone I3. The surge resulting from the
I discharge of the condenser-is impressed upon one '
r of the plurality of segments 22 to discharge the
r. -' ‘device 23 associated‘ with that segment. Since
resistance determines the operating points. The
engagement of the make contact and armature
of relay 5| causesthe momentary energization of
two relays 52 and 53.1 The engagement of- an 70
armature 53 and a make contact associated‘ with
relay 53 produces a wave or ‘train of .waves in.
the transmitterjllfrom an inductor-alternator
I3. The transmitter I3 and, alternator I3 are
similar to the transmitter and inductor-alter-v 75
2,120,971
nator'shown in ‘Fig. 1. The engagement of an
other make contact and an armature 55 of relay
' 1 53 results in the energization of a relay 55 sup
‘plied with current through the small winding of
a relay 51 by the source 58. The engagement of
an armature and make contact 59 of relay 55
causes the ‘energization of a large winding of
the relay 51 to disengage the armature and break
contact of that relay. In the operation of the
relay 51 as above‘set forth, the relay 53 is mo
mentarily operated to effect operation of the
relay 55._ The relay 53 then releases and before
release of the armature of the relay 55 takes
place, the relay 51 is operated, The operation
15. ofthe relay 51 locks relays 55 and 51 in oper
ative position. When the energizing circuit of
relay '55 is broken by release of relay 53, there
1 ' will be a small delay before opening of the con
microphone are in close proximity to each other‘
the circuit between the copper-oxide recti?er
bridge 54 and the relay 55 is broken by the oper
ation of relay '52 simultaneously with the trans
mission of a wave or train of waves by the trans
mitter M.
The characteristics of the devices 51 are such
that they remain illuminated at a much lower
potential than that ‘required to initially ignite
them. Accordingly, the devices 51 remain ig 10
nited even after the charge on the condenser 5|
has leaked ‘off. The operation of relay 53 causes
the engagement of an armature 1| and a make
contact of that relay to reduce the potential
across these devices to substantially zero whereby
vany device that. has been illuminated is de-ig
nited. The engagement of another armature"
and a make contact results in the removal of any
tacts 55 can take place. This-delay is su?icient charge on condenser 5| through a resistance 13
when relay 53 is operated.
20
to insure the operation of the relay 51. The pas
sage of current through the small winding of ' ‘The operation of armature 12 of relay 53 and
the armature 50 of relay 55 are such that any
' relay 51 while insufficient to actuate the arma
ture of that relay is capable of maintaining the charge on condenser 5| is removed before the
,armature in the energized position. The relay commencement of the charging of condenser 5|
58 operates only momentarily and opens the from the source 52 and armature 12 has disen~
.contact 55 before the relay 55 is locked. An ‘ gaged from its make contact before the: armature
armature 55 associated with the relay 55 engages 55 has engaged its make contact.
a make contact to charge a condenser 5| from a
.scurce 52 through a resistance 53. The con
denser continues to charge until the relay 55 is
51 is a scale 11. On this scale are numerals rep
de'energized.
resenting the calibrated distances indicated by
each of the lamps.
’
A microphone l5 similar to that shown in Fig.
1 is employed for the reception of waves re?ected
from a terrain which are transmitted by the
transmitter I‘. The waves are ampli?ed by an
ampli?er shown in the block diagram in the,
drawings. The ampli?ed waves pass successively
through a transformer 10 and a copper-oxide
.recti?er bridge 55 and the resulting unidirection
40 al current is employed to energize a relay 55.
The energization of relay 55 by the engagement
30
The transmitter ‘I4 and microphone l8 are lo
cated in close proximity to each other on the
underside of ‘an airplane. The oscillator com 35
prising the gaseous space discharge device 50
operates therelay 5| at periodic intervals. For
example, the oscillation may vgenerate a pulse
once per second to ten times per second de
kdeenergization of relay 55 by effectively remov
pending upon the range of distances to be de
termined. Relay 53 operates‘to transmit a wave
or train of waves from the transmitter Hi and
to commence to charge the condenser 5| from
ing the source 58. The disengagement of arma
the source '52.
