To Determine Water Content Patents (Class 324/664)
  • Patent number: 10523201
    Abstract: A pane arrangement having a pane with an inner surface and an outer surface, a low-E coating arranged on the inner surface of the pane. The pane arrangement having a coating-free first partition line formed in the low-E coating. A capacitive switching region is electrically isolated from a surrounding region of the low-E coating. The surrounding region surrounds the capacitive switching region in sections. The capacitive switching region has a contact region, a supply line region and a first connection region. The supply line region electrically connects the contact region to the first connection region. A coating-free second partition line is formed in the low-E coating. The surrounding region is electrically isolated from an outer region of the low-E coating. The outer region surrounds the surrounding region. A capacitive sensor electronics system is electrically connected to the first connection region of the capacitive switching region and to the surrounding region by a second connection region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Inventors: Patrick Weber, Stefan Droste, Klaus Schmalbuch, Pascal Bauerle
  • Patent number: 10359384
    Abstract: The field is sensors used in the ground and in particular the provision of a sensor array element for a sensor array useable in housing that has a tapered internal and external shape. The lack of air spaces and gaps, in particular, between the outer surface of the hollow elongate sensor housing and the surrounding ground is substantially avoided when using a tapered housing. A sensor array element is disclosed including a carrier sheet of flexible material formable into a shape which substantially conforms with the shape of the inner wall of said elongate housing. The carrier sheet has electrically conductive regions wherein at least one pair of electrically conductive regions are shaped and located near enough each other to form a capacitive element. The carrier sheet has at least two pairs of electrically conductive regions forming a pair of capacitive elements, and adjacent pairs of capacitive elements have a different diameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2019
    Assignee: SENTEK PTY LTD.
    Inventor: Michael Portmann
  • Patent number: 10265650
    Abstract: A fuel filter may include a housing and a filter element positioned within the housing. A water collection chamber may be defined in the housing and may be constructed and arranged to collect water separated from a fuel. A water level sensor may be positioned within the water collection chamber. The water level sensor may be constructed and arranged to detect a water level in the water collection chamber. The water level sensor may include an electrically conductive plastic first terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: Mahle International GmbH
    Inventor: Werner Schadler
  • Patent number: 10137668
    Abstract: A laminated glazing including a moisture-sensitive functional insert included within the glazing, the laminated glazing comprising a stack comprised of a plurality of glass or plastic plies, the plies being joined together by interlayers located between the plies, wherein a central area of the stack comprises at least one optically clear interlayer; the stack further including a moisture-sensitive functional insert; wherein an inner perimeter of the laminated glazing is formed with a frame comprised of a hydrophobic moisture-resistant material, the frame having a thickness substantially corresponding to a combined thickness of the interlayers within the glazing plus the insert. In addition, a method of reducing or eliminating exposure of a moisture-sensitive insert within a laminated glazing constructed as above is also described herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Inventors: Dongyan Wang, Seth Van Voorhees, Steven M. Slovak, Robert L. Saxe
  • Patent number: 10060873
    Abstract: A sensor housing having a body for housing a soil moisture sensor arrangement with sensors arranged within and along the length of the housing, the body is shaped so that there is a continuous taper from the head end having the larger outer diameter to the inserted end having the smaller outer diameter, and the volume of the opening created by an auger in the ground will provide a matching volume for the sensor housing of a predetermined volume such that the entire tapered outer surface of the sensor is adjacent the ground along the full length of the created opening. The sensors include at least a first capacitive element, and a second capacitive element that has a maximum outer diameter smaller than the maximum outer diameter of the first capacitive element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2018
    Assignee: SENTEK PTY LTD.
