To Determine Water Content Patents (Class 324/689)
  • Patent number: 10161895
    Abstract: Moisture sensors that include a resonant circuit having a capacitive element and an inductive element, wherein the inductive element acts as an antenna; a conditionally conductive polymeric layer, wherein the conditionally conductive polymeric layer has a first level of conductivity when exposed to a first set of moisture conditions and has a second level of conductivity when exposed to a second set of moisture conditions; and an insulative layer disposed between the resonant circuit and the conditionally conductive polymeric layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: 3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES COMPANY
    Inventors: G. Marco Bommarito, Justin M. Johnson, Kevin D. Landgrebe
  • Patent number: 10126288
    Abstract: A sensor device includes a housing having a hole allowing substances to pass from an exterior of the housing to an interior of the housing, and a printed circuit board having a humidity sensor and at least one electronic component. The sensor device also includes a tube comprising a waterproof material, wherein a first end of the tube surrounds the humidity sensor, wherein a first seal is formed by between the first end of the tube and the printed circuit board, wherein a second end of the tube is located proximate the hole. The sensor device also includes a waterproof, breathable material layer disposed between the second end of the tube and the hole, wherein a second seal is formed between the material layer and the housing, wherein a third seal is formed between the material layer and the second end of the tube. The hole and the material layer allow water vapor to pass from the exterior to the humidity sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: QUIPIP, LLC
    Inventors: Farrokh F. Radjy, Anousha Radjy
  • Patent number: 9947207
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for detecting an obstructed surface are provided. The apparatus includes: at least one memory comprising computer executable instructions; and at least one processor configured to read and execute the computer executable instructions. The computer executable instructions cause the at least one processor to: detect a current draw from a generator; determine that a surface including a conductive coating is obstructed in response to the current draw being greater than a predetermined threshold; and output a signal to perform a function in response to determining that the surface is obstructed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Alarcon, Christian Kuss, Tomer Noyhouzer, Janine Mauzeroll
  • Patent number: 9795082
    Abstract: An agricultural working machine embodying a combine harvester for processing crop includes an intake conveyor mechanism for picking up the crop, a moisture content sensor arrangement for measuring a moisture content of the picked-up crop and generating a crop moisture signal based on the measured moisture content. A throughput sensor arrangement, preferably a layer thickness sensor arrangement, determines a throughput quantity of the picked-up crop. The crop moisture content signal is corrected on a basis of the throughput quantity that is determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: CLAAS Selbstfahrende Erntemaschinen GmbH
    Inventors: Rene Middelberg, Markus Brune, Frank Claussen, Norbert Diekhans
  • Patent number: 9316481
    Abstract: Disclosed are a sensor for measuring a tilt angle based on electronic textile according to the present invention and a method thereof. A sensor for measuring a tilt angle based on electronic textile according to the present invention includes a plurality of textile electrodes disposed at predetermined uniform intervals on a textile surface; a textile conductive wire of which one end is connected to a center between the plurality of textile electrodes; and a metal bead connected to another end of the textile conductive wire to thereby be connected to the textile surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignees: ELECTRONICS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH INSTITUTE, GEORGIA TECH RESEARCH CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hyung Sun Lee, Hyung Cheol Shin, Thad E. Starner, Scott M. Gilliland, Clint Zeagler
  • Patent number: 9207260
    Abstract: The present invention provides a probe block, which comprises 1) a conductive base on which a first groove is formed, 2) a pair of signal transmitting probes which have dielectric covers and are placed parallel to each other in the first groove, and 3) a ground probe which is in contact with the conductive base, wherein front portions of the signal transmitting probes and the ground probe protrude from the conductive base to form signal transmitting probe needles and a ground probe needle, respectively. The probe block of the present invention has excellent high frequency responses characteristics and is easy for maintenance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: KABUSHIKI KAISHA NIHON MICRONICS
    Inventors: Takashi Ogasawara, Norie Yamaguchi
  • Publication number: 20140210492
