Vibratory Type Patents (Class 73/290V)
  • Patent number: 6155112
    Abstract: A filling level measuring device operating with microwaves and to be fastened on a container (3) is provided, the device having a housing (11) and a rod-shaped antenna (7) pointing into the container (3) and the device being designed such that the antenna (7) does not transmit or receive microwaves in the region of a measuring device fastening and the transmitted power is not impaired by condensate or moisture. According to a first solution variant, the antenna (7) is fastened in the housing (11) and a section of the antenna (7) in the region of the measuring device fastening is surrounded by a metallic sleeve (8). According to a second solution variant, a sleeve (8a) in which the antenna (7) is fastened is formed onto the housing (11).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser GmbH + Co.
    Inventors: Manfred Eckert, Klaus-Peter Oberle
  • Patent number: 6148665
    Abstract: An arrangement for establishing and/or monitoring a predetermined filling level is described, in which a fixed phase difference (.DELTA..phi..sub.R), which is independent of the oscillation quality of the arrangement, exists between a transmission signal and a reception signal (E) at the resonant frequency of the mechanical oscillatory structure. This arrangement comprises a mechanical oscillatory structure (1) at least one transmitter (3), which excites the oscillatory structure (1) to produce oscillations, and two piezoelectric elements as receivers (24a, 24b). In accordance with a first variant, a first signal line (241a) of the first receiver (24a) is connected to an electrode which is arranged on a surface which bounds the first receiver (24a) in a direction opposite to its polarization. A second signal line (241b) of the second receiver (24b) is connected to the transmission signal line (5) via an electrical impedance (Z).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2000
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser GmbH + Co.
    Inventors: Igor Getman, Sergej Lopatin
  • Patent number: 6142015
    Abstract: Sensing the level of a liquid in a vessel by the pulse transit time technique is done by means of an ultrasonic transducer mounted above the highest-permissible level in the vessel which emits ultrasonic transmission pulses to the surface of the liquid and receives the ultrasonic echo pulses reflected from the liquid surface. The level in the vessel is established from the transit time of the ultrasonic pulses. To detect an overfill when the ultrasonic transducer is immersed in the liquid the decaying output signal of the ultrasonic transducer generated by the ringing of the ultrasonic transducer following the end of the each ultrasonic transmission pulse is analyzed. In this arrangement the fact is exploited that due to the better coupling of the ultrasonic transducer to the liquid than to air the ringing duration is shorter when the ultrasonic transducer is covered by the liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser GmbH + Co.
    Inventors: Igor Getman, Sergej Lopatin, Roland Muller
  • Patent number: 6138507
    Abstract: An apparatus for establishing and/or monitoring a predetermined filling level in a container is described, in which a fixed phase difference (.DELTA..phi..sub.R), which is independent of the oscillation quality of the apparatus, exists between a transmission signal and a reception signal (E) at the resonant frequency (f.sub.r) of the mechanical oscillatory structure. This apparatus comprises a mechanical oscillatory structure (1), an electromechanical transducer (2) having at least one transmitter (23) and a receiver (24), an evaluation unit (9), which determines the frequency of the reception signal (E), compares it with a reference frequency (f.sub.R) and generates an output signal which indicates that the mechanical oscillatory structure (1) is covered by a charge material if the frequency has a value which is less than the reference frequency (f.sub.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser GmbH + Co.
    Inventors: Igor Getman, Sergej Lopatin, Volker Dreyer
  • Patent number: 6105425
    Abstract: A base of a detection pipe is fixed. A vibration piece has its one end fixed to a closing portion and the other end provided with a permanent magnet. An electromagnet is closely attached inside the detection pipe such that it is arranged in a direction of axis of the permanent magnet, thereby forming a folded cantilever. Vibration is detected by a distortion detecting element, and the output therefrom is amplified by an amplification circuit for driving the electromagnet. Thus, the detection pipe, closing portion and vibration piece are repeatedly vibrated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2000
    Assignee: Nohken Inc.
    Inventor: Hiroshi Kawakatsu
  • Patent number: 6105424
    Abstract: A system and method for monitoring the dynamics of particle motion in a liquid-solid media including the rate of settling of particles, the identification of unsettled particle clouds, and the identification and control of the bed level of settled particles in a slurry within a settler is provided. The system includes an ultrasound transducer and a receiver for detecting echoes from particles in the slurry. The echoes are processed to determine the bed level of the settled particles, the position of unsettled particle clouds, and the rate of settling of the particle clouds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2000
    Assignee: Cytec Technology Corp.
