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Title:
ENHANCED VEHICLE BARRIER SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/039336
Kind Code:
A3
Abstract:
An enhanced vehicle barrier system. The enhanced vehicle barrier system including bases located on opposite sides of an area through which a vehicle may pass, first and second arms hingably mechanically coupled to a base, first, second and third members, a raising/lowering mechanism, and a cable in mechanical communication with at least one of the first, second, and third members, the cable having connecting points located on opposite sides of the area through which a vehicle may pass, and wherein, in one position, at least portions of the first, second, and third members and the cable may be high enough to encounter a front of a vehicle.

Inventors:
GELFAND, Matthew, A. (Suite 112, 277 Mallory Station RoadFranklin, TN, 37067-8251, US)
GRUBB, Brad (Suite 112, 277 Mallory Station RoadFranklin, TN, 37067-8251, US)
Application Number:
US2007/020270
Publication Date:
July 03, 2008
Filing Date:
September 19, 2007
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
UNIVERSAL SAFETY RESPONSE, INC. (Suite 112, 277 Mallory Station RoadFranklin, TN, 37067-8251, US)
GELFAND, Matthew, A. (Suite 112, 277 Mallory Station RoadFranklin, TN, 37067-8251, US)
GRUBB, Brad (Suite 112, 277 Mallory Station RoadFranklin, TN, 37067-8251, US)
International Classes:
E01F15/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BRUNO, Frank, A. (Milbank, Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP,One Chase Manhattan Plaz, New York NY, 10005-1413, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An enhanced vehicle barrier system comprising: a first base and a second base, located on opposite sides of an area through 5 which a vehicle may pass; a first arm and a second arm, each hingably mechanically coupled to the first base; a first member hingably mechanically coupled to the first arm and extending in a direction across the area through which a vehicle may pass; 0 a second member hingably mechanically coupled to the second arm and hingably mechanically coupled to the second base; a third member hingably mechanically coupled to the first member and hingably mechanically coupled to the first base; a raising/lowering mechanism in mechanical communication with the first arm S and the second arm; and a cable in mechanical communication with at least one of the first, second, and third members, the cable having connecting points located on opposite sides of the area through which a vehicle may pass, wherein the raising/lowering mechanism moves the first and second arms, thereby 0 moving the first, second, and third members, and the cable between a first position and a second position, and wherein, when in the second position, at least portions of the first, second, and third members and the cable are high enough to encounter a front of a vehicle.

5 2. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1, wherein the first position is at or below ground level.

3. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1, wherein at least one of the first, second, and third members comprise a first portion mechanically coupled to a 0 second portion, and the first and second portions are uncoupled upon application of at least a threshold force to one of the first and second portions.

4. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1 , wherein the cable is supported by at least one of the first, second, and third members.

S. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 4, further comprising a second cable supported by another one of the first, second, and third members.

6. The vehicle barrier system of claim 1 , further comprising: a ramp over which a vehicle may pass when the first, second, and third members are in the first position.

7. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1 , wherein at least a portion of the first, second, and third members are hollow and store at least a portion of the cable.

8. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 7, wherein the hollow portion of the first, second, and third members are accessible via a cover.

9. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1 , wherein the raising/lowering mechanism includes a raising/lowering handle.

10. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1, wherein the raising/lowering mechanism includes at least one electric motor and a control system.

11. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1 , wherein the raising/lowering mechanism includes at least one linear actuator.

12. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1 , wherein the raising/lowering mechanism includes a piston, piston rod and cylinder, wherein the piston rod is mechanically coupled to the first and second arms.

13. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1, wherein the second member is mechanically coupled to the third member.

14. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 13, wherein the second and third members are mechanically coupled and when in the second position substantially form the shape of an 'X'.

15. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1, wherein the first and third members extend substantially across the area through which a vehicle may pass.

S 16. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1 , wherein both the first and second arms are positioned in a parallel arrangement.

17. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1, wherein the first and second arms are mechanically coupled to a release for disengaging the raising/lowering 0 mechanism from the first and second arms.

18. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 17, wherein the release is mechanically coupled to a release handle.

S 19. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1 , wherein at least one gas spring is mechanically coupled to the first and second arms, wherein the at least one gas spring is also mechanically coupled to the base.

20. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 1, wherein the first base and the 0 second base are mechanically coupled.

21. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of claim 20, wherein the first and second bases are mechanically coupled by at least one connecting linkage.

5 22. An enhanced vehicle barrier system comprising: a base; a member coupled to the base; a raising/lowering mechanism in mechanical communication with the member; and 0 a cable in mechanical communication with the member, the cable mechanically coupled to first and second anchors placed on opposite sides of an area through which a vehicle may pass,

wherein the raising/lowering mechanism moves the member and the cable between a first position and a second position.

Description:

Enhanced Vehicle Barrier System

BACKGROUND

This application claims priority from U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 11/803,445 which in turn claims priority to U.S. Patent Application No. 11/525,479 for Enhanced Vehicle Barrier System, filed September 22, 2006, attorney ref. no. 36314-01400, which is hereby incorporated by reference, in its entirety.

This invention relates to an enhanced vehicle barrier system that may be used to stop a moving vehicle in a variety of applications, including traffic control, drawbridges, rail crossings, security gates, off-road, and crash cushion applications. While the enhanced vehicle barrier system of the present disclosure may be installed permanently, the arrangement of the enhanced vehicle barrier system of the present disclosure may facilitate assembly/disassembly and portability. The enhanced vehicle barrier system of the present disclosure may be used with a variety of anchors, such as nearby buildings or vehicles, such as trucks. The components of the enhanced vehicle barrier system have been designed to allow construction without or with limited use of tools, but tools may be used in the assembly process. If desired, more permanent connection members can be used in place of the couplings used to join certain elements of the system discussed below. Such substituted couplings may require the use of tools for assembly.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure relates to an enhanced vehicle barrier system. In one aspect, the enhanced vehicle barrier system includes a first base and a second base, located on opposite sides of an area through which a vehicle may pass, a first arm and a second arm, each hingably mechanically coupled to the first base, a first member hingably mechanically coupled to the first arm and extending in a direction across the area through which a vehicle may pass, a second member hingably mechanically coupled to the second arm and hingably mechanically coupled to the second base, a

third member hingably mechanically coupled to the first member and hingably mechanically coupled to the first base, a raising/lowering mechanism in mechanical communication with the first arm and the second arm, and a cable in mechanical communication with at least one of the first, second, and third members, the cable having connecting points located on opposite sides of the area through which a vehicle may pass, wherein the raising/lowering mechanism moves the first and second arms, thereby moving the first, second, and third members, and the cable between a first position and a second position, and wherein, when in the second position, at least portions of the first, second, and third members and the cable are high enough to encounter a front of a vehicle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. IA and IB show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. 1C shows a front view of an enhanced vehicle barrier system in raised position with an automatic raising/lowering mechanism, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. ID shows a perspective view of an enhanced vehicle barrier system in raised position with an automatic raising/lowering mechanism, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of an enhanced vehicle barrier system in lowered position with an automatic raising/lowering mechanism, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure. FIG. 3 A shows a perspective view of a horizontal member coupled to first and second diagonal members, according to an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 3B shows a detailed perspective view of an automatic raising/lowering mechanism of the enhanced vehicle barrier system in lowered position, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure. FIG. 3C shows a detailed perspective view of the mechanical coupling between a first arm and a horizontal member and a second arm and a second diagonal member of the enhanced vehicle barrier system in raised position, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. 3D shows a detailed perspective view of the mechanical coupling between a horizontal member and a first diagonal member of the enhanced vehicle barrier system in raised position, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. 3E shows a front view of an assembled horizontal member, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. 3F shows a front view of a horizontal member with sections separated, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. 3G shows a close-up perspective view of a horizontal member with sections separated, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure. FIG. 3H shows a close-up perspective view of a horizontal member ring, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of a raising/lowering mechanism of the enhanced vehicle barrier system in raised position, according to an aspect of the present disclosure. FIG. 5 shows a detailed perspective view of the mechanical coupling between a first diagonal member and a base of the enhanced vehicle barrier system in raised position, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. 6 shows a detailed perspective view of a raising/lowering mechanism of the enhanced vehicle barrier system in raised position, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. 7 shows a detailed side view of a raising/lowering mechanism of the enhanced vehicle barrier system in raised position, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. 8 shows a detailed side view of a raising/lowering mechanism of the enhanced vehicle barrier system in lowered position, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. 9 shows a detailed side view of a raising/lowering mechanism of the enhanced vehicle barrier system in raised position, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure. FIG. 10 shows a detailed side view of a raising/lowering mechanism of the enhanced vehicle barrier system in lowered position, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIG. 11 shows a detailed and transparent view of a raising/lowering mechanism of the enhanced vehicle barrier system in raised position, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure.

