Patents by Inventor Donald G. Heflinger

Donald G. Heflinger has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 6815828
    Abstract: An integrated circuit device includes a thin semiconductor layer disposed on a surface of a wafer, a plurality of wafer-scale integrated (WSI) circuits formed on the semiconductor layer, and a node formed on the semiconductor layer that provides an optoelectronic interface to an axial optical data bus for high-speed optical interconnectivity between the WSI circuits and other external devices interconnected to the optical data bus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Corporation
    Inventors: Ramon Coronel, Karen A. Fucik, Peter S. Yoon, Donald G. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6661975
    Abstract: An optical communication system (20) is provided for transmitting a multi-rate data signal between a transmitter (22) and a receiver (24) in a power efficient manner. The optical communication system (20) includes an optical source (32) that supplies an optical carrier signal; an encoder (44) that receives and encodes a data signal; an external phase modulator (42) that modulates the optical carrier signal with the encoded data signal, such that the modulator (42) varies the duty factor of the modulated optical signal based on the encoded data signal; and an optically saturated erbium doped fiber amplifier (36) that amplifies the modulated optical signal prior to transmission by the transmitter (22). In accordance with the present invention, the modulation scheme of the optical communication system (20) varies the duty cycle of the modulation to attain power efficiency during periods of low data demand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Corporation
    Inventors: Dennis M. Hall, Raymond K. DeLong, Donald G. Heflinger, Peter M. Tanner
  • Patent number: 6545785
    Abstract: An optical communication system uses a radio frequency (RF) signal for communicating an analog communication signal. It comprises an optical transmitter and receiver. The transmitter generates a reference light beam, generates a shifted light beam that is shifted in frequency by the RF frequency, and responds to the analog communication signal and produces a communication light beam having a phase modulation corresponding to the analog communication signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Donald G. Heflinger, Lee O. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6512618
    Abstract: A broadcast optical communication system is disclosed. It comprises an optical waveguide having a plurality of gratings. A first grating is disposed at a first node and couples light impinging normally into the waveguide, propagates coupled light bi-directionally through the waveguide and emits a portion of the coupled light at a second grating in a direction normal thereto. An optical source is disposed proximate the first node for transmitting light normally to the first grating and an optical detector is disposed proximate the second node for detecting the normally emitted light. In another embodiment multiple optical waveguides and source-detector pairs are employed in a parallel data architecture to provide multiple channel broadcast communication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Donald G. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6490068
    Abstract: An optical communication system uses a radio frequency (RF) signal for communicating an analog communication signal. It comprises an optical transmitter and receiver. The optical transmitter comprises means for generating a first reference light beam, and means responsive to the analog communication signal to produce a communication light beam having phase modulation corresponding to the analog communication signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2002
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Donald G. Heflinger, Lee O. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6469817
    Abstract: An apparatus and a method for stabilizing an optical interferometer using two optical signals that differ in wavelength by a factor of two is disclosed. The optical interferometer has an optical path length that is tunable. It develops a first interference pattern when the original optical signal is present and the optical path length is a prescribed value. When a second optical signal that has a wavelength that is twice or one-half of the original is dithered and a path length adjustment drive signal is present the interferometer develops a second interference pattern when the optical path length is the prescribed value. An optoelectronic detector is responsive to the second optical interference pattern and develops an electronic feedback signal when the second interference pattern is not present.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Donald G. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6441938
    Abstract: An optical communication system, using a radio frequency (RF) signal for communicating an analog communication signal, includes an optical transmitter and an optical receiver. The optical transmitter generates a reference light beam, generates a phase modulated communication light beam by phase modulating the reference light beam with the analog communication signal, polarizes a portion of the reference light beam and combines the polarized reference light beam and the phase modulated communication light beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Donald G. Heflinger, Lee O. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6396605
    Abstract: An apparatus using an optical signal for actively tuning an optical interferometer without introducing any dither in its optical path length.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Donald G. Heflinger, Jeffrey S. Bauch, Todd E. Humes
  • Patent number: 6366356
    Abstract: A high average power fiber-laser system comprises a master oscillator for generating a primary laser signal; a beam splitter array for splitting the primary laser signal into N secondary laser signals; an optical frequency shifter for shifting the frequency of the primary laser signal; a phase modulator array for providing phase compensation of the N secondary laser signals; N single-mode dual clad fiber amplifiers for amplifying the N secondary laser signals and generating an output beam; a beam sampler for sampling the wavefront of the output beam, defining an array of sampled signals; means responsive to the array of sampled signals for interferometrically combining the array of said sampled signals and the shifted primary laser signal into an array of heterodyne optical signals, each having a phase that corresponds to the state of phase of the array of sampled signals; and means responsive to the array of heterodyne optical signals for providing a plurality of feedback signals to the phase modulator array
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Brosnan, Donald G. Heflinger, Lee O. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6353264
    Abstract: A wafer-scale module includes a plurality of stacked wafers, each having a thin semiconductor layer disposed on a surface of the wafer, a plurality of wafer-scale integrated (WSI) circuits formed on the semiconductor layer and a plurality of nodes formed on the semiconductor layer. Each node provides an optoelectronic interface to an axial optical waveguide for high-speed optical interconnectivity between the WSI circuits and other integrated wafer circuit devices of the stack. A top plate is included and is disposed on the plurality of stacked wafer devices. A base plate, included for purposes of thermal dissipation, is disposed opposite the top plate such that the plurality of stacked wafers are sandwiched between the top plate and the base plate and all are assembled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2002