    Inventors: Charles Robert Fay, Ralph W. Barnes, Harold Leon Robinson
  • Patent number: 6085589
    Abstract: A system for measuring level of material in a vessel that includes a transmission line probe adapted to be positioned for contact with material in the vessel. Electronics are coupled to the transmission line probe for launching microwave radiation along the probe and detecting radiation reflected by the electrical impedance discontinuity presented at the air/material interface in the vessel. Level of the air/material interface within the vessel is determined employing time domain reflectometry techniques, and is displayed as a continuous function over a predetermined range. The system range is calibrated by means of a target selectively manually positionable along the probe rod while the probe is disposed outside of the vessel. First and second signals are selectively stored in the system electronics with the target disposed at positions along the probe rod corresponding to the ends of the material level measurement range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: Venture Measurement Company LLC
    Inventor: William T. Cruickshank
  • Patent number: 6079266
    Abstract: Magnetic force from a momentarily excited coil (34) results in oscillatory flexure of a flexible diaphragm (30) loaded on one side by a liquid (10) whose level is to be measured. A strain gauge (46) detects the diaphragm flexure, and analysis circuitry (62) determines the liquid level as a function of the resultant oscillation frequency and the diaphragm's static flexure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Assignee: Starr-Johnson
    Inventor: Hubert A. Wright
  • Patent number: 6073492
    Abstract: An ultrasonic sensor includes an ultrasonic transmitter, an ultrasonic receiver and a support structure. First and second elongated tubes are mechanically coupled to and extend from the support structure. A first elongated waveguide is operably coupled to the ultrasonic transmitter and extends through the support structure and a bore in the first tube. The first waveguide is acoustically isolated from the support structure and first tube except at a distal portion of the first waveguide. A second elongated waveguide is operably coupled to the ultrasonic receiver and extends through the support structure and a bore in the second tube. The second waveguide is acoustically isolated from the support structure and the second tube except at a distal portion of the second waveguide. A measurement gap is located between the distal portions of the first and second waveguides.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2000
    Assignee: Kay-Ray Sensall, Inc.
    Inventors: Boris S. Rosselson, Alexander J. Esin, Lawrence J. Jones
  • Patent number: 6062070
    Abstract: A sludge blanket level is determined in a waste water treatment clarifier using sonic pulse reflections. Additionally, using similar techniques, the clarity of the waste water is determined. A sonic pulse is directed into the waste water. Echos are generated as the pulse encounters the impedance mismatches indicative of changes in the density of the water. The echos are compensated for attenuation as a function of travel time through the water, energy lost due to prior peak reflections, and are processed to remove random signals using correlation techniques. A sludge blanket is selected from the compensated echo signal as a function of the size and location of echo peaks. Additionally, the clarity is determined as a flnction of the area under the echo signal between two points corresponding to predefined levels in the clarifier tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: Drexelbrook Controls, Inc.
    Inventors: Frederick L. Maltby, Yang Wang, Norman Nardelli, L. Jonathan Kramer
  • Patent number: 6058775
    Abstract: A magnetostrictive liquid level probe in a double-walled liquid container develops liquid level data and external sensors in the space between the walls respond to the presence of liquid leaked into the space from inside or outside the container. Other sensors external of the liquid level probe may sense other conditions. The probe electronics determines binary states of the external sensors and digitally encodes the states for inclusion in data transmission of the liquid level information to a remote controller via a two-wire transmission line. One embodiment develops pulses spaced as a digital function of the sensor states and includes liquid level data between the pulses for transmission. The pulse space is measured at the remote controller and decoded to determine the external sensor states, while the liquid level data is analyzed to determine the contents of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Patriot Sensors and Controls
    Inventor: Jonathan Levy
  • Patent number: 6053042
    Abstract: A method and device of measuring a water level of a frequency analysis type is disclosed. The device is consisted of a pipe type of which immersed length is in a proportion to the water level and which is installed in a container having a fluid, a signal detecting device which has an impact apparatus to provide a source signal periodically or continuously and a impact detecting sensor(s) which gets a response signal of the pipe by the impact apparatus, and a signal analyzer which processes the signal from the impact detecting sensor. The method comprises steps of: generating a source signal to the pipe by the impact apparatus; detecting the response signal of the pipe according the water level by the impact detecting sensor; analyzing the response signal to the frequency response spectra by the signal analyzer; and measuring the water level by comparing to the predetermined frequencies which was obtained by the signal analyzer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2000
