Including A Probe Type Structure Patents (Class 324/690)
  • Patent number: 10416106
    Abstract: A remote wireless moisture sensing unit is insertable into soil. The sensing unit includes at least three capacitive sensors positioned at three spaced apart levels with respect to the surface of the soil. The capacitance of each sensor increases in the presence of increased moisture content of the soil proximate to the sensor. An analog multiplexer selectively routes each sensor to an input to a capacitively-controlled oscillator to cause the oscillator to generate a clock signal having a frequency responsive to the capacitance of the currently connected sensor and thus responsive to the moisture content proximate to the currently selected sensor. A processor generates a respective data value for the frequency corresponding to each sensor and transmits the data values for the sensors via a radio frequency transceiver. The data values are processed to determine the moisture content of the soil at the three sensor levels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: Sprinkl.IO LLC
    Inventor: Daniel Morgan Pruessner
  • Patent number: 10364730
    Abstract: The PM sensor includes: a filter member having a plurality of measuring cells which are defined by a porous partition wall and configured to trap particulate matter in exhaust gas; at least a pair of electrode members which are disposed to face each other with the measuring cell sandwiched therebetween to form a condenser; a heater member which heats the measuring cell to burn and remove particulate matter accumulated in the measuring cell; and an estimation unit which estimates an amount of the particulate matter contained in the exhaust gas based on an electrostatic capacity between the pair of electrode members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: ISUZU MOTORS LIMITED
    Inventors: Tadashi Uchiyama, Naoto Murasawa, Satoshi Hanawa
  • Patent number: 10253531
    Abstract: A detection sensor includes: a detection electrode that is disposed in at least one of a vehicle door and a periphery of the vehicle door and used for detecting operation of the vehicle door; an area electrode that is disposed in the vehicle door; and a control device that detects an electrostatic capacitance change of the detection electrode and an electrostatic capacitance change of the area electrode, in which the control device performs at least one of determining of detection of an object in a periphery of the detection electrode using the detection electrode, and determining of detection of an object in a periphery of the area electrode using the area electrode depending on an open or closed state of the vehicle door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: AISIN SEIKI KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Koji Ishihara, Seika Matsui
  • Patent number: 10235887
    Abstract: The invention relates to a control system which is equipped and designed for use in a motor vehicle, to determine, on the basis of environment data obtained by one or several environment sensors present on the motor vehicle, a point in time as of which a safe lane change from a fast lane to an adjoining slower lane is possible. The environment sensors are designed to provide environment data representing the area laterally ahead of, laterally next to and/or laterally behind the vehicle to an electronic control unit of the control system. The control system is at least equipped and designed to determine, during a predefined interval or continuously, in the electronic control unit driving data representing the driving situation of one's own motor vehicle from sensors present in one's own motor vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: LUCAS AUTOMOTIVE GmbH
    Inventor: Andreas Stahl
  • Patent number: 9980673
    Abstract: A handheld, conforming capacitive sensing apparatus configured to measure Sub-Epidermal Moisture (SEM) as a mean to detect and monitor the formation of pressure ulcers. The device incorporates an array of electrodes which are excited to measure and scan SEM in a programmable and multiplexed manner by a battery-less RF-powered chip. The scanning operation is initiated by an interrogator which excites a coil embedded in the apparatus and provides the needed energy burst to support the scanning/reading operation. Each electrode measures the equivalent sub-epidermal capacitance corresponding and representing the moisture content.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2018
    Assignees: THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BRUIN BIOMETRICS, LLC
    Inventors: Majid Sarrafzadeh, William Kaiser, Alireza Mehrnia, Barbara M. Bates-Jensen, Frank Wang, Michael Flesch, Joseph Boystak, Yeung Lam
  • Patent number: 9891274
