Patents Assigned to TRW Inc.
  • Patent number: 6782966
    Abstract: A power-assisted steering apparatus (10) for turning steerable wheels of a vehicle is provided. The apparatus (10) comprises a one-piece monolithic component (16). The one-piece monolithic component (16) includes a pinion gear portion (18) for meshingly engaging a rack bar (14), a valve sleeve portion (20) for cooperating with a valve core (100) to actuate the hydraulic motor (124), and a torsion bar portion (22) extending axially outwardly of the valve sleeve portion (20) opposite the pinion gear portion (18).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Paul R. Sahr, Richard A. Stoll
  • Patent number: 6785842
    Abstract: Systems and methods for transient error recovery in pipelined reduced instruction set computer (RISC) processors prevent state changes based on the execution of an instruction until the execution of the instruction is validated. If a transient fault occurs causing an error to appear in an instruction execution, the instruction is retrieved using an instruction fetch address associated with that instruction and is stored in a pipeline history cache. The RISC processor pipeline is then restarted with that instruction. The validation of the execution of an instruction may take place in the execution stage, though processors with high clock frequencies may include a separate validate stage in the pipeline so that there is adequate time to validate the execution of the instruction without having to decrease the clock frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Assignees: McDonnell Douglas Corporation, TRW, Inc.
    Inventors: John F. Zumkehr, Amir A. Abouelnaga
  • Patent number: 6783157
    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: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Zugang Huang, Stephen J. Green
  • Patent number: 6781676
    Abstract: An apparatus (12) for determining the location of a vehicle occupant (20) in a vehicle interior includes a light source (40) for projecting at least one structured light beam (42) onto an area of interest (44) to form a light pattern on the area of interest. A beam divergence control device (50) alters the apparent location of the light source (40) with respect to the area of interest (44). An imager (60) detects the light reflected from the area of interest (44). A characteristic of the reflected light is measured, and the distance between the imager (60) and the area of interest (44) is measured, based on the measured characteristic of the reflected light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Jon K. Wallace, Nicholas M. Zayan, Stephen R. W. Cooper, Farid Khairallah
  • Patent number: 6776435
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to controlling a vehicle multistage actuatable occupant restraining system (14, 18). A crash sensor (32, 36) senses crash acceleration and provides a crash acceleration signal (110, 160) indicative thereof. Crash velocity and crash displacement are determined (118, 168) in response to the crash acceleration signal. A first stage (90, 94) of the multistage actuatable occupant restraining system is actuated when the determined crash velocity as a function of crash displacement exceeds a low threshold (130, 132, 180, 182). A crush zone accelerometer (40, 42) senses crash acceleration at a crush zone location. The crush zone acceleration as a function of the crash displacement is compared (226, 256) against a crush zone threshold (220, 222, 250, 252). The value of the low threshold (130, 180) is switched to a different value (132, 182) when the crush zone acceleration exceeds the crush zone threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Chek-Peng Foo, Paul Leo Sumner, Timothy Chester Wright, Meng-Fu Tsai, Suthep Thanapathomsinchai
  • Patent number: 6773197
    Abstract: An apparatus (12) includes a housing (142), a ball stud (170), a first bearing layer (110), and a second vibration dampening layer (120 or 130). The housing (142) defines a chamber (160) and has an opening (147) in communication with the chamber (160). The ball stud (170) has a ball portion (172) located in the chamber (160) and a stud portion (174) extending from the ball portion (172) through the opening (147). The ball portion (172) has a center (180). The stud portion (174) has a longitudinal axis (181) intersecting the center (180). The first bearing layer (110) is disposed in the chamber (160) and engages the ball stud (170). The ball stud (170) is rotatable about the center (180) relative to the first bearing layer (110). The second vibration dampening layer (120 or 130) dampens vibration transmitted between the housing (142) and the ball stud (170).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Brian A. Urbach
  • Patent number: 6774330
    Abstract: The apparatus (10) includes a depressible member (20), a first membrane (30), and a second membrane (40). The depressible member (20) has an unactuated condition and an actuated condition. The first membrane (30) is connected with the depressible member (20). The first membrane (30) resists movement of the depressible member (20) from the unactuated condition to the actuated condition. The first membrane (30) further provides an increasing return force (91) urging the depressible member (20) to the unactuated condition as the operator moves the depressible member from the unactuated condition to the actuated condition. The second membrane (40) resists movement of the depressible member (20) to the actuated condition. The second membrane (40) further provides an increasing return force (92) to the depressible member (20) as the operator moves the depressible member from the unactuated condition to the actuated condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Mike Blossfeld, Timothy E. Hughes
  • Patent number: 6769480
