By Frequency Signal Response, Change Or Processing Circuit Patents (Class 324/667)
  • Patent number: 10229805
    Abstract: Devices and methods are provided which facilitate detecting of a disturbance parameter being outside a predetermined range. Such disturbance parameter may for example cause dependent failures in redundant circuits, for example redundant circuits being arranged on a same substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: Infineon Technologies AG
    Inventors: Thomas Zettler, Kirk Herfurth
  • Patent number: 10197570
    Abstract: Disclosed are a microfluidic system (1) configured to receive cell populations and further configured to simultaneously isolate and quantify at least one sub-population of cells for each cell population, and related methods of using the system. The system comprises a substrate having networks of microchannels comprising a first sorting unit configured to isolate, by magnetic attraction, cells of interest in the population in at least one first sorting microchannel. The network comprises a second unit for simultaneous sorting and counting comprising at least one second sorting microchannel defined by a closed wall having an inner face provided with at least one functionalised electrode configured to trap a sub-population. The second unit further comprising means for counting the sub-population by impedance spectroscopy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
    Inventors: Anne-Marie Gue, Karine Reybier, Jan Sudor, Sébastien Cargou, Armelle Montrose
  • Patent number: 9927385
    Abstract: A method and system for generating a three-dimensional tomograph of a vessel interior or other object using a sensor having a plurality of electrodes and active control segments that are electrically isolated from the electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignees: OHIO STATE INNOVATION FOUNDATION, TECH4IMAGING LLC
    Inventors: Qussai Marashdeh, Liang-Shih Fan, Fernando Teixeira, Zeeshan Zeeshan
  • Patent number: 9234925
    Abstract: Provided are an apparatus and method for measuring a dielectric constant. The apparatus includes a cavity resonator including a cavity therein, an insertion hole penetrating through the cavity vertically and in which a sample is inserted, and grooves symmetrically formed with respect to the cavity in the insertion hole, a network analyzer configured to generate an electromagnetic signal supplied to the cavity resonator, receive an electromagnetic signal passed through the cavity resonator, and calculate a scattering parameter, a transmission means configured to supply the generated electromagnetic signal to the cavity resonator, a reception means configured to supply the electromagnetic signal passed through the cavity resonator to the network analyzer, and a calculation processor configured to receive the scattering parameter from the network analyzer and calculate a dielectric constant of the sample.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2016
    Assignee: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
    Inventors: Seong-Ook Park, Byeong Yong Park, Myung Hun Jeong
  • Patent number: 9213039
    Abstract: A state quantity distribution measuring apparatus that allows easy measurement of a state quantity distribution in an absorbent article that has irregularities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2015
    Assignee: Unicharm Corporation
    Inventors: Hisataka Nanaumi, Teruko Kawamoto, Misayo Arimura, Yukiko Bitou
  • Patent number: 8890546
    Abstract: An apparatus for digitizing an impedance is provided that comprises a first impedance element having a first impedance that varies with a property to be measured and a second impedance element having a second impedance. The apparatus also includes a drive signal generator for applying a first alternating drive signal to the first impedance element and a second alternating drive signal to the second impedance element. An analog-to-digital converter, ADC, receives a resultant signal comprising the combination of the signals produced by the application of the first and second alternating drive signals to the first and second impedance elements. The first alternating drive signal is phase shifted relative to the second alternating drive signal such that the resultant signal received and sampled by the ADC sequentially relates to the sum of, and the difference between, the first and second impedances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Renishaw PLC
    Inventor: David Kenneth Thomas
  • Patent number: 8866498
    Abstract: A differential capacitive transducer system is disclosed that includes first and second capacitive cores and a chopping system. The first core a first input coupled to a first capacitor, a second input coupled to a second capacitor, and a first output. The second core includes a third input coupled to a third capacitor, a fourth input coupled to a fourth capacitor, and a second output. The chopping system has first and fourth inputs coupled to positive signals, and second and third inputs coupled to negative signals. As the chopping system switches between high and low states, it couples the core inputs to different polarity signals reducing charge buildup. The different polarity signals can have substantially same magnitudes. Chopper clock and main clock frequencies can be selected to provide substantially zero average voltages at the core inputs. The system can include an integrator circuit and differential summing circuits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Vladimir Petkov, Ganesh Balachandran
  • Patent number: 8854062
    Abstract: A capacitive transducer and a readout circuit for processing a signal from a capacitive transducer. The readout circuit includes a high gain circuit element, two summing amplifiers and two feedback path. The high gain circuit element generates an amplified transducer signal, and the summing amplifiers sum the amplified transducer signal with a positive reference voltage and the negative reference voltage, respectively, to generate a first summation signal and a second summation signal. The feedback paths feed back the summation signals to the transducer. Output circuitry generates an output signal based on the summation signals. The high gain circuit element can be a a switched capacitor integrator. The output circuitry can generates the output signal based on the first and second summation signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Vladimir Petkov, Ganesh Balachandran
