Patents by Inventor John E. McWhirter

John E. McWhirter 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).

  • Publication number: 20210263153
    Abstract: To clear the line-of-sight (LOS) on a window in a lidar system within a vehicle, ultrasonic transducers are physically attached to the interior surface of the window to remove debris. When debris is detected at the window, the ultrasonic transducers are directed to vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency thereby generating an ultrasonic wave which causes the debris to bounce off the window. In some scenarios, the ultrasonic transducers vibrate with a particular phase shift to generate a travelling wave that causes the debris to sweep across the window. Additionally, windshield wipers, spray from a nozzle, and/or a hydrophobic or oleophobic coating may be used in combination with the ultrasonic transducers to remove the debris from the window.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 7, 2021
    Publication date: August 26, 2021
    Inventor: John E. McWhirter
  • Patent number: 11002853
    Abstract: To clear the line-of-sight (LOS) on a window in a lidar system within a vehicle, ultrasonic transducers are physically attached to the interior surface of the window to remove debris. When debris is detected at the window, the ultrasonic transducers are directed to vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency thereby generating an ultrasonic wave which causes the debris to bounce off the window. In some scenarios, the ultrasonic transducers vibrate with a particular phase shift to generate a travelling wave that causes the debris to sweep across the window. Additionally, windshield wipers, spray from a nozzle, and/or a hydrophobic or oleophobic coating may be used in combination with the ultrasonic transducers to remove the debris from the window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: Luminar, LLC
    Inventor: John E. McWhirter
  • Publication number: 20200284906
    Abstract: A lidar system includes one or more light sources configured to generate a first beam of light and a second beam of light, a scanner configured to scan the first and second beams of light across a field of regard of the lidar system, and a receiver configured to detect the first beam of light and the second beam of light scattered by one or more remote targets. The scanner includes a rotatable polygon mirror that includes multiple reflective surfaces angularly offset from one another along a periphery of the polygon mirror, the reflective surfaces configured to reflect the first and second beams of light to produce a series of scan lines as the polygon mirror rotates. The scanner also includes a pivotable scan mirror configured to (i) reflect the first and second beams of light and (ii) pivot to distribute the scan lines across the field of regard.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 20, 2020
    Publication date: September 10, 2020
    Inventors: Jason M. Eichenholz, Scott R. Campbell, John E. McWhirter, Matthew D. Weed, Lane A. Martin
  • Patent number: 10663585
    Abstract: A technique for manufacturing highly balanced rotatable polygon mirrors for use in scanners includes forming a block having a first wall, a second wall, and reflective surfaces extending between the first and second walls, the surfaces being angularly offset from one another along a periphery of the block. The technique includes applying a coarse balancing procedure to the block, making the surfaces reflective, mating the block to a motor, and applying a precise balancing procedure to the block. The technique also includes imparting rotation to the block and removing material from the block via the first wall using high-energy laser pulses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: Luminar Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: John E. McWhirter
  • Patent number: 10338199
    Abstract: A transceiver for use in a lidar system includes an optical receiver and a transmitter. The optical receiver includes a circuit board including a detector, a cylindrical inner housing, a C-shaped outer housing that partially surrounds the inner housing, and a lens in the outer housing. The transmitter includes an optical fiber coupled to a light source and a collimator, and a pair of Risley prism rods for adjusting collimator alignment. The collimator and Risley rods sit in a groove formed by the inner housing and the outer housing. A lidar system using the transceiver and a transceiver assembly method are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: Luminar Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John E. McWhirter, Allen Gabriele
  • Patent number: 10324185
    Abstract: An optical scanner includes a rotatable polygon mirror and a second mirror. The rotatable polygon mirrors includes a block having a first wall, a second wall, and reflective surfaces extending between the first and second walls, the reflective surfaces being angularly offset from one another along a periphery of the block; a polygon mirror axle extending into the block through at least one of the first and second walls, about which the block rotates; a motor driving rotation of the block; and chamfers in the block, each of the chamfers being bounded by a pair of adjacent reflective surfaces and the second wall. The second mirror is pivotable along an axis orthogonal to the polygon mirror axle and more proximate to the second wall of the block than the first wall of the block.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: Luminar Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John E. McWhirter, Scott R. Campbell
  • Publication number: 20190154889
