By Gyroscope Or Flywheel Patents (Class 244/165)
  • Patent number: 10964882
    Abstract: A bonding layer 3 is formed over a piezoelectric material substrate, and the bonding layer is made of one or more materials selected from the group consisting of silicon nitride, aluminum nitride, alumina, tantalum pentoxide, mullite, niobium pentoxide and titanium oxide. A neutralized beam is irradiated onto a surface of the bonding layer and a surface of a supporting body to activate the surface of the bonding layer and the surface of the supporting body. The surface of the bonding layer and the surface of the supporting body are bonded by direct bonding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Inventors: Tomoyoshi Tai, Yuji Hori, Keiichiro Asai, Takashi Yoshino, Masashi Goto, Masahiko Namerikawa
  • Patent number: 10877158
    Abstract: A method and system for generating extended satellite ephemeris data for a satellite for use by a terminal apparatus is described. Historical orbital parameter data (e.g. from historical TLEs) are used to build a predictor for future values of the orbital parameters. The orbital parameter prediction model is then stored on the terminal apparatus (or an existing model can be updated), and at a desired epoch the pre-stored orbital parameter predictor is used to produce estimates of the orbital parameters for the satellite for that epoch (ie synthetic or predicted TLEs). These predicted orbital parameters (predicted TLE) are then used as input to a standard orbit predictor to produce an estimate of the satellite's location, for example to determine satellite pass times. This method allows generation satellite ephemeris data which is valid out to a year or more as compared to the normal validity of ephemeris data of a few hours or days.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2020
    Assignee: MYRIOTA PTY LTD
    Inventors: Alexander James Grant, Robert George McKilliam
  • Patent number: 10837775
    Abstract: A method, for providing spatial stability and electrical power with a hybrid power source and control moment gyroscope (HPCMG), includes producing spatial stability force for the HPCMG by spinning a central mass within a first transverse gimbal assembly about a first axis of rotation of a control moment gyroscope (CMG). The CMG includes the first transverse gimbal assembly, the central mass, and a second gimbal assembly rotationally connected to the first transverse gimbal assembly. The first transverse gimbal assembly is rotationally connected to the central mass at a first position of the first transverse gimbal assembly and at a second position of the first transverse gimbal assembly along the first axis of rotation. The method includes producing a voltage potential with the central mass. The method includes charging or discharging the central mass through conductive bearings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2020
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventor: Christopher C. Veto
  • Patent number: 10737770
    Abstract: Proposed method and device could be applied as controlling system facilitating the maneuverability and stabilization parameters of UAV, as well as various flight objects and small satellites. The aim of the invention is to reduce the occurrences of imbalances of UAV in strong wind or atmospheric turbulence situations and simultaneously rehabilitation of maneuverability and stabilization parameters without increasing flight speed. Thus, in order to upgrade the above mentioned parameters of UAV along with the gyroscopic momentum compensation it's necessary to increasing of the kinetic moment by means of gyroscope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Inventors: Arif Mir Jalal ogly Pashayev, Toghrul Isa ogly Karimli
  • Patent number: 10734700
    Abstract: An apparatus for pointing wireless communication antennas may include (1) a mount that secures (A) a wireless communication antenna that transmits wireless communication signals to a remote wireless communication antenna that is secured on a remote mount and (B) an array of pointing antennas that receives, from a remote array of pointing antennas mounted on the remote mount, a beacon signal that indicates a location of the remote array of pointing antennas, (3) a motorized drive that physically orients the mount, and (4) a processing device that (A) determines, based at least in part on the beacon signal, an orientation of a boresight axis of the wireless communication antenna relative to a boresight axis of the remote wireless communication antenna and (B) directs the motorized drive to orient the mount such that the wireless communication antenna's boresight axis aligns with the remote wireless communication antenna's boresight axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: Facebook, Inc.
