Patents by Inventor James Fredrick Searcy

James Fredrick Searcy 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: 6556166
    Abstract: A method of measuring elevational misalignment of an automotive radar sensor in a factory or service setting utilizes two or more targets that can be discriminated by the radar system. The targets are positioned at different elevational angles with respect to the desired elevation axis, and the degree of elevational misalignment is determined according to the ratio or difference in return signal amplitude for the two targets. Discrimination of the targets may be ensured by differences in range, azimuth angle or Doppler. Since the amplitude difference is a measure of misalignment, the measurement may be used to verify proper alignment or to indicate the amount of adjustment required to achieve proper alignment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: James Fredrick Searcy, David Leo Hart, Stephen William Alland
  • Publication number: 20020163463
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for detecting radar system blockage includes a radar system (10) having an antenna unit (14) configured to transmit radar signals and receive reflected radar signals. In one embodiment, fixed frequency continuous wave radar signals are transmitted, and corresponding reflected signals are sampled and processed to determine a mainbeam clutter signal peak in frequency bins near those corresponding to vehicle speed. If this peak is less than a power threshold, the antenna unit (14) is at least partially blocked. In another embodiment, a number of most recent reflected tracking signal amplitudes are sampled, normalized to a predefined range value and filtered to produce a smoothed tracking amplitude. If the smoothed tracking amplitude drops below an amplitude threshold, the antenna unit (14) is at least partially blocked. The two embodiments may be combined to determine a radar antenna blockage status as a function of both techniques.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 3, 2001
    Publication date: November 7, 2002
    Inventors: Gregory George Lajiness, Stephen William Alland, James Fredrick Searcy
  • Patent number: 6469659
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for detecting radar system blockage includes a radar system having an antenna unit configured to transmit radar signals and receive reflected radar signals. In one embodiment, fixed frequency continuous wave radar signals are transmitted, and corresponding reflected signals are sampled and processed to determine a mainbeam clutter signal peak in frequency bins near those corresponding to vehicle speed. If this peak is less than a power threshold, the antenna unit is at least partially blocked. In another embodiment, a number of most recent reflected tracking signal amplitudes are sampled, normalized to a predefined range value and filtered to produce a smoothed tracking amplitude. If the smoothed tracking amplitude drops below an amplitude threshold, the antenna unit is at least partially blocked. The two embodiments may be combined to determine a radar antenna blockage status as a function of both techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory George Lajiness, Stephen William Alland, James Fredrick Searcy
  • Patent number: 6404328
    Abstract: An object sensing system is capable of distinguishing an overhead roadway object, that is not in a host vehicle path, from a substantially motionless roadway object that is in the vehicle path. Initially, a plurality of sensor scan signals are provided into an anticipated path of a host vehicle. Next, a plurality of object return signals that correspond to reflections of the plurality of sensor scan signals from at least one detected stationary object are received. Then, an average amplitude slope of the return signals as a function of the range to the at least one detected stationary object is determined. A sufficiently positive amplitude slope identifies the detected stationary object as an overhead roadway object that is not in the vehicle path. A sufficiently negative amplitude slope identifies the detected stationary object as a substantially motionless roadway object that is in the vehicle path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen William Alland, James Fredrick Searcy
  • Patent number: 6202027
    Abstract: An improved system for accurately determining the travel path of a host vehicle and the azimuth angle of a target vehicle through an automatic calibration that detects and compensates for FLS mis-alignment and curve sensor drift. Selected FLS tracking data (range and azimuth angle) are transformed to cartesian coordinates and characterized by a second order curve fitting technique to determine both FLS misalignment and curve sensor bias. Successively determined FLS misalignment and curve sensor bias values are averaged and used to correct subsequently supplied azimuth angle and curve sensor data, thereby compensating an underlying control for both sensor misalignment and curve sensor bias.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2001
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen William Alland, James Fredrick Searcy
  • Patent number: 6002983
    Abstract: A method of operation for a motor vehicle object detection system is described, in which the extent angle of an identified target is accurately determined by applying a point source scatterer identification technique to data at the periphery of a composite return. Return amplitude data from one or more complete scans of the sensor beam are collected and compared with a target threshold to identify objects in the viewing angle, thereby forming an array of amplitude data associated with successive beam positions for each identified object. In each array, the left-most and right-most pair of amplitude data points associated with successive beam positions are selected and individually used to compute the angle of a point source scatterer which would be responsible for that data pair.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen William Alland, James Fredrick Searcy, Kevin Ray Wherry
  • Patent number: 5964822
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to a system for automatically measuring and compensating for any angle of misalignment of a forward-looking sensor of a vehicle. The sensor provides data representing the azimuth angle and the range of a target such as another vehicle. For each angle and range reading of the sensor, the location point of the target is estimated; after a series of such readings, the trajectory line of the target is estimated. The angle of misalignment is estimated from the angle between the trajectory line and the path of travel of the host vehicle. In subsequent readings of the sensor, the estimated angle of misalignment is subtracted from the measured azimuth angle to produce an accurate azimuth angle of the target. The accurate azimuth angle is provided for use by another unit such as a collision warning system and/or an intelligent cruise control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Delco Electronics Corp.
    Inventors: Stephen William Alland, James Fredrick Searcy