Search Patents
  • Patent number: 6431750
    Abstract: A lightweight elongate flexible temperature probe includes several temperature sensors embedded inside multiple layers of a thin film polyimide or polyester in which two of the layers are thin film copper etched to form conductors to the sensors. The conductors are in abutting electrical contact with the sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Haberbusch, Marian Felder, Alan J. Chmiel
  • Patent number: 7836754
    Abstract: A test rig capable to test feed-throughs for cryogenic service is provided. The test rig permits testing feed-throughs under the actual pressure and cryogenic temperature conditions of the anticipated in-service application, without the risk of releasing volatile liquid cryogens in the event of leakage or catastrophic failure of the feed-through. Methods of using the test rig are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo Inc.
    Inventors: Antony Skaff, Daniel Schieb
  • Publication number: 20090302547
    Abstract: A sealing gland for accommodating a ribbon-shaped element is provided to include a fitting, a bore, an alignment assembly and a cap portion. The bore extends along an axis through the fitting. The alignment assembly is configured to be mounted within the bore and includes an element slot such that the ribbon-shaped element can extend through the alignment assembly. The element slot is cuboidal in shape and is defined by a length, a height and a width. The alignment assembly is arranged so that the length is parallel with the axis. The cap portion is configured to be mounted on the fitting to retain the alignment assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 2, 2009
    Publication date: December 10, 2009
    Applicant: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventor: Martin E. Roth
  • Patent number: 8485535
    Abstract: A sealing gland for accommodating a ribbon-shaped element is provided to include a fitting, a bore, an alignment assembly and a cap portion. The bore extends along an axis through the fitting. The alignment assembly is configured to be mounted within the bore and includes an element slot such that the ribbon-shaped element can extend through the alignment assembly. The element slot is cuboidal in shape and is defined by a length, a height and a width. The alignment assembly is arranged so that the length is parallel with the axis. The cap portion is configured to be mounted on the fitting to retain the alignment assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventor: Martin E. Roth
  • Patent number: 8919273
    Abstract: A valve is disclosed. The valve can be mounted through a wall, for example in the hull wall of a submersible vehicle. The internal components of the valve can be readily removed, serviced and/or replaced without removing the valve body from the wall. A filling assembly is also disclosed, which mates with the valve to deliver a fluid from one side of the wall, through the valve and into a storage tank or other apparatus disposed on the opposite side of the wall. The filling assembly actuates the valve to open a fluid pathway therethrough in order to deliver fluid to a storage tank or other apparatus connected to the valve's exit port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Hoffman, Bradley N. Stoops
  • Patent number: 7540656
    Abstract: An apparatus for measuring insulation thermal performance is provided, particularly between ambient and cryogenic temperatures. A warm-temperature boundary has a continuous sample contact surface that is divided into a metered central zone and a boundary guard zone. Each zone is independently heated, and the power necessary to maintain the central zone at constant temperature is directly equated to heat flux through the insulation at the temperature boundary conditions. Methods for measuring insulation thermal performance are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. Stochl, Matthew E. Moran, Alexander J. Yeckley
  • Patent number: 7392691
    Abstract: A system for determining the position of a gas/liquid interface of a fluid in a tank having a probe and a controller. The probe has silicon diodes arranged linearly on a substrate. The controller applies power to each of the silicon diodes to make a determination of whether a fluid in which the silicon diode is immersed is a liquid or a gas based on a rate of transfer of heat from the silicon diode to the fluid. A method for determining the phase of a fluid in which a sensor is immersed includes the steps of immersing the sensor in a fluid and increasing power applied to the sensor. The value of a thermal transient of the sensor is then measured and the phase of the fluid is determined based on the measured value of the thermal transient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2008
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventor: Alexander J. Yeckley
  • Patent number: 10640238
    Abstract: Provided is a testbed for conducting an experiment on a substance in a cryogenic liquid state in a microgravity environment. Such a testbed includes a frame with rectangular nominal dimensions, and a source section supported by the frame for supplying the substance to be evaluated in the cryogenic liquid form. An experiment supported by the frame includes an experiment vessel in fluid communication with the storage tank to receive and condense the substance into the cryogenic liquid state. A sensor senses a property of the cryogenic liquid in the experiment vessel as part of the experiment, and a bus section includes a controller configured to control delivery of the substance to the experiment vessel, and receives property data indicative of the property sensed by the sensor for subsequent evaluation on Earth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Assignee: SIERRA LOBO, INC.