    Inventors: Abhishek Tiwari, Steven Andrew Cashion
  • Patent number: 10670424
    Abstract: A method for initial alignment of an inertial navigation apparatus, comprising the following steps: providing an apparatus loaded with a sensor, and preprocessing the sensor; carrying out relative alignment to calculate an installation error angle of the sensor; carrying out absolute alignment to calculate an installation attitude angle error of the sensor to increase an accuracy of an error attitude angle calculated during the relative alignment. The relative alignment process calculates a relative error attitude angle, the relative error attitude angle being used as the initial value for attitude error in a stat vector in the absolute alignment process, thereby accelerating convergence of the Kalman filter. Alignment precision is further enhanced by the absolute alignment process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: SHANGHAI HUACE NAVIGATION TECHNOLOGY LTD
    Inventors: Qiang Ren, Jiejun Wang, Xuefeng Shen, Lilong Wei, Guiyan Cui
  • Patent number: 10618650
    Abstract: Unmanned aerial vehicles (1), and methods of flying such, comprising at least four rotors (2) arranged such that the plane of rotation of each rotor (2) is co-planar with a face of a notional polyhedron, and wherein each face of the notional polyhedron is co-planar with the plane of rotation of at least one rotor (2). Such methods comprise: a first step of flying the vehicle (1) using a first rotor set (2a-c) to provide lift; and, a second step using a second rotor set (2d-f) to provide lift; wherein, the second rotor set (2d-f) includes at least one rotor (2) that is not used to provide lift in the first step or that operates so that airflow through the rotor (2) is in the opposite direction to that through the rotor (2) during the first step; and, wherein at least one of the first and second sets (2a-c, 2d-f) comprises a plurality of rotors (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2020
    Assignee: Airbus Defence and Space Ltd.
    Inventors: Julian Hasinski, Brian Turton
  • Patent number: 10534576
    Abstract: A storage unit holds context information including a minimum energy state, a current state, a minimum energy, a current energy, a temperature, and a bias about each of a plurality of trials. A control unit includes a counting unit counting update processing repeated in each trial and another counting unit counting trials performed. The control unit repeats update control about the update processing a certain number of times in each trial on the context information, based on spin information and an update target energy change. A calculation unit calculates energy change candidates based on a generated random number, a stored weight, the spin information, and the current state and temperature updated by the update control. A selection unit selects the update target energy change from the candidates calculated by the calculation unit based on a random number.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2020
    Assignee: FUJITSU LIMITED
    Inventor: Noboru Yoneoka
  • Patent number: 10501210
    Abstract: In an aerospace vehicle in which a satellite is detachably adapted to the first stage rocket and the second stage rocket, an electronic device 65 is installed in the satellite 60, wherein the electronic device 65 controls the first stage rocket 10 and the second stage rocket 20 before the satellite is detached from the first stage rocket 10 and the second stage rocket 20. Thereby, it is unnecessary to provide sensors, radio devices and electronic devices for exclusive use with respect to the first stage rocket 10 and the second stage rocket 20 so that a manufacturing cost of the rockets 10 and 20 can be reduced and a total weight of the rockets 10 and 20 can become lighter by omitting these equipments. Thus, an aerospace vehicle system within the rockets 10 and 20 can be simplified and a launch of the aerospace vehicle can be prepared within a short period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Yoshikatsu Kuroda, Masahiro Atsumi, Naohiko Abe, Masahiro Kato
  • Patent number: 10479501
    Abstract: Systems and methods for maintaining and stabilizing the position and orientation of a payload attached to a high-altitude balloon are provided. A payload may be attached to a powered gimbal. The powered gimbal may be configured to orient and position the payload in a plurality of directions corresponding to a first, second, and third rotational axis of the balloon-mounted payload system. After the payload is positioned by the powered gimbal, the position and orientation of the payload may be maintained and stabilized by one or more rotational stabilization devices. The stabilization by the one or more rotational stabilization devices can occur along any one, or combination of, the first, second, and third rotational axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Inventors: Raymond Hoheisel, Justin Lorentzen
  • Patent number: 10435147
