Patents Examined by J. David Wiggins
  • Patent number: 6634213
    Abstract: A permeable protective coating for a single-ship hydrogen sensor. A hydrogen-permeable coating is applied to a semiconductor wafer containing hydrogen sensor dies, prior to dicing of the wafer. The permeable coating is preferably an organic spin-on polymer, and the hydrogen sensors preferably include hydrogen-sensing elements composed of a palladium nickel alloy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: James M. O'Connor, Thomas C. Loughran
  • Patent number: 6227039
    Abstract: A measuring system for measuring rheological properties of a concrete mix tested when contained, the system comprising, a surface in contact with part of a mass of said concrete mix; a shearing unit for effecting shear deformation in said mass, along the direction of a shearing plane crossing through said concrete mass; and at least one sensor which senses a measure of the force which is transferred to said surface by said concrete mass as a result of said shear deformation under at least two measurement environments defining at least two different stress states, where said two measurement environments are created by said shearing unit effecting a shear deformation and where said two different measurement environments are characterized by having substantially different forces perpendicular to the shear plane of said shear deformation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Inventor: Moshe Te'eni
  • Patent number: 6192748
    Abstract: A directional drilling control system allows dynamic orientation of downhole drilling equipment in unstable or corrupt natural magnetic fields without the use of gyroscopic measurement devices. The system is especially suited for sidetracking wells. The system includes a permanent or retrievable whipstock having referencing magnets embedded along the centerline of its face, and a measurement while drilling (MWD) instrument assembly. The instrument assembly contains at least one sensor which can accurately determine orientation of the mud motor relative to the reference magnets. The relative positioning of the mud motor is transmitted to the surface by way of a steering tool or MWD telemetry system. The direction of the mud motor or tool face is adjusted by turning the drill pipe at the surface. As drilling progresses, shifts in the orientation of the mud motor due to reactive torque at the drill bit will be indicated in real time so that adjustments may be made at the surface as required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2001
    Assignee: Computalog Limited
    Inventor: Robert G. Miller
  • Patent number: 6182497
    Abstract: A gas detector system comprises a controller and one or more remote gas sensors. The controller may be a standard personal computer running software for detecting the operational status of the gas sensors and signaling an alarm if the gas sensors indicate an alarm condition. The gas sensors may be connected to the controller by way of a universal serial bus. This architecture provides a gas detection system which can be very flexible and full-featured and yet inexpensive. The gas detectors may include detachable portable units which may be removed from their permanent locations to pinpoint the source of a gas leak or to provide routine monitoring of gas levels. The remote units may include data logging functions so that measurements of gas levels at various locations and times can be stored in the portable units for later transmission back to the controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Assignee: Neodym Systems Inc
    Inventor: Juraj Krajci
  • Patent number: 6182505
    Abstract: To study the properties of a multiphase fluid under pressure flowing along a duct, such as the petroleum stream produced by an oil well, a fraction of the fluid is taken from a substantially vertical first length of the duct within which the fluid is agitated and flows upwards, and this fraction is transferred into a separator receptacle with the top of said receptacle being connected to a second length of the duct located downstream from the first length and at a slightly lower pressure relative thereto. Thereafter, the volume ratio of the liquid phases can be determined, e.g. by pouring them into the separator receptacle and measuring the levels thereof, or by causing the liquid emulsion to flow through an appropriate sensor device and where the emulsion density can be determined by weighing the separator receptacle before and after such a liquid phase/emulsion pouring step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technology Corporation
    Inventor: Gerard Segeral
  • Patent number: 6167746
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for determining the concentration of alcohol present in a gaseous mixture wherein an electronic device employing a fuel cell determines the concentration of alcohol present in the gaseous mixture is disclosed. In particular, the device may be used to determine a person's sobriety by determining the alcohol concentration in a breath sample. To determine the alcohol concentration, the device must be able to accurately determine the volume of breath in the breath sample. The device controls the volume of the breath sample by measuring the pressure of the breath flow through the device and, in response to the pressure, electronically controlling a valve diverting a portion of the breath flow into the fuel cell. One application of the invention is a sobriety interlock for a machine where the machine remains disabled unless the operator is first determined to have an alcohol concentration below a predetermined level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2001
    Assignee: Smart Start Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Scott Gammenthaler
  • Patent number: 6167748
    Abstract: An improved multi-element apparatus for detecting the presence of at least one chemical, biological or physical component in a monitored area comprising an array or single set of the following elements: a capacitive transducer having at least one cantilever spring element secured thereto, the cantilever element having an area thereof coated with a chemical having an affinity for the component to be detected; a pick-up plate positioned adjacent to the cantilever element at a distance such that a capacitance between the cantilever element and the pick-up plate changes as the distance between the cantilever element and the pick-up plate varies, the change in capacitance being a measurable variation; a detection means for measuring the measurable variation in the capacitance between the cantilever element and the pick-up plate that forms a measurement channel signal; and at least one feedback cantilever spring element positioned apart from the coated cantilever element, the cantilever element substantially unaffe
