With Cutoff Or Flow Varying Means Operated By Means Responsive To Discharged Fluid (e.g., Ground Moisture Sensing) Patents (Class 239/63)
  • Patent number: 10317922
    Abstract: A power supply management circuit manages transfer of power that is supplied to a peripheral device from a power supply device. The power supply management circuit includes a current limiter and one or more capacitors. The current limiter limits intensity of first current received from the power supply device through an input terminal to be smaller than or equal to limitation intensity, and outputs second current having intensity limited to be smaller than or equal to the limitation intensity through an output terminal connected to the peripheral device. When the intensity of the first current exceeds the limitation intensity, the capacitors output third current through the output terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Iksung Park, Heeyoub Kang, Kyoungeun Lee
  • Patent number: 10271117
    Abstract: Methods and system for multi-dimensional environmental monitoring, systematic dissection of interpretive relationships and extensive computational analysis, which can be displayed in a visual real-time data-rich web-based configuration called AdviroGuard™ interpretive analysis. By means of building data subsets and in harmonization with the laws of physics contained within a particular environmental medium, strict statistical analysis are applied to produce significant and pertinent information for key decision makers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: EARTHTEC SOLUTIONS, LLC
    Inventors: David Lankford, Francis Thomas Lichtner, Jr.
  • Patent number: 10247687
    Abstract: A soil moisture sensor and a soil moisture sensing system are provided. The soil moisture sensor includes a double groove helical structure having grooves and formed from an insulator. The soil moisture sensor further includes at least a first electrode and a second electrode formed from one or more metals deposited at at least two different locations on the grooves. The soil moisture sensor also includes a processor for processing a soil moisture measurement signal based on a conductivity between the electrodes. The soil moisture sensor additionally includes a wireless transmitter for transmitting the soil moisture measurement signal to a remote location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Sergio A. Bermudez Rodriguez, Hendrik F. Hamann, Levente Klein, Michael A. Schappert, Theodore G. van Kessel
  • Patent number: 10209720
    Abstract: An irrigation system includes a central pivot and a series of mobile towers connected to the central pivot and to one another by support structure. Each mobile tower has wheels and a motor for driving at least one of the wheels. A control system operates the motors to maintain alignment of the mobile towers and the central pivot while preventing power usage of the system from exceeding a maximum power threshold. The control system determines in which sequence to operate the motors to maintain alignment of the mobile towers while operating no more than a selected number of the motors simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: Lindsay Corporation
    Inventor: Jochen Pfrenger
  • Patent number: 10004183
    Abstract: An apparatus and method are described for a moisture sensor. For example, one embodiment of an IoT device comprises: An Internet of Things (IoT) device comprising: a moisture sensor to detect a moisture level; an IoT communication interface and/or radio to wirelessly connect the IoT device to a network; a set of pins, pads, and/or probes to electrically couple the moisture sensor to conductive elements of one or more moisture sensor attachments; and an enclosure surrounding the moisture sensor and IoT communication interface and/or radio, the enclosure having one or more connection elements formed thereon to fixedly couple one or more moisture sensor attachments to the enclosure, thereby electrically coupling the set of pins, pads, and/or probes of the moisture sensor to the conductive elements of the moisture sensor attachments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: Afero, Inc.
    Inventors: Joe Britt, Omar Zakaria, Alec Storrie-Lombardi
  • Patent number: 10004184
    Abstract: A system and method for moisture control includes a computer, a probe controller connected to the computer, a set of probes connected to the probe controller, a sprinkler controller connected to the computer, and a set of sprinklers connected to the sprinkler controller. The set of probes are driven into the ground according to a predetermined set of positions. A set of high voltage currents is injected into the ground through the set of probes and measurements are taken. A three-dimensional resistivity model is generated from the measurements and is compared to a set of moisture requirements. A set of sprinkler commands is generated based on the three-dimensional resistivity model and the set of moisture requirements. If the three-dimensional resistivity model meets the set of moisture requirements, the set of sprinklers are activated in each of a set of sprinkler zones according the three-dimensional resistivity model where watering is needed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: BRYANT CONSULTANTS, INC.