    Abstract: A device test method performed in a substrate test apparatus which includes a mounting table for mounting thereon a substrate on which a device having an electrode is formed, the mounting table being movable by a X-direction motor and a Y-direction motor, and a probe card arranged to face the mounting table. A measuring electrode is arranged to correspond to the electrode of the device, the probe card has a probe that is engageable with the measuring electrode, and the X-direction motor or Y-direction motor generates torque to keep the mounting table from moving when measuring an electrical characteristic of the device. In the device test method, after the probe is engaged with the measuring electrode, when measuring an electrical characteristic of the device, the maximum value of the torque generated by the X-direction motor or Y-direction motor is limited to a predetermined value or less.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Masataka Hatta, Kazunari Ishii
  • Patent number: 9678053
    Abstract: A liquid sensor may comprise a first electrode, a second electrode disposed inside the first electrode, and a partition wall comprising a surface defining a storage space with a first opposing surface of the first electrode and a second opposing surface of the second electrode. One of the first electrode, the second electrode and the partition wall may comprise a first communication opening communicating an inside of the storage space and an outside of the storage space and disposed at an upper portion of the storage space. One of the first electrode, the second electrode and the partition wall may comprise a second communication opening communicating the inside of the storage space and the outside of the storage space and disposed lower than the first communication opening. An opening direction of the first communication opening may be different from an opening direction of the second communication opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: AISAN KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Nobuhiro Kato
  • Patent number: 9588142
    Abstract: Provided is an electronic device handling apparatus capable of increasing the number of simultaneous measurements while suppressing the increase in cost. An electronic device handling apparatus, which moves bare dies relative to a probe card, includes: a thermal head which includes a plurality of holding regions each of which holds the bare die and has openings; at least one lift unit which is movably held by the thermal head so as to correspond to the holding regions and is able to advance and retreat through the openings; a moving device which moves the thermal head; and a fixed arm which is able to support the one lift unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Assignee: ADVANTEST CORPORATION
    Inventors: Toshiyuki Kiyokawa, Koya Karino, Daisuke Takano
  • Patent number: 9551738
    Abstract: A capacitive sensing circuit is disclosed, wherein the mixer is directly connected to the sense electrode. The AC transimpedance amplifier in front of the mixer in prior art is removed and replaced by a differential DC transimpedance amplifier respectively integrator. The mixer DC offset voltage or current together with the large amplification factor required after the mixer now would result in an inacceptable DC offset at the output of the signal chain. In order to eliminate the effect of the mixer offset, the amplifying stages after the mixer are AC coupled to the mixer output and one of the signals entering the mixer is phase modulated or amplitude modulated with a known low frequency signal. An additional mixer after the AC coupled amplifying stages is driven with the same low frequency modulating signal, resulting in the wanted DC output signal responsive to the capacitance to be measured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Assignee: IEE International Electronics & Engineering S.A.
    Inventor: Laurent Lamesch
  • Patent number: 9529029
    Abstract: A capacitive sensing circuit is disclosed, wherein the transimpedance amplifier in front of the mixer in prior art is removed respectively replaced by an amplifier with low gain and consequently high dynamic range. The mixer DC offset voltage or current together with the large amplification factor required after the mixer now would result in an inacceptable DC offset at the output of the signal chain. In order to eliminate the effect of the mixer offset, the amplifying stages after the mixer are AC coupled to the mixer output and one of the signals entering the mixer is phase modulated or amplitude modulated with a known low frequency signal. An additional mixer after the AC coupled amplifying stages is driven with the same low frequency modulating signal, resulting in the wanted DC output signal responsive to the capacitance to be measured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Assignee: IEE International Electronics & Engineering S.A.
