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FY2020 Patents

Multi-source common-view disciplined clock with fail-safe redundancy

Abstract Title

Disciplined clock for providing a disciplined time and a disciplined frequency synchronous with a reference clock

Patent Number

10,466,363

Patent Issue Date

November 5, 2019

Docket Number

15-015

Inventor

Michael A. Lombardi

Description

Disciplined clocks work by using an external reference source to synchronize the time of their local clock, and to control the frequency of the clock’s local oscillator so that the clock is continuously kept on time.  The external reference source for a disciplined clock is typically an radio frequency (RF) signal that originates from a global navigation satellite system (GNSS), such as the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), the Russian lobal Navigation Satellite System, or the European Galileo system.  Each GNSS system is referenced to a specific time scale that does not meet the legal and/or technical requirements of all applications.  This problem is solved by the invention of the multi-source, common-view disciplined clock (MSCVDC) with fail-safe redundancy.

The MSCVDC obtains time synchronization by utilizing the common-view technique to discipline itself to a remote reference time scale.  The method involves a common-view signal (CVS) that must be recivable at the location where the reference time scale is located and at all of the locations where MSCVDCs are located.  This description utilizes multiple GNSS satellites as the source of the CVS, but signals from other sources could be used as long as they are accessible from all sites.  The CVS is simply a vehicle used to transfer time from one site to another, and its own time accuracy is unimportant.  

Figure 1 below is a disciplined clock system 200 that includes common view clock 102 to provide common view signal 108, disciplined clock 100 in communication with common view clock 102 to receive common view signal 108 from common view clock 102, reference clock 104 to receive common view signal 110 from common view clock 102 and to communicate reference signal 116, and remote timing analyzer 106 in communication with reference clock 104 to receive reference signal 116 from reference clock 104. Remote timing analyzer 106 produces analyzer signal 114 based on reference signal 116 and communicates analyzer signal 114 to disciplined clock 100. Reference signal 116 can include reference time difference RTD, and analyzer signal 114 can include reference time difference RTD, remote time difference RemTD, and the like, or a combination of the RTD and RemTD. In this manner, disciplined clock 100 can produce disciplined frequency 30 or disciplined time 32 based on reference time difference RTD or remote time difference RemTD.

Abstract

A disciplined clock provides a disciplined time and a disciplined frequency synchronous with a reference clock. The disciplined clock includes: a time receiver to: receive a common view signal from the common view clock; and produce a receiver timing signal; a local clock to: receive a frequency correction; and produce a local timing signal; a time interval counter to: receive the receiver timing signal from the time receiver; receive the local timing signal from the lock clock; and determine a time difference between the receiver timing signal and the local timing signal; and a controller to: receive the time difference from the time interval counter; and communicate the frequency correction, based on the time difference, to the local clock.

Benefits

This clock is more versatile than a GNSS disciplined clock because it allows the user to select the time scale that is used to discipline the clock.  For example, for some applications, NIST time (and not GPS time) is required for legal and/or technical reasons.  This clock can synchronize to the time kept by NIST, or by any other timing laboratory, through the common-view approach.  This clock also provides fail-safe layers of redundancy that a GNSS disciplined clock does not provide.  For example, if the network link to common-view data is unavailable, the clock can automatically switch to time obtained through GNSS satellites to provide holdover until the network connection is restored.  If the reference time scale is unavailable, the clock can automatically switch to another time scale simply by accessing common-view data from that time scale.

Technology Type

Information Technology, Intelligent Systems, Advanced Networking, Cyber Security, Cyber Security/Information Assurance, Digital Information Access, Computer Security, Electronics, Time and Frequency, Time and Frequency Services, Precision Measurement, and Standard Reference Materials.

System of a mechanical resonator

Abstract Title

Reticulated resonator, process for making and use of same

Patent Number

10,444,431

Patent Issue Date

October 15, 2019

Docket Number

14-028

Inventor

Raymond W. Simmonds, Katarina Cicak, Cindy A. Regal, Pen-Li Yu, Yeghishe Tsaturyan, Thomas P. Purdy, Nir S. Kampel

Description

Mechanical resonators are widely used in wireless receivers, bio sensors, and timing and frequency control.  Besides industry, in recent years in academia there is also considerable interest for ultrahigh precision sensing and fundamental science.  A mechanical resonator with the following three advantages is desirable for both industrial and academic applications: 1.    High quality factor (Q) – frequency products 2.    High stability, i.e. consistent performance over time 3.    Small Chip-Based Package 4.    High tensile stress silicon nitride (SiN) vibrating membrane 5.    A periodic support structure provides acoustic isolation

This state-of-the-art quartz oscillator has these advantages.  It has a Q – frequency product that is superior to high-stability quartz oscillators.  Its performance is robust to aging and packaging.  Specifically, the invented system has two components: 1.    A high tensile stress resonator 2.    A periodic supporting substrate that forms an acoustic metamaterial, i.e., phononic bandgap 3.    The entire structure – resonator and supporting substrate – can be made in a single microfabricated chip.

These components make a big impact for replacing quartz crystals.  More than two billion quartz oscillators are manufactured annually.   Most are small devices built for wristwatches, clocks, and electronic circuits, but also used for test and measurement equipment, such as counters, signal generators, and oscilloscopes.  Atomic oscillators are used for applications that require better long-term stability and accuracy.

