With Illumination Patents (Class 73/293)
  • Patent number: 10254146
    Abstract: The topology of a filling material surface is first determined by sampling the surface of the filling material in order to determine the fill level. When calculating the surface topology of the filling material, the measurement signal, which has been reflected at the filling material surface and has been picked up by the antenna unit of the fill level measurement device, is evaluated, taking into account the distance between the source of the measurement signal and a center of rotation of the main emission axis of the antenna. This makes it possible to accurately determine the fill level of bulk materials, even if the source of the measurement signal and the center of rotation of the main emission axis do not coincide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: VEGA GRIESHABER KG
    Inventor: Christian Hoferer
  • Patent number: 9797317
    Abstract: A method for controlling fuel switching of a fuel switching system in a vehicle via a controller configured to receive one or more measured signals in order to issue a fuel shortage warning or in order to control fuel switching is disclosed. The system includes an LPG rail pressure sensor for measuring a pressure in an LPG rail, and a bombe pressure sensor for measuring a pressure in the bombe. The method includes a first LPG rail pressure determining step of determining whether the pressure in the LPG rail is lower than a second reference value or not and a first bombe pressure determining step of determining whether the pressure in the bombe is lower than a third reference value or not. If at least one of the first pressure determining steps is positive, the method further includes switching the fuel to gasoline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignees: HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY, KIA MOTORS CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yoo Jin Seo
  • Patent number: 9526425
    Abstract: The embodiments disclosed herein is a system for optical coherence tomographic imaging of turbid (i.e., scattering) materials utilizing multiple channels of information. The multiple channels of information may encompass spatial, angle, spectral and polarization domains. More specifically, the embodiments disclosed herein is related to methods and apparatus for utilizing optical sources, systems or receivers capable of providing (source), processing (system) or recording (receiver) a multiplicity of channels of spectral information for optical coherence tomographic imaging of turbid materials. In these methods and apparatus the multiplicity of channels of spectral information that can be provided by the source, processed by the system, or recorded by the receiver are used to convey simultaneously spatial, spectral or polarimetric information relating to the turbid material being imaged tomographically.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Assignee: Board of Regents, the University of Texas System
    Inventors: Marc D. Feldman, Thomas E. Milner, Jung-Hwan Oh, Eunha Kim, Karathik Kumar, Jonathan C. Condit, Robert Grant, Nathaniel J. Kemp, Jihoon Kim, Shaochen Chen, Li-Hsin Han
  • Patent number: 9381523
    Abstract: A system for separating a sample and collecting the separated sample. The system includes an ultracentrifuge having a cylindrical rotor. The system includes a gradient delivery assembly for delivering a gradient solution to the ultracentrifuge rotor, and a sample delivery assembly for delivering the solution containing the sample to the ultracentrifuge rotor. The system includes a fraction collection assembly for collecting discrete volumes of the separated sample. The system includes a processor for controlling operation of the ultracentrifuge, as well as the gradient delivery assembly, the sample delivery assembly, and/or the fraction collection assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: Alfa Wassermann, Inc.
