Patents Assigned to Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
  • Patent number: 5953229
    Abstract: A computerized task scheduler for negotiating and scheduling resources with respect to various manufacturing tasks via computerized agent technology. A manufacturing-related customer asks a computerized uniform process broker for a bid on a manufacturing task by specifying the task and the time when it is to be completed. The computerized uniform process broker finds a computerized resource broker which will perform the assignment at the lowest cost within the requested time frame. The computerized resource brokers use the requested time frame and their respective current available resources to determine a working window in which they can perform the task and at what cost. The determination of resources by the computerized resource brokers includes calculating their respective percentage of total commitment based upon the interrelationship between the working window and the time it actually takes to complete the task.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Steven J. Clark, H. Van Dyke Parunak
  • Patent number: 5815936
    Abstract: Detachable hologram assembly for a compact holographic sight includes a hologram of a reticle image or other desired alignment indicia mounted within a resilient, detachable frame. The frame includes a pair of generally planar, non-parallel registration surfaces and an aperture extending through the frame at the junction of the registration surfaces. A hologram mount, also including a pair of registration surfaces which are complimentary to those of the frame is affixed to, or integral with, the sight. A fastener secures the hologram assembly to the mount with a force sufficient to maintain the registration surfaces of the frame in frictional fit, respectively, with the corresponding registration surfaces of the mount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Eric James Sieczka, Anthony Mong-On Tai, Allen Corlies Ward
  • Patent number: 5777742
    Abstract: A system and method for three-dimensional imaging utilize a lens to perform a two-dimensional Fourier transform of an interference pattern while focusing the pattern on a two-dimensional detector array which is positioned in the image plane of the lens. This allows immediate previewing of the imaged object for proper positioning. Coherent energy beams are utilized to create a series of interference patterns, or image-plane holograms, each at a different frequency of the source energy beams. Furthermore, at each frequency, the relative phase between an object and a reference energy beam is varied to capture the complex values associated with the interference patterns. After capturing and storing the various interference patterns, a computer performs a one-dimensional Fourier transform, or other simplified processing to generate the three-dimensional image of the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1998
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventor: Joseph C. Marron
  • Patent number: 5686922
    Abstract: In systems wherein signal compression is performed using matched filters or transforms, as in the case of radar, multiple extrapolations are used to resolve beyond the limits of defraction. In one example, development of the method begins with a complex, uniformly weighted SAR or inverse SAR signal represented by a rectangle function. After performing an FFT, adaptive sidelobe reduction is carried out followed by an inverse weighting and truncation, after which the original signal is used to replace the center portion of the extrapolated signal. The signal is again transformed and sidelobe reduced, and inverse weighting and truncation are again performed, followed by the original data replacement step. The extrapolation procedure may be repeated end times, extrapolating each time by a factor K for a total extrapolation factor of K=k.sup.n.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 11, 1997
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Herbert C. Stankwitz, Michael R. Kosek
  • Patent number: 5627363
    Abstract: A system and method for creating a three-dimensional image of an opaque object utilize frequency diverse coherent illumination in combination with an opacity constraint in performing three-dimensional phase retrieval and/or profile retrieval. An opaque object is one which exhibits only surface scattering and no volume scattering over volumes that extend beyond the desired range resolution. The system and method require only Fourier intensity information to create a three-dimensional image which avoids the difficulties associated with prior art systems and methods requiring phase information to produce similar images. Furthermore, the system and method of the present invention do not require imaging optics, precise alignment of optical components, or precise phase stability of the coherent illumination source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 6, 1997
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Richard G. Paxman, Joseph C. Marron
  • Patent number: 5588091
    Abstract: A dynamically stable associative learning neural network system includes, in its basic architectural unit, at least one each of a conditioned signal input, an unconditioned signal input and an output. Interposed between input and output elements are "patches," or storage areas of dynamic interaction between conditioned and unconditioned signals which process information to achieve associative learning locally under rules designed for application-related goals of the system. Patches may be fixed or variable in size. Adjustments to a patch radius may be by "pruning" or "budding." The neural network is taught by successive application of training sets of input signals to the input terminals until a dynamic equilibrium is reached. Enhancements and expansions of the basic unit result in multilayered (multi-subnetworked) systems having increased capabilities for complex pattern classification and feature recognition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 24, 1996
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Daniel L. Alkon, Thomas P. Vogl, Kim T. Blackwell, Garth S. Barbour
  • Patent number: 5544259
    Abstract: A computer system and a method for a mail sorting operation in which the computer system determines the location of the ZIP code within a digital image of an address block from a piece of mail. An interstroke distance is calculated for the image and the strokes of the image are thinned to enhance vertical separation between the lines of the address block. A medial axis for each line is determined and the medial axis is superimposed upon the digital image. A bleeding operation is conducted on the digital image from the medial axis at which data bits that do not connect to the medial axis are notated as punctuation and interlinear connected strokes are then divided between the two lines. The last line which is determined to be large enough to contain a ZIP code based on bounding box size is then selected. Alternate splits of words are formed and the best split is selected in which the last formed group is detected to be the ZIP code.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 6, 1996