Abstract

A reticulated resonator includes: a reticulated substrate that includes: a substrate frame; and a phononic structure in mechanical communication with the substrate frame and including a plurality of unit members arranged in a two-dimensional array; and a membrane disposed on the reticulated substrate. A process for producing a membrane frequency includes: providing a reticulated resonator including: a substrate frame; a phononic structure including: a first link connected to the substrate frame; a plurality of unit members arranged in a two-dimensional array and connected to the first link and in mechanical communication with the substrate frame through the first link; and a second link connected to the unit members; a membrane frame connected to the second link and in mechanical communication with the unit members through the second link; and a membrane disposed on the membrane and in mechanical communication with the substrate frame through the membrane frame and the unit members; subjecting the membrane to an excitation frequency; receiving, by the membrane, the excitation frequency; and producing, by the membrane, a membrane mode including a membrane frequency in response to receiving the excitation frequency

Benefits

High quality factor (Q) – frequency products; high stability, i.e. consistent performance over time; small chip-based package; high tensile stress SiN vibrating membrane; and a periodic support structure provides acoustic isolation.

Technology Type

Manufacturing, Calibration, Electronics, Precision Measurements, Time and Frequency

Fast Entangled State Generation and Quantum Information Transfer in Quantum Systems with Long-Range Interactions

Abstract Title

Fast Entangled State Generation and Quantum Information Transfer in Quantum Systems with Long-Range Interactions

Patent Number

10,432,320

Patent Issue Date

October 1, 2019

Docket Number

17-003

Inventor

Alexey V. Gorshkov, Michael Foss-Feig, Zachary Eldredge, Zhe-Xuan Gong, Ali Hamed Moosavian, and Jeremy T. Young

Description

NIST has created a method to use quantum systems with long-range interactions to do the following two things faster (in some cases exponentially faster) than in systems with short-range interactions: (1) accomplish quantum state transfer across the system; (2) prepare a large variety of entangled states with applications to metrology and quantum computing.  This method makes use of individual control of all participating quantum bits and takes advantage of long-range interactions in such a way that many interaction pathways coherently and constructively interfere to provide the speed-up. 

Abstract

A process for generating an entangled state of a plurality of particles includes: providing the plurality of particles, the plurality of particles interacting via long range interactions; producing a first entangled state in a first particle; entangling the first particle with a second particle to form a second entangled state, wherein particles that are not in the second entangled state are remaining particles; and proceeding, starting with the second entangled state, to propagate entanglement in a logarithmic progression through the remaining particles in a recursive manner, to produce an intermediate entangled state, such that the intermediate entangled state acts as an initial entangled state for a next iteration, until a final entangled state is formed to generate the entangled state of the particles.

Benefits

It speeds up a wide range of quantum computer algorithms as well as speeding up the preparation of a wide range of entangled states, including magnetometry and thermometry with defects in diamond (A diamond is a different form of carbon. The carbon atoms in diamonds are arranged in a strong structure. It is the hardest natural material known.

Technology Type

Information Technology, Cyber security, Cyber Security/Information Assurance, Quantum Physics, and Quantum Processes and Metrology

SUPERCONFORMAL NICKEL DEPOSITION FOR HOLE FILLING

Abstract Title

Process for forming a transition zone terminated superconformal filling

Patent Number

10,508,358

Patent Issue Date

12/17/19

Docket Number

16-041US1

Inventor

Daniel Josell and Thomas P. Moffat

Description

This invention is an electrodeposition process that permits nickel filling of features such as pinholes in metal tubing.  The process uses a deposition rate suppressing additive (“suppressor” that yields “critical behavior” such that deposition occurs at more negative potentials (“active”) but does not occur at more positive deposition potentials (“passivated”); the “critical potential” at which the transition from passivated to active deposition occurs is more negative at higher suppressor concentrations.  Equivalently, active deposition occurs where the suppressor concentration is below a “critical concentration” and passivated where the concentration is above the critical concentration; the critical concentration is higher at more negative values of deposition potential.  Thus, for appropriately selected deposition potential (i.e., in a limited range of values positive of the critical value for the suppressor concentration in the bulk electrolyte) naturally occurring decrease of suppressor concentration down features yield deposition only in the bottom region of the feature where the suppressor concentration is below the critical value.  By systematically changing the deposition potential from values sufficiently positive of the critical potential for the bulk electrolyte to more negative values approach the critical potential for the bulk electrolyte (e.g., by stepping it or sweeping it), the location of the transition from active deposition (lower in the feature) to passivated deposition (higher in the feature) is progressively moved up the feature.  For appropriate initial potential and potential history, the feature can be filled entirely, without void or seam formation.

The two figures below show the Ni deposition in cross-sectioned annular TSVs.  The first image shows deposition at fixed potentials and suppressor concentrations.  Deposition is seen to be localized to only a lower region of the filling features, the transition from passivated to active deposition being higher in the feature for lower suppressor concentration and more negative potential.  The second image shows bottom-up filling achieved by systematically stepping the potential from initial potentials that are more positive of the critical potential to potentials that are less positive of the critical potential for the suppressor concentration in the bulk electrolyte (a-c as well as d-e).

