Patents Examined by Valentina Xavier
  • Patent number: 11358738
    Abstract: A strut-and-node truss design that is applicable to space frame structure designs can be assembled with using robotic (semi-autonomous and/or fully autonomous) or telerobotic assembly/joining. The assembly system can include a storage module that includes the components for assembly and an assembly module that can retrieve and assembly the components. The resulting truss structure can be connected to an antenna (e.g., carried by the storage module) for deployment. The assembly module can be operated repeatedly in conjunction with additional resupply systems that provide additional components for assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2021
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2022
    Assignee: LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION
    Inventors: Michael R. Eller, Darren Andrew Kearney
  • Patent number: 11358708
    Abstract: An aircraft (1) including a fixed wing (7) and a wing tip device (9) moveably mounted thereon. The wing tip device (9) is movable from a load-alleviating configuration to a flight configuration. The wing tip device includes an airflow channel (88) extending between respective apertures (83, 84) on the upper surface and lower surface of the wing tip device. The channel (88) is configurable between an open state in which air can flow through the channel and a closed state in which the airflow through the channel (88), via the apertures (83, 84), is blocked. The channel (88) is configured such that when the wing tip device (9) is in the load-alleviating configuration and the channel (88) is in the open state, the aerodynamic loading on the wing tip device in flight urges the wing tip device towards the flight configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2022
    Assignee: Airbus Operations Limited
    Inventor: Ciaran O'Rourke
  • Patent number: 11358739
    Abstract: Systems and methods for transferring, storing, and/or processing materials, such as fuel or propellant, in space, are disclosed. A representative system includes a flexible container that is changeable between a stowed configuration in which the flexible container is contained within a satellite, and a deployed configuration in which the flexible container extends away from the satellite. The system can include a tanker with a storage container to dock with and refuel a satellite. Another representative system includes a controller programmed with instructions that position a spacecraft with a storage container in a first orbit, transfer the spacecraft to a second orbit, dock the spacecraft with a satellite in the second orbit, transfer material between the storage container and the satellite, undock the spacecraft from the satellite, and, optionally, return the spacecraft to the first orbit. An androgynous coupling system with mechanical and fluid connectors facilitates docking and material transfer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2022
    Assignee: Orbit Fab, Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel Faber
  • Patent number: 11352133
    Abstract: The disclosure generally provides methods, systems and apparatus for networked drone systems. In an exemplary networked drone system, a plurality of smaller drones are attached to a fixed platform to increase delivery payload, distance, reliability and safety. As a drone nears charge depletion, it is replaced in-flight with a new drone. Thus, the networked drone system need not be grounded to replace the depleted drone. In another embodiment, flight efficiency is increased by providing collapsible wins to the networked drone system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2022
    Assignee: INTEL CORPORATION
    Inventors: Michael Jassowski, Ashwin Thirunahari, Anil Nanduri, Baptiste Tripard
  • Patent number: 11338911
    Abstract: Example magnetic recovery systems and magnetic docking mechanisms for fixed-wing UAVs are disclosed herein. An example capture mechanism for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) includes a first member attached to a capture vehicle, the first member having a first portion having a first shape and a magnetic portion; and a second member attached to the UAV, the second member having a second portion having a second shape, wherein the first member and the second member mutually self-align responsive to incidental contact of the first shape and the second shape, and the magnetic portion is to capture the second member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2022
    Assignee: Insitu, Inc.