  • Patent number: 8854055
    Abstract: A differential capacitive transducer system is disclosed that includes first and second capacitive cores and a chopping system. The first core a first input coupled to a first capacitor, a second input coupled to a second capacitor, and a first output. The second core includes a third input coupled to a third capacitor, a fourth input coupled to a fourth capacitor, and a second output. The chopping system has first and fourth inputs coupled to positive signals, and second and third inputs coupled to negative signals. As the chopping system switches between high and low states, it couples the core inputs to different polarity signals reducing charge buildup. The different polarity signals can have substantially same magnitudes. Chopper clock and main clock frequencies can be selected to provide substantially zero average voltages at the core inputs. The system can include an integrator circuit and differential summing circuits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Vladimir Petkov, Ganesh Balachandran
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8816706
    Abstract: Methods for using carbon nanomaterials to alter the operational output of a device are described herein. The methods can include providing a device that contains a carbon nanomaterial in a first state, and applying an input stimulus to the carbon nanomaterial so as to change the first state into a second state. In the first state, the carbon nanomaterial can be used to produce a normal operational output of the device, whereas the device can produce an altered operational output when the carbon nanomaterial is in the second state. When producing an altered operational output, the device can continue operating, but the altered operational output can be non-indicative of the true operational state of the device. Devices containing a carbon nanomaterial that can be reconfigured from a normal operational output to an altered operational output are also described herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Jonathan W. Ward, Brent M. Segal, Elwood J. Egerton
  • Patent number: 8797048
    Abstract: A capacitive rotation sensor for detecting the position of an object moving relative to a stationary object, comprising a shaft rotatably supported in a housing flange, said shaft being connected integral in rotation therewith to a rotor to which, separated by an air gap, a stator situated opposite thereto is assigned, wherein at least the rotor, the stator and an evaluation circuit are enclosed by an electrically conductive cap, wherein a stator surface is arranged on the underside of a circuit board and the stator surface has assigned thereto, situated opposite thereto and separated by the air gap, a non-rotation-symmetrical rotor disc which, in turn, is fixed on a rotor support, said rotor support being fastened highly precisely on the outer periphery of the shaft so as to be integral in rotation therewith.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Hengstler GmbH
    Inventors: Siegfried Held, Johann Buecher, Andreas Woehrstein
  • Publication number: 20140197849
    Abstract: The invention relates to a measuring circuit comprising a control block for controlling said circuit, a time base for providing a clock signal (fclk) in order to time said circuit, a sensor block which is designed to provide an output signal, said measuring circuit comprising in addition a first counting block which is timed to the clock frequency and a second counting block which is timed by the frequency of the output signal of the sensor block.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2014
    Publication date: July 17, 2014
    Applicant: EM Microelectronic-Marin SA
    Inventor: Pinchas NOVAC
  • Patent number: 8751052
    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: January 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Green Badge, LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey Campbell, Kathy Sohrabi, Clayton R. Karmel, Carmen Magro
  • Patent number: 8671741
    Abstract: A moisture content sensing system is described comprising a collar mechanically coupled with a clean grain transport system. An extendable support extends through the collar and has an extendable capacitive sensor element disposed at one end. The extendable support is configured to be located at a first position in which the extendable capacitive sensor element is disposed adjacent to clean grain conveyed by the clean grain transport system and moved to a second position wherein the extendable capacitive sensor element is disposed at least partially within the clean grain of the clean grain transport system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Trimble Navigation Limited
    Inventors: Michael Cash, D'Anne Beukelaur Hanks, Arthur F. Lange, Brian Jackman, Brian A. Jackson
  • Patent number: 8648613
    Abstract: In method and a control device for triggering person protection device, a signal of a planarly measuring environment sensor system and a second signal of a contact sensor system are evaluated separately in order to produce a respective trigger signal. These two trigger signals are then gated in order to produce a third trigger signal. A trigger circuit triggers the person protection device as a function of this third trigger signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Frank Ewerhart, Reiner Marchthaler, Mario Kroeninger
  • Patent number: 8633713
    Abstract: There is provided herein a robot-based electrical system for locating holidays within coated pipe that does not utilize a grounding wire. In a preferred arrangement, the robot will carry a metal rotating brush/capacitive pad combination and changes in the capacitance in the brush/pad circuit will be used to identify imperfections in the interior coating of the pipe and especially those located proximate a girth weld. In another preferred embodiment, a circumferential brush will be used that allows testing of the integrity of the internal coating throughout the length of the pipe as the robot travels the pipeline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: CRTS, Inc.