    Inventor: Blaine J. Marsh
  • Patent number: 9382654
    Abstract: Method of determining a laundry load size in a laundry treating appliance comprising a rotatable drum at least partially defining a treating chamber for receiving laundry for treatment in accordance with a treating cycle of operation, an imaging device, and a controller having a processor, the method includes generating an images, detecting, marking in the generated image, and determining, by the controller, a load size based on the image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Andrew Leitert, Karl David McAllister
  • Patent number: 9317882
    Abstract: An approach is provided for smart order management. Smart utensils measure consumption of a meal by a customer. The smart utensils include at least one processor to perform the measuring and a transmitter that transmits data corresponding to the measured consumption. The smart utensils transmit the measurement to a restaurant data collection device. The approach predicts, based on the measuring, a completion time of the meal by the customer and notifies restaurant staff members of the predicted completion time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Christopher M. Bosko, Bryan D. Osenbach, Jeffrey B. Sloyer
  • Patent number: 9279711
    Abstract: An optical sensor for a conventional tank gauge designed to allow a user to remotely check the liquid level of a tank without the need for a visual inspection. Using an emitter circuit board with a plurality of photoemitters and a detector circuit board with a plurality of photodetectors, the optical sensor can fit over a conventional tank gauge without disturbing the gauge. The circuit boards can be attached to an optical sensor frame, which can be adjusted on the conventional tank gauge by a height adjustment screw and a series of set screws. Alternatively, one or more sliders can be used to maintain proper alignment. Analog data generated from the photodetectors can be digitized using a microcontroller and can be made available for viewing on a stationary or mobile device via an integrated network connection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2016
    Inventor: Eric Guldalian
  • Patent number: 9182553
    Abstract: An optical switch having a housing, and two optical fibers, that can be connected to a light source and a light detector. The optical switch includes a moveable member that moves from a first position to a second position. In the first position, an optical path is present through the two fibers guide using a reflection or emission of light from the glowable member. In the second position, there is no optical path present through the switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Inventors: Christopher E. Cox, Raleigh L. Cox
  • Patent number: 9151656
    Abstract: A self-alignment filling level detecting device has a reflector and a sensor detachable from each other. The sensor has a light emitter, a light sensor, and a controller. The light sensor receives different light intensities when the reflector is assembled to the sensor and when the reflector is not assembled to the sensor. Thus, the controller determines whether the reflector has been accurately engaged and aligned with the sensor or not based on sensing results of the light sensor. Since the reflector and the sensor are detachable from each other, either the reflector or the sensor can be replaced individually if any one of them malfunctions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2015
    Assignee: FINETEK CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Bo-Yi Wu, Chi-Fan Liao, Ciu-Hsing Liu, Chao-Kai Cheng
  • Publication number: 20150135828
    Abstract: A system for measuring fluid level is provided. The system includes a dipstick configured to be received in a fluid reservoir and having a photoluminescent portion. The system also includes a light source operable to emit a first light to excite the photoluminescent portion. A fluid level is determined based on a degree of illumination of the photoluminescent portion when the dipstick is removed from the reservoir and the photoluminescent portion is exposed to the first light.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventors: Stuart C. Salter, James J. Surman
  • Publication number: 20150033845
    Abstract: A detector for detecting a change in a fluid level and generating a digital signal uses a light source and a photodetector mounted diametrically on a tube in a predetermined location where a change in fluid level is to be detected. The circuit provides two stable output states or levels, one which corresponds to fluid not being in the tube between the light source such as an LED light and the photodetector and the other level when fluid is in the tube. In a particular application, the invention is utilized to monitor fluid level in a predetermined location of a manometer to shut off a radon remedial system and provide audio/and or visual alarms when there is a fluid level change which indicates that the radon remedial system is not operating effectively.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 1, 2013
    Publication date: February 5, 2015
    Inventors: John Cacciola, Clark F. Johnson, Allen Sullender
  • Patent number: 8915133
    Abstract: The invention relates to a test arrangement comprising a waveguide, a first signal reflecting device and a second signal reflecting device. The first signal reflecting device is configured to reflect an electromagnetic signal traveling along the waveguide from the second signal reflecting device back towards the second reflecting device and to allow, at least during a time period, an electromagnetic signal traveling along the waveguide from the second signal reflecting device towards the first signal reflecting device to pass the first signal reflecting device. Hereby, a selected number of passages through a waveguide can be used to simulate passage through a much longer waveguide, and that this allows for use of a high-quality waveguide which would otherwise be too bulky, too heavy or too expensive to use depending on field of application.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Rosemount Tank Radar AB
