Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm John H. Kusmiss
  • Patent number: 6445280
    Abstract: A device to protect electronic circuitry from high voltage transients is constructed from a relatively thin piece of conductive composite sandwiched between two conductors so that conduction is through the thickness of the composite piece. The device is based on the discovery that conduction through conductive composite materials in this configuration switches to a high resistance mode when exposed to voltages above a threshold voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Adminstrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Hamid Javadi
  • Patent number: 6387781
    Abstract: Silicon and metal are coevaporated onto a silicon substrate in a molecular beam epitaxy system with a larger than stoichiometric amount of silicon so as to epitaxially grow columns of metal silicide embedded in a matrix of single crystal, epitaxially grown silicon. Higher substrate temperatures and lower deposition rates yield larger columns that are farther apart while more silicon produces smaller columns. Column shapes and locations are selected by seeding the substrate with metal silicide starting regions. A variety of 3-dimensional, exemplary electronic devices are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Robert W. Fathauer
  • Patent number: 6381081
    Abstract: A flexure-ring is provided for centering a lens in a bore of a housing with 3N lens contacting stubs, where N is an integer equal to or greater than one. The stubs are formed by increasing the inside diameter of the ring made to fit tightly around a lens except at 3N locations for the aforesaid stubs, and said ring having an outside diameter made to fit tightly inside the housing bore locations. Behind each stub, a segment of the ring is removed down to a chord perpendicular to a ring diameter passing through the center of each stub. That chord is selected to have a length greater than the lens contacting surface of the stub, thereby to produce a reduced cross section of the ring on both sides of the stub to serve as flexures in relieving stresses due to different coefficients of thermal expansion of the three parts involved due to changes in temperature while in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Virginia G. Ford
  • Patent number: 6374630
    Abstract: A carbon dioxide absorption heat pump cycle is disclosed using a high pressure stage and a super-critical cooling stage to provide a non-toxic system. Using carbon dioxide gas as the working fluid in the system, the present invention desorbs the CO2 from an absorbent and cools the gas in the super-critical state to deliver heat thereby. The cooled CO2 gas is then expanded thereby providing cooling and is returned to an absorber for further cycling. Strategic use of heat exchangers can increase the efficiency and performance of the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Jack A. Jones
  • Patent number: 6352220
    Abstract: In at least one embodiment, the apparatus of the invention is a flight vehicle tail assembly having an exterior surface, at least one first vent in the exterior surface, at least one second vent in the exterior surface, and an air passage connecting the at least one first vent to the at least one second vent allowing air to flow therebetween. Where the at least one first vent is located near a high air pressure area acting on the exterior surface during a range of predefined flight conditions. Further, the at least one second vent is located near a low air pressure area acting on the exterior surface during the predefined flight conditions. So that at the predefined flight conditions adverse loads on the tail assembly are reduced by venting air from the high pressure area, through the tail assembly, to the low pressure area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2002
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Daniel W. Banks, Henry L. Kelley
  • Patent number: 6335654
    Abstract: An inrush current control circuit having an input terminal connected to a DC power supply and an output terminal connected to a load capacitor limits the inrush current that charges up the load capacitor during power up of a system. When the DC power supply applies a DC voltage to the input terminal, the inrush current control circuit produces a voltage ramp at the load capacitor instead of an abrupt DC voltage. The voltage ramp results in a constant low level current to charge up the load capacitor, greatly reducing the current drain on the DC power supply.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2002
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Steven W. Cole
  • Patent number: 6324495
    Abstract: A synchronous parallel system for emulation and discrete event simulation having parallel nodes responds to received messages at each node by generating event objects having individual time stamps, stores only the changes to the state variables of the simulation object attributable to the event object and produces corresponding messages. The system refrains from transmitting the messages and changing the state variables while it determines whether the changes are superseded, and then stores the unchanged state variables in the event object for later restoral to the simulation object if called for. This determination preferably includes sensing the time stamp of each new event object and determining which the new event object has the earliest time stamp as the local event horizon, determining the earliest local event horizon of the nodes as the global event horizon, and ignoring events whose time stamps are less than the global event horizon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Jeffrey S. Steinman
  • Patent number: 6311107