    Inventor: Peter Buss
  • Patent number: 10033304
    Abstract: An electronic circuit can be coupled to an energy harvesting device. The output of the energy harvesting device can provide a damped oscillating waveform elicited from a transient stimulus applied to the energy harvesting device, such as in response to mechanical shock or mechanical impact excitation. A first switch can be coupled between the energy harvesting device and an inductor and configured to selectively connect the input node to the inductor. A second switch can be coupled between the inductor and an energy storage device, the second switch configured to selectively couple the inductor to the energy storage device. A control circuit can be coupled to the first and second switches, such as configured to operate the first and second switches according to one or more of an over bias flip technique, a half bias flip technique, or a bias flip technique.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2018
    Assignee: Analog Devices Global
    Inventors: Yong Feng, Xing Li, Bin Shao
  • Patent number: 9983171
    Abstract: A transparency, e.g. an aircraft laminated windshield, includes one or more moisture sensors to monitor moisture penetration to monitor performance of the moisture barrier. At least one of the moisture sensors includes a dielectric between and in electrical contact with two electrically conductive electrodes. Alternating electrical current is applied to the electrodes to measure the complex impedance (ohms) of the dielectric to determine the amount of moisture within the laminated windshield in the area of the moisture sensor. With the information provided by the moisture sensors performance of the windshield is available to schedule timely repair or replacement of the windshield that is performing outside of acceptable limits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2018
    Assignee: PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.
    Inventors: Yu Jiao, Jeremy D. Acord, Nicolas B. Duarte
  • Patent number: 9967696
    Abstract: A system for monitoring the characteristics of a material by measuring electrical properties of a material uses a material monitoring device and a cloud database that relates electrical properties of a material to characteristics of that material. The aging and fermentation processes of wine and other alcohols can be monitored. The status and decomposition of foodstuffs can be monitored. The progress of chemical reactions in a vessel can be monitored. Water quality of water from a water conduit can be monitored. These characteristics can be indicated on a product monitoring device or can be communicated to an external computing device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2018
    Assignee: IdeaCuria Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory A. Agostinelli, Steven Nashed Hanna, Ionut Alexandru Mirel
  • Patent number: 9933384
    Abstract: An example approach and structure for providing a chemical sensor, having an electrode that may receive a fluid that is passed on towards a dielectric between the electrode and one or more other electrodes. A capacitance between the electrodes may be changed by the dielectric which is affected by a parameter of the fluid. Measuring a change of the capacitance may indicate a magnitude of the parameter. The electrode receiving the fluid may have one or more layers of metal particles that by design of the particles and their arrangement can result in determined pore sizes and routes through the electrode for a controllable porosity of the electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Scott Edward Beck
  • Patent number: 9784704
    Abstract: The invention pertains to an apparatus and a method for determining a dielectric property of a first substance in a composition in a non-invasive manner. The composition includes at least the first substance to be measured and a second substance. The method uses and apparatus includes a capacitor for creating a field into which the composition can be introduced at least in part, where the capacitor is part of an oscillator circuit, and the oscillator circuit is coupled to a device for determining the resonance frequency of the oscillator circuit. The capacitor includes a layer of a non-conducting material such that the composition, when introduced at least in part into the field of the capacitor, does not come into an electrical contact with the electrodes of the capacitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Assignee: Parelectrics UG (Haftungsbeschrankt)
    Inventors: Tobias Blaschke, Klaus K. Kramer, Dierk Lesemann
  • Patent number: 9766173
    Abstract: A multimodal sensor includes a microtensiometer for measuring the chemical potential of a sub-saturated liquid, a temperature sensor, and a water content sensor. The microtensiometer includes a sensor body comprising a first gas-impermeable layer, an opposing second gas-impermeable layer, and a porous membrane layer disposed therebetween. The sensor body defines an internal liquid reservoir. The membrane layer is fluidly connected with the liquid reservoir, and extends to an outside edge of the microtensiometer. The membrane layer defines a plurality of through pores providing an open path from the liquid reservoir to the outside edge of the microtensiometer. The pores have a maximum diameter of 3 millimeters. The microtensiometer further includes a sensor adapted to measure changes in pressure between the liquid reservoir and an outside environment. The temperature sensor is integrated onto the microtensiometer body, and the water content sensor is coupled to the microtensiometer body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Assignee: Cornell University
    Inventors: Abraham D. Stroock, Alan N. Lakso, Vinay Pagay, Michael Santiago, David Sessoms
  • Patent number: 9739546
