Patents Examined by Virna Lissi Ansley
  • Patent number: 5421540
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for elimination of space debris from Earth orbit to thus minimize the hazards to space personnel and equipment that are now present as increasing as space exploration and use continues. As a first aspect space debris is collected and deorbited where it is completely burned by the heat developed by the kinetic energy of its reentry through the Earth's atmosphere. As a second aspect, valuable space debris is collected and deorbited in a recovery reentry vehicle and which lands at a designated site on the Earth's surface. A third method includes parking collected space debris in a designated parking orbit at a location well away from traveled orbit zones, including a high, relatively unused orbit sector. A fourth method includes solar and laser energy destruction of the non-valuable space debris while in orbit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1995
    Inventor: Paul C. Ting
  • Patent number: 5407150
    Abstract: A thrust unit for an aircraft having a lift unit for propelling the aircraft in upward flight. The lift unit includes a duct for directing air substantially downwardly, the duct being shaped so that air exhausting from its downstream end is in a stream having substantially the same cross-sectional dimension of the duct at the downstream end, and an air pump disposed for inducing a draught of air through the duct. In use, the draught of air exhausting from the duct can produce an upward thrust and is substantially non-convergent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 18, 1995
    Assignee: Sandleir VTOL Aircraft Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kimberley V. Sadleir
  • Patent number: 5402852
    Abstract: A product useful in extinguishing fires and preventing explosions has a continuous sheet of metal foil having discontinuous slits arranged in a specified way, and in particular embodiments comprises magnesium alloys which may be coated with an oleate or an alkaline bichromate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 4, 1995
    Assignee: Shaikh G. M. Y. Alhamad
    Inventors: Shaikh G. M. Y. Alhamad, Sami I. Altikan
  • Patent number: 5398888
    Abstract: Aerodynamic control apparatus for an aircraft is provided which includes a pair of control surfaces, one for each side of the aircraft, each control surface extending between a root end at the fuselage and a distant tip end. The root end of each control surface is pivotally mounted on the fuselage on a stationary hinge axis which is angularly disposed relative to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft. The hinge axis is elevated or depressed at the leading edge of the control surface relative to the trailing edge such that the hinge axis is in an oblique orientation relative to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft. An actuator enables selective movement of each control surface to any one of a range of positions between an inactive position flush with a contoured outer surface of the fuselage and a deployed position at which a tip end of the control surface is distant from the fuselage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 21, 1995
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Corporation
    Inventor: Heinz A. Gerhardt
  • Patent number: 5398890
    Abstract: A pneumatic deicing system for deicing an airfoil includes a flexible deicing member having inflatable tube-like passages provided therein for being inflated with a pressurized fluid, wherein the deicing member is bonded to a shell having a snap type connector for mating with another connector either on the airfoil or integrated into another part of the shell. An air connector extends through the shell and is utilized for putting the deicing member in fluid connection with the fluid source. Radar absorptive material may be disposed between the shell and the deicing member for reducing the radar cross section of the airfoil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 21, 1995
    Assignee: The B. F. Goodrich Company
    Inventors: Norbert A. Weisend, Jr., Alan J. Fahrner
  • Patent number: 5395076
    Abstract: A spacecraft uses monopropellant arcjets for velocity change such as for north-south stationkeeping. It has been discovered that, while an arcjet cannot be modulated by pulsing the fuel supply, the amount of thrust can be varied by modulating the power applied to the arc, without extinguishing the arc. While the specific impulse (I.sub.SP) of the arcjet is thereby reduced from the maximum I.sub.SP of which the arcjet is capable, the resulting I.sub.SP may still be larger than the combined I.sub.SP of an unmodulated arcjet in conjunction with a modulated chemical thruster in a typical scenario. According to the invention, attitude control is provided in conjunction with north-south stationkeeping or other velocity change by, in response to an error signal generated by an attitude control system, modulating the arc power(s) of an arcjet thruster(s), which provides the velocity change. The arc is not extinguished during the stationkeeping maneuver, but is varied in magnitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 7, 1995
    Assignee: Martin Marietta Corporation
    Inventors: Daniel A. Lichtin, Kidambi V. Raman, Vasuki Subbarao
  • Patent number: 5388787
    Abstract: This invention relates to annular canopy parachutes having a central cap canopy, in critically spaced arrangement at the central main vent, which assists in providing rapid controlled inflation and decreasing oscillation upon inflation as to allow incorporation of high drag coefficient, generally air impermeable canopy fabric.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 14, 1995
    Assignee: Irvin Industries Canada Ltd.