- or its armature and make contact results in the
- _
In Fig. 2A the devices 51 are shown mounted
on a board 15. Alongside the column of devices
The re?ected wave or waves are
ture 55 with its make contact causes the removal impressed upon the ‘microphone ill to operate 45
of the source of current 58 from both windings of - relay 55 which deenergizes relay 55. Condenser
5| is discharged through the plurality of dis
the relay 51. The disengagement of the arma
ture 55 with its make contact removes the source charge devices 51. Sincethe devices 51 ?ash
of charging current 52 from the condenser 5| and
to the engagement of the break @ontact of arma
ture 55 discharges‘the condenser through a cop
over at different voltages some are illuminated,
while others are unaffected depending upon ‘the 50
charge accumulated by the ‘condenser 5|. Since
per-oxide recti?er 55 and a. resistance 15. The - the magnitude of thecharge is directly correlated
' .surge resulting from ‘the discharge is impressed with the time‘ between transmission of a wave
or train of waves and the reception after re
upon' a plurality of gaseous space discharge de
vices 51 of the neon type. Each of thme devices ?ection on the terrain and since this tlme‘is 55
. 51 ~has a different ?ash-over voltage. To obtain dependent upon the distance between the sys
the proper bias for securing the different ?ash
over voltages for each device a potential divider
55 is bridged across a source of current 59. Each
of the devices 51 is connected to different points
' on the potential divider'to provide the required
bias‘.- Since thecharge on the condenser 5| is
dependent upon the time between the transmis
sion of a wave or train of waves from the trans»
mitter I5 and its reception after- re?ection on the
terrain by the microphone l8 and since this time
is directly correlated with the distance between
thetransmitter and the re?ecting surface, the
devices, 51 may be calibrated to indicate any par
70: ticular distance by means of varying their ?ash
.over voltages with the aid of the potential divider
58.
p
->
.
"In order to prevent the direct transmission of
_
- a wave or'train of waves from the transmitter ll
. 15 to the microphone I8 when the transmitter and
tem and the re?ecting surface, the number of .
devices 51 illuminated indicates the distance be
tween the system and the re?ecting surface. The
devices 51 are preferably arranged in a column 60
with a calibrated scale index 11 arrangedalong
side the column as shown in Fig. 2A.
For ex
ample, if the distance between the system and
the re?ecting surface be ?fty feet, the devices
51 immediately adjacent to the numerals I0, 25, 65
35, 40. and 50 on the plate 12 of Fig. 2A become
illuminated.
After a predetermined period
elapses the relay 5| again becomes energized to
transmit .another wave or train of waves.
Si
multaneously with the transmission of the wave
or train of waves, any charge on the condenser
5| is removed by the engagement of make con
tact and armature 12 and the lamps are -deignited by the engagement of armature 1| with
its make contact. Immediately following the re 75
$
2,120,971
moval of any charge on the condenser 6! by the
actuation of armature ‘l2, condenser 3! com
mences to charge.
The actuation of the dis
charge of the condenser by the direct transmis
sion of the wave _or train of waves from the
transmitter !4 to the microphone I3 is prevented
'bh’?isconnecting-the circuit from the recti?er
bridge “64 to relay 65 by the operation of relay
10
52.
The wave or train of waves after re?ection
on the terrain-againdischarges the condenser
through the plurality of illuminating devices 61.
The number of devices illuminated indicates the
the segments. Likewise, thebrush 42! is in en
gageable relation with a plurality of segments
.422 of equal arcuate length and arranged so that
the brush' is in contact stall times with one of
the segments. Each of the plurality of comma-I
tator segments 322 and '422 is connected to one
electrode of a plurality of gaseous space dis-.
charge devices 323-and 423, respectively. The
other electrodes of devices 323 and 423 anacon
nected to one terminal of the source 221 through
resistances 323 and 423, respectively. The elec
trodes of the devices 323 and 423 commend to
distance between the system and the re?ecting ' the commutator segments are-also connected
surface. This cycle of operations is continued to through resistances 323 and 423,'respectively, to
16 render constantly an indication of altitude oi
ground. -'Each of the slip-rings ‘223. 323 and
depth.
