Precipitation (e.g., Rain Gauge) Patents (Class 73/170.17)
  • Patent number: 10337973
    Abstract: Disclosed is a system for estimating a snow depth including: an optical disdrometer for acquiring information on diameters of snow particles and particle number concentration; a laser snow depth gauge for measuring the height of snow accumulated through a laser beam type sensor to provide an observed stop depth; an estimated snow depth equation calculator for determining an optimal index for the diameters of the snow particles provided by the optical disdrometer, substituting the optimal index for a snow depth calculation equation as a first mathematical equation to calculate a computed snow depth, obtaining correlation between the observed snow depth and the computed snow depth, and calculating a regression equation between the observed snow depth and the computed snow depth as an estimated snow depth equation; and a snow depth estimator for estimating the snow depth on the basis of the estimated snow depth equation, and the first mathematical equation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: Korea Meteorological Administration
    Inventors: Jiwon Choi, Ki-Ho Chang, Eunsil Jung, Jin-Yim Jeong, Baek-Jo Kim
  • Patent number: 10161979
    Abstract: A method and system for determining precipitation static charge levels on a dielectrically coated surface is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: William W. Wallace
  • Patent number: 10150143
    Abstract: An apparatus for clearing water from a window comprises one or more transducers for coupling to a window. Each of the one or more transducers is operable at any selected one of a plurality of different frequencies to generate respective wave-types. A frequency generator (925) provides ultrasonic drive signals (926) to the one or more transducers for the plurality of different frequencies. A mode controller (930) controls the generator (925) and transducer configuration of electrodes (210) to apply to the window ultrasonic waves of any selected frequency and wave-type from the plurality of different frequencies and wave-types.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2018
    Assignee: EchoVista GmbH
    Inventors: David Trevett, Patrick Trevett, Hendrik Faustmann
  • Patent number: 10078157
    Abstract: A water collection device is described. In one embodiment, a water collection device includes a collection tube having an inner wall, an open mouth at its upper end, and a closed bottom end, the bottom end including an upwardly projecting sidewall defining an interior projection at least partly spaced apart from the inner wall. The water collection device also includes a float within the collection tube. The float has an upper end and a lower end, the lower end having an axial bore sized to fit over the interior projection defined by the upwardly projecting sidewall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2018
    Assignee: Apurk Ltd.
    Inventors: Marek Krupa, Adam Krupa, Karol Krupa, Tomasz Krupa
  • Patent number: 9915610
    Abstract: In a sensor device for determining ambient conditions of a vehicle, in particular a motor vehicle, comprising at least one transmitter for emitting electromagnetic radiation, in particular infrared radiation, comprising at least three receivers for receiving electromagnetic radiation, in particular infrared radiation, wherein at least one transmitter is assigned to at least one receiver for determining precipitation on at least one glass surface, in particular the windscreen of the motor vehicle, and wherein at least three receivers are aligned for receiving electromagnetic radiation from different angular regions, it is provided as essential to the invention that the spatial receiving regions of at least one first and at least one second receiver are aligned substantially horizontally, that the spatial receiving region of at least one third receiver is aligned substantially upwards.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: Hella KGAA Hueck & Co.
    Inventors: Alexander Gohmann, Bastian Kanning
  • Patent number: 9623801
    Abstract: An integrated inside mirror assembly for a vehicle may have a stay fixed to a windshield glass of the vehicle and an inside mirror coupled to the stay, in which the stay may include a sub stay coupled to a rear surface of the inside mirror, a base attached to an upper end of the windshield glass and to which a rain sensor is mounted, a mount slidably assembled at an outside of the base and coupled to the sub stay through a ball joint, a stay cover coupled to the mount while surrounding the mount and attached to the upper end of the windshield glass, and an antenna cover assembled at one side of the mount and to which an antenna member is mounted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventors: Hyun Min Jeon, Woo Youn Geum, Byung Seob Yu, Sae Hyun Park, Keun Sig Lim
  • Patent number: 9513245
    Abstract: A humidity sensor includes a detection device with a capacitance changing with humidity at a first ratio and a reference device with a capacitance changing with humidity at a second ratio smaller than the first ratio. The detection device has detection electrodes facing each other with a first gap and a detection humidity-sensitive film covering the detection electrodes. The reference device has reference electrodes facing each other with a second gap and a reference humidity-sensitive film covering the reference electrodes. The detection humidity-sensitive film and the reference humidity-sensitive film are made from the same material and have the same thickness. The detection electrodes and the reference electrodes are made from the same material and have the same width and thickness. The second ratio peaks when the second gap is equal to a predetermined value. The second gap is smaller than the first gap and the predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Minekazu Sakai, Naohisa Niimi
  • Patent number: 9487161
    Abstract: An accessory system for a vehicle includes a bracket configured for adhesive attachment at an in-cabin surface of the vehicle windshield. The bracket includes an attaching portion having an aperture therethrough and includes a pair of attaching arms extending from the attaching portion. An interior rearview mirror assembly has a mounting base that is attached at the attaching portion of the bracket with the bracket adhesively attached at the windshield. With the mounting base attached at the attaching portion, a rain sensor is disposed at the in-cabin surface of the windshield and the aperture of the attaching portion circumscribes the rain sensor. With the bracket adhesively attached at the windshield, a forward camera module is attached at the attaching arms of the bracket and generally at the in-cabin surface of the windshield so that an imager of the forward camera module has a field of view through the windshield.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: MAGNA MIRRORS OF AMERICA, INC.