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2001
    Assignees: Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation, University of Tennessee Research Corporation
    Inventors: Charles L. Britton, Jr., Robert J. Warmack, William L. Bryan, Robert L. Jones, Patrick Ian Oden, Thomas Thundat
  • Patent number: 6161421
    Abstract: The present invention discloses an integrated ethanol gas sensor and fabrication thereof. The present invention utilities micro electro mechanical system (MEMS) technology and has a main sensing part in the form of a cantilever-bridge structure made of SiC thin film material arranged over a silicon substrate. The present invention integrates an SiC heater of comb or finger electrode shape and an SnO.sub.2 thin film gas sensing element applied over distinct portions on the same Si substrate together with Al2O3 and SnO2 thin films via a VLSI technology.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2000
    Assignee: National Science Council
    Inventors: Yean-Kuen Fang, Jyhyi Ho, C. H. Chen
  • Patent number: 6161423
    Abstract: A leak diagnosis apparatus and method for a fuel vapor treatment unit where fuel vapor produced in a fuel tank is collected by adsorbing into an adsorption canister and the fuel vapor collected in the adsorption canister is purged under predetermined engine operating conditions and supplied to an engine. The diagnosis apparatus includes a leak diagnosis device unit for diagnosing the presence of fuel vapor leaks by comparing a drive load of an electric pump for when air is pumped by the electric pump into a system of fuel piping to be leak diagnosed with a set judgement level of drive load threshold. A fuel temperature detection device is provided for detecting the temperature of fuel, wherein a fuel vapor leak is deemed to exist when the comparisons show that the drive load of the electric pump is less than the set judgement level. A judgement level setting device is provided for setting the judgment level based on the detected temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2000
    Assignee: Unisia Jecs Corporation
    Inventor: Shigeo Okuma
  • Patent number: 6158270
    Abstract: A fuel vapor leak detection assembly (10) having a pressure sensor (20) which is adapted to be selectively and operatively positioned within a fuel fill vent hose (22) in a non-on-board refueling vapor recovery system and which detects fuel vapor leaks. The pressure sensor (20) includes a generally rectangular housing portion (44) and a terminal portion (42) which communicatively connects the sensor (20) to a controller. A conventional pressure sensing device (56) is contained within housing portion (44). Sensor (20) further includes two opposed, generally hollow vent line connection ends or portions (46), (48) which connect to vent hose (22). Portions (44), (46), and (48) cooperatively form a generally cylindrical pressure sensing passageway (54) in which pressure sensing device (56) resides, thereby allowing the device (56) to accurately sense and measure the value or amount of fuel vapor pressure traveling through passageway (54).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Inventors: Benjamin D. Garman, Jeffrey Maurice Albers, Robert James Merrell
  • Patent number: 6155099
    Abstract: A sensor is constituted by joining a pair of electrodes to a sensor body formed by binding hydrogen occluding metal with binders. Change in the electric resistance between the electrodes and the quantity of hydrogen occluded by the hydrogen occluding metal in the sensor body has a one to one relationship. Therefore, the quantity of hydrogen occluded by the hydrogen occluding metal can be estimated from the resistance value obtained by the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Equos Research
    Inventors: Masafumi Kobayashi, Mayumi Kazuta
  • Patent number: 6148659
    Abstract: A gas concentration monitor has a pneumatic bridge having two parallel flowpaths containing a first conduit leg and a second conduit leg connected to an input line. Each leg has an entry orifice and an exit orifice through which a portion of the gas sample flows. Orifices need not be of equal size and or kept at the same temperature. A pump is connected to both legs for drawing the sample through the bridge. A condenser or absorber which removes the gas whose concentration is being determined is connected to the first leg between the entry orifice and the exit orifice. A differential pressure gauge measures the differential pressure between the first leg and the second leg which differential pressure changes due to removal of the target gas of measurement interest from the other gas fraction passing through the bridge towards discharge from the bridge. From that measurement one can calculate the concentration in the sample of the gas that was removed by the condenser or absorber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2000
    Inventor: John E. Traina
  • Patent number: 6145378
    Abstract: The invention relates particularly to sensing devices and techniques which may be used to provide measurement data to aid an inertial navigation system, or attitude and heading reference system, and so bound the growth of errors which increase with time in such systems when operating autonomously. In one aspect, the invention relates to a method of determining the path length along a borehole from a known reference point to a probe or tool which progresses through a drillpipe or tubular string, to provide data to aid an inertial navigation system. A sensing device 15 is used to detect joints 11 between sections of drillpipe or tubular string within the borehole and the path length is determined from the number of joints detected and a known length of each section of drillpipe or tubular string. In another aspect, a flow measuring device, such as an impeller, is used to measure the velocity of the probe or tool through the drillpipe or tubular string.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: Baroid Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: David P. McRobbie, John L. Weston