'
'
420 is connected through‘ a copper-oxide recti
Figs. 3, 3A and 3B show a system in which ?er 82 to the make contact of a relay 3!. The.
distance is indicated in three digits of a particu _ devices 223 indicate the depth or altitude in feet lar unit of measurement. If the unit of meas
20 urement be feet, the system shown in Figs. 3, 3A» in 100 units, the devices'323 in feet in units of ‘
ten and devices 423 in single ‘units. The seg
and 3B is capable of measuring the exact alti
ments. 222 are marked !C to 36 to correspond
tude or depth in feet from 1 to 1000 feet. A ' to an altitude of from 100_ to 900 feet,
'
wave or train of waves is transmitted at pre
ly, with which these segments are‘ associated.’
determined intervals. Simultaneously with the Likewise segments 323 are ‘indicated 3D to 3D
25 transmission of the wave or train of waves a
to correspond respectively to altitudes in step of
condenser is charged. The condenser is dis-7 ten feet from 0 to 90 feet and the segments II
charged upon the reception of the re?ected wave to SE to correspond respectively from 0 to‘ ii feet.
or waves through one of. each of. three sets of
The segment 83 and a grounded segment 34 are
illuminating devices. Each set represents a digit. 30 The particular devices illuminated depend upon - in engageable relation with the brush 22! at the
beginning of rotation of that b
I "- L."
the distance between the system and the re?ect
ments 83 and 34 are arranged in re ation to the
ing surface.
I
sweep of the brush 22! so that the‘ brush 22! en
A constant speed motor 20! rotates a shaft.
204 by means of a set of gears 203. Fixedly at
85 tached to‘ the-shaft 204 is a brush 22!. A slip
gages these contacts'when the slip rings 323 and
.420 are engaged, respectively, with segments 322
and 422 connected to devices 323 and 423, respec
tively, which corresponds to zero indication ‘and
22! and the brush is in engageable relation with _ the brush 22! is between the segments 222 marked
ten commutator segments 222 having equal arcu
90 and IC. The engagement of- the segments 33
ate lengths so that at all times the brush is in ' and 04 by the brush 22! results in the emission
' ring- 220 is constantly in contact with the brush
40 contact with‘ one of the segments or a segment
83. Each of the segments 222 is connectedto one
I electrode of a gaseous discharge illuminating de
vice 223. The other electrode ‘of each device is
connected through a limiting resistance 226 to
45 one terminal of a source'of current 221. The
other terminal of the source 22'! is connected
" to ground through a resistance 80.
The elec
of a wave or train ofwavesby a transmitter '!4
by means of the energization oi’ .an inductor- l
alternator !3 through a relay 33 from a source
of current 85; The transmitter l4‘ and the-in
ductor-alternator !3 are similar to those employed
in the system shown in Fig. 1. The passage 02
‘current through relay 03 results-in thei engage
ment of an armature and make contact 33 asso
trodes of the devices 223 connected to the seg-_ ' ciated with that relay. to charge a condenser‘ 32' .
ments 222 are‘also connected to ground through from a source 3! through a resistance 32. "After
50 resistances 220. The set of gears 203 are‘su'ch
the wave or train of waves is re?ected upon the
that the shaft 204 makes one complete revolution terrain, the wave or train of waves is impressed
in the time required for a wave or train of waves upon a microphone 13. The impressed waves
to travel 1000 feet to a re?ecting surface and cause a unidirectional current to flow in the out
return to the source of transmission. The time, put of an amplifier which is connected to the,
of course, depends upon ‘the particular molecu
microphone i3. ' This unidirectional eurrentop
lar medium through which the wave or train of erates a relay ,0‘! through a break contact and
' waves DZLSSES.
armature 91 of relay as. The engagement of s
Another shaft 304 ‘driven by the shaft 204 vvmake contact and an armature 33- of relayl‘l'~
through a set of gears 303 rotates one complete
actuates a relay 3'! supplied with current by a
B0. revolution in the time required for a. wave or. source 89. One terminal of the condenser” is
train of waves to travel- 100 .feet- to a re?ecting connected to the armature‘ of- relay 3!. --The
surface and return to the source. Another shaft engagement of the armature and make-contact
4041s driven by the shaft 304 through a-Vsystem . of relay 3! causes the condenser to
of gears 403 so that the shaft 404 rotates one -
65 complete revolution in the time'required for a
- wave or train of waves to travel ten ‘feet to a
re?ecting surface and return-to the source. A
- brush 32! and a brush“! are ?xedly attached
to the'shafts 304 and 404, respectively.
particular commutator segment upon which-the
brushes 22!, 32! and 42! are'e'nsaged at thetime. -
of discharge through the particular devices 223.
1323 and 423 connected
to these-e
’
'
segments.
