Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm John H. Kusmiss
  • Patent number: 6892989
    Abstract: A method for reducing drag upon a blunt-based vehicle by adaptively increasing forebody roughness to increase drag at the roughened area of the forebody, which results in a decrease in drag at the base of this vehicle, and in total vehicle drag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Stephen A. Whitmore, Edwin J. Saltzman, Timothy R. Moes, Kenneth W. Iliff
  • Patent number: 6828935
    Abstract: In a system according to the proposed technique (see figure), the signal received by each element of the array antenna would be subjected to downconversion, and spread-spectrum demodulation and correlation as necessary; this processing would be performed separately from, and simultaneously with, similar processing of signals received by the other antenna elements. For the GPS implementation, following downconversion to baseband, the signals would be digitized, and all subsequent processing would be digital. In the digital process, residual carriers would be removed and each signal would be correlated with a locally generated model pseudo random-noise code, all following normal GPS procedure. As part of this procedure, accumulated values would be added in software and the resulting signals would be phase-shifted in software by the amounts necessary to synthesize the desired antenna directional gain pattern of peaks and nulls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Charles E. Dunn, Lawrence E. Young
  • Patent number: 6825982
    Abstract: One-dimensional (1D) photonic crystal prisms can separate a beani of polychromatic electromagnetic waves into constituent wavelength components and can utilize unconventional refraction properties for wavelength dispersion over significant portions of an entire photonic band rather than just near the band edges outside the photonic band gaps. Using a 1D photonic crystal simplifies the design and fabrication process and allows the use of larger feature sizes. The prism geometry broadens the useful wavelength range, enables better optical transmission, and exhibits angular dependence on wavelength with reduced non-linearity. The properties of the 1D plhotonic crystal prism can be tuned by varying design parameters such as incidence angle, exit surface angle, and layer widths. The 1D photonic crystal prism can be fabricated in a planar process, and can be used as optical integrated circuit elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: The United States of Americas as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: David Z Ting
  • Patent number: 6791108
    Abstract: The invention involves tunneling tips to their conducting surface, and specifically the deposition of a monolayer of fullerene C60 onto the conducting plate surface to protect the tunneling tip from contact. The Fullerene C60 molecule is approximately spherical, and a monolayer of fullerene has a thickness of one nanometer, such that a monolayer thereby establishing the theoretical distance desired between the MEMS' tunneling tip and the conducting plate. Exploiting the electrical conductivity of C60, the tip can be accurately positioned by simply monitoring conductivity between the fullerene and the tunneling tip. By monitoring the conductivity between the tip and the fullerene layer as the tip is brought in proximity, the surfaces can be brought together without risk of contacting the underlying conducting surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: John D. Olivas
  • Patent number: 6788420
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a heterodyne interferometer system with a pre-processing of the target signal to isolate and remove self-interference signals using a known phase modulation of the carrier signal's frequency. Where self-interference signals do not include a time delay inherent in the target signal that travels to the target reflector, by selecting a modulation frequency tuned to the time delay and then filtering the resultant signal the target beam can be isolated and the self-interference signal can be effectively removed The system includes a modulation unit to apply a phase modulation to the carrier signal, and a mixing unit that demodulates the target signal at the modulation frequency to isolate the target beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2004
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Serge Dubovitsky
  • Patent number: 6764525
    Abstract: A process for making thin-film batteries including the steps of cleaning a glass or silicon substrate having an amorphous oxide layer several microns thick; defining with a mask the layer shape when depositing cobalt as an adhesion layer and platinum as a current collector; using the same mask as the preceding step to sputter a layer of LiCoO2 on the structure while rocking it back and forth; heating the substrate to 300° C. for 30 minutes; sputtering with a new mask that defines the necessary electrolyte area; evaporating lithium metal anodes using an appropriate shadow mask; and, packaging the cell in a dry-room environment by applying a continuous bead of epoxy around the active cell areas and resting a glass slide over the top thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2004
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Jay F. Whitacre, Ratnakumar V. Bugga, William C. West
  • Patent number: 6758098
    Abstract: A precision clamp accurately measures force over a wide range of conditions. Using a full bridge or other strain gage configuration, the elastic deformation of the clamp is measured or detected by the strain gages. The strain gages transmit a signal that corresponds to the degree of stress upon the clamp. The strain gage signal is converted to a numeric display. Calibration is achieved by zero and span potentiometers which enable accurate measurements by the force-measuring clamp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Mark Nunnelee
  • Patent number: 6753469
