Abstract: A lightweight cradle apparatus for supporting payloads such as an upper stage and a mated spacecraft in the cargo bay of a reusable space vehicle like the orbiter used in the NASA Space Transportation System. The cradle apparatus provides support for the payload during launch, abort, and landing of the orbiter and deployment of the payload. The cradle apparatus comprises a forward cradle and an aft cradle that are connected by longitudinal support members. The forward cradle comprises two radial sections joined by a hinge and by a latch, the aft cradle consists of an aft cradle disc and an aft cradle adapter assembly, each longitudinal support member consists of two longitudinal links. The links are joined together at the forward end where they connect to the forward cradle and the links are separated at the aft end by a spacer and connect to the aft cradle. The cradle apparatus transfers loads to the orbiter by means of a keel pin and trunnion connections.
October 10, 1985
Date of Patent:
October 11, 1988
Orbital Research Partners, L.P.
Frank L. Byers, James R. McCandless, George W. Salt
Abstract: A system and method for stabilizing an aircraft ejection seat and crew member after seat ejection and prior to main parachute inflation. The system also providing for delayed opening of the main chute until air speed and altitude have decreased to an acceptable parachute inflation range.
Abstract: A microwave rendezvous system for use on a tanker aircraft for aerial refueling of a receiver aircraft. The tanker providing a larger rendezvous envelope in space between the tanker and receiver aircraft thereby requiring less tedious navigation and attention during a refueling operation.
Abstract: A deployment system for controlling unfolding kinematics of radiator panels 26 of a space power system. The deployment system includes a plurality of forming mandrels 30 associated with a housing 38 of opposing generally triangular plates 40. Within the housing, a drive wheel 52 and two additional guide wheels 50 interact with the mandrels to effect predetermined deflection and deployment of the multiple radiator panels.
Abstract: A modular space station having a central enclosed area is erected in earth orbit from modules transported by a reusable space shuttle or an expendable rocket. A plurality of modules are peripherally joined in a pattern enclosing a central interior area. In one embodiment, habitable modules are joined side by side to form exterior walls enclosing a central area which is usable space for various purposes and capable of supporting life. Other embodiments are disclosed in which modules are joined by panels cooperating to enclose a central area. Adapter modules may be secured to the modules and having various devices such as docking ports for docking space craft to the station and thrust generating or communication device. The modular space stations may be repetitively joined with similar modular space stations to provide increasingly larger space stations.
Abstract: An apparatus and method for launching a spacecraft including a payload and a delivery stage having a rocket engine powered by fluid bipropellant from the earth into a high energy orbit and for recovering the delivery stage are disclosed. By reducing the delivery stage mass, it becomes feasible and cost effective to recover the delivery stage for reuse. Delivery stage mass is reduced by several techniques including transporting the spacecraft and the fluid bipropellant to a parking orbit with the fluid bipropellant in tanks external to the spacecraft; transferring the fluid bipropellant to light weight tanks integral to the spacecraft; controlling the relative flow rates of the fluid bipropellant constituents to the rocket engine during firing of the rocket engine to ensure complete use of both bipropellant constituents; and controlling ascent and descent maneuvers from remote tracking stations.
Abstract: A spacecraft is adapted for orbital flight in two alternative modes, referred to as the earth-oriented and quasi sun-oriented modes. The spacecraft comprises a spacecraft body, at least one solar array extendible outwardly from the spacecraft body, passive attitude control means utilizing gravity gradient stabilization means which is extendible and retractable relative to the spacecraft body, and active attitude control means. The gravity gradient stabilization means is effective when extended to stabilize the spacecraft in the earth-oriented mode, and the active attitude control means is effective to stabilize the spacecraft in the quasi sun-oriented mode.
March 20, 1985
Date of Patent:
March 1, 1988
Space Industries, Inc.
Caldwell C. Johnson, Maxime A. Faget, David J. Bergeron, III
Abstract: Friction applying material in a recess in a portion of the upper surface of a molded fiberglass spiral chute to apply a braking force to reduce the velocity of articles passing over the upper surface of the molded fiberglass spiral chute while still providing a substantially continuous surface for passage of the articles.