    Abstract: The present invention is a two-part wind advisory system comprising a ground station at an airfield and an airborne unit placed inside an aircraft. The ground station monitors wind conditions (wind speed, wind direction, and wind gust) at the airfield and transmits the wind conditions and an airfield ID to the airborne unit. The airborne unit identifies the airfield by comparing the received airfield ID with airfield IDs stored in a database. The airborne unit also calculates the headwind and crosswind for each runway in both directions at the airfield using the received wind conditions and runway information stored in the database. The airborne unit then determines a recommended runway for takeoff and landing operations of the aircraft based on the runway having the greatest headwind value and displays the airfield ID, wind conditions, and recommended runway to the pilot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Paul A. Curto, Gerald E. Brown, Jan A. Zysko
  • Patent number: 6301775
    Abstract: A temperature compensation element for a high-temperature strain gage and the method of fabricating the same. Preferably, the element is a “dummy” strain gage not mechanically attached to the substrate. The element is encapsulated in an insulative material and used to compensate an active high-temperature strain gage and wired in a half-bridge configuration. The temperature compensation element and high-temperature strain gage are fabricated using the method of the present invention. This method includes temporarily adhering the element to a heat sink, encapsulated in an insulative material and then removed from the heat sink. Next, the element is either stacked or placed near the active gage. Ideally, the element and the active gage have substantially similar heat transfer and electrical properties.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Anthony Piazza
  • Patent number: 6277438
    Abstract: The invention involves a method for locating the probe of a scanning tunneling micrograph a predetermined distance from its conducting surface, and specifically the deposition of a monolayer of fullerene C60 onto the conducting plate. The Fullerene C60 molecule is approximately spherical, and a monolayer of fullerene has a thickness of one nanometer. By providing a monolayer of fullerene on the conducting surface and locating the probe on the surface of the monolayer, a distance of one nanometer can be established between the probe tip and the conducting surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: John D. Olivas
  • Patent number: 6271646
    Abstract: The invention is a circuit and method of limiting the charging current voltage from a power supply net work applied to an individual cell of a plurality of cells making up a battery being charged in series. It is particularly designed for use with batteries that can be damaged by overcharging, such as Lithium-ion type batteries. In detail, the method includes the following steps: 1) sensing the actual voltage level of the individual cell; 2) comparing the actual voltage level of the individual cell with a reference value and providing an error signal representative thereof; and 3) by-passing the charging current around individual cell necessary to keep the individual cell voltage level generally equal to a specific voltage level while continuing to charge the remaining cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Jeffrey Evers, Ronald V. Gelger
  • Patent number: 6253166
    Abstract: An airdata estimation and evaluation system and method, including a stable algorithm for estimating airdata from nonintrusive surface pressure measurements. The airdata estimation and evaluation system is preferably implemented in a flush airdata sensing (FADS) system. The system and method of the present invention take a flow model equation and transform it into a triples formulation equation. The triples formulation equation eliminates the pressure related states from the flow model equation by strategically taking the differences of three surface pressures, known as triples. This triples formulation equation is then used to accurately estimate and compute vital airdata from nonintrusive surface pressure measurements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Stephen A. Whitmore, Brent R. Cobleigh, Edward A. Haering, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6232866
    Abstract: A device to protect electronic circuitry from high voltage transients is constructed from a relatively thin piece of conductive composite sandwiched between two conductors so that conduction is through the thickness of the composite piece. The device is based on the discovery that conduction through conductive composite materials in this configuration switches to a high resistance mode when exposed to voltages above a threshold voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Hamid Javadi
  • Patent number: 6216063
    Abstract: A structured singular value (&mgr;) analysis method of computing flutter margins has robust stability of a linear aeroelastic model with uncertainty operators (&Dgr;). Flight data is used to update the uncertainty operators to accurately account for errors in the computed model and the observed range of aircraft dynamics of the aircraft under test caused by time-varying aircraft parameters, nonlinearities, and flight anomalies, such as test nonrepeatability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Richard C. Lind, Martin J. Brenner
  • Patent number: 6209821