    Inventor: Laurent Lamesch
  • Patent number: 9341502
    Abstract: A detachable member and a processing member for an analysis tool, the detachable member including a housing for a probe member, the probe member capable of obtaining one or more characteristics information; and a circuitry component for co-operating with the member, the circuitry component including one or more electrical connections for transmitting one or more characteristics information to a separate processing member such that one or more characteristics information is capable of being used by the separate processing member for analysis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: Presidium Instruments Pte Ltd
    Inventors: Joanne Yeo, Darren Koong, Reza Assadi
  • Patent number: 9279336
    Abstract: An example split-face probe includes a sensor component having a split-face, a housing arranged about the sensor component, and at least one ceramic fitting that supports the sensor component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2016
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: Eli Cole Warren
  • Patent number: 9182267
    Abstract: A fuel gauge (15) provided with an inner structural body (27) that is formed of an insulator; an outer structural body (23) that is formed of an insulator and disposed on the outer circumference side of the inner structural body (27) over the entire circumference thereof; an inner electrode (29) that is attached to an outer circumferential surface of the inner structural body (27); and an outer electrode (25) that is attached to an inner circumferential surface of the outer structural body (23). The fuel guage measures the capacitance between the inner electrode and the outer electrode and detects the level of fuel that exists between the inner electrode and the outer electrode. The outer structural body is provided with a plurality of outer through-holes (31) that allow electric charge to move from an outer circumferential surface thereof to the outer electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Hiroaki Yamaguchi, Yuichiro Kamino
  • Patent number: 9116581
    Abstract: A capacitive sense array configured to improve edge accuracy in detecting a presence of a conductive object is described. In one embodiment, a capacitive sense array includes at least a first set of sense elements having non-homogenous pitches disposes in a first longitudinal axis of the capacitive sense array. The pitch includes width of the sense elements and spacing between the sense elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2015
    Assignee: Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventors: Tao Peng, Min Chin Chai
  • Patent number: 9063067
    Abstract: Capacitive moisture sensors for monitoring moisture conditions through the use of an electric field are provided, including sensing devices for determining the amount of moisture on a device and correlating this with an amount of moisture in the atmosphere to determine whether plants need more or less moisture. More specific embodiments of the invention provide a fringing capacitor sensor and a mesh cell sensor. Provided is a mesh cell sensor comprising: a first conductive electrode comprising a wire mesh array; a second conductive electrode disposed on a non-conductive support; an evaporative membrane disposed between the first and second electrodes; a box supporting the first and second electrodes and the evaporative membrane in a manner that provides for a hermetically sealed volume disposed between the evaporative membrane and the bottom of the box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Inventor: Alvin P. Schmitt
  • Patent number: 9013193
    Abstract: An object of the present invention is to accurately detect concentrations of mixtures in a fluid. An internal electrode 23 is disposed on the inner side of an external electrode 22 coaxially with the external electrode 22, and a plurality of points in the length direction of the internal electrode 23 are supported by a casing 21 via supporting members 28a and 28b. The state of a fluid S passing through a passage 26 between the external electrode 22 and the internal electrode 23 is detected based on electrostatic capacitance between the external electrode 22 and the internal electrode 23.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takashi Tsuruta, Kazuhiro Nishikawa, Koichi Kubota, Takuto Shibayama
  • Publication number: 20150054529
    Abstract: Provided is an electrode structure for use with a capacitive touch panel to enhance capacitance sensing capability thereof The electrode structure includes electrically conductive fine lines each forming fine line portions, sensing portions, and cross portions. The fine line portions, the sensing portions, and the cross portions together form a latticed pattern. The sensing portions are each disposed between two adjacent ones of the cross portions. Two ends of each said sensing portion are connected to two said cross portions through two fine line portions, respectively. The sensing portions each have a geometric configuration with a short axis and a long axis. The long axis extends in the direction of a corresponding one of the fine line portions. The short axis is of a width larger than a corresponding one of the fine line portions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 23, 2013
    Publication date: February 26, 2015
    Applicant: J TOUCH CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yu-Chou YEH, Ting-Ching LIN, Kun-Ming CHANG, Yi-Chin CHEN
  • Publication number: 20150028897
    Abstract: Disclosed is a touch window. The touch window includes a substrate; a sensing electrode disposed on the substrate to sense a position; wire parts to electrically connect the sensing electrode; and a dummy pattern between the wire parts, wherein the wire parts include first extending parts and second extending parts having mutually different directionalities.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 29, 2014
    Publication date: January 29, 2015
    Inventors: Chan Kyu KOO, Jung Hwan BANG, Jong Sun KIM, Tae Kyung KIM, Hyun Soo KIM, Jun Sik SHIN, Joon Hyuk YANG, Ji Hyouk CHUNG
  • Patent number: 8937481
    Abstract: The invention relates to a capacitive sensing apparatus for sensing an object, wherein the capacitive sensing apparatus comprises a capacitive sensor (2) for capacitively sensing the object (3) and an enclosure (4) for enclosing the capacitive sensor (2). The enclosure (4) comprises a contact side (6) for contacting the object (3) during sensing, wherein the enclosure (4) and the capacitive sensor (2) are adapted for sensing the object (3) by the capacitive sensor (2) through the contact side (6) of the enclosure (4). The enclosure (4) and the capacitive sensor (2) are separable from each other for using the capacitive sensor (2) as a reusable device and for using the enclosure (4) as a disposable device. This allows capacitively sensing an object with a new, uncontaminated enclosure (4) and a reused capacitive sensor (2) and, thus, under improved hygienic conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2015
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips N.V.
