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Displacement sensing system and method

United States Patent

August 8, 2006
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Management Department Website
A displacement sensing system and method addresses demanding requirements for high precision sensing of displacement of a shaft, for use typically in a linear electro-dynamic machine, having low failure rates over multi-year unattended operation in hostile environments. Applications include outer space travel by spacecraft having high-temperature, sealed environments without opportunity for servicing over many years of operation. The displacement sensing system uses a three coil sensor configuration, including a reference and sense coils, to provide a pair of ratio-metric signals, which are inputted into a synchronous comparison circuit, which is synchronously processed for a resultant displacement determination. The pair of ratio-metric signals are similarly affected by environmental conditions so that the comparison circuit is able to subtract or nullify environmental conditions that would otherwise cause changes in accuracy to occur.
VunKannon, Jr.; Robert S (Burbank, WA)
Infinia Corporation (Kennewick, WA)
10/ 895,019
July 20, 2004
GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of contract No. DE-AC03-02SF22491 awarded by the United States Department of Energy.