FIGS. 12A and 12B show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system with a tensioning device and without a horizontal member or first and second diagonal members, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a second aspect of the present disclosure.

FIGS. 13A and 13B show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system with a tensioning device and without a horizontal member or first and second diagonal members, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a third aspect of the present disclosure.

FIGS. 14A and 14B show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system without a horizontal member or first and second diagonal members, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a fourth aspect of the present disclosure. FIGS. 15 A and 15B show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system without a horizontal member or first and second diagonal members, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a fifth aspect of the present disclosure. FIGS. 15C and 15D show side views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system without a horizontal member or first and second diagonal members, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a fifth aspect of the present disclosure. FIGS. 16A and 16B show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system without a horizontal member or first and second diagonal members, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a sixth aspect of the present disclosure. FIGS. 17A and 17B show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system without a horizontal member or first and second diagonal members, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a seventh aspect of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As used herein, the term absorb may mean to absorb, disperse, dissipate or redirect energy.

It may be understood that components in the system of the present disclosure may be fabricated using metal or similar strength material, including, but not limited to, polymers, elastomers, composites or other engineered materials.

Referring to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals represent identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views, and more particularly to Figs. IA, IB, and 1C showing front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure are shown. Figure ID shows a perspective view of an enhanced vehicle barrier system, according to a first aspect of the present disclosure. In a first aspect, the vehicle barrier system may include at least a first arm 20a and a second arm 20b (shown in Figure ID), a horizontal member 21, a first diagonal member 22a and a second diagonal member 22b, cables 23, bases 24, a manual and/or automatic raising/lowering mechanism 25 (shown in Figures ID, 2, 3B and Figures 6-11), and anchors 26. Although depicted with cables and anchors, the enhanced vehicle barrier system could be constructed without anchors or cables.

Horizontal member 21 and first diagonal member 22a and second diagonal member 22b may extend at least partially across a roadway and may support cables 23, which may span the roadway. In Figs. IA and IB, cable 23a may be supported by horizontal member 21 , while cable 23b may be supported by first diagonal member 22a and cable 23c may be supported by second diagonal member 22b. Cables 23 may be fabricated from steel (wire rope) nylon fibers wrapped in polyester, or segmented- rigid components, such as a linked bar.

Cables 23a, 23b, and 23c may be mechanically coupled on either side of a roadway to anchors 26 using, for example, a heavy-duty D-link connector (not shown). Anchors 26 may be anything that resists movement and may be, for example, a vehicle. Anchors 26 may also have energy absorbing qualities.