    Inventors: Bastiaan Feddes, Lena Gourmelon, Mohammed Meftah
  • Patent number: 8901942
    Abstract: A system for locating and identifying at least two separate items, for example packaging, includes a capacitive first sensor detecting a first measuring region at a first position of a sensor device, for example a sensor film on a shelf bottom for packaging, a capacitive second sensor detecting a second measuring region at a second position, differing from the first position, of the sensor device, an electrically conductive first mark of a first item in the measuring region of one sensor, an electrically conductive second mark of a second item in the measuring region of the other sensor, and an evaluation device evaluating signals from the sensors, the signals caused or changed by electrical conductivity of the marks. Items can be capacitively detected and information obtained can be used to improve warehousing. The sensors and the marks can be produced quickly and cost-effectively by printing processes or film transfer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
    Inventors: Immanuel Fergen, Martin Schmitt-Lewen, Christian Wagner
  • Patent number: 8884608
    Abstract: The present disclosure is discloses the development of a new device, system, and method that combines advantages of magnetic resonance and atomic force microscopy technologies, and the utility of the new device, system, and method for a wide range of biomedical and clinical researchers. According to one aspect of the present disclosure, a device for micro-scale spectroscopy is disclosed. The micro-scale spectroscopy device includes a beam having a distal end, a proximal end, a top surface and a bottom surface, where the beam is attached to an anchor at the proximal end and further includes a tip extending substantially perpendicular from the bottom surface at or near the distal end, and a coil having at least one turn mounted to the top surface of the beam at or near the distal end opposite the tip, where the coil is capable of both transmitting and sensing electromagnetic radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: Purdue Research Foundation
    Inventors: Corey P. Neu, Babak Ziaie, Teimour Maleki-Jafarabadi, Charilaos Mousoulis
  • 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: 8854064
    Abstract: A method for measuring for generating a touch capacitance measurement is provided. Gain and offset control signals are generated, where the gain and offset control signals are adjusted to compensate for base capacitance of a touch sensor. The gain control signal is applied to a touch sensor during a first phase of a clock signal, and the offset control signal is applied to an output circuit during a second phase of the clock signal. The output circuit is coupled to the touch sensor during the second phase of the clock signal. The touch capacitance measurement is generated by compensating for the base capacitance with the gain and offset control signals, and a gain is applied to the touch capacitance measurement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Sualp Aras, Tatsuyuki Nihei, Abidur Rahman
  • Patent number: 8847611
    Abstract: A rotary position sensor is provided that includes a sensing disc having an N-fold rotation symmetry and capacitive sensing pads arranged in an array pattern, where the array pattern has at least 4N-fold rotation symmetry, where N?2, a scale disc disposed opposite the sensing disc, where the scale disc includes a pattern of conductive pads that have a sinusoidal-shape, where the pattern of sinusoidal-shaped conductive pads produce four sinusoidal capacitance waveforms in quadrature phase with the capacitive sensing pads as the sensing disc and the scale disc are rotated relative to one another to provide angular position information. to provide angular position information. This is achieved by making the overlapping area of the of the capacitive sensing pads change in a sinusoidal fashion with rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
    Inventors: John V Ulmen, Barrett E. Heyneman
  • Patent number: 8836348
    Abstract: The present invention provides a high-accuracy electrostatic capacitance type physical quantity sensor and angular velocity sensor configured so as to be capable of suppressing noise derived from internal noise while maintaining resistance to externally-incoming noise. A detection element 10 has a movable mass 18 supported displaceably by a physical quantity given from the outside, and a detection electrode Ef. A shield wire 16 is disposed around wirings connected to the input of a capacitance detection circuit 30 and is connected to a dc potential of low impedance. A value Cin of an input capacitance relative to a fixed potential of low impedance at a portion at which the detection element 10 is connected with the capacitance detection circuit 30 is set to fall within a range of 1.5 pF<Cin<20 pF.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Iwasawa, Masahiro Matsumoto, Toshiaki Nakamura
  • Patent number: 8839461
