Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm Georgann Grunebach
  • Patent number: 6754906
    Abstract: The invention is a device for generating a display of an electronic program guide on a screen. Invention is comprised of a receiver which includes a tuner for receiving an input stream of television content and electronic program guide data. The receiver separates the electronic program guide data from the input stream. The invention also comprises a memory coupled to the receiver for storing the electronic program guide data that has been separated from the input stream. Additionally, a display means is included for generating a display which combines a set of electronic program guide data. The program guide data includes a plurality of program titles, and a plurality of organizational categories. Each program title belongs to at least one of the organizational categories.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2004
    Assignee: The Directv Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Craig A. Finseth, Jeffrey A. Brown, Philip E. Hsiao
  • Patent number: 6101104
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are disclosed for controlling the operation of a synchronous rectifier used in power conversion circuitry. The disclosed method and apparatus senses the voltage across the synchronous rectifier, and turns the synchronous rectifier OFF when the voltage across the rectifier is about to change direction. Preferably, the synchronous rectifier is commanded OFF at the approximate instant when the voltage across the rectifier reaches approximately zero, which also corresponds to a current of approximately zero. Accordingly, currents are prevented from flowing in the reverse direction in the synchronous rectifier. This results in approximately zero voltage and zero current switching when the rectifier is turned OFF, thereby minimizing switching losses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: John E. Eng
  • Patent number: 6076773
    Abstract: Spin-stabilized spacecraft are provided which facilitate simple attitude maneuvers and the use of high-gain antennas and efficient solar panels without the need for complex control systems and an excessive number of thrusters. They include a rotor and first and second spacecraft platforms wherein the rotor and the first and second spacecraft platforms are rotatably coupled together and a spin thruster system is arranged to urge and maintain the rotor in a spacecraft-stabilizing spin about the rotor axis. A first rotary-drive mechanism couples the first spacecraft platform to the rotor and a second rotary-drive mechanism couples the second spacecraft platform to the first spacecraft platform. An attitude thruster is spaced from the rotor axis and oriented to generate an axial thrust component in the rotor for synchronous control of the inertial attitude of the rotor axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2000
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: Jeremiah O. Salvatore
  • Patent number: 6062512
    Abstract: A method of damping nutation and removing wobble of a spacecraft provided with first and second momentum sources having linearly independent momentum components in the plane transverse to the given axis. The method includes sensing angular velocities of the spacecraft along orthogonal first and second axes in the transverse plane, and generating velocity signals representative of the angular velocities. The velocity signals are processed to form control signals representative of desired torques for driving the momentum sources. The desired torques have a first additive component proportional to the angular velocities for removing the wobble and a second additive component proportional to the first derivatives of the angular velocities for damping the nutation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Qinghong W. Wang, Michael F. Barsky
  • Patent number: 6047226
    Abstract: Spacecraft attitude is efficiently controlled by utilizing spatial noise and temporal noise in the calculation of gains to a Kalman filter. Spatial noise is modeled in a dynamic fashion so as to provide optimal spatial noise attenuation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Yeong-Wei Andy Wu, Garry Didinsky, Douglas H. Hein
  • Patent number: 6042058
    Abstract: Spacecraft stationkeeping and momentum-dumping methods are facilitated by the use of selected diagonal pairs of thrusters which are positioned adjacent to nadir or antinadir spacecraft faces. The methods maintain an elliptical Sun-synchronous orbit, counter triaxiality forces and facilitate momentum-dumping of momentum and/or reaction wheels. They are particularly suited for inclined orbits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: Bernard M. Anzel
  • Patent number: 6031434
    Abstract: An ortho mode transducer (OMT)/multiplexer assembly having a corrugated junction and a coaxial dual mode waveguide resonator disposed around a central cylindrical waveguide. The corrugated junction diplexes signals, the higher frequencies passing through the central cylindrical waveguide and the lower frequencies passing through the coaxial dual mode resonator. Apertures in the dual mode resonator couple to an exit port and extract a first polarization from the lower frequencies passing through the dual mode resonator. The assembly may include a second aperture in the dual mode resonator for extracting a second polarization in a manner similar to the operation of the first aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Paul J. Tatomir, Daniel J. Hoppe, Christ P. Tzelepis, Keith N. Loi