    Inventors: Donald S. Rawlings, Carol L. DeBoer, Darryl P. De Wind
  • Patent number: 9459298
    Abstract: A capacitive sensing system are configured to sense a capacitance value and convert the sensed capacitance value to a digital format. The capacitive sensing system provides good selectivity and immunity to noise and interference, which can be further enhanced by enabling spread spectrum excitation. In some embodiments, the capacitive sensing system utilizes a sinusoidal excitation signal that results in low electromagnetic emissions, limited to narrow frequency band. In some embodiments, the capacitive sensing system is configured to operate in a spread spectrum mode, in which the majority of the excitation signal power is carried in the assigned bandwidth. The excitation frequency and the bandwidth of the spread spectrum excitation signal are programmable in a wide range, which allows for avoiding frequency conflicts in the operating environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Jerzy A. Teterwak, Paul W. Kalthoff
  • Patent number: 9314998
    Abstract: Composite glass pane comprising at least a. one inner pane (1), b. one outer pane (2), and c. one intermediate layer (3) between the inner pane (1) and the outer pane (2), wherein the intermediate layer (3) contains at least one first thermoplastic film (3b) with a first luminescent pigment (3a), a second thermoplastic film (3d), and a barrier film (3c) between the thermoplastic films (3b, 3d) and wherein the luminescent pigment (3a) contains a hydroxyalkyl terephthalate having the formula: R1—COO—P(OH)x(0-4)-COO—R2, where R1, R2 is an alkyl or allyl residue having 1 to 10 C atoms, P is a phenyl ring, OH is hydroxyl groups bonded to the phenyl ring, and x is the number of hydroxyl groups bonded to the phenyl ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: Saint-Gobain Glass France
    Inventors: Michael Labrot, Atlal Laouar, Uwe Van Der Meulen, Luz Rodriguez Gonzalez, Monique Elmer
  • Patent number: 9310200
    Abstract: A sensor device includes a sensor element; and a wiring substrate having a first joint surface electrically joined with the sensor element, a substrate body that contains an organic insulating material and in which an electronic component is embedded, and a regulation part that regulates the first joint surface from deforming.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2016
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Hidetoshi Kabasawa, Shigeto Watanabe
  • Patent number: 8984939
    Abstract: The present invention essentially comprises a system, method, computer program and combinations thereof to utilize dual-polarization generated data generally associated with weather and non-weather events for mapping data, producing geo-referenced data, producing mosaics, generation of precipitation masks, non-precipitation mask, and classification masks in general, production of vertical cross sections and predetermined fly throughs, producing short term forecasting, prediction of specific weather phenomenon, correcting or adjusting rain gauge data as well as quantitative precipitation estimation, and combining other meteorological data to correct or adjust estimated rainfall accumulation gathered by dual-polarization radar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Weather Decision Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Eilts, James T. Johnson, Jr., Christopher Porter, Matthew Gaffner, John William Conway
  • Patent number: 8800362
    Abstract: A method for detecting precipitation is disclosed. The method may include receiving a signal from a sensing module positioned in the vicinity of a railroad track, the signal being indicative of a capacitive dielectric property of a form of precipitation that has accumulated in the vicinity of the railroad track. The method may further include processing the signal from the sensing module to determine the type of precipitation that has accumulated in the vicinity of the railroad track as a function of the indicated capacitive dielectric property. The method may still further include sending a signal indicative of a recommended action based on the type of precipitation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: Progress Rail Services Corp
    Inventor: Mark Joseph Bartonek
  • Publication number: 20140190248
    Abstract: An illustrative embodiment of a data collection method and apparatus comprises at least one sensor that may be configured as a mobile data collection apparatus, which sensor may be in communication with a controller. The data collection apparatus may include one or more sensors, including but not limited to air pressure, air humidity, air temperature, road surface temperature, lightning distance, light level, precipitation rate, ozone level, carbon dioxide level, nitrous oxide level, and methane level; all of which may be in communication with a controller. One or more sensors may be positioned on or within a main assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2013