    Inventor: Olov Edvardsson
  • Patent number: 8881588
    Abstract: A dielectric antenna (1) having at least one supply element (2) and at least one lens (3) formed of a dielectric material. The dielectric antenna makes it possible to measure the surface of a medium with an essentially consistent measuring accuracy in that the lens (3) has an outer component (4) and an inner component (5). The outer component (4) has a radiating surface (6) that is spherical and an inner surface (7) that is spherical, and the inner component (5) has a contact surface (8) that spherical. Furthermore, the antenna is usable as part of a fill level sensor operating on the radar principle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: KROHNE Messtechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Christoph Baer, Christian Schulz, Michael Gerding
  • Patent number: 8844352
    Abstract: The method comprises the steps of generating a transmission signal; propagating the transmission signal towards the product; receiving a reflected signal; providing a reference signal exhibiting a time-varying phase difference in relation to the transmission signal; forming a measurement signal; and determining the filling level based on the measurement signal. The method further comprises the steps of: determining a reduced time period comprising a time when the time-varying phase difference corresponds to an anticipated filling level, the reduced time period being shorter than the measurement sweep time period; controlling the level gauge system to change from a low-power state to a high-power state at a start of the reduced time period; and controlling the level gauge system to change back from the high-power state to the low-power state at an end of the reduced time period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: Rosemount Tank Radar AB
    Inventors: Leif Nilsson, Hakan Nyberg, Hakan Delin
  • Patent number: 8746058
    Abstract: Its object is to allow measurement of the volume of fuel (2) using optic fiber cables (3); it is characterized in that, adhered to one or more of the inner faces of the tank (1) there is at least one sheet (4) in which a plurality of optic fiber cables (3) with different lengths are included, located between the inner face of the tank and the sheet (4). One set of the ends (10) of the optic fiber cables (3) are disposed so that they are in contact with the fuel (2) when it reaches their level, thereby allowing measurement of the fuel level at all times. The preferred embodiment distributes the optic fiber cables (3) on two opposing lateral faces of the tank (1) so that they cross over one another and in opposite directions to measure any fuel level. It is applied in aeronautics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Airbus Operations, S.L.
    Inventors: Vicente Martínez Valdegrama, Luis Manuel Rodríguez Urbina
  • Patent number: 8731725
    Abstract: A fluid overfill detection and control system for controlling the transfer of fluid into a transport vehicle having multiple fluid compartments includes a plurality of overfill sensors that are connected in series with one another and that each produces an output pulse when the fluid level in its associated compartment is below a threshold level. A diagnostic line connected to each of the overfill sensors provides a diagnostic signal indicative of the number of overfill sensors that generate an output pulse, while a module on the vehicle provides an indication of the total number of overfill sensors located in the vehicle. To prevent a hazard due to the possible bypass of a overfill sensor, the controller compares the overfill sensor count signal to the diagnostic signal and inhibits the transfer of fluid into the vehicle if the values do not match.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Scully Signal Company
    Inventors: Robert R. Trottier, Kenneth L. Langlais
  • Patent number: 8701746
    Abstract: Systems and methods for determining liquid depth information in a condensate pan of a climate control unit are provided. The systems and methods radiate a light beam into a liquid contained in a condensate pan associated with a climate control unit. The light beam is detected at a point of the condensate pan that is below a surface of the liquid. Information related to the depth of the liquid is determined based at least in part on the detected light beam. The systems and methods disclosed herein can determine if liquid depth in a condensate pan is greater than a threshold depth and can control evacuation of the liquid from the condensate pan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Schneider Electric IT Corporation
    Inventor: Daniel J. Rohr
  • Patent number: 8695420
    Abstract: A liquid level sensing system includes waveguides disposed in a liquid and distributed along a path with a gap between adjacent waveguides. A source introduces electromagnetic energy into the waveguides at a first end of the path. A portion of the electromagnetic energy exits the waveguides at a second end of the path. A detector measures the portion of the electromagnetic energy exiting the second end of the path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Valentin Korman, John T. Wiley, Amanda G. Duffell
  • Patent number: 8657425