As shown in Figures 1C and ID, the bases 24 may be connected to each other by a series of connecting linkages 45. The connecting linkages 45 may be connected to each other and to the bases 24 through groove connections 46 (as shown in Figure 5). The connecting linkages 45 may be connecting angles as depicted in Figure ID. The connecting linkages help to keep the bases 24 connected together without requiring the bases 24 to be fixed to the ground. The connecting linkages 45 also provide a support from which to connect the ramps 56 (shown in Figure 2). As shown in Figure 2, when in lowered position, the first arm 20a, second arm

20b, horizontal member 21, first and second diagonal members 22a and 22b may be substantially horizontal and/or parallel to ground level and low enough that a vehicle may pass over it using ramps 56 in a manner similar to a speed bump. In another aspect, the first arm 20a, second arm 20b, horizontal member 21, first and second

diagonal members 22a and 22b may be embedded at or below ground level and ramps 56 may not be used.

Bases 24 may be arranged on opposite sides of a roadway and, when in a raised position, first and second diagonal members 22a and 22b may form an 'X' shape and may be mechanically coupled for example, using a pin 57 (as shown in Figure 3A). The diagonal members 22a and 22b may also be coupled using a linear slide, groove, ring, or other connector (not shown).

As shown in Figure 3B, the automatic raising/lowering mechanism 25 may be electrically connected to and controlled by a control panel 27. The control panel 27 may be secured to the base 24b by mounting to vertical brackets 28.

As .shown in Figure 3C, the horizontal member 21 may be coupled to the first arm 20a by resting on roller bearings 40 inside a slot 41 formed in the top of the first arm 20a. Similarly, the first diagonal member 22a may be coupled to the second arm 20b by resting on roller bearings 40 inside a slot 41 formed in the top of the second arm 20b.

As shown in Figure 3D, horizontal member 21 may be mechanically coupled to the second diagonal member 22b by resting on a pin 42 attached to the bottom of second diagonal member 22b. A lateral retainer 43 may be attached to pin 42 to constrain the horizontal member 21 laterally against the second diagonal member 22b. A sliding retainer 44 may be attached to horizontal member 21 to constrain the horizontal member and prevent it from sliding off pin 42. Pin 42, lateral retainer 43 and sliding retainer 44 may have roller bearings, or other means to reduce friction with the horizontal and diagonal members.

As shown in Figure 4, first arm 20a may include an arm connector 29a and shaft housing connector 3 Ia. Similarly, second arm 20b may include a second arm connector 29b and a second shaft housing connector 31b. The arm connectors 29a and 29b and shaft housing connectors 31a and 31b may be attached to the arms 20a and 20b by welding, bolt, pin, or other means, or may be formed with the arms 20a and 20b in one piece or may also be coupled to the arms 20a and 20b using a linear slide, groove, ring, or other connector (not shown). Shaft 32 may be coupled to shaft housing connectors 31a and 3 Ib by welding, bolt, pin, or other means. Shaft 32 may also be a keyed shaft or may be formed in one piece with the shaft housing connectors 31a and 3 Ib. Shaft 32 may be hingably mechanically coupled to base hinges 33a and 33b which may be secured to the bases 24a and 24b by welding, bolt, pin, or other

means. Rigid member 34 may be placed on the bases 24a and 24b to provide extra support under the automatic raising/lowering mechanism 25 (shown in Figures ID, 2, 3B and Figures 6-11). Rigid member 34 may be solid or hollow, and may resist flexing of the base 310 during the raising and lowering sequence. As shown in Figure 4, the raising/lowering mechanism 25 may include a shaft

32 in mechanical communication with both a first arm 20a and a second arm 20b. Raising/lowering mechanism 25 may be operated by turning a handle 63, which may cause shaft 32 to rotate and first arm 20a and second arm 20b to become raised. In one aspect, as the shaft 32 rotates in a clockwise direction, one end of a horizontal member 21 may be raised, through a mechanical connection to first arm