    Abstract: A technique for manufacturing highly balanced rotatable polygon mirrors for use in scanners includes forming a block having a first wall, a second wall, and reflective surfaces extending between the first and second walls, the surfaces being angularly offset from one another along a periphery of the block. The technique includes applying a coarse balancing procedure to the block, making the surfaces reflective, mating the block to a motor, and applying a precise balancing procedure to the block. The technique also includes imparting rotation to the block and removing material from the block via the first wall using high-energy laser pulses.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2018
    Publication date: May 23, 2019
    Inventor: John E. McWhirter
  • Publication number: 20190154829
    Abstract: An optical scanner includes a rotatable polygon mirror and a second mirror. The rotatable polygon mirrors includes a block having a first wall, a second wall, and reflective surfaces extending between the first and second walls, the reflective surfaces being angularly offset from one another along a periphery of the block; a polygon mirror axle extending into the block through at least one of the first and second walls, about which the block rotates; a motor driving rotation of the block; and chamfers in the block, each of the chamfers being bounded by a pair of adjacent reflective surfaces and the second wall. The second mirror is pivotable along an axis orthogonal to the polygon mirror axle and more proximate to the second wall of the block than the first wall of the block.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2018
    Publication date: May 23, 2019
    Inventors: John E. McWhirter, Scott R. Campbell
  • Patent number: 10254762
    Abstract: To compensate for the effects of vibration on a lidar system in a vehicle, a vibration sensor within the lidar system and/or the vehicle detects vibration, such as a gyroscope, accelerometer, inertial measurement unit (IMU), etc. The detected vibration is then used to generate a compensation signal. The compensation signal is combined with a drive signal that drives a scanner configured to direct light pulses across a field of regard. The combined signal is provided to the scanner, and accordingly, the light pulses are accurately directed across the field of regard.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: Luminar Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John E. McWhirter, Jason M. Eichenholz, Austin K. Russell
  • Publication number: 20180284780
    Abstract: To compensate for the effects of vibration on a lidar system in a vehicle, a vibration sensor within the lidar system and/or the vehicle detects vibration, such as a gyroscope, accelerometer, inertial measurement unit (IMU), etc. The detected vibration is then used to generate a compensation signal. The compensation signal is combined with a drive signal that drives a scanner configured to direct light pulses across a field of regard. The combined signal is provided to the scanner, and accordingly, the light pulses are accurately directed across the field of regard.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 8, 2018
    Publication date: October 4, 2018
    Inventors: John E. McWhirter, Jason M. Eichenholz, Austin K. Russell
  • Publication number: 20180284268
    Abstract: To clear the line-of-sight (LOS) on a window in a lidar system within a vehicle, ultrasonic transducers are physically attached to the interior surface of the window to remove debris. When debris is detected at the window, the ultrasonic transducers are directed to vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency thereby generating an ultrasonic wave which causes the debris to bounce off the window. In some scenarios, the ultrasonic transducers vibrate with a particular phase shift to generate a travelling wave that causes the debris to sweep across the window. Additionally, windshield wipers, spray from a nozzle, and/or a hydrophobic or oleophobic coating may be used in combination with the ultrasonic transducers to remove the debris from the window.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2017
    Publication date: October 4, 2018
    Inventor: John E. McWhirter
  • Patent number: 6896384
    Abstract: A light-translation system includes a fixed base and translatable mirror mount having mirror-supporting brackets. A first and second arm are pivotally attached in parallel, spaced-apart relation adjacent first ends to the base and adjacent second ends to the mirror mount to form a parallelogram-shaped attachment with the base and mirror mount. The pivotal attachments are formed using flexural pivots, each having a thick portion oriented for achieving minimal angular deviation of the mirror. A first bracket has three pads for supporting one side of the mirror. A second bracket has two surfaces shaped to support an edge of the mirror, each surface positioned opposite a pad. A washer dimensioned to admit a mounting screw is positionable opposite a third pad against an outside wall of the mirror mount to removably retain the mirror without imposing appreciable bending stress thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2005
    Assignee: Alcon RefractiveHorizons, Inc.
    Inventors: John E. McWhirter, David Eskew, David Thair
  • Publication number: 20040264012
    Abstract: A light-translation system includes a fixed base and translatable mirror mount having mirror-supporting brackets. A first and second arm are pivotally attached in parallel, spaced-apart relation adjacent first ends to the base and adjacent second ends to the mirror mount to form a parallelogram-shaped attachment with the base and mirror mount. The pivotal attachments are formed using flexural pivots, each having a thick portion oriented for achieving minimal angular deviation of the mirror. A first bracket has three pads for supporting one side of the mirror. A second bracket has two surfaces shaped to support an edge of the mirror, each surface positioned opposite a pad. A washer dimensioned to admit a mounting screw is positionable opposite a third pad against an outside wall of the mirror mount to removably retain the mirror without imposing appreciable bending stress thereon.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 17, 2003
    Publication date: December 30, 2004
    Applicant: Alcon, Inc.