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventor: David L. McCubbrey
  • Patent number: 5490042
    Abstract: A signal line network on a substrate for interconnecting IC chips is programmable after manufacture to define the desired connections. The signal lines comprise line segments arranged end-to-end in both horizontal and vertical directions and are connectible at their ends and the vertical and horizontal segments are connectible at their crossings. A dedicated contact pad is connected to each segment. A plurality of bonding pads are adjacent several segments and each pad has arms extending across the several segments and are individually connectible to them. All connectible junctions comprise amorphous silicon antifuses which are normally insulators and are selectively programmable after the substrate is manufactured by applying a voltage pulse across the antifuse to render it conductive. The pads are arranged in a pattern in cells, all cells having the same pad pattern to facilitate probe connections for programming and testing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 6, 1996
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventor: Cornelius C. Perkins
  • Patent number: 5483362
    Abstract: A holographic sight which includes a base having at least one connector for mounting the base on a small arm, and a hologram of a reticle pattern, a compact laser light source for illuminating the hologram, and a power source for the laser diode, each mounted on the base. The sight also includes an achromatizer supported in the path of the light beam for reducing shifts in the position of the reticle pattern due to variations in the wavelength of the light beam emitted from the laser diode. The sight may further include means for circularizing the generally elliptical beam emitted by the laser diode to provide a uniform illumination pattern for the hologram. A brightness adjuster and position adjuster, for varying the brightness and relative position of the reticle, respectively, may also be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 9, 1996
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Anthony M. Tai, Juris Upatnieks, Eric J. Sieczka
  • Patent number: 5429328
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing in space and a spacecraft assembly to accomplish such manufacture. The spacecraft assembly includes a spacecraft including a plurality of canister compartments circumferentially spaced about the central axis of the spacecraft and opening in a docking face of the spacecraft, a plurality of canisters respectively positioned in the compartments, and a passive docking mechanism proximate the docking face and proximate the central axis, and a service vehicle comprising a plurality of canister compartments spaced circumferentially about the central axis of the service vehicle, a plurality of canisters respectively positioned in the compartments, and a manipulator assembly including an active docking structure, including a boom extending forwardly from the docking face, and a canister handling assembly mounted on the boom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Michael E. Dobbs, Donald B. Jones
  • Patent number: 5402522
    Abstract: A dynamically stable associative learning neural network system include a plurality of synapses (122,22-28), a non-linear function circuit (30) and an adaptive weight circuit (150) for adjusting the weight of each synapse based upon the present signal and the prior history of signals applied to the input of the particular synapse and the present signal and the prior history of signals applied to the input of a predetermined set of other synapses. An embodiment of a conditional-signal neuron circuit (100) receives input signals from conditional stimuli and an unconditional-signal neuron circuit (110) receives input signals from unconditional stimuli. A neural network (200) is formed by a set of conditional-signal and unconditional-signal neuron circuits connected by flow-through synapses to form separate paths between each input (215) and a corresponding output (245).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 28, 1995
    Assignees: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Daniel L. Alkon, Thomas P. Vogl, Kim L. Blackwell
  • Patent number: 5384455
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for obtaining fine resolution imaging of extended objects in the presence of unknown time-varying aberrations, wherein the method is accomplished by obtaining data corresponding to multiple, measurement-diverse images of the extended object collected for each of a plurality of aberration realizations. The object and unknown aberrations are then Jointly estimated, preferably using constrained likelihood-based estimation techniques. The apparatus utilizes a conventional optical system, at least two detector arrays for detecting a plurality of phase-diverse images, a shutter system so that a specklegram can be captured at each of the phase-diverse arrays for each of a plurality of aberration realizations, and a computer including a processor, sufficient memory restoring the digital data corresponding to the captured images, and logic for estimating the object and unknown aberrations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 24, 1995
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventor: Richard G. Paxman
  • Patent number: 5364046
    Abstract: This invention is an automatic capture and docking mechanism for a pair of spacecraft. A largely passive capture mechanism disposed on a first spacecraft includes a concave cone section with the narrower interior end to admit a ball of a predetermined diameter. When tripped, a capture device restricts the diameter of passage for capture of the ball. In the release position passage for the ball is unrestricted. The capture device is preferably reset by the other spacecraft to release the ball. A docking mechanism disposed on the second spacecraft includes a convex cone section constructed to mate with the concave cone section, ball at the end of a cable and a boom. The cable may be extended from or retracted to the apex of the convex cone section. A rotary drive coupled to the convex cone section permits relative rotation of the spacecraft. The boom may be extended from or retracted into the second spacecraft. The spacecraft dock by directing the extended ball into the cylinder, where it is captured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1994
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Michael E. Dobbs, Peter Tchoryk, Jr., Donald B. Jones
  • Patent number: 5355767