    Publication date: July 10, 2014
    Applicant: Weather Telematics Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. Moran, Malcolm Leslie Rook, Darryl Smith
  • Publication number: 20140174171
    Abstract: A device for attaching to an electric power line conductor an electrically conductive housing with an opening for accepting the power line conductor. The housing is configured to be grounded to the power line conductor. At least one magnetic core is configured to surround the power line conductor and power a power supply electronics module. An infrared optical rain sensor measuring device is located within the housing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 20, 2013
    Publication date: June 26, 2014
    Inventor: Murray W. DAVIS
  • Publication number: 20140165717
    Abstract: A method for detecting precipitation is disclosed. The method may include receiving a signal from a sensing module positioned in the vicinity of a railroad track, the signal being indicative of a capacitive dielectric property of a form of precipitation that has accumulated in the vicinity of the railroad track. The method may further include processing the signal from the sensing module to determine the type of precipitation that has accumulated in the vicinity of the railroad track as a function of the indicated capacitive dielectric property. The method may still further include sending a signal indicative of a recommended action based on the type of precipitation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2012
    Publication date: June 19, 2014
    Applicant: Progress Rail Services Corporation
    Inventor: MARK JOSEPH BARTONEK
  • Patent number: 8754774
    Abstract: An assembly includes a mount (10) and a sensor (30), in particular a rain/light sensor for a motor vehicle, the mount (10) including at least two abutments (12) for a clamping bracket (50), wherein at least one clamping bracket (50) is hinge-fitted to the sensor (30) at two bearing points, the clamping bracket (50) being adapted to swivel between a mounting position and a clamping position, in which it urges the sensor (30) against the mount (10) with a pretensioning force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: TRW Automotive Electronics & Components GmbH
    Inventors: Karl-Heinz Wohlfahrt, Maxim Wasetzki
  • Patent number: 8746056
    Abstract: Provided is a disdrometer system having a three-dimensional laser array unit, including: a plurality of laser transmitting parts which are arranged on an inner side of a cylindrical body to generate a laser beam; a plurality of laser receiving parts which are arranged on the inner side of the cylindrical body to correspond to the laser transmitting parts; and a laser control part which converts a cut-off signal of the laser beam, which is cut-off by precipitation drops flowing into the inner side of the cylindrical body, into an electrical signal, and records the converted electrical signal. Thus, the disdrometer system has an effect that the shape, volume, number, falling velocity of precipitation drops, and the intensity, density and weight of rainfall can be integrally measured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Korea Meterological Administration
    Inventors: Jae-Won Jung, Ki-Ho Chang, Jin-Young Bae, Chulkyu Lee, Gyuwon Lee, Young Jean Choi
  • Patent number: 8746055
    Abstract: Described herein is a rain intensity sensor. The sensor includes a circuit, which includes a resistor and at least two spaced apart electrically conductive strips electrically connected in series to the resistor. The resistor is located between the conductive strips. The conductive strips are sufficiently spaced apart such that when a raindrop contacts with the conductive strips provides a resistive path therebetween and which is electrically parallel with the resistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Inventors: Jeffrey Scott Adler, Harold Russell Baird
  • Patent number: 8733165
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided herein for sensing rain fall for use in irrigation control. In one embodiment, a wireless rain sensor comprises a housing at least partially covering a first sensor, a controller and a wireless transmitter. The first sensor comprises a moisture absorptive material located to be contacted by rain fall and configured to expand in response to the contact with the rain fall and contract in response to an absence of the rain fall. The controller is coupled to the first sensor and configured to output signals corresponding to a variable amount of expansion and contraction of the moisture absorptive material. The wireless transmitter is configured to transmit wireless signals, at least one wireless signal comprising data corresponding to the variable amount of expansion and contraction of the moisture absorptive material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignee: Rain Bird Corporation