    Abstract: A method for controlling each rotor on a multirotor aircraft includes receiving one or more sensed states of the multirotor aircraft, and determining a control scheme dynamically using the sensed one or more states of the multirotor aircraft. Receiving one or more sensed states can include receiving one or more of a rotational rate or acceleration of the aircraft, or any other suitable aircraft state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2019
    Assignee: Cloud Cap Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael J Allen
  • Patent number: 10407186
    Abstract: A method of controlling the attitude of a spacecraft in spinning around itself with a non-zero total angular momentum HTOT. The spacecraft includes a set of inertia flywheels configured to form an internal angular momentum HACT. The axis of the total angular momentum HTOT is aligned with a principal axis of inertia of the spacecraft, in the course of which the inertia flywheels are controlled to form an internal angular momentum HACT. The following expression, in which J is the inertia matrix of the spacecraft: Hact×J?1(Htot?J?1Htot) is negative if the principal axis of inertia targeted is the axis of maximum inertia of the spacecraft and is positive if the principal axis inertia targeted is the axis of minimum inertia of the spacecraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Assignee: AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE SAS
    Inventors: Nicolas Cuilleron, Philippe Laurens, Valerio Moro
  • Patent number: 10407187
    Abstract: When the number of CMGs is represented by n (n is an integer of 4 or more), (n?3) gimbal angles out of n gimbal angles corresponding to the n CMGs are set as free parameters, and an algebraic equation representing a relationship among three gimbal angles out of the n gimbal angles, the free parameters, and an angular momentum of all the CMGs is used to solve the algebraic equation while changing the free parameters within set ranges, to thereby obtain solutions of the gimbal angles of the plurality of CMGs required for achieving a given angular momentum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Kenji Kitamura, Katsuhiko Yamada, Takeya Shima
  • Patent number: 10351266
    Abstract: An ADCS module may be configured to use coordinate data from 2D photodiodes in one or more sun sensors to determine a sun vector. The ADCS module may then use the sun vector in reference to its own body faced (BF) coordinate system to calculate a change in the orientation of the space vehicle. The change in orientation mechanism may be accomplished by reaction wheels, ion thrusters, or other orientation altering mechanisms. A miniature, intelligent star tracker may be included that improves satellite attitude determination and pointing accuracy. An improved reaction wheel assembly may be included that is more robust and suitable for inclusion in small space vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: Triad National Security, LLC
    Inventors: Stephen Judd, Nicholas Dallmann, Michael Proicou, Daniel Seitz, Paul Stein, John Martinez, Gayle Kestell, Adam Warniment, Steven Storms
  • Patent number: 10334214
    Abstract: Apparatus, such as can be included in an electronic device, performs a method for operating apparatus configured for combined vibratory and projection functions. The apparatus includes a mirror configured to reflect a projected image and a motor. The mirror is coupled as a counterweight to the motor to configure the apparatus for a vibratory function. The motor is further configured to translate and rotate the mirror about a first axis to align the mirror with a projector to reflect the projected image during a projection function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: MOTOROLA MOBILITY LLC
    Inventors: David K. Lim, William R. Groves, Jiri Slaby, Jason P. Wojack
  • Patent number: 10315762
    Abstract: An unmanned vehicle including a body and a frame structure extending from the body and supporting a plurality of propeller assemblies, each propeller assembly including at least one propeller and a corresponding motor with the motor housed in a watertight housing or coated and made corrosion resistant. The propellers comprise a first subset of propellers of the propeller assemblies and a second subset of propellers of the propeller assemblies which rotate in a plane positioned below a plane in which the first subset of propellers rotate, wherein said first and second subset of propellers are configured for independent operation of one another as the vehicle transitions from an air medium to a water medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: RUTGERS, THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY
    Inventors: Francisco Javier Diez-Garias, Marco M. Maia
  • Patent number: 10273002
