Mooring Devices Patents (Class 244/115)
  • Patent number: 10882645
    Abstract: The Guideless Resilient Androgynous Serial Port (GRASP) mechanism provides an androgynous mechanical and electrical interface that can be tailored to the meet the requirements of a given application. Each mechanism is equipped with physical connections (spring pins) for both power and data transmission between modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2021
    Assignee: CU Aerospace, LLC
    Inventors: Neil Hejmanowski, Alex Ghosh, David L. Carroll
  • Patent number: 10858125
    Abstract: A link device comprising a first object and a second object comprises a first strip, capable of passing from a configuration wound about an axis Z about a support fixed to the first object to a configuration deployed along an axis X substantially at right angles to the axis Z, the strip having an end intended to come into contact with the second object, so as to link the first object to the second object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2020
    Assignee: THALES
    Inventors: Stéphane Vézain, Carole Billot, Didier Stanek, Yannick Baudassé
  • Patent number: 10843814
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a stand for launching, landing, testing, refueling and recharging a UAV, and methods for testing, landing and launching the UAV are disclosed. Further, embodiments may include transferring a payload onto or off of the UAV, and loading flight planning and diagnostic maintenance information to the UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2020
    Assignee: Airogistic, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Jeff Michalski, Michael Foley
  • Patent number: 10759052
    Abstract: An apparatus and system for launching and/or capturing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The apparatus includes a moving substrate having an electromagnetic end effector and a UAV with a metallic strike plate to be attracted to the end effector when the electromagnet is activated. The system includes a movable robotic arm having a free end and a secured end; an electromagnetic end effector connected proximate to the free end of the robotic arm; a UAV with a metallic strike to be attracted and held to the electromagnetic end effector when the electromagnetic end effector is active; trajectory software configured to control a location of the free end of the robotic arm; and a control module for receiving input data, analyzing the data and using the trajectory software to control the location of and activate or deactivate the electromagnetic end effector. Also described are methods for launching and capturing the UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2020
    Assignee: The Government of the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Gregory P. Scott, Andrew Bolkhovitinov
  • Patent number: 10584015
    Abstract: A connecting device for supporting an apparatus configured to couple to a pipeline and having a coupling mechanism, which has a first portion configured to couple integrally to the apparatus, and a second portion, configured to be connected to a hoisting device, and selectively releasable from the first portion in a designated or given direction as a function of the relative position of, and the force exchanged between, the apparatus and the hoisting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2020
    Assignee: SAIPEM S.P.A.
    Inventors: Davide Rossin, Lorenzo Penati, Fabrizio Gazzarri
  • Patent number: 10472167
    Abstract: The invention relates to an air freight container and/or air freight pallet with a flat bottom wall and/or side wall, at least two guide devices arranged on the bottom wall and/or side wall, two connecting elements, wherein a fastening region assigned to a first end of the connecting element in each case extends over part of the connecting element, and a fixing element for fixing an item to be transported transportable by means of the air freight container and/or air freight pallet, wherein the fixing element is connected at the first end thereof to the fastening region of one connecting element and at the second end thereof, which is opposite the first end, is connected to the fastening region of the other connecting element, the connecting elements each have, at a second end arranged opposite the first end, a latching device designed for latching into the corresponding guide device, and at least one guide device is formed in such a way that the latching device can be latched into the guide device at differe
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: Deutsche Post AG
    Inventors: Frank Steinert, Thomas Anderson, Sandra Blume
  • Patent number: 10453348
    Abstract: A base module may be used to receive and house one or more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) via one or more cavities. The base module receives commands from a manager device and identifies a flight plan that allows a UAV to execute the received commands. The base module transfers the flight plan to the UAV and frees the UAV. Once the UAV returns, the base module once again receives it. The base module then receives sensor data from the UAV from one or more sensors onboard the UAV, and optionally receives additional information describing its flight and identifying success or failure of the flight plan. The base module transmits the sensor data and optionally the additional information to a storage medium locally or remotely accessible by the manager device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: IMAGEKEEPER LLC
    Inventors: Jerry Speasl, Mike Patterson, Marc Roberts
  • Patent number: 10407182