    Abstract: A moisture meter for determining the moisture content of particulate material is provided. The moisture meter comprises a frame part, a space, a measuring cup disposed within said space for receiving a sample of the particulate material which moisture is to be measured, and moisture measuring means. The moisture meter comprises a swiping means for removing at least partly a part of a sample of particulate material which moisture is to be measured, which part of the sample of particulate material extends out of the inner space of the measuring cup through the open end of the measuring cup. The swiping means are movably attached to the frame part for movement in a swiping path where a swiping member of the swiping means is configured to move essentially along the open end of the measuring cup.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Applicant: Agratronix LLC
    Inventors: Janne Kivijarvi, Jere Keskiaho, Johannes Hyrsky
  • Patent number: 8707781
    Abstract: A sensor senses a magnitude of a physical parameter of the sensor's environment. The sensor has first and second electrodes, and a material layer between them. The material has an electrical property, e.g., capacitance or resistance, whose value depends on the magnitude of the physical parameter. The first electrode is formed in a first layer, and the second electrode is formed in a second layer, different from the first layer. The first layer has a trench and an elevation next to the trench. The trench has a bottom wall and a side wall. The material is positioned on the bottom wall and on the side wall and on top of the elevation. The trench accommodates at least a part of the second electrode. The second electrode leaves exposed the material formed on top of the elevation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2014
    Assignee: NXP, B.V.
    Inventors: Aurelie Humbert, Matthias Merz
  • Patent number: 8587327
    Abstract: A device for use with a conduit having a first conduit end and a conduit second end, into which conduit a cable can be installed using a flow of air into the first conduit end, the device being suitable for confirming that the air is flowing out from the second conduit end. In an embodiment, the device includes a housing, means to enable connection of the device to the second conduit end, a detector arranged to detect an electrical property change, and an actuator for causing an electrical property change detectable by the detector, wherein in use, the air flowing into the device causes the detector and the actuator to move relative to each other, causing an electrical property change detectable by the detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: British Telecommunications Public Limited Company
    Inventors: David John Taylor Heatley, Philip Alfred Barker, Ian Neild
  • Patent number: 8421486
    Abstract: An oil-degradation detecting apparatus that can more accurately judge oil degradation and a mechanical system having a rotating part or a sliding part and including the oil-degradation detecting apparatus are provided. Two plates (21, 22) are disposed in an oil flow path (11) so as to be parallel to each other, an ammeter (24) measures a current that flows when an AC voltage is applied between the two plates (21, 22), a voltmeter measures the voltage between the plates (21, 22), and a signal processor (processor) (31) determines the electrical conductivity and the dielectric constant of the oil (10) based on the measurement results from the ammeter (24) and the voltmeter (25) and judges degradation of the oil (10) based on the electrical conductivity and the dielectric constant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yo Akiyama, Akihiko Yano, Junichi Kaga, Yoshihiro Deguchi, Taketoshi Yamaura
  • Publication number: 20120286813
    Abstract: A system, controller, and method for detecting moisture on a windshield that uses an isolated electrode coupled to a windshield. The isolated electrode is configured to exhibit an electrical impedance indicative of moisture present on a surface the windshield. The controller is configured to determine an electrode impedance value corresponding to the electrical impedance exhibited by the isolated electrode for detecting moisture on the windshield. By using an isolated electrode, the system is simpler and less expensive than other systems that have at least one electrode providing a return path for another electrode. Also, a way to use the isolated electrode for both detecting moisture on the windshield, and heating the windshield is described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 12, 2011
    Publication date: November 15, 2012
    Inventors: MORGAN D. MURPHY, DUANE D. FORTUNE, KEVIN D. KINCAID
  • Patent number: 8305091
    Abstract: A method for determining the moisture content of wood (1), including the operating steps of inserting the wood (1) between a first plate and a second plate (3) of a capacitor (4); applying a first signal to the first plate (2) of the capacitor (4) using the plate as a transmitting antenna; detecting on the second plate (3) a second signal induced by the first signal, using the second plate (3) as a receiving antenna; determining from the second induced signal detected, a third reference signal, obtaining a differential signal; determining the components of the differential in phase and in quadrature signals from the first signal; filtering the components of the differential in phase and in quadrature signals to obtain a filtered in phase component and a filtered in quadrature component, which are independent of the frequency of the first signal; and calculating the moisture content of wood (1) based on the value of the filtered in phase and in quadrature components of the differential signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: Microtec S.R.L.