    Abstract: A power source converts &agr;-particle energy into electricity by coulomb collision in doped diamond films. Alpha particle decay from curium-244 creates electron-hole pairs by freeing electrons and holes inside the crystal lattice in N- and P-doped diamond films. Ohmic contacts provide electrical connection to an electronic device. Due to the built-in electric field at the rectifying junction across the N- and P-doped diamond films, the free electrons are constrained to traveling in generally one direction. This one direction then supplies electrons in a manner similar to that of a battery. The radioactive curium layer may be disposed on diamond films for even distribution of &agr;-particle radiation. The resulting power source may be mounted on a diamond substrate that serves to insulate structures below the diamond substrate from &agr;-particle emission. Additional insulation or isolation may be provided in order to prevent damage from &agr;-particle collision.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2004
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Elizabeth A. Kolawa, Jagdishbhai U. Patel, Jean-Pierre Fleurial
  • Patent number: 6728666
    Abstract: An evolvable circuit includes a plurality of reconfigurable switches, a plurality of transistors within a region of the circuit, the plurality of transistors having terminals, the plurality of transistors being coupled between a power source terminal and a power sink terminal so as to be capable of admitting power between the power source terminal and the power sink terminal, the plurality of transistors being coupled so that every transistor terminal to transistor terminal coupling within the region of the circuit comprises a reconfigurable switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Adrian Stoica, Carlos Harold Salazar-Lazaro
  • Patent number: 6710880
    Abstract: A high-precision heterodyne interferometer measures relative displacement by creating a thermally-insensitive system generally not subject to polarization leakage. By using first and second light beams separated by a small frequency difference (&Dgr;f), beams of light at the first frequency (f0) are reflected by co-axial mirrors, the first mirror of which has a central aperture through which the light is transmitted to and reflected by the second mirror. Prior to detection, the light beams from the two mirrors are combined with light of the second and slightly different frequency. The combined light beams are separated according to the light from the mirrors. The change in phase (&Dgr;&phgr;) with respect to the two signals is proportional to the change in distance of Fiducial B by a factor of wavelength (&lgr;) divided by 4&pgr; (&Dgr;L=&lgr;&Dgr;&phgr;1/(4&pgr;)). In a second embodiment, a polarizing beam splitting system can be used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2004
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Feng Zhao
  • Patent number: 6707429
    Abstract: The invention is embodied in a monolithic semiconductor integrated circuit in which is formed an antenna, such as a slot dipole antenna, connected across a rectifying diode. In the preferred embodiment, the antenna is tuned to received an electromagnetic wave of about 2500 GHz so that the device is on the order of a wavelength in size, or about 200 microns across and 30 microns thick. This size is ideal for mounting on a microdevice such as a microrobot for example. The antenna is endowed with high gain in the direction of the incident radiation by providing a quarter-wavelength (30 microns) thick resonant cavity below the antenna, the cavity being formed as part of the monolithic integrated circuit. Preferably, the integrated circuit consists of a thin gallium arsenide membrane overlying the resonant cavity and supporting an epitaxial Gallium Arsenide semiconductor layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2004
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Peter H. Siegel
  • Patent number: 6700298
    Abstract: A power source converts &agr;-particle energy to electricity for use in electrical systems. Liquid gallium or other liquid medium is subjected to &agr;-particle emissions. Electrons are freed by collision from neutral gallium atoms to provide gallium ions. The electrons migrate to a cathode while the gallium ions migrate to an anode. A current and/or voltage difference then arises between the cathode and anode because of the work function difference of the cathode and anode. Gallium atoms are regenerated by the receiving of electrons from the anode enabling the generation of additional electrons from additional &agr;-particle collisions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2004
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: G. Jeffrey Snyder, Jagdishbhai Patel, Jean-Pierre Fleurial
  • Patent number: 6667826
    Abstract: A system for providing high-resolution color separation in electronic imaging. Comb drives controllably oscillate a red-green-blue (RGB) color strip filter system (or otherwise) over an electronic imaging system such as a charge-coupled device (CCD) or active pixel sensor (APS). The color filter is modulated over the imaging array at a rate three or more times the frame rate of the imaging array. In so doing, the underlying active imaging elements are then able to detect separate color-separated images, which are then combined to provide a color-accurate frame which is then recorded as the representation of the recorded image. High pixel resolution is maintained. Registration is obtained between the color strip filter and the underlying imaging array through the use of electrostatic comb drives in conjunction with a spring suspension system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2003
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Frank T. Hartley, Anthony B. Hull
  • Patent number: 6646723
    Abstract: The present invention is an improved distance measuring interferometer that includes high speed phase modulators and additional phase meters to generate and analyze multiple heterodyne signal pairs with distinct frequencies. Modulation sidebands with large frequency separation are generated by the high speed electro-optic phase modulators, requiring only a single frequency stable laser source and eliminating the need for a first laser to be tuned or stabilized relative to a second laser. The combination of signals produced by the modulated sidebands is separated and processed to give the target distance. The resulting metrology apparatus enables a sensor with submicron accuracy or better over a multi-kilometer ambiguity range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2003
