Ambient Weather | WS-108 | Severe weather detector and alarm

Severe weather detector and alarm
USO0RE43903E
(19) United States
(12) Reissued Patent
Brown
(54)
(10) Patent Number:
US
(45) Date of Reissued Patent:
SEVERE WEATHER DETECTOR AND
ALARM
RE43,903 E
Jan. 1, 2013
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Certi?ed translation of JP 63-204896, Schreiber Translations, Inc.
(75) Inventor: Anthony Brown, Hyattsville, MD (US)
(73) Assignee: Richmond IP Holdings, LLC,
Richmond, VA (U S)
PP~ l-6~*
(Continued)
Primary Examiner * Mohamed Charioui
(21) Appl.No.: 11/186,013
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm * Banner & Witcoff, Ltd.
(22) Filed:
(57)
ABSTRACT
A compact, portable Weather station for predicting local
Jul. 21, 2005
Related U.S. Patent Documents
Reissue of:
(64) Patent No.:
Issued:
Appl. No.:
Filed:
US. Applications:
(63)
6,597,990
Jul. 22, 2003
09/546,333
Apr. 10, 2000
Continuation of application No. 09/246,784, ?led on
Feb. 1, 1999, noW Pat. No. 6,076,044, Which is a con
extreme Weather conditions and for reporting remote Weather
conditions. The Weather station has sensors for determining
local temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, ambient
light, and ambient static charge. A microprocessor has
memory for storing data relating to past Weather conditions
and data processing apparatus and algorithms for determining
probable developing Weather conditions responsive to sensed
local conditions. The Weather station has a radio receiver for
tinuation of application No. 08/799,838, ?led on Feb.
13, 1997, noW Pat. No. 5,978,738.
communicating With global Weather reporting communica
tions systems utilizing cellular communications. Operating
Int. Cl.
G01 W1/02
G06F 19/00
Weather conditions are annunciated in synthesized voice in
any one of a variety of predetermined languages. The Weather
commands, predicted local Weather conditions, and remote
(51)
(52)
(58)
(2006.01)
(2006.01)
U.S. Cl. ............................. .. 702/3; 702/2; 342/26 R
Field of Classi?cation Search ................ .. 702/3, 4,
702/57, 58, 61, 65, 68, 75, 99, 104, 122,
702/130, 138, 177, 179, 188, 189, 193, 2;
455/412.2, 553.1, 555, 556.1, 557; 370/310,
370/338; 342/26 A, 26 B, 26 C, 26 D, 26 R
See application ?le for complete search history.
(56)
References Cited
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(Continued)
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
EP
0 622 639
station includes voice synthesizing and recognition apparatus
for annunciating verbal prompts and Weather conditions, and
for responding to vocal control. The Weather station is formed
in tWo separable components, one having sensors and the
other having radio communications apparatus.
REEXAMINATION RESULTS
The questions raised in reexamination proceeding No.
90/008,410, ?led Jan. 5, 2007, have been considered, and the
results thereof are re?ected in this reissue patent Which con
stitutes the reexamination certi?cate required by 35 U.S.C.
307 as provided in 37 CFR 1.570(e) for ex parte reexamina
tions, or the reexamination certi?cate required by 35 U.S.C.
316 as provided in 37 CFR 1.997(e) for inter partes reexami
nations.
11/1994
(Continued)
20 Claims, 13 Drawing Sheets
US RE43,903 E
Page2
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'
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US RE43,903 E
Page 3
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2
SEVERE WEATHER DETECTOR AND
ALARM
phenomena. The present invention predicts electrical phe
nomena as Well as tornadoes and the like.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,444,530, issued to Ting-I Wang onAug. 22,
1995, describes a remote monitor for air?elds Which employs
Matter enclosed in heavy brackets [ ] appears in the
original patent but forms no part of this reissue speci?ca
and identify the same as rain or snoW. By contrast, the present
tion; matter printed in italics indicates the additions
made by reissue.
notably temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, light,
distortion of partially coherent light to detect precipitation
invention monitors different parameters of the atmosphere,
and static charge. The present invention infers presence of
extreme Weather conditions not analyzed by Wang, such as
lightning and tornadoes.
This application is a continuation of Ser. No. 09/246,784
?led Feb. 1, 1999 noW U.S. Pat. No. 6,076,044, Which is
continuation of Ser. No. 08/799,838 ?led Feb. 13, 1997, noW
U.S. Pat. No. 5,978,738.