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle docking system can include a docking arm and a docking station. The docking arm can be mounted on the UAV and include a rod with an interface element positioned on top of the rod. The interface element can have charging contacts that are attached to wires that extend down to a charging circuit on the UAV. The docking station can be located separate from the docking arm and have a guidance cone to direct the docking arm to a capture mechanism. Once the interface element is in the capture mechanism, a charging dome is then lowered down onto the top of the interface element to form a circuit between a power source at the docking station and the UAV's battery. Upon completion of the charging process, the charging dome is raised and the capture mechanism releases the interface element of the UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Assignee: Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama, for and on behalf of the University of Alabama in Huntsville
    Inventors: John Alcorn, Stewart King, Mark Bales, David Brian Landrum
  • Patent number: 10407184
    Abstract: A debris removal device includes: an end mass adapted to approach debris to be removed; a debris capture device separably-mounted on the end mass; and a tether connecting the debris capture device and the end mass to each other. The debris capture device includes a harpoon adapted to penetrate into the debris, a shooting device adapted to shoot the harpoon, a guide member positioned to come into contact with the surface of the debris to adjust the shooting angle of the harpoon with respect to the surface of the debris, and a switch that sends the shooting signal to the shooting device. When the harpoon is penetrated into the debris, the end mass is separated from the debris capture device, and the tether is released into outer space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Assignee: IHI Corporation
    Inventors: Hatsuo Mori, Taku Izumiyama, Kozue Hashimoto, Satomi Kawamoto, Keiichi Hirako
  • Patent number: 10377481
    Abstract: Systems and methods to launch an aircraft are disclosed. In one embodiment, a system to launch an aircraft comprises a launch arm comprising at least one load cell, an aircraft coupled to the launch arm, and a release mechanism in communication with the at least one load cell, wherein the release mechanism releases the aircraft when the at least one load cell indicates that a load on the launch arm is below a predetermined threshold. Other embodiments may be described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: James J. Childress, Daniel J. Perron
  • Patent number: 10239638
    Abstract: Described herein are apparatuses that provided various features related to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). An example apparatus may include, among other features, (i) a launch system for a UAV, (ii) a landing feature that is arranged on the apparatus so as to receive the UAV when the UAV returns from a flight, and (iii) a mechanical battery-replacement system that is configured to (a) remove a first battery from the UAV, and (b) after removal of the first battery, install a second battery in the UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Wing Aviation LLC
    Inventors: Joanna Cohen, Parsa Dormiani, Mathias Samuel Fleck, James Ryan Burgess, Sean Mullaney
  • Patent number: 10173484
    Abstract: A tie down apparatus that may be utilized for securing an item, such as a safety chain, wherein the tie down apparatus may be used with a hitch mounting system. In one embodiment, the tie down apparatus may include a receiving member, a tie down member, and a clocking member. The receiving member may include an opening located there through. The tie down member may include at least one aperture, wherein the tie down member may be capable of being located and rotated within the receiving member. The tie down member may be rotated either clockwise or counterclockwise. The locking member may include at least one leg capable of being housed within the aperture. The locking member may engage the receiving member once the tie down member is rotated, thereby trapping the item within the tie down apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: HORIZON GLOBAL AMERICAS INC.
    Inventor: Richard W. McCoy
  • Patent number: 10010010
    Abstract: A self-contained mobile surveillance apparatus has applicability in a variety of short or long term settings where security and documentation of activities are needed. Integral to the apparatus is a gas shock assisted swing arm lift assembly and a removable quick connect pod platform system for use in acquiring, recording, storing, and transmitting data to one or more receive locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Inventor: Steven T. Kuntz
  • Patent number: 9926048
    Abstract: A hoisting system, including: a hoisting crane including a hoisting cable, a craft, and a connector catch assembly for interconnecting the hoisting crane and the craft or a load/cargo on the craft. The connector catch assembly includes: a connector body, and a connector catch having a funnel-shaped trap-cage, whereby one of the connector body and the connector catch is attached to the hoisting cable and the other of the connector body and the connector catch is attached to the craft or the load on the craft. A wide side of the funnel shaped trap-cage is directed toward the connector body on approaching one another, whereas an opposite narrow side of the funnel shaped trap-cage has the connector catch mounted therein for releasably holding the connector body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: HALLCON B.V.