    Inventor: John R. Wong
  • Patent number: 11332241
    Abstract: An apparatus including a thrust vectoring system including a centrifugal fan and a nozzle configured to output an exhaust from the centrifugal fan, wherein the thrust vectoring system is configured to controllably orient at least one of, the centrifugal fan or the nozzle, to vector a thrust generated by the exhaust.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2022
    Assignee: AURORA FLIGHT SCIENCES CORPORATION, A SUBSIDIARY OF THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventor: Luis Gonzalez
  • Patent number: 11319064
    Abstract: An aircraft operable to transition between thrust-borne lift in a VTOL orientation and wing-borne lift in a biplane orientation. The aircraft has an airframe including first and second wings with first and second pylons coupled therebetween. A distributed thrust array is coupled to the airframe including a plurality of propulsion assemblies coupled to the first wing and a plurality of propulsion assemblies coupled to the second wing. A cargo pod is coupled between the first and second pylons. The cargo pod is rotatable between a loading configuration, substantially perpendicular to the wings and a transportation and deployment configuration, substantially parallel to the wings. A flight control system is configured to independently control each of the propulsion assemblies and to autonomously deploy a payload from the cargo pod at a desired location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: John Robert Wittmaak, Jr., Joshua Allan Edler, Eric Christopher Terry, Joseph Daniel Leachman
  • Patent number: 11312485
    Abstract: An aerial vehicle adapted for vertical takeoff and landing using a set of wing mounted thrust producing elements and a set of tail mounted rotors for takeoff and landing. An aerial vehicle which is adapted to vertical takeoff with the rotors in a rotated, take-off attitude then transitions to a horizontal flight path, with the rotors rotated to a typical horizontal configuration. The aerial vehicle uses different configurations of its wing mounted rotors and propellers to reduce drag in all flight modes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: Joby Aero, Inc.
    Inventors: JoeBen Bevirt, Alex Stoll
  • Patent number: 11299297
    Abstract: A system to create a magnetic field or fields around the outside of a spacecraft to provide protection from cosmic and solar radiation. Electromagnets are placed within one or more layers of the outer shell or surface of a spacecraft and are used to generate magnetic fields. Side electromagnets are placed within one or more of the side layers of the outer shell or surface of the spacecraft and separate configurations of electromagnets are positioned within one or more layers of the outer shell or surface of the spacecraft, in a cross shaped configuration, either Quadrupole electromagnet configuration or two right-angled electromagnet configuration, at the front and rear of the spacecraft in geometric alignment with the opposite poled side positioned electromagnets. Magnetic field lines are channeled around the outside of the spacecraft by use of the right-angled electromagnet configuration or centered on the center of the quadrupole electromagnet configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2021
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2022
    Assignee: TRAINOR AEROSPACE LLC
    Inventor: Eamonn Patrick Trainor
  • Patent number: 11292588
    Abstract: A helicopter includes annular electric motors surrounding a fuselage. Each annular electric motor includes an annular stator and an annular rotor. Rotor blades extend radially outwardly from each annular rotor. In an embodiment with two electric motors, one rotor rotates in one direction and the other rotor rotates in the opposite direction. A swash device with a grooved outer cylindrical surface engages the free end of a crank arm of each rotor blade to provide collective and cyclic pitch control. Actuators, which may be electromechanical or hydraulic, control positioning and movement of the swash device. Batteries, an electric generator and/or a hydrogen fuel cell may supply electric power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2021
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Inventor: Charles Douglas Pope
  • Patent number: 11292604
    Abstract: There is provided a heat management system for a hybrid electrical aircraft comprising electric propulsors powered by a power plant. The heat management system comprises a heat exchanger integrated to a nacelle of at least one of the electric propulsors for dissipating heat withdrawn from the power components of the power plant into ambient air.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Assignee: PRATT & WHITNEY CANADA CORP.
    Inventors: Jean Thomassin, Serge Dussault
  • Patent number: 11292621
    Abstract: A spacecraft onboard equipment and payload storage system comprising a spacecraft having an interior volume, wherein said interior volume comprises a interior annular portion; a annular storage support track connected to said spacecraft within said spacecraft's interior annular portion; and at least one storage module that is movably connected to said annular storage support track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Assignee: Excalibur Almaz USA Inc.
    Inventor: Arthur M Dula
  • Patent number: 11273922
    Abstract: An aerial vehicle adapted for vertical takeoff and landing using a set of wing mounted thrust producing elements and a set of tail mounted rotors for takeoff and landing. An aerial vehicle which is adapted to vertical takeoff with the rotors in a rotated, take-off attitude then transitions to a horizontal flight path, with the rotors rotated to a typical horizontal configuration. The aerial vehicle uses different configurations of its wing mounted rotors and propellers to reduce drag in all flight modes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2022
    Assignee: Joby Aero, Inc.