None of the above inventions and patents, taken either
singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant inven
tion as claimed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to an unmanned Weather
detecting and reporting station. More speci?cally, the novel
20
conditions. From this combination, a user may ascertain cur
rent local conditions Which are not apparent to the senses and
station has apparatus for detecting severe Weather conditions
such as tornadoes and lightning. The station has sensors for
information regarding imminent or otherwise relevant condi
tions.
sensing certain critical ambient characteristics, a micropro
cessor for comparing sensed data to a database, a radio for
receiving Weather data from remote broadcasting sources,
and apparatus for broadcasting inferred and reported Weather
25
patterns.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Severe Weather conditions can arise quite suddenly, With
30
monitored. Alternatively, a person may select an appropriate
location for travel, if avoidance of local Weather is required or
if previous travel plans must be modi?ed.
The novel Weather station thus both analyzes and reports
Weather conditions. The communication apparatus enables
human cost. To avoid or minimize injury and damage from
sudden, violent Weather phenomena, it is desirable to be able
selection of information from any selected location on the
to predict such occurrences. If Weather conditions can be
35
globe, and voice synthesizing apparatus for annunciating
selected Weather information in a selected language. The
voice synthesizing apparatus further is capable of offering
operating choice selection prompts in synthesized voice form
greatly from such analysis and Warning of Weather conditions
is that of aviation. Take off and landing are subject to disrup
tion from extreme Weather conditions. Aircraft may be
This combination of information enables a person to orga
nize his or her activities appropriately. Detection of severe
Weather phenomena may cause a person to take actions to
protect life and property in the immediate vicinity being
potentially great catastrophic consequences in ?nancial and
predicted, it is possible in many instances to take steps to
mitigate undesirable consequences of the unleashed forces.
An example of a ?eld of activity Which could bene?t
The present invention combines Weather detecting appara
tus for detecting local conditions With communications appa
ratus for obtaining information relating to distant Weather
and of responding to verbal selections by the user.
40
Preferably, Weather conditions being monitored by sensing
rerouted or their departures and landings postponed if signi?
or by gleaning information from remote radio broadcasts
cant threats from Weather are identi?ed. Therefore, a need
relate to violent or severe conditions most likely to threaten
clearly exists for detection and annunciation of extreme
Weather conditions.
The prior art has suggested a number of Weather analysis
and Warning systems. U.S. Pat. No. 5,105,191, issued to
life and property. Ambient characteristics Which may be
sensed to infer imminent actual Weather conditions include
45
Edgar L. Keedy on Apr. 14, 1992, describes apparatus and
method for detecting and indicating severe air disturbances
such as shear Winds and clear air turbulence. This invention
does not address electrical phenomena, as it is primarily
intended for providing information essential for take off and
50
temperature, humidity, light intensity, barometric pressure,
and potential of ambient static charges. These conditions may
then be analyzed by a data processor integral With the Weather
station to predict imminent Weather conditions. The results
may be annunciated either by synthesized voice or by indi
cating lights or the like. In particular, the communications
apparatus of the novel Weather station is compatible With
landing decisions for advising aircraft pilots. By contrast, the
different international cellular protocols, so that data corre
present invention considers different parameters, and detects
electrical phenomena such as lightning.
Apparatus and method for identifying tornadoes are set
forth in Us. Pat. No. 5,355,350, issued to Henry E. Bass et al.
on Oct. 1 1, 1994. The subject method employs detection and
sponding to distant Weather conditions is obtained by receiv
ing distant local Weather condition broadcasts.
The actual apparatus is quite compact, and comprises tWo
separably connected sections. For this reason, the novel
Weather station is readily portable and easily utilized. A
receiver section includes cellular circuitry enabling commu
analysis of ambient sound for amplitude and frequency Which
may be associated With tornadoes. By contrast, the present
invention considers other parameters of ambient conditions,
and predicts both tornadoes and also electrical phenomena,
such as lightning.
Another tornado detection scheme is seen in Us. Pat. No.
5,379,025, issued to Frank B. Tatom et al. on Jan. 3, 1995.
This invention monitors seismic Waves generated by an
55
60
nications With the external World. A sensor section contains
sensors for determining local Weather conditions and a micro
processor for accomplishing the various functions of the
Weather stations. Each of the tWo separably connected sec
65
tions has a battery for providing poWer enabling operation
independently of the other respective section.
Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to
impending tornado. By contrast, the present invention does
provide a portable Weather station Which can predict local
not consider seismic phenomena, looking instead to airborne
severe Weather conditions.