  • Patent number: 6027076
    Abstract: A spacecraft, such as a satellite in geosynchronous orbit, is powered using at least two independently controllable batteries, such as lithium ion batteries, operably connected to the power-consuming components of the spacecraft. Each battery is operable in a higher-temperature range and inactivated in a lower-temperature range. The first battery and the second battery are operated in the higher-temperature range during a first period of time. The first battery is thereafter operated in the higher-temperature range during a second period of time, with the second battery being non-operational and in the lower-temperature range during the second period of time. The first battery and the second battery are thereafter operated in the higher-temperature range during a third period of time. The second battery is thereafter operated in the higher-temperature range during a fourth period of time, with the first battery being non-operational and in the lower-temperature range during the fourth period of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: Stanley J. Krause
  • Patent number: 6025809
    Abstract: A radiating element for an antenna incorporating a patch launcher, a bandpass filter and a polarizer all in one waveguide without the need for interconnecting individual components. The waveguide has at least one coaxial input having a patch launcher attached thereto. The inside diameter of the waveguide has a plurality of spaced apart irises that act as a bandpass filter followed by a plurality of spaced apart pins that act as a polarizer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2000
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Steven O. Lane, Michael J. Grall, James M. Barker, Louis W. Hendrick
  • Patent number: 6019320
    Abstract: A system and method for acquiring Sun pointing in a three-axis stabilized spacecraft including slewing at least one solar wing until the Sun is detected, determining an initial Sun vector, performing one or more rotations of the spacecraft body so as to bring the instantaneous Sun vector coincident with a preferred final Sun vector, at least one rotation about an optimal axis, and slewing at least one solar wing to a preferred attitude relative to the Sun. In one embodiment, the optimal axis is chosen so as to minimize the time required to achieve an optimal thermal attitude. In another embodiment, the optimal axis is chosen so as to minimize the time required to align the instantaneous Sun vector with the final desired Sun vector. In a further embodiment, the optimal axis is chosen so as to maintain Earth lock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Piyush R. Shah, Douglas J. Bender
  • Patent number: 6018266
    Abstract: A radio frequency system includes a reflective diode linearizer. The reflective diode linearizer has a quadrature hybrid circuit with an input, an output, a first tuned port, and a second tuned port. Each of the tuned ports has a reflection circuit in electrical communication. Each reflection circuit includes a first Schottky diode having a cathode in electrical communication with the tuned port, a second Schottky diode having an anode in electrical communication with the tuned port, a first delay line having a first end in electrical communication with the tuned port, a second delay line having a first end in electrical communication with an anode of the first Schottky diode and also in electrical communication with a cathode of the second Schottky diode, and a radio frequency resistive element having a first end in electrical communication with a second end of the first delay line and a second end in electrical communication with a second end of the second delay line and with an electrical ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: Shih-Chang Wu
  • Patent number: 6013388
    Abstract: A battery cell terminal having structure for receiving a thermal conductor. The receiving structure may comprise a bore defined by an inner surface of the terminal. The thermal conductor may be a heat pipe or other suitable conductor. A layer of electrical insulation may be disposed between the terminal and the thermal conductor. The terminal conducts heat produced by electrodes in the cell to the thermal conductor which then conducts the heat to a heat sink.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Steven J. Stadnick, Allen R. Powers, Barry G. Gage
  • Patent number: 6010800
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for controlling the temperature of a battery used in a spacecraft or an electric vehicle are disclosed. The apparatus includes a thermal conductor, such as a thermally-conductive heat pipe or forced-fluid cooling loop, that is in thermal contact with thermally-conductive cell terminals of the battery, and a heat sink, such as a radiator. The inventive method includes operating the battery to generate and conduct heat to the thermally-conductive battery cell terminals. The generated heat is passed via conduction from the terminals to the thermal conductor. The heat is conducted through the thermal conductor to a heat sink which may be remotely located with respect to the battery. Preferably, the thermal conductor remains electrically insulated from the battery cell terminals and the heat sink.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2000
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Steven J. Stadnick, Stanley J. Krause
  • Patent number: 6009306