20a. As the shaft 32 rotates and the second arm 20b is raised, a first diagonal member 22a may also be raised through a mechanical connection to the second arm 20b. As the first diagonal member 22a is raised, a second diagonal member 22b may be raised through mechanical connection to the first diagonal member 22a, for example by pin 57 shown in Figures 1C and ID. As the second diagonal member is 22b is raised, the other end of the horizontal member 21 may be raised by mechanical connection to the second diagonal member 22b. When in a raised position, horizontal member 21, diagonal members 22a and 22b and cables 23a, 23b, and 23c may be high enough to encounter a front of a vehicle. Similarly, turning handle 63 may cause shaft 32 to rotate in a counterclockwise direction and may cause first arm 20a and second arm 20b to become lowered. As the shaft 32 rotates, one end of a horizontal member 21 may be lowered through a mechanical connection to first arm 20a. As the shaft 32 rotates and the second arm 20b is lowered, a first diagonal member 22a may also be lowered through a mechanical connection to the second arm 20b. As the first diagonal member 22a is lowered, a second diagonal member 22b may be lowered through mechanical connection with the first diagonal member 22a. As the second diagonal member 22b is lowered, the other end of the horizontal member 21 may be lowered through mechanical connection to the second diagonal member 22b. As shown in Figure 5 (only diagonal member 22a is shown), the first and second diagonal members 22a and 22b may be coupled to the bases 24a and 24b, respectively, by use of one of a pair of pivot connectors 39 which may be coupled to each of the bases 24a and 24b. The diagonal members 22a and 22b may connected to

the base by sliding down over an internal member (Shown in Figure 31) of the pivot connector 39.

As shown in Figure 6, the raising/lowering mechanism 25 may include a first linear actuator 47a and also may include a second linear actuator 47b. The linear actuators 47a and 47b may be mechanically coupled to a base 24 and to the first and second arms, 20a and 20b, respectively. Each of the linear actuators 47a and 47b may be comprised of a motor mechanically engaged to a drive piston rod 48, which in turn may be housed in a drive cylinder 49 mounted to a base bracket 50. The drive piston rod 48 may be slidably coupled to manual release mount 35b by using a cross-pin 51 as shown in Figure 8. The linear actuators 47a and 47b may be engaged (as shown for linear actuator 47b in Figure 10) or disengaged (as shown for linear actuator 47b in Figure 8) by raising and lowering the manual release latches 36a and 36b. When engaged, the linear actuators may be used to raise and lower the arms as described in more detail below. When disengaged, the arms may be raised and lowered manually as described in more detail below. The manual release handle 38 coupled to both manual release latches 36a and 36b can be used to simultaneously raise and lower both manual release latches.

As shown in Figures 7-11, second arm 20b may be coupled to a manual release mount 35b. Although not shown in the figures, first arm 20a may be similarly coupled to a manual release mount 35a. Manual release mounts 35a and 35b may be hingably mechanically coupled to manual release latch 36a and 36b, respectively. Manual release latches 36a and 36b may be comprised of notched cleavers 30 attached to latch plates 37a and 37b, respectively. A manual release handle 38 may be mechanically coupled to both manual release latches 36a and 36b. As shown in Figure 10, the linear actuator 47b may be engaged by lowering the manual release latch 36b and trapping the cross-pin 51 on the manual release mount 35b to the side of the notched cleaver 30. When the cross-pin 51 is locked in place on the side of the notched cleaver 30, the linear actuator 47b may impart a force on the manual release mount, which may act as a cam, rotating the shaft 32 to raise or lower second arm 20b. Although not shown in the figures, the manual release latch 36a also may lock a cross-pin 51 on the side of the notched cleaver 30, allowing linear actuator 47a to impart a force on the manual release mount 35a, rotating the shaft 32 and raising or lowering first arm 20a.