    Inventor: John Bryant
  • Patent number: 9924644
    Abstract: The disclosure extends to methods, systems, and computer program products for generating and optimizing irrigation protocols. The disclosure extends to methods, systems, and computer program products for optimizing water usage in growing plants for yard and crops. The disclosure also extends to methods, systems and computer program products for providing automated irrigation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Skydrop Holdings, LLC
    Inventors: Clark Endrizzi, Robert Mars, Mack Dalley, Betsy Endrizzi
  • Patent number: 9912386
    Abstract: A method for managing the operation of an object capable of contactless communication with a reader, magnetically coupled to the object, includes at least one phase for transmission of information from the object to the reader, including a modulation of the impedance of a load connected across the terminals of the antenna of the object. The method furthermore comprises a control phase that includes an estimation of the distance between the object and the reader and an adjustment of the impedance of the load as a function of the estimated distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics International N.V.
    Inventor: Andrei Tudose
  • Patent number: 9894852
    Abstract: A mesh-based wireless network 10 of sensor/actuator devices I, D, T for an agricultural production area involves battery-powered sensors and actuators deployed under or within the foliage for broadcast communication with at least one repeater R according to broadcast time slots. The repeaters R are mounted above the vegetation canopy so as to be powered by solar panels. The repeaters R form a mesh network for routing data and commands to and from the sensors and actuators and at least one gateway GW. The gateway communicates over a cellular network with a remote agricultural management server 14 and database 16.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: SemiosBIO Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Gilbert, Leonard Metcalfe
  • Patent number: 9888634
    Abstract: A water irrigation restriction violation system includes a geostationary satellite to collect soil surface moisture data and rain data throughout a given day for a geographic region. A processor and a memory coupled to the processor are configured to store water irrigation restrictions for governmental jurisdictions for the geographic region, receive the soil surface moisture data and rain data from the geostationary satellite, and determine a water irrigation restriction violation based upon the stored water irrigation restrictions and the received soil surface moisture data and rain data. A violation notification is then sent to a corresponding governmental jurisdiction for the determined water irrigation restriction violation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: HARRIS CORPORATION
    Inventors: Allan M. Weiner, Brian J. Haman, William J. Sturges, John E. Faure, James A. Bardgett
  • Patent number: 9852362
    Abstract: A device for detecting and marking ticks and tick bites on a body or limb. The device has an image capturing device that is in communication with image recognition software. Images of skin are analyzed to detect objects consistent with ticks or tick bites. Once such object is detected, the device automatically disperses a marking material in the proximity of the detected tick or tick bite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Inventor: Bernard Fryshman
  • Patent number: 9775308
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for the automatic irrigation of plants, wherein the temporal progression of soil moisture is determined from measured soil moisture values, and said progression is used for the calculation of an optimized irrigation time duration, such that both water excess in the soil and soil drying are avoided as much as possible. Preferably, the time duration of irrigation is constantly evaluated and optimized using comparisons of measured values with prespecified moisture- and dryness threshold values (GWmoist, GWdry), and automatically adjusted to changing environmental conditions and/or plant requirements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: PLANTCARE AG
    Inventors: Walter Schmidt, Yucel Toprak
  • Patent number: 9693511
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention provide systems, methods, and computer program products for deploying infrastructures for variable rate water distribution systems. Embodiments of the present invention can afford users with the ability to control water distribution as well as modify existing infrastructures to meet dynamic target water distribution area demands. Furthermore, embodiments of the present invention may be used to provide users with accessibility to components for expedited servicing, modification, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Sergio A. Bermudez Rodriguez, Hendrik F. Hamann, Levente Klein, Fernando J. Marianno
  • Patent number: 9597699
    Abstract: A water flow metering device for use as a handheld or ground-based sprinkler includes a device body having a water inlet, a water distribution head in fluid communication with the device body, and a flow pattern selector. The flow pattern selector is coupled to the water distribution head and meters the amount of water sprayed onto the surrounding area. The flow pattern selector includes indicia that provide flow rate information to an operator. A pressure control valve regulates the flow rate in accordance with the information provided by the flow pattern selector. The water flow metering device may also include a timing mechanism having a timer which closes the water supply after a set period of time. A pressure transducer or other flow rate measuring device may allow the timer to operate the device for a predetermined amount of water distribution in inches per hour.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: Partners In Innovation Limited, LLC
    Inventors: John Helmsderfer, Andrew Ahr
  • Patent number: 9594366
    Abstract: Disclosed embodiments can provide a system and method for controlling irrigation schedules for a sprinkler system including automatically updating irrigation schedules based on qualitative and quantitative feedback and meteorological data as well as matching optimal or near-optimal irrigation schedules to other sprinkler zones based on characteristics of the landscape and sprinkler system as well as other characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: RACHIO, INC.