US RE43,903 E
4
3
ventional communications system utiliZing cellular technol
ogy. The conventional system includes Weather satellites,
It is another object of the invention to provide a portable
Weather station Which can obtain information relating to
remote Weather conditions.
It is a further object of the invention that the Weather station
represented by satellite 2, radio receiving and broadcasting
facilities, represented by toWers 4, and cellular transmission
facilities, such as Mobile Telephone SWitching O?ices, rep
be operated to a signi?cant extent by vocaliZed prompts.
Still another object of the invention is that the Weather
station be compatible With a variety of languages.
ments and arrangements thereof in an apparatus for the pur
resented by cells 6. Satellite 4, toWers 6, and cells 8 are
conventional. The novel Weather station 10 cooperates With
these conventional facilities in gathering Weather data.
Weather station 10 comprises tWo manually separable sec
tions, including a receiver section 12 having radio communi
cation apparatus therein for communicating With an external
cellular radio frequency communication system, as repre
sented by cells 6, and a sensor section 14 containing sensors
for sensing local ambient Weather conditions. Receiver sec
poses described Which is inexpensive, dependable and fully
tion 12 also contains a microprocessor 16 and a source of
effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.
These and other objects of the present invention Will
become readily apparent upon further revieW of the folloWing
poWer for operating Weather station 10. Sections 12 and 14
An additional object of the invention is to cooperate With a
variety of international cellular protocols.
It is again an object of the invention that the novel Weather
station comprise tWo manually separable sections.
Yet another object of the invention is that the novel Weather
station carry on board a source of poWer for its operation.
It is an object of the invention to provide improved ele
speci?cation and draWings.
20
mounted. An omnidirectional speaker 20 and a volume con
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
trol 22 are disposed proximate microphone 18. A visual dis
play 24 indicates date or time. Selector buttons 26, 28 enable
Various other objects, features, and attendant advantages
selection of date or time to be indicated on display 24. A three
of the present invention Will become more fully appreciated
as the same becomes better understood When considered in
are removably connected to one another by structure Which
Will be further described hereinafter.
FIG. 2 shoWs the front panel of receiver section 12,
Whereon controls, visual displays, and a microphone 18 are
25
digit display 30 is provided for indicating temperature. Selec
tor buttons 32 and 34 select betWeen Celsius and Fahrenheit
conjunction With the accompanying draWings, in Which like
reference characters designate the same or similar parts
scales. A display 36 indicates radio signal strength by pro
throughout the several vieWs, and Wherein:
gressive illumination of its individual illuminable elements.
A relative temperature display 38 indicates local tempera
FIG. 1 is an environmental, diagrammatic vieW of the
invention.
FIG. 2 is a front plan vieW of one of the tWo separable
30
close to Weather station 10 as to interfere With reception of
radio signals. An array 42 of light emitting diodes (LED) is
utiliZed to display information regarding mode of operation.
sections of the novel Weather station, illustrating control and
communications apparatus located on the exterior thereof,
this section being referred to as a receiver section.
FIG. 3 is a front plan vieW of the other of the tWo separable
ture. A proximity sensor 40 detects Whether the user is so
35
A master on-off sWitch 44 and a reset button 46 are provided.
An emergency light 48 and a sWitch 50 for a purpose
sections of the novel Weather station, illustrating components
described hereinafter are disposed upon the front panel of
mounted on the exterior thereof, this section being referred to
receiver section 12. SWitch 50 is identi?ed by a bas relief or
as a sensor section.
raised symbol 52 for the bene?t of the blind. A T-LED 54 is
disposed at the bottom of the front panel.
FIG. 4 is an end elevational vieW of the tWo sections of the
novel Weather station united.
FIG. 5 is a side elevational vieW of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a rear plan vieW of the sensor section.
FIG. 7 is a rear plan vieW of the receiver section.
FIG. 8 is a perspective vieW of an accessory for supporting
the receiver section When disconnected from the sensor sec
tion.
FIG. 9 is a diagram of internal data and signal processing
components of the receiver section and their interconnec
tions.
FIG. 10 is a diagram of internal data and signal processing
40
MTS102, manufactured by Motorola Corporation, is pro
vided to sense ambient temperature. A barometric pressure
45
sensor 62, Which may be a model TSL235, as manufactured
by Texas Instruments, senses visible light, and a static charge
50
ducer for generating a data signal indicative of values of their
respective sensed Weather characteristics.
55
FIG. 12 is a diagram of voice recognition circuitry compo
nents and interconnections, and is an extension of the diagram
of FIG. [10] 9.