    Abstract: A device includes: an electrode; a displacement measurement unit outputting voltage corresponding to electrostatic force between the electrode and a sample; a first power supply applying a first voltage between the electrode and sample; a second power supply adding, to the first voltage, a second voltage having a different frequency than the first voltage, and applying the added voltage; and a signal detection unit outputting a particular frequency component's magnitude contained in the displacement measurement unit's output, in which the signal detection unit extracts, from the output by the displacement measurement unit, and outputs, to a potential calculation unit, magnitude and phase of a frequency component of a frequency identical to the frequency of the first voltage, and magnitude of a frequency component of a frequency identical to a frequency equivalent to a difference between the frequencies of the first and second voltages, to measure the sample's surface potential.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: National University Corporation Kanazawa University
    Inventors: Takeshi Fukuma, Naritaka Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 8791792
    Abstract: An novel impedance sensor for use together with a switch is provided having a plurality of substantially parallel drive lines configured to transmit a signal into a surface of a proximally located object, and also a plurality of substantially parallel pickup lines oriented substantially perpendicular to the drive lines and separated from the pickup lines by a dielectric to form intrinsic electrode pairs that are impedance sensitive at each of the drive and pickup crossover locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2014
    Assignee: Idex ASA
    Inventor: Fred G. Benkley, III
  • Publication number: 20140159749
    Abstract: A sensor module for a position sensor includes a circuit board with a capacitance sensor and a tool clip probe mechanically connected to the circuit board and electrically connected to the circuit board. The tool clip probe is a capacitive sensor probe and a mechanical support for the sensor module.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 8, 2012
    Publication date: June 12, 2014
    Applicant: MASCO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Jeffrey John Belz, Paul McLennan
  • Patent number: 8729911
    Abstract: Apparatuses and methods of driving different transmit (TX) phase sequences of a TX signal on TX electrodes in different sensing stages according to a weighting matrix as the excitation matrix. One method drives the TX signals according to the weighting matrix and measures receive (RX) signals on the RX electrodes to determine if an object is proximate to the electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventors: Andriy Maharyta, Volodymyr Bihday
  • Publication number: 20140125361
    Abstract: A method and system for determining a distance from a probe to an object includes generating a first electric field by applying a first signal across a first pair of electrodes aligned along a first axis and generating a second electric field by applying a second signal across a second pair of electrodes aligned along a second axis substantially perpendicular to the first axis. After generating the signals, a first change in the first signal due to the object interacting with the first electric field and a second change in the second signal due to the object interacting with the second electric field is concurrently detected. A distance of the object from the first and second pair of electrodes can be calculated based on a ratio of the first and second changes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2012
    Publication date: May 8, 2014
    Inventor: Nikolai R. Tevs
  • Publication number: 20140119884
    Abstract: A capacitive sensor device and a method of manufacture are provided. The capacitive sensor device includes at least one sensor tip that includes an electrode positioned at a first end of the sensor tip, and a stem member coupled to the electrode and extending toward a second end of the sensor tip. The device also includes a coaxial cable including a center conductor, the center conductor coupled to the sensor tip at the second end, and an insulation layer supporting the sensor tip between the first and second ends. The insulation layer includes a metallization on a portion surrounding the second end of the sensor tip. The device further includes a casing surrounding a portion of the coaxial cable, the metallization, and the coupling of the center conductor and the sensor tip, wherein a braze joint is formed between the casing and the metallization to form a hollow, hermetic cavity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2012
    Publication date: May 1, 2014
    Applicant: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
    Inventors: David Richard Esler, Emad Andarawis Andarawis, Wayne Charles Hasz, Mahadevan Balasubramaniam
  • Patent number: 8674709