The manual release latches 36a and 36b may have two locking positions. Figure 10 shows the manual release latch 36b locking the cross-pin Sl to the side of the notched cleaver 30, with the second arm 20b in a lowered position. Figure 7 shows the manual release latch 36b locking the cross-pin 51 under the notched cleaver 30, with the second arm 20b in a raised position. By having two locking positions on the manual release latches, the raised horizontal and diagonal members and the arms can be locked in the raised position after being manually raised with the handle 63. When raised manually, the cross-pin Sl locks under the notched cleaver 30 in the raised position as shown in Figure 7. By locking in the raised position as shown, the barrier members may be held up in the raised position by resistance from the linear actuators which are in a stopped position. After being lowered manually, the cross- pin 51 locks to the side of the notched cleaver 30 when in lowered position as shown in Figure 10 to engage the linear actuators. Although not shown in the figures, it is possible to utilize a manual release latch with three or more positions, which can be engaged or disengaged regardless of the position of the arms. Figures 8 and 9 show the linear actuator 47b disengaged and with the manual release latch 36b not locking the cross-pin 51. The disengaged position may allow for manual raising or lowering of the second arm 20b by use of the handle 63 (shown in Figure 6). Without disengaging the manual release latches from the cross-pins 51, the stopped linear actuators may provide enough resistance to prevent the shaft from turning and lowering the arms.

When engaged, as shown in Figure 10, as the drive piston rod 48 moves outward, extending from the linear actuator 47b, the arm 20b may be lowered. As shown in Figure 7, when the drive piston rod 48 retreats back into the linear actuator 47b, the arm 20b may be raised. Both linear actuators 47a and 47b may work together in the same manner to raise and lower arms 20a and 20b, respectively. In another aspect, arms 20a and 20b may be raised/lowered using a single linear actuator.

As shown in Figure 11 , shaft housing connector 31b may be coupled to spring hook 52b. Similarly, shaft housing connector 31a (not shown) may be coupled to spring hook 52a (not shown). Raising/lowering mechanism 25 may include gas springs 53a (not shown) and 53b coupled to the base 24. Gas spring 53b may include a gas spring piston rod 54b and gas spring cylinder 55b providing resistance to movement. Similarly, gas spring 53a (not shown) may include a gas spring piston rod 54a (not shown) and gas spring cylinder 55a (not shown). Gas spring piston rods 54a

and 54b may be coupled to hooks 52a and 52b, thereby assisting in the raising and lowering process by counterbalancing the weight of the arms and horizontal and diagonal members and allowing the gas springs to dampen both the raising and lowering motion of the arms 20a and 20b. As the arms 20a and 20b are raised, gas spring piston rods 54a and 54b move outward, extending from the gas spring cylinders 55a and 55b. When the arms are lowered, the gas piston rods 54a and 54b retreat back into the gas spring cylinders 55a and 55b (as shown in Figure 10 for gas spring 53b). The gas spring 53a (not shown) behaves in a similar manner as shown for arm 20b, when arm 20a is raised and lowered. As shown in Figures 3E and 3F, horizontal member 21 may be formed of interlocking segments, such as 21-1, 21-2, 21-3 and 21-4 which may be disassembled for storage or transport. Segments 21-1, 21-2, 21-3 and 21-4 may be connected by sliding a portion of one segment into another as shown in Figure 3G. Although not shown, diagonal members 22a and 22b may similarly be formed of interlocking segments. As shown in Figures 3E and 3F, a series of rings 64 may be placed over the horizontal member 21. Although not shown, rings 64 may also be placed on the first and second diagonal members 22a and 22b. The rings 64 may provide protection and shock absorption when the rigid horizontal and diagonal members are raised and lowered. A detailed view of the rings 64 is shown in Figure 3H. Rings 64 may be constructed in two parts and secured by fasteners 65. For example, rings 64 may be made of rubber or plastic or other material that provides shock absorption.

