Patents Assigned to Bigelow Aerospace
  • Patent number: 9889952
    Abstract: A core element for use with an inflatable or expandable spacecraft is claimed. The core element has a plurality of panels connected by hinges so that the core element can be packed into a smaller volume for loading into a launch vehicle. Upon deployment in space, the core element can be unpacked and can enclose a larger volume than that in the packed state. Multiple core elements can be used to cover a spacecraft to a desired degree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace LLC
    Inventor: Frederic R. Cline
  • Patent number: 9567116
    Abstract: A docking node transporter tug is disclosed. The tug can dock with various spacecraft to allow access by people between the spacecraft. Further, the tug may dock with other specialty tugs to form a custom system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2017
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Publication number: 20160304221
    Abstract: A core element for use with an inflatable or expandable spacecraft is claimed. The core element has a plurality of panels connected by hinges so that the core element can be packed into a smaller volume for loading into a launch vehicle. Upon deployment in space, the core element can be unpacked and can enclose a larger volume than that in the packed state. Multiple core elements can be used to cover a spacecraft to a desired degree.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 16, 2015
    Publication date: October 20, 2016
    Applicant: Bigelow Aerospace LLC
    Inventor: Frederic R. Cline
  • Patent number: 9463883
    Abstract: A spacecraft capture tug is disclosed. The tug can capture objects in space, including spacecraft and satellites, using an engagement system and provide propulsion for the object to a point of servicing, repair, or other desired operations. Further, the tug may dock with other specialty tugs to form a custom transport system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace, LLC
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Patent number: 9327848
    Abstract: A shield comprised of carbon nanotube materials is used to provide a level of protection to a spacecraft. Shield segments are produced in a facility in space. The segments are transported from the facility to a vicinity of a spacecraft hull. The segments are assembled over the hull to substantially cover an area of the hull.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Patent number: 9302791
    Abstract: A transport landing vehicle for transferring an astronaut to and from an extraterrestrial mass such as a moon, asteroid, or small planet is disclosed. The transport landing vehicle has a cage that is substantially open to the outside environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2016
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Patent number: 9284069
    Abstract: A solar generator tug is disclosed. The tug can dock with spacecraft to provide power for the spacecraft. Further, the tug may dock with other specialty tugs to form a custom transport system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2016
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Patent number: 9284073
    Abstract: A standard transit tug is disclosed. The tug can dock with spacecraft to provide propulsion for the spacecraft. Further, the tug may dock with other specialty tugs to form a custom transport system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2016
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Patent number: 9033280
    Abstract: A spacecraft carrier is disclosed. The carrier has a large internal volume for housing at least one spacecraft. The carrier can be used as a repair and maintenance facility in space for spacecraft. Manned and unmanned devices can be stored, repaired and resupplied. The carrier can also transport a number of spacecraft to other locations allowing for an efficient coordinated movement of many spacecraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Publication number: 20150090841
    Abstract: A transport landing vehicle for transferring an astronaut to and from an extraterrestrial mass such as a moon, asteroid, or small planet is disclosed. The transport landing vehicle has a cage that is substantially open to the outside environment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2014
    Publication date: April 2, 2015
    Applicant: Bigelow Aerospace LLC
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Publication number: 20150090842
    Abstract: An airlock that provides a substantially 360 view using enlarged viewports is disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2014
    Publication date: April 2, 2015
    Applicant: Bigelow Aerospace LLC
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Publication number: 20150053823
    Abstract: A spacecraft capture tug is disclosed. The tug can capture objects in space, including spacecraft and satellites, using an engagement system and provide propulsion for the object to a point of servicing, repair, or other desired operations. Further, the tug may dock with other specialty tugs to form a custom transport system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2014
    Publication date: February 26, 2015
    Applicant: Bigelow Aerospace LLC
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Publication number: 20150008290
    Abstract: A docking node transporter tug is disclosed. The tug can dock with various spacecraft to allow access by people between the spacecraft. Further, the tug may dock with other specialty tugs to form a custom system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2014
    Publication date: January 8, 2015
    Applicant: Bigelow Aerospace LLC
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Publication number: 20150008289
    Abstract: A solar generator tug is disclosed. The tug can dock with spacecraft to provide power for the spacecraft. Further, the tug may dock with other specialty tugs to form a custom transport system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2014
    Publication date: January 8, 2015
    Applicant: Bigelow Aerospace LLC
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Publication number: 20150008288
    Abstract: A standard transit tug is disclosed. The tug can dock with spacecraft to provide propulsion for the spacecraft. Further, the tug may dock with other specialty tugs to form a custom transport system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2014
    Publication date: January 8, 2015
    Applicant: Bigelow Aerospace LLC
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Patent number: 8580011
    Abstract: A gas and liquid mixture separation and collection system for zero gravity operation that can be applied to a urinal toilet is disclosed. There is an inlet to receive the gas and liquid mixture. The mixture is directed to a filter having an air side. A vacuum pump on the air side of the filter generates a pressure delta to force the inlet flow. A peristaltic pump is used to transfer liquid away from the filter surface. In doing so, the flow on the liquid side of the membrane filter may contain some gas left over from the inlet flow mixture, but there is substantially less gas than in the gas and liquid mixture at the inlet. The filtered mixture is directed to an expandable collection bag that is attached to the air side of the filter so the filter process can be repeated to remove more gas from the mixture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace
    Inventor: Jay Ingham
  • Patent number: 8578663
    Abstract: A cover for an inflatable modular structure is claimed. A plurality of covers fit on the core of an inflatable module. An inflatable shell is attached to the core enclosing the covers and the core. In the pre-deployed configuration, the inflatable shell is folded over the covers and the covers provide a measure of protection for the shell. In the deployed state, the inflatable shell is filled with air and expands to its deployed configuration. The covers can be removed from core and attached to the inside of the shell. The covers then function as a platform to secure items in place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Patent number: 8550406
    Abstract: A spacecraft magnetic shield apparatus is disclosed. One embodiment has an armature attached at one end of a spacecraft and an electromagnet attached to the other end. A computer determines the position of the armature and electromagnet in relation to the spacecraft, and a power source powers the electromagnet. In operation, the positioning of the electromagnet is generally in line with incoming charged particles or ion radiation and powering of the electromagnet creates a magnetic field that deflects a percentage of the incoming charged particles or ion radiation from directly impacting the spacecraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Patent number: 8366051
    Abstract: An air barrier having a scuff coating is used in connection with the core of a spacecraft to form an inflatable, or expandable, human habitat module. The air barrier is comprised of a number of segments joined together to form a enclosure that has at least one opening. The joined segments are generally gas impermeable, flexible, and have a scuff coating on both sides of the segments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow
  • Patent number: 7780118
    Abstract: A radiation shield for use with a manned spacecraft is claimed. The shield has a container that is substantially filled with a substantially radiation absorbing material. The container has attachment members that cooperate with corresponding attachment members on the inner surface of a spacecraft. The radiation absorbing material provides a measure of protection to crewmembers and equipment against particle radiation that is present in space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: Bigelow Aerospace
    Inventor: Robert T. Bigelow