    Inventor: Philip Travis Putman
  • Patent number: 10322825
    Abstract: Provided is a testbed for conducting an experiment on a substance in a cryogenic liquid state in a microgravity environment. Such a testbed includes a frame with rectangular nominal dimensions, and a source section supported by the frame for supplying the substance to be evaluated in the cryogenic liquid form. An experiment supported by the frame includes an experiment vessel in fluid communication with the storage tank to receive and condense the substance into the cryogenic liquid state. A sensor senses a property of the cryogenic liquid in the experiment vessel as part of the experiment, and a bus section includes a controller configured to control delivery of the substance to the experiment vessel, and receives property data indicative of the property sensed by the sensor for subsequent evaluation on Earth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: SIERRA LOBO, INC.
    Inventor: Philip Travis Putman
  • Patent number: 9567110
    Abstract: Provided is a testbed for conducting an experiment on a substance in a cryogenic liquid state in a microgravity environment. Such a testbed includes a frame with rectangular nominal dimensions, and a source section supported by the frame for supplying the substance to be evaluated in the cryogenic liquid form. An experiment supported by the frame includes an experiment vessel in fluid communication with the storage tank to receive and condense the substance into the cryogenic liquid state. A sensor senses a property of the cryogenic liquid in the experiment vessel as part of the experiment, and a bus section includes a controller configured to control delivery of the substance to the experiment vessel, and receives property data indicative of the property sensed by the sensor for subsequent evaluation on Earth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2017
    Assignee: SIERRA LOBO, INC.
    Inventor: Philip Travis Putman
  • Patent number: 9651569
    Abstract: Provided is a testbed for conducting an experiment on a substance in a cryogenic liquid state in a microgravity environment. The testbed includes a frame with rectangular nominal dimensions, and a source section including a supply of the substance to be evaluated in the cryogenic liquid state. An experiment section includes an experiment vessel in fluid communication with the storage section to receive the substance from the storage section and condense the substance into the cryogenic liquid state. A sensor is adapted to sense a property of the substance in the cryogenic liquid state in the experiment vessel as part of the experiment. A bus section includes a controller configured to control delivery of the substance from the storage section to the experiment vessel, and receive property data indicative of the property sensed by the sensor for subsequent evaluation on Earth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: SIERRA LOBO, INC.
    Inventor: Philip Travis Putman
  • Patent number: 7347053
    Abstract: A densifier is provided which in one embodiment can simultaneously densify two cryogenic liquids at different temperatures. The densifier has an oscillatory power source for generating oscillatory power and a two stage pulse tube refrigerator. The oscillatory power source can be a thermoacoustic heat engine or a mechanical oscillatory power source such as a linear flexure bearing compressor. The first stage densifies a first cryogenic liquid to a first cryogenic temperature, and the second stage densifies a second cryogenic liquid to a second, lower cryogenic temperature. A densified propellant management system also is provided which has a densifier for simultaneously densifying two cryogenic liquids at different temperatures, and a cryogenic temperature probe for measuring the temperature gradient in a cryogenic liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2008
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Steven Haberbusch, Adam John Culler
  • Patent number: 8807382
    Abstract: A storage system useful for storing cryogenic liquids is disclosed. The storage system includes a storage vessel, insulation surrounding the storage vessel and a flexible vacuum jacket enclosing them both. The flexible vacuum jacket can be made from a flexible plastic film such as polyimide. Polyimide is preferred due to its ability to remain flexible at cryogenic temperatures. The inner volume of the flexible vacuum jacket is placed under vacuum such that the insulation is maintained under vacuum. The flexible vacuum jacket can collapse against and conform to the insulation when it is evacuated, saving substantially on volume. A fitting for combining multiple passageways is also disclosed, so that multiple passageways can proceed through the vacuum jacket through a single penetration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Haberbusch, Brad Stoops, Chinh T. Nguyen, Robert J. Stochl, Martin E. Roth
  • Patent number: 7043925
    Abstract: A densifier (10) for simultaneously densifying two cryogenic liquids at different temperatures is provided. The densifier (10) has a thermoacoustic heat engine (20), a resonance tube (18) and a two stage pulse tube refrigerator (40). The thermoacoustic heat engine (20) generates oscillatory acoustical power required to generate net refrigeration power in the two-stage pulse tube refrigerator (40). The first stage (100) densifies a first cryogenic liquid to a first cryogenic temperature, and the second stage (200) densifies a second cryogenic liquid to a second, lower cryogenic temperature. The thermoacoustic heat engine (20) converts thermal energy to the oscillatory acoustical power required to generate net refrigeration in the first (100) and second (200) stages of the pulse tube refrigerator (40). No mechanical energy input is required, and therefore the invented densifier (10) has no moving parts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2006