    Inventors: Randall A. Hern, David G. Fern, Gerald E. Peterson, David M. Redmond
  • Publication number: 20140123750
    Abstract: A system for monitoring a power transmission line of a power grid, including a first comprehensive sensor (402, 502) disposed at the intermediate position of a power transmission line between two towers including an altimeter, a first acceleration sensor, a temperature and humidity sensor and a rainfall sensor; a second comprehensive sensor (404, 504) disposed at the cable connector of the power transmission line including a leakage current sensor, a tension sensor and a wind speed and direction sensor; and a second acceleration sensor (406, 506) disposed at the intermediate position of the power transmission line between the cable connector of the power transmission line and the first comprehensive sensor (402, 502). A method for monitoring a power transmission line of a power grid, including a step of monitoring the sag condition, wind yaw angle, motion and position tracking, flutter conditions, breeze vibration level, fatigue life and icing situation of a power transmission line.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 29, 2011
    Publication date: May 8, 2014
    Applicant: STATE GRID INFORMATION & TELECOMMUNICATION BRANCH
    Inventors: Jianming Liu, Xiangzhen Li, Yan Zhen, Xi Chen, Lingkang Zeng, Qinghai Ou, Qingsu He
  • Patent number: 8714007
    Abstract: A precipitation sensor including a cantilevered sensor member having a cantilevered portion and an upper and a lower surface extending on opposite sides of the cantilevered portion. The sensor member can receive falling precipitation on the upper surface and vibrate when struck by such precipitation. The cantilevered portion can have outer perimeter edges that are sloped downwardly for shedding the precipitation off the cantilevered portion. An electromechanical sensor can be incorporated with at least a part of the cantilevered portion of the sensor member for sensing the vibrations of the sensor member caused by the precipitation, and generating an electrical response from which precipitation properties can be determined. A support structure can be connected to the lower surface of the cantilevered portion at about a central region of the sensor member for supporting the sensor member. The cantilevered portion extends outwardly beyond the support structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: Airmar Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Robert M. Cullen, Chad Lawrence Andrews, Frederic Schoff Boericke, II, Stephen G. Boucher, Roger Henry Tancrell
  • Publication number: 20140116127
    Abstract: The present inventions relate generally to methods, apparatus and systems for measuring snow stability and structure which may be used to assess avalanche risk. The disclosed apparatus includes a sensing unit configured to measure a size of snow grains as the sensing unit is being driven into a layer of snow. The disclosed apparatus may also be configured to take other environmental measurements, including resistance to penetration, temperature, humidity, slope aspect and inclination. Methods and apparatus are also disclosed for generating a profile of snow grain size according to depth based on the measured size of snow grains. Systems and apparatus are also disclosed for sharing the generated profiles among a plurality of users via a central server, and for evaluating an avalanche risk at a geographic location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 25, 2013
    Publication date: May 1, 2014
    Applicant: AVATECH, INC.
    Inventors: James Loren CHRISTIAN, Samuel Tileston WHITTEMORE, Brinton Johnston Wadsworth MARKLE
  • Publication number: 20140091123
    Abstract: A double ball rearview device mounting assembly includes a bracket having a windshield engagement surface, an internal sensor receiving aperture, and an external clip engagement wall. A sensor is adapted for reception in the internal sensor receiving aperture. A clip is operably coupled to the bracket to secure the sensor. A bracket cover is configured to slide into secure engagement with the bracket and includes a first mounting ball. A barrel is pivotally coupled to the first mounting ball at one end, and is pivotally coupled to a second mounting ball at the other end. A rearview device is operably mounted to the second mounting ball.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2013
    Publication date: April 3, 2014
    Inventors: Chul Bock Kim, Pil Joon Choi, Daniel B. Lee, Danny L. Minikey, JR.