First and second arms 20a and 20b, horizontal member 21 and first and second diagonal members 22a and 22b may be fabricated of expanded metal, or plastic, such as PVC. At least a portion of first and second arms 20a and 20b, horizontal member 21 and first and second diagonal members 22a and 22b may be hollow and some portion of cables 23 may be stored inside these hollow portions. To facilitate placing cables 23 inside horizontal member 21 and first and second diagonal members 22a and 22b, at least part of horizontal member 21 and first and second diagonal members 22a and 22b may be left open. hi another aspect, horizontal member 21 and first and second diagonal members 22a and 22b may be segmented and horizontal member 21 and first and second diagonal members 22a and 22b may be hinged and folded or may be telescoping (not shown).

In one aspect, space within the hollow portion of horizontal member 21 and first and second diagonal members 22a and 22b not occupied by cables 23 may be filled with foam. In another aspect, horizontal member 21 and first and second diagonal members 22a and 22b may have external clips or rings which support cables 23 (not shown).

In other aspects, raising/lowering mechanism 25 may be operated using any suitable mechanism, for example, electric motor, manually driven actuator, linear actuator, cam and follower, screw-jack, linkage, pneumatics, hydraulics, and control system. The gas springs may be replaced with torsion springs, compression springs, tension springs, a mass and lever arm, or other counter-balance means.

Figures 12A and 12B show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a second aspect of the present disclosure. This second aspect is similar to the first aspect shown in Figs. IA and 16, but without the horizontal member 21 and diagonal members 22a and 22b and with the first arm 20a located on the opposite base 24a. A control horn 62 may be added to a distal end of the first arm 20a. The control horn 62 provides a connection point off-center (a moment arm) from the pivot point at the base of the arm, which provides for a force applied to the cable 23 to raise or lower the arm. Cables 23a, 23b, and 23c may be mechanically coupled on either side to anchors 26 using, for example, a heavy-duty D-link (not shown). Cable 23a may connect to both anchors and extend horizontally from connections at the distal end of both arms. Cable 23b and 23c may connect to both anchors and extend from a connection at the base of one arm to a connection at the distal end of another arm. For the embodiment shown in Figures 12A and 12B, and the other embodiments discussed in this disclosure, the cable 23 connections to the arms and anchors may be pulleys or pin joints (not shown). A tensioning device 60 may be added to the cables 23 to facilitate clearing the cables 23 from the area around the raising/lowering mechanism (not shown) and also may tension the cables to a desired amount for impact. Such tensioning device may include an in-line tension spring, a spring with a pulley end, a tension arm with a torsion spring, or may utilize an elastic stretch of the cable.

Figures 13A and 13B show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a third aspect of the present disclosure. This aspect is similar to the second aspect shown in Figs. 12A and 12B with an alternate raising/lower method utilizing a drive cable 23d and a pulley 61.

The drive cable 23d connects a raising/lowering mechanism (not shown) on base 24a with a second arm 20b located on the opposite side and coupled to base 24b. The pulley 61 in communication with drive cable 23d helps to facilitate matching the raising and lowering of the second arm 20b with the raising and lowering of the first arm 20a.

Figures 14A and 14B show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a fourth aspect of the present disclosure. This aspect is similar to the second aspect shown in Figs. 13A and 13B with yet another alternate raising/lower method utilizing a control horn 62 coupled to the bottom end of arm 20a. The raising/lowering mechanism is coupled to a first arm 20a via the drive cable 23d and a pulley 61a and also coupled to a second arm 20b via the drive cable 23d and a pulley 61b.

Figures 15A and 15B show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a fifth aspect of the present disclosure. The first and second arms 20a and 20b, raise and lower in a direction parallel to the roadway across which a net 66 is stretched. The net 66 can be constructed of metal cables, rope, or strapping made of fabric, plastic or rubber. The cables 23 are attached to anchors 26 and to the first and second arms 20a and 20b. The cables 23 may be attached to the arms with a pulley type connection (not shown). A tensioning device 60 may be added to the cables 23 to facilitate clearing the cables 23 from the area around the raising/lowering mechanism (not shown) and also may tension the cables to a desired amount for impact.