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark S. Haberbusch
  • Patent number: 8739620
    Abstract: A sensor assembly includes a main body, a sensor, and a filler. The main body includes an outer surface having a continuously-variable radius of curvature in at least one portion. A sensor in thermal communication with a region of that surface having relatively low radius of curvature is disposed in the assembly recessed from the outer surface. Liquid droplets adhered to the outer surface in this region tend to migrate to a distant location having a higher radius of curvature. The main body has low thermal conductivity. The filler has a relatively higher thermal conductivity and, in embodiments, fills an opening in the outer surface of the main body, providing a thermally-conductive pathway between the sensor and the surrounding environment via the opening. A probe having a plurality of such sensors, and methods of detecting the presence of liquid and phase transitions in a predetermined space are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Haberbusch, Jacob C. Ickes, Adam Thurn, Branden J. Lawless
  • Publication number: 20090302982
    Abstract: Apparatus for inductive braking of a projectile are disclosed. Embodiments include a receiver that has a unidirectional conductor having a closed conductive pathway that encircles a passageway for a moving projectile. The unidirectional conductor permits current to flow through it in substantially only one direction around the passageway. As the projectile and its associated magnetic field move past the unidirectional conductor, the moving magnetic field induces a current flow through the closed conductive pathway, which in turn generates a magnetic field behind the projectile having the same polarity as the projectile's field. The two fields attract one another, which both exerts a braking force on the projectile and tends to align the two fields. Alignment of these fields centers the projectile away from the passageway wall.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2009
    Publication date: December 10, 2009
    Applicant: SIERRA LOBO, INC.
    Inventors: Philip Travis Putman, Kamel Salama
  • Publication number: 20080314050
    Abstract: A hydrogen storage and delivery system is provided having an orifice pulse tube refrigerator and a liquid hydrogen storage vessel. A cooling system, coupled to the orifice pulse tube refrigerator, cools the vessel and abates ambient heat transfer thereto in order to maintain the liquid hydrogen in the vessel at or below its saturation temperature. Hydrogen boil-off, and the necessity to provide continuous venting of vaporized hydrogen are minimized or avoided. In a preferred embodiment, the hydrogen storage vessel has a toroidal shape, and the pulse tube refrigerator is a two stage pulse tube refrigerator and extends within a central void space defined at the geometric center of the toroidal storage vessel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 26, 2008
    Publication date: December 25, 2008
    Applicant: SIERRA LOBO, INC.
    Inventors: Mark S. Haberbusch, James Parkes, Adam John Culler
  • Patent number: 7434407
    Abstract: A hydrogen storage and delivery system is provided having an orifice pulse tube refrigerator and a liquid hydrogen storage vessel. A cooling system, coupled to the orifice pulse tube refrigerator, cools the vessel and abates ambient heat transfer thereto in order to maintain the liquid hydrogen in the vessel at or below its saturation temperature. Hydrogen boil-off, and the necessity to provide continuous venting of vaporized hydrogen are minimized or avoided. In a preferred embodiment, the hydrogen storage vessel has a toroidal shape, and the pulse tube refrigerator is a two stage pulse tube refrigerator and extends within a central void space defined at the geometric center of the toroidal storage vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2008
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Haberbusch, James Parkes, Adam John Culler
  • Patent number: 8237526
    Abstract: Apparatus for inductive braking of a projectile are disclosed. Embodiments include a receiver that has a unidirectional conductor having a closed conductive pathway that encircles a passageway for a moving projectile. The unidirectional conductor permits current to flow through it in substantially only one direction around the passageway. As the projectile and its associated magnetic field move past the unidirectional conductor, the moving magnetic field induces a current flow through the closed conductive pathway, which in turn generates a magnetic field behind the projectile having the same polarity as the projectile's field. The two fields attract one another, which both exerts a braking force on the projectile and tends to align the two fields. Alignment of these fields centers the projectile away from the passageway wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventors: Philip Travis Putman, Kamel Salama
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