    Assignee: Korea Power Engineering Company, Incorporation
    Inventors: Jeong-Ki Hwang, Moon-Wook Lee, Sang-Gyoon Chang, Hyun-Min Kim, Choong-Hee Jo
  • Patent number: 6055485
    Abstract: The invention provides a software tool in a PC environment, which can be used for planing and analyzing a mission of communication satellite. Input data required for predicting and estimating the amount of fuel remaining in the satellite is automatically connected to the main program, to create the remaining fuel quantity value in the result file automatically. The invention allows the satellite operator to easily perform the computation of the remaining fuel quantity in the analysis of satellite mission, and to arrange related data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2000
    Assignee: Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute
    Inventors: Jong Won Eun, Ju Il Suk
  • Patent number: 6053041
    Abstract: Noninvasive method for determining the liquid level and density inside of a container having arbitrary dimension and shape. By generating a flexural acoustic wave in the container shell and measuring the phase difference of the detected flexural wave from that of the originally generated wave a small distance from the generated wave, while moving the generation and detection means through the liquid/vapor interface, this interface can be detected. Both the wave generation and wave detection may be achieved by transducers on the surface of the container. A change in the phase difference over the outer surface of the vessel signifies that a liquid/vapor interface has been crossed, while the magnitude of the phase difference can be related to fluid density immediately opposite the measurement position on the surface of the vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2000
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventor: Dipen N. Sinha
  • Patent number: 6047598
    Abstract: A continuous measurement of the level of contents in a container is effected by a level measuring device functionong in accordance with the transit time principle by means of waves transmitted from a position located above the highest possible contents level onto the surface of the material in the container. A measuring circuit determines the contents level from the transit time of the useful echo reflected from the material surface. In addition, one or more limit sensors are located at the container, each of which furnishes a signal indicating whether the contents level is above or below a level to be monitored by the limit sensor and which is situated between the minimum and maximum contents levels of the container. The measuring circuit receives the output signals of all limit sensors and uses these output signals to check and eventually to correct the contents level measured value determined by the level measuring device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2000
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser GmbH + Co.
    Inventors: Johanngeorg Otto, Wolfgang Lubcke
  • Patent number: 6046960
    Abstract: Apparatus for discriminating true echoes from false echoes in an ultrasonic liquid gauging system, comprising: means for producing electrical representations of an echo sequence received after an ultrasonic transmission, wherein the echo sequence contains one or more returned echoes that may be a true or false echo; and means for determining returned echo energy, wherein echo energy is a factor used to distinguish a true echo from a false echo.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Assignee: Simmonds Precision Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Lalit Kumar
  • Patent number: 6044702
    Abstract: The invention provides a system and method for monitoring the dynamics of particle motion in a liquid-solid media including the rate of settling of particles, the identification of unsettled particle clouds, and the identification and control of the bed level of settled particles in a slurry within a settler. The system includes an ultrasound transducer and a receiver for detecting echoes from particles in the slurry. The echoes are processed to determine the bed level of the settled particles, the position of unsettled particle clouds, and the rate of settling of the particle clouds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Assignee: Cytec Technology Corp.
    Inventors: Charles Robert Fay, Ralph W. Barnes, Harold Leon Robinson
  • Patent number: 6044703
    Abstract: A system and method for monitoring the dynamics of particle motion in a liquid-solid media including the rate of settling of particles, the identification of unsettled particle clouds, and the identification and control of the bed level of settled particles in a slurry within a settler is provided. The system includes an ultrasound transducer and a receiver for detecting echoes from particles in the slurry. The echoes are processed to determine the bed level of the settled particles, the position of unsettled particle clouds, and the rate of settling of the particle clouds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Assignee: Cytec Technology Corp.
