Patents Assigned to Thales Avionics, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20080237440
    Abstract: A mounting device for a line replaceable unit in an aircraft, and a method for using the same. The mounting device provides for easy installation and removal of a line replaceable unit from overhead mounting apparatus or mounting rails in an aircraft, in particular, an Airbus. The mounting device includes a fixing block having a least one opening, and at least one assembly including a shaft portion passing through the opening, a clamping element and a visual position element whose orientation indicates an orientation of the clamping element. The assembly is operable such that the clamping element secures the device to a component of the vehicle when positioned in a first position, and releases the device when positioned in a second position, and the visual position element provides an indication of whether the clamping element is in the first or second position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Publication date: October 2, 2008
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald E. Lester, Terry Lo, Tomson Tseng, Ton Do, Randall Welch
  • Publication number: 20080244664
    Abstract: An interface for a bulkhead monitor in an in-flight entertainment system, and a method for using the same. More specifically, a one-wire interface use to electrically couple a tapping unit and its associated monitor in an in-flight entertainment system. The wire has a first end for coupling to an input of a comparator in the tapping unit, and a second end for coupling to an input of a comparator in the monitor, to couple the tapping unit to the monitor. The interface further includes a second wire for coupling the wire to a load, such as an indicator which indicates an on or off condition of at least the video monitor. The wire of the interface can also carry a signal indicating a indicating at least one of transmitting state and a receiving state of a microcontroller of the monitor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 26, 2007
    Publication date: October 2, 2008
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Lili Hong, Ton Do, Brian Humphrey
  • Publication number: 20080189748
    Abstract: A video display unit includes a housing coupled to a portion of an aircraft cabin, a local area network interface disposed at least partially within the housing, and a video decoder disposed within the housing. The video decoder receives video content via the network interface, and decodes the video content. The video display unit also has a display screen coupled to the housing. The display screen displays the video content, and allows a passenger to interact with the display in response to on-screen instructions, including the use of a magnetic card reader to, for example, purchase an item via credit card.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2007
    Publication date: August 7, 2008
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Brett Bleacher, Mark Thompson, Ton Do
  • Publication number: 20080187282
    Abstract: A system and method for providing a digital In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system in a vehicle, such as an aircraft, that is capable of presenting a video program and associated audio in a synchronized manner to a large number of individual video monitors and speakers. The system and method employ processing operations in at least one decoder of the IFE system, to perform operations such as adjusting a local clock based on a master clock, setting a delay time in relation to a master clock, and adjusting video and audio playback based on the delay, to substantially synchronize playback of the audio and video data by the audio and video players, to thus eliminate or at least minimize the negative effects of source and load based jitter, network delays, clock drifts, network errors and decoder buffering differences, on synchronizing video and audio playback.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 5, 2007
    Publication date: August 7, 2008
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth A. Brady, Lyle K. Norton, George Treneer
  • Publication number: 20080180331
    Abstract: An antenna assembly for installation in a vehicle, such as an aircraft, and a method for using the same. The antenna assembly includes at least one window mounted antenna for an aircraft for enabling the aircraft to communicate wirelessly with a network, such as a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). The window mounted antenna includes a panel that is transparent to visible light and has at least one antenna element, which can be etched onto the panel. The panel can attach to the interior window of the aircraft, or to an inner surface of the inner pressure window of the aircraft, or can replace the interior window, so as to position the antenna element in a side-looking direction with respect to the aircraft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 26, 2007
    Publication date: July 31, 2008
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth A. Brady, George Treneer
  • Patent number: 7405773
    Abstract: A display retract mechanism for moving a display between a retracted position and a deployed position is disclosed and explained. The display retract mechanism is useful, for example, in mounting a liquid crystal display within the cabin of a passenger vehicle, such as an aircraft or bus. A geared chain drive supplies torque necessary for rotating a pivot shaft on which the display is attached. The display is biased toward a retracted position by a gas spring with a substantially linear force curve between the retracted position and the deployed position. Also disclosed are an infrared sensor for detecting when the display is in the deployed position, a solenoid latch for holding the display in the retracted position, and an electromechanical clutch for maintaining the display in a particular position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2008
    Assignee: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald E. Lester, Bradley Foreman, Mauricio J. Mirand, Doris McQuaid
  • Publication number: 20080157997