    Abstract: An ink cartridge includes a case, an ink supply opening, and a light transmissive member positioned in the case and facing the ink supply opening. The light transmissive member is configured to allow light entering via the ink supply opening to pass therethrough. The light transmissive member includes a reflective surface having a first reflectance for light entering via the ink supply opening and passing through the light transmissive member when the reflective surface contacts ink stored in the ink chamber. The reflective surface has a second reflectance for light entering via the ink supply opening and passing through the light transmissive member when the reflective surface does not contact ink stored in the ink chamber. The first reflectance is different from the second reflectance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Tomohiro Kanbe, Hirotake Nakamura
  • Publication number: 20130255374
    Abstract: A method of measuring a liquid level of a cell culture solution stored in a cell vessel, includes: irradiating the cell culture solution with at least two kinds of light beams including a first light beam having a first wavelength and a second light beam having a second wavelength; measuring a first absorbance of the cell culture solution with respect to the first light beam, and a second absorbance of the cell culture solution with respect to the second light beam; and determining a liquid level of the cell culture solution based on the first absorbance and the second absorbance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 21, 2013
    Publication date: October 3, 2013
    Applicants: TOKYO WOMEN'S MEDICAL UNIVERSITY, NIHON KOHDEN CORPORATION
    Inventors: Mitsuhiro Oura, Hirotsugu Kubo, Teruo Okano, Tatsuya Shimizu
  • Publication number: 20130233071
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a coverslipping machine (1) including: a hollow needle (2) for applying mounting medium onto a specimen slide (5); a transparent container (103) to be filled with a liquid; a light source (101) for radiating measurement light in a principal radiating direction (A) into the container (103); and a light sensor (102, 102?) for detecting the measurement light, the light source (101) being arranged with respect to the container (103) in such a way that the radiated measurement light is refracted by a liquid in the container whose fill level exceeds a fill level limit, the light sensor (102, 102?) being arranged with respect to the container (103) in such a way that only measurement light refracted by the liquid or only measurement light not refracted by the liquid is detected.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2013
    Publication date: September 12, 2013
    Applicant: LEICA BIOSYSTEMS NUSSLOCH GMBH
    Inventors: Markus Berberich, Christian Wilke, Tobias Trump
  • Patent number: 8528400
    Abstract: A system for monitoring a liquid level in an aircraft shock strut includes a cylinder having an internal chamber sealed by a piston telescopically movable within the cylinder. The chamber contains a gas and a liquid, and a sensor assembly is provided for monitoring a condition of a level of the liquid in the chamber. The sensor assembly includes at least one probe within the chamber, and a fitting assembly allows one or more leads from the probe to pass through the wall of the strut while maintaining pressure in the chamber. The fitting assembly includes a plug molded to the one or more leads extending from the probe. The fitting assembly also includes a retainer for holding the plug in sealed relationship with a through passage in the strut.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: Goodrich Corporation
    Inventor: William E. Luce
  • Publication number: 20130137490
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus on which a drinking vessel may be placed, in particular an apparatus which provides information, wherein the information is connected with the drinking vessel. An apparatus for indicating the filling level of a drinking vessel comprises a placement device on which the drinking vessel is placed, a detection device for detecting the filling level of the drinking vessel (200), and a display element which displays the detected filling level.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2012
    Publication date: May 30, 2013
    Applicant: bluebox Promotion GmbH
    Inventor: bluebox Promotion GmbH
  • Patent number: 8448510
    Abstract: Device for monitoring the level of the condensate collected in the measurement cylinder of a standardized distillation apparatus for automatically distilling liquid specimens, characterized in that it comprises: on the one hand, a double optical barrier emitting a central beam centered on the measurement cylinder (1), so as to allow detection of the part below the meniscus, and an eccentric beam offset with respect to the central beam and located close to the wall of the measurement cylinder (1), so as to allow the part above the meniscus to be detected; and, on the other hand, a fixed optical barrier intended for counting the drops of condensate falling into the measurement cylinder (1) during distillation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Instrumentation Scientifique de Laboratoire ISL
    Inventors: Herbert Scheiner, Thomas Herold
  • Publication number: 20130111988
    Abstract: The present invention is a well gauge used to indicate the relative depth of water inside a shallow well. Specifically, the present invention is water well gauge with a calibrated pipe, which visually displays various quantities of water within the well. The calibrated pipe or the floating shaft of the present invention is to be floated perpendicularly to water surface within the well. The shaft is supported by a group of buoys, which floats in line with the water in the well. The buoys are positioned radially around and perpendicularly to the shaft. The present invention further comprises a collar which helps position the shaft vertically and perpendicularly to the water level. The calibrated pipe of the present invention can be read in the absence of light due to an attachment of a solar light-emitting diode (LED). With the present invention installed, water user can regulate water more effectively.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2012