    Inventors: Charles Robert Fay, Ralph W. Barnes, Harold Leon Robinson
  • Patent number: 6006604
    Abstract: A method for determining an optimized solution of positions for N liquid surface sensors used to gauge quantity of liquid in the container, comprising the steps of:a) defining geometric limits of the container in terms of coordinates of a three axis (x,y,z) reference coordinate system assigned to the container;b) defining a chromosome structure for an individual, wherein said chromosome structure identifies a solution in terms of position data of the N sensors;c) determining a population of individuals wherein each individual in said population is a possible solution within said geometric limits; each individual having a respective chromosome; andd) executing a genetic algorithm on said population to identify a solution that meets a performance criteria as measured by a predetermined cost function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1999
    Assignee: Simmonds Precision Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Luis Carlos Rabelo, Mark George Walker, Radoslaw Romuald Zakrzewski, Robert Curtis North
  • Patent number: 5996407
    Abstract: A multi-frequency ultrasonic liquid level gauging system includes a storage apparatus for storing a volume of liquid and a plurality of ultrasonic transducers. Each transducer introduces a distinct ultrasonic signal into storage apparatus and receives a reflected signal back. A circuit drives and receives signals from the ultrasonic transducers. A processor calculates the liquid level at each of the locations of ultrasonic transducers based on the reflected signal received from each transducer. Transducers are connected in parallel, thereby allowing circuit to communicate to the transducers through a single conductive path. A method of measuring a liquid level in storage apparatus includes emitting a single drive signal to a plurality of ultrasonic signal sources, wherein each source is operable to transmit ultrasonic signals having unique frequencies. The ultrasonic signals are transmitted through liquid and each is reflected at the liquid surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Parker-Hannifin Corporation
    Inventor: Martin Hewitt
  • Patent number: 5998991
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining the position of a movable object along a magnetostrictive wire having first and second opposed ends. A first electrical excitation pulse is applied to a two-wire circuit including the magnetostrictive wire and propagates along the wire to the position of a movable magnet surrounding the wire. The magnet generates oppositely directed first and second torsional waves in the wire. One torsional wave propagates along the wire to a reflective termination at the second end of the wire and is reflected back toward the magnet where it interacts with the magnetic field of the magnet to induce a return electrical pulse in the two-wire circuit. The position of the magnet along the wire is determined from the time differential between the first and second electrical pulses in the two-wire circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Patriot Sensors and Controls
    Inventor: John D. Begin
  • Patent number: 5987994
    Abstract: An ultrasonic measurement method in an ultrasonic measurement system having an ultrasonic transducer includes emitting an ultrasonic pulse from the ultrasonic transducer. An ultrasonic pulse is received in accordance with a pulse travel time wherein the amplitude of the received ultrasonic pulse varies according to the pulse travel time. A first electrical signal is provided representative of the received ultrasonic pulse wherein the amplitude of the first electrical signal varies in accordance with the pulse travel time. A second electrical signal is provided in accordance with the first electrical signal wherein the amplitude of the second electrical signal is substantially independent of the pulse travel time. In order to determine the second electrical signal variable amplification is applied to the first electrical signal in accordance with the travel time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Drexelbrook Engineering Company
    Inventors: Frederick L. Maltby, L. Jonathan Kramer, Glen Mitchell
  • Patent number: 5986449
    Abstract: A liquid level detection apparatus includes an outer tube of substantially constant diameter. A magnetostrictive wire is supported within the outer tube. An electrical circuit is mounted within the outer tube and is electrically connected to a pickup coupled to the magnetostrictive wire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Patroit Sensors and Controls Corporation
    Inventor: Richard D. Koski
  • Patent number: 5979233
    Abstract: Ultrasonic apparatus determines the fluid depth, volume, and temperature in a storage tank. A system description for monitoring an underground storage tank containing gasoline is described. The system determines the water's and gasoline's depth, volume, and temperature. The apparatus consists of a remote console, ultrasonic probe, and interconnecting cable. The remote console contains a display to report tank information and a computer to operate the probe. The probe consists of an ultrasonic transducer above the bottom of the probe facing upwards to transmit and receive ultrasonic signals, vertically spaced reflectors and a temperature sensor to measure fluid temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: National Enviromental Service Company
    Inventor: Glen A. Johnson
  • Patent number: 5975102
    Abstract: In a process for the detection of the limit level of liquids and bulk materials in containers and pipelines, the change in the oscillation behavior of a sensor which is excited to oscillation is detected electronically and used to trigger a switch command. As sensor there is used a parallel bimorph piezoelectric element (22) having a common central electrode (44) and two outer electrodes (46, 48). A first alternating voltage (U1) with an oscillator frequency (f1) is applied between the central electrode (44) and a first outer electrode (46), a second alternating voltage is measured as amplitude of oscillation (U2) with corresponding oscillation frequency (f2) between the central electrode (44) and the second outer electrode (48), and the measured amplitude of oscillation (U2) or oscillation frequency (f2) is converted into an output switch signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Georg Fischer Rohrleitungssysteme AG
    Inventor: Adelbert Schalk
  • Patent number: 5969621
    Abstract: An apparatus for establishing and/or monitoring a pre-determined filling level in a container is provided, in which the reception signal (E) corresponds to the desired measurement signal and in which a fixed phase difference (.DELTA..phi..sub.R), which is independent of the oscillation quality of the apparatus, exists between the transmission signal and the reception signal (E) at the resonant frequency (f.sub.r) of the mechanical oscillatory structure (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser GmbH + Co.