    Abstract: An apparatus (100) controls the temperature of air flow from a temperature control system (10) The apparatus (100) includes a blend door (150), an output gear (140), and a biasing mechanism (124) The biasing mechanism (124) facilitates rotation of the output gear (140) in a first rotation direction (136) and impedes rotation of the output gear (140) in a second rotation direction (138) opposite the first rotation direction (136) This results in the torque necessary to rotate the output gear (140) in the first rotation direction (136) being substantially equal to the torque necessary to rotate the output gear (140) in the second rotation direction (138).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Vu Le, Thomas Dippel
  • Patent number: 6766712
    Abstract: A steering column (10) includes a mounting bracket (66) connecting the steering column (10) to a vehicle frame. A support (24), through which a steering column member (12) extends, is connected with the mounting bracket (66). The support (24) supports the steering column member (12) for rotation about and is movable relative to the mounting bracket. A locking mechanism (130) locks the support (24) in any one of a plurality of positions relative to the mounting bracket (66). The locking mechanism (130) has a locking lever (132) with first and second ends (171 and 136). A spring (194) applies a force to the first end (171) of the lever (132) to urge the second end (136) of the lever to clamp the support (24) to the mounting bracket (66). The first end (171) of the lever (132) moves against the force applied by the spring (194) to permit movement of the support (24) relative to the mounting bracket (66).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: David Koellisch, Gregory B. Livengood
  • Publication number: 20040129480
    Abstract: A steering apparatus (10) comprises a steering feel motor (14) that is operatively connected to a steering shaft (16) of the vehicle (12). A sensor (20) detects operator applied steering inputs to the steering shaft (16) and outputs a steering signal indicative of the monitored operator applied steering inputs. A controller (28) receives the steering signal and, in response to the received steering signal, controls energization of the steering feel motor (14). A security device (38) is operatively connected to the controller (28) and is actuatable for providing a lock steering signal to the controller (28). The controller (28), in response to the lock steering signal, enters a lock steering mode in which the controller (28) controls energization of the steering feel motor (14) to counterbalance all operator applied steering inputs and thereby prevent steering of the vehicle (12).
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 3, 2002
    Publication date: July 8, 2004
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel Williams
  • Patent number: 6759952
    Abstract: A tire and suspension monitoring and warning system consisting of a set of multi-function sensors that monitor and warn of a failure mode. The system monitors and warns for tire imbalance, tire tread wear, and shock absorbers for a tire attached to a vehicle. The monitoring and warning system includes one axial, radial, and lateral acceleration measurement of the wheel to provide acceleration signal sample power. For tire imbalance, signal sample power in the second harmonic of the tire rotational frequency is compared to that of the first harmonic. For tire tread wear, average signal sample power within a second frequency range is compared to a previously stored baseline value. For shock absorber performance, a sum of all frequency components in a second predetermined frequency range is compared to a baseline value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Barry Dunbridge, Kenneth L. Brown, George W. McIver, Kiran R. Magiawala, Kelley D. Chilcott
  • Patent number: 6760454
    Abstract: A voice-activated microphone and transceiver system includes an interrogator unit for transmitting a signal, receiving a modulated signal, and demodulating the modulated signal such that the difference between the transmitted signal and the modulated signal correspond to a unique sound wave signal. An acoustically driven microphone unit is also included for receiving the signal from the interrogator unit, modulating the signal with the sound wave signal, wherein the sound wave signal contains instructions for controlling an electronic device, and transmitting the modulated signal back to the interrogator unit for analysis by a signal processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory A. Shreve, Robert B. Stokes, Marshall Y. Huang, Barry R. Allen
  • Patent number: 6760653
    Abstract: An electric power assisted steering system (10) for a vehicle comprises a steering gear (12) having a rack bar (26) and a housing (24). The rack bar (26) is movable linearly relative to the housing (24) for turning steerable wheels (34 and 36) of the vehicle. An electric motor (14) is coupled with the rack bar (26) of the steering gear (12). Energization of the electric motor (14) causes linear movement of the rack bar (26) relative to the housing (24). At least one vehicle condition sensor senses a vehicle condition and generates a signal indicative of the vehicle condition. A motor current sensor (22) senses an actual current of the electric motor (14) and generates a signal indicative of the actual motor current. A single integrated circuit (16) includes a main processor (64) and a monitoring processor (66). The main processor (64) controls the actual motor current delivered to the electric motor (14). The monitoring processor (66) determines if the main processor (64) is properly functioning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph D. Miller
  • Patent number: 6752955
    Abstract: In a process and an apparatus for making a plastic sleeve (56), plastic is fed into an extruder die (216). The plastic is extruded from the extruder die (216) as a molten plastic stream into a mold cavity (272) having an inner wall (270) with dimensions greater than the outside dimensions of the molten plastic stream. A first end (274) of the inner wall (270) includes a first projection (282) extending radially inward of the mold cavity (272) and circumferentially completely around the mold cavity (272). The molten plastic stream is vacuum expanded radially against the inner wall (270) and around the projection (282) to form a plastic sleeve (56) with a circumferential rib (74) and a aligned external first groove (92) at one end (60) of the sleeve (56).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Gene L. Cuenot