    Inventors: Marco Boschetti, Andrea Gottardo
  • Patent number: 8299808
    Abstract: Apparatuses and systems for emulating electrical characteristics of a material having a known dielectric response are disclosed for standardizing and calibrating of electromagnetic devices. The emulator apparatus can include an electrically non-conductive layer having a dielectric constant less than the material dielectric constant and an electrically conductive layer adjacent the non-conductive layer. Artificial dielectrics for emulating the dielectric response of a material are also disclosed including a substrate matrix having a dielectric constant less than the material dielectric constant and an additive combined with the substrate, the additive having a dielectric constant higher than the material dielectric constant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Troxler Electronic Laboratories Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Ernest Troxler
  • Publication number: 20120136597
    Abstract: A contact-type object water content sensing device and method and a computer program product are presented. The device includes a power unit, a sensing unit, and an calculating unit. The sensing unit includes a substrate and a copper foil, and the copper foil is configured on the substrate. The sensing unit is used to contact a target object and a power unit is used to supply power to the copper foil. The copper foil when supplied with power forms an equivalent capacitor, and the equivalent capacitor has different capacitances in correspondence to a water content of the target object. The calculating unit is electrically connected to the sensing unit and is used to analyze the capacitance of the equivalent capacitor, so as to calculate the water content of the target object.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2010
    Publication date: May 31, 2012
    Inventor: Chien-Der LIN
  • Publication number: 20120126026
    Abstract: An advanced landscape irrigation control system that integrates a soil moisture probe with a timer-based controller which can be used to directly control a single irrigation zone without need for a separate timer-based controller. The invention is equally capable of being installed as a soil moisture sensor that operates under the control of a traditional timer-based controller. The moisture probe and system disclosed in this invention is fully buried in the soil and electrically connected to the water solenoid-valve(s), measuring temperature and soil moisture content using a capacitive-based probe in determining water solenoid-valve(s) operation. The device has no user settings and requires no calibration, including determining optimal soil moisture content by a unique method of recognizing soil signatures, or the unique electrical response of soils to water.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 24, 2010
    Publication date: May 24, 2012
    Inventor: Steven Ernest Sparks
  • Patent number: 8116864
    Abstract: An apparatus and techniques for determining whether a medical electrode, such as a defibrillation electrode coupled to an automated external defibrillator, is in a condition for replacement. The determination can be made as a function of one or more data. In one exemplary embodiment, the determination is a function of one or more measurements of an impedance of a hydrogel bridge in a test module. In another exemplary embodiment, the determination is a function of one or more environmental condition data from one or more environmental sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: Physio-Control, Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin K. Covey, Thomas J. McGrath, Joseph L. Sullivan, Larry R. Nygaard, Richard C. Nova
  • Patent number: 8030949
    Abstract: In a method for capacitive determination of the moisture content in a gas to be measured, it is provided that a capacitive element (2) brought into contact with a gas to be measured is operated in the manner of an RC oscillator (5) in charge-discharge cycles (27, 28), with the moisture content of the gas to be measured being determined from the time duration of a cycle. To assess measurement errors brought about by contaminants or aging effects, a measure for the time duration of a charging process (27) and a discharging process (28) is determined from output signal (26) of RC oscillator (5) and is processed with the measurement signal for the moisture content into a corrected measurement signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2011
    Assignee: Testo AG
    Inventor: Meinrad Götz
  • Patent number: 8030950
    Abstract: A method of measuring the capacitance of a capacitive component (21), whereby a digital bridge with two measuring branches generates a first signal (B1) defined by a train of measuring pulses (M) having a frequency (f1) related to the unknown capacitance being measured, and a second signal (B2) defined by a train of reference pulses (L) having a frequency (f2) related to a reference capacitance (CREF) of known value. The time difference (?T) between the times (T1, T2) taken by the two measuring branches of the digital bridge to generate an equal number of pulses (Th1, Th2) is calculated. The capacitance difference (?C) between the unknown capacitance and the reference capacitance (CREF) is determined as a function of the time difference (?T). The unknown capacitance of the capacitive component (21) is calculated on the basis of the reference capacitance (CREF) and the capacitance difference (?C).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2011
    Assignee: Electrolux Home Products Corporation N.V.