    Inventors: Igor Getman, Sergej Lopatin
  • Patent number: 5953287
    Abstract: A method of and apparatus for determining the topography and/or volume of a layer of sludge on the bottom of an oil tank, for example, in which a sonar head having a velocimeter is immersed in the oil, and a fan-shaped beam of acoustic energy is swept across the layer of sludge. Also the velocity of sound in the oil is measured, preferably at a plurality of heights over a relatively short vertical range to determine the velocity gradient, which is then extrapolated for the entire depth of the oil. Processing means determine, from the extrapolated velocity gradient, the topography and/or volume of the sludge. The method provides an accurate indication of the distribution and volume of sludge across the whole of the bottom of an oil tank, taking into account changes in the speed and attenuation of acoustic energy due to, for example, the temperature gradient in the oil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Willacy Oil Services Limited
    Inventors: George Arthur Willacy, Stanislaw Tadeusz Kolaczkowski, Nicholas Gaze Pace
  • Patent number: 5948979
    Abstract: For measuring the level of a material in a container on the basis of the radar principle, microwaves are radiated downwards and reflected microwaves received by means of the antenna of a ranging device arranged above the highest level anticipated. In the normal measuring operation the received microwaves are evaluated in the distance range up to empty distance corresponding to the distance of the antenna from the bottom of the container for determining the echo waves reflected from the surface of the material, for measuring the transit time of the echo waves and for computing the distance of the material surface from the antenna of the ranging device from the measured transit time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser GmbH + Co.
    Inventors: Carsten Fitsch, Wolfgang Lubcke, Peter Gerst, Jurgen Lau
  • Patent number: 5943908
    Abstract: An apparatus (50, 100, 150) for sensing a surface level (20) of fluid (12) includes a generally cylindrical central conductor (16, 102, 152) for connection to a pulse signal source (26) with a reduced diameter end (28, 104, 154) and an opposite end (24, 124, 168); a generally tubular outer conductor (14) concentric with the central conductor for connection to the pulse signal source and having one open end (32) adjacent the central conductor reduced diameter end and an opposite open end (18) adjacent the central conductor opposite end, the central conductor and the outer conductor forming a transmission line for pulse signals generated by the pulse signal source and a cavity (C) between an interior wall surface of the outer conductor and an exterior surface of the central conductor; a non-metallic seal (54) mounted at the outer conductor open end for sealing the cavity, the central conductor reduced diameter end extending through a central aperture (52) formed in the seal; a circuit board (58) for mounting th
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1999
    Assignee: Teleflex Incorporated
    Inventors: Sean C. Innes, James S. Leonard, Albert A. Reinhart, James R. Champion
  • Patent number: 5900546
    Abstract: A railroad tank car containing liquid, has a tube through its top, with the closed lower end of the tube in the liquid. A float slidable along the tube exterior is magnetically coupled to an ultrasound reflector piston inside the tube so that, when the tube is in the liquid in the tank, the float determines the height of the piston inside the tube. An ultrasonic transducer atop the tube sends pulses down the tube and which are reflected by the piston to the transducer. A computer coupled to the transducer determines and displays the liquid level. The piston is cup-shaped with a known distance between reflecting surfaces for use in the computer to produce a display value corrected for temperature variations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1999
    Assignee: Electromechanical Research Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventor: Larry C. Wilkins
  • Patent number: 5895848
    Abstract: A liquid level sensing apparatus, and related method, that utilizes a tuning fork assembly to detect the presence of not only a liquid or air at a particular location within a container, but also a solid material at that location. The tuning fork assembly includes an excitation transducer and a receiving transducer mechanically coupled to a pair of paddles that are exposed within the container, and a phase-locked loop control system applies an excitation signal to the excitation transducer having a frequency that is regulated to track the tuning fork's resonant frequency. A comparator compares that resonant frequency with a prescribed threshold, to determine whether the tuning fork assembly is disposed in air or a liquid. A failure of the phase-locked loop control system to lock the frequency of the excitation signal at any particular frequency indicates that the tuning fork assembly is over-damped and likely contacted by a solid material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1999
    Assignee: Flowline Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey D. Wilson, Carl R. Haynie, William L. McGeary
