Patents Examined by George M. Dombroske
  • Patent number: 6094996
    Abstract: An apparatus and method that electronically measures and displays the size of a fish in a net using an electrical transducer generating a signal responding to the weight of a fish, and electronics converting and displaying the signal to indicate fish weight, length, and/or girth to inform a person of fish size with minimum trauma to a fish.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Inventors: Bruce H. Campbell, Jon B. Greenwood
  • Patent number: 6003383
    Abstract: A vortex fluid meter (1) includes a pipe portion (2) of constant inside diameter in which the fluid flows, at least two obstacles disposed in the middle of the flow of the fluid in said pipe portion (2) each having a generally elongate shape with longitudinal and transverse dimensions perpendicular to the direction of flow of the fluid, and adapted to generate oscillatory fluid vortices, an upstream obstacle (4) having a substantially uniform trapezoidal transverse section and a downstream obstacle (6) having a generally T-shape transverse section, and means (10, 12, 14) for detecting the signal corresponding to the oscillations of said vortices and for deducing therefrom the fluid volume or flowrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1999
    Assignee: Schlumberger Industries, S.A.
    Inventors: Barbara Zielinska, Souad Zikikout
  • Patent number: 5999864
    Abstract: A method of power management for a hybrid powertrain system includes the step of determining a storage power from a power flow into or out of an energy storage apparatus. The method also includes the step of determining an actual level of energy stored in the energy storage apparatus, determining a desired level of energy stored in the energy storage apparatus, and determining an energy storage level error from a difference between the desired level of energy stored and the actual level of energy stored. The method further includes the step of determining an engine power change from the energy storage level error and an actual storage power flow, determining an engine power setting from the engine power change, and modifying the engine by the engine power setting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Chrysler Corporation
    Inventors: O. Kent Thiel, Arthur J. Buglione
  • Patent number: 5957994
    Abstract: A method for accelerating the rotational speed of a crankshaft of an internal combustion engine having a plurality of cylinders each having a spark plug wherein a predetermined amount of delivered fuel is to be combusted at a firing time within each of the plurality of cylinders with each rotation of the camshaft or crankshaft based on an acceleration input made by an operator includes the step of receiving the accelerating input, measuring the rotational speed of the crankshaft, defining an expected engine speed based on the acceleration input, calculating a speed error as the rotational speed of the crankshaft less the expected engine speed, calculating engine acceleration and adjusting the predetermined amount of fuel delivered to be combusted in each of the plurality of cylinders to reduce the speed error when the speed error is a function of the instantaneous engine speed. The preferred embodiment is implemented using fuzzy logic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel Lawrence Meyer, Philip William Husak, Michael John Cullen, Steven Ray Whittier, Julia Marie Giuliano, Anupam Narula
  • Patent number: 5955677
    Abstract: An improved metal seal useful in conjunction with a pressure transducer or other pressure device or vessel. The pressure transducer comprises a pressure housing having an open end and having a housing wall. The housing wall preferably has internal threads and has a terminal end. The pressure transducer has a chamber defined by the housing wall of the pressure housing. The pressure transducer has a mating piece which engages the pressure housing, thereby enclosing the chamber. The mating piece has an externally threaded end for engaging the internal threads of the housing. The mating piece employing the invention has an overlap for engaging the terminal ends of the housing wall to prevent the housing wall from expanding and for forming a seal therewith. The overlap prevents the housing walls from expanding due to high pressures contained in the chamber of the pressure housing. Consequently, by using the overlap, pressure transducers having thin walls are able to withstand higher pressures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignee: Geophysical Research Corporation
    Inventor: Bradley C. Holliday
  • Patent number: 5948964
    Abstract: Disclosed is a NOx sensor and a method of measuring NOx capable of obtaining a large change in signal to measure a concentration of low concentration NOx in a measurement gas continuously and accurately with good response over a long period of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: NGK Insulators, Ltd.
    Inventor: Nobuhide Kato
  • Patent number: 5929342
    Abstract: Multi-phase fluid flow in a pipeline or other flowline is monitored using a combination of flow type detectors. One set of detectors monitors the interfaces between fluid interfaces and the other monitors the presence of different fluid phases around the periphery of the flowline. The relative volumetric fluid flow rates can be measured by detecting changes in the phase interfaces between two sets of sensor rings using sensors spaced around the flowline with the fluid flow type being detected across the flowline with an annular capacitance detector. The sensor rings typically use ultrasonic transducers for detecting the phase interfaces while the capacitance device indicates the presence (or absence) of different phases around the periphery of the flowline. By combining the outputs of the different detectors, an indication of the flow phenomena in the flowline can be obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Assignee: Mobil Oil Corporation
    Inventor: Laird Berry Thompson
  • Patent number: 5929345
    Abstract: A device for monitoring the flow rate of a liquid has an impeller with a plurality of blades arranged within a duct wherein the liquid flows, and a sensor able to detect the rotation of the impeller. A variable distributor is mounted in the duct for modifying the ratio between the number of revolutions of the impeller and the rate liquid flow in the duct in order to control the resolution of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Assignee: Eltek S.p.a.