    Inventors: John E. McWhirter, David Eskew, David Thair
  • Patent number: 6626894
    Abstract: An ophthalmic laser system includes a laser beam delivery system and an eye tracker responsive to movement of the eye operable with a laser beam delivery system for ablating corneal material of the eye through placement of laser beam shot on a selected area of the cornea of the eye. The shots are fired in a sequence and pattern such that no laser shots are fired at consecutive locations and no consecutive shots overlap. The pattern is moved in response to the movement of the eye.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Alcon, Inc.
    Inventors: Rudolph W. Frey, James H. Burkhalter, Gary P. Gray, Neil Zepkin, George Richard Downes, Jr., John E. McWhirter
  • Patent number: 6626896
    Abstract: An ophthalmic laser system includes a laser beam delivery system and an eye tracker responsive to movement of the eye operable with a laser beam delivery system for ablating corneal material of the eye through placement of laser beam shot on a selected area of the cornea of the eye. The shots are fired in a sequence and pattern such that no laser shots are fired at consecutive locations and no consecutive shots overlap. The pattern is moved in response to the movement of the eye.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Alcon, Inc.
    Inventors: Rudolph W. Frey, James H. Burkhalter, Gary P. Gray, Neil Zepkin, George Richard Downes, Jr., John E. McWhirter
  • Patent number: 6626893
    Abstract: An ophthalmic laser system includes a laser beam delivery system and an eye tracker responsive to movement of the eye operable with a laser beam delivery system for ablating corneal material of the eye through placement of laser beam shot on a selected area of the cornea of the eye. The shots are fired in a sequence and pattern such that no laser shots are fired at consecutive locations and no consecutive shots overlap. The pattern is moved in response to the movement of the eye.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Alcon, Inc.
    Inventors: Rudolph W. Frey, James H. Burkhalter, Gary P. Gray, Neil Zepkin, George Richard Downes, Jr., John E. McWhirter
  • Patent number: 6626897
    Abstract: An ophthalmic laser system includes a laser beam delivery system and an eye tracker responsive to movement of the eye operable with a laser beam delivery system for ablating corneal material of the eye through placement of laser beam shot on a selected area of the cornea of the eye. The shots are fired in a sequence and pattern such that no laser shots are fired at consecutive locations and no consecutive shots overlap. The pattern is moved in response to the movement of the eye.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Alcon, Inc.
    Inventors: Rudolph W. Frey, James H. Burkhalter, Gary P. Gray, Neil Zepkin, George Richard Downes, Jr., John E. McWhirter
  • Patent number: 6626895
    Abstract: An ophthalmic laser system includes a laser beam delivery system and an eye tracker responsive to movement of the eye operable with a laser beam delivery system for ablating corneal material of the eye through placement of laser beam shot on a selected area of the cornea of the eye. The shots are fired in a sequence and pattern such that no laser shots are fired at consecutive locations and no consecutive shots overlap. The pattern is moved in response to the movement of the eye.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Alcon, Inc.
    Inventors: Rudolph W. Frey, James H. Burkhalter, Gary P. Gray, Neil Zepkin, George Richard Downes, Jr., John E. McWhirter
  • Patent number: 6626898
    Abstract: An ophthalmic laser system includes a laser beam delivery system and an eye tracker responsive to movement of the eye operable with a laser beam delivery system for ablating corneal material of the eye through placement of laser beam shot on a selected area of the cornea of the eye. The shots are fired in a sequence and pattern such that no laser shots are fired at consecutive locations and no consecutive shots overlap. The pattern is moved in response to the movement of the eye.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Alcon, Inc.
    Inventors: Rudolph W. Frey, James H. Burkhalter, Gary P. Gray, Neil Zepkin, George Richard Downes, Jr., John E. McWhirter
  • Patent number: 6585726
    Abstract: An ophthalmic laser system includes a laser beam delivery system and an eye tracker responsive to movement of the eye operable with a laser beam delivery system for ablating corneal material of the eye through placement of laser beam shot on a selected area of the cornea of the eye. The shots are fired in a sequence and pattern such that no laser shots are fired at consecutive locations and no consecutive shots overlap. The pattern is moved in response to the movement of the eye.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: Alcon, Inc.
    Inventors: Rudolph W. Frey, James H. Burkhalter, Gary P. Gray, Neil Zepkin, George Richard Downes, Jr., John E. McWhirter