  • Patent number: 5886518
    Abstract: A displacement detection device and a wire therefor in which the drawbacks of the conventional Elinvar-type alloy are eliminated, the magnetostriction intensity as well as the magnetostriction propagation speed does not vary with temperature, and a magnetostriction coefficient is sufficiently great to enable an amplification at a high speed of response to be unnecessary. A magnetostrictive wire used in a displacement detection device together with a magnetostriction-generating magnet disposed close thereto and movable relative thereto, said wire substantially composed of 35 to 60 wt % Ni and the balance consisting of Fe and unavoidable impurities, cold-wire-drawn and then heat-treated and having a magnetostriction coefficient greater than that exhibited in an as-cold-wire-drawn state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignees: Sumitomo Special Metals Co., Ltd., Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kazushi Kuroda, Hideo Hayashi, Kentaro Ogata
  • Patent number: 5880364
    Abstract: A non-contact ultrasonic system for measuring the volume of liquid in a container in which an ultrasonic sensor is disposed opposite the top of the container. A circuit provides pulses of ultrasonic energy for transmission through the air to the air-liquid interface of liquid in the container and for measuring the round trip transit time from the sensor to the interface and back to the sensor. A computer is programmed with dimensional data of the container internal volume and computes the volume of liquid in the container based on the dimensional data and the round trip transit time. The computed volume data is stored. The system can measure the volume of a plurality of containers using a plurality of sensors that are operated in sequence or at the same time or single sensor in which the plurality of sensors are moved relative to the single sensor for the volume of each of the sensors to be sequentially measured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1999
    Assignee: Cosense, Inc.
    Inventor: Naim Dam
  • Patent number: 5877663
    Abstract: A process sealed waveguide is formed in a flange mounted on a tank, and is used for transmitting microwave energy from a source of microwave energy to an aperture of an antenna on the interior of the tank. The process sealed waveguide includes a mechanical barrier to prevent escape of fluid under pressure or liquid from the interior of the tank, and also serves to reduce impedance mismatch between the air, vapor, or liquid filled waveguide or antenna apertures. The flange is mated to the microwave source through an electronic housing to flange adapter that interfaces with the flange in a manner to provide a vent in case the mechanical barrier fails so pressure is released, and to provide flame quenching if flames are present. The adapter includes a second waveguide having a process sealed mechanical barrier mounted coaxially with the mechanical barrier in the waveguide in the flange.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Assignee: Rosemount Inc.
    Inventors: Donald F. Palan, Jon D. Miller
  • Patent number: 5866815
    Abstract: Proposed is a fill-level indicator designed to indicate the level of the contents of a container or the storage level of a material at a storage place, the indicator having an ultrasonic transducer which is operated to act alternately as a pulse emitter and as a receiver. The ultrasonic transceiver (31,33,35) is surrounded by the fill-level indicator housing (21) to form an exactly cylindrical coaxial air gap (38) and has boundary surfaces which produce acoustic impedance jumps to reflect the acoustic energy emitted by the surface of the piezoelectric crystal (31).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1999
    Assignee: Endress +Hauser GMbH +Co.
    Inventors: Rolf Schwald, Peter Klofer, Manfred Eckert
  • Patent number: 5856953
    Abstract: Method for processing echoes received in an ultrasonic liquid gauging apparatus includes the steps of transmitting at time t.sub.1 ultrasonic energy from an ultrasonic transducer toward a fixed target and a liquid surface; producing a transmission pulse corresponding to the time t.sub.1 ; receiving during a predetermined cycle interval a number (i) of ultrasonic echoes after t.sub.1 and converting each echo into a corresponding echo pulse having an associated time of arrival t.sub.i+1 ; and calculating the liquid level based on an averaged time of arrival of the second echo relative to t.sub.1 when it is known that the liquid surface is low.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1999
    Assignee: Simmonds Precision Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Scott R. Durkee
  • Patent number: 5844491
    Abstract: An apparatus for establishing and/or monitoring a predetermined filling level in a container is provided, in which a reception signal (E) is equal to the measurement signal, and in which a fixed phase difference (.DELTA..phi..sub.R), which is independent of the oscillation quality of the apparatus, exists between a first transmission signal (S.sub.1), and a reception signal (E) at a resonant frequency (f.sub.r).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser GmbH + Co.