    Inventor: Costanzo Gadini
  • Patent number: 5920018
    Abstract: A sensor for non-intrusively measuring the volumetric flow rate of materials, such as cotton, in a confined air stream is disclosed. The sensor is mounted on a conduit through which an air entrained material such as cotton flows. The sensor has an emitter unit having a number of light sources such as an LED which emit light beams normal to the longitudinal axis of the conduit. The sensor also has a detector unit which detects the light beams from the light sources. The light beams are detected by light-to-frequency circuits which generate a signal indicative of the sensed light. The light beams are attenuated depending on the amount of material passing through the conduit. The generated signal is sent to a counter circuit. The counter outputs are coupled to a processor circuit which calculates the quantity of material flowing through the light beam as a function of the frequency signal and a baseline frequency signal indicative of the level of light detected when no material is flowing through the light beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1999
    Assignee: The University of Tennessee Research Corporation
    Inventors: John B. Wilkerson, Fred Henry Moody, III, Joseph Shellie Kirby
  • Patent number: 5911786
    Abstract: An apparatus for collecting and measuring body fluid comprises a measurement container which is provided with a fluid inlet (2) at its uppermost end and at its lowermost end has a fluid outlet (3) where a rod-shaped valve means (4) is arranged, wherein the measurement container is constructed with an opening in the upper area through which opening the valve means may be activated, a fluid collection bag connected to the fluid outlet and suspended from the measurement container and flexible connecting element (7), e.g. a bellows, which is mounted on the one hand on a rim region of the opening in the measurement container and on the other hand on the valve means, as the flexible connection (7) allows axial movement of the valve manes (4, 5) relative to the measurement container (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1999
    Assignee: Maersk Medical A/S
    Inventors: Lars Priess Nielsen, Karsten Aakerlund
  • Patent number: 5902934
    Abstract: A magnetostrictive stress and torque sensor using the component of the output signal in-phase with the drive voltage to monitor stress or torque. In some embodiments, it may use the quadrature or out-of-phase component, or some combination of the in-phase and out-of-phase components. Such phase component monitoring has several advantages over magnitude detection, including a response which is a more linear function of torque, and which is not subject to overmodulation problems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Assignee: Sensortech, L.P.
    Inventors: Fred P. Sprague, Erik B. Vigmostad, Robert D. Klauber
  • Patent number: 5902933
    Abstract: A pressure sensor includes a detection unit 1 having capacities C1 and C2 varied by a predetermined external action, a reference detection 2 unvaried by the predetermined external action, a first oscillator 31 and 32 for generating a detection frequency signal according to the capacities C1 and C2 of the detection unit 1, a second oscillator 33 for producing a reference frequency signal according to the capacity of the reference unit 2, and measuring circuits 34, 35, 36 and 37 for measuring the number of the periods of the detection frequency signal within a predetermined period of the reference frequency signal to produce a measured signal. The sensor can minimize a detection error, and directly convert the change of capacity into a pulse signal (digital signal) without convertion into an analog, so that the circuit construction be simplified and realized at a reduced cost.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Assignee: Omron Corporation
    Inventors: Hideyuki Bingo, Yasuhide Nishimuara, Kazuhisa Matsuda, Nobuo Kakui, Tomonori Morimura, Yasushi Shimomoto, Yoshihiro Umeuchi, Yoshitaka Sunagawa, Takaji Nakamura
  • Patent number: 5895848
    Abstract: A liquid level sensing apparatus, and related method, that utilizes a tuning fork assembly to detect the presence of not only a liquid or air at a particular location within a container, but also a solid material at that location. The tuning fork assembly includes an excitation transducer and a receiving transducer mechanically coupled to a pair of paddles that are exposed within the container, and a phase-locked loop control system applies an excitation signal to the excitation transducer having a frequency that is regulated to track the tuning fork's resonant frequency. A comparator compares that resonant frequency with a prescribed threshold, to determine whether the tuning fork assembly is disposed in air or a liquid. A failure of the phase-locked loop control system to lock the frequency of the excitation signal at any particular frequency indicates that the tuning fork assembly is over-damped and likely contacted by a solid material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1999
    Assignee: Flowline Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey D. Wilson, Carl R. Haynie, William L. McGeary
  • Patent number: 5893897
    Abstract: The invention is directed to a method for detecting combustion misfires in an internal combustion engine having a crankshaft and a transducer wheel coupled to the crankshaft and a sensor. The combustion misfires are detected on the basis of a time-dependent trace of the rotational movement of the transducer wheel and the transducer wheel has predetermined segments which pass the sensor. In the method, a sensor is utilized to detect segment times in which the segments pass the sensor so that the sensor produces a sensor signal representing the segment times. The sensor signal is applied as an input signal to first and second lowpass filters mutually connected in parallel thereby obtaining first and second output signals which react with different speeds to changes in the input signal. The difference between the first and second output signals is formed and a measure is, in turn, formed for the changes of the difference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1999
