Patents Represented by Attorney Thomas H. Jones
  • Patent number: 5652871
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a system for performing proximity detection in computer simulations on parallel processing architectures utilizing a distribution list which includes movers and sensor coverages which check in and out of grids. Each mover maintains a list of sensors that detect the mover's motion as the mover and sensor coverages check in and out of the grids. Fuzzy grids are included by fuzzy resolution parameters to allow movers and sensor coverages to check in and out of grids without computing exact grid crossings. The movers check in and out of grids while moving sensors periodically inform the grids of their coverage. In addition, a lookahead function is also included for providing a generalized capability without making any limiting assumptions about the particular application to which it is applied. The lookahead function is initiated so that risk-free synchronization strategies never roll back grid events.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 29, 1997
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Jeffrey S. Steinman, Frederick P. Wieland
  • Patent number: 5632022
    Abstract: Intelligent browsing through a collection of reusable software components is facilitated with a computer having a video monitor and a user input interface such as a keyboard or a mouse for transmitting user selections, by presenting a picture of encyclopedia volumes with respective visible labels referring to types of software, in accordance with a metaphor in which each volume includes a page having a list of general topics under the software type of the volume and pages having lists of software components for each one of the generic topics, altering the picture to open one of the volumes in response to an initial user selection specifying the one volume to display on the monitor a picture of the page thereof having the list of general topics and altering the picture to display the page thereof having a list of software components under one of the general topics in response to a next user selection specifying the one general topic, and then presenting a picture of a set of different informative plates depict
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 20, 1997
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Lloyd V. Warren, Brian C. Beckman
  • Patent number: 5608179
    Abstract: An ignitor initiates combustion of liquid propellant in a gun by utilizing a heated catalyst onto which the liquid propellant is sprayed in a manner which mitigates the occurrence of undesirable combustion chamber oscillations. The heater heats the catalyst sufficiently to provide the activation necessary to initiate combustion of the liquid propellant sprayed thereonto. Two embodiments of the ignitor and three alternative mountings thereof within the combustion chamber are disclosed. The ignitor may also be utilized to dispose of contaminated, excess, or waste liquid propellant in a safe, controlled, simple, and reliable manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 4, 1997
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administration of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Gerald E. Voecks, Ned W. Ferraro
  • Patent number: 5573873
    Abstract: The premature capacity failure of Ni/NiCl.sub.2 secondary cells due to agglomeration of nickel particles on the surface of the NiCl.sub.2 cathode is prevented by addition of a minor amount, such as 10 percent by weight of a transition metal such as Co, Fe or Mn to the cathode. The chlorides of the transition metals have lower potentials than nickel chloride and chlorinate during charge. A uniform dispersion of the transition metals in the cathodes prevents agglomeration of nickel, maintains morphology of the electrode, maintains the electrochemical area of the electrode and thus maintains capacity of the electrode. The additives do not effect sintering. The addition of sulfur to the liquid catholyte is expected to further reduce agglomeration of nickel in the cathode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1996
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Ratnakumar V. Bugga, Subbarao Surampudi, Gerald Halpert
  • Patent number: 5490035
    Abstract: Non brittle dielectric films are formed by blending a cyanoresin such as cyanoethyl, hydroxyethyl cellulose (CRE) with a compatible, more crystalline resin such as cellulose triacetate. The electrical breakdown strength of the blend is increased by orienting the films by uniaxial or biaxial stretching. Blends of high molecular weight CRE with high molecular weight cyanoethyl cellulose (CRC) provide films with high dielectric constants.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 6, 1996
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Shiao-Ping S. Yen, Carol R. Lewis, Peter J. Cygan, T. Richard Jow
  • Patent number: 5484580
    Abstract: A sorbent capable of removing trace amounts of oxygen (ppt) from a gas stream at a high temperature above 200.degree. C. comprising a porous alumina silicate support such as zeolite containing from 1 to 10 percent by weight of ion exchanged transition metal such as copper or cobalt ions and 0.05 to 1.0 percent by weight of an activator selected from a platinum group metal such as platinum. The activation temperature, oxygen sorption and reducibility are all improved by the presence of the platinum activator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 16, 1996
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Pramod K. Sharma
  • Patent number: 5479579
    Abstract: High-speed, analog, fully-parallel and asynchronous building blocks are cascaded for larger sizes and enhanced resolution. A hardware-compatible algorithm permits hardware-in-the-loop learning despite limited weight resolution. A computation-intensive feature classification application has been demonstrated with this flexible hardware and new algorithm at high speed. This result indicates that these building block chips can be embedded as application-specific-coprocessors for solving real-world problems at extremely high data rates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 26, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Tuan A. Duong, Taher Daud, Anilkumar P. Thakoor