FIG. 13 is a diagram of a visual indicator driver and its
60
FIG. 4 shoWs sections 12 and 14 connected. A screW 72
65
FIG. 1 of the draWings shoWs cooperation betWeen the
A closure 66 affording access to a battery 67 (concealed in
FIG. 3) Within sensor section 14 is also disposed upon the
exterior of sensor section 14. Battery 67 is preferably a 9 volt
lithium battery. A snap 68 for removably connecting sensor
section 14 to receiver section 12 is provided. A corresponding
second snap 70 (see FIG. 2) is located on receiver section 12.
passes journaled or similarly entrapped Within section 12
passes through a boredboss (not shoWn) formed in section 14.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
EMBODIMENTS
novel Weather analyZing and reporting station 10 and a con
sensor 64, Which may be model KMLl0/B/2, as manufac
tured by Phillips Semiconductor, senses ambient static poten
tial. Sensors 56, 58, 60, 62, and 64 each incorporate a trans
and is an extension of the diagram of FIG. [10] 9.
FIG. 11 is a diagram of internal data and signal processing
driven indicators and interconnections therebetWeen, and is
an extension of the diagram of FIG. [10] 9.
sensor 58, such as model MPX200A, manufactured by
Motorola Corporation, senses ambient air pressure. A humid
ity sensor 60, such as model Minicap 2/5, manufactured by
Panametrics Corporation, senses ambient humidity. A light
components relating to 800 MHZ frequency communications,
components and associated interconnections of the sensor
section.
FIG. 3 shoWs components mounted on the exterior of sens
ing section 14. A temperature sensor 56, such as model
A screW (not shoWn) similar to screW 72 but oppositely
directed is utiliZed at the opposite, concealed end of sections
12 and 14 to complement screW 72. Sections 12 and 14 are
separated or disconnected by removal of these screWs. A gold
US RE43,903 E
5
6
mesh protector 73 protects an antenna (further described
hereinafter) serving sensor section 14.
FIG. 5 shoWs sections 12 and 14 connected, and clearly
processor 118 may be may be model UMAl 000, as manufac
tured by Phillips Semiconductor, and microcontroller 120
shoWs grooves 74, 76 formed in sensor section 14 for manu
microcontroller 120, data is passed to a ?ash ROM or static
ally grasping sensor section 14.
Referring noW to FIG. 6, When separated or disconnected,
ROM 122 (see FIG. 9) and subsequently to microprocessor
100 (see FIG. 9).
sensor section 14 may be suspended from a selected external
800 MHZ transmissions by Weather station 10 are enabled
by a transmission module 124 incorporated into the 800 MHZ
circuitry shoWn in FIG. 10. Transmission module 124 may be
model BGYl 10D.
may be model 8XC51RA, as manufactured by Intel. From
or environmental object (not shoWn) by the folloWing
arrangement. Sensor section 14 has a closure 78 Which may
be opened to reveal a chamber (not shoWn) and a strip of hook
and loop fastener (not shoWn). The strip of hook and loop
Internal components of sensor section 14 are illustrated in
fastener extends outside the chamber so that it may be remov
ably mated With a corresponding patch of hook or loop mate
rial (not shoWn) Which has been permanently mounted on the
selected environmental object. This arrangement alloWs tem
porary support of sensor section 14 in a designated location
When not connected to receiver section 12. The chamber
enclosing the strip of hook and loop material is sealed to
prevent ingress of moisture into sensor section 14.
As shoWn in FIG. 7, receiver section 12 has an external
antenna 80, a stepper motor controller 82, a poWer supply 84,
and a standard DC poWer connection port 86. PoWer supply
84 comprises a converter for converting 120 volt AC poWer to
20
Because sections 12 and 14 are separable, each has an
nominal 12 volt DC poWer and a nominal 12 volt lithium
battery. Port 86 is con?gured to accept any one of many Well
knoWn connectors. Port 86 is electrically connected to poWer
supply 84, so that supply 84 may be recharged When con
25
30
historical data relating to Weather, and manages the system by
responding to control commands and issuing prompts Where
required and providing information to the user by visual and
Device 136 is a model UPD 77501, as manufactured by NEC,
35
and is a high quality speech recording and playback LSI.
Device 136 communicates With a static RAM device 138 and
a ?ash ROM memory device 140. Static RAM device 138 is
40
audible outputs. Historical data recorded for a selected imme
diate area of usage is stored in memory of a ?ash ROM 102.