    Publication date: May 9, 2013
    Inventor: Thomas W. NEWTON
  • Patent number: 8429967
    Abstract: The present invention includes: plural common terminals; plural water level measurement terminals that are arranged at a certain interval along a longitudinal direction; a water level measurement control unit that measures the water level of a measurement subject by letting an electric current flow to the plural common terminals, then reading the state information of an electric current flowing to the plural water level measurement terminals; and an LED unit that reads and displays the water level measurement results through plural LEDs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Construction Technology
    Inventors: Won Kim, Dong Gu Kim, Chan Joo Lee
  • Patent number: 8338811
    Abstract: A level detection device for detecting an upper surface of a liquid at a reference level. The device includes a reservoir having a bottom wall and one or more side walls that delimit a cavity for containing the liquid; a light emitter for emitting a light beam towards this cavity; at least one reflection surface for reflecting the light beam; and a light detector for detecting the emitted light beam upon reflection. The emitter and detector are so arranged that, when the surface of the liquid passes the reference level, a state of detection of the light beam by the detector is changed. The emitter, detector and reflection surface(s) are so located and oriented relative to the cavity that the emitted light beam is: detectable by the detector upon travelling through the liquid in the cavity; and refractable at the surface of the liquid towards or away from the detector so that the state of detection is a function of such refraction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: Nestec S.A.
    Inventors: Markus Lang, Peter Möri, Renzo Moser
  • Patent number: 8316708
    Abstract: A sight assembly may include a body portion configured to couple between a first fluid transport segment and a second fluid transport segment. The body portion may define an aperture configured for fluid flow through an interior of the body portion. The sight assembly may also include a light source disposed within the body portion. The light source may be configured to provide illumination of the interior of the sight assembly. The light source may be disposed within the body portion approximately between an outer edge of the body portion forming the aperture and an external surface of the body portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: JIKOH Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: George Horst
  • Patent number: 8302473
    Abstract: The electro-optic liquid level sensing system detects a level of liquid in a container having an upper opening, such as for a server container of a beverage maker for a transport system, such as for aircraft, trains, trucks, buses and the like. A support housing mates with the upper opening of the container, and a primary liquid level sensor is mounted in the support housing for non-intrusively measuring the liquid level. A secondary liquid level sensor may be mounted in the support housing to sense a predetermined liquid level to prevent accidental overflows. Protective lenses may be placed in front of the primary liquid level sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: BE Intellectual Property, Inc.
    Inventors: Sebastien A. Ramus, Keith R. DeBald, Joseph C. Dettmer, Winston S. Fliess
  • Publication number: 20120180564
    Abstract: A liquid container for use in an inclination detector includes a container body containing liquid forming a free surface and having a circumferential wall in a spherical form, in which the circumferential wall is formed so that a center of the circumferential wall and a center of the free surface coincide with each other.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2012
    Publication date: July 19, 2012
    Applicant: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOPCON
    Inventors: Fumio OHTOMO, Kaoru KUMAGAI
  • Publication number: 20120167677
    Abstract: An apparatus and method are disclosed for detecting a combustible fuel leakage into the cabin of a bi-fuel or dual-fuel vehicle. The apparatus comprises a box affixed inside the cabin of a bi-fuel vehicle which alerts a driver to the presence of a combustible fuel inside the cabin using an audible alarm and flashing lights, and which then either disables the vehicle or switches the fuel powering the vehicle's engine to gasoline. Certain embodiments of the present invention include substitute means of generating and transmitting alerts to drivers, as well as of manipulating vehicle function.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 30, 2010
    Publication date: July 5, 2012
    Inventor: Aaron Stuart
  • Publication number: 20120097567
    Abstract: The present invention proposes an apparatus (100) and method for managing the liquid volume in a container. The apparatus (100) comprises a detector (101) for detecting liquid volume changes in said container during a first preset period, a first determiner (102) for determining whether said changes are lower than said first preset threshold value and a presenter (103) for presenting the first prompt information in the case of said changes being lower than said preset threshold value. The apparatus and method provided in the present invention can prompt people to drink drinkable liquids such as water in time, enable people to control their drinking intake and are beneficial to their health.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 6, 2010
    Publication date: April 26, 2012
    Applicant: KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS ELECTRONICS N.V.