    Abstract: A plate heat exchanger includes a heat exchanger plate having a heat transfer area and an edge area, extending around the heat transfer area. The heat exchanger plate is a double wall plate formed by two adjoining plates compressed to be in contact with each other. A sensor configured to sense at least one parameter and to produce a signal depending on the parameter includes a sensor probe that is provided between the adjoining plates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Inventors: Klas Bertilsson, Anders Nyander, Christer Johansson, Anatol Krozer
  • Patent number: 9695816
    Abstract: A fluid detection apparatus and a fluid detection method are provided. The fluid detection apparatus includes a plurality of capacitive detection units and a sensing circuit. The capacitive detection units are sequentially arranged along a detection direction, wherein each of the capacitive detection units generates an impedance variation in response to the submergence of the fluid and accordingly generates a corresponding fluid detection signal. The sensing circuit is coupled to the capacitive detection units so as to receive the fluid detection signals and send a first status indication signal indicating a spread circumstance of the fluid along the detection direction according to the fluid detection signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: Tatung Company
    Inventors: Tai-Jee Pan, Chih-Jou Lin, Jia-Ching Lin
  • Patent number: 9664719
    Abstract: A capacitance detection circuit has at least a carrier signal generating circuit that supplies a carrier signal to one of a movable or a fixed electrode of a sensor, an operational amplifier with one of the movable or fixed electrode as an input and ground as another input, and a printed circuit board on which the physical quantity sensor, the carrier signal generating circuit, and the operational amplifier are mounted. An insulation-secured area on the printed circuit board is configured as a moisture absorption reduction area, including at least an electrode connection part of the physical quantity sensor, an input-side connection part of the operational amplifier, and a connection part connected to the input side of the operational amplifier out of connection parts of input-side circuit components connected between the electrode connection part and the input-side connection part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: FUJI ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Masami Kishiro
  • Patent number: 9632003
    Abstract: The present invention is systems and methods for detecting and locating leaks in roofing membranes and roof flashing. The systems include a conductive mesh underneath the roofing membrane and/or a conductive medium behind the roof flashing; attractor cables; and a reversible power supply attached to the conductive mesh/medium and attractor cables. The roofing membrane system also includes sensors, which may be wireless. The systems are controlled by a computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Inventor: Clark Robert Gunness
  • Patent number: 9624672
    Abstract: The present invention is systems and methods for detecting and locating leaks in roofing membranes and roof flashing. The systems include a conductive mesh underneath the roofing membrane and/or a conductive medium behind the roof flashing; attractor cables; and a reversible power supply attached to the conductive mesh/medium and attractor cables. The roofing membrane system also includes sensors, which may be wireless. The systems are controlled by a computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Inventor: Clark Robert Gunness
  • Patent number: 9624671
    Abstract: The present invention is a method and system for detecting and locating leaks in a roofing membrane. The mean net voltage from an emitting electrode activated by and connected to the positive side of a power supply, when a conductive mesh disposed beneath the membrane is connected to the negative side of the power supply, is compared with the mean reference voltage from the emitting electrode when a reference electrode is connected to the negative side of the power supply in place of the conductive mesh. If the mean net voltage is greater than or equal to the mean reference voltage, then a leak is indicated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Inventor: Clark Robert Gunness
  • Patent number: 9618469
    Abstract: A water vapor sensor comprises a substrate and a film of carbon nanotubes impregnated with surfactant on the substrate. The substrate is of material which is inert relative to the film. Two or more electrical conductors are in contact with in spaced apart zones of the film, whereby the impedance of the film may be measured. The sensor is housed in housing which protects the sensor but also allows exposure of the film to water vapor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventors: Graeme Scott, Richard Coull, Vittorio Scardaci
  • Patent number: 9513271
    Abstract: An object of the present invention is to provide a moisture measuring apparatus which, when the body of the apparatus for measuring a state of moisture in a measurement target object is mounted into the measurement target object, provides a user with a mounting state as to whether the moisture measuring apparatus has been appropriately mounted. In the present invention, the CPU of a moisture measuring apparatus determines the mounting state of the moisture measuring apparatus in soil that is a measurement target object (judges whether or not there is a gap between a sensor electrode and soil) based on the state of moisture (moisture amount) measured by a soil moisture amount sensor, and informs a result of the judgment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: CASIO COMPUTER CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Ryo Okumura