    Inventor: Andrei Uhov
  • Patent number: 8005552
    Abstract: The invention presents an apparatus and techniques for determining whether a medical electrode, such as a defibrillation electrode coupled to an automated external defibrillator, is in a condition for replacement. The determination can be made as a function of one or more data. In one exemplary embodiment, the determination is a function of one or more measurements of an impedance of a hydrogel bridge in a test module. In another exemplary embodiment, the determination is a function of one or more environmental condition data from one or more environmental sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2011
    Assignee: Physio-Control, Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin K. Covey, Thomas J. McGrath, Joseph L. Sullivan, Larry R. Nygaard, Richard C. Nova
  • Patent number: 7924028
    Abstract: A method and system for adjusting characteristics of a relative humidity sensor in order to achieve a desired value of accuracy is presented. A relative humidity sensor charge balance circuit includes a series of sensing capacitors Cx1, Cx2 including a thin porous platinum top plate, a humidity sensitive polyimide dielectric, and two metal bottom plates on a semiconductor substrate; and two fixed oxide capacitances Cref, and C0. Changes in humidity affect the humidity sensitive dielectric thereby causing changes in the sensing capacitive value of the capacitive circuit. The charge in the sensing capacitor and the fixed capacitor C0 can be controlled separately by adjusting and/or trimming the supply voltage using a voltage trimmer; thereby the slope and offset of the relative humidity sensor circuit can be modified and controlled to particular desired values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Yousef Alimi, Richard Alan Davis
  • Publication number: 20110050257
    Abstract: A moisture meter (1) has an elongate probe (3) supporting at least one pair of electrodes (5, 6), and being configured for insertion into bulk material (C). There is a transmitter (50) for driving an electrode (5, 6) and a detector (51) for receiving current signals of an electrode. A controller (54) controls drive of the electrodes (5, 6) and processes detected signals to provide a moisture reading. There are at least two axially separated radial spacers (7, 8) having ridges (30) extending radially to an extent greater than the electrodes, to centralise the probe and to provide a gap between the electrodes and bulk material when the probe is inserted in a hole (H) in the bulk material. The spacers (7, 8) are configured to provide a low friction fit within a hole in the bulk material. There is a leading spacer (7) on a leading side of a first electrode (5) and a trailing spacer (8) at a trailing side of a second electrode (6).
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 23, 2010
    Publication date: March 3, 2011
    Inventors: John Ashworth, John Fallon, James McIlroy
  • Patent number: 7884620
    Abstract: A sensor for measuring the moisture and salinity of a material is disclosed herein. The sensor preferably includes a soil moisture circuit, a soil salinity circuit and a probe structure. The soil moisture circuit includes a high frequency oscillator, a voltage meter and a reference capacitor. The soil salinity circuit includes a low frequency oscillator, a voltage meter and a reference resistor. A third voltage meter allows for voltage outputs to be measured to calculate soil moisture and soil salinity values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2011
    Assignee: Green Badge, LLC
    Inventor: Jeffrey Campbell
  • Patent number: 7849028
    Abstract: A method and system is provided for analyzing a package having components. The package may include electrical or computer components. The method and system uses a computer program to receive inputted data and extract data from files. The computer program also selects the best sub-program to analyze the data to compute the parameters for packaging the components and designing the package, and displays the results of the analysis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2010
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Barry J. Rubin
  • Patent number: 7710128
    Abstract: A humidity sensor apparatus and method of forming the same. A substrate can be provided upon which a plurality of humidity sensing components are disposed to form a humidity sensor thereof. Each humidity sensing component generally includes an associated particular parasitic capacitance. This parasitic capacitance is utilized to reduce and/or control a sensitivity and a total capacitance value associated with the humidity sensor without increasing a size of the humidity sensor and/or humidity sensor components (e.g., capacitors).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2010