  • Patent number: 8661890
    Abstract: A rain monitoring system includes a rain monitor configured to measure fluid precipitation. A mount is provided and the rain monitor is attached to the mount. The mount includes a lower plate that has a top side, a bottom side and a perimeter edge. The lower plate has a plurality of primary apertures extending therethrough. An upper plate has an upper side, a lower side and an exterior edge. The upper plate has a plurality of secondary apertures extending therethrough. The rain monitor may be positioned on the upper side. A plurality of fasteners each has a first end and a second end. Each of the fasteners extends through a corresponding one of the primary apertures. Each of the fasteners threadably engages one of the secondary apertures to retain the upper plate above the lower plate. A support is attached to the mount and supports the mount above a surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Inventor: Mark Raithel
  • Publication number: 20140041448
    Abstract: Described herein is a rain intensity sensor. The sensor includes a circuit, which includes a resistor and at least two spaced apart electrically conductive strips electrically connected in series to the resistor. The resistor is located between the conductive strips. The conductive strips are sufficiently spaced apart such that when a raindrop contacts with the conductive strips provides a resistive path therebetween and which is electrically parallel with the resistor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 9, 2012
    Publication date: February 13, 2014
    Inventors: Jeffrey Scott Adler, Harold Russell Baird
  • Patent number: 8601864
    Abstract: The present invention essentially comprises a system, method, computer program and combinations thereof to utilize dual-polarization generated date generally associated with weather events for mapping data, producing geo-referenced data, producing mosaics, generation of conditional precipitation masks, production of vertical cross sections and predetermined fly throughs, producing short term forecasting, prediction of specific weather phenomenon, correcting or adjusting rain gauge data as well as quantitative precipitation estimation, and combining other meteorological data to correct or adjust estimated rainfall accumulation gathered by dual-polarization radar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: Weather Decision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Eilts, James T. Johnson, Jr., Christopher Porter, Matthew Gaffner, J. William Conway
  • Patent number: 8576083
    Abstract: A rain detector for use with an automotive vehicle. The rain detector includes a capacitance sensor mounted to the inside surface of a windshield. The sensor includes at least two output lines which vary in capacitance as the function of magnitude of rain on the outside surface of the windshield. A programmed microcontroller receives the sensor output lines as analog input signals and then compares the magnitude of the capacitance with a threshold capacitance. In the event that the sensed capacitance exceeds the threshold capacitance, indicative of raindrops on the outside surface of the windshield, the microcontroller generates an output signal to the wiper control circuitry of the vehicle to activate the windshield wiper system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Enterprise Electronics, LLC
    Inventor: David Pearson
  • Patent number: 8573049
    Abstract: A rain gauge includes an orifice which is of a diameter generating water drops of uniform mass. A sensor below the orifice senses individual water drops. An adapter for an irrigation controller having a master valve output and a rain switch input and a system therefor includes a rain gauge input, a weather station input receiving Evapotranspiration data (ET) and an input from the master valve output receiving irrigation program cycles. A routine for updating the current water balance value by reducing the sum of the rainfall and the irrigation cycles by the value of ET is used with an output to the rain switch input responsive to the determination of the current water balance value. A maximum water balance value and a minimum water balance value are maintained to compare with the current water balance value to control the irrigation program.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Underhill International Corporation
    Inventor: John Antony Ware
  • Patent number: 8555714
    Abstract: An apparatus for measuring the amount of snow cover and snowfall using electrical conduction. The apparatus includes: a collection container in which the snow is flowed and is piled up and which is opened upwards; a supporting mount for supporting the collection container; a first conductor that is disposed on a bottom of the collection container and contacts the snow piled up on the collection container; a plurality of second conductors that are disposed spaced apart from each other on sidewalls of the collection container in a height direction of the collection container and contact the snow piled up on the collection container; a power supply unit that is electrically connected to the first conductor and the plurality of second conductors; and a detection sensor for determining that the first conductor and the second conductors are electrically connected to each other, based on the snow piled up on the collection container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM)