    Inventors: David B. Webb, David A. Wright
  • Patent number: 5386954
    Abstract: Process for flying an aircraft in the "elevator speed maintenance mode" during altitude changes, in which for acquiring and/or maintaining a nominal speed it is supplied to the flight computer at the same time as the instantaneous speed of the aircraft, said computer producing the elevator control instruction, characterized in that a nominal speed is also simultaneously transmitted in continuous manner to the automatic thrust control member of the engines and in that the process is performed during two successive sequences, namely:a first sequence during which the elevator only receives a nose up instruction (on climbing) or a dive instruction (on descending) and the engines move to full thrust in the first case or to idling speed in the second anda second sequence, following the first, during which the real nominal speed is supplied to the elevator instruction computer and said same nominal speed increased (on climbing) or decreased (on descending) by a margin is supplied to the automatic thrust control memb
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 7, 1995
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Societe Nationale Industrielle
    Inventors: Bernard Bissey, Andre Cazenave
  • Patent number: 5381985
    Abstract: A tiltwing aircraft, capable of in-flight conversion between a hover and forward cruise mode, employs a counter-rotating proprotor arrangement which permits a significantly increased cruise efficiency without sacrificing either the size of the conversion envelope or the wing efficiency. A benefit in hover is also provided because of the lower effective disk loading for the counter-rotating proprotor, as opposed to a single rotation proprotor of the same diameter. At least one proprotor is provided on each wing section, preferably mounted on the wingtip, with each proprotor having two counter-rotating blade rows. Each blade row has a plurality of blades which are relatively stiff-in-plane and are mounted such that cyclic pitch adjustments may be made for hover control during flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 17, 1995
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co.
    Inventors: James K. Wechsler, John W. Rutherford
  • Patent number: 5377936
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods of Gravity Guidance and Propulsion of Geosynchronous Satellites, other satellites and space vehicles using net kinetic energy PUSH of Gravity of the electromagnetic spectrum particles which continually irradiate the earth from space, based on the Oppositely Charged Twin Monopole (OCTM) Theory of Matter. Specifically Fully Stabilized Geosynchronous Satellites can be made with the same lift-off weight as Spin Stabilized Geosynchronous Satellites by using GG&P Methods and Rules of mass distribution in the satellite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 3, 1995
    Inventor: Maurice Mitchell
  • Patent number: 5375793
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a process for the automatic control of the control surfaces of an aircraft for the low speed compensation of a lateral path deviation, in which beyond a given deflection threshold (20) of the deflected rudder (17), there is a control of a deflection, proportional to the exceeding of the threshold, of the wing surfaces (13, 14) of one of the two wings (18), said wing being that on the side of the deflected rudder (17), so as to provide a drag supplement to said wing and therefore yaw on the aircraft.Application to the take-off of large civil transport aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1994
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Societe Nationale Industrielle
    Inventors: Vincent Rivron, Cecile Vollard
  • Patent number: 5374013
    Abstract: A method of and apparatus for reducing drag produced by relative air movement on a moving body are disclosed. The method includes the steps of modifying a rear air pressure behind a rear of the body such that the rear air pressure is increased, wherein the air pressure modifying step includes inletting an amount of air from a boundary flow around the body and forming a pressure shell behind the rear of the body, wherein the pressure shell forming step includes forming a large vortex behind the rear of the body by outletting the inlet air at the rear of the body in a plurality of small high-energy vortices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 20, 1994
    Inventors: David A. Bassett, Marlin R. Bassett, John C. Schroeder
  • Patent number: 5374014
    Abstract: System for control of an aerodynamic surface (1) of an aircraft, comprising an intentional actuation member (5) and a hydraulic jack (2) intended to deflect said aerodynamic surface (1).According to the invention, the system comprises means (14) for detecting the difference in pressures prevailing in said jack (2), on either side of the piston (2C) of the latter, and calculation means (11) comprising:a computer delivering values of a coefficient which is a decreasing function of said difference in pressures; anda multiplier receiving an electrical signal (dp) representing a demanded deflection and said coefficient and addressing a first deflection command (C2) formed by the product of said signal and said coefficient to said servovalve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 20, 1994
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Societe Nationale Industrielle
    Inventors: Pascal Traverse, Xavier Le Tron
  • Patent number: 5372332