    Inventors: Russell Langley, James A. Huggins, John D. Carter, David Paulley, Keith R. Roberts, Darrell L. Davis, Michael E. O'Neill, Steve D. Hayes, Dale G. Davis, John D. Lindemann
  • Patent number: 8618817
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for determining at least one parameter of at least one medium, said medium being introducible into at least one measuring path. An electric and/or electromagnetic field can be partially coupled into or out of the medium by passing at least one electric and/or electromagnetic signal into the measuring path. The measuring path comprises at least one line arrangement having at least two elementary cells arranged along the measuring path, said elementary cells comprising at least one electric path from at least one input to at least one output and comprising at least one respective capacitative element. The electrical properties of the capacitative element can by be modified by the medium. The electric and/or the electromagnetic signal can be applied to the input of a first elementary cell and the output of the first elementary cell can be connected to the input of a second elementary cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: Technische Universitaet Darmstadt
    Inventors: Rolf Jakoby, Martin Schuessler, Andreas Penirschke, Holger Maune
  • Patent number: 8604809
    Abstract: A capacitance measuring circuit comprising an oscillator circuit, where a sensor capacitance forms a link of a plurality of series connected impedances and where a square wave voltage is impressed on the series connected impedances from a separate high speed, a low impedance source and the measurement of the charging current, into the series connected impedances, is performed by a separate high accuracy current sensing device, connected in series between the low impedance square wave source and the plurality of the series connected impedances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Nils Aage Juul Eilersen
  • Patent number: 8593160
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for detecting the presence of a finger on a fingerprint sensor is disclosed in one embodiment of the invention as including transmitting a probing signal, comprising a series of probing pulses, to a fingerprint sensing area. A response signal, comprising a series of response pulses, is received from the fingerprint sensing area in response to the probing signal. An upper reference signal is generated and finger activity is detected on the fingerprint sensing area by monitoring whether the peaks of the response pulses exceed the reference signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Validity Sensors, Inc.