Abstract

Forming a transition zone terminated superconformal filling in a recess includes: providing an electrodeposition composition including: a metal electrolyte including a plurality of metal ions, solvent, and suppressor; providing the article including: a field surface and the recess that includes a distal position and a proximate position; exposing the recess to the electrodeposition composition; potentiodynamically controlling an electric potential of the recess with a potential wave form; bifurcating the recess into an active metal deposition region and a passive region; forming a transition zone; decreasing the electric potential of the recess by the potential wave form; progressively moving the transition zone closer to the field surface and away from the distal position; and reducing the metal ions and depositing the metal in the active metal deposition region and not in the passive region to form the transition zone terminated superconformal filling in the recess of the substrate.

Benefits

Additional development will enable extension to geometries where the pinhole or crack to be filled is remotely located as in tubes or pipers. Such processes would enable remote repair of steam boilers, including in nuclear reactors.

Technology Type

Materials Physics and Chemistry

REAL-TIME, QUANTITATIVE MEASUREMENTS OF CELL MIGRATION AND INVASION

Abstract Title

Dual dielectropheretic membrane for monitoring cell migration

Patent Number

10,514,359

Patent Issue Date

December 24, 2019

Docket Number

16-001US1

Inventor

Darwin R. Reyes-Hernandez and Brian Nablo

Description

This invention is a microfluidic platform that can generate real-time, quantitative measurements of cell migration and invasion through porous membranes.  This system uses microfabricated electronic components built on both sides of porous membranes to produce the electronic signals that can “display” the movement of cells from one side of the membrane to the opposite, while it is occurring.  The movement of cells through the pores also can be visualized using optical microscopy.

Abstract

A dual dielectropheretic article for monitoring cell migration includes: a membrane to selectively migrate a plurality of cells across the membrane, the membrane including: a first surface to receive the cells; a second surface opposed to the first surface; and a plurality of communication paths disposed in the membrane to provide the selective migration of the cells across the membrane from the first surface to the second surface; a first electrode disposed on the first surface to: provide an electric field for dielectrophoresis of the cells at the first surface; and provide a first potential for monitoring an impedance at the first surface; and a third electrode disposed on the second surface to: provide an electric field for dielectrophoresis of the cells at the second surface; and provide a third potential for monitoring an impedance at the second surface.

Benefits

In this invention, there is a ration of electrical measurements that will start changing as cell migration progresses.  Therefore, this makes this invention a controlled system in which normalized quantification occurs due to electrodes being set up within the same device.  The progression of movement (cell migration) from one side of the membrane to the opposite side is tracked in real-time and in a quantitative way using the electrical measured magnitude (e.g. impedance) on both sides of the membrane. This system simplifies the tedious, end point conventional process of counting cells and add dynamic measurement capability via simultaneous electronic and optical measurements.

Technology Type

Biochemical Science and Electron Physics

LOW POWER ARTIFICIAL SYNAPTIC ELEMENT WITH INTRINSIC SPIKING BEHAVIOR

Abstract Title

Neural member, neural network, and neurological memory

Patent Number

10,505,095

Patent Issue Date

12/10/19

Docket Number

 17-036US1

Inventor

Michael Sneider, Stephen Russek, William Rippard and Matthew Pufall

Description

We propose a new form of artificial synapse based on dynamically reconfigurable superconducting Josephson junctions with magnetic clusters in the barrier. The spiking energy per pulse varies with the magnetic configuration. The critical current of each magnetic Josephson junction, which is analogous to the synaptic weight, can be tuned using input voltage spikes that change the spin order of the magnetic clusters. We demonstrate, through numerical modelling, that these devices can operate in the stochastic regime where the spiking energy is comparable to the thermal energy.

Abstract

A neural member includes: an axonal superconducting electrode; a dendritical superconducting electrode disposed opposing the axonal superconducting electrode; a synaptic barrier interposed between the axonal superconducting electrode and the dendritical superconducting electrode and including a plurality of magnetic clusters, the synaptic barrier being a tunable magnetic barrier between an ordered magnetic state and a disordered magnetic state such that: the axonal superconducting electrode, the dendritical superconducting electrode, and the synaptic barrier are arranged as a dynamically reconfigurable Josephson junction.

Benefits

This technology is more energy efficient that any neuromorphic hardware in current practice, even when including the overhead of cooling to 4 K. This will allow for more energy efficient computing, and ultimately could enable systems with higher levels of complexity because of the energy efficiency.

Technology Type

Health Care, Biochemical Science and Electron Physics

AN IONIZING RADIATION DOSIMETER BASED ON CARBONATED HYDROXYAPATITE CEMENT (commercial potential)

Abstract Title

Electron paramagnetic resonance dosimeter, methods of manufacture, and methods of use