    Inventors: Byung-Gon Chae, Jung-Hae Choi, Young-Cheon Won
  • Publication number: 20130205890
    Abstract: Provided is a disdrometer system having a three-dimensional laser array unit, including: a plurality of laser transmitting parts which are arranged on an inner side of a cylindrical body to generate a laser beam; a plurality of laser receiving parts which are arranged on the inner side of the cylindrical body to correspond to the laser transmitting parts; and a laser control part which converts a cut-off signal of the laser beam, which is cut-off by precipitation drops flowing into the inner side of the cylindrical body, into an electrical signal, and records the converted electrical signal. Thus, the disdrometer system has an effect that the shape, volume, number, falling velocity of precipitation drops, and the intensity, density and weight of rainfall can be integrally measured.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 23, 2010
    Publication date: August 15, 2013
    Applicant: Korea Meteorological Administration
    Inventors: Jae-Won Jung, Ki-Ho Chang, Jin-Young Bae, Chulkyu Lee, Gyuwon Lee, Young-Jean Choi
  • Patent number: 8505377
    Abstract: A thermal plate precipitation measurement system (300) and a method of operating the thermal plate precipitation measurement system (300) is provided. The thermal plate precipitation measurement system (300) includes a first thermal plate system (301A) with first and second thermal plates (302A, 303A) and a second thermal plate system (301B) with first and second thermal plates (302B, 303B). A precipitation rate can be determined by configuring the first and second thermal plates (302A, 303A) of the first thermal plate system (301A) at a first temperature and configuring the first and second thermal plates (302B, 303B) of the second thermal plate system (301B) at a second temperature different than the first temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignees: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education, On Behalf of the Desert Research Institute
    Inventors: Roy Rasmussen, John Hallet
  • Publication number: 20130145839
    Abstract: In a method for detecting rain on a windshield, whose degree of wetting is determined with at least one sensor value, it is provided that the sensor value is determined piezoelectrically, wherein vibrations on the windshield are detected, which change depending on the degree of wetting or raindrops hitting the windshield. As a result, the entire windshield serves as a detection surface, thereby yielding a high accuracy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2012
    Publication date: June 13, 2013
    Applicant: HELLA KGAA HUECK & CO.
    Inventor: Hella KGaA Hueck & Co.
  • Patent number: 8456311
    Abstract: An assembly includes a mount (10) and a sensor (30), in particular a rain/light sensor for a motor vehicle, the mount (10) including at least two abutments (12) for a clamping bracket (50), wherein at least one clamping bracket (50) is hinge-fitted to the sensor (30) at two bearing points, the clamping bracket (50) being adapted to swivel between a mounting position and a clamping position, in which it urges the sensor (30) against the mount (10) with a pretensioning force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: TRW Automotive Electronics & Components GmbH
    Inventors: Karl-Heinz Wohlfahrt, Maxim Wasetzki
  • Patent number: 8448507
    Abstract: A method and apparatus in connection with a hydrometeor measuring device. According to the method, the amount of precipitation is determined with the aid of the number and size of the hydrometeors. The determining of the size of the hydrometeors is altered as a function of the prevailing atmospheric pressure, in such a way that, the higher the atmospheric pressure, the larger a hydrometeor with the same speed will be estimated to be.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Vaisala Oyj
    Inventors: Atte Salmi, Lasse Elomaa
  • Patent number: 8434359
    Abstract: The invention relates to a sensor arrangement for detecting ambient conditions, in particular for a motor vehicle, with at least one carrier plate and optical elements arranged on this carrier plate, wherein several of the optical elements are arranged around a shared central region on the carrier plate, and at least two of the optical elements arranged around the central region exhibit primary action axes. These primary action axes are adjusted at a predetermined angle relative to the carrier plate, wherein the primary action axes are directed toward the shared central region. Additional sensors arranged on the carrier plate include a rain sensor, a solar sensor as well as various light sensors, which preferably are arranged on receiving surfaces of the carrier plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: Hella KGaA Hueck & Co.