  • Patent number: 9453792
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device, system and method for measuring moisture in building structures. A tubular body part (100) may be embedded in a material during its casting. Hole(s) (106) provided in the body part (100) lets moisture inside a space separated by the body part (100). Measuring element including electronics (102) and a sensor (104) functionally connected to the body part (100) is used to measure the separated space 108. With a reading device (234), the results may then be read from above surface due to a provided wireless link between the measuring element (102) and (104) and the reading device (234).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2016
    Assignee: WIISTE OY
    Inventors: Risto-Matti Salmi, Toni Luopajarvi
  • Patent number: 9410999
    Abstract: Electrically conductive structures produced on or in a substrate, or produced such that the structures are floating in a substrate undergo simple and reliable capacitive contactless and non-destructive inspection using a capacitive sensor having at least two sensor electrode surfaces which are arranged at different constant distances from one another parallel to a surface of the substrate and are arranged beside one another relative to the surface of the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2016
    Inventors: Fatih Alatas, Martin Kördel, Anton Schick
  • Patent number: 9360512
    Abstract: A method for providing corrected measurements of absolute capacitance of an object in the proximity of at least two independent electrodes of a non-optimized shape integrated in a human-machine interface device for detecting the object. The method includes measuring, for each electrode, an actual value of absolute capacitance between the electrode and the object, and calculating a prediction by applying a multi-variable nonlinear prediction model to the actual values of absolute capacitance so as to obtain an image of probability densities. Then, using the probability densities as corrected absolute capacitance values for detecting the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    Inventor: Bruno Luong
  • Patent number: 9334572
    Abstract: An interconnect structure and method of fabricating the same is provided. More specifically, the interconnect structure is a defect free capped interconnect structure. The structure includes a conductive material formed in a trench of a planarized dielectric layer which is devoid of cap material. The structure further includes the cap material formed on the conductive material to prevent migration. The method of forming a structure includes selectively depositing a sacrificial material over a dielectric material and providing a metal capping layer over a conductive layer within a trench of the dielectric material. The method further includes removing the sacrificial material with any unwanted deposited or nucleated metal capping layer thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Inventors: Ya Ou, Shom Ponoth, Terry A. Spooner
  • Patent number: 9098963
    Abstract: A method of operating a sensor 112 having a first transmit plate 114, a second receive plate 115 and a dielectric material between the two plates 114, 115. The method comprises the steps of: applying an alternating across the transmit and receive plates 114, 115, thereby to create an alternating electric field, which applied voltage results in a current Iz flowing through the two plates 114, 115; producing a voltage signal corresponding to the resultant current Iz; determining the average value of the product of the corresponding voltage signal and a reference voltage signal Vref3; and adjusting the phase of the reference voltage Vref3 until a null condition is achieved, at which condition the average value is approximately zero. A sensor 112 is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Barrie Clark, Jim Henderson
  • Patent number: 9045973
    Abstract: In one aspect the present invention provides a down-hole monitoring system, comprising one or more pieces of down-hole equipment, for example a down-hole logging tool, and at least one resonant sensor for obtaining physical and chemical parameters of a down-hole fluid in proximity to the sensor. In another aspect, the present invention provides a method for detecting material properties of a down-hole fluid, the method comprising placing a resonant LCR sensor within a piece of down-hole equipment, taking sensor readings down-hole, transmitting the sensor readings to a reader device, and analyzing the sensor readings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2015
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Radislav Alexandrovich Potyrailo, Cheryl Margaret Surman, Nicholas Josep Ellson
  • Patent number: 9015958
    Abstract: A controller is coupled to a plurality of moisture sensors positioned within the grain bin at various spaced-apart locations. The controller determines a grain moisture level adjacent each moisture sensor and compares the grain moisture level to a predetermined maximum moisture level. The controller is coupled to a grain spreader that is configured to selectively distribute incoming grain into the grain bin and operates the spreader to distribute incoming grain to create a shortened airflow path through the grain that encompasses the moisture sensors having determined grain moisture levels above the predetermined maximum moisture level. The controller is coupled to a fan that is coupled to the grain bin and configured to provide airflow through the grain in the grain bin. The controller operates the fan to provide greater airflow through the grain along the shortened airflow path than is provided along airflow paths outside the shortened airflow path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: CTB, Inc.