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Yousef M. Alimi, Richard A. Davis
  • Patent number: 7705614
    Abstract: Apparatuses and systems for emulating electrical characteristics of a material having a known dielectric constant are disclosed for standardizing and calibrating of electromagnetic devices. The emulator apparatus can include an electrically non-conductive layer having a dielectric constant less than the material dielectric constant and an electrically conductive layer adjacent the non-conductive layer. Artificial dielectrics for emulating the dielectric constant of a material are also disclosed including a substrate matrix having a dielectric constant less than the material dielectric constant and an additive combined with the substrate, the additive having a dielectric constant higher than the material dielectric constant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2010
    Assignee: Troxler Electronic Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Ernest Troxler, Wewage Hiran Linus Dep
  • Patent number: 7683636
    Abstract: An improved relative humidity sensor apparatus that provides a more accurate measurement of humidity in the presence of water condensation. A series capacitive sensor includes a thin porous platinum top plate, a humidity sensitive polyimide dielectric, and two metal bottom plates on a semiconductor substrate. The two capacitors can be wired in series such that the metal bottom plates form independent, electrically driven connections. The thin top layer can form a top plate. Changes in humidity affect the humidity sensitive dielectric thereby causing changes in the capacitive value. A P-well layer and a P-plus layer can be added at the perimeter of the substrate to create a path for a parasitic capacitance caused by water condensation to connect to one or more connection nodes, thereby preventing erroneous measurements of humidity in the presence of water condensation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2010
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Yousef M. Alimi, Richard A. Davis
  • Publication number: 20100032498
    Abstract: An apparatus for marking a bale of bulk material, such as a bale of fodder having a frame defining a gap through which passes the baled material. A marking system, typically comprising of at least one spray can operates to mark the bale. One specific use of the invention is where the moisture of a bale of fodder is measured and if it exceeds a predetermined level the bale is sprayed with a can of spray paint to indicate to a person that the moisture content of the bale is higher then a set threshold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 7, 2008
    Publication date: February 11, 2010
    Applicant: SIPCO PTY LTD
    Inventors: RICHARD KINGSWOOD KELLY, RAYMOND CHARLES WILLIAMS
  • 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: 7574899
    Abstract: A contaminant detector disposed within a base fluid for detecting the presence of a contaminating fluid includes a conductive core, a conductive sensor probe extending from the core in non-conductive relation, and a circuit board within the core. The circuit board is electrically connected to the sensor probe and electrically insulated from the core. Electrical power applied to the core creates a closed field loop for measuring the localized capacitance of the base fluid. When sufficient contaminating fluid exists in the base fluid to change the localized capacitance, an alarm is sounded to indicate the presence of the contaminating fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2009
    Assignee: Argo-Tech Corporation Costa Mesa
    Inventors: Bruce Ross Minott, Tak-Yiu Wong, Timothy Allen Dalton
  • Patent number: 7562832
    Abstract: An absolute moisture sensor is coupled to a controller circuit with the combination being integrated into a single device as a moisture-activated switch. The resultant switch is coupled in series with a power control line of a moisture-controlling device and can be placed within the medium for which moisture is to be controlled. In one typical use, the switch is buried in soil for control of valves that supply irrigation water. Since the moisture sensor is selected to provide an absolute reading of moisture, the switch programs itself when power from an external source is first applied. A communication protocol provides for readout of sensor values and allows for a remote reset of the controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2009
    Assignee: Technical Development Consultants, Inc.
