Patents by Inventor Glenn N. Caplin

Glenn N. Caplin has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20200331638
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to methods and apparatus for performing propulsion operations using electric propulsion system are disclosed. An example launch vehicle includes a first space vehicle including a first core structure and a first electric propulsion system, and a second space vehicle including a second core structure and a second electric propulsion system, the second core structure releasably attached to the first space vehicle in a stacked configuration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 16, 2020
    Publication date: October 22, 2020
    Inventors: James J. Peterka, III, Glenn N. Caplin, Richard W. Aston
  • Patent number: 10689132
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to methods and apparatus for performing propulsion operations using electric propulsion system are disclosed. An example apparatus includes means to use an electric propulsion system coupled to a frame of a spacecraft, the electric propulsion system including at least a first thruster and a second thruster, the first thruster adjacent a first side of the frame, the second thruster adjacent a second side of the frame, and means to allow at least one of the first thruster or the second thruster to control the spacecraft without using a chemical propulsion system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: James J. Peterka, III, Glenn N. Caplin, Richard W. Aston
  • Patent number: 10543938
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to methods and apparatus for performing propulsion operations using electric propulsion system are disclosed. An apparatus includes a space vehicle including means for performing propulsion operations without using a chemical propulsion system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2020
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: James J. Peterka, III, Glenn N. Caplin, Richard W. Aston
  • Publication number: 20190002133
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to methods and apparatus for performing propulsion operations using electric propulsion system are disclosed. An example apparatus includes means to use an electric propulsion system coupled to a frame of a spacecraft, the electric propulsion system including at least a first thruster and a second thruster, the first thruster adjacent a first side of the frame, the second thruster adjacent a second side of the frame, and means to allow at least one of the first thruster or the second thruster to control the spacecraft without using a chemical propulsion system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 11, 2018
    Publication date: January 3, 2019
    Inventors: James J. Peterka, III, Glenn N. Caplin, Richard W. Aston
  • Patent number: 10144531
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for controlling a spacecraft for a transfer orbit. The spacecraft includes a propulsion subsystem with electric thrusters that are installed with two-axis gimbal assemblies. The spacecraft also includes a controller that identifies a target spin axis for the spacecraft, determines an actual spin axis for the spacecraft during the transfer orbit, determines gimbal angles for the electric thruster(s) that adjust the actual spin axis toward the target spin axis, and initiates a burn of the electric thruster(s) at the gimbal angles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Alexander Jacob Sobel, Qinghong W. Wang, Gary Lemke, Timothy Lui, Kangsik Lee, Glenn N. Caplin, Troy Allen Fontana
  • Publication number: 20180201396
    Abstract: A space vehicle system, a method of manufacturing a multiple space vehicle launch system, and a method to transmit a launch load between space vehicles during a launch are disclosed. The space vehicle system may include a first space vehicle including a first core structure, a second space vehicle including a second core structure releasably attached to the first space vehicle in a stacked configuration, a first solar array supported by the first core structure, the first core structure extending beyond a lower edge of the first solar array, and a second solar array supported by the second core structure, the second core structure extending beyond an upper edge of the second solar array.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2018
    Publication date: July 19, 2018
    Inventors: Richard W. Aston, Anna M. Tomzynska, Glenn N. Caplin
  • Patent number: 9963248
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for controlling a spacecraft for a transfer orbit. The spacecraft includes a momentum subsystem that stores angular momentum relative to a center of mass of the spacecraft, and a propulsion subsystem that includes electric thrusters. A controller identifies a target spin axis for the spacecraft, determines gimbal angles for electric thruster(s) that so that thrust forces from the electric thrusters are parallel to the target spin axis, and initiates a burn of the electric thruster(s) at the gimbal angles. The controller controls the momentum subsystem to compensate for a thruster torque produced by the burn of the electric thrusters. The momentum subsystem is able to produce a target angular momentum about the center of mass, where a coupling between the target angular momentum and an angular velocity of the spacecraft creates an offset torque to counteract the thruster torque.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2018