    Abstract: The apparatus and method employ remote sensing to measure the air temperature a sufficient distance ahead of the aircraft to allow time for a variable inlet/engine assembly to be reconfigured in response to the measured temperature, to avoid inlet unstart and/or engine compressor stall. In one embodiment, the apparatus of the invention has a remote sensor for measuring at least one air temperature ahead of the vehicle and an inlet control system for varying the inlet. The remote sensor determines a change in temperature value using the at least one temperature measurement and prior temperature measurements corresponding to the location of the aircraft. The control system uses the change in air temperature value to vary the inlet configuration to maintain the position of the shock wave during the arrival of the measured air in the inlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Bruce L. Gary
  • Patent number: 6195184
    Abstract: A real-time, dynamic, free space-virtual reality, 3-D image display system which is enabled by using a unique form of Aerogel as the primary display media. A preferred embodiment of this system comprises a 3-D mosaic topographic map which is displayed by fusing four projected hologram images. In this embodiment, 4 holographic images are projected from 4 separate holograms. Each holographic image subtends a quadrant of the 4&pgr; solid angle. By fusing these four holographic images, a static 3-D image such as a featured terrain map would be visible for 360 degrees in the horizontal plane and 180 degrees in the vertical plane. An input, either acquired by 3-D image sensor or generated by computer animation, is first converted into a 2-D computer generated hologram (CGH). This CGH is then downloaded into large liquid crystal (LC) panel. A laser projector illuminates the CGH-filled LC panel and generates and displays a real 3-D image in the Aerogel matrix.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Tien-Hsin Chao, Frederick W. Mintz, Peter Tsou, Nevin A. Bryant
  • Patent number: 6195203
    Abstract: In one embodiment of the invention, a microscope or other observational apparatus, comprises a hollow tube, a lens mounted to the tube, a light source and at least one flexible optical fiber having an input end and an output end. The input end is positioned to receive light from the light source, and the output end is positioned within the tube so as to directly project light along a straight path to the lens to illuminate an object to be viewed. The path of projected light is uninterrupted and free of light deflecting elements. By passing the light through the lens, the light can be diffused or otherwise defocused to provide more uniform illumination across the surface of the object, increasing the quality of the image of the object seen by the viewer. The direct undeflected and uninterrupted projection of light, without change of direction, eliminates the need for light-deflecting elements, such as beam-splitters, mirrors, prisms, or the like, to direct the projected light towards the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Hiroshi Kadogawa
  • Patent number: 6133572
    Abstract: A thermal infrared detector system includes a heat sink, a support member, a connection support member connecting the support member to the heat sink and including a heater unit. An infrared detector element is mounted on the support member and a temperature signal representative of the infrared energy contacting the support member can then be derived by comparing the temperature of the support member and the heat sink. The temperature signal from a support member and a temperature signal from the connection support member can then be used to drive a heater unit mounted on the connection support member to thereby control the thermal conductance of the support member. Thus, the thermal conductance can be controlled so that it can be actively increased or decreased as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Thomas J. Cunningham
  • Patent number: 6126111
    Abstract: A system for emergency aircraft control uses at least one engine and lateral fuel transfer that allows a pilot to regain control over an aircraft under emergency conditions. Where aircraft propulsion is available only through engines on one side of the aircraft, lateral fuel transfer provides means by which the center of gravity of the aircraft can be moved over to the wing associated with the operating engine, thus inducing a moment that balances the moment from the remaining engine, allowing the pilot to regain control over the aircraft. By implementing the present invention in flight control programming associated with a flight control computer (FCC), control of the aircraft under emergency conditions can be linked to the yoke or autopilot knob of the aircraft. Additionally, the center of gravity of the aircraft can be shifted in order to effect maneuvers and turns by spacing such center of gravity either closer to or farther away from the propelling engine or engines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2000
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Frank W. Burcham, Jr., John J. Burken, Jeanette Le
  • Patent number: RE37218
    Abstract: A miniature dual-band two-way mobile satellite-tracking antenna system mounted on a movable vehicle includes a miniature parabolic reflector dish having an elliptical aperture with major and minor elliptical axes aligned horizontally and vertically, respectively, to maximize azimuthal directionality and minimize elevational directionality to an extent corresponding to expected pitch excursions of the movable ground vehicle. A feed-horn has a back end and an open front end facing the reflector dish and has vertical side walls opening out from the back end to the front end at a lesser horn angle and horizontal top and bottom walls opening out from the back end to the front end at a greater horn angle. An RF circuit couples two different signal bands between the feed-horn and the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Arthur C. Densmore, Vahraz Jamnejad, Kenneth E. Woo