  • Patent number: 6145371
    Abstract: A gas sensor includes a substrate preferably made of beryllium oxide which is both an electrical insulator and thermal conductor, the substrate having thereon at least one heating element for the substrate, at lease one gas-sensitive active material deposited on the substrate and a set of at least two space electrodes in contact with the active material. The thermal conductivity of the substrate as arranged together with the heating element cooperate and assists to ensure that the substrate achieves a desired thermal gradient while the sensor establishes a near-uniform temperature throughout substantially the entire sensor, thus enabling the operating temperature of the active material to be maintained substantially constant throughout its entire volume.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Inventor: Joseph Watson
  • Patent number: 6134944
    Abstract: A system and method for preconcentrating, identifying, and quantifying chemical and biological substances is disclosed. An input valve directs a first volume of a sample gas to a surface acoustic wave (SAW) device. The SAW device preconcentrates and detects a mass of a substance within the sample gas. An output valve receives a second volume of the sample gas containing the preconcentrated substance from the SAW device and directs the second volume to a gas chromatograph (GC). The GC identifies the preconcentrated substance within the sample gas. A shunt valve exhausts a volume of the sample gas equal to the first volume minus the second volume away from the SAW device and the GC.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2000
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Conrad M. Yu, Jackson C. Koo
  • Patent number: 6128949
    Abstract: An improved method of fluid analysis in the borehole of a well. A fluid sampling tool is fitted with a pumpout module that can be used to draw fluids from the formation, circulate them through the instrument, and then expel this fluid to the borehole. It has been determined that certain measurements would be most valuable to implement down hole, such as the formation fluid bubble point and dew point. Accurate bubble point and dew point measurements are made by forming bubbles or a liquid drop in a measured sample, and detecting same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technology Corporation
    Inventor: Robert L. Kleinberg
  • Patent number: 6128946
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for on-line detection of leaky emergency shutdown or other valves in a fluid transport system having an upstream pipe, a downstream pipe and the valve connected between the upstream pipe and the downstream pipe for controlling fluid flow through the system. The valve has at least one upstream seal and at least one downstream seal and an inner cavity effectively isolated by the seals from the fluid flow stream through the system. The apparatus comprises a first transducer in fluid communication with the fluid flow stream at at least one of: a predetermined distance upstream of the upstream seal; and a predetermined distance downstream of the downstream seal. The first transducer is for sensing pressure pulsations resulting from at least one of: dynamic energy due to fluid flow through the transport system; and transient energy within the fluid in the transport system after the valve is closed and for generating representative electrical signals as a function of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Assignee: Crane Nuclear, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert L. Leon, David Q. Heagerty
  • Patent number: 6125688
    Abstract: The present invention is related to a method of determining the amount of gas in a liquid. The method is particularly well suited for determining the amount of both the gas in the form of bubbles and the gas dissolved in pulp, i.e. in various fiber suspensions of paper and pulp industry. The invention is advantageously applied to the control and regulation applications of removal of air in the short circulation of a paper machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2000
    Assignee: Andritz-Ahlstrom Oy
    Inventor: Jouni Matula
  • Patent number: 6122955
    Abstract: The liquid Leak Detector container must be mounted on the radiator support frame in a level position about eight inches from the radiator in line with the overflow tube. The overflow tube has to be cut to enable the tube ends to be fitted over each nipple of the container and secured by adjustable clamps. The radiator must be filled up with coolant to the top of the radiator filling neck while pinching the overflow tube below the coolant level of the overflow holding tank. The radiator cap is put on tight and the pinched tube released. When the engine is started up the coolant will increase in temperature and expand forcing the coolant to flow through the detector container to the overflow holding tank until the engine has reached operating temperature. The coolant will flow back into the radiator when the engine is not running.The presence of air in the coolant begins to accumulate in the top of the radiator when a leak develops.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2000
    Inventors: Hollis Ellsworth Hoog, Darrell Arron Hoog
  • Patent number: RE36951
    Abstract: A method of introducing a leak detection dye into a closed refrigeration system through circulation of the refrigerant. A predetermined amount of the leak detection dye, which is soluble in the refrigerant and the system lubricant, is installed in a component of the refrigeration system, such as in a desiccant bag placed in a dehydrator. The leak detection dye may come in various forms including as a leak detection additive having the leak detection dye implanted on and absorbed into a host swatch of a substrate material, as a powder, as a solid pellet of powdered dye concentrate and inert ingredients, or as a slurry. The refrigeration system is assembled, charged and operated, by which the refrigerant and system lubricant flowing through the component, such as a desiccant bag in the dehydrator, and mixes the dye with the refrigerant and system lubricant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: Spectronics Corporation
    Inventors: B. William Cooper, Ling Lu