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Qinghong W. Wang, Alexander Jacob Sobel, Gary Lemke, Timothy Lui, Kangsik Lee, Glenn N. Caplin, Troy Allen Fontana
  • Patent number: 9957068
    Abstract: A space vehicle system, a method of manufacturing the space vehicle system, and a method of launching the space vehicle system are disclosed. The method of manufacturing the space vehicle system may include disposing a first space vehicle with an upper core structure upon a second space vehicle with a lower core structure such that loads of the first space vehicle are transmitted to the lower core structure of the second space vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Richard W. Aston, Anna M. Tomzynska, Glenn N. Caplin
  • Publication number: 20170297747
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to methods and apparatus for performing propulsion operations using electric propulsion system are disclosed. An apparatus includes a space vehicle including means for performing propulsion operations without using a chemical propulsion system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 3, 2017
    Publication date: October 19, 2017
    Inventors: James J. Peterka, III, Glenn N. Caplin, Richard W. Aston
  • Publication number: 20170225805
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for controlling a spacecraft for a transfer orbit. The spacecraft includes a momentum subsystem that stores angular momentum relative to a center of mass of the spacecraft, and a propulsion subsystem that includes electric thrusters. A controller identifies a target spin axis for the spacecraft, determines gimbal angles for electric thruster(s) that so that thrust forces from the electric thrusters are parallel to the target spin axis, and initiates a burn of the electric thruster(s) at the gimbal angles. The controller controls the momentum subsystem to compensate for a thruster torque produced by the burn of the electric thrusters. The momentum subsystem is able to produce a target angular momentum about the center of mass, where a coupling between the target angular momentum and an angular velocity of the spacecraft creates an offset torque to counteract the thruster torque.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 4, 2016
    Publication date: August 10, 2017
    Inventors: Qinghong W. Wang, Alexander Jacob Sobel, Gary Lemke, Timothy Lui, Kangsik Lee, Glenn N. Caplin, Troy Allen Fontana
  • Publication number: 20170225806
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for controlling a spacecraft for a transfer orbit. The spacecraft includes a propulsion subsystem with electric thrusters that are installed with two-axis gimbal assemblies. The spacecraft also includes a controller that identifies a target spin axis for the spacecraft, determines an actual spin axis for the spacecraft during the transfer orbit, determines gimbal angles for the electric thruster(s) that adjust the actual spin axis toward the target spin axis, and initiates a burn of the electric thruster(s) at the gimbal angles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 4, 2016
    Publication date: August 10, 2017
    Inventors: Alexander Jacob Sobel, Qinghong W. Wang, Gary Lemke, Timothy Lui, Kangsik Lee, Glenn N. Caplin, Troy Allen Fontana
  • Patent number: 9643739
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to methods and apparatus for performing propulsion operations using electric propulsion system are disclosed. An example method includes deploying a space vehicle including an electric propulsion system; and using the electric propulsion system for attitude control and orbit control, no other propulsion system provided to enable the attitude control and the orbit control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: James J. Peterka, III, Glenn N. Caplin, Richard W. Aston
  • Patent number: 9394065
    Abstract: A multiple space vehicle launch system that may be adapted to be disposed within a payload region of a launch vehicle fairing is disclosed. The vehicle launch system may include a first space vehicle including a first core structure and a second space vehicle including a second core structure. The second core structure may be oriented relative to the first space vehicle such that when placed within a fairing, a launch load is transmitted from the first core structure of the first space vehicle and is borne by the second core structure of the second space vehicle. The first space vehicle and the second space vehicle each include respective propulsion units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Richard W. Aston, Anna M. Tomzynska, Glenn N. Caplin
  • Publication number: 20160046394
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to methods and apparatus for performing propulsion operations using electric propulsion system are disclosed. An example method includes deploying a space vehicle including an electric propulsion system; and using the electric propulsion system for attitude control and orbit control, no other propulsion system provided to enable the attitude control and the orbit control.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 17, 2015