    Inventor: Johan Ruivenkamp
  • Patent number: 9919797
    Abstract: A reconfigurable unmanned aircraft system is disclosed. A system and method for configuring a reconfigurable unmanned aircraft and system and method for operation and management of a reconfigurable unmanned aircraft in an airspace are also disclosed. The aircraft is selectively reconfigurable to modify flight characteristics. The aircraft comprises a set of rotors. The position of at least one rotor relative to the base can be modified by at least one of translation of the rotor relative to the boom, pivoting of the boom relative to the base, and translation of the boom relative to the base; so that flight characteristics can be modified by configuration of position of at least one rotor relative to the base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Inventors: Alistair K. Chan, Jesse R. Cheatham, III, Hon Wah Chin, William David Duncan, Roderick A. Hyde, Muriel Y. Ishikawa, Jordin T. Kare, Tony S. Pan, Robert C. Petroski, Clarence T. Tegreene, David B. Tuckerman, Thomas Allan Weaver, Lowell L. Wood, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9862504
    Abstract: The present invention extends to methods, systems, devices, apparatus, and computer program products for aligning a target with and/or over and/or into a specific position and orientation. Embodiments include one or more capture components, such as, engagement lines, spars, or struts, that can be actuated together or independently to position a vehicle in a capture area defined by a ring or other geometry. A vehicle can include a sloped surface feature configured to engage with the capture components. When actuated, the capture components draw the sloped surface feature towards and down into the center of the defined capture area. Variations allow a vehicle to be rotated in place, repositioned in place, or clamped securely in place. Positioning and rotation allows alignment with replenishment devices for resupplying and refueling. In this way, a vehicle is relieved from having to have precision terminal guidance for landing and recharging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: Olaeris, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul E. I. Pounds, Edward Lindsley
  • Patent number: 9577445
    Abstract: The present invention extends to methods, systems, devices, and apparatus for replenishing vehicle resources. Vehicles can be aligned with and docked to replenishment devices. In one aspect, a flying vehicle (e.g., an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)) is aligned onto electrical recharging contacts. The flying vehicles fuel level or battery charge can be replenished with minimal, if any, human intervention. Vehicle docking (e.g., landing), alignment, and replenishment can be performed automatically. A circular ring or shaped surface of a vehicle can engage with a conical sloping surface of a docking apparatus as a vehicle moves towards and/or into the docking apparatus. The conical sloping surface shape aligns the vehicle with recharge contacts or a refueling probe at the base of the docking apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2017
    Assignee: Olaeris, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul E. I. Pounds
  • Patent number: 9434481
    Abstract: Various embodiments of the present disclosure provide an apparatus and method for launch and retrieval of a hovering aircraft. Generally, the apparatus of the present disclosure is configured to capture a hovering aircraft between two or more fingers of an aircraft capturer, guide the captured aircraft into a docking station for servicing and/or storage, and launch the aircraft from the docking station. The apparatus of the present disclosure is thus configured to bring the aircraft from an imprecise, irregular hover into a secure and well-controlled rest state. The tolerance of imprecision provided by the apparatus makes it particularly suited for use under a practical conditions such as aboard a small boat in a rough sea.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2016
    Assignee: Aerovel Corporation
    Inventor: Brian T. McGeer
  • Patent number: 9366232
    Abstract: Wind energy is converted into electrical or mechanical energy through the flight of at least one power wing profile tethered via one or more cables to a ground unit moved by the power wing profile along a path of alternating displacement for driving a generator, where the path of alternating displacement is orientable so as to set itself in a direction substantially orthogonal to the direction of the wind. During the phases of flight of the power wing profile in conditions of generation of energy the length of the cables is kept constant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: KITENERGY S.R.L