Patent Number

10,509,092

Patent Issue Date

12/17/2019

Docket Number

15-012US1   Inventor Laurence Chow, Shozo Takagl, Marc Frederic Desrosiers

Description

Certain materials, when exposed to ionizing radiation, can be stimulated to emit a measurable signal that may be used to estimate the received radiation dose. Certain of these materials may be incorporated into a dosimeter that is worn or carried by an individual to measure the individual's exposure. A thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) is an example. To be effective in monitoring radiation exposure, the TLD must be worn or carried by the individual during periods of possible radiation exposure. For medical/industrial applications of ionizing radiation, dosimeters are used to assess the quality of the treatment or process. Dosimetry systems and techniques exist that exploit radiation-induced signals emanating from biological materials. In some of these techniques, the signals may be measured in viva Examples of such techniques include electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) dosimetry, which may be used to measure signals in teeth, fingernails, toenails, bone and hair. These techniques hold out the promise for screening (i.e., as part of a triage effort), at a point-of-care facility, large populations groups that may have been exposed to ionizing radiation. The figure below is a block diagram of an alternate EPR dosimetry system. The EPR dosimetry system 700 includes dosimeter reader 710, which in turn includes power supply 711, EPR electronics 713, user interface 715, processor 717, and measurement unit 719. The measurement unit 719 may include a resonator (not shown) that contacts one or more teeth of patient 730. The measurement unit 719 includes a magnet coil section 718 which provides the required magnetic field to induce an EPR signal. Also shown in this figure is a reference source 720, which is used to confirm proper operation of the system 710. In operation, the EPR system 710 may be field deployed to perform triage operations following a large-scale radiation event. This figure illustrates one possible configuration of an EPR measurement unit 719. In this configuration the patient's head may be surrounded by, or merely adjacent a set of magnet coils that induce the magnetic field necessary to generate an EPR signal. The reference source 720 is used to perform an initial check of the system 710 and may thereafter be used to periodically confirm proper operation of the system 710. The reference source 720 may have a form dictated by the system 710. Prior to shipment to the operator of system 710, the reference source 720 may be irradiated. For example, a certified laboratory may irradiate the reference source 720 using a Co-60 source. After such irradiation, and prior to shipment, the reference source 720 may be tested in the laboratory to verify that it provides the desired EPR signal.

Abstract

A dosimeter for EPR dosimetry systems includes a carbonated hydroxyapatite cement formed by mixing a cement powder and a cement liquid in a ratio of a range of about 0.5 to 5.0 powder-to-liquid ratio. The cement powder includes one or more calcium phosphate compounds and one or more carbonate compounds. The cement liquid includes a sodium phosphate solution. The cement, when irradiated by a radiation source, is capable of producing a measurable signal as a spectrally clean EPR spectrum. Furthermore, the measurable signal is proportional to the received radiation dose.

Benefits

EPR dosimetry is based on the following: (1) ionizing radiation generates unpaired electrons (e.g., free radicals) in proportion to the absorbed dose; (2) EPR dosimetry can selectively and sensitively detect and determine the number of unpaired electrons; and (3) the unpaired electrons can persist in some tissues, such as teeth and nails, with enough stability so as to be measured by EPR dosimetry weeks to years after radiation exposure.

Technology Type

Ionizing Radiation, Manufacturing and Materials

AN IONIZING RADIATION DOSIMETER BASED ON CARBONATED HYDROXYAPATITE CEMENT

Abstract Title

An electron paramagnetic resonance device includes a crystalline, emission-sensitive mass and a housing containing the device. The mass includes structurally incorporated carbonate content in a range of about 3% by weight to about 10% by weight of the mass, one or more structurally incorporated non-calcium metallic cations, and one or more structurally incorporated phosphate anions. When irradiated with a known source, the EPR device may function as a reference. When unirradiated, the EPR may function as a dosimeter. As a dosimeter, the EPR device may be used as a personal dosimeter or as a monitor for inanimate objects being subjected to radiation sources. The EPR dosimeter may be used for both gamma radiation and neutron radiation measurements.

Patent Number

10,545,214

Patent Issue Date

01/28/2020

Docket Number

 15-012D1

Inventor

Laurence Chow, Shozo Takagl, Marc Frederic Desrosiers

Description

Certain materials, when exposed to ionizing radiation, can be stimulated to emit a measurable signal that may be used to estimate the received radiation dose. Certain of these materials may be incorporated into a dosimeter that is worn or carried by an individual to measure the individual's exposure. A thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) is an example. To be effective in monitoring radiation exposure, the TLD must be worn or carried by the individual during periods of possible radiation exposure. For medical/industrial applications of ionizing radiation, dosimeters are used to assess the quality of the treatment or process. Dosimetry systems and techniques exist that exploit radiation-induced signals emanating from biological materials. In some of these techniques, the signals may be measured in vivo. Examples of such techniques include electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) dosimetry, which may be used to measure signals in teeth, fingernails, toenails, bone and hair. These techniques hold out the promise for screening (i.e., as part of a triage effort), at a point-of-care facility, large populations groups that may have been exposed to ionizing radiation. The figure below is a block diagram of an alternate EPR dosimetry system. The EPR dosimetry system 700 includes dosimeter reader 710, which in turn includes power supply 711, EPR electronics 713, user interface 715, processor 717, and measurement unit 719. The measurement unit 719 may include a resonator (not shown) that contacts one or more teeth of patient 730. The measurement unit 719 includes a magnet coil section 718 which provides the required magnetic field to induce an EPR signal. Also shown in this figure is a reference source 720, which is used to confirm proper operation of the system 710. In operation, the EPR system 710 may be field deployed to perform triage operations following a large-scale radiation event. This figure illustrates one possible configuration of an EPR measurement unit 719. In this configuration the patient's head may be surrounded by, or merely adjacent a set of magnet coils that induce the magnetic field necessary to generate an EPR signal. The reference source 720 is used to perform an initial check of the system 710 and may thereafter be used to periodically confirm proper operation of the system 710. The reference source 720 may have a form dictated by the system 710. Prior to shipment to the operator of system 710, the reference source 720 may be irradiated. For example, a certified laboratory may irradiate the reference source 720 using a Co-60 source. After such irradiation, and prior to shipment, the reference source 720 may be tested in the laboratory to verify that it provides the desired EPR signal.