    Inventors: Christopher Michael Klein, Franz David Garsombke, Matthew B. Reisman
  • Patent number: 9534778
    Abstract: An illuminated sprinkler device and system is provided that can be easily retro-fitted and installed with existing or new sprinkler systems. In one aspect, the illuminated sprinkler device includes a power converter for converting AC to DC power from a main controller, an illuminated cover having LED's for coupling with a sprinkler head, and one or more securement members for securing the illuminated cover to the sprinkler head. Here, the LED's of the sprinkler head are configured to operate in conjunction with the operation of the sprinkler system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2017
    Inventor: Jesse Ray Donley, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9332696
    Abstract: Sprinkler control units, that are designed to control water usage in residential and commercial above ground sprinkler systems, are disclosed herein. The sprinkler control units operate with any above-ground sprinkler system. They require reduced external power, and use the water flowing through the device to generate power. and are powered by the water flowing through the module. The modules are built with buried sensors that measure the ground saturation level, thus altering the water supply provided through the sprinkler system(s).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Inventor: Paul Salsberg
  • Patent number: 9043036
    Abstract: The invention is a centralized server-based system containing a database with relevant information regarding features, parameters, and characteristics of a particular irrigation system, which utilizes proprietary irrigation software to control a plurality of field modules, at one or more remote locations, via a network bridge adapter. An irrigation system may comprise a single server, or multiple servers that may be configured so that control of the entire system is centralized, and control of one or multiple irrigation locations may be accomplished remotely by wirelessly accessing, monitoring and controlling a location's field module matrix.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: American Pipe and Fitting, Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel Joseph Fekete
  • Patent number: 9032998
    Abstract: Methods and systems control an irrigation system that includes an irrigation controller, a valve actuator, and at least one irrigation sensor connected by a communication circuit. A sensor charging pulse having a temporal duration less than a solenoid actuation time threshold for a solenoid is provided over the communication circuit. The sensor charging pulse charges a charge storage device in at least one irrigation sensor. A series of addressing pulses is also generated over the communication circuit, which indicate a device identifier of at least one irrigation sensor. The series of addressing pulses activate at least one irrigation sensor having the device identifier indicated by the series of addressing pulses such that the activated irrigation sensor provides a sensor signal indicative of an irrigation condition to the irrigation controller via the communication network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: DIG Corporation
    Inventor: Mike O'Brien
  • Publication number: 20150090807
    Abstract: A discharge system includes: a head unit including discharge heads that discharge a liquid material from nozzle openings that are communication with cavities onto a target by changing the internal pressure of the cavities using piezo elements; a viscosity estimating unit that estimates the viscosity of the liquid material by sucking the liquid material from first vessels that hold the liquid material into the cavities; and a waveform control unit that controls the voltage applied to the piezo elements according to the estimated viscosity of the liquid material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2013
    Publication date: April 2, 2015
    Applicant: MICROJET CORPORATION
    Inventors: Shuichi Yamaguchi, Hisashi Takeuchi, Tomoya Kurashina
  • Patent number: 8979431
    Abstract: An irrigation device comprising a moisture responsive barrier is provided. At least a portion of the barrier has perforations, at least some of the perforations are associated with a water swellable material. The perforations are configured to open as the water swellable material loses moisture and dries out and are configured to close as said water swellable material is exposed to and absorbs water, such as during a watering step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Canplas Industries Ltd.