    Inventors: Ying Zhao, Jun She
  • Patent number: 8122763
    Abstract: A gas measurement apparatus can comprise a sensor and a processor, in an example. The sensor can measure a pressure condition of a gas tank, in an example. The processor can select at least one light source, the light source can be positioned or be of a distinct color to indicate a corresponding level of gas remaining in the tank when illuminated. The level of gas can be based on the measured pressure. Banks of high intensity LEDs can allow visually discernable colors at a significant distance underwater. A visual beacon mode can be included. An alphanumeric pressure readout mode can be included. A depth sensor can be included.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Assignee: Avair, LLC
    Inventors: Ronald Fundak, Gary L. Felske
  • Patent number: 8123317
    Abstract: To implement an ink tank and a printing apparatus that can detect a residual quantity of ink in an ink containing part optically with high accuracy by solving a problem of false detection of an ink residual quantity caused by irregular reflection light and scattered light generated by light from a light emitting part. For that purpose, the light source for emitting light of a first wavelength and the light receiving part for receiving light of a second wavelength are provided. Then the light of the first wavelength from the light source is configured to be irradiated on a luminescent material that is provided in the ink tank and emits the light of the second wavelength using an optical prism only when the ink does not exist in the ink tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Masumi Ikeda
  • Patent number: 8091422
    Abstract: A gas measurement apparatus can comprise a sensor and a processor, in an example. The sensor can measure a pressure condition of a gas tank, in an example. The processor can select at least one light source, the light source can be positioned or of a distinct color to indicate a corresponding level of gas remaining in the tank when illuminated. The level of gas can be based on the measured pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignee: Avair, LLC
    Inventors: Gary L. Felske, Chris E. Berg
  • Patent number: 8072594
    Abstract: A liquid level sensor probe for determining liquid level within a vessel, the liquid level sensor probe comprising at least one light source positioned for emitting radiant energy; at least one photosensor positioned for detecting an amount of radiant energy received from at least one light source wherein a change in the amount of radiant energy as detected by at least one photosensor is indicative of a change in liquid level within the vessel; at least one light shield positioned between at least one light source and at least one photosensor wherein at least one light shield prevents radiant energy from directly hitting at least one photosensor; and encapsulation material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2011
    Inventor: Randel P. McMahon
  • Patent number: 8030633
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for monitoring a solid-liquid interface, including providing a vessel configured to contain an at least partially melted material; detecting radiation reflected from a surface of a liquid portion of the at least partially melted material; providing sound energy to the surface; measuring a disturbance on the surface; calculating at least one frequency associated with the disturbance; and determining a thickness of the liquid portion based on the at least one frequency, wherein the thickness is calculated based on L=(2m?1)vs/4f, where f is the frequency where the disturbance has an amplitude maximum, vs is the speed of sound in the material, and m is a positive integer (1, 2, 3, . . . ).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2011
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventors: Nathan G. Stoddard, Roger F. Clark
  • Patent number: 7987710
    Abstract: A pressure vessel 12 with a CO2 liquid level indicator 14, for use with a paintball marker 10, includes a magnetic float assembly 42 disposed within the pressure vessel 12 and adapted to float on liquid phase CO2 39 contained within the pressure vessel 12, in combination with a magnetically sensitive indicator 44 on an outer surface 40 of the pressure vessel 12 and which is adapted to detect and to display the location of the magnetic float assembly 42 within the pressure vessel 12. When connected to a conventional paintball marker 10, the pressure vessel 12 magnetically shows the indicated location of the magnetic float assembly 42, thereby showing the amount of liquid phase CO2 39 remaining within the pressure vessel 12. This remaining amount of liquid phase CO2 39 can be correlated to an approximate number of additional paintball rounds that can be shot before the CO2 is depleted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Gayston Corporation
    Inventor: Mark W. Stone
  • Patent number: 7982201
    Abstract: A system and method for identifying the levels of one or more liquids in a vessel using an optical imager and one or more appropriately positioned light sources and an optical imager for capturing digital images of the illuminated vessel. A laser line generator is positioned oppositely from the imager and oriented to project a laser line through the vessel so that it may be imaged by the imager. A second light source, such as an LED, may be positioned above or below the vessel and oriented to project light downwardly or upwardly through the vessel and its contents. Captured images of the vessel are then processed by a programmable device, such as a microcontroller, to determine the levels of materials in the vessel based on the optical characteristics revealed in the captured image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: JADAK, LLC