Abstract

An electron paramagnetic resonance device includes a crystalline, emission-sensitive mass and a housing containing the device. The mass includes structurally incorporated carbonate content in a range of about 3% by weight to about 10% by weight of the mass, one or more structurally incorporated non-calcium metallic cations, and one or more structurally incorporated phosphate anions. When irradiated with a known source, the EPR device may function as a reference. When unirradiated, the EPR may function as a dosimeter. As a dosimeter, the EPR device may be used as a personal dosimeter or as a monitor for inanimate objects being subjected to radiation sources. The EPR dosimeter may be used for both gamma radiation and neutron radiation measurements.Laurence Chow, Shozo Takagl, Marc Frederic Desrosiers

Benefits

EPR dosimetry is based on the following: (1) ionizing radiation generates unpaired electrons (e.g., free radicals) in proportion to the absorbed dose; (2) EPR dosimetry can selectively and sensitively detect and determine the number of unpaired electrons; and (3) the unpaired electrons can persist in some tissues, such as teeth and nails, with enough stability so as to be measured by EPR dosimetry weeks to years after radiation exposure.

Technology Type

Ionizing Radiation, Manufacturing and Materials

EQUIVALENCE CLASS VERIFICATION AND ORACLE-FREE TESTING USING TWO-LAYER COVERING ARRAYS

Abstract Title

Oracle-free match testing of a program using covering arrays and equivalence classes

Patent Number

10,552,300

Patent Issue Date

02-04-2020

Docket Number

15-016US1

Inventor

D. Richard Kuhn and Raghu N. Kacker

Description

This is a method and software for testing computer software. The method applies to a broad range of software but is particularly applicable software with complex conditions and decision, e.g., process control, avionics, and other areas.  This method also verifies equivalence classes for module unit testing. Both testing and equivalence class verification is achieved using a two-layer covering array which some or all values of a primary covering array represent equivalence classes. A second layer covering array of the equivalence class values is computed, and its values substituted for the equivalence class names in the primary array. It is shown that this method can also detect certain classes of errors without a conventional test oracle.

With reference to the flowchart below, the data processing system executes the program as part of process for testing the program. Here, the process starts (step 126) by receiving (e.g., by processor or memory) a variable (step 128) that includes a plurality of input values, accessing the input values (step 130) (e.g., by processor 102), partitioning the input values (step 132), producing equivalence classes from the partitioned input values (step 134), producing a primary covering array (step 136) (that includes a primary vector having a primary entry), producing a secondary covering array (that includes a secondary vector having a secondary entry) for each role in the primary covering array (step 138), subjecting each secondary covering array to the program (step 140), producing from the program a result vector for each secondary covering array (step 142), and determining whether result entries in the result vector are self-consistent (step 144). If the result entries in the result vector are self-consistent (at step 144), the process includes determining whether a result vector was produced for each secondary covering array (step 146). If a result vector was produced for every secondary covering array (at step 146), then the process ends (step 140). If a result vector (having a plurality of result entries) was not produced for every secondary covering array (at step 146), then the process reiterates to produce in other result vector (step 142). If the result entries in the result vector are not self-consistent (at step 144), the process includes determining whether equivalence classes were produced correctly (step 150). If equivalence classes were produced correctly (step 152), process 124 determines the program includes error in code (step 154), and process 124 includes error handling (step 156) such as producing an error flag, error message, error alarm, and the like. If equivalence classes were not produced correctly (step 152), process 124 includes correcting partitioning of input values (step 158) and repartitioning the input values (step 132) by applying a corrected partitioning rule. The program is tested against input values that are partitioned into the equivalence classes. In a particular embodiment, representative values from each equivalence class is provided to the program, and the output the program is stored, e.g., in memory as a result vector. It is contemplated that the program can be executable code (including units, modules, scripts, and the like), data, system configuration files, machine environment state settings, and the like. In a certain embodiment, the program is executable program that receives the representative values as a substitute for the input values of the variable, which is the expected input by the program.

Abstract

A process for testing a program includes: receiving a variable comprising a plurality of input values; producing a plurality of equivalence classes for the input values; producing a representative value per equivalence class; producing, by a processor, a primary covering array comprising a plurality of primary vectors; producing a secondary covering array comprising a plurality of secondary vectors; providing the secondary vectors to the program; and producing a result vector comprising a plurality of result entries to test the program. A computer system for testing the program includes: a memory; and a processor, in communication with the memory, wherein the computer system is configured to perform the process for testing the program. A computer program product for testing the program includes: a non-transitory computer readable storage medium readable by a processor and storing program code for execution by the processor to perform the process.

Benefits

Conventional software testing requires the use of a 'test oracle', i.e., expected results for each set of inputs designated by a test. This invention eliminates the requirement for a test oracle for a significant class of software errors thus reduces cost. It is fully automated, obviating the need for the highest-cost components of testing - human involvement or a mathematical model of the system.