    Abstract: A hand-held passenger control unit for use by a passenger on an aircraft or any other type of vehicle is provided. The control unit may include a controller, a memory, and a display panel. The control unit may have a first and a second mode of operation. In the first mode of operation, the control unit controls its own display panel. In the second mode of operation, the control unit controls a remote video display unit that is disposed proximate to the passenger. The control unit may also have an integrated audio player, thereby permitting passengers to bring their own audio content aboard the aircraft without having to bring their own audio players.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 20, 2007
    Publication date: July 3, 2008
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Brett Bleacher, Mark Thompson, Robert Kandel
  • Publication number: 20080142585
    Abstract: A system and method for tendering payment for products and/or services that are provided to passengers on a transportation vehicle, such as a commercial aircraft. More particularly, the present invention provides a system and method that employ a rewritable radio frequency identification device (RFID), or smart card technology, as an electronic wallet to which charges can be wirelessly debited and credited.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2006
    Publication date: June 19, 2008
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley Foreman, Kenneth A. Brady
  • Publication number: 20080070517
    Abstract: A system and method for wirelessly transferring content to and from a vehicle, in particular, an aircraft. The content includes, for example, data, voice, video and multimedia, that can be wirelessly exchanged over a wireless communication link between an aircraft and a ground station while the aircraft is at or near a parking gate, or between aircraft. In an example, the system employs long distance metropolitan area technology, such as IEEE Standard 802.16 wireless technology, to increase transfer range. The parameter of the wireless communication link can be adjusted based on, for example, the location of the link. The content can further be provided between the vehicle and ground station based on priorities, such as the available link speed, importance of the information, and/or anticipated connection time between the vehicle and ground station.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2007
    Publication date: March 20, 2008
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth A. Brady, Dan Reed, Bradley Foreman
  • Publication number: 20080036924
    Abstract: A display retract mechanism for moving a display between a retracted position and a deployed position is disclosed and explained. The display retract mechanism is useful, for example, in mounting a liquid crystal display within the cabin of a passenger vehicle, such as an aircraft or bus. A geared chain drive supplies torque necessary for rotating a pivot shaft on which the display is attached. The display is biased toward a retracted position by a gas spring with a substantially linear force curve between the retracted position and the deployed position. Also disclosed are an infrared sensor for detecting when the display is in the deployed position, a solenoid latch for holding the display in the retracted position, and an electromechanical clutch for maintaining the display in a particular position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 28, 2006
    Publication date: February 14, 2008
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald Lester, Bradley Foreman, Mauricio Mirand, Doris McQuaid
  • Patent number: 7330649
    Abstract: A security camera has an adjustable turret that holds a lens assembly which can be aimed in various directions. The camera also has a compact housing which, in combination with the adjustable directionality of the turret, enables universal mounting to various structures and positions in an aircraft cabin. The camera operates in light and dark conditions, as the lens assembly is configured to focus visible and infrared light wavelengths onto a fixed focal plane. In an embodiment, the camera includes an infrared illumination source to illuminate a field of view during dark conditions. The lens assembly includes a rigid barrel with a pinhole aperture through which light enters a series of lens elements. An optical sensor is mounted to an opposite end of the barrel at the fixed focal plane. The sensor is rotatably adjustable to yield a correct image orientation depending on the turret position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2008
    Assignee: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Francesco Finizio, Richard Grich, Xavier Bengoechea
  • Publication number: 20070294732
    Abstract: A system for providing on-demand video on an aircraft is described. In various implementations, the system includes a first computer that receives broadcast video content, digital video players distributed within a passenger seating area of the aircraft, and a second computer. The second computer receives the video content from the first computer, and provides the video content, on-demand, to a subset of the digital video players. The system also includes a third computer that receives the video content from the first computer, and provides the video content, on-demand, to another subset of the plurality of digital video players. The first computer may provide the video content to the second and third computers using a multicast protocol. The video content may include a live television broadcast or a television channel that was requested by a user of one or more of the digital video players.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2006
    Publication date: December 20, 2007
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth Arlen Brady, David Anthony Reichert, Lars Elof Rosenblad, Harmon F. Law
  • Publication number: 20070292108
    Abstract: A method and system for processing digital video is described. The invention permits fast forwarding, rewinding, pausing and resuming a digital video that is delivered over a computer network. In various embodiments of the invention, reduced-information frames (e.g., P-frames and B-frames) are skipped, samplings of complete frames (e.g., I-frames) are transmitted, and delay predictions are made to compensate for the lag time to enhance pause/resume functionality. The invention can be used delivering digital video in a low bandwidth environment. Moreover, the invention can be used in conjunction with any video standard in which there are a mix of full frames and reduced-information frames.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2006