    Inventors: Lorenzo Fagiano, Mario Milanese
  • Patent number: 9359089
    Abstract: The harpoon comprises a bistable actuator (34) having a rod (56) for actuating the finger (32) the rod being movable between a retracted resting position and an extended position of deployment of the finger (32). The bistable actuator (34) comprises a tappet (52) that is movable during a first impulse comprising a stroke (34) in a first direction and then a stroke in a second direction opposite to the first direction in order to cause the switch of the rod (56) from its retracted position to its extended position. The tappet (52) is movable during a second impulse comprising a stroke in the first direction and then a stroke in the second direction in order to cause the switch of the rod (56) from its extended position to its retracted position. The actuator (34) is configured so as to allow the return of the rod (56) to its retracted position when the tappet (52) moves along the first stroke in the first direction during the second impulse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    Assignee: DCNS
    Inventors: Christian Mardini, Gilles Gaicon
  • Patent number: 9321541
    Abstract: A method for landing an airship on a landing device placed on the ground by: aligning, in particular horizontally aligning, the airship relative to the landing device with the aid of driving mechanisms arranged on the airship; lowering the airship onto a landing platform element of the landing device; arresting the airship on the landing platform element, wherein at least one electric magnet arranged in the landing device magnetically pulls the airship towards the landing device; and fastening the airship to the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Assignee: DATANION GMBH
    Inventor: Gerold Utsch
  • Patent number: 9260202
    Abstract: A system that includes a ground unit that includes: a takeoff and landing platform; a landing and takeoff assisting module; and a housing. The takeoff and landing platform is arranged to hold and support an aerial unit during a first part of a landing process of the aerial unit and a first part of takeoff process of the aerial unit. The aerial unit is coupled to the ground unit via a connecting element. The effective length of the connecting element increases during the takeoff process and decreases during the landing process. The landing and takeoff assisting module is coupled to the takeoff and landing platform and is arranged to (a) lower the takeoff and landing platform into the housing during a second part of the landing process and (b) elevate the takeoff and landing platform during a second part of the takeoff process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2016
    Assignee: SKY SAPIENCE LTD.
    Inventors: Gabriel Shachor, Shy Cohen, Ronen Keidar
  • Patent number: 9169031
    Abstract: The present invention regards an aerial vehicle harpoon device for securing an aerial vehicle (31, 55) to a grid (9) of a landing site, the aerial vehicle (31, 55) comprises an undercarriage (11) having a supporting surface (13) for supporting the aerial vehicle (31, 55) when being in contact with the ground (15), the harpoon device (1) further comprises a securing element (4) arranged adjacent the supporting surface (13). The harpoon device (1) further comprises a resilient actuating device (23) which is adapted to extend the securing element (4) beyond the supporting surface (13) in an unloaded state, and which in a loaded state is compressed by the weight of the aerial vehicle (31, 55) when contacting the ground (15) so that the securing element (4) retracts and the supporting surface (13) contacts the ground (15).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2015
    Assignee: SAAB AB
    Inventors: Emil Låks, Gustaf Losand
  • Patent number: 9096332
    Abstract: An airship docking station includes one or more sources of relatively high speed airflow to facilitate landing an airship in turbulent or gusting air conditions. The sources of airflow are arranged to produce an envelope of airflow over the surface of the airship to stabilize the airship as it lands and is moved into a docked position where it can be secured. The docking station allows an airship to land with reduced or eliminated risk of damage to the airship, payload or ground personnel injury compared to current methods in use. The docking station and method thus ensure more consistent wind conditions adjacent the docking station. Protection from buffeting by gusting winds also facilitates automated or semi-automated airship landing with fewer or no ground personnel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: John G. Benkert, Frank A. Birdsong
  • Patent number: 8991754
