Patents Examined by Rodney Frank
  • Patent number: 7426848
    Abstract: A method and system for estimating one, two or more unknown components in a gas. A first array of spaced apart carbon nanotubes (“CNTs”) is connected to a variable pulse voltage source at a first end of at least one of the CNTs. A second end of the at least one CNT is provided with a relatively sharp tip and is located at a distance within a selected range of a constant voltage plate. A sequence of voltage pulses {V(tn)}n at times t=tn (n=1, . . . , N1; N1?3) is applied to the at least one CNT, and a pulse discharge breakdown threshold voltage is estimated for one or more gas components, from an analysis of a curve I(tn) for current or a curve e(tn) for electric charge transported from the at least one CNT to the constant voltage plate. Each estimated pulse discharge breakdown threshold voltage is compared with known threshold voltages for candidate gas components to estimate whether at least one candidate gas component is present in the gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2008
    Assignee: United States of America as Represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Jing Li, Meyya Meyyappan
  • Patent number: 7409852
    Abstract: The invention relates generally to a system and method for testing fuel evaporative systems, and more particularly to a stand-alone tank tester system (and method) for testing vehicle fuel tank integrity. Furthermore, a self-contained calibration tank with switchable leak sizes for calibrating the tank tester to multiple leak sizes is provided. Constant flow and vacuum methods for testing fuel tank integrity are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2008
    Assignee: Environmental Systems Products Holdings Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Herzog, Gordon Ernest Smith, Charles Michael Sulik, Arun Raj Pandey, Valeriy Maksimovich Shishkin, Rex Graham Weedon, Mark A. Davis
  • Patent number: 7406858
    Abstract: According to the present invention, a continuous layer liquid used as a continuous layer of a diffusion phenomenon is injected into the first reservoir, and passed through the channels to the second reservoirs to fill the plurality of radially formed channels with the continuous layer liquid. Then, a predetermined amount of diffusion experiment reagent, for example, a coloring liquid used as a diffusion substance of the diffusion phenomenon is injected into the first reservoir. This causes the diffusion experiment reagent to be diffused from the first reservoir to the second reservoirs only by the diffusion phenomenon. At this time, the radially formed channels have the different sectional areas, and thus the diffusion experiment reagent is diffused through the channels at different velocities. This allows the diffusion phenomena that occur in the micro channels or the diffusion velocities to be observed or measured with ease using an inexpensive device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2008
    Assignee: FUJIFILM Corporation
    Inventors: Yasunori Ichikawa, Tomohide Ueyama, Fumiko Shiraishi, Akira Kato
  • Patent number: 7406855
    Abstract: A method and a sensor device for determining particle emissions from exhaust gases of a combustion engine substantially during the use in an exhaust pipe system or a corresponding exhaust gas duct, in which method emitted particles contained in the exhaust gases are charged and the particle emissions are determined by measuring the electric charge carried by the emitted particles in the exhaust gas duct. The emitted particles are charged by varying the way of charging or the charging power with respect to time in such a manner that as a result of the charging, emitted particles brought into at least two different electrical charge states are present, wherein the charge of the emitted particles is further determined as a difference value/values measured from the emitted particles brought into said at least two different electrical charge states.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2008
    Assignee: Dekati Oy
    Inventors: Juha Tikkanen, Mikko Moisio, Kauko Janka, Kimmo Pietarinen, Jorma Keskinen, Antti Rostedt
  • Patent number: 7406856
    Abstract: A metal oxide semiconductor gas sensor and a method for production thereof. The sensor comprises a sensor-active metal oxide thin layer applied to a substrate, in contact with at least one electrode. The sensor-active metal oxide thin layer comprises a chromium/titanium oxide (CTO) layer with a thickness of about 10 nm to about 1 ?m. The chromium and titantium layers are applied over each other using thin layer technology and are subsequently tempered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2008
    Assignee: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.
    Inventors: Harald Bottner, Jurgen Wollenstein, Gerd Kuhner
  • Patent number: 7377190
    Abstract: A system and method are disclosed for using a test slider to test the resonance performance of a head gimbal assembly. The test slider has a two-stripe air-bearing surface to allow the test slider to glide above a surface and a block with a mass equal to the combined mass of the electrical slider and the micro-actuator. The leading edge of the slider is tapered and has a main air groove to facilitate gliding. A back step on the side of the test slider opposite the air bearing surface maintains a parallel gap between the slider and the suspension tongue of the head gimbal assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2008
    Assignee: SAE Magnetics (H.K.), Ltd.