The The particular devices 223, 323 and 423 remain
70 brush 32! and the brush 42! are in constant
contact, respectively, with aslip ring 320 ‘and
a slip ring 420. A plurality of cbmmutator seg-'
ments 322 of equal arcuate length vare‘ in en-_
gageable relation with the brush 32! vso that at
75 all times the brush is in contact with one of
'
through the slip rings .220, ‘323 andf423 and an
'
-
illuminated until just prior to the
70
The devices 223, 323 and 423 have similar-char;
acteristics to device 23 employed in Fig. 1." FM‘
cordingly, once the devices are
main illuminated at a lower terminal
than that required to initially ignite‘them. How 16
-
7
2,120,971
ever, in response to a re?ected wave a grounded
or train of waves. Simultaneously‘with the trans
armature 94 associated with relay 81 is actuated
mission of the wave or train of waves the con
denser 93 is charged. After the wave or train
de-ignite these devices. The make contact and of waves is re?ected from a surface it is impressed
armature 88 and the relay 8| with its associated - upon the microphone l8. Relay 81 is, as a result,
which momentarily removes the source 221 to
make contact and armature are such that the
actuated. Any of the devices 223, 323 and 423
discharge from the condenser 93 is not impressed
‘upon the segments 223, 323 and 423 until the
contact and armature 94 have opened. In the
the previous wave or train of waves are de-ignited
10 above operation a delay is caused in the discharge
of the condenser 93 with respect to the closing
. and opening of the contacts 94 by the build-up
which were ignited as a result of the reception of
by the engagement of the armature and make
contact 94 associated with the relay 81. Con 10
denser 93 is discharged through the devices 223,
323 and 423 which are connected to the particu
lar segments 222, 322' and 422, respectively, with
time in the energizing circuit of the relay 8|
under control of the contact members 88. A fur
15 ther delay in discharging the condenser 93 is
which the brushes 22 | , 32| and 42| are at the time
waves from the transmitter |4 tothe microphone
25 |8 the circuit from the ampli?er to the relay 81
use in the determination of altitude or depth
from a point to a re?ecting surface, they are 26
of dischargeengaged. The armatures and con 15
provided by the time travel of the armature for‘ tacts of relays 81 and 8| are such that the de~‘
vices previously illuminated are de-ignited imme
the relay 8|. The above periods of delay are’ suf
diately prior to the discharge of the condenser 93
- ?cient to insure that the condenser 93 does not
discharge .until after the contacts 94 have closed through the commutator segments 222, 322. and
and opened. Accordingly, the previous altitude 422. This cycle of operations is continued to 20
reading is not removed until just prior to the next indicate continually the altitude or depth between ‘
reading. To prevent an indication 'as a result of the systemand the re?ecting surface.
While these systems have been described for
the direct transmission of waves or trains of
is broken at the moment of transmission by the
disengagement of the break contact and arma
__ ture 91 associated with relay 88.
A suitable device for housing the indicating de
30 vices 223, 323 and 423 is shown in Figs. 3A and
3B.~ A board 95 having three sets of digits from
1 to 9 is employed as a panel on a housing 98.
Each of the numerals is translucent or transpar
ent, the remainder of the panel 95 being opaque.
35 The illuminating devices 223, 323 and 423 are
placed, each set of devices in a single row, in
light-proof compartments in the housing 98 im
' mediately behind the numbers and digits to which
they correspond.
A wave or train of waves is transmitted by the
transmitter 14 as a result of the engagement of
the segments 84 and 83 with the brush 22|. This
engagement occurs once during each revolution
of the shaft 284. Simultaneouly, with the trans
equally adapted to- ascertain distance between
two points. For this purpose, the transmitter
I4 is placed at one point and the microphone I8
is located at the other point. Radio or tele
graphic communication between the two points 30
affords means for relaying the time of reception
of the transmitted sonic or supersonic wave by
the microphone l8.
-
Although the distance determining systems are
described for use on airplanes, they are similarly 35
applicable to ships for depth determinations at
sea.
,
While preferred embodiments of this inven
tion have been illustrated and described, various
modifications therein may be made without de 40
parting from the scope of theappended claims.