    Abstract: The invention relates to an anchoring harpoon intended in particular for an aircraft, capable of cooperating with an anchoring grate (2) of a platform, comprising jack means (3) including cylinder means (4) containing mobile piston means (5) provided with a rod (6) that extends beyond the cylinder means, the free end of which includes a harpoon head (7) that is hooked in the grate (2) and comprises retaining fingers (8, 13, 14) that can be moved between a retracted position and an active position by control means (9). The invention is characterised in that the cylinder means (4) include at least two telescopic cylinder portions (10, 11) which can move between a position in which one portion is retracted inside the other and an active position in which one portion projects out from the other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: DCNS
    Inventor: Ronan Affre De Saint Rome
  • Patent number: 8942915
    Abstract: Method for identifying an airplane in connection to parking of the airplane at a gate or a stand, for possible connection of a passenger bridge (1) or a loading bridge to a door of an airplane, where the airplane is positioned and stopped at a predetermined position using a touchless measurement of the distance between the airplane and a fixed point, where the distance is indicated on a display (6) mounted in front of the pilot of the airplane on for instance an airport building (7), which display (6) shows the position of the airplane (5) in relation to a stop point for the airplane and shows the current airplane type, where the distance measurement and display are caused to be activated by a computer system (20) belonging to the airport or manually, and wherein an antenna (16) is caused to receive information (17) transmitted by an airplane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: FMT International Trade AB
    Inventor: Per Thelander
  • Patent number: 8925858
    Abstract: An anchoring element (2) intended to be fixed on at least one external anchor point (4) of an aircraft's fuselage, comprising a fixing area (5) for ensuring the fixing of the anchoring element (2) on the external anchor point (4) and said anchoring element (2) comprising an anchor means for the connection to attaching means, characterized in that the fixing area (5) comprises means for fixing the anchoring element (2) also to a additional external anchor point (6) of the aircraft's fuselage and said fixing area (5) comprising an extension area (7) on which is located the anchor means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
    Inventor: Fabien Spiral
  • Patent number: 8876047
    Abstract: A harpoon head (6) for a system for anchoring an aircraft on a grating (4) is characterized in that a distal end of the harpoon head has an interchangeable insert (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: DCNS
    Inventor: Séverine Proutiere
  • Publication number: 20140291443
    Abstract: Liquid dispensing assemblies including adhesive anchoring assemblies configured to adhere to a support surface external to a device such as a vehicle. An air vehicle includes (a) a fluid adhesive container assembly detachably attached to the air vehicle, wherein the fluid adhesive container assembly comprises: (i) an adhesive container comprising fluid adhesive; and (ii) one or more fibers, wherein the one or more fibers are configured, or a brush of fibers, or a fabric of fibers, is configured to conduct the fluid adhesive and to structurally support an adhesive bond between the one or more fibers and a surface; and (b) means for dispensing the fluid adhesive from the fluid adhesive container, to the one or more fibers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 7, 2014
    Publication date: October 2, 2014
    Applicant: AeroVironment, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher E. Fisher, John Peter Zwaan, David R. Thompson, Marc L. Schmalzel, Karl R. Klingbiel, Tyson R. Jensen, Pavel Belik, Eric James Aagaard
  • Publication number: 20140291442
    Abstract: The present invention regards an aerial vehicle harpoon device for securing an aerial vehicle (31, 55) to a grid (9) of a landing site, the aerial vehicle (31, 55) comprises an undercarriage (11) having a supporting surface (13) for supporting the aerial vehicle (31, 55) when being in contact with the ground (15), the harpoon device (1) further comprises a securing element (4) arranged adjacent the supporting surface (13). The harpoon device (1) further comprises a resilient actuating device (23) which is adapted to extend the securing element (4) beyond the supporting surface (13) in an unloaded state, and which in a loaded state is compressed by the weight of the aerial vehicle (31, 55) when contacting the ground (15) so that the securing element (4) retracts and the supporting surface (13) contacts the ground (15).