    Inventors: Steven Thomas Bryant, Charles Paul Barber
  • Patent number: 7935948
    Abstract: An apparatus for monitoring a position of a semiconductor process fluid interface in a dispense nozzle includes an extended optical source adapted to provide an optical beam propagating along an optical path. The optical beam is characterized by a path width measured in a first direction aligned with a dispense direction. The apparatus also includes an optical detector coupled to the optical path and adapted to detect at least a portion of the optical beam and a dispense nozzle disposed along the optical path at a location between the extended optical source and the optical detector. The apparatus further includes a nozzle positioning member coupled to the dispense nozzle and adapted to translate the dispense nozzle in the first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2011
    Assignee: Sokudo Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Erica R. Porras, Natarajan Ramanan
  • Publication number: 20110084848
    Abstract: An illuminated level has a housing containing a solid body pivotally mounted in the housing and forming a pendulum which can pivot to a first position in which the surface is accurately level. A light path is provided through the solid body having an exit opening at the pivot point and an entry opening the opposite end. A source of laser light on the housing is arranged to transmit light through an orifice on the housing so that the light through the orifice enters the entry opening to pass along the path when the solid body is in the first position and is prevented from entering the entry opening when the solid body is out of the level position. A light receiver in the housing at the outlet is responsive to the passage of light through the path for providing a sound indicating when the solid body is in the first position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2010
    Publication date: April 14, 2011
    Inventor: Denis Lafreniere
  • Patent number: 7909424
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for dispensing liquid are disclosed. The method includes the steps of storing one or more liquids in a thermal inkjet print head and providing a well plate having at least one well. At least one of the liquids is dispensed from the thermal inkjet print head into at least one well. The volume of the dispensed liquid is a fraction of the total required volume of the liquid in the at least one well, and the dispensing step is performed multiple times to dispense the required volume of the at least one liquid in at least one well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventors: Manish Giri, Joshua M. Yu, Chris H. Bakker, Kevin F. Peters, Vincent Remcho
  • Publication number: 20110056290
    Abstract: A system and method for identifying the levels of one or more liquids in a vessel using an optical imager and one or more appropriately positioned light sources and an optical imager for capturing digital images of the illuminated vessel. A laser line generator is positioned oppositely from the imager and oriented to project a laser line through the vessel so that it may be imaged by the imager. A second light source, such as an LED, may be positioned above or below the vessel and oriented to project light downwardly or upwardly through the vessel and its contents. Captured images of the vessel are then processed by a programmable device, such as a microcontroller, to determine the levels of materials in the vessel based on the optical characteristics revealed in the captured image.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 8, 2009
    Publication date: March 10, 2011
    Applicant: JADAK, LLC
    Inventors: Steven Thomas Bryant, Charles Paul Barber
  • Patent number: 7895889
    Abstract: A radar level gauge system, for determining a filling level of a product contained in a tank, the radar level gauge system comprising a transceiver including a signal generator for generating electromagnetic signals for transmission; a transmitter branch for transmitting the electromagnetic signals; and a receiver branch for receiving electromagnetic signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: Rosemount Tank Radar AB
    Inventor: Anders Jirskog
  • Patent number: 7872746
    Abstract: A continuous high resolution fluid level monitoring system is provided by embodiments of the present invention. This continuous high resolution fluid level monitoring system includes a unique fluid level sensor having a point light source, parabolic reflector, sensor array, and detection, processing and control system. The point light source illumines a parabolic reflector wherein the point light source is located at the focus of the parabolic reflector. The parabolic reflector reflects light from the point light source to produce a parallel light curtain. This parallel light curtain is parallel to an axis of symmetry of the parabolic reflector. The parallel light curtain illumines a chamber such as a chamber in an ophthalmic surgical device used to contain surgical fluid. The sensor array coupled to the chamber detects the parallel light curtain illuminating the chamber. The sensor array provides an output to a detection/processing/control system in order to determine the fluid level within the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2011
    Assignee: Alcon, Inc.