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Ramon Coronel, Karen A. Fucik, Peter S. Yoon, David W. Y. Lee, Richard B. Sherwood, Donald G. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6321001
    Abstract: A wavelength division multiplexed optical communication system comprises an optical waveguide having a plurality of gratings, each defining a node. A first grating is disposed at a first node couples impinging light at a plurality of preselected wavelengths into the waveguide. The coupled light propagates through the waveguide and is emitted at a second and at a third grating in directions corresponding to each of the preselected wavelengths. A plurality of optical sources is arranged proximate the first node, each source transmitting an optical signal at a preselected wavelength that differs from that transmitted by the other sources and arranged to transmit light to the first grating. Optical detectors are disposed proximate the second and the third nodes, and positioned in directions corresponding to the emitted light. Thus each detector detects one of the preselected wavelengths. This constitutes a broadcast type of communication system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Donald G. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6243515
    Abstract: An apparatus for optically pumping an optical fiber from the side comprising a laser for supplying a beam of pump light, and an optical fiber having a longitudinal surface disposed to the beam, a grating formed in the flat surface for diffracting the beam at a predetermined angle, and an outer clad layer proximate the grating and so as to establish at least one propagating mode characterized by an angle, the predetermined angle being matched to such angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2001
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Donald G. Heflinger, Michael G. Wickham, Gerald W. Holleman
  • Patent number: 6243168
    Abstract: A dynamic optical micrometer for measuring the position of a moving object is invented. The optical micrometer includes a laser for generating an optical signal, an RF signal generator, an acousto-optic modulator that is responsive to the optical signal and the RF signal and is operative to provide a first light beam and a second light beam that is up shifted in frequency by the RF frequency, an optical interferometer that reflects the first beam off the object and interferometrically combines the reflected light beam and the second light beam into a heterodyned signal, means responsive to the heterodyned signal and operative to produce an electrical signal at the optical beat frequency corresponding to the RF and means responsive to the RF signal and the electrical signal and operative to provide a linear output signal that corresponds to the position of the object. A method for accomplishing the same is also invented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2001
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Donald G. Heflinger, Lee O. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6229616
    Abstract: An optical heterodyne wavefront sensor uses a radio frequency (RF) signal for measuring an optical wavefront having a state of phase that differs throughout its aperture. It comprises a lens, optical fiber and optical frequency shifter arrangement to develop a reference optical wavefront having substantially the same phase throughout and that is shifted in frequency by an amount corresponding to the RF. A beam combiner interferometrically combines the optical wavefront and the shifted reference optical wavefront into a heterodyne optical signal at the RF frequency, each subaperture of which has a phase that corresponds to the state of phase of a like subaperture of the optical wavefront.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Brosnan, Donald G. Heflinger, Lee O. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6175320
    Abstract: An apparatus for stabilizing optical interferometers utilized in an all analog to digital converter using an additional optical signal that differs in wavelength by a factor of two from the wavelength used for the analog to digital conversion is disclosed. The optical interferometers have an optical path length that is tunable. They develop a first interference pattern from the additional optical signal when the optical path length is a prescribed value. The interferometers develop a second interference pattern from the additional optical signal when the optical path length is not the prescribed value. Optoelectronic detectors are responsive to the optical interference pattern generated by the additional optical signal and develop electronic feedback signals when the first interference patterns are not present.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2001
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Donald G. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6147755
    Abstract: A dynamic instrument measures the state of optical phase of light and provides an output signal having a magnitude that varies linearly relative to the state of optical phase of a first light beam. It comprises means for generating an optical signal, means for generating a radio frequency (RF) signal that is responsive to the optical signal and the RF signal and provides a first light beam and a second light beam, at least one of which is shifted in frequency by an amount corresponding to the RF, an optical interferometer that allows the state of optical phase of the first beam to be changed and that interferometrically combines and heterodynes the changed first light beam and the second light beam, means responsive to the heterodyne signal and operative to produce an electrical signal at the optical beat frequency corresponding to the RF, and means responsive to the RF signal and the electrical signal for providing the linear output signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Donald G. Heflinger, Lee O. Heflinger
  • Patent number: 6064507
    Abstract: A high speed differential optoelectronic receiver comprises a first photodetector responsive to a first incident amplitude modulated optical signal and operative to develop a first electrical signal, a second photodetector responsive to a second incident amplitude modulated optical signal that is complementary to the first optical signal and operative to develop a second electrical signal, and an amplifier having a first input that is responsive to the first electrical signal and a second input that is responsive to the second electrical signal and is operative to provide a differential output signal that is proportional to the difference between the first and the second electrical signals. Also, a method for transforming complementary amplitude modulated optical signals into a complementary electrical output signal is invented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Donald G. Heflinger, Phillip D. Hayashida, Todd E. Humes, John D. Hyde
  • Patent number: 5726786
    Abstract: A free-space passively star-coupled optical data bus uses uniform uncollimated transmission light communicating data among a plurality of transmitter and receiver paired transceiver nodes of respective communication subsystems for communicating data from one transmitting node simultaneously to each of all of the remaining receiving nodes, the data bus being defined by a transmission volume having peripheral optical ports for optically interfacing the transceivers nodes to the free-space communication transmission medium having a distribution means to distribute the light and provide a variety of data bus configurations each supported by protocol addressing and optical modulation for connectorless communications for improved reliability and reduced costs especially well-suited for conference room, office, and spacecraft applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1998
    Assignee: The Aerospace Corporation
    Inventor: Donald G. Heflinger