Patents Assigned to TRW Inc.
  • Patent number: 6591603
    Abstract: The present invention provides a rocket engine (10) that is self-compensating on nozzle thrust coefficient for varying ambient backpressures. The rocket engine (10) includes a combustion chamber (12) having an injector end (14) and a nozzle end (16). A propellant injector (20) is in fluid communication between a propellant line and an inside periphery of the combustion chamber injector end (14). A nozzle throat (18) is formed at the nozzle end (14) of the combustion chamber (12). A nozzle exit cone (22) extends outwardly from the nozzle throat (18). A plug support (30) is coupled between a nozzle plug (28) and the propellant injector (20). The nozzle plug (28) aerodynamically self-compensates for changes in ambient backpressure at the nozzle exit cone (22) such that the nozzle thrust coefficient is maximized for any ambient backpressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Gordon A. Dressler, Thomas J. Mueller, Scott J. Rotenberger
  • Patent number: 6591706
    Abstract: A rack and pinion steering gear (10) comprises a housing (12) having an longitudinally extending passage (14). A yoke bore (22) extends perpendicular to the longitudinally extending passage (14) and connects with the longitudinally extending passage (14) within the housing (12). A pinion gear (20) is rotatably mounted in the housing (12). A rack bar (16) extends through the longitudinally extending passage (14) of the housing (12) and is movable relative to the pinion gear (20). The rack bar (16) has teeth in meshing engagement with the teeth (34) of the pinion gear (20). A yoke assembly (36) is located in the yoke bore (22) for at least partially supporting and guiding movement of the rack bar (16) relative to the pinion gear (20). The yoke assembly (36) includes a yoke (38), a yoke plug (42), and an elastomeric spring (40). The yoke (38) is axially spaced from the yoke plug (42) by the elastomeric spring (40).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis F. Harer, William E. Allen, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6591752
    Abstract: An electrically actuatable igniter (24) comprises a pair of electrodes (40) and (42). A heating element (44) is electrically connected between the electrodes (40) and (42). An ignition material (48) is in contact with the heating element (44). The ignition material (48) includes an energetic composition. The energetic composition comprises, by weight of the energetic composition, about 60% to about 90% basic copper nitrate, up to about 20% supplemental oxidizer, about 5% to about 20% charcoal, and up to about 10% supplemental fuel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Harold R. Blomquist
  • Patent number: 6593735
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for sensing when a rail member (48) of a vehicle seat (12) is located in a reference position relative to a seat bracket (30) of the vehicle seat (12) comprises a magnetic sensor (76) for generating a magnetic field and for sensing a flux density of the magnetic field. The apparatus (10) further comprises a cover (86) for enclosing the magnetic sensor (76). The cover (86), when in a first position, forms a zone for preventing the flux density from increasing above a threshold level. The cover (86) is moved into a second position when the rail member (48) is located in the reference position relative to the seat bracket (30). In the second position, the flux density is increased above the threshold level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: David L. Becker
  • Publication number: 20030128128
    Abstract: A sensor (36) for monitoring rotation of an object (16) about an axis (20) comprises a switch member (40) that is urged into a neutral position and is movable relative to the object (16). A direction of movement of the switch member (40) relative to the object (16) is indicative of a direction of rotation of the object (16). Inertia of the switch member (40) during initial rotation of the object (16) results in relative movement of the switch member (4) away from the neutral position. Centrifugal force during object (16) rotation further enhances the relative movement of the switch member (40). The sensor (36) also comprises a device (56) for monitoring a direction of movement of the switch member (40) and for providing a signal indicative thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 4, 2002
    Publication date: July 10, 2003
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Ansaf Ibrahem Alrabady
  • Patent number: 6588373
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for transporting laboratory animals comprises a container (12), a cover piece (14), and a closure piece (16). The container (12) has an open top. The cover piece (14) is connectable with the container (12) for closing the open top of the container (12). The cover piece (14) has a passage (188) through which the at least one laboratory animal passes during insertion into and extraction from a cavity (28). The closure piece (16) includes a portion (234) that is rotatable relative to the cover piece (14) between a first position in which the portion (234) of the closure piece (16) closes the passage (188) in the cover piece (14) and a second position in which the passage (188) in the cover piece (14) is open to permit the insertion and extraction of the at least one laboratory animal through the passage (188).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Assignees: TRW Inc., The Jackson Laboratory
    Inventors: John J. Strzempko, Thomas Peterson, John Vollmer
  • Patent number: 6588797
    Abstract: An apparatus (12) comprises an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (20) and a gas generating composition (16) which when ignited produces gas to inflate the inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (20). The gas generating composition (16) comprises an oxidizer and a fuel. The oxidizer is an inorganic salt and the fuel is a tetrazine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Harold R. Blomquist