    Inventors: Erik Jonathon Thompson, Gregory Lewis Dean, Jaswinder Jandu, Richard Alexander Erhart
  • Patent number: 8547118
    Abstract: An apparatus includes multiple capacitive sensing elements coupled through a filter network. The apparatus can include a control device configured to excite the capacitive sensing elements with different scanning frequencies and determine capacitances corresponding to each of the capacitive sensing elements based on sensor responses to the excitation of the capacitive sensing elements with the different scanning frequencies and a configuration of the filter network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventors: Santhosh Kumar Vojjala, Vibheesh Bharathan, Sai Prashanth Chinnapalli, Jijeesh Choorakottayil Gopinathan, Edward Grivna, David G. Wright
  • 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: 20130200905
    Abstract: A capacitance-based moisture sensor may include a sleeve having an internal cavity, a container filled with soil or other material inserted into the internal cavity, and a pair of ring-shaped conductive bands around the exterior of the sleeve forming a capacitor and providing a frequency output. The rings positioned around a perimeter of the sleeve may be connected to a fixed inductor to form an oscillator with a variable frequency output. The sensor may be calibrated from the frequency output for each of a plurality of substances, measuring the volumetric water content for saturation of the material, and determining at least one fitting constant in an equation wherein volumetric water content is a function of the frequency output and a plurality of fitting constants.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 3, 2012
    Publication date: August 8, 2013
    Inventors: Michael L. Rhodes, Clayton S. Morton, James A. Chambers, Graeme L. Jarvis, Larry L. Hendrickson
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8432173
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a method includes receiving one or more first signals indicating one or more first capacitive couplings of an object with a sensing element that comprises a sensing path that comprises a length. The first capacitive couplings correspond to the object coming into proximity with the sensing element at a first position along the sensing path of the sensing element. The method includes determining based on one or more of the first signals the first position of the object along the sensing path and setting a parameter to an initial value based on the first position of the object along the sensing path. The initial value includes a particular parameter value and is associated with a range of parameter values. The range of parameter values is associated with the length of the sensing path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: Atmel Corporation
    Inventor: Harald Philipp
  • Patent number: 8384399
    Abstract: A system including a first electrode, a second electrode, a first circuit and a second circuit. The second electrode is capacitively coupled to the first electrode. The first circuit is configured to receive data via a network and transmit a signal via the first electrode based on the data. The second circuit is configured to receive data via the network and receive a current that corresponds to the signal via the second electrode based on the data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Infineon Technologies AG
    Inventors: Dirk Hammerschmidt, Thomas Klug
  • Patent number: 8278946
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for detecting the presence of a finger on a fingerprint sensor is disclosed in one embodiment of the invention as including transmitting a probing signal, comprising a series of probing pulses, to a fingerprint sensing area. A response signal, comprising a series of response pulses, is received from the fingerprint sensing area in response to the probing signal. An upper reference signal is generated and finger activity is detected on the fingerprint sensing area by monitoring whether the peaks of the response pulses exceed the reference signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Validity Sensors, Inc.
    Inventors: Erik Jonathon Thompson, Gregory Lewis Dean, Jaswinder Jandu, Richard Alexander Erhart
  • Patent number: 8237454
    Abstract: Measuring device for local measurement of an electrical property of the content of a container, wherein at least three electrodes are disposed adjacently of each other in height direction and electrically insulated from each other, wherein each of the electrodes can be connected to an electrical measuring circuit for measuring, via one of the electrodes and one other electrode connected to an electrical earth, the electrical property of the content of the container in the vicinity of the electrodes, and wherein the electrical measuring circuit is adapted to generate at least one electric measuring signal representing the measured electrical property, and a control unit for connecting the one electrode to the electrical measuring circuit and connecting the other electrode to an electrical earth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Fluid Well Instruments B.V.
    Inventors: Marian Jozef Slezak, Cornelis Wijnand Schoenmakers
  • Patent number: 8138772
    Abstract: A capacitive vehicle sensor includes a sensing electrode configured to generate an electric field, a shield electrode configured to reduce the electromagnetic influence of electric fields generated by objects outside of the electric field, a circuit coupled to the sensing electrode and shield electrode that allows a plurality of impedances to be coupled between the sensing electrode and the shield electrode, and a control system. The control system configures the impedances between the sensing electrode and the shield electrode, is configured to measure current to the sensing electrode in each configuration, and is configured to calculate a measure related to the impedance from the sensing electrode to ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: TK Holdings Inc.
    Inventors: Judson Grant McDonnell, Phillip Maguire, Shawn Tracy
  • Patent number: 8089287
    Abstract: Systems and methods that evaluate moisture content of the soil through change of capacitance and alternative current. A contact free inductive coupling can be provided between a sensor arrangement associated with the soil, and a reader arrangement (e.g., combination of inductor(s) and capacitor(s)) to determine frequency changes of resulting sinusoidal oscillator. Such frequency change can be correlated with moisture content of the soil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Inventor: Alain Izadnegahdar
  • Patent number: 8085247
    Abstract: An oscillating signal of relatively precise frequency is generated by tuning an oscillator using an external stable oscillating source as a reference. Calibration logic is included to compare a signal from the local oscillator to the reference signal and vary the local signal to a desired frequency. In one embodiment, a binary search algorithm is used to tune the local oscillator. The local oscillating signal can be sent to one or more circuits including at least one sensor of a touch sensitive panel for detecting touch events.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas James Wilson
  • Patent number: 7902840
    Abstract: A method for detecting an object on a sensor sensitive to capacitive coupling comprises simultaneously transmitting signals on at least two electrodes of the sensor, wherein at least one of the signals transmitted on each of the at least two electrodes has a frequency that is different from a frequency of at least one other signal transmitted on another electrode of the at least two electrodes, sampling a signal on at least one other electrode crossing the at least two electrodes, wherein the signal is responsive to capacitive coupling formed between the at least two electrodes and the at least one other crossing electrode, and detecting at least one object from the sampled signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2011
    Assignee: N-trig Ltd.
