Patents Assigned to Thales Avionics, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20060268435
    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
  • Patent number: 7114171
    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: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Assignee: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth A. Brady, Jr., Dominique Van Rafelghem, Lyle K. Norton
  • Publication number: 20060179457
    Abstract: A system for providing in-flight entertainment with data redundancy is described. In an embodiment of the invention, the system includes a first server and a second server disposed within an aircraft, each having stored thereon digital content. The system also includes a network switch that is communicatively linked to both the first and the second servers, and video display units, each being located proximate to a passenger seat within the aircraft, communicatively linked to the network switch, and having a user interface that permits a passenger to request digital content. Both the first and second servers are configured to transmit their respective stored digital content to the video display units via the network switch. Each of the plurality of video display units decodes and displays the video content upon receiving it.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 4, 2005
    Publication date: August 10, 2006
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth Brady, Dan Reed, Mark Thompson, Bradley Foreman
  • Patent number: 7088525
    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: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Assignee: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Francesco Finizio, Richard Grich, Xavier Bengoechea
  • Publication number: 20060174285
    Abstract: An in-flight entertainment system with hand-out terminals is described. An embodiment of the invention comprises a server having digital content, which is communicatively linked to a communications network, a connector located proximate to each passenger seat of an aircraft, each connector being communicatively linked to the network, and hand-out terminals. Each hand-out terminal is configured to be coupled to one of the connectors to permit a passenger at the seat to which the connector is proximate to access the digital content.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 4, 2005
    Publication date: August 3, 2006
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth Brady, Dan Reed, Mark Thompson, Bradley Foreman
  • Publication number: 20060159164
    Abstract: An improved multi-camera surveillance system for use on a vehicle such as an aircraft, and a method for implementing the same. The multi-camera surveillance system is capable of displaying a user-selected image from any camera or user-selected images from multiple cameras at multiple viewing stations by flight and cabin crew, as well as recording and maintaining the images at storage locations on the aircraft and making the images available for viewing and recording at locations external to the aircraft by gate personnel, security officers, and incident investigators.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 10, 2005
    Publication date: July 20, 2006
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Francesco Finizio, Xavier Bengoechea, Richard Grich
  • Patent number: 7042528
    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: October 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2006
    Assignee: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald E. Lester, Bradley Foreman, Mauricio J. Mirand, Doris McQuaid
  • Publication number: 20060031748
    Abstract: An in-flight entertainment system is shown wherein digital content servers are interconnected with network servers such that the content servers can communicate with one another and with a portable data loader. The loader stores digital content files that are to be downloaded to the content servers. A script downloaded to each content server is executed by the server to download some of the files from the portable data loader and cross-load other files from other content servers. Alternatively, a content inventory list is downloaded to each content server that indicates which content server is to download each content file and which content servers are to receive the content file. Each content server parses the list to identify files for which it is the download server, request download of those files, identify other files that it should have and request cross-load of those files from other content servers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 27, 2005
    Publication date: February 9, 2006
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth Brady, Andrew Weimholt, Jason Yi
  • Publication number: 20060010438
    Abstract: A method and system are provided for updating software configurations of line-replaceable unit (LRU) computers in a restricted architecture network such as an in-flight entertainment system (IFES). Operating in an efficient and parallel manner, each of the LRUs independently creates an individual configuration file that identifies current software components. Each of the LRUs transmits its respective configuration file to a configuration server either automatically upon startup or manually upon request. The configuration server updates a system configuration data file with the current configuration files received from the individual LRUs. In a downloading method, a download server sends a list of desired software components to the LRUs. Each of the LRUs independently and simultaneously transfer (download) the needed software from the download server. The LRU independently requests the download server to download the needed software components.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 2, 2005
    Publication date: January 12, 2006
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth Brady, Jason Yi, Andrew Weimholt, Jyh-Fong Tsaur, Lyle Norton
  • Publication number: 20050278754