  • Publication number: 20040113403
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for sensing the position of a vehicle seat (12) movable between a forward position and a rearward position includes a Hall effect device (80) and a magnet (82) that produces a magnetic field that acts on the Hall effect device. A member (100) is constructed of a ferromagnetic material and has a portion (110) positioned adjacent the magnet (82). The portion (110) has a size that is unique for every different position of the vehicle seat (12) between the forward and rearward positions. The portion (110) of the member (100) alters the flux path of the magnetic field which varies the portion of the magnetic field acting on the Hall effect device (80) to a degree that depends on the size of the portion. The Hall effect device (80) provides a signal functionally related to the magnitude of the magnetic field acting on the Hall effect device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 11, 2002
    Publication date: June 17, 2004
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Aaron M. Mills, David L. Becker
  • Publication number: 20040112730
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) includes a switch assembly (12). The switch assembly (12) includes a housing (16) and a set of contacts (14) supported by the housing. The set of contacts (14) includes a first contact (20) and a second contact (40). The first contact (20) includes a first pad portion (22) supported in the housing (16) and a first connector portion (26) protruding from the housing. The first connector portion (26) includes a compliant connector (220). The second contact (40) includes a second pad portion (42) supported in the housing (16) and a second connector portion (54) protruding from the housing. The second pad portion (42) is movable relative to and is engageable with the first pad portion (22). The second connector portion (54) includes a compliant connector (220).
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2002
    Publication date: June 17, 2004
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Mike Blossfeld
  • Publication number: 20040109154
    Abstract: An apparatus (12) for determining the location of a vehicle occupant (20) in a vehicle interior includes a light source (40) for projecting at least one structured light beam (42) onto an area of interest (44) to form a light pattern on the area of interest. A beam divergence control device (50) alters the apparent location of the light source (40) with respect to the area of interest (44). An imager (60) detects the light reflected from the area of interest (44). A characteristic of the reflected light is measured, and the distance between the imager (60) and the area of interest (44) is measured, based on the measured characteristic of the reflected light.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2002
    Publication date: June 10, 2004
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Jon K. Wallace, Nicholas M. Zayan, Stephen R. W. Cooper, Farid Khairallah
  • Patent number: 6746044
    Abstract: A vehicle occupant protection apparatus (10) comprises an inflatable protection device (14) having a deflated condition and an inflated condition for helping to protect a vehicle occupant. An inflation fluid source (18) is actuatable to provide inflation fluid to inflate the protection device (14). A housing (16) directs inflation fluid from the inflation fluid source (18) toward the protection device (14). The apparatus (10) includes a vent opening (30) in the housing (16) for selectively venting inflation fluid from the housing. The apparatus (10) also includes a member (50) movable between a closed position blocking venting of inflation fluid from the housing (16) and an open position enabling venting of inflation fluid from the housing. The apparatus (10) further includes an actuatable fastener (12) for holding the member (70) in the closed position. The actuatable fastener (12) comprises an air bag inflator initiator (100).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Assignees: TRW Inc., TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Wael S. Elqadah, James P. Lynch
  • Patent number: 6744820
    Abstract: A communication system (10) includes a communication bus (16) through which a power/voltage transmitter (44) conveys electrical energy and messages to a plurality of units (18, 20). The power/voltage transmitter (44) includes components for adjusting voltage of the electrical energy past a first predetermined threshold to provide a first type message frame and modulating the voltage of the electrical energy during the first type message frame to convey a first type message. The power/voltage transmitter (44) also includes components for adjusting the voltage past a second predetermined threshold to provide a second type message frame and modulating the voltage of the electrical energy during the second type message frame to convey a second type message.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Farid Khairallah, Russell J. Lynch, Roger A. McCurdy, Keith R. Miciuda, Jon K. Wallace, Scott E. Kolassa
  • Patent number: 6739881
    Abstract: An assembly (20) comprises a circuit board (30), a first component (40), and a second component (50). The circuit board (30) has a planar first surface (32) and a planar second surface (34) opposite the first surface (32). The first component (40) has a first set of connectors (42). The first set of connectors (42) engages a corresponding set of apertures (36) in the first surface (32) of the circuit board (30). The second component (50) has a second set of mechanical one-way connectors (52). The second set of connectors (52) engages a corresponding set of apertures (38) in the second surface (34) of the circuit board (30). The circuit board (30) further has a normal axis (39) perpendicular to both the first and second surfaces (32, 34). The normal axis (39) passes through both the first and second components (40, 50).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Mark D. Haller