Abstract: The mechanism comprises, in combination, a main power shaft, a propeller shaft, a housing for the propeller shaft, a disc-type constant velocity joint (Rzeppa joint) operatively connecting the main power shaft and the propeller shaft, and a tillar arm operatively connected to the housing of the propeller shaft. The Rzeppa joint enables the axial angular displacemnt of the propeller shaft relative to the power shaft to be altered in all directions. Thus if the boat encounters a submerged obstacle, the propeller shaft and its housing can automatically ride over the obstacle and avoid damage or entanglement. Preferably the system also includes a latch and stop assembly that enables the operator to pre-set the vertical angular displacement of the propeller shaft relative to the power shaft in various positions, e.g., (1) uplock (for overland transport and starting). (2) shallow drive (for travelling through swamps where the water is only a few inches deep).
April 21, 1986
Date of Patent:
February 23, 1988
W. John Rivette, Jr., Thomas G. Bourgeois, Samuel P. Calamia, Jr.
Abstract: An adjustable brake for a conveyor roller formed of a tube mounted upon a coaxial shaft extending through a support hub includes a resilient washer-like pad on the end face of the roller, a similar pad on the adjacent hub face and a series of balls compressed between the pads. The end of the shaft extends outwardly of the hub, through a conveyor support rail, and threadedly engages a nut. Adjustment of the nut adjustably presses the support hub towards the roller end to adjustably squeeze the balls between the rings. The balls resiliently compress the portions of the rings that they contact to embed into the ring surfaces and form momentary depressed sockets in the ring surfaces. Rotation of the roller relative to the support hub causes rotation of the balls and corresponding displacements of the depressed sockets which produces resilient resistive forces upon the balls to retard the speed of rotation of the roller.
Abstract: A nesting table is provided which receives containers en masse from a mass air conveyor at an upstream end and discharges the containers onto a deadplate in three rows in contiguous equilateral configuration. In one embodiment, a high air pressure zone is provided along the nesting table by means of a cover extending from one side across the table to a point spaced at least one container diameter from the opposite side so that the containers entering the nesting table form two longitudinal rows on opposite sides and fill in between with a third row which nests with the row of containers which is not under the cover. A kicker plate is provided downstream of the cover to move the three formed rows of containers into nesting contiguous equilateral configuration for movement onto a deadplate. In a second embodiment, the cover is spaced at least two container diameters from the opposite edge and tapered side guides converge the three rows of containers.
Abstract: A compensator for providing resilience in a connection between relatively moveable objects comprises a piston (3) working in a cylinder (2) which is surrounded by a larger coaxial cylinder (1) joined thereto by annular wall members (1a) thus defining about the cylinder (2) a pair of annular reservoirs (8,9). The piston (3) divides the cylinder (2) into a pair of chambers (6,7), chamber (6) being connected by conduit (12) to reservoir (9) and chamber (7) being connected by conduit (10) to reservoir (8). Each reservoir contains a mixture of liquid and gas while the chambers contain liquid. Elongation of the connection between the objects causes withdrawal of the piston (3) with consequent expansion of the volume of gas in reservoir (9) against atmospheric pressure and against pressure developed in reservoir (8) as a consequence of decrease of gas volume therein.
Abstract: A fire and explosion detection and suppression system protects a hangar within which may be stored jet aircraft whose engines may be run up particularly in the re-heat mode. Two radiation sensors are mounted within the hangar and detect for at least predetermined amounts of radiation of predetermined and different types (e.g. one sensor may be a UV sensor and the other may be an IR sensor). When they simultaneously detect sufficient radiation, they operate an AND gate. This fires off suppressor units. To prevent false alarms due to radiation emitted by a running jet engine or a jet engine running in re-heat mode, such a running jet engine is sensed by a transducer responsive to the emitted acoustic or vibrational energy. This blocks the AND gate.