    Publication date: February 18, 2016
    Inventors: James J. Peterka, III, Glenn N. Caplin, Richard W. Aston
  • Publication number: 20160046397
    Abstract: A space vehicle system, a method of manufacturing the space vehicle system, and a method of launching the space vehicle system are disclosed. The method of manufacturing the space vehicle system may include disposing a first space vehicle with an upper core structure upon a second space vehicle with a lower core structure such that loads of the first space vehicle are transmitted to the lower core structure of the second space vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 28, 2015
    Publication date: February 18, 2016
    Inventors: Richard W. Aston, Anna M. Tomzynska, Glenn N. Caplin
  • Patent number: 9180984
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to methods and apparatus for performing propulsion operations using electric propulsion system are disclosed. An example apparatus includes a frame, a power source coupled to the frame and a payload coupled to the frame, the payload to receive or transmit data. The apparatus also includes an electric propulsion system coupled to the frame. The electric propulsion system is to enable attitude control, momentum control, and orbit control of the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: James J. Peterka, III, Glenn N. Caplin, Richard W. Aston
  • Patent number: 9181934
    Abstract: A gridded ion propulsion system comprising two power controllers, four ion thrusters, and two switch assemblies. One switch assembly is connected to the two power controllers and to two of the four ion thrusters. The other switch assembly is connected to the two power controllers and to the other two ion thrusters. Each switch assembly has first and second switching states which can be selected to enable either power controller to supply power to any one of the four ion thrusters. Each switch assembly comprises a respective movable body and a respective multiplicity of switches which change state in unison when the movable body changes position. For example, the movable body may be a rotatable hollow shaft driven by a stepper motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: John F. Stickelmaier, John Ziavras, Julie Marie Perkins, Kurt B. Kreiner, Glenn N. Caplin, Brian K. Smith, Peter S. Lauenstein
  • Publication number: 20150001348
    Abstract: A multiple space vehicle launch system that may be adapted to be disposed within a payload region of a launch vehicle fairing is disclosed. The vehicle launch system may include a first space vehicle including a first core structure and a second space vehicle including a second core structure. The second core structure may be oriented relative to the first space vehicle such that when placed within a fairing, a launch load is transmitted from the first core structure of the first space vehicle and is borne by the second core structure of the second space vehicle. The first space vehicle and the second space vehicle each include respective propulsion units.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2014
    Publication date: January 1, 2015
    Inventors: Richard W. Aston, Anna M. Tomzynska, Glenn N. Caplin
  • Patent number: 8915472
    Abstract: A multiple space vehicle launch system that may be adapted to be disposed within a payload region of a launch vehicle fairing. The launch system may include a first space vehicle, a second space vehicle releasably attached to the first space vehicle and oriented relative to the first space vehicle such that, when placed within the fairing, a launch load of the first space vehicle is transmitted to and borne by the second space vehicle. In certain embodiments, the first and second space vehicles each may include one of an electrical propulsion unit and a hybrid chemical and electrical propulsion unit. Use of electrical or hybrid chemical and electrical propulsion units enables the second space vehicle to bear all or a significant portion of the launch load of the first space vehicle, thereby eliminating the need for additional support structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Richard W. Aston, Anna M. Tomzynska, Glenn N. Caplin
  • Patent number: 8639181
    Abstract: A system for communications between a lunar or planetary surface and the Earth may include a first communications satellite adapted to be positioned in a predetermined orbit relative to a celestial body. A first antenna may be mounted on the first communications satellite. The first antenna may include a predetermined beam shape for communications between the first communications satellite and an asset on the lunar or planetary surface. A second antenna may also be mounted on the first communications satellite. The second antenna may include a selected beam shape for communications between the first communications satellite and the Earth. A communications system may be included for relaying communications between the first and second antennas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Glenn N. Caplin, James D. Thompson