    Publication date: December 20, 2007
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: David Anthony Reichert, Kenneth Arlen Brady
  • Patent number: 7286289
    Abstract: A surveillance window including at least one set of linear polarizer and quarter-waveplate and a reflecting surface. The surveillance window appears dull and opaque to a subject, while allowing a relatively high percentage of light to be transmitted to an observer. Various enhancements including an illuminator and detector, camouflaging, fire resistance, and improvements to the opacity are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2007
    Assignee: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Xavier Bengoechea, Francesco Finizio, Richard Grich
  • Patent number: 7280134
    Abstract: The improved landscape camera system for use in aircraft utilizes digital video technology to obtain multiple fields of view that are selectable for viewing by passengers on the aircraft, from either a single video frame or from multiple cameras with different fields of view. The camera module can also receive video input from one or more auxiliary video cameras, such as a vertical fin mounted video camera, i.e. directed forward for a view of the aircraft in flight, or a rearward looking belly mounted camera.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2007
    Assignee: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas D. Henderson, George W. Bates
  • Patent number: 7269761
    Abstract: A remote diagnostics kit is provided to permit an in-flight entertainment system of an aircraft to be diagnosed remotely by an operator who is not on-site with the aircraft. The kit includes a remote computer, such as a laptop, that is connected to the IFE or a unit to be diagnosed. A technician operating a base computer accesses the remote computer over an appropriate communications network or series of networks. For example, in an embodiment, the remote computer includes a wireless modem, such as a cellular telephone modem, which the base computer accesses over the Internet. The base computer and remote computer are equipped with appropriate software to permit communication between the base and remote computers. Accordingly, through the base computer, the technician can command operation of a diagnostics program running at the remote computer, and output from the diagnostics program is transmitted to the base computer for display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2007
    Assignee: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventor: Jason Kyong-min Yi
  • Publication number: 20070159695
    Abstract: A surveillance window including at least one set of linear polarizer and quarter-waveplate and a reflecting surface. The surveillance window appears dull and opaque to a subject, while allowing a relatively high percentage of light to be transmitted to an observer. Various enhancements including an illuminator and detector, camouflaging, fire resistance, and improvements to the opacity are also described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2007
    Publication date: July 12, 2007
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Xavier Bengoechea, Francesco Finizio, Richard Grich
  • Publication number: 20070130591
    Abstract: A method for controlling an in-flight entertainment (IFE) system using network protocols, such as TCP/IP, HTTP, or FTP. Control of a plurality of functions, including in-seat and broadcast audio and video, overhead reading light control, and flight attendant call, are implemented using a network client, a network server, and a network server program, each communicating with network protocols. The network client may be visible or invisible to a user of the in-flight entertainment system, depending on whether a web browser or a virtual web browser is used as a network client. The software for each line replaceable unit (LRU) may be designed, redesigned, or tested independently from other components within the IFE system. Particular functions of the IFE system can be made available only to particular parts of the IFE system, allowing different levels of access to the IFE system for different passenger classes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2006
    Publication date: June 7, 2007
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth Brady, Dominique Rafelghem, Lyle Norton
  • Patent number: 7187498
    Abstract: A surveillance window including at least one set of linear polarizer and quarter-waveplate and a reflecting surface. The surveillance window appears dull and opaque to a subject, while allowing a relatively high percentage of light to be transmitted to an observer. Various enhancements including an illuminator and detector, camouflaging, fire resistance, and improvements to the opacity are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2007
    Assignee: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Xavier Bengoechea, Francesco Finizio, Richard Grich
  • Publication number: 20060268116
    Abstract: A security camera has an adjustable turret that holds a lens assembly which can be aimed in various directions. The camera also has a compact housing which, in combination with the adjustable directionality of the turret, enables universal mounting to various structures and positions in an aircraft cabin. The camera operates in light and dark conditions, as the lens assembly is configured to focus visible and infrared light wavelengths onto a fixed focal plane. In an embodiment, the camera includes an infrared illumination source to illuminate a field of view during dark conditions. The lens assembly includes a rigid barrel with a pinhole aperture through which light enters a series of lens elements. An optical sensor is mounted to an opposite end of the barrel at the fixed focal plane to generate an electronic image signal, and the sensor is rotatably adjustable to yield a correct image orientation depending on the turret position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 3, 2006
    Publication date: November 30, 2006
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Francesco Finizio, Richard Grich, Xavier Bengoechea