    Inventor: Jeff Bayley
  • Patent number: 8981946
    Abstract: In one embodiment, the present invention is directed to a soil moisture sensor for interrupting an irrigation schedule of an irrigation controller. The moisture sensor comprises a relatively flat body with two lower electrodes and two lower anchoring barbs. A receiver receives moisture readings from the sensor and compares moisture data to a predetermined moisture interrupt value or limit, over which irrigation is interrupted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: The Toro Company
    Inventors: Thomas H. Runge, Jason Lester Hill, James Zimmerman
  • Patent number: 8965643
    Abstract: A method controlling an agricultural sprayer includes identifying an herbicide to be sprayed using the agricultural sprayer, determining a geoposition associated with the agricultural sprayer within a field, determining if crop planted at the geoposition is tolerant to the herbicide using as-planted data, and if the crop is not tolerant of the herbicide, preventing herbicide spraying operations while the agricultural sprayer is at the geoposition. An agricultural sprayer adapted for performing the method is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
    Inventors: Todd A. Peterson, Douglas L. Gardner, Douglas J. Houser
  • Patent number: 8930032
    Abstract: Provided are a system and method for wireless irrigation control with a remote application. The system includes a processor and plurality of interactive zone switches for connection to at least one irrigation device; each zone switch further operable to detect a state of a connected irrigation device. Non-volatile memory is coupled to the processor and provided with executable instructions to direct operation of each interactive zone switch. There is at least one remote application to establish a schedule within the non-volatile memory for operation for each interactive zone switch and to receive the schedule from the non-volatile memory in response to a users desire to review or modify the schedule. A wireless network component is coupled to the processor and the non-volatile memory and is in communication with the remote application to schedule operation of at least one interactive zone switch and at least one irrigation device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: ZBS Technology, LLC
    Inventors: Deborah Gail Shupe, Michael Edward Shupe, Jeffery Stephen Bettcher, Anthony Carlo Zambai
  • Publication number: 20140339326
    Abstract: Sprinkler control units, that are designed to control water usage in residential and commercial above ground sprinkler systems, are disclosed herein. The sprinkler control units operate with any above-ground sprinkler system. They require reduced external power, and use the water flowing through the device to generate power. and are powered by the water flowing through the module. The modules are built with buried sensors that measure the ground saturation level, thus altering the water supply provided through the sprinkler system(s).
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 15, 2013
    Publication date: November 20, 2014
    Inventor: Paul Salsberg
  • Publication number: 20140312134
    Abstract: The present system comprises, a MFC controller, emitter-lines that utilize non-drain technology on the emission devices and control valves for individual drip lines or groups of drip lines within an irrigation zone, along with a means to actuate the control valves by the controller. The MCF system utilizes a number of valves in an irrigation system to control either individual emitter-lines or groups of emitter-lines but does not control individual emitters. The present system has a programmable controller that has a number of stations, each of which controls a group of valves. Each station can be programmed for start time and duration that the station is actuated. Each station can be programmed independently from all the others allowing overlap or complimentary irrigation. The total input flow rate to the system remains nearly constant during a daily irrigation while the valve groups are cycling within the system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2012
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Inventors: Michael Patrick DeFrank, Stanley Edward Hawkins, Ajit Bhavarlal Jain
  • Publication number: 20140312141
    Abstract: A sprinkler head has an inlet to receive a fluid from a pipeline, and a nozzle to spray the received fluid. In one embodiment, a body that couples the inlet to the nozzle includes an electromechanical fluid flow control device via which to vary an amount of fluid pressure presented to the nozzle. In another embodiment, the nozzle includes an electromechanical aperture via which to vary a flow of the received fluid. An electromechanical wheel coupled to the nozzle rotates the nozzle in a direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 17, 2013
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Inventor: Gurumurthi Ravishankar
  • Patent number: 8857730
    Abstract: A sump sprinkler system for use with residential and commercial buildings. The sump sprinkler system comprises a system controller and a sprinkler pump in communication with the system controller. The sump sprinkler system also comprises an intake tube connected to the sprinkler pump, wherein the intake having an end arranged in a sump of a building. The sump sprinkler system also comprises at least one sprinkler connected to the output of the sprinkler pump, wherein the sprinkler is in communication with the system controller. The sump sprinkler system also comprises a water level member in communication with the system controller, wherein the water level member is arranged in the sump.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: M.E.C. Systems
    Inventors: David Hartfelder, Andrea Hartfelder
  • Publication number: 20140263719
    Abstract: The present invention provides an improved sprinkler system that allows each sprinkler to be independently controlled, thus each sprinkler is its own irrigation zone. Further, the improved sprinkler system operates wirelessly. Each sprinkler includes a valve, a valve control means attached to the valve, a microprocessor connected to the valve control means, and a transceiver connected to the microprocessor. Each sprinkler is in wireless communication with a base station, which can be programmed to individually control each sprinkler Optionally, the sprinkler may include a moisture sensor, which allows for more precise irrigation based on conditions present in or around the sprinkler head. In another embodiment, a valve communicating client (VCC) is connected to a valve control means of a valve. The base station may similarly control the VCC.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventor: Ovie V. Whitson, JR.