  • Patent number: 5477221
    Abstract: A system for data compression utilizing systolic array architecture for Vector Quantization (VQ) is disclosed for both full-searched and tree-searched. For a tree-searched VQ, the special case of a Binary Tree-Search VQ (BTSVQ) is disclosed with identical Processing Elements (PE) in the array for both a Raw-Codebook VQ (RCVQ) and a Difference-Codebook VQ (DCVQ) algorithm. A fault tolerant system is disclosed which allows a PE that has developed a fault to be bypassed in the array and replaced by a spare at the end of the array, with codebook memory assignment shifted one PE past the faulty PE of the array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 19, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Chi-Yung Chang, Wai-Chi Fang, John C. Curlander
  • Patent number: 5459680
    Abstract: A technique for reducing the spurious signal content in digital sinusoid synthesis. Spur reduction is accomplished through dithering both amplitude and phase values prior to word-length reduction. The analytical approach developed for analog quantization is used to produce new bounds on spur performance in these dithered systems. Amplitude dithering allows output word-length reduction without introducing additional spurs. Effects of periodic dither similar to that produced by pseudo-noise (PN) generator are analyzed. This phase dithering method provides a spur reduction of 6(M+1) dB per phase bit when the dither consists of M uniform variates. While the spur reduction is at the expense of an increase in system noise, the noise power can be made white, making the power spectral density small. This technique permits the use of a smaller number of phase bits addressing sinusoid look-up tables, resulting in an exponential decrease in system complexity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: George A. Zimmerman, Michael J. Flanagan
  • Patent number: 5457706
    Abstract: A conversion efficiency of 42% and slope efficiency of 60% relative to absorbed pump power are obtained from a continuous wave diode-pumped Tm, Ho:YLiF.sub.4 laser at 2 .mu.m with output power of 84 mW at a crystal temperature of 275 K. The emission spectrum is etalon tunable over a range of 7 nm (16.3 cm.sup.-l) centered on 2.067 .mu.m with fine tuning capability of the transition frequency with crystal temperature at a measured rate of -0.03 cm.sup.-1 .K.sup.-1. The effective emission cross-section is measured to be 5.times.10.sup.-21 cm.sup.2. These and other aspects of the laser performance are disclosed in the context of calculated atmospheric absorption characteristics in this spectral region and potential use in remote sensing applications. Single frequency output and frequency stabilization are achieved using an intracavity etalon in conjunction with an external reference etalon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Brendan T. McGuckin, Robert T. Menzies
  • Patent number: 5452331
    Abstract: A symbol lock detector for an incoming coherent digital communication signal which utilizes a subcarrier modulated with binary symbol data, d.sub.k, and known symbol interval T by integrating binary values of the signal over nonoverlapping first and second intervals selected to be T/2, delaying the first integral an interval T/2, and either summing or multiplying the second integral with the first one that preceded it to form a value X.sub.k. That value is then averaged over a number M of symbol intervals to produce a static value Y. A symbol lock decision can then be made when the static value Y exceeds a threshold level .delta..
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 19, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Mazen M. Shihabi, Sami M. Hinedi, Biren N. Shah
  • Patent number: 5443354
    Abstract: A simple or unsophisticated robot incapable of effecting straight-line motion at the end of its arm inserts a key held in its end effector or hand into a door lock with nearly straight-line motion by gently thrusting its back heels downwardly so that it pivots forwardly on its front toes while holding its arm stationary. The relatively slight arc traveled by the robot's hand is compensated by a compliant tool with which the robot hand grips the door key. A visible beam is projected through the axis of the hand or gripper on the robot arm end at an angle to the general direction in which the robot thrusts the gripper forward. As the robot hand approaches a target surface, a video camera on the robot wrist watches the beam spot on the target surface fall from a height proportional to the distance between the robot hand and the target surface until the beam spot is nearly aligned with the top of the robot hand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 22, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Henry W. Stone, James W. Lloyd, George A. Alahuzos
  • Patent number: 5441575
    Abstract: An alkali metal thermoelectric converter (AMTEC) having a plurality of cells structurally connected in series to form a septum dividing a plenum into two chambers, and electrically connected in series, is provided with porous metal anodes and porous metal cathodes in the cells. The cells may be planar or annular, and in either case a metal alkali vapor at a high temperature is provided to the plenum through one chamber on one side of the wall and returned to a vapor boiler after condensation at a chamber on the other side of the wall in the plenum. If the cells are annular, a heating core may be placed along the axis of the stacked cells. This arrangement of series-connected cells allows efficient generation of power at high voltage and low current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Mark L. Underwood, Roger M. Williams, Margaret A. Ryan, Barbara J. Nakamura, Dennis E. O'Connor
  • Patent number: 5442517
    Abstract: Very thin films of cellulose triacetate are cast from a solution containing a small amount of high boiling temperature, non-solvent which evaporates last and lifts the film from the casting surface. Stretched, oriented, crystallized films have high electrical breakdown properties. Metallized films less than about 2 .mu.m in thickness form self-healing electrodes for high energy density, pulsed power capacitors. Thicker films can be utilized as a dielectric for a capacitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Shiao-Ping S. Yen, T. Richard Jow