    Abstract: A circuit for measuring a capacitance value of a touch screen includes: a target capacitor unit having a target capacitor charged with a target charging voltage; a target voltage control unit to charge the target capacitor; a reference capacitor unit having a reference capacitor charged with a charging reference voltage; a reference voltage control unit to charge the reference capacitor; a comparator to compare the target charging voltage and the charging reference voltage and output a transition signal at a moment when the target charging voltage becomes higher than the charging reference voltage; and a controller to receive an output signal of the comparator and a clock signal and generate a digital output signal and a control signal, wherein a capacitance value of the target capacitor is measured using a time elapsed from a time when the target capacitor is initialized to a time when the transition signal is outputted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Silicon Works Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ji Hun Kim, Hyun Min Song, Joon Ho Na, Ki Uk Gwak, Sang Gug Lee
  • Patent number: 8659307
    Abstract: A sensor for monitoring external loads acting on a pin assembly includes a pin having an axial interior bore defined therein and having a length defined from a first end to an opposed second end thereof. A core pin is mounted axially within the interior bore of the pin spaced radially inwardly from the interior bore for relative displacement with respect to the pin. A capacitor is provided having an inner capacitor plate mounted to the core pin, and an outer capacitor plate mounted to the pin, such that relative displacement of the core and the pin due to external loading on the pin results in relative displacement of the inner and outer capacitor plates. The capacitor is configured and adapted to be connected to an electrical circuit to produce signals indicative of external loading on the pin based on relative displacement of the inner and outer capacitor plates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: Rosemount Aerospace Inc.
    Inventors: Harald Eriksen, Alexander Spivak, Christopher Sanden
  • Patent number: 8629686
    Abstract: In particular embodiments, an apparatus includes a charge-measurement capacitor having a first plate coupled to a second plate of a coupling capacitor and a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium embodying logic that is operable when executed to ground a first plate of the coupling capacitor; inject a pre-determined amount of charge onto the charge-measurement capacitor; and transfer an amount of charge accumulated on the second plate of the coupling capacitor to the first plate of the charge-measurement capacitor. The charge accumulated on the second plate of the coupling capacitor is due at least in part to noise. The logic is also operable when executed to determine, through a measured voltage across the charge-measurement capacitor, the amount of charge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Atmel Corporation
    Inventors: Harald Philipp, Daniel Pickett, Esat Yilmaz
  • Patent number: 8610591
    Abstract: The invention inter alia relates to a method for monitoring the bearing current of an electrical machine (10). An electrode (100) arranged at a distance (d) to a shaft and the shaft—due to the gap (S) between the electrode and the shaft—produce a measurement capacitance (C) and an electric shift current (i) which flows through the measurement capacitance when there is a temporal change of the voltage (Ug) applied between the shaft and the housing is measured. A measurement signal (Ms) indicating a bearing current flow is generated when the shift current or a measurement variable produced by the shift current meets a predetermined trigger criterion. Preferably, the electrode has a circular inner contour so that the gap is annular. The annular inner contour results in an error compensation in the case of a balance error of the shaft because the factor dC/dt remains at least substantially constant. Due to the contactless measurement of the shift current, no contact brushes for contacting the shaft are required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Hans-Richard Kretschmer, Arno Steckenborn, Oliver Theile
  • Patent number: 8593162
    Abstract: An object of the invention is to provide a fuel-aspect sensor having higher detection accuracy. A first electrode is inserted into a hole formed in a first housing member. A cylindrical second electrode is inserted into and firmly fixed to the first electrode by a cylindrical insulating member. A first elastic member, for example, made of rubber, is arranged between the first electrode and a second housing member. The first electrode has a large-diameter portion, which is biased by the first elastic member toward a sealing surface formed on an inner wall of the hole, so as to fluid-tightly seal a space between the first electrode and the second housing member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Nakamura, Akikazu Uchida
  • Patent number: 8593163
    Abstract: A surface-conforming obscured feature detector includes a plurality of sensor plates flexibly connected together, each having a capacitance that varies based on the dielectric constant of the materials that compose the surrounding objects and the proximity of those objects. A sensing circuit is coupled to the sensor plates to measure the capacitances of the sensor plates. A controller is coupled to the sensing circuit to analyze the capacitances measured by the sensing circuit. One or a plurality of indicators are coupled to the controller, and are selectively activated to identify the location of a relative high capacitance, which can be indicative of an obscured feature behind a surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Franklin Sensors, Inc.