  • Patent number: 8770888
    Abstract: A watering mat is provided for the large-area distribution of water, particularly in horticulture and landscaping as well as agriculture. The watering mat includes a first and a second carrier layer to accommodate other elements of the watering mat, one or more connections for connecting the first and the second carrier layers, one or more water-feeding elements arranged between the first and the second carrier layers for feeding water into the watering mat and distributing water through the watering mat, an absorption layer for water storage arranged between the first and the second carrier layers and a moisture level detector in the watering mat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: IGG-Internationale Geotextil Gesellschaft mbH
    Inventors: Reinhard Helbig, Rolf Arnold, Dietmar Konrad Haub, Thomas Roess
  • Patent number: 8733155
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to an irrigation sprinkler sensor for sensing if a sprinkler riser has elevated, if water is flowing through the sprinkler riser, if the sprinkler is rotating, or if a sprinkler valve has properly closed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignee: The Toro Company
    Inventors: Jason Lester Hill, Thomas H. Runge, Alex Korol
  • Patent number: 8714181
    Abstract: A tensiometer for use in determining matric potential of a soil includes a water inlet; a hydraulic coupler comprising a porous material for providing hydraulic coupling between water that enters the inlet and the soil; and a septum that seals water that enters the inlet against ingress of air via the porous material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignees: Netafim, Ltd., Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Inventors: Uri Shani, Abraham Schweitzer
  • Patent number: 8682494
    Abstract: A method for prescribing action to maintain a land area within a predetermined performance zone is disclosed herein. The method results in prescribing an action for the land area. The method measures soil salinity, soil temperature, soil moisture, air temperature, soil pollutant content, soil nutrient content, and the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Green Badge, LLC
    Inventors: Carmen Magro, Jeffrey Campbell, Katayoun Sohrabi, Clayton R. Karmel
  • Patent number: 8682493
    Abstract: An adaptive irrigation interrupter is disclosed herein. The adaptive irrigation interrupter preferably comprises a housing and a processor. The processor is preferably configured to create a plurality of profiles of moisture levels and behaviors. Each profile has a minimum moisture level, a maximum moisture level, and a mechanism for mid-flow cutoff for a watering cycle of a predetermined length to control the irrigation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Green Badge, LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey Campbell, Clayton R. Karmel
  • Patent number: 8666611
    Abstract: A method controlling an agricultural sprayer includes identifying an herbicide to be sprayed using the agricultural sprayer, determining a geoposition associated with the agricultural sprayer within a field, determining if crop planted at the geoposition is tolerant to the herbicide using as-planted data, and if the crop is not tolerant of the herbicide, preventing herbicide spraying operations while the agricultural sprayer is at the geoposition. An agricultural sprayer adapted for performing the method is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
    Inventors: Todd A. Peterson, Douglas L. Gardner, Douglas J. Houser
  • Patent number: 8660705
    Abstract: A soil moisture based irrigation system includes a stand alone irrigation controller with a seasonal adjust feature and a stand alone weather station including at least one soil moisture sensor. The soil moisture based irrigation system further includes a stand alone soil moisture control unit operatively connected to the irrigation controller and the soil moisture sensor. The soil moisture control unit includes programming configured to calculate an estimated soil moisture requirement value using a signal from the soil moisture sensor and to automatically modify a watering schedule of the irrigation controller through the seasonal adjust feature based on the estimated soil moisture requirement value to thereby conserve water while maintaining plant health.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter J. Woytowitz, Jeffery J. Kremicki, LaMonte D. Porter
  • Publication number: 20130341420
    Abstract: The invention relates to a moisture sensor (16) for an irrigation apparatus (10, 100, 118, 121, 130, 140). The moisture sensor (16) being operable to monitor a moisture content for a medium in which it is located to provide a control signal for operating the irrigation apparatus (10, 100, 118, 121, 130, 140) for controlling a water supply (26) to the medium. The moisture sensor (16) comprises a sensing capacitor (46).
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 7, 2011
    Publication date: December 26, 2013
    Applicant: Verdirrigation Ltd.