    Inventors: Rafi Zachut, Haim Perski, Ori Rimon, Amir Kaplan
  • Patent number: 7834644
    Abstract: A method for detecting flaws in polymer tubes, especially tubes made of crosslinked polyethylene. The tube that is to be tested is exposed to the electric field of a capacitive triple electrode in a housing including a central housing part and housing flanges. The respective flaw generates test signals which are used for marking or eliminating the flaw.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2010
    Assignee: Rehau AG & Co.
    Inventors: Siegfried Wissmath, Florian Rothemund
  • Publication number: 20100263647
    Abstract: A microcomputer of an alcohol concentration sensor reads a first measurement value corresponding to a first frequency and reads a second measurement value corresponding to a second frequency. The microcomputer calculates a difference between the first and second measurement values. The microcomputer performs stuck failure abnormality determination when a state where the difference between the measurement values is equal to or smaller than a predetermined value continues. The microcomputer outputs a PWM signal of a specific frequency, which is different from a frequency in a case of a normality, to an engine ECU. Thus, a failure of the alcohol concentration sensor can be surely determined.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 21, 2010
    Publication date: October 21, 2010
    Applicant: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Akikazu UCHIDA, Jun Tarui, Toshiki Annoura, Hiroshi Katsurahara
  • Patent number: 7719290
    Abstract: A circuit configuration for measuring air humidity includes a measuring system which includes an oscillator unit and a signal-processing unit, as well as a frequency-determining impedance, which is determined largely by a parallel connection of a capacitive humidity sensor and a parasitic resistance. The frequency-determining impedance is connected to the oscillator unit, which includes an oscillator having an oscillation frequency that is a function of the frequency-determining impedance. The oscillator unit includes a switchable impedance, which can be connected in addition to the frequency-determining impedance, the oscillator thereby being switchable from a first frequency range to a second frequency range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2010
    Assignee: E+E Elektronik Ges.m.b.H.
    Inventor: Gerhard Nikolaus
  • Patent number: 7612315
    Abstract: An apparatus for cooking foods comprises a cooking chamber provided with humidity-detecting device arranged in such a way as to detect the humidity in said cooking chamber, wherein said humidity-detecting device comprises a capacitive sensor; a system for controlling the humidity in a chamber for cooking foods comprises a humidity detecting device provided with a capacitive sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Angelo Po' Grandi Cucine -- Societa' per Azioni
    Inventor: Franco Corradini
  • Patent number: 7567183
    Abstract: A system for sensing environmental conditions on a window assembly. The system includes a transparent panel and a sensor integrated onto the panel. The sensor being configured to sense environmental changes on the panel. The sensor may comprise conductive inks that are printed onto the window assembly. The window assembly may comprise a plastic panel, such as a multilayer polycarbonate panel such that a portion of the sensor may be located on the one layer of the panel while another portion of the sensor overlaps the first portion on a second layer of the window. The sensor may be a resistive or capacitive sensor and may be configured to detect changes in one or more environmental conditions, such as temperature or moisture. Further, the sensor may be in electrical communication with a controller configured for control various vehicle subsystems based on the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2009
    Assignee: Exatec LLC
    Inventor: Robert Schwenke
  • Patent number: 7516002
    Abstract: A system and/or method for sensing the presence of moisture (e.g., rain) and/or other material(s) on a window such as a vehicle window (e.g., vehicle windshield or backlite). In certain example embodiments, a capacitor-based system and/or method is provided for auto-correlating sensor data to determine the existence of a material on the window, and then cross-correlating sensor data to identify the type and/or amount of that material (e.g., rain). This data may be used to actuate and/or deactivate a vehicle's wiper(s), and/or adjust wiper speed. In certain example embodiments, the sensor may include an array of at least two capacitors. In certain example embodiments, the system and/or method may perform check(s) to enhance the accuracy of the detection by comparing, for example, the sign of autocorrelation values, maximum autocorrelation values, and/or gradients of autocorrelation values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2009
    Assignee: Guardian Industries Corp.