Abstract: Two systems of transporting grain or other bulk crop employ a grain handling trailer incorporating a pair of weighing hoppers with a grain loading system for the hoppers and a grain discharge system. In one system the mobile grain handling truck visits storage containers in the production area and acts to weigh and grade the crop on site before discharging it into haulage trucks for delivery to a rail hub. At the rail hug a grade unloading apparatus is provided comprising a two-story enclosed building with the road trucks positioned vertically above and parallel to a section of rail on which rail cars can be positioned for receiving by gravity the discharged crop. In the second system the mobile grain handling trailer moves to a rail siding particularly convenient to the production area for on site weighing and grading the grain for direct delivery into rail cars positioned on the siding.
Abstract: A control for adjusting the trim of a motor boat having a drive unit mounted on the boat for adjustment of the thrust angle relative to the boat. A trim motor adjusts the drive unit relative to the boat. A boat speed responsive pick up and control provides an output signal indicative of boat speed. A microprocessor controls the trim motor and is connected to receive the speed signals. The microprocessor reads boat speed at intervals and compares the latest speed reading with the prior reading to determine whether boat speed is increasing. The microprocessor commands the trim motor to move the drive unit in increments in one direction so long as each adjustment results in increasing speed and then to move the trim motor to adjust the drive unit in increments in the opposite direction so long as the adjustment results in increasing speed.
Abstract: A fire and explosion detection and suppression system protects two physically adjacent zones in each of which there is a UV sensor and an IR sensor. In each zone, simultaneous detection, by the pair of sensors, of sufficient respective levels of UV and IR causes an AND gate to set off suppressor units to discharge suppressant into the zone being protected. Some of this suppressant may drift into the adjacent zone and may attenuate UV radiation in that zone. Thus, for at least a temporary period, that zone may be incapable of detecting a subsequently occurring fire or explosion. Therefore, by means of a latching circuit the output signal of an operating one of the AND gates temporarily renders the circuit of the adjacent zone capable of operating independently of UV radiation.
Abstract: The difference in the pressure drop in a pneumatic discharge conduit between at least one discharge outlet into the conduit and a point downstream of the discharge outlet caused by lading in the discharge conduit is used to control opening and closing of the lading outlet valve to automatically control pneumatic unloading of lading from a container. In one application, the container is a railway hopper car having a plurality of pneumatic discharge outlets which discharge into a pneumatic discharge conduit.
Abstract: An erosive fluid jet tool for underwater operation, comprising an erosive fluid jet nozzle connected to a fluid receiver receiving fluid under elevated pressure for providing hydraulic power to the tool, the nozzle providing the working output jet of the tool; and a counterthruster for providing a counterthrusting force for balancing the thrust on the tool produced by the erosive fluid jet, the counterthruster including (a) a counterthrusting fluid jet nozzle connected to the fluid receiver and facing oppositely to the erosive nozzle for providing a counterthrusting jet, and (b) an open ended shroud coaxially surrounding the counterthrusting nozzle, whereby water surrounding the submerged tool is entrained through the shroud for providing additional counterthrusting force during operation of the counterthrusting nozzle, the erosive fluid jet nozzle and the counterthruster being constructed so that in excess of 50% of the hydraulic power provided to the tool is provided to the erosive fluid jet nozzle.
Abstract: A lifesaving craft comprises a flat-bottomed elongate buoyant structure 91) which on its lower side is free from projections and on its upper side has a number of grab means (5, 17, 20) and means for keeping a person in distress on the craft. At least at one of its two opposite ends (11, 12) the craft has to projections (13, 13') extending in prolongation of the sides of the craft, between which projections a preferably gently curved recess (14) is provided to receive and center the person in distress when he is taken up on the craft.
Abstract: In a control method of a crane in which a parcel suspended by a rope is laterally transported by a trolley, the accelerating time and decelerating time of the trolley are obtained on the basis of the mass of trolley, mass of suspended parcel including a suspending device, and rope length, and when the trolley is started, the accelerating force which is necessary to allow the velocity of trolley to become an objective velocity for the accelerating time is instructed, and after this accelerating time has elapsed, the trolley is allowed to uniformly run at the objective velocity. During the constant speed running, the stop position of the trolley is predicted on the basis of the decelerating time. When the trolley reaches the start position of the decelerating operation such that the trolley can be stopped at the objective position, the decelerating force which is necessary to reduce the trolley velocity to zero for the decelerating time is instructed.