    Inventors: Thomas Niemann, Olaf Lüdtke, Almut Schlarmann, Jürgen Palloks, Antje Müller, Tim Petasch
  • Patent number: 8359918
    Abstract: The rain gauge with a particulate separator is a balance-type precipitation gauge having a particulate separator for removing sand, dust and other environmental particulate matter. The particulate separator includes a spherical particulate separator mounted beneath a central nozzle and above first and second receptacles of the gauge. A frustoconical particulate separator is mounted beneath the spherical particulate separator and above the first and second receptacles, a central channel being formed therethrough. In operation, liquid flows through the central nozzle and clings to an outer surface of the spherical particulate separator, flowing through the central channel to alternately fill the first and second receptacles. Particulate matter flowing through the central nozzle is deflected by the outer surface of the spherical particulate separator to strike an inclined upper surface of the frustoconical particulate separator, falling through at least one vent formed through the housing to exit the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Assignee: King Saud University
    Inventors: Mohammad N. B. Elnesr, Mohamad Elfarrah, Abderrahman Ali Alazba, Majed Abu-Zreig
  • Patent number: 8299931
    Abstract: An inexpensive and simple-to-operate ice safety device is provided for deployment in a body of water. Once deployed, the ice safety device can be activated to check whether ice has formed to a predetermined thickness around the ice safety device. If ice has not formed to the predetermined thickness, the ice safety device indicates an unsafe condition. The ice safety device can be moored to a fixed location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Inventor: Zoe Eggleston
  • Patent number: 8291760
    Abstract: A container system (10) for collecting and storing liquids comprises a receptacle (12) with an opening (11) at a top (13) thereof. The container system (10) further includes a lid (40) covering the opening (11) of the receptacle (12) and includes a central aperture (50) and a plurality of radial channels (60) in an upper and outer surface (41) spoking out from the aperture (50) to permit liquids impinging upon the outer surface (41) to flow through the channels (60) into the aperture (50). The lid (40) includes a screen (80) disposed and held within the aperture (50) with a plurality of interstices (82) therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Assignee: Orbis Canada Limited
    Inventor: Basil Thompson Martheenal
  • Patent number: 8205492
    Abstract: A precipitation collector includes a container having a container space for containing precipitation received through a container opening. The container includes a discharge outlet fluidly coupled to a valve to define selectively operable outlet of the collector for selectively discharging the received precipitation. A lid partially covering the container opening and includes a lid passage which defines a collector inlet disposed in fluid communication with the container space through the container opening such that the lid passage provides a passage for entry of environmental precipitation into the container space. The container includes an overflow outlet configured for discharging an overflow of the received precipitation collected within the container space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignee: Enviro World Corporation
    Inventor: Basil Thompson Martheenal
  • Publication number: 20120031181
    Abstract: A method and apparatus in connection with a hydrometeor measuring device. According to the method, the amount of precipitation is determined with the aid of the number and size of the hydrometeors. The determining of the size of the hydrometeors is altered as a function of the prevailing atmospheric pressure, in such a way that, the higher the atmospheric pressure, the larger a hydrometeor with the same speed will be estimated to be.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2010
    Publication date: February 9, 2012
    Inventors: Atte Salmi, Lasse Elomaa
  • Patent number: 8109141
    Abstract: A system and/or method for sensing the presence of moisture (e.g., rain) and/or other material(s) on a window such as a vehicle window (e.g., vehicle windshield or backlite). In certain example embodiments, a capacitor-based system and/or method is provided for auto-correlating sensor data to determine the existence of a material on the window, and then cross-correlating sensor data to identify the type and/or amount of that material (e.g., rain). This data may be used to actuate and/or deactivate a vehicle's wiper(s), and/or adjust wiper speed. In certain example embodiments, the sensor may include an array of at least two capacitors. In certain example embodiments, the system and/or method may perform check(s) to enhance the accuracy of the detection by comparing, for example, the sign of autocorrelation values, maximum autocorrelation values, and/or gradients of autocorrelation values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: Guardian Industries Corp.
    Inventor: Vijayen S. Veerasamy
  • Publication number: 20120006110
    Abstract: The invention relates to a sensor arrangement for detecting ambient conditions, in particular for a motor vehicle, with at least one carrier plate and optical elements arranged on this carrier plate, wherein several of the optical elements are arranged around a shared central region on the carrier plate, and at least two of the optical elements arranged around the central region exhibit primary action axes. These primary action axes are adjusted at a predetermined angle relative to the carrier plate, wherein the primary action axes are directed toward the shared central region. Additional sensors arranged on the carrier plate include a rain sensor, a solar sensor as well as various light sensors, which preferably are arranged on receiving surfaces of the carrier plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 7, 2011
    Publication date: January 12, 2012
    Applicant: Hella KGaA Hueck & Co.