    Abstract: A satellite communications system includes hub satellite which are equipped to communicate with at least three other satellites. The hub satellites include crosslink interfaces for each of the other satellites with which it may communicate and a switching system for routing those communications between interfaces. A system of a given number of satellites may include several hubs and may be configured in a way which permits any satellite within the system to communicate with a hub either directly or after transiting one or more intervening satellites. Systems which include fewer hubs may require communication with more than one intervening satellite before a hub is reached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1999
    Inventor: Keith J. Hargis
  • Patent number: 6003818
    Abstract: A system and method for slewing a spacecraft with a reaction wheel system including determining initial total momentum, determining maximum forward and reverse rates that can be realized within the reaction wheel system maximum storage capacity, determining a slew rate and slew direction from the maximum forward and reverse rates so as to minimize slew time for known slew angles or maximize slew rate for arbitrary slew angles, and slewing the spacecraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1999
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Piyush R. Shah, Douglas J. Bender, David S. Uetrecht
  • Patent number: 5999718
    Abstract: An automatic and iterative simulation method for adjusting linearizer parameters to achieve desired AM/AM and AM/PM characteristics is disclosed. The disclosed method includes the steps of choosing a set of linearizer parameters, modeling the performance of the linearizer circuit and the power amplifier to calculate a performance index. The performance index is compared to a threshold. The method continues to iterate until the performance index is acceptable in comparison to the threshold. When the process is completed, the linearizer parameters are output for use by the designer. The disclosed method eliminates the need to engage in trial and error methods in a laboratory when combining a linearizer and a power amplifier to produce linear output characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Wei-Chun Wang, Arnold L. Berman, Michael I. Mandell, Tong-Jyh Lee
  • Patent number: 5995518
    Abstract: A system and method for communication of information using channels of different latency combine a high latency communication channel with a low latency communication channel to reduce the communication delay perceived by a user. The system and method includes separating information into first and second components based on a parameter correlated to the perceived delay, communicating the first component via a first channel, communicating the second component via a second channel having a communication delay greater than the first channel, and generating a representation of the information based on the first component. The second component of the information may be used to augment or modify the information represented by the first component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Ronnie R. Burns, Donald C. Mead, Lawrence P. Seidman
  • Patent number: 5984236
    Abstract: A method of simultaneously controlling East/West and North/South positioning and unloading momentum of a spacecraft while orbiting an object. The spacecraft has a thruster array and a momentum accumulator. The method entails moving said spacecraft towards a node of the orbit. At a predetermined position on the orbit, separate from the node, a thruster of the thruster array is fired so as to control the orbital position of the spacecraft. While the thruster is being fired, momentum is dumped from the momentum accumulator at the predetermined position so that any loss in control in the attitude of the spacecraft is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Inventors: Keith F. Keitel, Richard A. Noyola, John F. Yocum, Jr., David K. Abernethy, Bernard M. Anzel
  • Patent number: 5977858
    Abstract: An actuator that uses electrothermal energy to switch between a first latching position and a second latching position. The actuator contains a leaf spring capable of latching into two distinct positions and two shape-memory wires. The shape-memory wires contract when heated and direct the leaf spring toward the two latching states. Once positioned in a latching state, the leaf spring will remain latched in that position until directed toward a different latching state by one of the shape-memory wires.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Robert Morgen, Harold H. Yee
  • Patent number: 5969674
    Abstract: A communication system transmitting messages includes two-way ranging by communicating between a target vehicle and a traffic controller station through a plurality of satellites. A set of the plurality of satellites may be used simultaneously or sequentially to transmit and receive signals from the ground station to a target vehicle, preferably an aircraft in the preferred embodiment. Each aircraft includes a particular ranging code combined with a message signal to selectively process the ranging data supplied to each vehicle. The ranging determination may be used in conjunction with alternative ranging devices, such as a global positioning system, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimations provided by the ranging processing. Nevertheless, the method and apparatus of the present invention provide relatively accurate state vectors without the need for precisely accurate timing synchronization at each of the stations connected by communication links.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Inventors: Urban A. von der Embse, Kenneth Yu Huang, Donald C. D. Chang