  • Patent number: 6584911
    Abstract: An initiator (40) for actuating an inflation fluid source (34) for an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (36) comprises a plurality of electrically energizable microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices (120-126). In one embodiment, the MEMS devices (120-126) are associated in a one to one relationship with chambers (75-78) containing ignitable material (130). Each one of the MEMS devices (120-126), when energized, generates combustion products, including heat, for igniting the associated ignitable material (130). At least one terminal pin (44-46) is electrically connected with the plurality of MEMS devices (120-126) for receiving an electric signal for energizing at least one of the MEMS devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Lee D. Bergerson, Ivan L. Stonich, Christopher C. Shih, Timothy A. Swann, Brian R. Pitstick, Bryan W. Shirk
  • Publication number: 20030116052
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) comprises a first assembly (60) and a second assembly (62). The first assembly comprises a base (70) and an electrically energizable mechanism (108, 110), and has a first mounting portion (86). The second assembly (62) comprises an ignitable material (121) in a sealed container (120). The container (120) has a first wall portion (144) that is rupturable to enable ignition of the ignitable material (121). The container has a second wall portion (128) that is rupturable in response to ignition of the ignitable material (121) to enable flow of combustion products out of the container (120). The container (120) has a second mounting portion (152). The first mounting portion (86) of the first assembly (60) is in abutting engagement with the second mounting portion (152) of the second assembly (62) thereby to fix the first assembly for movement with the second assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2001
    Publication date: June 26, 2003
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Homer W. Fogle
  • Patent number: 6582032
    Abstract: An assembly (20) is used with an anti-lock braking system (10). The assembly (20) includes electronic circuitry (30) for the anti-lock braking system (10), a plurality of solenoid coil devices (70) for the anti-lock braking system (10), and a serial drive component (101). The serial drive component (101) electrically interconnects the electronic circuitry (30) and the plurality of solenoid coil devices (70). The serial drive component (101) takes input from a first number of interconnection points of the plurality of solenoid coil devices (70) and providing output to a second number of interconnection points of the electronic circuitry (30). The first number is greater than the second number.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Mark D. Haller
  • Patent number: 6581477
    Abstract: A torque sensor (32) for a power assist steering system (10) for sensing applied torque between relatively rotatable input and output shafts (16, 17) which are connected by a torsion element (18) comprises an input transformer (T1) and a rotary transmitter (60) connected for rotation with the input shaft. The rotary transmitter (60) has a plurality of transmitter pole segments (108) defined by a plurality of slots (106). The rotary transmitter (60) includes a transmitter coil (70) electrically connected with the input transformer (T1). The transmitter coil (70) completely encircles each of the transmitter pole segments (108) individually and has two sections disposed in each of the plurality of slots (106). A rotary receiver (72) is axially spaced from the rotary transmitter (60) and is connected for rotation with the output shaft (17). The rotary receiver (72) includes a pair of one receiver coils (76, 78). Output transformers (T2, T3) are respectively electrically connected with the receiver coils (76, 78).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Philip H. Berger, Don Blandino, Leonid V. Bogdanov
  • Patent number: 6581963
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to protect a vehicle occupant includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (16) and a inflator (12) for providing inflation fluid to inflate the vehicle occupant protection device (16). A non-azide gas generating material is in the inflator (12). The non-azide gas generating material when combusted produces inflation fluid which comprises carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). A catalyst system which contacts the inflation fluid is also in the inflator. The catalyst system is reactive with the carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the inflation fluid. The catalyst system comprises a zeolite and a catalytic material. The catalytic material is supported by the zeolite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Michael G. Mangum
  • Patent number: 6582146
    Abstract: A ball joint (10) includes a socket (30) defining a pivot center (32), a bearing (38) in the socket (30), and a stud (40). The stud (40) has a ball end portion (42) received in the bearing (38) and a shank portion (50) projecting from the socket (30). The stud (40) further has a longitudinal axis (56) extending through the pivot center (32). The bearing (38) supports the stud (40) in the socket (30) for pivotal movement about the pivot center (32) and for rotational movement about the axis (56) by a predetermined amount. The ball joint (10) further includes an annular seal (70) having an intermediate portion (88) extending between first and second end portions (72, 74) of the seal (70). The seal (70) is made from an elastic material. The first end portion (72) is fixed to the socket (30). The second end portion (74) is fixed to the shank portion (50) and is pivotable and rotatable with the stud (40).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: David Raymoure