    Inventor: David M. Dorrough
  • 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: 8575948
    Abstract: Provided by the invention is a sensor device for the detection of touch or approach of an object. A server circuit of the sensor device according to the invention is formed in such a manner, that the server circuit alone (i.e. without co-operation with a client circuit) may be used as approaching sensor, at the same time however also together with one or several client circuits may be implemented a sensor network, in which the client circuits preferably are fed with energy with the electric field of the server electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Ident Technology AG
    Inventor: Artem Ivanov
  • Patent number: 8564308
    Abstract: A signal acquisition system has a signal acquisition probe having probe tip circuitry coupled to a resistive center conductor signal cable. The resistive center conductor signal cable of the signal acquisition probe is coupled to a compensation system in a signal processing instrument via an input node and input circuitry in the signal processing instrument. The signal acquisition probe and the signal processing instrument have mismatched time constants at the input node with the compensation system having an input amplifier with feedback loop circuitry and a shunt pole-zero pair coupled to the input circuitry providing pole-zero pairs for maintaining flatness over the signal acquisition system frequency bandwidth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Tektronix, Inc.
    Inventors: Josiah A. Bartlett, Ira G. Pollock, Daniel G. Knierim, Lester L. Larson, Scott R. Jansen, Kenneth P. Dobyns, Michael Duane Stevens
  • Patent number: 8519722
    Abstract: A method, system and apparatus is described for measuring a sensor, comparing measured values of a sensor to a reference value, adjusting a calibration parameter in response to the comparing of measured values to a reference value and determining sensor integrity based on the value o the adjusted parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventor: Patrick Prendergast
  • Patent number: 8513960
    Abstract: A probe for a capacitive sensor device, and a gap measuring system using the probe, is disclosed. The probe has a probe head including a measuring element with at least one measuring and front face, a first electrically non-conductive isolator element, and a first partial element of a first shield. The measuring and front face, the first isolator element, and the first partial element of the first shield are adhesively connected to one another and configured as a multilayer, where the first isolator element is disposed between the measuring element with its measuring and front face and the first partial element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignee: MTU Aero Engines GmbH
    Inventors: René Schneider, Alfred Ecker, Gerhard Heider
  • Patent number: 8489341
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for monitoring fluid in a fluid line are disclosed. The apparatus includes a first capacitor and a processor in communication with the first capacitor. The first capacitor is configured to sense the capacitance of the fluid line at the first capacitor. The processor is configured to compare the sensed capacitance at the first capacitor with a reference capacitance to determine the composition of the fluid in the fluid line at the first capacitor. In some embodiments, the apparatus also includes a second capacitor. The second capacitor is configured to sense the capacitance of the fluid line at the second capacitor. The processor is configured to compare the sensed capacitance at the second capacitor with a reference capacitance to determine the composition of the fluid in the fluid line at the second capacitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: CareFusion 303, Inc.
    Inventor: Houston Brown
  • Patent number: 8489506
    Abstract: A method for verifying a portable consumer device. The method includes receiving an authorization request message associated with a transaction conducted using a portable consumer device. The portable consumer device includes a portable consumer device fingerprint. The authorization request message includes an altered portable consumer device fingerprint and an algorithm identifier. The method also includes selecting an algorithm from among a plurality of algorithms using the algorithm identifier, determining the portable consumer device fingerprint using selected algorithm and the altered portable consumer device fingerprint, determining if the portable consumer device fingerprint matches a stored portable consumer device fingerprint, and sending an authorization response message after determining if the portable consumer device fingerprint matches the stored portable consumer device fingerprint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: Visa U.S.A. Inc.
