Patents Assigned to TRW Inc.
  • Patent number: 6666478
    Abstract: A steering column (10) includes a support (24) through which a steering column member (12) extends. An over-center locking mechanism (130) locks the support (24) in any one of a plurality of positions relative to a mounting bracket (66). The locking mechanism (130) has a locking member (132) that has a first position in which a portion (46) of the support (24) and a portion (72) of the mounting bracket (66) are urged toward each other to prevent movement of the support (24) relative to the mounting bracket (66). The locking member (132) has a second position in which the support (24) and the mounting bracket (66) are movable relative to each other. The locking mechanism (130) applies a first force to the locking member (132) to move the locking member from the first position to the second position and applies a second force to the locking member to move the locking member from the second position to the first position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Gregory B. Livengood
  • Publication number: 20030230189
    Abstract: A rack and pinion steering apparatus (10) comprises a first bearing surface (38) that is formed on a surface (36) that defines a passage (24) in housing (12). An input assembly (120) that includes a first portion (124) of a control valve (132) extends into the passage (24) of the housing (12). An output assembly (80) that includes a second portion (84) of the control valve (132) is located in the passage (24) of the housing (12). A second bearing surface (96) is formed on an outer surface (94) of the output assembly (80). The first bearing surface (38) cooperates with the second bearing surface (96) to define an annular space (162) for receiving fluid and for supporting rotation of the output assembly (80) relative to the housing (12).
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2002
    Publication date: December 18, 2003
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Jack L. Place
  • Patent number: 6662674
    Abstract: A steering column (10, 210) includes a support (24, 224) which supports a steering column member for rotation about a longitudinal axis (26, 226). A mounting bracket (50, 266) connects the steering column (10, 210) to a vehicle frame. A pair of arms (66, 68 and 276, 278) interconnects the support (24, 224) and the mounting bracket (50, 266). Each of the arms (66, 68 and 276, 278) has an end (72, 78 and 296, 304) pivotally connected with the mounting bracket (50, 266) and an end (88, 98 and 310, 318) pivotally connected with the support (24, 224). A locking mechanism (108, 330) locks the arms (66, 68 and 276, 278) relative to the mounting bracket (50, 266) and locks the support (24, 224) relative to the arms. The locking mechanism (108, 330) includes a locking shaft (110, 340) extending through the mounting bracket (50, 266), one of the arms (66, 68 and 276, 278), and into the support (24, 224).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Mark A. Cartwright, Jonathan Lewis, Gregory B. Livengood
  • Patent number: 6663067
    Abstract: A coat hook assembly (10) includes a hook member (80) for connection with a structure (12). The hook member (80) is supported for pivotal movement from an opening (40) and from a stored position to an operative position. The hook member (80) has a hook portion (82) adapted to support a garment. The hook member (80) has a closure portion (84) fixed for pivotal movement with the hook portion (82), and blocking the opening (40) when the hook member is in the stored position. A latch mechanism (120) releasably hold the hook member (80) in the stored position. The latch mechanism (120) is responsive to a pushing force on the hook member (80) when in the stored position to release the hook member for pivotal movement from the stored position to the operative position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Gary G. Gordon
  • Patent number: 6659630
    Abstract: A switch (10) for controlling operation of vehicle lamps (e.g., 16) comprises a base (30) and a manually engageable assembly (50) rotatable about an axis (32) relative to the base for controlling operation of the lamps. The assembly (50) comprises a magnetic member (56) that rotates with the assembly about the axis (32). The base (30) comprises at least one magnetic sensor (e.g., 40-44) and control circuitry connecting the sensor with the vehicle lamps (e.g., 16). The magnetic member (56) is rotatable about the axis (32) into a plurality of different rotational positions relative to the sensor (e.g., 40-44) to provide an output signal at the control circuitry (70) that is indicative of the relative rotational position of the assembly (50). The magnetic member (56) is spaced apart from the base (30) to provide contactless operation of the switch (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: David L. Becker
  • Publication number: 20030222412
    Abstract: A ball joint includes a socket and a stud having a ball end portion received in the socket and a shank projecting from the socket. An annular seal has an intermediate portion extending between first and second end portions. The second end portion of the seal has an engagement portion in sealing engagement with the shank portion of the stud. A spring is molded in the second end portion of the seal and extends for 360 degrees around the circumference of the shank portion at a location radially outward of the engagement portion. The spring has a circular array of spring fingers that extend radially inward from a main body portion and exert a radially inward directed force on the engagement portion to maintain it in sealing engagement with the shank portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2002
    Publication date: December 4, 2003
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Brian A. Urbach
  • Publication number: 20030223617