    Inventor: Vijayen S. Veerasamy
  • Patent number: 7432725
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides several systems. In general, it provides E-field sensor systems that utilize at least one electrode 100 adapted for creating an E-field in an area 210 within a detection volume where fluid presence 400 or presence of a solid body 300 is to be detected. The electrical field sensor is configured to generate a detected signal responsive to a change in capacitance of the electric field, and is communicatively coupled to the electrode 100. In addition, a processor 275 is configured to determine a quantitative measure of a fluid or solid body within the detection volume in accordance with a capacitive relationship with the detection volume. Described are examples of the system for fluid presence detection, fluid level measurement and measurement of proximity to a solid object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2008
  • Patent number: 7375633
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for testing the health of each of a plurality of RFID transponders is provided. The apparatus includes an antenna support assembly including an antenna support body and an antenna coupled to a surface of the antenna support body, the antenna including at least a receiver portion and a connection portion. The apparatus also includes a holder coupled to the antenna support body configured to retain the antenna support proximate a path of a plurality of transponders.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Assignee: Smurfit-Stone Container Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Kenneth Shanton
  • Publication number: 20080088321
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for directly measuring the ice fraction in an ice slurry. Spaced electrodes measure the electrical property of the slurry, such as capacitance across the electrodes, or alternatively conductance or other electrical characteristics. That signal is then translated into an ice fraction by a microprocessor or controller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2007
    Publication date: April 17, 2008
    Inventors: Yi Zheng, Ulrich Fink, Umer A. Qureshi
  • Patent number: 7282927
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for measurement of capacitance by use of an adaptive input-cell circuitry, part of a configurable electronic controller, or generally by a computer controlled adaptive input-cell. The input-cell comprises a comparator, two transistor switches and resistor networks, respectively connected to the comparator and two switches. The input-cell receives control signals to the transistor switches and a synchronization waveform input from the configurable electronic controller or computer. The input-cell measures the capacitance connected at its input or alternatively the self-capacitance of an open conductor. The input-cell converts the input signal parameters into time-based signals, which cumulative count are related to the value of the measured capacitance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2007
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Vitaly Burkatovsky
  • Patent number: 7259575
    Abstract: A method for determining a fuel-dilution condition of a lubricant used in transportation and industrial equipment. The method uses apparatus that applies a high frequency and optionally a low frequency oscillating signal to electrodes immersed in the fluid and quantifies fluid response to the signals. Apparatus can further include means to control the lubricant temperature, or a temperature sensor to monitor the lubricant temperature at the electrodes. The method monitors response of the lubricant to the applied electrical signals and determines ratios of lubricant properties. The high-frequency lubricant property ratio or change of high frequency lubricant property as a function of a lubricant use-measure is compared to a predicted ratio based on lubricant use and an estimate of the lubricant's fuel dilution determined. The optional low-frequency lubricant property ratio is compared to thresholds to determine when the lubricant loses the ability to control fuel dilution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2007
    Assignee: The Lubrizol Corporation
    Inventors: Vadim F. Lvovich, Frederick P. Boyle
  • Patent number: 7250775
    Abstract: Microfluidic devices and methods that use electrical admittance as the basis for measuring flow rate of fluids and/or for distinguishing (e.g., characterizing, sorting, separation, etc.) different particles, chemical compositions or biospecies (e.g., different cells, cells containing different substances, different particles, different chemical compositions, etc.).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2007
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: John Collins, Abraham Lee
  • Patent number: 7205780
    Abstract: A method and a system is provided that includes a multifrequency generator supplying signals of at least three different frequencies to an electrode assembly, the capacitance of which is detected for a plurality of different frequency points. In this way, the capacitance of the electrode assembly, which is influenced by a substance present in the vicinity of the electrode assembly, may be reliably identified. Preferably, the conditions of a road surface may be reliably monitored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2007