    Inventor: Scott K. Anderson
  • Patent number: 7535237
    Abstract: A sensor for measuring the moisture and salinity of a material is disclosed herein. The sensor preferably includes a soil moisture circuit, a soil salinity circuit and a probe structure. The soil moisture circuit includes a high frequency oscillator, a voltage meter and a reference capacitor. The soil salinity circuit includes a low frequency oscillator, a voltage meter and a reference resistor. A third voltage meter allows for voltage outputs to be measured to calculate soil moisture and soil salinity values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2009
    Assignee: Advanced Sensor Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey Campbell
  • Patent number: 7526345
    Abstract: The invention presents an apparatus and techniques for determining whether a medical electrode, such as a defibrillation electrode coupled to an automated external defibrillator, is in a condition for replacement. The determination can be made as a function of one or more data. In one exemplary embodiment, the determination is a function of one or more measurements of an impedance of a hydrogel bridge in a test module. In another exemplary embodiment, the determination is a function of one or more environmental condition data from one or more environmental sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2009
    Assignee: Medtronic Emergency Response Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin K. Covey, Thomas J. McGrath, Joseph L. Sullivan, Larry R. Nygaard, Richard C. Nova
  • Patent number: 7482820
    Abstract: A sensor for measuring the moisture and salinity of a material is disclosed herein. The sensor preferably includes a soil moisture circuit, a soil salinity circuit and a probe structure. The soil moisture circuit includes a high frequency oscillator, a voltage meter and a reference capacitor. The soil salinity circuit includes a low frequency oscillator, a voltage meter and a reference resistor. A third voltage meter allows for voltage outputs to be measured to calculate soil moisture and soil salinity values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2009
    Assignee: Advanced Sensor Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey Campbell
  • Patent number: 7474105
    Abstract: Soil moisture sensor systems and methods are disclosed. An exemplary soil moisture sensor system includes a sensor configured to receive soil between parallel plates. A capacitive measurement circuit is operatively associated with the parallel sensor. A processor receives input from the capacitive measurement circuit. The processor determines moisture content of the soil between the parallel plates of the sensor based on the flowing relationship: C = LH d ? ? 0 ? ? r where L is the length of the sensor, H is the height of the sensor, and d is the separation between the parallel plates of the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2009
    Assignee: Colorado Vnet, LLC
    Inventor: John McDermid
  • Patent number: 7471093
    Abstract: A capacitive humidity sensor includes a detecting portion and a reference portion. The detecting portion includes a first sensor element, and a capacitance of the first sensor element varies in accordance with humidity. The reference portion includes a second sensor element and a capacitor. The second sensor element is connected to the first sensor element in series, and a capacitance of the second sensor element varies in accordance with the humidity. The capacitor has a constant capacitance relative to a humidity variation. The first sensor element has a gradient of a capacitance variation to the humidity variation, which is different from a gradient of the second sensor element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2008
    Assignee: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Naoki Arisaka
  • Publication number: 20080238449
    Abstract: A fluid sensor detects property of fluid by dipping the sensor in the fluid. The sensor includes: a semiconductor substrate; and a comb-teeth electrode made of a first diffusion layer and disposed on a first surface of the substrate. Although the comb-teeth electrode is capable of directly contacting the fluid without a protection film, corrosion resistance of the sensor against the fluid is improved. Further, since the sensor has no protection film, the sensor can detect the property accurately.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2008
    Publication date: October 2, 2008
    Applicant: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Atsuo Shizu, Yasuaki Makino, Takahiko Yoshida, Tetsuo Yoshioka, Kenji Fukumura
  • Publication number: 20080222827
    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, sunroof or backlite). In certain example embodiments, a plurality of sensing capacitors are supported by a window such as a vehicle windshield, the capacitors each having a different field and/or pattern. A sensing circuit outputs an analog signal that is based on and/or related to the capacitances of one or more of the sensing capacitors. In certain example embodiments, a flexible printed circuit board (PCB) mountable in or on a vehicle window is provided. First and second sensing circuits are formed on opposing sides of the flexible PCB, with each said sensing circuit comprising a plurality of different fractal structures.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2008
    Publication date: September 18, 2008
    Applicant: Guardian Industries Corp.