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2011
    Publication date: October 2, 2014
    Applicant: SAAB AB
    Inventors: Emil Låks, Gustaf Losand
  • Patent number: 8820681
    Abstract: A hydrogen airship for efficiently transporting hydrogen from where it can be economically made to where it is most needed using specially designed airships. Hydrogen can be delivered from the place where it is produced to the place where it is needed using an airship in which the hydrogen gas can also be used for generating lift, providing propulsion energy and serving ancillary needs. A unique docking system can use a remotely piloted unmanned aircraft flown from the mother craft to carry a guide line into a receiving attachment point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Inventor: Rinaldo Brutoco
  • Patent number: 8783608
    Abstract: An anchoring harpoon (1) intended in particular for an aircraft, capable of cooperating with an anchoring grate (2) of a platform, includes a jack member (3) including a cylinder element (4) containing a mobile piston element (5) provided with a rod (6) that extends beyond the cylinder element, the free end of which includes a harpoon head (7) that is hooked in the grate and includes retaining fingers (8, 13, 14) that can be moved between a retracted position and an active position by control elements (9). The jack member is connected to a pressurized fluid source (30) by the control elements (31) and the pressurized fluid source includes a consumable gas cartridge (30).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Assignee: DCNS
    Inventor: Ronan Affre de Saint Rome
  • Patent number: 8777157
    Abstract: The design and refinement of a tethered hovering platform into a feasible working system is presented. To determine a starting point for the design, a detailed historical search was conducted to find the history and the current state of such technology. Real world current needs are analyzed to produce a mission specification and to drive the preliminary vehicle design. Analysis of environmental conditions and decisions about an initial payload package are made in conjunction with motor and propeller sizing. Initial concept testing to discover feasibility and operational issues was performed; from this, instability issues were discovered. Analyzing these instability issues using known rotorcraft and momentum effects, in conjunction with flight testing, yields possible solutions to the problem. The use of constrained layer dampers as a means of passive stabilization is addressed and suggested as the preferred solution. Testing of passive constrained layer damping verifies the stability of the solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: University of Kansas
    Inventors: Ronald M. Barrett, David N. Borys, Alex Gladbach, Dustin Grorud, Andrew Spalding
  • Patent number: 8740153
    Abstract: The invention relates to an aerodynamic wind propulsion device, particularly for watercrafts, comprising an aerodynamic wing being connected to a steering unit located below the aerodynamic wing via a plurality of tractive lines, a tractive cable, a first end of the tractive cable being connected to the steering unit and a second end of the tractive cable being connected to a base platform, the aerodynamic wing having an aerodynamic profile which generates an uplift force in the direction of the tractive cable when the airflow direction is about perpendicular to the tractive cable. According to the invention, an aerodynamic wing is provided being coupled to a steering unit located close below the wing via a plurality of tractive lines of different elasticity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: SkySails GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Bernd Specht, Xaver Paulig, Robert Drechsler, Stephan Brabeck
  • Patent number: 8727276
    Abstract: An anchoring harpoon intended in particular for an aircraft, capable of cooperating with an anchoring grate of a platform, includes jack elements including a cylinder element containing mobile piston elements provided with a rod that extends beyond the cylinder element, the free end of which includes a harpoon head (7) that is hooked in the grate and includes retaining fingers (8, 13, 14) that can be moved between a retracted position and an active position by control elements (9). The control element (9) for controlling the movements of the fingers include a control piston (18) which can slide inside the rod of the jack and which is associated with a bistable actuator (19) of the fingers, capable of moving between a retracted position and an active position in which the fingers are deployed with the application of successive pressure pulses in the jack elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: DCNS
    Inventor: Ronan Affre De Saint Rome
  • Publication number: 20130341463
    Abstract: An airship docking station includes one or more sources of relatively high speed airflow to facilitate landing an airship in turbulent or gusting air conditions. The sources of airflow are arranged to produce an envelope of airflow over the surface of the airship to stabilize the airship as it lands and is moved into a docked position where it can be secured. The docking station allows an airship to land with reduced or eliminated risk of damage to the airship, payload or ground personnel injury compared to current methods in use. The docking station and method thus ensure more consistent wind conditions adjacent the docking station. Protection from buffeting by gusting winds also facilitates automated or semi-automated airship landing with fewer or no ground personnel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 21, 2013
    Publication date: December 26, 2013
    Applicant: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: John G. Benkert, Frank A. Birdsong
  • Patent number: 8485468
    Abstract: An apparatus for the take-off, landing and taxiing of an aircraft without undercarriage system or with retracted undercarriage, wherein the apparatus comprises a ground-based undercarriage, the speed of which can be matched to the speed of the aircraft when landing, the ground-based undercarriage (10) is releasably connected to a slide system, which can be driven in a direction of movement, the ground-based undercarriage (10) has at least two coupling means, which enable interfaces of the aircraft (4) on the ground-based undercarriage (10) to be coupled, the ground-based undercarriage (10) can be moved along the slide system transversally to the direction of movement of the slide system to match the ground-based undercarriage (10) to the position of the aircraft (4).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Inventor: Jan Binnebesel