    Abstract: A system for locating microwave radiation sources such as radar, jamming equipment and the like, employs a cannon launched shell including a frequency scanning receiver for the microwave emissions. Received information is processed on the shell and can derive signals that are used to modulate a telemetry transmitter. A ground base telemetry receiver associated with the launching cannon, includes means for processing the signals to derive the location of the microwave sources relative to the shell, and for processing information relating to the shell launch to determine its instantaneous position and attitude. The location of the sources relative to the launch site is then calculated and is used to aim the cannon and destroy the emission site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1981
    Date of Patent: October 18, 1994
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventor: Yuji Morita
  • Patent number: 5355215
    Abstract: Measurement of the fluorescence of a layer of cells, disposed in a well, with supernatant liquid thereabove, is greatly enhanced in sensitivity by illuminating the cell layer with a beam of light incident thereupon at a first angle and detecting fluorescence emitted by the cells with a detector which views the illuminated cells at a second angle, wherein at least one of the first or second angles is oblique to the cell layer. By so controlling the geometry of the system, the contribution to background fluorescence by the supernatant liquid is greatly minimized. Sensitivity of the technique is further enhanced by restricting the portion of the illuminated cell layer which is viewed by the detector. The technique may be applied to an apparatus for rapidly scanning the fluorescence of a plurality of samples in a multiple well plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 11, 1994
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Kirk Schroeder, Brad Neagle
  • Patent number: 5349359
    Abstract: Spatially variant apodization is a digital image processing technique for eliminating sidelobes produced by Fourier transform of finite data sequences without compromising mainlobe width. This process allows each sample or pixel in an image to receive its own frequency domain aperture amplitude weighting function from an infinite number of possible weighting functions. In its simplest form the weight is a function of the negative of the current sample divided by the sum of the neighboring samples, and the function is limited to a predetermined range such as the range between zero and one half.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 20, 1994
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Rodney J. Dallaire, Herbert C. Stankwitz
  • Patent number: 5337370
    Abstract: A method for recognition of an unconstrained written character image employs at least one non-character recognizer in addition to character recognizers for each candidate character. The input image is rejected if any of the non-character recognizers produces a match. The input image is recognized only if a) a character recognizer produces a match, and b) none of the non-character recognizers produces a match. The non-character recognizers are preferably trained on a) images which are not recognized by the set of character recognizers, B) images which are misclassified by at least one of the set of character recognizers result, and c) incorrectly segmented images. In the preferred embodiment of this invention individual segmented digit images are recognized for automatic sorting of mail by ZIP code. In the preferred embodiment plural character recognizers and at least one non-character recognizer are embodied in a neural network using a place encoding output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 9, 1994
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Andrew Gilles, Daniel Hepp
  • Patent number: 5329283
    Abstract: A digital signal processor optimized for synthetic aperture radar image formation provides two separate stages of arithmetic processing along independent in-phase and quadrature channels. The first stage accepts a first reference input and integrates a multiplier/accumulator for each channel, and the second stage accepts a second reference input and includes a multiplier and an adder for each channel. In addition to hardware to select and route data in accordance with a desired operation, a hold register is incorporated prior to input-selection logic to facilitate complex-by-complex multiplications of data derived from either input in the first stage. Hold registers are also included before the second-stage adders to permit a complex multiplication with magnitude weighting to occur during the zero-th stage of a fast Fourier transformation, effectively hiding the time to perform one FFT stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 12, 1994
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventor: John E. Smith
  • Patent number: 5325177
    Abstract: An optical gauge for measuring the dimension of a hole in a workpiece employs an interferometric technique using a partially coherent radiation source. A beam of the radiation is directed to a beam splitter positioned a known distance from one of the known surfaces to produce a first sub-beam extending to a mirror and a second sub-beam along the axis of measurement. The mirror is adjustably positioned along the first sub-beam axis by a micrometer head. A radiation detector positioned on the opposite side of the beam splitter from the mirror receives light reflected by the second workpiece surface and light reflected by the mirror. Interference between the numerous wavelengths in the two beams results in a mixture of constructive and destructive interference at all positions of the mirror except that position where the path lengths are exactly equal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1994
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventor: Lauren M. Peterson
  • Patent number: 5325447
    Abstract: A handwritten character image normalization technique provides predetermined pixel dimensions and a normalized skew. The skew slope of the input image is calculated. This skew slope is employed to determine the bounds of the smallest parallelogram which completely encloses all of the stroke pixels of the input image. This parallelogram has a first pair of opposed horizontal sides and a second pair of opposed sides having the skew slope. The stroke pixels of this parallelogram are then mapped into the standard size horizontal row and vertical column pixel dimensions using horizontal and vertical scaling factors determined from the parallelogram dimensions and the standard dimensions. This mapping employs a subpixel grid of the normalized pixels. Candidate stroke pixels are identified which correspond to any part of a stroke pixel of the input image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1994
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventor: Robert C. Vogt, III