    Inventor: Vijayen S. Veerasamy
  • Patent number: 7408364
    Abstract: A sensor for measuring the moisture and salinity of a material is disclosed herein. The sensor preferably includes a soil moisture circuit, a soil salinity circuit and a probe structure. The soil moisture circuit includes a high frequency oscillator, a voltage meter and a reference capacitor. The soil salinity circuit includes a low frequency oscillator, a voltage meter and a reference resistor. A third voltage meter allows for voltage outputs to be measured to calculate soil moisture and soil salinity values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2008
    Assignee: Advanced Sensor Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey Campbell
  • Publication number: 20080061802
    Abstract: A humidity sensor apparatus and method of forming the same. A substrate can be provided upon which a plurality of humidity sensing components are disposed to form a humidity sensor thereof. Each humidity sensing component generally includes an associated particular parasitic capacitance. This parasitic capacitance is utilized to reduce and/or control a sensitivity and a total capacitance value associated with the humidity sensor without increasing a size of the humidity sensor and/or humidity sensor components (e.g., capacitors).
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 9, 2006
    Publication date: March 13, 2008
    Inventors: Yousef M. Alimi, Richard A. Davis
  • Patent number: 7311816
    Abstract: A device for determining the residual liquid content of solids cakes in a centrifuge basket. The device includes two electrodes protruding through a wall of the basket and into the solids cake; a conductivity or capacitance measuring device (13) measuring the conductivity of the solids cake between the electrodes; and evaluation and control units contactlessly receiving data from the measuring device to affect the operation of the centrifuge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2007
    Assignee: Bayer Technology Services GmbH
    Inventors: Ruth Kessler, Karl Helmut Berg, Karl-Gustav Pattberg, Werner Dick
  • Patent number: 7205779
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for determining and monitoring the moisture content of an elastomer material used as a closure or stopper for containers holding lyophilized pharmaceutical products, comprising a parallel capacitance circuit formed by supplying a source of AC voltage to a reference elastomer closure and a sample elastomer closure. The capacitance of the sample elastomer closure is measured and compared with the capacitance of the reference elastomer closure. The difference in capacitances of the sample elastomer closure and the reference elastomer closure allow the absorbed moisture content of the sample closure to be determined or monitored. The method does not require destruction of the sample elastomer closure, and can be used to rapidly determine moisture content under normal storage conditions or at elevated or lower temperatures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2007
    Inventor: Thomas A. Jennings
  • Patent number: 7176700
    Abstract: A moisture sensor device includes a sensor portion having a capacitance that is varied in accordance with surrounding humidity, a signal processor for processing a detection signal of the sensor portion and outputting the signal corresponding to the humidity, a heating portion for heating the sensor portion, and a controller for controlling heating of the heating portion so that the capacitance of the sensor portion is substantially equal to a value under predetermined humidity at least during a self-diagnosis period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Assignees: Denso Corporation, Nippon Soken, Inc.
    Inventors: Toshikazu Itakura, Toshiki Isogai
  • Patent number: 7170302
    Abstract: A capacitive soil moisture sensor that is easy to install, does not require complex calibration, can sense moisture at a particular depth, can accommodate soils of different composition, does not alter soil densities, provides fast response to changes in moisture and provides stable long term use. The sensor comprising of a body (10) onto which is attached a plurality of first electrode (20) and a plurality of second electrode (30). A plurality of protective layer (50) of low dielectric constant material is applied over the electrodes and against the body (10) to provide a physical barrier to prevent a conduction path from the first electrode (20) to the second electrode (30) and to provide protection against physical damage. The first and second electrodes (20), (30), once inserted into the soil, forms a capacitor with the soil as the dielectric. A change in soil moisture causes the capacitance of the sensor to change.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2007
    Inventor: Fu Ching Lee
  • Patent number: 7151381
    Abstract: A grain moisture meter has a test cell for containing a sample of the particulate material to be tested. A single oscillator includes a variable frequency tuned circuit including the test cell as a capacitor, a calibrated variable standard capacitor, a calibrating capacitor and a variable trimming capacitor. A frequency monitor generates DC voltage outputs of opposite polarity according to whether the output frequency of the oscillator is greater than or less than the selected frequency and displays the frequency difference as zero when the circuit is tuned. The calibrating capacitor is operator adjustable and a fixed reference capacitor and a reference number are provided to allow the operator to set the calibrating capacitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2006