What is claimed is:
~
1, In combination, a source of longitudinal
waves, means for transmitting a wave from said
45 mission of the wave or train of waves the con‘- ' source at predetermined intervals, 9. plurality'of 45
gaseous space discharge devices, means respon
denser 93 is charged. After re?ection on a sur
sive to said wave upon receipt after re?ection for
face the wave or train of waves is impressed upon
the microphone l8 to operate relay 81. The ope:
ation of relay 81 in turn actuates relay 8| to dis
50 charge the condenser 93 through the slip rings
228, 328 and 420. The discharge is impressed
upon the particular segments 222', 322 and 422
with which the brushes 22|, 32| and 42| are at
' the time of discharge. engaged. The surge passes
55 to the particular gaseous discharge devices 223,
323 and 423 to which the particular segments are
connected. These particular devices 223, 323 and
423 are ignited. The translucent or transparent
numerals on the panel 95 with which these de
The
characteristic of the devices 223, 323 and 423 is
such that once broken down they remain illumi
‘nated at a lower terminal potential than that in
80 vices are associated become illuminated.
itially required to ignite them. The potential fur
nished by the source 221 is su?icient to sustain
the illumination of these devices. After the shaft
284 has made one complete revolution another
wave or train of waves is transmitted from the
transmitter M as a result of the engagement of
70 the segments 84 and 83 with the brush 22|. The
breaking of the circuit between the ampli?er and
the relay 81 by the break contact and armature
91 at the time of transmission of the wave or
train ‘of waves prevents the discharge of the
75 condenser due to the direct reception of thewave
selectively} igniting one of said devices to indi
cate distance, means controlled by said re
sponsive means for maintaining the selected in 60
dication between signals, and means for extin
guishing the selected device prior to the next
selection of one of said devices.
2. In combination, transmitting means for
emitting a wave, control means for operating 55
said transmitting means, a condenser, means
operated by said control means for commencing
the charging of said condenser to effect a steadily
increasing strength of charge on the condenser,
means responsive to said wave after passage
through a molecular medium to discharge said
condenser, and means-responsive to the magni-_
tude of the electromotive force produced by the
discharge of said condenser to indicate dis
65
tance.
3. In a system for indicating distance, means
for indicating a first range of distance, a second
indicating means for .indicating a second range
of distances, means for normally maintaining
said ?rst range indicating means in vcondition
to be responsive to a signal indicating a dis
tance-in said first range'and said second range
indicating means in unresponsive condition, and
means responsive to a re?ection indicating a
2,120,971‘
certain distance in said second range vfor ren
dering responsive said second indicating means.v
4. In a system‘ for ascertaining distance, a
?rst indicating means for indicating a ?rst
means for discharging said condenser, means ac
tuated by said control means for preventing the
actuation of said receiving means by the direct
emission of said wave, a brush in engageable rela
tion with and rotatable at a constant speed over
range of distances, -a second indicating means
for indicating a second range of distances, means
responsive to an indication of a certain distance
in said second range for rendering responsive
said second indicating means and for disabling
said plurality of segments for impressing the po
tential resulting from the discharge of said con
denser on one of said devices,_and means for de
igniting said device prior to the
10 simultaneously said ?rst indicating means.
5. In a system for indicating distance, a plu- -
rality of indicating means for indicating a range
of distances, each of said means. indicating a
diiferent range of distance, and means, respon
sive to an indication of a distance within one of
said ranges, for rendering responsive one of
said indicating means and .disabling all other
indicating means.
' 6. In a system for the determination of dis
tance, a ?rst indicating means responsive to lon
gitudinal waves for indicating a ?rst range of
distances, a second indicating means normally
unresponsive to longigtudinal Waves for indi
cating a second range of distances, and switch
ing means, responsive to an indication within
said. second range, for rendering said second
indicating means responsive to longitudinal
waves and for disabling said ?rst indicating
means.
of one of said devices.
nextv operation
10. In a system'for indicating distance, trans
mitting means. for emitting a signal wave, con
trol means for operating said transmitting means
at predetermined intervals, a‘ plurality of gaseous
space discharge devices,“ a condenser, means re 15
sponsive to said control means for charging said
condenser, means, responsive to a re?ected‘ sig
nal wave for discharging said condenser, means
.for selectively igniting at least one of said de
vices by the discharge from said condenser and
means for extinguishing any selected device priorv
to the next‘ selective operation.
