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Rockwell Collins : Patent Issued for Cooling Control Calibration for Thermally-Isolated Self-Heating Devices

07/16/2014 | 03:50pm US/Eastern

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Defense & Aerospace Week -- A patent by the inventors Walker, Anders P. (Marion, IA); Olen, Vadim (Cedar Rapids, IA); Lovseth, Jonathan A. (Marion, IA), filed on February 24, 2011, was published online on July 8, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8775111 is assigned to Rockwell Collins, Inc. (Cedar Rapids, IA).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Controlling the temperature of thermally-isolated, self-heating devices (ex.--Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) devices) is important for enabling use of the devices. The temperature of such devices can be controlled using ovens or compensated by sensing temperature. Currently, the ability to accurately control the temperature of such devices is predicated upon obtaining heat transfer functions and cooling transfer functions for the devices, which describe how the devices heat and cool. In some currently available MEMS devices, in order to miniaturize as much as possible, the heater element of these devices also serves as the temperature sensing element of these devices, with said heating and temperature sensing element being known as a thermistor. However, for a device (ex.--MEMS device) implementing a thermistor, accurate measurement of the cooling transfer function of the device may be near impossible because, in order to measure the cooling transfer function, resistance of the thermistor must be measured. Further, in order to measure the resistance of the thermistor, current must be applied to it, which causes the thermistor to heat up. Consequently, currently available methods for capturing cooling transfer functions do not provide a desired level of accuracy.

"Thus, it would be desirable to provide a method for capturing a cooling transfer function (ex.--providing cooling control calibration) for thermally-isolated self-heating devices which obviates the above-referenced problems associated with current solutions."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Accordingly, an embodiment of the present invention is directed to a method for capturing a cooling transfer function for a thermally-isolated, self-heating device, said method including: increasing a power level applied to a thermistor of the device from a first power level to a second power level, thereby causing a temperature of the device to increase from a first temperature to a second temperature; when the device is at the second temperature, reducing the power level applied to the thermistor of the device from the second power level to at least substantially the first power level; maintaining the power level applied to the thermistor of the device at the at least substantially the first power level for a first duration of time; upon expiration of the first duration of time, measuring the device temperature, the measured device temperature being a third temperature; and upon expiration of the first duration of time, increasing the power level applied to the thermistor of the device from the at least substantially the first power level to at least substantially the second power level, thereby causing the temperature of the device to increase from the third temperature to a fourth temperature; when the device is at the fourth temperature, reducing the power level applied to the thermistor of the device from the at least substantially the second power level to at least substantially the first power level; maintaining the power level applied to the thermistor of the device at the at least substantially first power level for a second duration of time, the second duration of time being one of: longer than the first duration of time or shorter than the first duration time; upon expiration of the second duration of time, measuring the device temperature, the measured device temperature upon expiration of the second duration of time being a fifth temperature; determining the cooling transfer function based upon the third temperature, the fifth temperature, the first duration of time, and the second duration of time, wherein determining the cooling transfer function includes: comparing the third temperature and the fifth temperature against the first duration of time and the second duration of time; and extrapolating the cooling transfer function based on said comparison, wherein the thermistor is a heating element and a temperature sensor for the device.

"A further embodiment of the present invention is directed to a computer program product, including: a non-transitory, signal-bearing medium bearing one or more instructions for performing a method for capturing a cooling transfer function for a thermally-isolated, self-heating device, said method including: increasing a power level applied to a thermistor of the device from a first power level to a second power level, thereby causing a temperature of the device to increase from a first temperature to a second temperature; when the device is at the second temperature, reducing the power level applied to the thermistor of the device from the second power level to at least substantially the first power level; maintaining the power level applied to the thermistor of the device at the at least substantially the first power level for a first duration of time; upon expiration of the first duration of time, measuring the device temperature, the measured device temperature being a third temperature; and upon expiration of the first duration of time, increasing the power level applied to the thermistor of the device from the at least substantially the first power level to at least substantially the second power level, thereby causing the temperature of the device to increase from the third temperature to a fourth temperature; when the device is at the fourth temperature, reducing the power level applied to the thermistor of the device from the at least substantially the second power level to at least substantially the first power level; maintaining the power level applied to the thermistor of the device at the at least substantially first power level for a second duration of time, the second duration of time being one of: longer than the first duration of time or shorter than the first duration time; upon expiration of the second duration of time, measuring the device temperature, the measured device temperature upon expiration of the second duration of time being a fifth temperature; determining the cooling transfer function based upon the third temperature, the fifth temperature, the first duration of time, and the second duration of time, wherein determining the cooling transfer function includes: comparing the third temperature and the fifth temperature against the first duration of time and the second duration of time; and extrapolating the cooling transfer function based on said comparison, wherein the thermistor is a heating element and a temperature sensor for the device.

"It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not necessarily restrictive of the invention as claimed. The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the general description, serve to explain the principles of the invention."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Walker, Anders P.; Olen, Vadim; Lovseth, Jonathan A.. Cooling Control Calibration for Thermally-Isolated Self-Heating Devices. U.S. Patent Number 8775111, filed February 24, 2011, and published online on July 8, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8775111.PN.&OS=PN/8775111RS=PN/8775111

Keywords for this news article include: Rockwell Collins Inc, Aerospace and Defense Companies.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2014 NewsRx LLC

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