Patents Examined by Diego F. F. Gutierrez
  • Patent number: 5820262
    Abstract: A Refrigerant Sensor is provided that provides within a common assembly pressure, temperature and superheat measurements and calculations with respect to a refrigerant material. The Refrigerant Sensor includes a pressure transducer for measuring the pressure of the refrigerant material and a temperature transducer for measuring the temperature of the refrigerant material. The pressure and temperature measurements are used by a microprocessor to calculate the superheat value of the refrigerant material. The microprocessor is within the common assembly. The Refrigerant Sensor can send and receive information from the network and also calibrate the pressure and temperature measurements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Johnson Service Company
    Inventor: Thomas J. Lechner
  • Patent number: 5820264
    Abstract: A waveguide for tympanic thermometer formed by an elongate hollow member having substantially ellipsoidal shape truncated at both ends along its major axis direction. The waveguide is interposed between a tympanic membrane of which the temperature is to be measured and an infrared radiation sensor so as to guide the infrared radiation from the tympanic membrane to the sensor. Alternatively, the waveguide may also be a hollow member including an end portion having a gradually reduced inner diameter toward the side of sensor. The gradually reduced end portion is preferably of a truncated half ellipsoidal shape having a length between about 1/10 to about 1/3 of the distance from the sensor to the distal end of the waveguide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignees: Oriental System Technology, Inc., Opto Tech Corporation, Metrodyne Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Simon Tsao, Jin-Shown Shie, James Huang, Clark Liang, San Bao Lin, Mang Ou-Yang, Jerry You
  • Patent number: 5820260
    Abstract: The heating value of a sample gas is calculated by a microcontroller (12) from the heating value of a reference gas, and from an oxidation energy ratio determined as the gas is combusted by a flameless combustion process. The combustible gas is mixed with a combustion supporting gas, such as air, in a volume chamber (4) and injected into a combustion device (8, 50) in which a body of inert material (26, 51, 53) is heated above the auto-ignition temperature of the gas mixture. The inert material (26, 51, 53) is arranged to have a void dimension that is small enough to prevent the formation of an open flame during combustion. The process is repeated with a sample gas. During the injection cycle, the microcontroller (12) receives signals which monitor the power of combustion. The microcontroller (12) calculates the heating value of the sample gas and generates an output signal to a visual display or other output device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Badger Meter, Inc.
    Inventors: William H. Vander Heyden, Ronald Arthur Berg
  • Patent number: 5820265
    Abstract: Optical temperature sensors use a temperature-dependent relative distribution of the intensity of interrogating light of wavelengths .lambda..sub.1 between two light-guiding regions of a light-guiding probe. The relative distribution can be determined by a plurality of means including the spatial separation of the lights carried by the two light-guiding regions, and/or the conversion of one of the lights into light of wavelengths .lambda..sub.2 different and easily separable from light of wavelength .lambda..sub.1. The sensors can be adapted to measure infrared radiation by measuring its heating effect on the sensing probes and to convert a thermal infrared image into a visible image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Inventor: Marcos Y. Kleinerman
  • Patent number: 5820263
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for monitoring a temperature around a point of clinical interest. The apparatus has a sensing surface carrying a plurality of temperature detectors in a regular spatial outer disposition around a central detector. A signal processor computes the highest temperature difference between any two outer detectors and the central detector and compares the highest difference with a predetermined number of temperature domains or ranges. The signal processor activates an output device to provide an indication of the correlation between the highest determined temperature difference and the temperature domains. The output device comprises three different colored lights to provide an indication of normal, doubtful or abnormal correlation. In another embodiment, the output device is a graphical display having a pattern of the organ to be examined as a background and a luminous point on the display, which is either not lit, flashes with a low frequency, or is continuously lit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Inventor: Sorin G. Ciobanu
  • Patent number: 5816187
    Abstract: A storable diver's flag which is visible in substantially all directions. The flag includes three flexible rectangular panels connected to one another along a common central pocket formed between the panels. The panels are thus vertically automatically radially extendible to an in-use position generally radially equal angles between adjacent panels whereby diver down indicia on both surfaces of the panels allow the upright in-use flag and indicia to be seen from any direction. A support member having an elongated mast and three support arms radially extending from near each end of the mast extend along each radial margin of each panel to maintain the panels in an extended and upstanding in use position. The support member is preferably embedded and adhered in place between each pair of sheet material portions themselves adhered together to form each flag panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Inventor: Edward J. Jimmie
  • Patent number: 5816707