    Abstract: A method for helping to control a vehicle occupant protection device (22) includes taking an image of the vehicle interior with a digital imager (50) having an array of pixels (53). A contiguous portion of the image less than the entire image is selected. At least one image enhancement technique is applied to the selected image portion. The enhanced image portion is combined with the other portions of the image to make an enhanced image. The enhanced image is analyzed to detect at least one of features and characteristics of the enhanced image. Alternatively, a selected non-contiguous group of the pixels (53) of the imager (50) are read out, as representative of the entire image, to estimate the illumination levels across the entire array of pixels. In one aspect, the imager shutter (56) speed may be controlled to enhance the image.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2002
    Publication date: December 4, 2003
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Jon K. Wallace, Farid Khairallah, Barry Dunbridge, John J. Berenz
  • Patent number: 6655491
    Abstract: A power steering apparatus (10) includes a housing (22) defining a chamber (25) for holding power steering fluid. The housing (22) has an opening (62, 104, 154) defined by a projection (64, 102, 152) integrally formed on the housing. A conduit (50) extends into the opening (62, 104, 154) and is connected with the projection (64, 102, 152) on the housing (22). A connector assembly (60, 100, 150) connects the conduit (50) with the projection (64, 102, 152) on the housing (22). The connector assembly (60, 100, 150) includes a clip (68, 108, 158) having a base (78, 118, 168) with an opening (82, 126, 176) and a plurality of resilient fingers (80, 122, 170) extending from the base. Either the conduit (50) or the projection (64, 102, 152) extends through the opening (82, 126, 176) in the base (78, 118, 168) and engages the base. The fingers (80, 122, 170) engage the other of the conduit (50) and the projection (64, 102, 152).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Richard A. Stoll, Rogerio De Moura Maradini
  • Patent number: 6655709
    Abstract: A steering apparatus (10) for turning steerable wheels of a vehicle in response to rotation of a vehicle steering wheel (12) comprises a first assembly (16), a second assembly (26), and a mechanism (108). The first assembly (16) is operatively coupled to the steering wheel (12) and includes components (18 and 22) for monitoring applied torque and angular rotation of the steering wheel. The second assembly (26) includes a steering gear (34) and components (28 and 30) for receiving the first signal and actuating the steering gear (34) in response to the first signal. The mechanism (108) when in a first mode of operation provides a mechanical connection between the steering wheel (12) and the steering gear (34). When the mechanism (108) is in the second mode of operation, the steering wheel (12) and the steering gear (34) lack a mechanical connection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth A. Sherwin, Robert T. Ducharme
  • Patent number: 6658328
    Abstract: A passive function control system (10) for a motor vehicle and a method of operating the system (10) are provided. The system (10) includes a vehicle based transceiver (14) for transmitting a challenge signal having a random number and an identification code. At least a portion of the random number and at least a portion of the identification code of the challenge signal are encrypted. A portable transceiver (16) receives the challenge signal and decrypts the encrypted portions of the challenge signal. The portable transceiver (16) transmits a challenge response signal having the random number only in response to a comparison of the identification code to a reference identification code indicating a match. A first controller (18) of the vehicle based transceiver (14) responds to the challenge response signal when the challenge response signal is related to the random number.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Ansaf Ibrahem Alrabady, David Leonard Juzswik
  • Publication number: 20030221156
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided coding communications signals 16 carried between transmitting and receiving stations 12 and 14. A data stream from a communications signal is encoded with an outer code 22 to form an outer-coded data stream that is passed to an inner coder 26. The inner coder 26 applies an inner code and punctures the resulting coded data stream by deleting at least one bit from each symbol to achieve a desired data rate and coding level. The system 10 offers multiple levels of puncturing to vary the coding level between heavy and light. The inner code may be a Nordstrom-Robinson code and the outer code may be a Reed-Solomon code.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 25, 2003
    Publication date: November 27, 2003
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Harvey L. Berger, Michael S. Munoz
  • Patent number: 6644206
    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: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Homer W. Fogle, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6644430
    Abstract: A fluid power assisted rack and pinion steering apparatus (10) for a vehicle includes a rack (40) connectable with steerable wheels of the vehicle, a housing (20) partially enclosing the rack (40) and defining a fluid chamber (39), a bushing (390 or 590) encircling the rack (40), a sleeve (420 or 620) supporting the rack (40) for sliding movement relative to the bushing (390 or 590), and a fluid tight seal member (370 or 570) for sealing the fluid chamber (39). The bushing (390 or 590) has opposite axial ends (391, 412 or 591, 612) and is secured in the housing (20) by an interference fit between an outer surface 394 or 594) of the bushing (390 or 590) and an inner surface (26) of the housing (20). The sleeve (420 or 620) extends between the bushing (390 or 590) and the rack (40). The sleeve (420 or 620) has at least one radially extending tab (431 or 631) received in a corresponding recess (418 or 618) in the bushing (390 or 590).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis F. Harer, Mark A. Skelton