    Inventor: William D. Fraser
  • Patent number: 7145350
    Abstract: A process is disclosed for evaluating a measuring device comprising a capacitor (CM), with stages for charging the capacitor (CM) over an initial charging period (tk1, tk2) and for determining the capacitance charge as an initial measured value (tml). To determine a measuring condition that changes a normal state of the capacitance, e.g., moist as opposed to dry surroundings for the measuring cell, the process exhibits the following additional steps: charging the capacitance (CM) over a second charging period (tk2), which differs from the first charging period (tk1); determining the charge of the capacitance (CM) as a second measured value (tm2); and comparing the first and second measured values (tk1, tk2) to establish the comparative result.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2006
    Assignee: Vega Grieshaber KG
    Inventors: Martin Mellert, Jürgen Fichter, Herbert Auber
  • Patent number: 7129713
    Abstract: A moisture sensing apparatus includes an oscillator for supplying an AC signal to a driven ring of a sensor having a pad inside the ring, and a ground plate around the ring. An amplifier forms part of a temperature-compensated, precision rectifier, and is connected to the pad. A first diode connected to the output of the amplifier in a feedback loop of the amplifier, where the amplifier nullifies temperature variation effects upon the diode, and supplies a rectified signal which is a function of moisture content of material in contact with the sensor. A second diodes is connected between the amplifier output and other input of the amplifier. The sensor has a rounded configuration to avoid electrostatic field fringing effects, and a passive impedance with both resistive and capacitive members is connected in parallel with the sensor to provide a functional baseline for the rectified signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: Delmhorst Instrument Co.
    Inventor: Bernard Roy Katz
  • Patent number: 7087019
    Abstract: An apparatus for testing skin moisture including a casing, a fixed base at the front end of the casing, at least one through hole on the fixed base, a hollow cylindrical metal electrode with a closed end passing through the through hole, and an electrically conductive elastic member in the electrode. The elastic member pressing between the electrode on a first end and is fixed to the casing at a second end. The casing has a correction resistor coupled in parallel with the elastic member. The correction resistor is coupled to a micro alternate current generator, and an alternate current resistance measuring circuit is coupled to a CPU single-chip microprocessor. A measured value of resistance is compared with a predetermined value stored in a memory by a CPU single-chip microprocessor, the result of the comparison is displayed by a display device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Inventor: Han-Chin Kao
  • Patent number: 7063270
    Abstract: Irrigation systems, moisture sensors and related methods having a sensor embedded in the ground to sense moisture and help control watering. The sensor is responsive to capacitance changes from ground moisture variations. The sensor uses spaced insulated electrodes which are mounted within a granular filled chamber within a water-permeable shell. The sensor is mounted as part of a ground unit that also includes a high frequency driver that excites the sensor. The ground unit further has a detector circuit which produces a moisture indicating signal based on the capacitance which varies with ground moisture. Also disclosed are controllers that electrically isolate the ground units so that reliable moisture signals can be obtained and used to control irrigation. The controllers can be configured to provide multiple zone operation using a shared controller having shared or independent moisture adjusters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2006
    Inventors: John R. Bowers, John W. Bowers
  • Patent number: 7051574
    Abstract: A system for monitoring water concentration in gaseous sample is disclosed. It is readily applicable in the synthesis of biopolymer arrays/microarrays involving the use of water-sensitive reagents. A flow cell is provided in which a capacitance sensor is placed separate from a production or synthesis environment. Sample and dry gas may be provided to the flow cell via conduits and valves or a manifold system. Dry gas, such as N2, is used to dry the sensor or simply to maintain it in a dried condition. The same gas may be used to drive an optional venturi pump to draw sample for measurement into the cell from the synthesis environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2006
    Assignee: Agilent Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Bill J. Peck
  • Patent number: 7030631
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for monitoring and determining the moisture content of a sample substance inside a closed container. The apparatus includes a parallel capacitance circuit formed by a source of AC voltage supplied to a reference container and a sample container. The method does not require penetration or opening of the sealed sample container nor the destruction of the sample, and can be used to rapidly determine moisture content under normal storage conditions or at elevated or lower temperatures that may be used in a drying process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2006
    Inventor: Thomas A. Jennings