    Inventors: Thomas Niemann, Olaf Lüdtke, Almut Schlarmann, Jürgen Palloks, Antje Müller, Tim Petasch
  • Patent number: 8082783
    Abstract: An optical sensor device that can be used as a rain sensor has a light emitter, a light receiver, and an optical plate with rotationally symmetrically shaped Fresnel prism structures, which is coupled to a pane, in particular a windshield of a vehicle, by means of a coupling layer. On its opposite side, the optical plate takes up light from the light emitter. The light is coupled into the pane and, after a total reflection on an internal surface of the pane, is directed onto the light receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: TRW Automotive Electronics & Components GmbH
    Inventor: Ulrich Backes
  • Publication number: 20110288775
    Abstract: An intelligent rain sensor incorporates at least one hygroscopic member and a sensor that generates signals representative of its amount of expansion due to absorption of moisture. A microcontroller executes a pre-programmed algorithm that determines at least the rate of expansion and uses that information to distinguish between actual rainfall events on the one hand, and high humidity, dew or a light sprinkle on the other hand, and sends a shut off command to an irrigation controller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 19, 2010
    Publication date: November 24, 2011
    Inventors: Peter J. Woytowitz, La Monte D. Porter
  • Patent number: 8051707
    Abstract: A sensor arrangement includes an optical sensor, a non-optical sensor, a sensor holder, and main and flexible interconnect devices. The sensor arrangement can be fixed to a vehicle window by the sensor holder. The sensor holder is in the form of a sensor housing having a sensor housing cover and a second housing body attached to one another. The sensor housing cover and the sensor housing body each have corresponding bracket sections which form a bracket connected to the sensor housing. The main interconnect device is positioned within the sensor housing. The optical sensor is connected to the main interconnect device. The flexible interconnect device is connected to the main interconnect device and extends from the main interconnect device to the bracket connected to the sensor housing. The non-optical sensor is connected to the flexible interconnect device within the bracket and is held by the bracket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2011
    Assignee: Leopold Kostal GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Michael Roehr, Thomas Weber, Frank Hagen
  • Patent number: 8028572
    Abstract: An Omnidirectional rain gauge measures an azimuth and zenith direction of flying rainwater. The Omnidirectional rain gauge includes catchment and measurement units. The catchment unit has a plural conical cylinders having individually different heights, and being overlaid so that bottom vertexes of the plural conical cylinders coincide with or come close to each other. The overlaid plural conical cylinders are partitioned by partitions, arranged radially in a plurality of horizontal azimuth directions, to form a plurality of catchment cells. Each of the plurality of partitions is shaped as semicircle following a virtual spherical outer circumference. Diameter of each of top opening parts opposite to the bottom vertexes, of the overlaid plural conical cylinders is sized to follow virtual spherical outer circumference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2011
    Assignees: MTS Institute Inc., East Japan Railway Company
    Inventors: Masuyoshi Matsuda, Makoto Shimamura, Osamu Suzuki, Shigeru Kishi
  • Patent number: 8009053
    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 of the invention, at least one sensing capacitor is supported by a window such as a vehicle windshield, the capacitor(s) having a field that is affected by moisture (e.g., rain) on a surface of the window. The at least one sensing capacitor may have a fractal geometry in certain example embodiments of this invention. The sensing circuit may output an analog signal that is based on and/or related to the sensing capacitor(s). The analog output of the circuit may be converted to a digital signal, and subjected to processing (e.g., correlation) for determining whether moisture (e.g., rain, dew, fog, etc.) or the like is present on the surface of the window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: Guardian Industries Corp.
    Inventor: Vijayen S. Veerasamy
  • Publication number: 20110140606
    Abstract: An interior rearview mirror system includes an interior rearview mirror assembly having a mirror support with a pivot element and a mirror mount configured for attachment to an attachment element at a vehicle. The mirror assembly includes a mirror head having a housing and a reflective element, with the mirror head pivotally attaching to the mirror support via a single pivot joint of the mirror assembly. The mirror assembly includes an imaging sensor disposed at the mirror support and having a forward field of view through the windshield of the vehicle. The mirror assembly includes a headlamp controller that, responsive to sensing of at least one of an oncoming headlight of another vehicle and a taillight of another vehicle by the imaging sensor, at least partially controls a headlight of the equipped vehicle. The mirror support may be configured to accommodate at least one of circuitry and an accessory.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 24, 2011
    Publication date: June 16, 2011
    Applicant: DONNELLY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Jonathan E. DeLine, Niall R. Lynam
  • Publication number: 20110138567
    Abstract: A rain detector for use with an automotive vehicle. The rain detector includes a capacitance sensor mounted to the inside surface of a windshield. The sensor includes at least two output lines which vary in capacitance as the function of magnitude of rain on the outside surface of the windshield. A programmed microcontroller receives the sensor output lines as analog input signals and then compares the magnitude of the capacitance with a threshold capacitance. In the event that the sensed capacitance exceeds the threshold capacitance, indicative of raindrops on the outside surface of the windshield, the microcontroller generates an output signal to the wiper control circuitry of the vehicle to activate the windshield wiper system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2010
    Publication date: June 16, 2011
    Inventor: David Pearson