    Inventor: Brent J. Bloemendaal
  • Publication number: 20140361794
    Abstract: A moisture sensor includes a first electrode, a layer of porous insulating material including a plurality of pores, a film of dielectric sensing material covering the inner surfaces of the plurality of pores and a second electrode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2013
    Publication date: December 11, 2014
    Inventor: Zhi David Chen
  • Publication number: 20140358099
    Abstract: A moisture sensor unit for sending moisture in an environment includes a passive moisture sensor and two passive RFID tags. The two passive RFID tags are spaced apart from each other and disposed on opposite sides of the moisture sensor. Each of the RFID tags is electrically coupled to the moisture sensor and each of the RFID tags includes a circuit that determines an amount of moisture that is associated with the moisture sensor. Each of the RFID tags is configured to respond to a first radio frequency signal with a second radio frequency signal that includes information about the amount of moisture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 30, 2014
    Publication date: December 4, 2014
    Applicants: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Tech Research Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory Durgin, Blake Marshall, Danielle Bradley, Andrew Kirsch
  • Patent number: 8872527
    Abstract: A method, circuit and apparatus for detecting capacitance on a droplet actuator, inter alia, for determining the presence, partial presence or absence of a droplet at an electrode on a droplet actuator by: (a) providing a droplet actuator comprising: (i) a substrate comprising electrodes arranged on the substrate for conducting droplet operations on a surface of the substrate; (ii) a capacitance detection circuit for detecting capacitance at the droplet operations surface at one or more of the electrodes; (b) detecting capacitance at the droplet operations surface at one or more of the electrodes; and (c) determining from the capacitance the presence, partial presence or absence of a droplet at the droplet operations surface at the electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Advanced Liquid Logic, Inc.
    Inventors: Ryan A. Sturmer, Michael G. Pollack, Vamsee K. Pamula, Vijay Srinivasan, Philip Y. Paik
  • Patent number: 8862277
    Abstract: A method and system for monitoring the dynamic response of soil moisture and setting a threshold in relation to the field capacity of a soil area is disclosed herein. By measuring the dynamic response of soil moisture under wet soil conditions, one can determine a practical field capacity for the soil, in-situ, based solely on the soil moisture sensor output. Essentially, by looking at how the soil moisture level varies with time one can determine the field capacity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: Green Badge, LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey Campbell, Katayoun Sohrabi, Clayton R. Karmel, Carmen Magro
  • Patent number: 8847728
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for transmitting a measurement variable that is detected by a measuring unit and transmitted via a data transmission channel to a main control unit of a domestic appliance that is isolated from the measuring unit is disclosed. The measurement control unit is coupled to the main control unit via a data transmission channel through which a measurement variable detectable by the measuring unit can be transmitted to the main control unit. The data transmission channel is a line having a protective impedance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeraete GmbH
    Inventors: Piotr Gorny, Lothar Knopp, Guido Sattler
  • Patent number: 8841925
    Abstract: The invention relates to devices for liquid level detection (LLD). It relates to a laboratory device having an electronic circuit for detecting a liquid level in a liquid container, a feeler, which can be advanced, and which is connected to an input side of the electronic circuit, and having a movement device, which allows the feeler to be advanced in the direction of the liquid in the liquid container. Upon the immersion of the feeler in the liquid, a capacitance change is caused in the electronic circuit, which triggers a signal in the circuit. The laboratory device comprises a reference circuit, which is connected to the input side of the circuit, and which specifies an effective capacitance on the input side of the circuit. A sequence controller is used, which causes the triggering of a test by the application of a control signal to the reference circuit, the control signal causing an increase of the effective capacitance through a switching procedure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: Tecan Trading AG
    Inventor: Markus Schöni
  • Publication number: 20140266253
    Abstract: A system for measuring crop moisture content in a harvester elevator includes a receiver and processing node and one or more moisture sensing instruments coupled to one or more paddles of the harvested elevator, respectively. The moisture sensing instruments each include a moisture sensor and a transmitter in communication with a receiver and processing node. The moisture sensor is configured to dynamically measure the moisture content of a static harvested crop, relative to the sensor and corresponding paddle, at ascends in the harvester elevator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: Raven Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: John Earl Acheson, Stephen Filip Fjelstad, Douglas Samuel Prairie