  • Patent number: 5442563
    Abstract: An assembly planning system that operates based on a recursive decomposition of assembly into subassemblies, and analyzes assembly cost in terms of stability, directionality, and manipulability to guide the generation of preferred assembly plans. The planning in this system incorporates the special processes, such as cleaning, testing, labeling, etc. that must occur during the assembly, and handles nonreversible as well as reversible assembly tasks through backward assembly planning. In order to increase the planning efficiency, the system avoids the analysis of decompositions that do not correspond to feasible assembly tasks. This is achieved by grouping and merging those parts that can not be decomposable at the current stage of backward assembly planning due to the requirement of special processes and the constraint of interconnection feasibility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Adminstrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Sukhan Lee
  • Patent number: 5440916
    Abstract: A mobile, self-powered, self-contained, and remote-controlled robot capable of safely operating in a surrounding combustible atmosphere and providing information about the atmosphere to the operator. The robot includes non-sparking and non-arcing electro-mechanical and electronic components designed to preclude igniting the combustible atmosphere, and positively pressurized enclosures that house the electro-mechanical and electronic components of the robot and prevent intrusion of the combustible atmosphere into the enclosures. The enclosures are interconnected such that a pressurized gas injected into any one of the enclosures is routed to all the other enclosures through the interconnections. It is preferred that one or more sealed internal channels through structures intervening between the enclosures be employed. Pressure transducers for detecting if the pressure within the enclosures falls below a pre-determined level are included.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronatics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Henry W. Stone, Timothy R. Ohm
  • Patent number: 5436443
    Abstract: A radiation pyrometer for measuring the true temperature of a body is provided by detecting and measuring thermal radiation from the body based on the principle that the effects of angular emission I.sub.1 and reflection I.sub.2 on the polarization states p and s of radiation are complementary such that upon detecting the combined partial polarization state componentsI.sub.p =I.sub.1p +I.sub.2pI.sub.s =I.sub.1s +I.sub.2sand adjusting the intensity of the variable radiation source of the reflected radiation I.sub.2 until the combined partial radiation components I.sub.p and I.sub.s are equal, the effects of emissivity as well as diffusivity of the surface of the body are eliminated, thus obviating the need for any post processing of brightness temperature data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 25, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Ali A. Abtahi
  • Patent number: 5430643
    Abstract: A seven-degree-of-freedom robot arm with a six-degree-of-freedom end effector is controlled by a processor employing a 6-by-7 Jacobian matrix for defining location and orientation of the end effector in terms of the rotation angles of the joints, a 1 (or more)-by-7 Jacobian matrix for defining 1 (or more) user-specified kinematic functions constraining location or movement of selected portions of the arm in terms of the joint angles, the processor combining the two Jacobian matrices to produce an augmented 7 (or more)-by-7 Jacobian matrix, the processor effecting control by computing in accordance with forward kinematics from the augmented 7-by-7 Jacobian matrix and from the seven joint angles of the arm a set of seven desired joint angles for transmittal to the joint servo loops of the arms. One of the kinematic functions constrains the orientation of the elbow plane of the arm. Another one of the kinematic functions minimizing a sum of gravitational torques on the joints.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Homayoun Seraji
  • Patent number: 5427827
    Abstract: Hard amorphous hydrogenated carbon, diamond-like films are deposited using an electron cyclotron resonance microwave plasma with a separate radio frequency power bias applied to a substrate stage. The electron cyclotron resonance microwave plasma yields low deposition pressure and creates ion species otherwise unavailable. A magnetic mirror configuration extracts special ion species from a plasma chamber. Different levels of the radio frequency power bias accelerate the ion species of the ECR plasma impinging on a substrate to form different diamond-like films. During the deposition process, a sample stage is maintained at an ambient temperature of less than 100.degree. C. No external heating is applied to the sample stage. The deposition process enables diamond-like films to be deposited on heat-sensitive substrates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 27, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Yuh-Han Shing, Frederick S. Pool
  • Patent number: 5427872
    Abstract: Dendrites are prevented from shorting a secondary lithium battery by use of a first porous separator such as porous polypropylene adjacent the lithium anode that is unreactive with lithium and a second porous fluoropolymer separator between the cathode and the first separator such as polytetrafluoroethylene that is reactive with lithium. As the tip of a lithium dendrite contacts the second separator, an exothermic reaction occurs locally between the lithium dendrite and the fluoropolymer separator. This results in the prevention of the dendrite propagation to the cathode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 27, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: David H. Shen, Subbarao Surampudi, Chen-Kuo Huang, Gerald Halpert