    Inventors: JoeBen Bevirt, Alex Stoll
  • Patent number: 11273929
    Abstract: A system for landing gear prognostic and health management may comprise a stroke measurement component and a pin configured to translate relative to the stroke measurement component. The pin may include a plurality of graduations. The pin may be configured such that a graduation corresponding to a stroke length of the landing gear may be visible through a viewing window of the stroke measurement component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2022
    Assignee: Goodrich Corporation
    Inventor: Marc Georgin
  • Patent number: 11267581
    Abstract: Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launch and recovery is disclosed. A disclosed example apparatus includes an aircraft mount to be coupled to a vehicle, where the aircraft mount has a magnet, and a support arm to extend from a body of the vehicle and support the aircraft mount, where the support arm is to be moved relative to the vehicle while the vehicle is moving to bring the aircraft mount toward an aircraft to recover the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2022
    Assignee: Insitu, Inc.
    Inventor: John R. Wong
  • Patent number: 11267591
    Abstract: A system and method for installing, deploying, and recovering a plurality of spacecraft that provides an ease of use and structural stability, and facilitates a standardization of spacecraft design. In embodiments of this invention, threaded rods are arranged orthogonal to a surface of a baseplate, and each spacecraft includes a coupling mechanism that selectively engages or disengages each threaded rod. Each spacecraft is added to the stack by engaging its coupling mechanism and rotating the threaded rods while the preceding spacecraft on the stack disengage their coupling mechanisms, thereby enabling the spacecraft to travel along the threaded rods toward the baseplate. When all of the spacecraft are added to the stack, the stack is preloaded by rotating the treaded rods into a terminator component at the top of the stack while the coupling mechanisms in all of the spacecraft are disengaged. Spacecraft are deployed by reversing the process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2022
    Assignee: Planetary Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Walter Holemans, Ryan Williams
  • Patent number: 11267343
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to an electrically powered aircraft comprising: a propulsion system; a navigation control system operatively coupled to said propulsion system to navigate the aircraft to a desired location; a rechargeable electrical power storage to power the aircraft during operation; and a power line charging unit comprising a current transformer operatively coupled to said rechargeable electrical power storage and remotely operable to engage a power line in flight to recharge said rechargeable electrical power storage and remotely disengage said power line once recharged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2022
    Assignee: Ferraris Power Co. Ltd.
    Inventor: Ja-Il Koo
  • Patent number: 11260961
    Abstract: A hydraulic system 300 for an aircraft including a backup hydraulic pressure source 216 to provide hydraulic pressure to a brake 222 in the event of a failure condition of a primary hydraulic brake pressure source. The hydraulic system 300 also includes a landing gear backup system to provide hydraulic pressure to enable extension and/or retraction of landing gear 100. The backup hydraulic pressure source 216 is arranged to provide hydraulic pressure to the landing gear backup system in the event of a failure condition of a primary landing gear hydraulic pressure source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2022
    Assignee: Airbus Operations Limited
    Inventors: George Howell, Nicholas Crane
  • Patent number: 11254451
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure are directed to techniques for autonomously transitioning a spacecraft from a power-saving state to a power-consuming state at a time after launch of the spacecraft on a launch vehicle. Because the spacecraft can autonomously detect conditions for transitioning to the power-consuming state, commands received via an umbilical connection to the launch vehicle, or detecting the presence or absence of such a connection, is unnecessary, thereby removing several technical barriers to eliminating such umbilical connections altogether. In some embodiments, low-cost vacuum detection devices that use very small amounts of power may be used by the spacecraft to detect when the spacecraft has reached an altitude suitable for transitioning to the power-consuming state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2022
    Assignee: Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
    Inventors: Mohammed Faraz Admani, Pieter Buysschaert, Andrew D. Roberts, Garrett P. Simard
  • Patent number: 11249477
    Abstract: Various reconfigurations of propellers, propeller blades, and/or blade sections of propulsion mechanisms of an aerial vehicle are described. For example, responsive to a fault or failure of a propulsion mechanism, propellers, propeller blades, and/or blade sections of the remaining propulsion mechanisms may be modified to maintain control and safety of the aerial vehicle. In example embodiments, angular orientations, positions, and/or lengths of one or more propellers, propeller blades, and/or blade sections of propulsion mechanisms may be modified to maintain control and safety in either a horizontal, wingborn flight orientation, or a vertical, VTOL flight orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2022
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Louis LeGrand, Omri Rand, Gur Kimchi, Sebastian Fischer, Ricky Welsh