  • Publication number: 20140253150
    Abstract: Electronic devices may be accidentally exposed to liquid during operation. To detect liquid intrusion events, an electronic device may be provided with one or more electronic liquid contact sensors. The liquid contact sensors may have electrodes. Control circuitry may make measurements across the electrodes such as resistance and capacitance measurements to detect the presence of liquid. Liquid contact sensor data may be maintained in a log within storage in the electronic device. The liquid contact sensor data can be used to display information for a user of the electronic device or can be loaded onto external equipment for analysis. Liquid contact sensor electrodes may be formed from metal traces on substrates such as printed circuits, from contacts in a connector, from contacts on an integrated circuit, or from other conductive electrode structures.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2013
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Applicant: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Brian C. Menzel, Kevin M. Keeler, Jim Z. Huang, Parviz Mishkanian
  • Patent number: 8823396
    Abstract: An apparatus including a sensor array, configured to produce an array output value in response to an environmental stimulus, and a controller, the sensor array including a plurality of sensors and a common output terminal connected to the respective outputs of the sensors, each sensor having first and second electrodes configured to output a respective sensor output value in a particular environment based on the areas of the first and second electrodes and/or the spacing therebetween, the controller configured to control which of the sensors are connected to the common output terminal using respective switches to vary the effective area and/or spacing of the sensor array such that the array output value at the common output terminal, based on the contribution of the respective sensor output values of the connected sensors, is held at a reference value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Nokia Corporation
    Inventors: Michael Robert Astley, Stefano Marco Borini, Jani Kivioja, Teuvo Tapani Ryhanen, Elisabetta Spigone, Di Wei, Richard White
  • Patent number: 8823397
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for determining a level of a material interface in a tank, by means of a radar level gauge system comprising a transceiver; a probe for guiding a transmitted electromagnetic signal towards the material interface. The probe comprises a first plurality of reference impedance transitions located above the interface at known physical distances from a reference position, and a second plurality of reference impedance transitions located below the interface at known physical distances from the reference position. The method comprising determining electrical distances to the first and second plurality of reference impedance transitions based on a signal reflected by the reference impedance transition, determining, a first and a second approximation function relating the first and second sets of electrical distance values to the physical distances; and determining the level of the material interface based on the first approximation function and the second approximation function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Rosemount Tank Radar AB
    Inventor: Olov Edvardsson
  • Patent number: 8810249
    Abstract: A 3D Motional Command System (MCS) is disclosed for interactive gaming, computer interfaces, communications, imaging, and geological exploration. The system can perform standoff gesture recognition and also function as touch-screens. E-field sensors and array topologies are disclosed comprised of FET discrete transistors. The designs facilitate the fabrication of high density sensor arrays similar to LCD displays. The system can be used in portable and wearable electronic devices. Uses are for PC computers, portable devices, and gaming systems such as the Wii. Other applications include wireless connection of sensor and audio data from a simple headphone jack output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Inventor: Thomas G. Cehelnik
  • Publication number: 20140176161
    Abstract: A device for attaching to an electric power line conductor includes an electrically conductive housing with an opening for accepting the power line conductor that is configured to be grounded to the power line conductor. At least one magnetic core configured to surround the power line conductor and power a power supply electronics module. An ambient air relative humidity measuring device is located within the housing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2013
    Publication date: June 26, 2014
    Inventor: Murray W. DAVIS
  • Publication number: 20140125360
    Abstract: A matric potential sensor (100) arranged to measure the matric potential of a medium and comprising a porous material portion (102a, 102b), arranged to absorb moisture from the medium into which, in use, it is inserted, and an electrode element (100) wherein a non-porous compliant material (606, 608) is provided between the porous material (102a, 102b) portion and the electrode element (100).