    Assignee: Fondazione Torino Wireless
    Inventors: Eros Pasero, Marco Riccardi, Tassilo B. Meindl
  • Patent number: 7180305
    Abstract: A technique for operating a sensor system is provided. The method includes exciting a first sensor with a first excitation signal at a first frequency and exciting a second sensor with a second excitation signal at a second frequency. The technique also includes combining a first measurement signal generated from the first sensor with a second measurement signal generated from the second sensor to determine a sensed parameter. The technique may be employed for reducing crosstalk between closely proximate sensors, such as capacitive probes, and may serve to determine distances within operating machines, such as turbine systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2007
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Emad Andarawis Andarawis, James Anthony Ruud, Samhita Dasgupta, Mahadevan Balasubramaniam, Charles Rickards
  • Patent number: 7149633
    Abstract: A method of estimating the displaced size of a knot in a lumber piece includes the steps of: translating the lumber piece downstream along a flow path between a radiation source and sensor while simultaneously irradiating the lumber piece with radiation from the first radiation source whereby the radiation is attenuated by the lumber piece; collecting a set of radiation intensity data from the radiation sensor as the lumber piece is irradiated; processing the set of radiation intensity data to sum the radiation intensity data and to provide radiation intensity profiles transversely of the flow path direction and corresponding density profiles transversely of the flow path direction; mapping the density profiles to model a set of three dimensional density profiles of the lumber piece; processing the radiation intensity data to determine a clear wood density threshold value for the lumber piece and a maximum density value of the density profiles; and, computing a ratio of the summed density profile values to th
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2006
    Assignee: Coe Newnes/McGettee Inc.
    Inventors: Steve Woods, Ron Lahoda, Jacek M. Biernacki, Carl Flatman
  • Patent number: 7126352
    Abstract: In a method and device for determining the moisture content and conductivity in the ground and in bulk materials, a capacitive sensor is disposed in the ground or the bulk material, the sensor is charged from a constant external voltage supply with a given initial current from a given first voltage threshold value to a given second voltage threshold value and either a voltage/time diagram is determined or a first charging time required for charging the sensor from the first to the second voltage threshold values by the constant external voltage supply is determined and a second charging time is determined wherein either the initial current and/or at least one of the two voltage threshold values are altered and the water content and the conductivity are determined by verification of the two charging times or of the voltage/time diagram.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Assignee: GSF - Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit GmbH
    Inventor: Ruth Bernhard
  • Patent number: 7023221
    Abstract: The present invention offers an object proximity detector and an object position detector. The variation of frequency of an oscillator is used to detect the proximity of an object to the sensor plates. The dependence of frequency on process parameter is minimized by a compensation capacitor. It is not need to calibrate the product during the manufacture. In order to magnify the sensitivity, the sensor plates are placed in the feedback loop of the oscillator, instead of at the input of the oscillator. The independence of the process parameter and increasing of the sensitivity can be achieved by adding the compensation capacitor and place the sensor plates in the feedback loop at the same time. Multiple transmission gates are connected to the input and the output of the oscillator, and the sensor plates are connected to the transmission gates to form an object position detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2006
    Assignee: Holylite Microectronics Corporation
    Inventor: Shyuh Der Lin
  • Patent number: 6989755
    Abstract: A signal transmitting apparatus which makes exchanging information when pouring a liquid possible. A container body 201 of a transmitter side container 20 holds an electrically conductive liquid 402. A display 306 for confirming data reception is attached to a container body 211 of a receiver side container 21. The container body 201 and the container body 211 are electrically connected at a predetermined impedance by the liquid 402. Because digital data is modulated by a carrier of approximately 10 MHz, an electromagnetic field is generated. In particular, a return line 404 due to an electromagnetic near field is generated, and communications from the transmitter side container 20 to the receiver side container 21 becomes possible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2006
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Nobuyuki Matsushita, Shigeru Tajima, Yuji Ayatsuka, Tota Hasegawa, Hidenori Karasawa, Eduardo Agusto Sciammarella, Junichi Rekimoto