11. In a system for indicating distance, trans-,
mitting means for emitting signal waves, control
means for operating said transmitting-means at
predetermined intervals, a plurality of gaseous
space discharge devices,‘ a capacitance, means re
sponsive to said control means for commencing
the charging of said capacitance to e?'ect a stead
7. In combination, a ?rst plurality of gaseous ‘ ily increasing strength of charge‘ on the capaci
space discharge devices for. indicating a range‘ tance, means responsive to re?ected signal waves
of distances, a second plurality of gaseous space
for discharging said capacitance, means for ig
discharge devices for indicating a second range niting said devices in number according to the
of distances, means, responsive to said Waves ‘magnitude of the electromotive force produced
within said ?rst range of distances after passage by the discharge of said capacitance to indicate
through a molecular medium, for igniting one of distance, means for maintaining the selected indi- 35
' i
said devices of said ?rst plurality of devices to cation between signals and means for extinguish
indicate distance, means, responsive to waves ing any selected device prior to the next selection
within said second range of distances, for ren
40 dering responsive said second plurality of de
vices and for rendering unresponsive said ?rst
plurality of devices to longitudinal waves.
8. A system for the determination of dis
tances, comprising means for transmitting a
45 longitudinal wave, control means for operating
said transmitting means at predetermined in
tervals, a source of current, storing means for
storing said ‘current, means responsive to'said
control means for commencing to store said
current by said storing means, receptive means
for receiving said wave after passage through
a molecular medium‘, means for preventing the
actuation of said receptive means by the direct
emission of said longitudinal wave, a plurality
55 of gaseous space discharge devices, each of said
devices biased to a different ?ash-over voltage,
a scale associated with said plurality of devices,
release means, responsive to the reception of said
wave by said receptive means, for releasing stored
energy accumulated by said storing means, and
means for impressing the released energy on
said plurality of devices whereby an indication,
of distance is obtained by observing the illumi
nation of said devices on said scale.
'
of any of said devices.
>
12‘. ‘In a system _for indicating distance, trans
mitting means for emitting signal waves, control
means for'operating said transmitting means at
predetermined intervals, a plurality of gaseous‘
space discharge devices, means responsive to- a
re?ectedsignal wave for igniting at least one of 45
said plurality of devices to indicate distance,
means for maintaining‘ said device ignited be
tween signals, and means governed by said con- ‘
trol means for extinguishing anyselected device
prior to the next distance indication.
'
13. In a system for determination of distance,
transmitting means for emitting signal waves,
control means ‘for operating said transmitting
means at predetermined intervals, a plurality‘oi'
gaseous space discharge devices, a capacitance,
means responsive to said control means for
charging said capacitance, means responsive tov
re?ected signal waves for discharging said capac
itance, means for igniting at least one 01' said
plurality of devices by the discharge from said
capacitance .to indicate distance, means con
trolled by said means responsive to_the re?ected
wave for maintaining‘ the selected indication be- '
9. A system for the determination of distance," tween signals, and means controlled by the re
?ected signal waves for extinguishing any se
‘lected device an interval before the next dis
tance indication.
' mitting means at predetermined intervals, means
actuated by said control means for charging a
14. In a systemvfor indicating distance, trans: '
70 capacitance, a commutator comprising a plurality mitting means for emitting asignal wave, control
.of segments, gaseous space discharge devices re
means for operating said transmitting means, a 70.
comprising- means for transmitting a longitudi
nal wave, control means for operating said trans
spectively associated-with said segments, recep
‘ tive means for receiving said wave after re?ection
In
on a surface, receiving means responsive to'the
reception of the re?ected wave by said receptive
plurality of gaseous space discharge devices, a
condenser, means responsive to. said control
means for charging said condenser, receiving
means responsive to a re?ected signal wave for 75.
2,120,971
discharging said condenser, auxiliary means for
igniting at least one of said plurality of devices
by the discharge from said condenser to indicate
distance, and means governed by said auxiliary
‘means for extinguishing said device prior to the
.next distance indication.
'15. In combination, a capacitance, transmitting
.means for emitting a longitudinal wave, control
10
means for operating said transmitting means at
predetermined intervals, means operated by said
control means for charging said capacitance,
means responsive to said wave for discharging
said capacitance, 'a plurality of gaseous space
discharge devices, means responsive to the dis
charge of said capacitance .for selectively ignit
ing at least one of said devices to indicate dis
tance, means for maintaining the selected indi
cation between signals and means for extinguish
ing any selected device prior to the next selective
operation.‘
»
ARNOLD B. BAILEY.
10
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