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 21, 2012
    Publication date: May 8, 2014
    Inventors: Martin Scott Goodchild, Malcolm David Jenkins, Kazimierz Jan Burek, Stuart Andrew Janes
  • Publication number: 20140125359
    Abstract: Capacitive sensors and MEMS elements that can be implemented directly above silicon CMOS electronics are disclosed. A capacitive based sensor is disposed over a first predetermined portion of a wafer that includes at least a first ceramic element providing protection for the final capacitive based sensor and self-aligned processing during its manufacturing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2013
    Publication date: May 8, 2014
    Applicant: MEMS-Vision International Inc.
    Inventors: Mourad El-Gamal, Paul-Vahe Cicek, Frederic Nabki
  • Patent number: 8686745
    Abstract: An apparatus and a method are described for measuring water content and salt concentration in a multiphase fluid flow. A capacitive sensor (6, 7) is arranged in a pipe section (5) through which the multiphase fluid flow passes. A signal generator (10) is connected to the capacitive sensor (6, 7). A first measuring transducer (40) is adapted to measure a voltage across the capacitive sensor, and a second measuring transducer (50) is adapted to measure a current through the capacitive sensor. An output circuit (60) is adapted to generate output signals (70, 72) that indicate the salt concentration and water content in the multiphase fluid flow, based on signals emitted from the first (40) and the second (50) measuring transducer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: FMC Kongsberg Subsea AS
    Inventor: Odd Jan Kirkaune
  • Publication number: 20140077824
    Abstract: A humidity sensor includes a humidity detention section, a pad section, and a dam section. The humidity detention section includes a pair of detection electrodes facing each other on a predetermined surface of a substrate and a humidity-sensitive film covering the detection electrodes. The pad section is spaced from the humidity detection section on the surface and covered with a protection gel section. The dam section is located between the humidity detection section and the pad section on the surface. The dam section includes a dam wire that is made from the same material as the detection electrodes and a dam humidity-sensitive film that is made from the same material as the humidity-sensitive film and covers at least part of the dam wire.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 30, 2012
    Publication date: March 20, 2014
    Inventors: Naohisa Niimi, Minekazu Sakai
  • Publication number: 20140043048
    Abstract: A data collector associated with a grain bin is in communication with a plurality of capacitive moisture cables hanging within the grain bin. Each capacitive moisture cable includes a plurality of sensor nodes positioned along the moisture cable. Each sensor node includes a sensor node microprocessor and a sensor node memory coupled to a temperature sensor, a reference capacitive sensor and a capacitive moisture sensor. A main controller is in communication with the data collector. The main controller memory is configured in a data structure comprising grain type data, temperature data, raw reference capacitance data, raw moisture capacitance data, node identification data, physical node positional data, and a calculated moisture content for each sensor node. A method of determining moisture contents of grain in a grain bin related to such a system is also included.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2012
    Publication date: February 13, 2014
    Applicant: CTB, Inc.
    Inventors: Brent J. BLOEMENDAAL, Raymond George BENSON, JR.