    Abstract: A composition of matter suitable for use in a reversible thermometer is disclosed which comprises a thermally responsive material capable of being supercooled at least for several minutes, and subject to a change in state from a solid to a liquid substantially at a predetermined temperature; means for visually observing the change in state; and a matrix forming material comprising an amorphous organic compound, the matrix forming material being insoluble in the thermally responsive material; whereby the thermally responsive material is dispersed within the matrix forming material, the composition of matter being reversibly responsive to changes in temperature, and remaining in the liquid state for a time sufficient to permit a user of the composition to observe the change in state. The preferred matrix forming material is polyisobutylene, and the preferred thermally responsive material is a solid solution of ortho-chloronitrobenzene and ortho-bromonitrobenzene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Assignee: Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Craig R. Hof
  • Patent number: 5818043
    Abstract: A thermal imaging detector including a layer of heat-sensitive material which includes a doped ferroelectric material exhibiting a pronounced rise in resistance with temperature in the vicinity of the ferroelectric/paraelectric transition, a multiplexing circuit, a thermally insulating thin-film microstructure, and a matrix segmentation at the level of the material of the heat-sensitive layer, so as to define heat-sensitive picture elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson-CSF
    Inventors: Fran.cedilla.ois Buchy, Philippe Robin
  • Patent number: 5816703
    Abstract: A method of detecting a defect on the surface of a structure using an infrared radiometric thermometer. It is determined that there is a lifting defect at a region of the surface if the region has a temperature difference of 0.3.degree. C. or more in comparison with a surrounding region and has an area of 200 cm.sup.2 or more. The temperature of the surface of the structure is obtained using the infrared radiometric thermometer in a period of time from 19:00 p.m. on a day when it is clear at least in the daytime to 4:30 a.m. on the next day.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Assignee: Nittco Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenichiro Yamazaki, Kiyotaka Kawase, Toshio Koike, Susumu Harashima
  • Patent number: 5816705
    Abstract: The heating value of a sample gas is calculated by a microcontroller (12) from the heating value of a reference gas, and from flow ratios and power levels determined as the gas is combusted by a flameless combustion process. The combustible gas is mixed with a combustion supporting gas, such as air, and flowed to a body of material (26, 52) which is heated to a temperature sufficient for oxidation of the gas mixture. The size of spaces in a first embodiment of a heater device (9, 11, 25, 26) and in a second embodiment of a heater device (50) are limited to prevent formation of an open flame. In a preferred "lean mixture" embodiment, the gas-air mixture of the reference gas, and the gas-air mixture of the sample gas, respectively, are each adjusted until a selected power level of combustion at a temperature lower than the point of stoichiometric combustion is reached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Assignee: Badger Meter, Inc.
    Inventors: William H. Vander Heyden, Ronald Arthur Berg
  • Patent number: 5816706
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and apparatus for determining the internal temperature and the coefficient of internal thermal conductivity of a structure. In both cases, the surface temperature and ambient temperature of an object are measured from both sides of two structures whose thermal conductivities are known. On the basis of the measured temperature values, the internal temperature or the coefficient of internal thermal conductivity of the object is determined from the function of the heat flux. Thereafter the unknown thermal conductivity or the unknown internal temperature of the object is eliminated from the solutions, and the internal temperature or the coefficient of internal thermal conductivity of the object is determined on the basis of the combined solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Assignee: Polar Electro OY
    Inventors: Ilkka Heikkila, Seppo Nissila
  • Patent number: 5813278
    Abstract: A projectile grenade launching system tester, comprising a battery, a fem jack to receive voltage from a grenade launcher, a plurality of operational amplifiers to receive constant current from the battery and to receive firing voltage from the grenade launcher through the female jack, a plurality of opto couplers to complete circuits should the voltage from the grenade launcher be greater than 0.5 volts, a plurality of light emitting diodes to indicate by lighting that greater than 0.5 volts is being received and a push button switch to open the circuit and permit resetting of the tester.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army
    Inventors: Paul G. Schabdach, Irving F. Barditch
  • Patent number: 5813766
    Abstract: A finger temperature indicating ring for wearing around a finger to measure and indicate the finger temperature of the wearer. A thermal conductive rod made of highly thermal conductive material, such as platinum, is provided in the ring with a lower end of the rod exposed from the ring to contact with the finger. The finger's heat or cold is accurately and quickly transmitted to a thermistor provided with the ring via the thermal conductive rod, causing a circuit connected to the thermistor to operate and convert the finger temperature into a signal which is sent to an indicating element in the ring. With a switch button, the signal can be presented to the wearer in different manners, so that the wearer is always reminded and encouraged to release himself or herself from physical or mental stress.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Inventor: Mei-Yen Chen
  • Patent number: 5813764
    Abstract: A catalytic differential gas combustible microcalorimeter sensor for monitoring the exhaust gas conversion for monitoring the exhaust gas conversion efficiency of a catalytic converter. The catalytic calorimetric sensor disclosed includes a sol-gel processed washcoat and sol-processed catalytically active metal particles. Sol-gel processing creates a washcoat with high surface area and controlled porosity which increases the sensitivity, durability, and reproducibility of the resultant sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Jacobus Hendrik Visser, Chaitanya Kumar Narula, Margherita Zanini-Fisher