Technology Type

Information Technology

NEW SOLID-STATE NA-ION ELECTROLYTE FOR USE IN RECHARGEABLE NA-ION BATTERIES (commercial potential)

Abstract Title

Ambient temperature superionic conducting salt including metal cation and borate anion or carborate anion and process for making ambient temperature superionic conducting salt

Patent Number

10,553,897

Patent Issue Date

02/04/2020

Docket Number

15-005US1   Inventor John Terrence Udovic

Description

Today’s batteries contain flammable, toxic, liquid electrolytes.  Therefore, safer all-solid-state batteries are a current research goal. This requires solid-electrolyte materials with high ionic mobilities, high chemical and electrochemical stabilities, and good formability. The status-quo solid-electrolyte materials have various shortcomings.  NIST has developed a novel solid superionic conductor material to satisfy the current lack of suitable electrolytes for incorporation into next-generation all-solid-state energy devices. 

This material is a new class of solid salt compounds that exhibit unprecedented Li and Na ionic conductivities in their disordered phases.  More specifically, a chemically modified Na2B10H10 material is used as a Na fast-ion solid electrolyte in Na-ion batteries.  It possesses favorable electrochemical and thermal stability while also displaying relatively superior Na ionic conductivity at technically relevant device temperatures.  Thus, using milling/particle-size reduction techniques, NIST is able to create modified materials that remain in their superionic state at all temperatures.  This new material could be a gamechanger.

Abstract

A process for making a superionic conducting salt includes: combining a primary salt and an impact member, the primary salt including an ordered phase and being an ionic conductor; impacting the primary salt with the impact member; and converting the primary salt to the superionic conducting salt in response to impacting the primary salt with the impact member at a conversion temperature to make the superionic conducting salt, the conversion temperature optionally being less than a thermally activated transition temperature that thermally converts the primary salt to the superionic conducting salt in an absence of the impacting the primary salt, and the superionic conducting salt including a superionic conductive phase in a solid state at less than the thermally activated transition temperature.

Benefits

Simple and easy to process.

Technology Type

Ion Storage, Materials, and Materials Physics and Chemistry

OPTOMECHANICAL GRAVIMETER

Abstract Title

Optomechanical gravimeter

Patent Number

10,545,259

Patent Issue Date

01-28-2020

Docket Number

16-036US1

Inventor

Felipe Guzman, Michael Lee Kumanchik, M. Jacob Taylor, Jon R. Pratt

Description

Currently many space projects require, at their core, sensors capable of measuring spurious forces acting on the spacecraft with extremely high sensitivity at ng/√Hz levels and below, particularly for high accuracy navigation and drag-free flight.  NIST has developed a novel and simple concept for high-sensitivity, wide bandwidth and self-referencing optomechanical accelerometers. These devices are based on monolithic fused-silica mechanical oscillators with integrated fiber-optic Fabry-Pérot micro-cavities that yield exquisite sensitivities of the accelerometer test mass displacement. Our laboratory prototypes have demonstrated unprecedented noise floors over large bandwidths. These concepts also can be applied to measure spurious forces at lower frequencies. Thus, these products are a result of this invention: gravimeter, seismometer, gradiometer, low frequency inertial sensing, and accelerometer.

Abstract

An optomechanical gravimeter includes: a first and second accelerometer; and a spacer member interposed between the first accelerometer and the second accelerometer such that the first accelerometer and the second accelerometer independently include: a basal member; a test mass disposed on the basal member; a flexural member interposed between the basal member and the test mass such that the test mass is moveably disposed on the basal member via flexing of the flexural member; an armature disposed on the basal member and opposing the test mass and the flexural member such that: the armature is spaced apart from the test mass; a cavity including: a first mirror disposed on the test mass; a second mirror disposed on the armature, the spacer member providing a substantially constant distance of separation between a first measurement point of the first accelerometer and a second measurement point of the second accelerometer.

Benefits

Current commercial systems of similar performance weigh several kilograms and are, at best, of the size of a backpack. The novelty of this invention lies in the realization of a highly compact and light device capable to reaching acceleration noise florrs in the order of 10-10ms-2/√Hz. The total weight of the mechanical oscillator is of the order of 30 grams, including the optical interferometer that can be constructed out of compact commercial optics yielding interferometer lengths of approximately 2 cm and below, down to lengths around 100 µm by using fiber-optic components.

Technology Type

Laser and Optics, Laser Applications, Manufacturing, Optical Physics, Optical Sensor, and Optical Technology

COMPOSITION-CONTROLLED 3D PRINTING BY PHOTO-POLYMERIZATION

Abstract Title

3D printing of composition-controlled copolymers

Patent Number

10,625,470

Patent Issue Date

04/21/20

Docket Number

16-031US1

Inventor

Jong Young Lee

Description

This invention is a new 3D printing process of continuously or discretely controlling composition of photo-polymerization reactants to produce 3D objects with spatially varying chemical, physical and mechanical properties. This invention is based on photo­ polymerization of liquid reactant (monomer(s) and/or oligomer(s)) mixtures. The overall composition-controlled 3D printing process can be divided into three steps: preparing a reactants mixture, extruding the mixture through a scanning nozzle, and irradiating the mixture for photo-polymerization. The mixture is prepared by blending two or more different reactant liquids supplied from separate reservoirs. The relative composition of each reactant liquid in the mixture can be controlled with a flow controller unit installed between its reservoir and the blending unit. The composition-controlled reactant mixture is extruded onto a substrate through a scanning nozzle with or without a separate flow controller. As the mixture touches the substrate, it is solidified and cured rapidly by photo-polymerization with visible or UV light irradiation. The chemical, physical, mechanical, and biological properties of a printed object can be controlled by (1) relative compositions of reactants in the mixture; (2) flow rate of the mixture liquid; (3) intensity and wavelength of photo-polymerizing light; and (4) scanning nozzle velocity. Additional post-printing processes can be added to improve the final product properties, e.g., photo­ or heat-annealing for leachable reactants removal.