Figures 15C and 15D show side view of the enhanced vehicle barrier system, in raised and lowered positions, respectively according to a fifth aspect of the present disclosure as shown in Figures ISA and 15B. Specifically, arm 20a is seen in a raised and lowered position.

Figures 16A and 16B show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a sixth aspect of the present disclosure. The first and second arms 20a and 20b, raise and lower in a direction perpendicular to a roadway (not shown) across which a net 66 is stretched. The net 66 can be constructed of metal cables, rope, or strapping made of fabric, plastic or rubber. A control horn 62 may be added to a distal end of the first arm 20a. The cables 23 are attached to anchors 26 and to the first and second arms 20a and 20b. The cables 23 may be attached to the arms with a pulley type connection (not shown).

A tensioning device 60 may be added to the cables 23 to facilitate clearing the cables 23 from the area around the raising/lowering mechanism (not shown) and also may tension the cables to a desired amount for impact. A top horizontal member of the net 66 may be a drive cable 23 for use in pulling up the arm 20a when raising the net 66. Figures 17A and 17B show front views of an enhanced vehicle barrier system, in raised and lowered positions, respectively, according to a seventh aspect of the present disclosure. The first and second arms 20a and 20b, raise and lower in a direction perpendicular to a roadway (not shown) across which a net 66 is stretched. A series of cables 23 can be connected horizontally between the arms 20a and 20b. A control horn 62 may be added to a distal end of the first arm 20a. The cables 23 are attached to anchors 26 and to the first and second arms 20a and 20b. The cables 23 may be attached to the arms with a pulley type connection (not shown). A tensioning device 60 may be added to the cables 23 to facilitate clearing the cables 23 from the area around the raising/lowering mechanism (not shown) and also may tension the cables to a desired amount for impact. A top cable 23a may be used to raise the arm 20a if the raising and lowering mechanism is coupled directly to arm 20b and indirectly to arm 20a.

Figures 12A - 17B do not show a raising/lowering mechanism attached to the first and second arms 20a and 20b. It should be understood that a raising/lowering mechanism could be connected to either or both of the arms 20a and 20b. If the raising/lowering mechanism is directly connected to only one of the arms 20a or 20b in a manner similar to Figures 7-11 , then such arm may be considered a primary arm. The other arm without direct connection to the raising/lowering mechanism may be considered a slave arm, and can be lifted through connection of cables or rigid members.

EXAMPLE

An example of the actual dimensions of a constructed prototype resembling the embodiment shown in Figures 1-11 is described as follows: Each of the arms 20a and 20b, the horizontal member 21 and the diagonal members 22a and 22b may have a 2" x 3" cross-section. The arm 20a may be 34 3 A" long. The arm 20b may be 30 %" long. The diagonal members 22a and 22b may be 166" or 170" long. The pin 57 connecting diagonal members 22a and 22b is ideally located 18" to 24" above the roadway in order to contact the bumper of a vehicle, with a height of 21" being most preferred. The horizontal member 21 is ideally 44" above the roadway. The bases 24

may have a base area of 16" x 36". The connecting linkages 45 may be 10.88" long. The connecting linkages and bases may be sprayed or coated with a durable bed-liner or powder to protect them from corrosion and damage from raising and lowering forces. The horizontal and diagonal members and arms may be made of aluminum, with the bases and connecting linkages made of steel. The linear actuators may be rated for 500 lbs and the gas springs rated for 250 or 450 lbs. The entire assembly may be disassembled and stored in a duffle bag that is about 4' long.

Although illustrative embodiments have been described herein in detail, it should be noted and will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that numerous variations may be made within the scope of this invention without departing from the principle of this invention and without sacrificing its chief advantages.

Unless otherwise specifically stated, the terms and expressions have been used herein as terms of description and not terms of limitation. There is no intention to use the terms or expressions to exclude any equivalents of features shown and described or portions thereof and this invention should be defined in accordance with the claims that follow. —