Patents Represented by Attorney John C. McFarren
  • Patent number: 6139195
    Abstract: An optical fiber connector having strain relief insert means to engage the buffered coating of the optical fiber cable upon the crimping of a crimp ring to cause the insert to flow in a direction toward the connector and the fiber to move toward the connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Joseph A. Paparella
  • Patent number: 5838850
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for curved-angle cleaving of optical fibers is presented. The method requires the introduction of a flaw in an optical fiber to be cleaved, and the application of predetermined stress and strain to the optical fiber in the vicinity of the flaw to cause curved-angle cleaving of the optical fiber at the flaw. More particularly, one embodiment of the method requires fixing first and second portions of the optical fiber, for example, by clamping, and introducing a flaw into the optical fiber between the first and second portions. Then, a substantially concentrated force is applied to the optical fiber between the flaw and the first portion of the optical fiber, on a side of the optical fiber opposite the flaw, in order to cause the optical fiber to cleave with a curved-angle cleave. Another embodiment of the method applies a substantially concentrated force to the fiber before introduction of the flaw.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1998
    Assignee: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Charles M. Mansfield, Gordon Wiegand
  • Patent number: 5792989
    Abstract: An end seal for splice closures or for terminals including a body having a core portion and an extended tail portion of a flexible resilient material. The core portion has an outer periphery and openings extending through the core. The openings communicate with the outer periphery. A tail portion is integral with and extends from the core periphery to be wrapped about the core and the cables to be placed in the openings. A sealant strip extends around the cables and between the abutting peripheral surface of the core and the wrapped tail portion. The strip is responsive to electrical or electromagnetic stimulation for heating the sealant strip and causing the strip to bond with adjacent contact surfaces of the cable and the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1998
    Assignee: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Russell P. Smith
  • Patent number: 5767816
    Abstract: A passive electronic marker uses a plurality of ferrite cores to increase locating range, and the cores are attached in such a manner that a slight bend of the marker at a junction between the cores does not significantly affect the markers performance. Stable locating range and tuned frequency are achieved by controlling the air gap between the cores, using specially shaped ends or a sphere which is positioned between the cores. By selecting the appropriate geometry for the core ends and winding interconnections, the first order permeability across the air gap is held constant during bending of the marker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1998
    Assignee: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Armond D. Cosman
  • Patent number: 5757997
    Abstract: A fiber optic connector comprising a plug and a receptacle uses the spring force supplied by bowing of the plug fiber to maintain a continuous compressive load at the fiber joint located in a fiber-alignment groove. The plug has a holder for securing the plug fiber and a shroud which snaps onto the holder with the plug fiber extending generally straight inside the shroud. The shroud has a slot providing access to the terminal portion of the plug fiber, and a sliding door which selectively covers the slot. The receptacle includes a housing and another fiber holder for securing the receptacle fiber, with a projection or finger attached to the receptacle fiber holder, the projection having the fiber-alignment groove. The finger is oriented within the receptacle housing such that, when the plug is inserted into the receptacle, the finger extends through the slot in the shroud at an oblique angle with respect to the plug axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Assignee: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Barbara L. Birrell, Victor J. Borer, Donald G. Doss, Gordon D. Henson, Scott A. Igl, Nicolas A. Lee
  • Patent number: 5758004
    Abstract: A closure with improved cable strain relief, having a body with a closed end and an open end, a tubular base having first and second ends with the open end of the body releasably secured to the first end of the base, and a strain relief member attached to the second end of the base. The strain relief member is composed entirely of non-metallic components, and includes a plate having cutouts therein forming cable ports, each of the cutouts having a wall and an inner surface along the wall, there being a plurality of gripping teeth along each inner surface, and each wall having at least one channel therein with entry and exit slots. A cable tie securing a cable in one of the cutouts is threaded through the channel, extending out the entry and exit slots. The plate advantageously has a plurality of outer surfaces shaped to fit snugly with an inner surface of the second end of the base, and flanges located at each outer surface for attachment to an edge of the second end of the base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Assignee: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Sergio A. Alarcon, Jerry D. Jackson