    Inventors: Shawn X. Gao, David Lloyd Williams, T. Scott Rowe, Daryush Agahi
  • Patent number: 7866209
    Abstract: A biological specimen collection and transfer system, including a biological sample container configured for storing a biological fluid sample, a vacuum source, a specimen filter having an interior chamber and an opening in communication with the chamber, and a fluid level regulator configured to determine a fluid level in the biological sample container and to dispense a fluid into the container if the determined fluid level is less than a desired fluid level. The fluid level regulator includes a fluid level monitor, a fluid dispenser, and a controller in communication with the fluid level monitor and the fluid dispenser, wherein the fluid level monitor includes a sound source configured to emit sound towards a surface of the fluid sample, and a sound detector configured to measure sound reflected from the surface of the fluid sample, wherein the controller determines the fluid level based at least in part on a measurement of reflected sound emitted from the sound source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2011
    Assignee: Cytyc Corporation
    Inventor: Douglas A. Tenney
  • Patent number: 7838859
    Abstract: A fluid overfill probe is resistant to failure caused by physical stresses resulting from thermal expansion of probe components. A fluid level detector is connected to circuit components that are mounted on a circuit board located in a housing of the probe. The circuit board is located within a tube that is positioned within, and secured to the housing, and the circuit board is secured to an inner surface of the tube along its edges. The tube has a shape and rigidity sufficient to maintain a gap between the circuit components and the inner surface of the tube such that thermal expansion of probe components result in no physical stress to the circuit components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: Scully Signal Company
    Inventor: Robert R. Trottier
  • Publication number: 20100281972
    Abstract: A method and a device for optically determining state variables inside a container (1) for liquefied gases. In the method and device, light emitted by an illumination unit (2) travels within an optical waveguide (7, 9) to a contact point (33) with the content of the container (1) and is partially reflected there, the intensity of the reflected light is measured by an image sensor (4), and a state variable is determined from the intensity. In order to create a comprehensive “image” of the state variables in the container and of the container content, several optical waveguides (29, 29?) are guided to contact points (33) which are distributed within the container (1) and form measurement points (9.1, 9.2, 9.3, . . . , 9.n). Locally assigned state variables (refractive index, density, temperature, etc.) of the container content are determined from the measured values obtained at the measurement points (9.1, 9.2, 9.3, . . . , 9.n) and are evaluated along with the spatial coordinates of the measurement points (9.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 16, 2007
    Publication date: November 11, 2010
    Applicant: MAGNA STEYR FAHRZEUGTECHNIK AG & CO. KG
    Inventor: Gert Krammer
  • Publication number: 20100269584
    Abstract: A sight assembly may include a body portion configured to couple between a first fluid transport segment and a second fluid transport segment. The body portion may define an aperture configured for fluid flow through an interior of the body portion. The sight assembly may also include a light source disposed within the body portion. The light source may be configured to provide illumination of the interior of the sight assembly. The light source may be disposed within the body portion approximately between an outer edge of the body portion forming the aperture and an external surface of the body portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2009
    Publication date: October 28, 2010
    Applicant: JIKOH MANUFACTURING, INC.
    Inventor: George Horst
  • Patent number: 7820995
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a component for a household appliance, in particular for a dishwasher, and to a sump for a household appliance, in particular for a dishwasher, using it. Both the component and the sump are adapted to detect and/or control the level of a liquid in a tub. The component and/or the sump comprise a light transmitter adapted to generate a light beam, a light receiver adapted to receive the said light beam, and at least one optical element, in particular made of transparent material, adapted to affect the said beam depending on the content of the tub.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2010
    Assignee: Eltek S.p.A.
    Inventors: Costanzo Gadini, Fabio Nebbia