  • Patent number: 6583367
    Abstract: An apparatus (210) includes seat belt webbing (12), a parallelogram linkage (220), a sensor lever (370), and a sensor (379). The seat belt webbing (12) helps to protect the occupant (14) of the vehicle (18). The parallelogram linkage (220) includes a first beam (352) and a second beam (362) parallel to the first beam (352). The first and second beams (352, 362) each bend in response to at least part of a load applied by the seat belt webbing (12). The sensor lever (370) is interposed between the first and second beams (352). The sensor lever (370) has a connection with the first and second beams (352). The connection causes the sensor lever (370) to deflect upon bending of the first and second beams (352). The sensor (379) senses the deflection of the sensor lever (370) and provides an output signal indicative of the amount bending of the first and second beams (352, 362).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: George B. Wolfe, Michael G. Fullerton
  • Patent number: 6580364
    Abstract: An apparatus (12) for tracking an abnormal condition of a vehicle tire (20, 22, 24) includes a receiver (62) that receives a data message having data indicative of a condition of the vehicle tire (20, 22, 24). A controller (64) is connected to the receiver (62) and is responsive to the data message received by the receiver (62). The controller (64) includes a counter that has a value indicative of a duration of an abnormal tire condition. The controller (64) adjusts the counter value as a function of the content of the received data message.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Carl A. Munch, Daniel J. Wyman, Timothy DeZorzi, Mark R. Desmarais
  • Patent number: 6578869
    Abstract: A vehicle occupant sensor apparatus (34) has an imager (36) that gathers an image of an occupant (12). The image has focus attributes. A focal plane associated with the imager (36) is at a distance from the imager. A 2D high-pass filter (42), a multiple frame temporal filter (46), and a position determination component (52) operate to determine position of the occupant (12) relative to the focal plane (38) via use of the focus attributes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholas M. Zayan, Stephen R. W. Cooper, Jon K. Wallace, Farid Khairallah
  • Publication number: 20030107140
    Abstract: A method of making a ceramic article includes the providing a member. The member includes a cellulose-based material. The cellulose-based material is carbonized to carbon. At least a portion of the member is covered with silica sand after carbonization. At least a portion of the carbon of said member, which has been carbonized, is converted to silicon carbide.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 10, 2001
    Publication date: June 12, 2003
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Frank J. Savel
  • Publication number: 20030107207
    Abstract: A vehicle occupant protection apparatus (10) comprises an inflatable device (12) for helping to protect a vehicle occupant, and an inflator (14). The inflator (14) has a cylindrical configuration and a plurality of inflation fluid outlets (24). A vent member (30) connected with the inflator (14) has an annular vent wall (60) having at least one vent opening (62). A vent cover (100) has a closed condition clamped on the vent wall (60) and covering the vent opening (62), and an open condition removed at least partially from the vent wall and enabling fluid flow through the vent opening. An actuatable device (130) on the vent cover (100) has an unactuated condition maintaining the vent cover in the closed condition, and an actuated condition releasing the vent cover for movement to the open condition to vent inflation fluid from the apparatus (10).
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 12, 2001
    Publication date: June 12, 2003
    Applicants: TRW Inc., TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Wael S. Elqadah, David G. Magoteaux, Frank P. Leonelli, Arnold M. Stephens
  • Publication number: 20030107200
    Abstract: An apparatus for attachment to the body (240) of a vehicle (12) which has a front, rear and opposite sides and which has steerable wheels. The apparatus comprises a lower part (22) having structure (40, 48) for fixed attachment at each of the opposite sides of the vehicle. A first steering control arm (150) is pivotally connected to the lower part (22) at one side of the vehicle. A second steering control arm (160) is pivotally connected to the lower part (22) at an opposite side of the vehicle. An upper part (24) is connected with the lower part (22). A rack and pinion steering mechanism (10) includes a rack bar (180) movable axially in opposite directions to effect steering movement of the steerable wheels of the vehicle. The steering mechanism (10) includes a chamber (80) through which the rack bar (180) extends. The chamber is defined by surfaces of the upper and lower parts (22, 24).
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 10, 2001
    Publication date: June 12, 2003
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Zugang Huang, Stephen J. Green
  • Patent number: 6577226
    Abstract: An entry system (10) and an associated method are provided for a vehicle (12) that has at least one securable entrance. A lockable entrance cover (18, e.g., a door) closes the entrance to the vehicle (12). An interrogation communication arrangement has components (26 and 36) at the vehicle (12) and at an authorized person (14). The interrogation communication arrangement is operable for communicating and causing automatic lock release of said entrance cover (18). A beam interrupt sensor assembly (40) provides a beam (48) of energy and causes operation of the communication arrangement when the beam is interrupted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Wesley Dean Steiner