    Inventors: Ming Gao Yao, Masashi Shiraishi
  • Patent number: 7370512
    Abstract: A gas analyzer apparatus including a support tube having a distal portion arranged in a flue and a gas sensor supported on the support tube. An air supply tube supplies cooling air into the support tube. A basal portion of the gas sensor is cooled by the cooling air.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2008
    Assignee: Energy Support Corporation
    Inventors: Tomohisa Nakashima, Naoki Tsukamoto, Motoki Ito, Yukichika Ito
  • Patent number: 7370527
    Abstract: A liquid level detecting apparatus has an ultrasonic sensor, a reflector, a first pipe and a second pipe. The reflector reflects an ultrasonic wave from the ultrasonic sensor to a liquid level, and the ultrasonic sensor detects a reflection wave reflected on the liquid level to detect a liquid level position. The first and second pipe surrounds the ultrasonic wave transmission path from the ultrasonic sensor via the reflector to the liquid level. The first pipe and the second pipe are integrally configured and supported on a bottom of a tank to be rotatable about the first pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2008
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventor: Isao Miyagawa
  • Patent number: 7367225
    Abstract: To provide a highly reliable apparatus for measuring mercury contained in the gaseous medium, in which the outlet port 3b of the reducing tube and the gas-liquid separator, both susceptible to deposition of stain, can be automatically cleaned to avoid reduction of the sensitivity of the measuring instrument, the apparatus for measuring mercury contained in the gaseous medium includes a reducing tube 3 for reducing divalent mercury contained in a gaseous medium to zerovalent mercury, a gas-liquid separator 4 for removing a liquid component (drain) from the gaseous medium that has passed through the reducing tube 3, a measuring instrument 6 for measuring the quantity of the mercury contained in the gaseous medium delivered from the gas-liquid separator 4, and a cleaning system 10 for running a cleaning liquid from an outlet port of the reducing tube 3 past the gas-liquid separator 4 to emerge outwardly of the gas-liquid separator 4.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2008
    Assignee: Nippon Instruments Corporation
    Inventor: Koji Tanida
  • Patent number: 7367222
    Abstract: A multi-sensor apparatus for monitoring a fluid is described. The apparatus includes a plurality of sensors, wherein each sensor is configured to be exposed to a fluid, and includes at least one membrane that covers the plurality of sensors. A mechanical member or a heating element can be used to selectively expose a particular sensor to the fluid leaving another of the sensors unexposed to the fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2008
    Inventors: Malcolm R. Kahn, Piu Francis Man, Glenn Martin
  • Patent number: 7367215
    Abstract: The present invention provides for variable-range hydrogen sensors and methods for making same. Such variable-range hydrogen sensors comprise a series of fabricated Pd—Ag (palladium-silver) nanowires—each wire of the series having a different Ag to Pd ratio—with nanobreakjunctions in them and wherein the nanowires have predefined dimensions and orientation. When the nanowires are exposed to H2, their lattice swells when the H2 concentration reaches a threshold value (unique to that particular ratio of Pd to Ag). This causes the nanobreakjunctions to close leading to a 6-8 orders of magnitude decrease in the resistance along the length of the wire and providing a sensing mechanism for a range of hydrogen concentrations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2008
    Assignee: Nano-Proprietary, Inc.
    Inventors: Greg Monty, Kwok Ng, Mohshi Yang
  • Patent number: 7363812
    Abstract: A pulsed radar level gauge, comprising a transmitter for generating and transmitting a signal in the form of a pulse train, means for receiving pulses reflected in said tank, and to form an analogue tank signal based on these reflections, an analogue to digital converter for sampling and digitizing said tank signal and forming a digital time domain reflectometry (TDR) signal, and means for varying the output power of said transmitter during the transmission of said pulse train, in order to adjust an amplitude of said analogue tank signal to match the dynamics of said A/D-converter. A gain function applied on the receiver side is thus replaced by varying the output power on the transmitter side. This allows the signal-to-noise ratio to be improved, as the noise will not be amplified together with the signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: Rosemount Tank Radar AB
    Inventors: Mikael Eriksson, Tomas Wennerberg
  • Patent number: 7350536
    Abstract: A portable receptacle is vacuumized for use in taking an air or gas sample for subsequent examination to determine type, origin, components of the air or gas. Critical to a long shelf life of the vacuumized receptacle is a valve which virtually seals the receptacle for months or years permitting storage of the receptacle in a state ready for immediate use at a site. The valve utilizes a positionable member plated with a noble metal. A filter serves to collect particulate from the air or gas flow into the receptacle. A funnel shaped collector aids in the collection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2008
    Assignee: Evans Components, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert W. Evans
  • Patent number: 7350401
    Abstract: This liquid feeding system has the first and second pumps each of which is provided with a plunger. Liquid sucked through each of the pump suction ports is discharged out of the discharging port through the first pump and/or second pump. Under the starting operation mode, the second pump is stopped and only the first pump is operated. When the discharging pressure at the discharging port reaches up to a predetermined value, the starting operation mode is changed over to the normal operation mode. Under the normal operation mode, the first pump is stopped and only the second pump is operated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2008