    Inventors: Igor Getman, Sergej Lopatin
  • Patent number: 5842374
    Abstract: A method for measuring the water level of a reservoir, a larger river and an underground water and an apparatus thereof comprises a waveguide tube selected in a predetermined length, on the upper portion of which a sonic pulse generator is mounted, and a plurality of sonic receivers (first, second, third . . . nth), such as a microphone, arranged at an interval l from each another, in which the sonic pulse generator generates sonic impulses in a predetermined period, the receivers receive impulses divided into advancing waves and reflecting waves in turns, these impulses are amplified/wave-shaped to be applied to a microprocessor, and the microprocessor measures the time interval t.sub.1 between the advancing wave and the reflecting wave received by first sonic receiver and the time interval t.sub.n-1 between first sonic receiver and the n-1th sonic receiver located close to the water surface so as to calculate the water level L.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Changmin Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hak Soo Chang
  • Patent number: 5841028
    Abstract: The invention relates to a vessel apparatus for holding and transferring liquids, in which the level of liquid may be controlled and monitored automatically. A depth sensing device, included in the apparatus, detects the presence or absence of liquid at predetermined levels. The device detects the difference in transmission of a low frequency electromagnetic signal between aerial probes based on the state of immersion (wet or dry) of the transmitting and receiving probes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Assignee: Chiron Corporation
    Inventors: Andrew Malcolm Bray, Timothy Lloyd Belcher
  • Patent number: 5836192
    Abstract: For monitoring a predetermined level of a liquid in a container an ultrasonic transducer is fitted on the outer surface of the container wall at a measurement point situated at the height of the level to be monitored. The ultrasonic transducer contains a piezoelectric element which generates, when excited by an alternating voltage pulse having a given transmission frequency, an ultrasonic transmission pulse which is transferred via a diaphragm to the container wall and which converts ultrasonic vibrations transferred from the container wall to the ultrasonic transducer into electrical reception signals. So that the piezoelectric element for given dimensions can be operated in a large frequency range, and so that a good adaptation to the diaphragm is achieved, the piezoelectric element consists of a porous piezoelectric ceramic having a type 3--3 connectivity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1998
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser GmbH + Co.
    Inventors: Igor Getman, Sergej Lopatin, Roland Muller
  • Patent number: 5821743
    Abstract: A magnetostrictive waveguide position measuring apparatus includes a waveguide extending between opposed anchored ends. A magnet is displaceable along the waveguide and generates torsional strain in the waveguide in response to an electrical excitation signal transmitted along the waveguide. A piezoceramic element sensor is coupled to the waveguide to sense the torsional strain signal on the waveguide. A signal processor determines the relative elapsed time between the excitation signal and the output signal of the piezoceramic element to determine the position of the magnet along the waveguide. The sensor is coupled to the waveguide by a low resonance coupling medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Patriot Sensors & Control Corporation
    Inventors: William J. Page, Jr., Richard D. Koski
  • Patent number: 5819818
    Abstract: A fuel spillage control device and method for using same for qualitatively determining the liquid level inside a fuel tank as it is being filled. The fuel spillage control device includes a microphone for generating an audio signal, an amplifier for amplifying the audio signal and a pair of ear phones for transducing the amplified audio signal. To qualitatively determine the liquid level inside the fuel tank, after a fill hose has been inserted into the fuel tank, an operator lowers the microphone into the fuel tank to a distance above the liquid level, a valve to the fill hose is opened, thereby filling the fuel tank, an audio signal generated by the microphone is amplified and the amplified audio signal is listened to by the operator for changes in pitch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Inventor: Patrick Frawley
  • Patent number: 5815079
    Abstract: A description is given of a sturdy device for establishing and/or monitoring a predetermined filling level in a container, which device exhibits a housing (1), two oscillating rods (3, 4) projecting into the container, a first diaphragm (2) which is fixedly clamped, at its border, into the housing (1), a second diaphragm (6, 6') which is arranged parallel to said first diaphragm in the interior of the housing (1), a piezoelectric element (7, 7') which is arranged on the second diaphragm (6, 6') and is intended for receiving and converting oscillations into an electric output signal and for inducing bending oscillations in the second diaphragm (6, 6'), and in the case of which device the mode of oscillation produced by the piezoelectric element (7, 7') corresponds to the mode of oscillation utilized for inducing oscillation in the oscillating rods (3, 4).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser GmbH + Co.