A major goal of this invention is to manufacture high-throughput, bench-top 3D printing instruments for medical devices, including dental implants, dentures, veneer, catheter, hearing aids, surgical masks, medical filters, blood analysis sensors, needles and syringe. The figure below 210 is an example of a 3D-printed tooth having a varying composition including layers 212, 214, and 216, as in an actual human tooth.

Abstract

A computer-controlled method for forming a composition-controlled product using 3D printing includes disposing two or more liquid reactant compositions in respective two or more reservoirs; and mixing the two or more liquid reactant compositions, which in turn includes controlling by the computer a mass ratio of the mixed two or more liquid reactant compositions. The computer-controlled method further includes scanning, under control of the computer, a mixed liquid reactants nozzle over a substrate; depositing the mixed liquid reactant compositions onto the substrate; and operating, under control of the computer, a light source to polymerize the deposited mixed liquid reactant compositions.

Benefits

This invention makes it possible for a single printing process to produce 3D objects with complex geometry as well as continuously control chemical, physical and mechanical properties within the 3D geometry. Also, this invention allows addition of solid dispersion components into the liquid mixture for specific applications, e.g., filler nanoparticles for dental materials. The photo- polymerization products of the reactants can be durable and bio-compatible resin networks.

Technology Type

Bioscience, Manufacturing, Health, Materials

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR EFFICIENT OPTICAL FREQUENCY CONVERSION WITH INTEGRATED OPTICAL SYSTEMS

Abstract Title

Systems and methods for efficient optical frequency conversion with integrated optical systems

Patent Number

10,599,007

Patent Issue Date

03/24/20

Docket Number

18-045US1

Inventors

Eric Stanton, Jeffrey Chiles

Description

A novel architecture for optical frequency conversion in a waveguide is proposed, which increases the conversion efficiency compared to existing architectures. It consists of several straight sections of phase-matched nonlinear optical waveguides linked by dispersion-engineered bends to allow continuous build-up of the generated light. The architecture applies to any suitable nonlinear waveguide material and any wavelength. The main advantages are: (I) higher conversion efficiency, (2) lower power requirements, (3) greater manufacturability due to significantly reduced chip dimensions and higher yield.

The figure below is a cross-sectional view of a waveguide 400 in accordance with various embodiments of the technology.  Waveguide 400 may include cladding 410 surrounding waveguide core 420 built on a substrate 430. Some embodiments of the waveguide 400 may have a waveguide core 420 (e.g., gallium arsenide) and one or more cladding layers (e.g., silicon dioxide) that include a uniform or composite material. For example, the cladding layers 410 may include sub-layers of quantum wells that form an effective medium. There are many other embodiments of a nonlinear waveguide in which this technology can be implemented.

In some embodiments, the waveguide core 420 and/or cladding layers 410 may be formed by deposition techniques (e.g., epitaxial growth or chemical-vapor deposition, or by wafer bonding techniques). The waveguide core 420 may have a higher refractive index than the waveguide cladding 410 in various embodiments. The cladding 410 surrounding the waveguide may include a gaseous medium, such as air, or vacuum in some embodiments. In addition, the waveguide may be suspended via mechanical tethers that are the same material or a different material as the waveguide core.

In some embodiments, the waveguide may include an intermediate layer (not shown) formed between the waveguide core 420 and the waveguide cladding 410. The waveguide core layer 420 formed by direct bonding or adhesive bonding from a secondary substrate material to a primary substrate material. In addition, the waveguide core layer 420 may be formed using selective die, selective area bonding, or full wafer-scale bonding.

Abstract

Various embodiments of the present technology provide a novel architecture for optical frequency conversion in a waveguide which can be applied to any suitable nonlinear waveguide material and any wavelength. In accordance with some embodiments, phase-matched bends can be used to increase the nonlinear interaction length. For example, the device can begin with a straight waveguide section with a width designed for phase-matching. When the straight waveguide section approaches the end of the chip, a bending waveguide section allows the waveguide to meander back in the opposite direction. Various embodiments of the bend can have a wider or narrower width to eliminate phase-matching for second harmonic generation (SHG) and instead provide a 2π phase-shift between the pump and signal light. Therefore, at the end of the bend, the pump and signal light are in-phase and a phase-matched width will continue the SHG process.

Benefits

This invention could enable rapid wavelength agility for optical communication systems on a low power budget, and in a form factor sufficiently compact for autonomous vehicle integration.

Technology Type

Advanced communication, Manufacturing, and Physics

 

FLUID PLATFORM FOR TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY

Abstract Title

Vacuum compatible fluid sampler

Patent Number

10,639,634

Patent Issue Date

05/05/20

Docket Number

16-032US1

Inventors

J. Alexander Liddle, Samuel M.Stavis, Glenn E. Holland

Description

This invention is a complete system comprising a novel chip and chip holder that enables routine, high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy of samples in liquids and high-pressure gases in the transmission electron microscope (TEM). The system overcomes limitations in liquid-layer thickness control that affect other liquid cells. It enables rapid switching of liquid chemistries. As a gas cell, it enables the use of high pressures for operating spectroscopy measurements and the use of chemistries not normally allowed in the TEM.  The chip fabrication process is modular and flexible, allowing for rapid changes in design and customization for particular experiments. It is adaptable to optical microscopy and x-ray microscopy.