    Assignee: Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Kunihiko Takao, Hironori Kaji, Masahito Ito
  • Patent number: 7350398
    Abstract: A smoke sensing device for internal combustion engines comprises an electrode assembly with a heated insulator, a high voltage spark system, a voltage attenuator and a signal conditioning system. The electrode assembly is installed in an engine exhaust pipe so that the spark gap between the electrodes is exposed to the exhaust gas. A series of sparks is produced across the spark gap and the spark voltage is sensed and attenuated to produce a voltage signal. At a selected time during the spark, the voltage signal is compared with a reference voltage. The smoke content of the exhaust gas is derived from the frequency of occurrence of sparks where the voltage signal value is less than the reference value at the selected time. The heated insulator burns off carbon deposits on the insulator surface. The repetitive sparks keep the electrode surfaces free of carbon deposit build-up.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2008
    Inventor: David Phillip Gardiner
  • Patent number: 7350413
    Abstract: A liquid level detection apparatus of the present invention includes contacts provided at a distal end portion of a contact plate, and resistance plates which are formed on a wiring board, and have respective conductor portions over which the contacts can slide, respectively, so as to detect a liquid level. Conductor patterns other than the conductor portions are formed on those regions of the wiring board which the contacts at the distal end portion of the contact plate contact during the time when an arm holder is mounted on the wiring board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2008
    Assignee: Yazaki Corporation
    Inventors: Syunsuke Nagakura, Toshio Ohike
  • Patent number: 7343799
    Abstract: In an apparatus for detecting a liquid level, a sliding arm is supported on the resistance plate so as to pivot thereon in accordance with the liquid level. A plurality of first conductive segments is arranged on the resistance plate in a pivoting direction of the sliding arm. Adjacent ones of the first conductive segments are connected by resistive elements respectively. A plurality of second conductive segments are electrically connected to each other, and arranged on the resistance plate in the pivoting direction. A first contact part is provided on the sliding arm, and slides on the first conductive segments in accordance with a pivoting movement of the sliding arm. A second contact part is provided on the sliding arm, and slides on the second conductive segments in accordance with the pivoting movement of the sliding arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2008
    Assignee: Yazaki Corporation
    Inventors: Shunsuke Nagakura, Hisafumi Maruo, Manabu Ooishi
  • Patent number: 7343797
    Abstract: A method and system for determining the level of fuel contained in the tank of a motor vehicle includes a fuel pump disposed in the tank for creating a flow of fuel in the tank. An elongated tube is placed vertically in the tank. The system also includes a venturi tube coupled between the fuel pump and the elongated tube for creating a vacuum as a result of a portion of the flow of fuel therethrough from the fuel pump thereby drawing fuel vapor from the elongated tube at a varying pressure, the pressure decreasing as the amount of fuel vapor in the tank increases. A controller is coupled to the elongated tube for determining the level of fuel in the tank based on the pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2008
    Assignee: Chrysler LLC
    Inventors: Lavern M Bremmer, Trevor Enge, Robert W Schmidt, Michael R Teets
  • Patent number: 7340951
    Abstract: An apparatus is disclosed for measuring one or more parameters of a variable physical structure, at least one of the parameters being fluid level, position, velocity or acceleration. The apparatus includes an electromagnetic sensing element comprising at least two electrically conductive members that are electrically insulated from one another. A distributed capacitance and a distributed inductance are each formed along a length of the sensing element. The inductive reactance is at least ten percent of the capacitive reactance, thereby allowing the capacitance to be distributed, rather than acting as a “lump capacitance”. The distributed capacitance enables shaping of the electric and magnetic fields around the electromagnetic sensing element so that disturbance by nearby electromagnetic fields, conductors, and dielectrics is minimized. When the apparatus is configured as a fluid level sensor, the capacitance is affected by the permittivity and the level of the measured fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2008
    Inventors: David Scott Nyce, Yuriy Nikitich Pchelnikov
  • Patent number: 7340938
    Abstract: The invention provides hydrogen selective metal-insulator-semiconductor sensors which include a layer of hydrogen selective material. The hydrogen selective material can be polyimide layer having a thickness between 200 and 800 nm. Suitable polyimide materials include reaction products of benzophenone tetracarboxylic dianhydride 4,4-oxydianiline m-phenylene diamine and other structurally similar materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2008
    Assignees: The Regents of the University of Colorado, The United States of America as represented by The United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Dongmei Li, J. William Medlin, Anthony H. McDaniel, Robert J. Bastasz