  • Patent number: 5746253
    Abstract: A cover assembly including a crushable support (100) for supporting an elastomeric tube is described, the elastomeric tube being recoverable to at least a part of its original size and shape after collapse of said support, comprising: a plurality of substantially longitudinally extending portions (12); a plurality of connection portions (14), each longitudinally extending portion (12) being connected to, and spaced apart from neighboring longitudinally extending portions (12) by at least one of said connection portions (14) to form a rigid structure; and said at least one of said connection portions (14) including at least one frangible zone (16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignee: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Herbert Dust, Gerhard Lohmeier, Manfred G. Viebranz
  • Patent number: 5734770
    Abstract: A device for interconnecting the bare ends of two or more optical fibers uses a common receptacle having a fiber clamping element therein and camming surfaces for actuating the element, and at least one plug having a camming finger for engaging one of the camming surfaces. The camming surfaces are located such that, when only one of the camming surfaces is actuated, the clamping element rocks to a side of the pocket opposite the one camming surface and remains in the open state, but when both of the camming surfaces are actuated, the clamping element is forced to the closed state. The plug includes a fiber protector free to slide within the plug housing, substantially enclosing the bare end of the fiber when the plug housing is removed from the receptacle, but retracting when the plug housing is inserted into the receptacle to direct the bare end of the fiber toward said guide tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1998
    Assignee: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: James B. Carpenter, Richard A. Patterson, Ronald P. Pepin
  • Patent number: 5731051
    Abstract: A sleeve for protecting and reinforcing a fusion splice of two or more optical fibers. The fusion splice protector includes a heat-shrinkable sleeve adapted to surround the fusion splice and adjacent portions of the fused optical fibers, a stress-relieving support element adjacent the fusion splice, and a hot-melt adhesive contained within the sleeve for retaining the support element adjacent a longitudinal section of the sleeve. The support element is designed to impart varying elasticity along a length of the sleeve such that the fusion splice protector is more rigid at the central portion of the sleeve member than at its ends. This may advantageously be achieved by providing a support element having a cross-sectional profile which varies along the length of the sleeve. The support element is preferably constructed of a polymer or polymer blend, most preferably one having a coefficient of thermal expansion which is approximately equal to the coefficient of thermal expansion of the optical fibers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1998
    Assignee: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Maureen T. Fahey, Alan G. Hulme-Lowe, Charles M. Mansfield, Grieg A. Olson
  • Patent number: 5732173
    Abstract: An optical module for interconnecting two or more optical fibers has a microreplicated waveguide element which is integrally formed on the same substrate with a splice element. In one embodiment, the module has three plates, a bottom plate, a cover plate, and a top plate, all contained within a common housing. The bottom plate has fiber-receiving grooves and fiber alignment grooves at its ends, the fiber alignment grooves being aligned with waveguide channels formed on the central portion of the bottom plate. The cover plate is used when forming the cores of the waveguide channels, to force residual curable, waveguide material into flow channels adjacent the waveguide channels, and this material, when cured, adheres the bottom and cover plates together. The top plate is used to clamp fibers which are held in the fiber alignment grooves, with the center of the fibers aligned with the core of the waveguide channels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1998
    Assignee: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: James R. Bylander, James B. Carpenter, Donald G. Doss, Douglas P. Hills, Richard A. Patterson, Laura A. Weller-Brophy
  • Patent number: 5725698
    Abstract: A friction boring process creates a corrosion resistant fine grain microstructure in the wall surfaces of holes bored in aluminum alloy materials. A rotating tool is inserted directly into the aluminum material, or into a pre-drilled pilot hole, at a sufficient rotational velocity and feed rate to cause working that extends beyond the diameter of the tool, frictional heating, and extraction of aluminum material by metal deformation rather than cutting action as with a conventional drill bit. Burring, smoothing, and otherwise removing aluminum material extracted from the hole may be performed by a finishing segment that limits insertion depth of the tool. Frictional heating generates a temperature sufficient for rapid recrystallization of the remaining worked metal to form a fine grain microstructure to a depth of about 2.5 mm in the hole surfaces. Corrosion protection is retained even if some fine grain material is removed during a subsequent reaming operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1998
    Assignee: Boeing North American, Inc.