    Inventors: Ayman Hammad, Patrick Faith
  • Patent number: 8476912
    Abstract: An obscured feature detector operates from a stationary position on a surface being examined. The detector includes a plurality of sensor plates positioned in an array on the underside of the device, which sense the examined surface. The sensor plates are connected to a capacitance sensing circuit, which connects to indicators positioned on the back side of the detector through additional circuitry. A handle positioned on the back of the detector allows the user to grasp the device and place it in a stationary position on the surface being examined while also observing the indicators on the back side of the detector. Increases in capacitance caused by the presence of features behind or within the surface being examined are detected by the sensor plates and the capacitance sensing circuit. The indicators identify locations of larger capacitances, associated with the presence of a feature, such as a stud, beam, or electrical wiring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Franklin Sensors, Inc.
    Inventor: David Dorrough
  • Patent number: 8436624
    Abstract: A signal acquisition system has a signal acquisition probe having probe tip circuitry coupled to a resistive center conductor signal cable. The resistive center conductor signal cable of the signal acquisition probe is coupled to a compensation system in a signal processing instrument via an input node and input circuitry in the signal processing instrument. The signal acquisition probe and the signal processing instrument have mismatched time constants at the input node with the compensation system providing pole-zero pairs for maintaining flatness over the signal acquisition system frequency bandwidth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: Tektronix, Inc.
    Inventors: Josiah A. Bartlett, Ira G. Pollock, Daniel G. Knierim, Lester L. Larson, Scott R. Jansen, Kenneth P. Dobyns, Michael Duane Stevens
  • Patent number: 8410798
    Abstract: A passive alignment structure is provided that includes at least one rigid post being coupled to a top surface and a bottom surface. At least one in-plane clamp is associated with a respective at least one rigid post. The at least one in-plane clamp receives a clamping force to lock the respective at least one rigid post. A plurality of pins allows the top surface to align to the bottom surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Vijay Shilpiekandula, Justin Y. Lai, Kamal Youcef-Toumi
  • Publication number: 20130069674
    Abstract: An apparatus for measuring a workpiece includes a capacitance probe mounted to a probe housing and a non-conductive spacer. The capacitance probe includes a probe tip with a sensor surface that emits an electric field. The non-conductive spacer extends between a probe contact surface and a workpiece contact surface. The probe contact surface covers the sensor surface, and the workpiece contact surface contacts the workpiece during the measuring of the radius.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2011
    Publication date: March 21, 2013
    Applicant: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: Joseph D. Drescher
  • Patent number: 8310256
    Abstract: An improved system for capacitive testing electrical connections in a low signal environment. The system includes features that increase sensitivity of a capacitive probe. One feature is a spacer positioned to allow the probe to be partially inserted into the component without contacting the pins. The spacer may be a collar on the probe that contacts the housing of the component, contacts the substrate of the circuit assembly, or both. In some other embodiments, the spacer may be a riser extending beyond the surface of the sense plate that contacts the component, a riser portion of the component, or a combination of both. The spacer improves sensitivity by establishing a small gap between a sense plate of the probe and pins under test without risk of damage to the pins. A second feature is a guard plate of the probe with reduced capacitance to a sense plate of the probe. Reducing capacitance also increases the sensitivity of the probe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: Teradyne, Inc.
    Inventor: Anthony J. Suto
  • Patent number: 8159232
    Abstract: In a fuel property sensor, a pair of first and second electrodes is arranged in a fuel chamber to measure an electric capacitance, thereby detecting a mixing ratio of alcohol to gasoline in a fuel of the fuel chamber. An outer wall surface of the first electrode is exposed in the fuel, and a sensing portion contacts an inner wall surface of the first electrode to detect a temperature of the fluid via the first electrode. One end portion of a lead is connected to the sensing portion and the other end portion thereof is connected to a plate portion attached to a housing. Furthermore, an elastic deformation portion is provided as a part of the lead to be elastically deformed, and to cause the sensing portion to be biased in a direction on which the sensing portion contacts the inner wall surface of the first electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2012
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Nakamura, Akikazu Uchida, Daisuke Shikanai