  • Patent number: 8614586
    Abstract: The moisture measuring method and apparatus determines the moisture content of post-harvest in-shell peanuts. A crystal oscillator generates a high frequency signal that is directed through a selected sample of in-shell peanuts. Capacitance, impedance, and phase change data associated with the sample are generated at (at least) two frequencies. The data is then substituted into a semi-empirical equation to determine the moisture content of the in-shell peanuts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2013
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture
    Inventor: Chari Kandala
  • Patent number: 8542025
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a method of interrogating a resonant circuit that includes embedding a resonant circuit into a material, wherein a dielectric of a capacitor of the resonant circuit is the material. The method includes remotely determining the resonant frequency of the electrical circuit with a measurement device, wherein the determining is accomplished automatically. Finally, the method includes remotely automatically determining at least one of an estimated or precise resistance of the resonant circuit, an estimated or precise quality factor of the resonant circuit, and an estimated or precise voltage ratio of the resonant circuit, wherein the voltage ratio is a ratio of a voltage of the energy absorbed by the receiver at resonance and a voltage of the energy absorbed by the receiver at a fixed frequency shift from resonance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2013
    Inventor: Donald J. Geisel
  • Publication number: 20130207673
    Abstract: A humidity detection sensor includes a lower electrode provided on a board, an upper electrode provided so as to face the lower electrode, a humidity sensing film which is formed at least between the lower electrode and the upper electrode and whose dielectric constant changes in response to humidity, and a protective film provided so as to cover the upper electrode. Each of the upper electrode and the protective film has an opening through which the humidity sensing film is partially exposed to the outside. In the opening, the humidity sensing film is provided so as to reach at least a position higher than the position of the lower surface of the protective film.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 27, 2013
    Publication date: August 15, 2013
    Applicant: ALPS ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
    Inventor: ALPS ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
  • Patent number: 8461852
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for producing particle density map images of fluidised particles by electrical capacitance tomography (ECT) in a fluidized bed apparatus allows for measuring online the liquid content of fluidized particles during the fluidization process and for recalibration of the fluidized particle permittivity during fluidization, allowing for online recalibration of an ECT system when the liquid content of particles changes, such as for fluidized bed drying or granulation processes. Recalibration measurements are made using reference electrodes positioned to measure the capacitance of the densely fluidized particles near the side walls of the fluidized bed. The electrodes of an ECT sensor array may be used to make the recalibration measurements which can be used to provide online liquid content measurement, such as moisture content, for the fluidized particles without stopping out stopping fluidization. The liquid content information may be used for process control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: The University of Manchester
    Inventors: Wuqiang Yang, Haigang Wang
  • Patent number: 8456177
    Abstract: An occupant detection system that includes an electrode arranged proximate to an expected location of an occupant for generating an electric field between the electrode and the occupant proximate thereto. An electrical network coupled to the electrode forms a resonant circuit that includes the occupant as part of the resonant circuit. A controller coupled to the resonant circuit is configured to determine a resonant frequency of the resonant circuit indicative of an occupant presence, and a network signal magnitude at the resonant frequency indicative of a humidity value proximate to the electrode. 7. A method for detecting a vehicle applies an excitation signal to the resonant circuit, determine a resonant frequency of the resonant circuit and determines a humidity value based on a network signal magnitude at the resonant frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis P. Griffin, Mark C. Hansen
  • Publication number: 20130134994
    Abstract: Contacting a pair of electrodes with soil, applying an alternate current input electric signal to one of the pair of electrodes, comparing a phase of an output electric signal from the other of the pair electrodes with a phase of the input electric signal; and determining the concentration of the ionic solute included in the solvent according to a difference of the phases. The difference of the phases is not dependent on the water content. An electrical conductivity is proportional to a water content and ion concentration, thereby, the water content of soil is available according to the measured electrical conductivity, while determining the ion concentration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2011
    Publication date: May 30, 2013
    Inventors: Masato Futagawa, Kazuaki Sawada
  • Patent number: 8410796
    Abstract: A method for calibrating apparatuses for determining the moisture content of products based on capacitive measurements comprises the following operating steps: Inserting a device (1) for simulating the dielectric properties of products in a measuring area of an apparatus (2) to be calibrated; taking a capacitive measurement with the apparatus (2) while the device (1) is inserted in the measuring area; modifying the device (1) settings at least once and taking the capacitive measurement again, for each different setting value; comparing each capacitive measurement taken this way with a corresponding known reference capacitive measurement; calibrating the apparatus (2) based on this comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: Microtec S.R.L.
    Inventors: Marco Boschetti, Andrea Gottardo