    Inventor: Murray W. Mahoney
  • Patent number: 5710413
    Abstract: An H-field electromagnetic heating system for fusion bonding, particularly useful in the sealing of telecommunications cables and closures, comprises a composite bonding material having a bonding matrix and susceptors, the susceptors being magnetically reactive at a frequency above 50 MHz, and an applicator for applying radiant electromagnetic energy to the composite bonding material, at a frequency above 50 MHz (preferably 75-500 MHz). The applicator may take the form of a quarter-wave resonator having an inner conductor and an outer conductor which at least partially surrounds the inner conductor, the two conductors being shorted at a common end. The material to be heated is placed between the conductors. The inner conductor may include a resonator tube which is capacitively coupled to the power supply by a capacitive probe connected to the center conductor of a coaxial connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 20, 1998
    Assignee: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: James D. King, Harold F. Donoho, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5595677
    Abstract: PLZT piezoelectric ceramics having the general formula (Pb.sub.1-x La.sub.x)(Zr.sub.y Ti.sub.1-y).sub.1-(x/4) O.sub.3 are fabricated in a hot forging process using PbO, TiO.sub.2, ZrO.sub.2, and La.sub.2 O.sub.3 powders as starting materials with Nb.sub.2 O.sub.5 added to provide niobium (Nb) as a dopant. The ZrO.sub.2 and TiO.sub.2 powders are mixed at a molar ratio of y/(1-y), calcined at approximately 1300.degree.-1500.degree. C., ball milled in acetone, and evaporated to a dry powder. The mixture of ZrO.sub.2 and TiO.sub.2 is then combined with the PbO, La.sub.2 O.sub.3, and Nb.sub.2 O.sub.5 powders, and the new mixture is ball milled in acetone, evaporated to a dry powder, calcined at approximately 700.degree.-850.degree. C., and sifted to obtain a particle size of approximately 0.3-2.0 .mu.m. The final PLZT powder is formed into the desired shape by cold pressing followed by sintering at approximately 1000.degree.-1150.degree. C. in oxygen. The PLZT ceramic material is further densifted to about 98.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 21, 1997
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventors: Ratnakar R. Neurgaonkar, John R. Oliver, Jeffrey G. Nelson
  • Patent number: 5595637
    Abstract: A photoelectrochemical method and apparatus are disclosed for fabricating electronic circuits. An electroplating solution is applied to the surface of a reverse biased p-type semiconductor material, such as NiO. The solution-covered NiO surface is illuminated with a light beam directed by computer aided design data to photoelectrochemically deposit a seed layer of metal in an electronic circuit pattern. The seed layer may be thickened by further deposition in a plating bath to form metallic circuit traces on the NiO. If desired, the metallic circuitry may be transferred from the NiO to an alternate substrate having a low dielectric constant. The porosity of the NiO surface can be adjusted to optimize the metallic circuit adhesion for image retention or ease of transfer. The metallic traces may also be treated to reduce adhesion of subsequently deposited metal that can be transferred readily.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 21, 1997
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventors: D. Morgan Tench, Leslie F. Warren, Jr., Young J. Chung
  • Patent number: 5578976
    Abstract: A micro electromechanical RF switch is fabricated on a substrate using a suspended microbeam as a cantilevered actuator arm. From an anchor structure, the cantilever arm extends over a ground line and a gapped signal line that comprise microstrips on the substrate. A metal contact formed on the bottom of the cantilever arm remote from the anchor is positioned facing the signal line gap. An electrode atop the cantilever arm forms a capacitor structure above the ground line. The capacitor structure may include a grid of holes extending through the top electrode and cantilever arm to reduce structural mass and the squeeze damping effect during switch actuation. The switch is actuated by application of a voltage on the top electrode, which causes electrostatic forces to attract the capacitor structure toward the ground line so that the metal contact closes the gap in the signal line. The switch functions from DC to at least 4 GHz with an electrical isolation of -50 dB and an insertion loss of 0.1 dB at 4 GHz.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1996
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventor: Jun J. Yao
  • Patent number: 5572074