    Abstract: A survivability enhancement air vehicle adapted to be air launched from a launching aircraft has a fuselage with a top half and a bottom half separable from the top half. A first stage rocket constitutes the bottom half of the fuselage and a second stage rocket and associated avionics constitute the top half of the fuselage. Gull wings are rotatably mounted on the top half of the fuselage for rotation from a stowed position next adjacent the top half to an extended position substantially 90 degrees toward the bottom half upon being air launched. A separation device in the fuselage separates and drops the bottom half of the fuselage from the top half upon burnout of the first stage rocket. A control system in the top half of the fuselage controls the air vehicle in flight either from the launching aircraft or autonomously, whereby the air vehicle may be used to protect the launching aircraft in a hostile environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1994
    Assignee: Grumman Aerospace Corporation
    Inventors: Glenn L. Spacht, Richard F. Nastasi, Walter R. Burhans, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5372340
    Abstract: A plurality of spacecrafts having their own functions are each provided with a communication controller and its own mission, and communicate with each other to perform specific operations. In addition, a plurality of units having particular functions are housed in a system dock, and arbitrary ones of these units are combined to constitute a spacecraft according to the use. Units responsible for performing the specific operations are interchangeably connected, so as to be separable from the individual spacecraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1994
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hirokazu Ihara, Masaya Yamamoto, Kouhei Kato, Shigehiro Tomita, Masaharu Tadauchi
  • Patent number: 5372338
    Abstract: A nacelle of a gas turbine engine is attached via a pylon to an aircraft wing from which the engine is to be mounted. The nacelle is split to form a pair of opposing arcuate doors which are moveable between an open position and a closed position. When the doors are closed a ring on the fan casing locates in a correspondingly shaped groove on the inner surface of the arcuate doors. The nacelle is structurally integrated with the fan casing with the ring so that all the engine loads are transmitted through the nacelle. Telescopic struts are provided to connect the engine casings directly to the pylon so that when the arcuate doors are open, to allow access to the engine, the struts 50-60 support the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1994
    Assignee: Rolls-Royce plc
    Inventors: Robert N. Carlin, Andrew W. Deighton
  • Patent number: 5372337
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle incorporates a single engine with bifurcated exhausts which are coupled to side mounted rotating nozzles through a swivel joint. Jet deflection means are mounted to the end of the rotating nozzles to achieve additional degrees of freedom for the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1994
    Inventors: Robert W. Kress, Joseph W. Stump
  • Patent number: 5368259
    Abstract: A ram air wind power device. Parallel chambers of a sail fabricated from flexible material provide structure to the sail when filled with ram air. The chambers have openings at each end and each opening contains a valve. The openings to the parallel chambers provide two leading-trailing edges of the sail. One of the leading-trailing edges will function as a leading edge if the openings on that edge is facing into the wind, in which case the valves of the chambers at that edge will be open and the valves in the chambers at the other edge will be closed. When the other leading-trailing edge faces into the wind that edge becomes the leading edge. Preferred embodiments include kites, parachutes and gliders.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1994
    Inventor: Dorald C. Tabor
  • Patent number: 5364046
    Abstract: This invention is an automatic capture and docking mechanism for a pair of spacecraft. A largely passive capture mechanism disposed on a first spacecraft includes a concave cone section with the narrower interior end to admit a ball of a predetermined diameter. When tripped, a capture device restricts the diameter of passage for capture of the ball. In the release position passage for the ball is unrestricted. The capture device is preferably reset by the other spacecraft to release the ball. A docking mechanism disposed on the second spacecraft includes a convex cone section constructed to mate with the concave cone section, ball at the end of a cable and a boom. The cable may be extended from or retracted to the apex of the convex cone section. A rotary drive coupled to the convex cone section permits relative rotation of the spacecraft. The boom may be extended from or retracted into the second spacecraft. The spacecraft dock by directing the extended ball into the cylinder, where it is captured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1994
    Assignee: Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
    Inventors: Michael E. Dobbs, Peter Tchoryk, Jr., Donald B. Jones
  • Patent number: 5360187
    Abstract: A parachute having an improved vent line stacking wherein the parachute is provided with a canopy having a central vent opening and a vent band secured to the canopy around the periphery of the vent opening, with a plurality of vent lines each lying on a diameter of the vent opening and having its ends secured to the vent band on opposite sides of the vent opening. The vent lines are sewed to the vent band in an order such that a the end of a first vent line is sewed to the vent band at a starting point with the end of a second vent band then being sewed to the vent band adjacent to and counterclockwise from the first band. A third vent band is sewed to the vent band adjacent to and clockwise from the first band, with a fourth vent band being sewed to the vent band adjacent to and counterclockwise from the second vent band.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 1, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: John E. Hengel