  • Patent number: 5813763
    Abstract: A calorimeter includes sample and reference cells, a thermal shield surrounding these cells, a heating device thermally coupled to the thermal shield, temperature sensors for monitoring a temperature of the shield and a temperature differential between the shield and the cells, and a control system. The control system has an output line connected to the heating device and input lines to receive signals from the temperature sensors. The control system is configured to generate on its output line an output signal which is a function of both the input signals received on its input lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Assignee: Microcal Incorporated
    Inventors: Valerian V. Plotnikov, John F. Brandts, J. Michael Brandts
  • Patent number: 5810477
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for mapping the character and location of medium conditions for a planar surface. Energy is supplied to a head in close proximity to the planar surface to thereby raise the temperature of the object. The head is moved with respect to the planar surface while keeping the distance from the planar surface substantially constant. An increase, decrease or a rapid variation containing positive and negative temperature excursions is distinguished by electronic means. These variations are used to categorize disturbances or contact with the medium, and the location and type of condition is recorded in hard copy or by computer acquisition for later consideration in the file manufacture process. Additionally, magnetic and thermal information may be combined to provide an even more complete description of the nature of the condition, since the magnetic and thermal signals are descriptive of different physical phenomenon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: David William Abraham, Timothy Joseph Chainer
  • Patent number: 5809930
    Abstract: A flagpole rotation device comprised of an upper collar having two U-shaped portions. The two U-shaped portions are adapted for securement around a flag pole. The two U-shaped portions are tightly secured around the flagpole. The device contains a rotator portion having two U-shaped portions. The two U-shaped portions have inner nylon surfaces. The two U-shaped portions are adapted for securement around the flag pole. The two U-shaped portions are loosely secured around the flagpole. The rotator is disposed on the flagpole beneath the upper collar. The device contains a lower collar having two U-shaped portions. The two U-shaped portions are adapted for securement around a flag pole. The two U-shaped portions are tightly secured around the flagpole. The lower collar is disposed on the flagpole beneath the rotator. A tie-off cleat is secured to the outer surface of the rotator portion. The tie-off cleat serves for securement to a lanyard attached to a flag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Inventor: Joseph Carl Brooks
  • Patent number: 5806978
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for calibrating a thermal proximity sensor are disclosed. Thermal responses from a thermal proximity sensor are used to sense the instantaneous distance between the sensor and a medium over which the sensor is moved, in a data storage system. Sensing the instantaneous distance results in detection of topographical variations on the medium. Calibration techniques for the sensor are disclosed herein and involve, in one aspect, using primarily electrical measurements to calibrate the sensor; and in another aspect, varying the distance between the sensor and the medium, obtaining actual thermal responses from the sensor, and using the actual responses (via direct comparison or curve fitting) to calibrate the sensor. In one embodiment, the sensor is a magnetoresistive access element used to access data on the medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: David William Abraham, Timothy Joseph Chainer, Karl-Friedrich Etzold
  • Patent number: 5806979
    Abstract: Apparatus for measuring heat capacity of a sample where a series of measurements are taken in succession comprises a sample holder in which a sample to be measured is disposed, a temperature sensor and sample heater for providing a heat pulse thermally connected to the sample, and an adiabatic heat shield in which the sample holder is positioned and including an electrical heater. An electrical power supply device provides an electrical power output to the sample heater to generate a heat pulse. The electrical power from a power source to the heat shield heater is adjusted by a control device, if necessary, from one measurement to the next in response to a sample temperature-versus-time change determined before and after a previous heat pulse to provide a subsequent sample temperature-versus-time change that is substantially linear before and after the subsequent heat pulse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventors: Karl A. Gschneidner, Jr., Vitalij K. Pecharsky, Jack O. Moorman
  • Patent number: 5806980
    Abstract: A thermocouple is provided which measures the temperatures of structures at high RF potential, such as an RF electrode within a plasma CVD or plasma etch reactor. The thermocouple includes an outer conductive sheath that connects to the RF electrode at a first location, and a wire pair, connected to a second location of the RF electrode, that is used to sense the RF electrode temperature. The sheath--or a conductive member connected in circuit with the sheath--is wound into a coil to form an inductor with an impedance much greater than the impedance of the RF electrode. A large capacitor grounds the coil so that the thermocouple wires, extending through the sheath, and through and out of the coil, are available for diagnostic purposes. While RF current flows through the sheath, the wires experience the same magnetic field generated by the inductive coil, substantially grounding the thermocouple. Preferably, signal conditioning electronics remove any remaining DC bias voltages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald W. Berrian