An Air Force officer recently received approval for two patents inspired by the Pin Art toy and E Ink, according to the service.

Capt. Daniel Stambovsky — a physicist assigned to the 32nd Intelligence Squadron at Fort Meade, Maryland — left several patents pending at his previous post at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York. While the Department of the Air Force holds the rights to the patents approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Stambovsky is listed as the inventor. 

"I was able to develop, get funding for and work a project designing antennas with configurable geometries," Stambovsky said. "I also worked with a machine-learning, reservoir-computing group, and was on a developmental test team for an airborne communication and tracking system utilizing the MUOS [mobile user objective system] satellite constellation."

Daniel Stambovsky

Capt. Daniel Stambovsky, a physicist assigned to the 32nd Intelligence Squadron at Fort Meade, Md., recently received notification that two of patents from his previous assignment at the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes/Air Force

Stambovsky, who applied for ROTC after serving as an enlisted airman, began his Air Force career working on ground radar systems. His experience as an enlisted man working with Precision Approach Radar’s antenna system led to his first invention.

Using the Pin Art toy and legos, Stambovsky imprinted a series of shapes into the surface of the Pin Art. The shaped surface from the imprint bounced radar waves into a receiver.

"By analyzing the reflected signal and running it through machine-learning software, I could get the computer to recognize the shape importuned on the pin surface based only on the frequency, amplitude data of the reflected RF," he said.

This process could maximize signal strength and improve operation in a dynamic environment, he added.

The second patent, known as the Radio Frequency Emissive Display Antenna and System for Controlling, was inspired by E Ink screens, the paperlike display on electronic book readers.

"It’s a long way off, but reconfigurable antennas are an up-and-coming technology," Stambovsky said. "I’m proud to have teamed with others at Rome to start an AFRL effort in this direction. I probably won’t get to see the final results of my efforts, but that’s just the nature of research and the AFRL mission."

The typical term for a new patent is 20 years from the date the patent application was filed. This is subject to patent maintenance fees and there are special circumstances that can affect a patent's term.

The AFRL's mission is leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable war-fighting technologies for air, space and cyber forces.