    Abstract: A compact photosensor circuit provides automatic intensity range control for machine vision systems. The circuit may be implemented with standard CMOS integrated circuit technology to provide high sensitivity, fully static operation, and automatic exposure control with no moving parts. For each pixel of an imaging array, a photodetector provides an input photocurrent to a corresponding photosensor circuit. The photodetector is connected to provide an output voltage and an input to the gates of a pair of series-connected FETs that act as an attenuator. The attenuator is connected to a biasing source that provides a floor bias voltage. An output of the attenuator is connected to the gate of a third FET connected to the input photocurrent. The output voltage responds as a function of the light intensity at the photodetector while the bias voltage determines the range of light intensity for normal operation of the photosensor circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 5, 1996
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventor: David L. Standley
  • Patent number: 5559640
    Abstract: An automotive rear view mirror system comprises passive optical elements (which may include lenses, but must include one or an odd number of mirrors) configured to provide a wide field of view with a negative optical element having a small width dimension mounted externally and close to the body of the vehicle. In a basic embodiment, a small negative optical element, such as a convex mirror, is mounted outside the vehicle, and a larger positive optical element, such as a convex lens, is placed inside the vehicle. The optical elements are positioned to be substantially confocal, with the distance between them equal to the difference in their focal lengths, so as to cancel the curvature of field generated by the external element. The internal element magnifies the image to a size comparable to that obtained with a standard external flat mirror.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 24, 1996
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventors: Frederick R. Vachss, William H. Southwell, Joseph Malus, Mohsen Khoshnevisan
  • Patent number: 5549768
    Abstract: A process of cold working followed by rapid recrystallization imparts a localized fine grain morphology in and around surfaces of fastener holes and edges in aluminum materials. A peening tool that may be employed for surface cold working includes a hollow housing with openings for retaining a plurality of ball peens that may be driven by rotating cams or an oscillating tapered piston operating within the housing to force the ball peens to impact the surfaces of an edge, cavity, or fastener hole to which the tool is applied. The tool may be shaped to accommodate straight bored, counter bored, countersunk, and/or edge surfaces and may be applied manually or automatically for cold working over substantially the entire surface area of the edge or cavity. The peening tool effects localized cold working to a predetermined and controlled depth to break up the existing large pancake-shaped grain structure in the surface of the aluminum alloy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1996
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventor: Murray W. Mahoney
  • Patent number: 5514985
    Abstract: A virtual amplifier comprises a typical switched source follower circuit plus an additional switch of minimum size to perform a virtual amplification function. A capacitor is connected between the gate, which comprises a detector node, and the source, which comprises a source node, of a source follower FET. The source node is connected to the output by a first FET switch. The source node is also connected to a voltage source by a second FET switch. The voltage on the detector node is manipulated by pumping a charge into or out of the capacitor. Charge pumping is accomplished by first accumulating charge on the detector node while the source node is connected to the voltage source, and then switching the first FET switch on and the second FET switch off so that the effective capacitance of the detector node is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1996
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventor: Shy-Shiun Chern
  • Patent number: 5514474
    Abstract: Thermodynamically stable ceramic composites are provided for use in high temperature oxidizing environments. A phosphate selected from monazites and xenotimes functions as a weak bond interphase material between the constituents of the composites. Monazite comprises a family of minerals having the form MPO.sub.4, where M is selected from the larger trivalent rare earth elements of the lanthanide series (La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, and Tb) and coupled substituted divalents and tetravalents such as Ca or Sr with Zr or Th. Xenotimes are phosphates similar to monazite where M is selected from Sc, Y, and the smaller trivalent rare earth elements of the lanthanide series (Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1996
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventors: Peter E. D. Morgan, David B. Marshall