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Asmus Volkart, Klaus Ries-Muller, Jurgen Forster
  • Patent number: 5877436
    Abstract: A method is provided for quantitative determination of the pressure comfort of a seat cushion. For this purpose, the sitting surface of the seat cushion to be tested is loaded mechanically in a manner that corresponds to a normal individual sitting in it, and the seat distribution is then determined with an interposed measuring mat. The signals from the individual pressure sensors of the measuring mat are summarized in accordance with anthropomorphically determined loading ranges with different pressure sensitivity thresholds groupwise and evaluated separately for the individual areas. For this purpose, the pressure measurement signals are multiplied by a factor or a pressure-dependent progressively increasing evaluation function and the product function is integrated. The pressure sensitivity threshold is assigned a value of 1. Depending on the difference between the respective pressure measurement value and the pressure sensitivity threshold (p.sub.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Assignee: Mercedes-Benz AG
    Inventors: Eberhard Faust, Karl Pfahler, Helge Schmidt
  • Patent number: 5877431
    Abstract: An apparatus for measuring a tension (T) of a belt in a spanned state includes a vibration detector (1A) for detecting a vibration of the belt, a vibration frequency arithmetic unit (2A) for arithmetically determining a vibration frequency on the basis of the vibration as detected, and a tester (3) equipped with a display device (35). The tester (3) includes an information processor (32) for arithmetically determining a tension (T) of the belt on the basis of the vibration frequency supplied from the vibration frequency arithmetic unit (2A) and information about the belt read out from a storage medium (9), and the display device (35) for displaying the result of the arithmetic operation performed by the information processing means. The storage medium (9) is constituted by an external memory unit capable of being detachably connected to the tester (3).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Shigeaki Hirano
  • Patent number: 5874664
    Abstract: Air fuel ratio sensor for use in an exhaust gas purification system for an internal combustion engine. The sensor has an outer and inner cover 12 and 13 for protection of lead wires 16, 18 and 19 to a detecting element 3 and a heater 5 of the sensor, a rubber seal for 2 for obtaining a sealing between the covers and the lead wires and a water repellent filter 36 for obtaining a seal between the inner and outer covers 12 and 13, while keeping an air ventilation capability of the space inside the covers. For receiving the lead wires 16, 18 and 19, the seal 2 is formed with holes 20such that the minimum thickness between the holes and the minimum thickness between the hole and an outer surface of the seal is 1 mm or more. A crimping of the outer cover 12 is done so that a deformation of the seal 2 in a range between 10 to 20% of the outer diameter is obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Isao Watanabe, Michihiro Yamakawa, Masanori Fukutani, Toshihiro Sakawa, Nobuyuki Tsuji, Minoru Ohta
  • Patent number: 5874663
    Abstract: An air-fuel ratio sensor is provided in which sensor lead wires are held by a rubber bush at an end of a sensor housing. The rubber bush is made of a rubber material having a 100% modulus strength equal to or larger than 60 Kgf/cm.sup.2 even after the sensor is used under a temperature environment of 300.degree. C. for 100 hours.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Kenji Fukaya, Makoto Hori, Masahiro Hamaya, Masatoshi Suzuki
  • Patent number: 5870688
    Abstract: A misfire diagnostic system for an Internal combustion engine comprises a crank-shaft angle sensor for monitoring a crankshaft angular velocity reflecting a combusting condition of each of engine cylinders, and a control unit for calculating an angular-velocity correction factor of each of the engine cylinders on the basis of the angular velocity in every engine operating region only under a stable engine operating condition. The control unit corrects the angular velocity by the angular-velocity correction factor of each of the engine cylinders for every engine operating region. The presence of a misfire is accurately decided on the basis of the angular velocity corrected for every engine cylinder and for every engine operating region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Assignee: Unisia Jecs Corporation
    Inventors: Yutaka Kanbara, Akira Uchikawa
  • Patent number: 5869753
    Abstract: The road friction is determined from the deviation of the estimated yaw rate under a standard condition from the actually measured yaw rate. The system for determining the road friction includes a parameter identification unit which determines a parameter of a variation term defined in the transfer function of the model for the vehicle response. The variation term may consist of a zero-th order or a first-order transfer function which would not cause any large computation load, and may not depend on the vehicle speed. The determined road friction may be used for controlling the rear wheel steering angle of a four wheel steering vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Nobuyoshi Asanuma, Kiyoshi Wakamatsu, Yoshimitsu Akuta, Manabu Ikegaya, Nobuo Sugitani, Yukihiro Fujiwara