    Inventors: Gary D. Lister, Ray Shepherd, Alvey Street, Chris Cordingley
  • Patent number: 8615329
    Abstract: A control system is disclosed for regulating the flow of a liquid from a liquid provider through a liquid distribution system. The distribution system has a major liquid distribution channel connected to a plurality of minor liquid distribution channels providing the liquid to a multiplicity of users. A plurality of controllable user valves are interposed in the multiplicity of user channels. A liquid monitor senses a liquid flow characteristic within the liquid distribution channel. A user control changes selective controllable user valves for restoring a desired liquid flow characteristic within the liquid distribution channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2013
    Assignee: Water Optimizer LLC
    Inventor: Thomas M. O'Connor
  • Publication number: 20130306749
    Abstract: Methods and systems control an irrigation system that includes an irrigation controller, a valve actuator, and at least one irrigation sensor connected by a communication circuit. A sensor charging pulse having a temporal duration less than a solenoid actuation time threshold for a solenoid is provided over the communication circuit. The sensor charging pulse charges a charge storage device in at least one irrigation sensor. A series of addressing pulses is also generated over the communication circuit, which indicate a device identifier of at least one irrigation sensor. The series of addressing pulses activate at least one irrigation sensor having the device identifier indicated by the series of addressing pulses such that the activated irrigation sensor provides a sensor signal indicative of an irrigation condition to the irrigation controller via the communication network.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2012
    Publication date: November 21, 2013
    Applicant: Dig Corporation
    Inventor: Mike O'Brien
  • Patent number: 8565927
    Abstract: A irrigation interrupter is disclosed herein. The irrigation interrupter learns the watering patterns established by an irrigation controller and takes action to intelligently limit watering based on knowledge of time, temperature and soil moisture. The interrupter learns the watering pattern of the controller by monitoring behavior over a set period (two weeks), and mapping the start and duration of each zone's irrigation. A default profile is preferably set to enable users to ignore a setting and only adjust it after observing overall plant results.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Green Badge LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey Campbell, Clayton R. Karmel
  • Patent number: 8548632
    Abstract: An irrigation controller includes a first processor and a memory for storing programming executable by the first processor. The irrigation controller further includes circuitry that enables a communication link that allows direct communication between the first processor and a sensor unit containing a second processor and a plurality of environmental sensors each capable of generating an actual component of ET data. At least one manually actuable control is operably connected to the first processor for inputting further ET-related information selected from the group consisting of plant type, soil condition, growth stage and sprinkler precipitation rate. The irrigation controller further includes programming that enables the first processor to calculate optimum watering schedules based upon the actual ET data and the ET-related information including increases and decreases in the frequency and/or length of ON times for at least one station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: La Monte D. Porter, Peter J. Woytowitz, Christopher M. Shearin
  • Publication number: 20130233936
    Abstract: A method for controlling the injection quantity of a piezoinjector of a fuel injection system, which comprises a nozzle needle displaceable by a piezoactuator. Based on the instantaneous injection quantity, a selection is made among various control methods. In a ballistic injector mode, a first control method is carried out, wherein both a needle closing point in time is equalized and a needle travel time is also equalized. In a full stroke injector mode, a second control method is carried out, wherein a needle closing point in time is equalized, but the needle travel time is not equalized.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 24, 2011
    Publication date: September 12, 2013
    Inventors: Anselm Schwarte, Steffen Lehner, Manfred Kramel
  • Patent number: 8532831
    Abstract: An irrigation control device having a modulator that modulates data onto an alternating power signal by distorting amplitude of a first leading portion of selected cycles of the alternating power signal, and permit effectively a full amplitude of the alternating power signal on a following portion of the selected cycles, wherein the first leading portion and the following portion are either both on a high side of a cycle or both on a low side of a cycle of the alternating power signal. The irrigation control device further includes an interface configured to couple the modulator to a multi-wire interface coupled to a plurality of irrigation devices to permit the alternating power signal to be applied to the multi-wire interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: Rain Bird Corporation
    Inventor: Timothy J. Crist
  • Patent number: 8504210