  • Patent number: 8424802
    Abstract: A landing area (1) adapted to be folded, stored and/or stowed on or in the holder (2) on which it is mounted. It is multi functional, removable, modular and can be adapted to the surface (22) of the holder on which it is supported, connected and/or from which the landing area (1) hangs. Mechanical elements (26) are provided for extracting the landing area (1) from its protection components (20) and for placing the landing area in a position where the landing area is adapted for landing of an air machine or vehicle once the reception elements (10, 11), defining the landing surface (12), are extended. The above-mentioned mechanical elements, or other members (25), are used for extending the reception elements (10, 11). The latter can also be folded, stored and/or stowed using the retraction components (24).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Inventor: Xavier Tripier-Larivaud
  • Patent number: 8240598
    Abstract: An Airborne Elevator Apparatus capable of deploying at the same time multiple service loads at different altitudes in the Earth's atmosphere by physically separating tether weight carrier function from the service load weight carrier function of a common aerostat. The tether weight carrier function is performed by at least one airborne canopy assembly (20) filled with lighter than air gas, which has enough lifting power to support its own weight and the weight of the attached airborne cables (30). The service load carrier function is performed by several airborne booster assemblies (51). Designed to glide on the apparatus's airborne cables (30), an airborne booster assembly (51) filled with lighter than air gas has enough lifting power to carry its own weight and the weight of a service load at altitudes below the uppermost canopy. For stability purposes, the apparatus is designed to rotate around its vertical axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Inventor: Daniel S. Redford
  • Publication number: 20120153079
    Abstract: An anchoring element (2) intended to be fixed on at least one external anchor point (4) of an aircraft's fuselage, comprising a fixing area (5) for ensuring the fixing of the anchoring element (2) on the external anchor point (4) and said anchoring element (2) comprising an anchor means for the connection to attaching means, characterized in that the fixing area (5) comprises means for fixing the anchoring element (2) also to a additional external anchor point (6) of the aircraft's fuselage and said fixing area (5) comprising an extension area (7) on which is located the anchor means.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 1, 2011
    Publication date: June 21, 2012
    Applicant: EUROCOPTER DEUTSCHLAND GMBH
    Inventor: Fabien Spiral
  • Publication number: 20120112003
    Abstract: The invention relates to an anchoring harpoon intended in particular for an aircraft, capable of cooperating with an anchoring grate (2) of a platform, comprising jack means (3) including cylinder means (4) containing mobile piston means (5) provided with a rod (6) that extends beyond the cylinder means, the free end of which includes a harpoon head (7) that is hooked in the grate (2) and comprises retaining fmgers (8, 13, 14) that can be moved between a retracted position and an active position by control means (9). The invention is characterised in that the cylinder means (4) include at least two telescopic cylinder portions (10, 11) which can move between a position in which one portion is retracted inside the other and an active position in which one portion projects out from the other.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2010
    Publication date: May 10, 2012
    Inventor: Ronan Affre De Saint Rome
  • Publication number: 20120068013
    Abstract: An anchoring harpoon intended in particular for an aircraft, capable of cooperating with an anchoring grate of a platform, includes jack elements including a cylinder element containing mobile piston elements provided with a rod that extends beyond the cylinder element, the free end of which includes a harpoon head (7) that is hooked in the grate and includes retaining fingers (8, 13, 14) that can be moved between a retracted position and an active position by control elements (9). The control element (9) for controlling the movements of the fingers include a control piston (18) which can slide inside the rod of the jack and which is associated with a bistable actuator (19) of the fingers, capable of moving between a retracted position and an active position in which the fingers are deployed with the application of successive pressure pulses in the jack elements.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 19, 2010
    Publication date: March 22, 2012
    Applicant: DCNS
    Inventor: Ronan Affre De Saint Rome
  • Patent number: 8070096
    Abstract: An airship recovery system is disclosed including a first cushion pad configured to create a suction force on an outer portion of the airship to capture the airship during landing. An arm is coupled to the first cushion pad and movable between at least two different vertical positions. In an embodiment the air is movable in multiple degrees of freedom. An actuator device is coupled to move the arm. A sensor device is incorporated to detect the location of the airship relative to the recovery system. A controller is utilized to receive signals from the sensor device regarding the location of the airship and output command signals to the actuator to move the arm and the first cushion pad toward a desired contact location on the airship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2011
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Wilfred L. Wood, Timothy W. Blunck, David E. Carlile
  • Publication number: 20110233332
    Abstract: A harpoon head (6) for a system for anchoring an aircraft on a grating (4) is characterized in that a distal end of the harpoon head has an interchangeable insert (20).