  • Patent number: 6643897
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for connection with a vehicle portion (8) comprises a grab handle (40) and a grab handle hinge (60). The grab handle hinge (60) supports the grab handle (40) for pivotal movement relative to the vehicle portion (8) between a grab handle stored position adjacent the vehicle portion (8) and a grab handle operative position spaced apart from the vehicle portion (8). A cap (70) blocks visibility of part of the grab handle hinge (60) from the vehicle occupant compartment when the grab handle (40) is in the grab handle stored position. A cap hinge (90) supports the cap (70) for pivotal movement between a cap stored position covering the part of the grab handle hinge (60) and a cap operative position spaced apart from the vehicle portion (8) and from the grab handle hinge (60). The cap (70) has a portion (74) adapted to support a garment when the cap (70) is in the cap operative position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Henry Chang
  • Publication number: 20030205893
    Abstract: A steering column (10) includes a support (24) through which a steering column member (12) extends. An over-center locking mechanism (130) locks the support (24) in any one of a plurality of positions relative to a mounting bracket (66). The locking mechanism (130) has a locking member (132) that has a first position in which a portion (46) of the support (24) and a portion (72) of the mounting bracket (66) are urged toward each other to prevent movement of the support (24) relative to the mounting bracket (66). The locking member (132) has a second position in which the support (24) and the mounting bracket (66) are movable relative to each other. The locking mechanism (130) applies a first force to the locking member (132) to move the locking member from the first position to the second position and applies a second force to the locking member to move the locking member from the second position to the first position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 1, 2002
    Publication date: November 6, 2003
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Gregory B. Livengood
  • Patent number: 6641074
    Abstract: A pretensioner (50) tensions vehicle seat belt webbing (18). The pretensioner (50) has a member (52) movable by an actuating fluid to tension the seat belt webbing (18). The pretensioner (50) further has at least one microelectromechanical system (MEMS) device (120) energizable to supply actuating fluid to move the member (52).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2003
    Assignees: TRW Inc., TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher C. Shih, Douglas P. Campbell, Lee D. Bergerson, Dean M. Esterberg, Paul A. Bowers, Ernst M. Faigle, Homer W. Fogle, Jr., Ivan L. Stonich, David H. Lewis, Jr., Eric N. Streif, Brian R. Pitstick, Timothy A. Swann, Roy D. Van Wynsberghe
  • Patent number: 6641622
    Abstract: A process for preparing phase stabilized ammonium nitrate comprises the following steps. A solution of ammonium nitrate (12), a phase stabilizer (26), and an inert liquid (20) is prepared. The solution is atomized to form a stream of droplets. The droplets (54) are freeze dried to form phase stabilized ammonium nitrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: William P. Sampson, Peter J. Astrauskas
  • Publication number: 20030201879
    Abstract: An apparatus for sensing pressure in vehicle tires includes an interrogator (102) for providing a tire pressure interrogation signal, and a tire pressure monitor (70) for sensing pressure within a first tire (24) of the vehicle (20) and providing an actual tire pressure signal. A first wheel speed sensor (42) associated with the first tire (24) provides a reference wheel speed signal upon movement of the vehicle (20). A second wheel speed sensor (40) associated with a second tire (22) of the vehicle (20) provides a wheel speed signal upon movement of the vehicle. A controller (60) activates the interrogator (102), monitors the actual tire pressure signal, and correlates the reference wheel speed signal with the wheel speed signal from the second wheel speed sensor (40) for determining a tire pressure value of the second tire (22).
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Publication date: October 30, 2003
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Carl A. Munch, Timothy DeZorzi
  • Patent number: 6637945
    Abstract: An apparatus that mounts a steering shaft connectable with a steering wheel and rotatable to turn steerable vehicle wheels to a vehicle includes a support member connectable with the vehicle. The support member has first and second bearing housings spaced from each other along a longitudinal axis of the steering shaft. Each of the first and second bearing housings has a surface extending parallel to the longitudinal axis with an opening through which bearings are inserted that support the steering shaft for rotation relative to the support member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Mark A. Cartwright
  • Patent number: 6639953
    Abstract: A binary phase shift key demodulator (64) demodulates a signal conveying bits. A vector computation component (88) computes an I, Q vector associated with a reference bit and computes an I, Q vector associated with a subsequent bit. A vector comparison component (92) interprets the subsequent bit as a first binary value if the vector associated with the subsequent bit is within a first range of vector angles from the vector associated with the reference bit, and interprets the subsequent bit as a second binary value if the vector associated with the subsequent bit is outside of a second range of vector angles from the vector associated with the reference bit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Ansaf Ibrahem Alrabady