Abstract

A fluid sampler includes: a sample cell that includes: a substrate comprising: a first port; a second port in fluid communication with the first port; a viewing reservoir in fluid communication with the first port and the second port and that receives the fluid from the first port and communicates the fluid to the second port, the viewing reservoir including: a first view membrane; a second view membrane; and a pillar interposed between the first view membrane and second view membrane, the pillar separating the first view membrane from the second view membrane at a substantially constant separation distance such that a volume of the viewing reservoir is substantially constant and invariable with respect to a temperature and invariable with respect to a pressure to which the sample cell is subjected.

Benefits

  • Integrated platform developed for in situ TEM liquid measurements
  • Robust and flexible process flow
    • Geometries readily optimized for a given measurement
    • Novel chromium oxide sacrificial layer developed
      • Inert, high-temperature compatible, extreme etch selectivity
    • Simple micro- to nanofluidic interface process
      • Sputter lift-off creates tapered profiles without greyscale lithography, etching
  • On-chip electrokinetic flow control developed
    • Rapid switching of liquid flows
  • High-speed flow possible

Technology Type

Precision Measurement, Nanometrology, Atomic Spectroscopy

PORTABLE DYNAMIC FORCE PRIMARY STANDARD

Abstract Title

Dynamic force contactor, providing a dynamic force, and calibrating a force sensor to be traceable to the international system of units

Patent Number

10,641,663

Patent Issue Date

05/05/20

Docket Number

16-033US1

Inventors

Akobuije D Chijioke, Nicholas Vlajic 

Description

A longstanding and thorny problem in force metrology is that of accurately measuring rapidly changing forces. A key part of the problem is that the dynamic response of force sensors changes depending on the system in which the sensor is used, meaning that an external calibration of the sensor is often not enough. What is needed is a metrological standard that you take to a working system rather than one that sits in a calibration lab to which you send the working system. NIST has invented a portable, primary dynamic force standard for in-situ calibration of dynamic force measurement systems.

Abstract

A dynamic force contactor includes: a magnet that provides a magnetic field; an electrical conductor that provides an electric field perpendicular to the magnetic field, the electric field from the electrical conductor in combination with the magnetic field from the magnet providing a Lorentzian force; an armature disposed proximate to the magnet, the electrical conductor disposed on the armature such that the armature reciprocates in a reciprocating direction relative to the magnet in response to the Lorentzian force and that produces the dynamic force; and a dynamic force mediator in communication with the electrical conductor and the armature such that: the dynamic force mediator monitors an alternating voltage across the electrical conductor; the dynamic force mediator monitors an alternating current through the electrical conductor; and the dynamic force mediator monitors a reciprocation velocity of the armature.

Benefits

  • It accurately measures rapidly changing forces at the location point
  • Variety of use:  machining, robotics, fatigue testing, auto crash testing, biomechanical, aerodynamics and fracture testing

Technology Type

Physics, Mechanical, Standard Reference Material, Calibration, Calibration Research, and Manufacturing

ULTRA-HIGH SPECTRAL RESOLUTION SPECTROMETER BASED ON ELECTROMAGNETICALLY-INDUCED TRANSPARENCY

Abstract Title

Direct absolute spectrometer for direct absolute spectrometry

Patent Number

10,641,655

Patent Issue Date

05/05/20

Docket Number

18-018US1

Inventors

Lijun Ma, Xiao Tang, Oliver Slattery

Description

In future quantum communication systems, single photons, as the information carriers, are required to possess very narrow linewidths and accurate wavelengths for an efficient interaction with quantum memories. Spectral characterization of such single photon sources is necessary and must be performed with very high spectral resolution, wavelength accuracy and detection sensitivity. NIST has created a method to precisely characterize spectral properties of narrow-linewidth single-photon sources using an atomic vapor cell based on electromagnetically-induced transparency (EIT). By using an atomic cesium vapor cell, NIST has experimentally demonstrated a spectral resolution of better than 150 kHz, an absolute wavelength accuracy of within 50 kHz and an exceptional detection sensitivity suitable for optical signals as weak as −117 dBm.

Abstract

A direct absolute spectrometer includes: a first light source; a second light source; an optical combiner that produces dual light; an optical cell that receives the dual light; an electromagnetically induced transparent medium that is optically transparent to single photon light in a presence of pump light, such that output light is produced; and a filter that filters output light and provides EIT light free from, wherein electromagnetically induced transparent EIT light is a direct and absolute metric of a linewidth and a wavelength of single photon light such that the direct absolute spectrometer provides direct and absolute determination of the linewidth of the single photon light and direct and absolute determination of wavelength at a maximum of intensity of the single photon light.

Benefits

Current main spectrometers are based on dispersive optical elements, which limits its resolution to GHz. In addition, it needs to be calibrated by atomic cells to provide absolute wavelength reading. This invention directly uses an atomic optical phenomenon, that provides sum-MHz resolution and absolute wavelength reading.

Technology Type

Atomic Physics, Atomic Spectroscopy, Electromagnetics, Nanotechnology, Optical Physics, Optical Technology, Photon Physics, and Quantum Physics

 

Contacts

Created April 14, 2020, Updated October 19, 2020