    Abstract: Several embodiments provide wireless extensions to an irrigation controller system and related methods of use, as well as other improvements to irrigation control equipment. In one implementation, an irrigation control system includes a transmitter unit including a controller and having a connector to be coupled to an irrigation controller having station actuation output connectors. The controller is configured to receive an indication that the irrigation controller has activated an irrigation station, and is also configured to cause the transmitter unit to transmit a wireless activation signal responsive to the indication. A receiver unit is coupled to an actuator coupled to an actuatable device, such as an irrigation valve, the actuator configured to actuate the irrigation valve to control the flow of water therethrough. The receiver unit receives the wireless activation signal and in response, causes the actuator to actuate the actuatable device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: Rain Bird Corporation
    Inventors: Mark M. Ensworth, Barbara E. Booth, Dean C. Thornton, David G. Fern, Randall A. Hern, Malcolm N. Napier
  • Patent number: 8494763
    Abstract: A method for determining a position of a rotatable arm of a center pivot irrigation system may comprise providing a pivot arm position sensing system including a tower unit positionable at the rotatable arm and a GPS receiver at the tower unit, and receiving, from a user over a communication network, a schedule for operating the irrigation system as the rotatable arm rotates. The schedule may include at least two instructions for taking an action by the irrigation system with each instruction including an action and a corresponding location for the action. The method may further include downloading the schedule over a communication network to storage on the position sensing system, determining a location of the tower unit as the tower unit moves about the center of rotation using the GPS receiver, and initiating an action when the location corresponds to the location in one of the instructions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Inventor: Mel Wieting
  • Publication number: 20130161411
    Abstract: A housing has at least one port for allowing entry of subterranean water into an interior of the housing when the housing is buried in soil. The housing has an inlet fitting configured to be coupled to drip tubing and an outlet for discharging water conveyed from a pressurized water source conveyed through the tubing. A valve includes a valve member that is movable to open and close a fluid communication path between the inlet fitting and the outlet. A hygroscopic member is positioned in the interior of the housing and is capable of absorbing subterranean water and expanding to move the valve member to close the fluid communication path. A spring element is positioned to bias the valve member to open the fluid communication path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2013
    Publication date: June 27, 2013
    Inventor: Glendale Grizzle
  • Patent number: 8453658
    Abstract: A readily expandable self-cleaning progressive spray system is provided. The system includes a fluid inlet and a series of spray fittings each having a self-sweeping spray nozzle, a timing mechanism, and a pass-through valve. The series of spray fittings are connected in fluid communication to the water inlet such that the fluid passes into and through the spray nozzle of each spray fitting until its timing mechanism expires which subsequently activates its pass-through valve which directs the fluid on to the next spray fitting. The spray fittings include a reset mechanism which resets the pass-through valves in order to allow the valves to iterate through the desired pattern again after completing one cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Inventor: Glen E. Morrow
  • Patent number: 8433448
    Abstract: Various embodiments are described in which different irrigation controllers in an irrigation control system have machine code having a same code base. In one implementation, a first irrigation control unit comprises a processor and a medium storing a first set of machine code to be executed by the processor. The first set is based on a portion of source code on which a second set of machine code stored in a second irrigation control unit is based, and the first and second sets not identical to each other. The first and second irrigation control units are in a predefined hierarchical control relationship. In one variation, the first and second control units have at least related operating systems. In another variation, a central controller includes machine code developed from at least a portion of the same source code as machine code in a remote controller for simulation or execution purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: Rain Bird Corporation
    Inventors: Ryan L. Walker, David E. Columbo, Whitney M. Kew
  • Publication number: 20130099022
    Abstract: In one embodiment, the present invention includes irrigation control software for a computer that interacts with the features of a plurality of advanced sprinklers, environmental sensors, and other available data. The irrigation control software provides a graphical user interface to create a more efficient irrigation scheduling control interface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 26, 2009
    Publication date: April 25, 2013
    Inventors: Doug Palmer, Dana R. Lonn, Paul Standerfer, David Stucke, James T. Wright, III, Russ Huffman, Steve M. Calde, Nathan J. Fortin, Christopher Douglas Weeldreyer
  • Patent number: RE44742
    Abstract: A device and method provide a user with a template for a message having fields that can be pre-filled with data to reduce the manual entry of data into the message. The method includes, but is not limited to, executing an application at a device, wherein context data including context data items is associated with the executing application, selecting a messaging technology to send a message from the device, selecting a template for the message, wherein the template comprises one or more dynamic fields, selecting a context data item from the context data associated with the executing application, and inserting the selected context data item in the dynamic field to facilitate the creation of a message.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Sulvanuss Capital L.L.C.
    Inventor: Kaj Mäkelä