    Abstract: A system for delivering multimedia content to airline passengers is provided. According to various implementations, the system has a video display unit disposed proximate to a seat to which the aircraft passenger is assigned. The video display unit itself has a display screen and a video decoder. A user input device is communicatively linked to the video display unit. When the aircraft passenger manipulates the user input device, signals representing an on-demand video are transmitted to the video display unit, and received by the video decoder. The video decoder then decodes the signals, thereby permitting the on-demand video to be displayed on the display screen.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 25, 2005
    Publication date: December 15, 2005
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Brett Bleacher, Mark Thompson
  • Publication number: 20050278753
    Abstract: A system and method for integrating a landscape image taken by a camera positioned in a vehicle, such as an aircraft, with images that are generated by an in-flight entertainment system (IFES) so that the IFES is capable of generating landscape images for the passengers while the aircraft is in flight. The IFES receives input data pertaining to characteristics of the aircraft and controls the display units that can be viewed by the passengers to generate a display image including information based on the input data and landscape video data provided by a camera positioned to obtain images from outside the aircraft, so that the passenger can view the landscape image along with information pertaining to the location of the aircraft, points of interest on the landscape image, and so on while the aircraft is in flight. The landscape image can be a real-time image or a frame image taken at periodic intervals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2005
    Publication date: December 15, 2005
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth Brady, Lyle Norton
  • Publication number: 20050273823
    Abstract: A system and method utilizing Internet Protocol (IP) sequencing to identify components of a passenger flight information system (PFIS). More particularly, the present invention relates to a system and method which assigns an IP address to each line replaceable unit (LRU), such as a seat electronics box (SEB) or other seat components of a PFIS, so that the components can be readily identified by the PFIS when communication is to occur between the components and, for example, a head end unit of the PFIS. Once the IP sequencing process has been performed, the PFIS can be used to provide services to the passengers, such as audio and video entertainment. Such entertainment can be set in accordance with an auto-scripting process in which the flight crew can select the theme for the flight.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 15, 2005
    Publication date: December 8, 2005
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth Brady, Jason Yi
  • Publication number: 20050273662
    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: Application
    Filed: May 24, 2005
    Publication date: December 8, 2005
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventor: Jason Yi
  • Patent number: 6973479
    Abstract: A method and system are provided for updating software configurations of line-replaceable unit (LRU) computers in a restricted architecture network such as an in-flight entertainment system (IFES). Operating in an efficient and parallel manner, each of the LRUs independently creates an individual configuration file that identifies current software components. Each of the LRUs transmits its respective configuration file to a configuration server either automatically upon startup or manually upon request. The configuration server updates a system configuration data file with the current configuration files received from the individual LRUs. In a downloading method, a download server sends a list of desired software components to the LRUs. Each of the LRUs independently and simultaneously transfer (download) the needed software from the download server. The LRU independently requests the download server to download the needed software components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Assignee: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth A. Brady, Jr., Jason Kyong-min Yi, Andrew W. Weimholt, Jyh-Fong Tsaur, Lyle K. Norton
  • Publication number: 20050268319
    Abstract: A system and method for connecting control devices for display and computing equipment of in-flight entertainment systems (IFESs) in a physical location independent manner in environments where the control devices cannot be co-located and directly connected to the display/computing equipment, such as on an aircraft or other vehicle having space restrictions. More particularly, the present invention relates to a system and method for enabling the use of improved passenger control units (PCU) including control devices such as pointing devices, keyboards, joysticks, and game controllers, and so on, with interactive in-flight entertainment systems.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2005
    Publication date: December 1, 2005
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventor: Kenneth Brady
  • Publication number: 20050216938
    Abstract: An in-flight entertainment (IFE) system includes a network having at least one wireless router for communicating wirelessly between a network server and one or more video display unit (VDU) in the cabin. The wireless transmission of video signals provides a reduced architecture that avoids a need for cables to carry a signal to the VDU's. In an embodiment, the IFE system further facilitates the use of a remote wireless device, such as a laptop computer, as the VDU. Clients may select from a variety of programs which can be distributed in an on-demand or broadcast manner. Encryption means are further provided to enable control over content distribution to only authorized devices.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 26, 2005
    Publication date: September 29, 2005
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth Brady, David Reichert
  • Publication number: 20050063696
    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: November 16, 2004
    Publication date: March 24, 2005
    Applicant: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Francesco Finizio, Richard Grich, Xavier Bengoechea
  • Patent number: 6824317
    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: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: Thales Avionics, Inc.
    Inventors: Francesco Finizio, Richard Grich, Xavier Bengoechea