Kenneth W. Neufeld
Electromechanical Cryocooler
U.S. Patent 5,582,013
December 10, 1996
A device for cooling instruments, such as radiation detectors, while minimizing vibrations. It contains a compressor with a linear motor and a piston and measuring device to measure the direction and force of the compressor's vibrations. It also has a controller, mechanically coupled to the compressor, that takes signals generated by the measuring device and responds with a counterforce, which reduces the vibrations. The input of signals to the compressor and the counterbalance minimize the total acceleration of the cooler while it performs its thermodynamic function.

Alan T. Teruya and John W. Elmer
Tomographic Determination of the Power Distribution in Electron Beams
U.S. Patent 5,583,427
December 10, 1996
A technique for determining the power distribution of an electron beam using electron-beam profile data acquired from a Faraday cup to create an image of the current density in high- and low-power beams. A refractory metal disk with a number of radially extending slits is placed above the cup. The beam acquires the data by sweeping in a circular pattern so that its path crosses each slit in a perpendicular manner. A computer generates the signals to actuate the sweep, acquires data, and does the reconstruction.

Laura N. Mascio
Automated Analysis for Microcalcifications in High Resolution Digital Mammograms
U.S. Patent 5,586,160
December 17, 1996
A computer-aided method and apparatus for diagnosing breast cancer. A computer algorithm using gray-scale morphology is implemented to automatically detect, analyze, and flag microcalcifications in digitized film mammograms to reduce the percentage of false-negative diagnoses. For each potential microcalcification detected in these images, a number of features are computed to distinguish between the different kinds of objects detected. A selective erosion or enhancement filter helps weed out false alarms. The algorithm determines which portions of a mammogram to store at the highest resolution, thereby reducing data volume and image storage space.

M. Allen Northrup, Raymond P. Mariella, Jr., Anthony V. Carrano, and Joseph W. Balch
Silicon-Based Sleeve Devices for Chemical Reactions
U.S. Patent 5,589,136
December 31, 1996
A chemical reaction chamber made of doped polysilicon for heating and bulk silicon for convective cooling combined in a critical ratio so that the material can be uniformly heated using a small amount of power. The reaction sleeve allows for the introduction of a secondary tube that contains the reaction mixture, thereby avoiding any potential material incompatibilities. The chamber can be used in chemical reaction systems for synthesis or processing of organic, inorganic, or biochemical reactions, such as the polymerase chain reaction and other DNA reactions.

Thomas E. McEwan
Short Range Radio Locator System
U.S. Patent 5,589,838
December 31, 1996
A wireless transmitter that outputs periodic bursts of radar carrier signals. A receiver system determines the position of the transmitter by the relative arrival of the radar burst at several component receivers specially located. One receiver provides a synchronizing gating pulse to itself; the other receiver samples the radar pulse. The rate of the synchronizing gating pulse is slightly offset from the rate of the radar bursts, so that each sample collects one finely detailed piece of information about the time of flight of the radar pulse to each receiver for each pulse period.

John S. Taylor
Precision Non-Contact Polishing Tool
U.S. Patent 5,591,068
January 7, 1997
A tool with an adjustable footprint geometry that can meet stringent shape and finish tolerances on precision surfaces during fabrication. Two orthogonal slurry flow geometries provide flexibility in altering the shape of the removal footprint. The tool is applicable for x-ray optical surfaces, x-ray lithography, and lenses that have very tight geometrical tolerances. Several operating parameters are available for varying the relative influences of the mechanism.

Michael A. Doty
System and Method for Simultaneously Collecting Serial Number Information from Numerous Identity Tags
U.S. Patent 5,591,951
January 7, 1997
A system that simultaneously collects and reports serial number information from numerous colliding, coded radiofrequency identity tags. Each tag's multidigit serial number is stored in nonvolatile RAM. A reader transmits an ASCII-coded "D" character on a 900-MHz carrier and a 1.6-GHz power illumination field. A 1-MHz tone is modulated on the 1.6-GHz carrier as a timing clock for a microprocessor in each of the identity tags. Each identity tag looks for the "D" interrogator modulated on the 900-MHz carrier, using a digit of its serial number to time a response.

Edward J. Kansa, Ananda M. Wijesinghe, and Brian E. Viani
Nontoxic Chemical Process for In Situ Permeability Enhancement and Accelerated Decontamination of Fine-Grain Subsurface Sediments
U.S. Patent 5,593,248
January 14, 1997
A remediation method for the removal of certain liquid and solid phase contaminants from low-hydraulic-conductivity, fine-grained sediments. The contaminants must be miscible or appropriately soluble in at least one of the treatment chemicals. Cationic flocculants or organic solvents are introduced to increase the hydraulic conductivity and carry away mobilized contaminants, including hydrophilic hydrocarbons, hydrophobic fuel hydrocarbons, and halogenated hydrocarbons.

Paul D. Sargis, Ronald E. Haigh, and Kent G. McCammon
Subcarrier Multiplexing with Grain Subsurface Sediments
U.S. Patent 5,596,436
January 21, 1997
A system that provides both a dispersion reduction and a direct detection to a receiver, with microwave mixers and lithium-niobate external modulators that produce sidebands separated by a few gigahertz from a principal laser optical carrier. Digital data streams are independently impressed upon these sidebands for transmission over an ordinary single-mode fiber. Independent high-speed data streams are converted to microwave frequencies. These subcarriers are then combined with a microwave power combiner and amplified.

Thomas J. Karr
Passive Infrared Bullet Detection and Tracking
U.S. Patent 5,596,509
January 21, 1997
A detector that is focused onto a region where a projectile is expected to be located. Successive images of infrared radiation in the region are recorded. Background infrared radiation present in the region is suppressed such that successive images are produced of infrared radiation generated by the projectile as the projectile passes through the region. A projectile-path calculator determines the path and other aspects of the projectile by using the successive images of infrared radiation generated by the projectile. The apparatus can also determine the origin of the projectile's path and photograph and/or fire a projectile at that area.

George D. Craig, Robert Glass, and Bernhard Rupp
System and Method for Forming Synthetic Protein Crystals to Determine the Conformational Structure by Crystallography
U.S. Patent 5,597,457
January 28, 1997
A method for forming synthetic crystals of proteins in a carrier fluid by using dipole moments of protein macromolecules that self-align in the Helmholtz layer adjacent to an electrode. The voltage gradients of such layers exceed 106 V/m. The voltage promotes formation of the protein macromolecules into pearl chains and three-dimensional crystals. The synthetic protein crystals are subjected to x-ray crystallography to determine the conformational structure of the protein involved. This fast electrocrystallization method can be applied to a wider range of proteins than conventional methods.

Back to May 1997