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2009
    Publication date: September 29, 2011
    Applicant: DCNS
    Inventor: Séverine Proutiere
  • Patent number: 7708222
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for a continuous replenishing of the lift gas and maintaining the proper pressure and lift of a tethered medium altitude aerostat utilizing a novel feed tube running the entire length of the tether. A first end of the feed tube is connected to the aerostat while a second end is connected through a novel slip ring means to a pressure controlled helium ballast chamber and scrubber on the ground to maintain pressure and lift by a reversible compressing pump. A plurality of pressure and temperature sensors and tension gauges strategically placed inside and around the airship continuously monitor the temperature and pressure changes in the aerostat. A data retrieval and communication unit mounted on the aerostat collects measurement data from the pressure, temperature and tension sensors which is relayed to the ground station and the data is used to regulate lifting gas pressure inside the aerostat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2010
    Assignee: StratoComm Corporation
    Inventor: Yee-Chun Lee
  • Publication number: 20100102164
    Abstract: A system for efficiently transporting hydrogen from where it can be economically made to where it is most needed using specially designed airships. Technologies such as geothermal, wind, solar, wave tidal or hydropower can be used to generate electricity in-situ or very near to the primary energy sources. This electricity can then be used to produce hydrogen directly from water through various methods known in the art. Hydrogen can be delivered from the place where it is produced to the place where it is needed using an airship in which the hydrogen gas can also be used for generating lift, providing propulsion energy and serving ancillary needs. In other embodiments of the invention, the airship of the present invention can be used to dramatically reduce the cost of transportation of freight, the cost of passenger transportation, and to save on the area required for landing at the points of loading/unloading and embarkation/debarkation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2008
    Publication date: April 29, 2010
    Inventor: Rinaldo Brutoco
  • Publication number: 20090236470
    Abstract: A launch and capture system for capturing a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle having a thruster and a duct configured to direct airflow generated by the thruster includes a capture plate and an extension. The capture plate is configured to alter the airflow and generate a force attracting the duct to the capture plate. The extension is coupled to the capture plate, and is configured to at least facilitate holding the VTOL vehicle against the capture plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 19, 2008
    Publication date: September 24, 2009
    Applicant: HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: Emray R. Goossen, Yogendra Y. Sheoran
  • Publication number: 20080265086
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for a continuous replenishing of the lift gas and maintaining the proper pressure and lift of a tethered medium altitude aerostat utilizing a novel feed tube running the entire length of the tether. A first end of the feed tube is connected to the aerostat while a second end is connected through a novel slip ring means to a pressure controlled helium ballast chamber and scrubber on the ground to maintain pressure and lift by a reversible compressing pump. A plurality of pressure and temperature sensors and tension gauges strategically placed inside and around the airship continuously monitor the temperature and pressure changes in the aerostat. A data retrieval and communication unit mounted on the aerostat collects measurement data from the pressure, temperature and tension sensors which is relayed to the ground station and the data is used to regulate lifting gas pressure inside the aerostat.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2007
    Publication date: October 30, 2008
    Inventor: Yee-Chun Lee
  • Patent number: 7344108
    Abstract: An aircraft landing assist apparatus is designed to be retrofit to existing aircraft having internal constructions that have been modified to support the apparatus. The apparatus is designed so that on rough landings of the aircraft on a ship deck, the apparatus will collapse in a controlled manner to avoid any damage to ammunition and/or fuel storage areas of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2008
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Neal W. Muylaert, Darrin Tebon, Rolland E. Lahaie
  • Patent number: 7334757
    Abstract: An airship retrieval system comprises a plurality of aerodynamic pods releasably mounted in suitable locations about the external surface of the airship. Within the pod is a handling or a tether line that is attached at one end to the airship and at the other end to the pod. When a suitable control signal is sent to the pod, the pod is released and the handling line and pod falls toward the ground to enable retrieval of the airship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2008
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corp.
    Inventors: Brian W. Steinkerchner, Thomas L. Marimon, Dennis L. Carter, Gordon S. Schmidt, Anthony L. Dunne