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Serge Dubovitsky, Oliver P. Lay
  • Patent number: 6558836
    Abstract: A process for making thin-film batteries including the steps of cleaning a glass or silicon substrate having an amorphous oxide layer several microns thick; defining with a mask the layer shape when depositing cobalt as an adhesion layer and platinum as a current collector; using the same mask as the preceding step to sputter a layer of LiCoO2 on the structure while rocking it back and forth; heating the substrate to 300° C. for 30 minutes; sputtering with a new mask that defines the necessary electrolyte area; evaporating lithium metal anodes using an appropriate shadow mask; and, packaging the cell in a dry-room environment by applying a continuous bead of epoxy around the active cell areas and resting a glass slide over the top thereof. The batteries produced by the above process are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Jay F. Whitacre, Ratnakumar V. Bugga, William C. West
  • Patent number: 6526821
    Abstract: The present invention is a force-based instrument that measures local flow angle. The preferred embodiment of the invention has a low aspect ratio airfoil member connected to a mounting base. Using a series of strain gauges located at the connecting portion of the probe, aerodynamic forces on the airfoil member can be converted to strain, which in turn can be converted to local air flow measurements. The present invention has no moving parts and is well suited for measuring flow in a transonic and supersonic regime.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Stephen Corda, Michael Jake Vachon
  • Patent number: 6526556
    Abstract: A method for evolving a circuit comprising configuring a plurality of transistors using a plurality of reconfigurable switches so that each of the plurality of transistors has a terminal coupled to a terminal of another of the plurality of transistors that is controllable by a single reconfigurable switch. The plurality of reconfigurable switches being controlled in response to a chromosome pattern. The plurality of reconfigurable switches may be controlled using an annealing function. As such, the plurality of reconfigurable switches may be controlled by selecting qualitative values for the plurality of reconfigurable switches in response to the chromosomal pattern, selecting initial quantitative values for the selected qualitative values, and morphing the initial quantitative values. Typically, subsequent quantitative values will be selected more divergent than the initial quantitative values. The morphing process may continue to partially or to completely polarize the quantitative values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Adrian Stoica, Carlos Harold Salazar-Lazaro
  • Patent number: 6522403
    Abstract: The optical system of this invention is an unique type of imaging spectrometer, i.e. an instrument that can determine the spectra of all points in a two-dimensional scene. The general type of imaging spectrometer under which this invention falls has been termed a computed-tomography imaging spectrometer (CTIS). CTIS's have the ability to perform spectral imaging of scenes containing rapidly moving objects or evolving features, hereafter referred to as transient scenes. This invention, a reflective CTIS with an unique two-dimensional reflective grating, can operate in any wavelength band from the ultraviolet through long-wave infrared. Although this spectrometer is especially useful for rapidly occurring events it is also useful for investigation of some slow moving phenomena as in the life sciences.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Daniel W. Wilson, Paul D. Maker, Richard E. Muller, Pantazis Z. Mouroulis
  • Patent number: 6507187
    Abstract: An ultrasensitive displacement sensing device for use in accelerometers, pressure gauges, temperature transducers, and the like, comprises a sputter deposited, multilayer, magnetoresistive field sensor with a variable electrical resistance based on an imposed magnetic field. The device detects displacement by sensing changes in the local magnetic field about the magnetoresistive field sensor caused by the displacement of a hard magnetic film on a movable microstructure. The microstructure, which may be a cantilever, membrane, bridge, or other microelement, moves under the influence of an acceleration a known displacement predicted by the configuration and materials selected, and the resulting change in the electrical resistance of the MR sensor can be used to calculate the displacement. Using a micromachining approach, very thin silicon and silicon nitride membranes are fabricated in one preferred embodiment by means of anisotropic etching of silicon wafers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2003
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: John D. Olivas, Bruce M. Lairson, Rajeshuni Ramesham
  • Patent number: 6446015
    Abstract: The present invention comprises a method and apparatus that generates a waveform consisting of an arbitrary number of frequency sweeps combined from adding and subtracting mini frequency sweeps. Optimization routines determine the best combination order of frequency sweep to minimize or maximize design criteria such as aerodynamic surface deflection or maximum command rate of the wave form. The invention allows for arbitrary output timing, or commands per second issued for the desired waveform, arbitrary starting and ending frequencies and amplitudes, arbitrary number of frequency sweep components, arbitrary frequency sweep exponent, arbitrary amplitude sweep exponent, and arbitrary waveform length. For a given frequency range and sweep exponent, amplitude range and sweep exponent, desired total waveform time and number of frequency sweep components, the algorithm can determine the optimum arrangement of the components to minimize the maximum amplitude or rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Bryan D. Duke