    Inventors: Igor Getman, Sergej Lopatin
  • Patent number: 5799534
    Abstract: A process for measuring the level of a liquid in a tank according to the radar principle, using a voltage-controlled oscillator determining the radar frequency, and a voltage source controlling the voltage-controlled oscillator, in the case of which the radar frequencies are modulated according to the FMCW process by a corresponding control of the voltage source. The frequency of the voltage-controlled oscillator is measured at least regularly during the frequency sweep, and a non-linear frequency characteristic is corrected during the frequency sweep through a corresponding controlling of the voltage source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 1, 1998
    Assignee: Krohne Messtechnik GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Ronald van der Pol
  • Patent number: 5789676
    Abstract: A system and method for monitoring the dynamics of particle motion in a liquid-solid media including the rate of settling of particles, the identification of unsettled particle clouds, and the identification and control of the bed level of settled particles in a slurry within a settler. The system includes an ultrasound transducer and a receiver for detecting echoes from particles in the slurry. The echoes are processed to determine the bed level of the settled particles, the position of unsettled particle clouds, and the rate of settling of the particle clouds, employing a neural network preferably with a Fuzzy Logic controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: Cytec Technology Corp.
    Inventors: Charles Robert Fay, Ralph W. Barnes, Harold Leon Robinson
  • Patent number: 5778726
    Abstract: For monitoring a predetermined level of a liquid in a container an ultrasonic sensor is fitted on the outer surface of the container wall at a measurement point situated at the height of the level to be monitored, said sensor containing an ultrasonic transducer having a diaphragm in contact with the container wall. The components of the ultrasonic sensor including those of the ultrasonic transducer are grouped together in a sensor block which is releasably connected to an adapter secured to the container wall, this adapter being configured so that it can be secured in any way required to containers of differing shape and/or material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser GmbH + Co.
    Inventors: Roland Muller, Winfried Maier, Rolf Schwald
  • Patent number: 5773913
    Abstract: A piezoelectric sensor probe comprises an elongate insulative support member supporting a plurality of piezoelectric sensing elements spaced along the length of the member, the support member has respective conductors extending from one end of the member to each of the sensing elements for conducting electrical signals to and from each sensing element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Assignee: Sensor Systems (Jersey) Limited
    Inventor: Ian Casselden
  • Patent number: 5768939
    Abstract: An acoustic ranging system monitors the level of material inside one or more vessels. The system includes an ultrasound transducer mounted in each vessel that is connected to a transmitter and a receiver through a transmit/receive isolation switch and a multiplexer. The transmitter applies a transmit signal to the transducer responsive to a trigger signal generated by a processor thereby causing the transducer to generate an ultrasound signal. An electronic receiver coupled to the transducer generates a receive signal responsive to the reflections of the ultrasound signal from the material. The receive signal is coupled to the processor which determines the elapsed time interval between generating the trigger signal an receipt of each receive signal. The processor then converts one of the elapsed time intervals into a distance indication corresponding to the level of the surface of the material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1998
    Assignee: Kistler-Morse Corporation
    Inventors: Randall G. Quayle, James R. Pottebaum
  • Patent number: 5765433
    Abstract: Ultrasonic apparatus determines the fluid depth, volume, and temperature in a storage tank. A system description for monitoring an underground storage tank containing gasoline is described. The system determines the water's and gasoline's depth, volume, and temperature. The apparatus consists of a remote console, ultrasonic probe, and interconnecting cable. The remote console contains a display to report tank information and a computer to operate the probe. The probe consists of an ultrasonic transducer above the bottom of the probe facing upwards to transmit and receive ultrasonic signals, vertically spaced reflectors and a temperature sensor to measure fluid temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1998
    Assignee: Arizona Instrument Corporation
    Inventor: Glen A. Johnson
  • Patent number: 5761955
    Abstract: An externally mounted transducer assembly for an ultrasonic liquid level measuring device that utilizes a piezoelectric crystal for generating ultrasonic pulses to be transmitted through a tank or the line containing a volume of liquid. Electrical conductors are formed integrally with the fuel tank for connecting the transducer to other components of the system. The wall of the tank is provided with an arrangement for removably attaching the transducer housing thereto. The tank is provided with electrical contacts that connect to the conductors that are integral with the tank. Also, electrical contacts in the transducer housing are connected to the transducer for providing current thereto. When the transducer housing is attached to the tank, the transducer is thereby connected to the measuring system circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 9, 1998
    Assignee: Simmonds Precision Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Frederick L. Lichtenfels, II, Ralph E. Burt