Microprocessor 100 may be a model 386 microprocessor by
Intel Corporation, and ?ash ROM 102 may be model
Referring noW to FIG. 12, voice simulation and recognition
apparatus is also contained Within receiver section 12. voice
recognition apparatus includes microphone 18 Which is con
nected to a voice recognition device 136. Microphone 18 is
located on receiver section 12 in any suitable location for
receiving responses and commands spoken by the user.
from sensor section 14.
Externally visible or accessible components of Weather
station 10 have been described thus far. Internal components
and circuitry Will noW be described, With reference ?rst to
FIG. 9.A microprocessor 100 processes incoming data, stores
internal antenna 104 (see FIG. 9) or 132 for enabling mutual
communication. With the exception of sensors 56, 58, 60, 62,
64, antenna 132 and its associated circuitry, and battery 67, all
internal components described thus far are located in receiv
ing section 12.
nected to an external source of poWer. When not so connected,
receiver section 12 derives poWer from poWer supply 84.
FIG. 8 illustrates a holder 88 for holding receiver section 12
When separated from sensor section 14. This feature enables
receiver section 12 to be supported on any convenient hori
Zontal surface (not shoWn) When detached or disconnected
FIG. 11. Sensors 56, 58, 60, 62, 64 communicate With a ?ash
ROM 126 and With a multiplexer 128, Which is connected to
an encoder and decoder 130. Output of encoder and decoder
130 is transmitted by antenna 132 for reception by antenna
104 of receiving unit 12 (see FIG. 9). Antenna 132 is pro
tected by gold mesh protector 73 shoWn in FIG. 4. Flash ROM
126 may be model 28F0l0- l 5, as manufactured by Intel, and
multiplexer 128 may be a model 74151. Encoder and decoder
130 may be a model HTl2E/HT12D, as manufactured by
Holtek.
45
preferably a l meg, 8 byte l28><8 RAM device, model MCM
6726, as manufactured by Motorola. Flash ROM device 140
is preferably a model 28F400BX-T, as manufactured by Intel.
Voice simulation apparatus is shoWn in FIG. 9, and
includes a l Megabyte speech data ROM integrated chip, or
digital speech processor 142. Speech processor 142 is a stand
alone masked ROM device, and is preferably a model 7758A,
as manufactured by NEC. Output of speech processor 142 is
28F400BX-T, also by Intel. A voice recognition and simula
projected from speaker 20.
tion system enables bidirectional vocal communication
Also shoWn in FIG. 9 are operative connection of proxim
ity sensors 40 to microprocessor 100 through an operational
betWeen Weather station 10 and the user.
Incoming data is received either from sensor section 14 or
by radio transmission from remote, external Weather data
ampli?er 146, and drivers 148, 150 for driving visual indica
50
152, and drives date and time indicator 24.
Driver 148 drives many of the visual indicators disposed
upon the front exterior surface of receiving section 12. These
connections are shoWn in detail in FIG. 13. In FIG. 13, it Will
broadcasting sources, as summarized in FIG. 1. Data derived
by sensing is received by antenna 104 and communicated to
conventional 49 MHZ transmission and reception circuitry
106. Incoming signals are processed by a decoder and
encoder 108, and are digitiZed Within an analog-to -digital and
digital-to-analog converter 110. Decoder and encoder 108
55
may be model HTl2E/HT12D, by Holtek Corporation. Digi
tiZed data is then communicated to microprocessor 100 and
?ash ROM 102.
Incoming data received from external sources at 800 MHZ
frequency is processed as folloWs, referring noW to FIG. 10.
800 MHZ signals are received by antenna 112 and communi
cated to a duplex ?lter 114 Which sWitches betWeen transmis
sion and reception functions. Duplex ?lter 114 may be model
DFY2R836CR881BTJ, by Phillips Semiconductor. Data
then passes to an 800 MHZ receiver 116 and subsequently to
a data processor 118 and to a microcontroller 120. Data
tors and alarm. Driver 150 is associated With a real time clock
be seen that display 30 comprises three independent display
panels 30A, 30B, and 30C, each capable of displaying a
different symbol. Similarly, relative temperature display 38
indicates temperature in several individual steps or range
60
increments by illuminating individual illuminable elements
38A, 38B, 38C, 38D, 38E.
Array 42 of LEDs comprises three independent groups of
LEDS 42A, 42B, 42C. This array indicates mode of operation
With respect to gathering of broadcast Weather data relating to
local Weather (LEDs 42A), local continent (LEDs 42B), or
65
international continent (LEDs 42C).
Operation of Weather station 10 Will noW be described.
Weather station 10 may be operated in any one of three
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