    Abstract: A pod assembly which includes a pod and an inertial measurement unit positioned within the pod. The pod assembly further includes deceleration hardware associated with the pod. A method for using a pod assembly, includes a step of securing the pod assembly, which includes a pod and an inertial measurement unit contained within the pod, to an aircraft and a step of operating the aircraft with the inertial measurement unit operating sensing movement and alignment of the pod and storing data corresponding to the sensed movement and alignment of the pod on a data collection assembly connected to the inertial measurement unit. The method further includes a step of releasing the pod assembly from the aircraft and a step of utilizing deceleration hardware associated with the pod to reduce rate of descent of the pod assembly released from the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventor: Joseph E. Justin
  • Patent number: 10228248
    Abstract: A hybrid power source and control moment gyroscope (“HPCMG”) is disclosed. The HPCMG includes a control moment gyroscope (“CMG”), a first conductive bearing, and a second conductive bearing. The CMG includes a first transverse gimbal assembly, a central mass that produces a voltage potential, and a second gimbal assembly rotationally connected to the first transverse gimbal assembly. The first transverse gimbal assembly is rotationally connected to the central mass along a first axis of rotation and the central mass is configured to spin about the first axis of rotation and the first transverse gimbal assembly is configured to rotate about a second axis of rotation of the second gimbal assembly. The first conductive bearing rotationally connects the central mass with the first position of the first transverse gimbal assembly along the first axis of rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Christopher C. Veto
  • Patent number: 10175065
    Abstract: A rotor assembly for deployment within a momentum control device that enables near-zero revolutions per minute (RPM) sensing, and method for making same, are provided. The provided rotor assembly utilizes a magnet coupled to the rotor shaft and a stationary sensor element to detect magnetic flux from the magnet and derive reliable near zero RPM therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC.
    Inventor: Thom Kreider
  • Patent number: 10114382
    Abstract: Two methods of combining multiple response types into a single flexible command model are provided and include receiving a pilot stick input, generating an aircraft response to the pilot stick input that is a continuous blend of response types by including calculable time-varying coefficients set as a function of a magnitude of the pilot stick input and other aircraft states such as airspeed, imposing at least an angular acceleration command limit and using other non-linear elements to optimize the aircraft response to the pilot stick input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: SIKORSKY AIRCRAFT CORPORATION
    Inventors: Aaron L. Greenfield, Kenneth S. Wittmer
  • Patent number: 10073472
    Abstract: Provided is a spatial stabilization apparatus that realizes high spatial stability with a single inertial sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: NEC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Motoaki Shimizu
  • Patent number: 10036799
    Abstract: A device for determining relative orientation between two locations including an imager, an inertial-orientation-sensor firmly attached to the imager for determining information relating to the orientation thereof and which exhibits drift and a processor coupled with the imager and with the inertial-orientation-sensor. The processor determines a first orientation-measurement and first time-tag when the device is oriented with a first-orientation-indicator located at a first location. The processor determines a second-orientation-measurement and second time-tag when the device is oriented with a second-orientation-indicator located at a second location. The processor determines a third-orientation-measurement and third time-tag when the device is oriented again with the first-orientation-indicator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2018
    Assignee: ELBIT SYSTEMS LTD.
    Inventors: Lior Avitan, Mark Gandelsman, Eugene Gurovich, Yoav Ophir
  • Patent number: 9954367
    Abstract: An energy storage system is provided with one or more local energy storage systems and a procedure to operate such an energy storage system. The local energy storage systems are connected to a non-local power supply grid and/or one or more local power supply grids each compromising at least one local control unit, which is intended at least for control of the respective energy storage system for localized regulating and system tasks (LRS) for the one or more respective local power supply grids. The energy storage system furthermore comprises a central control unit connected via the communication network to the respective local control units, which is intended for control (SNL) of absorbing (En) and emitting (Ep) energy of the one or more local energy storage systems to the non-local power supply grid, with the central control unit being equipped to dispose of all portions of the local storage capacities (LSKg).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: Enrichment Technology Company Ltd.
    Inventors: Ing. Rainer vor dem Esche, Christoph Schäfer, Ing. Christoph Treppmann
  • Patent number: 9908616
    Abstract: A geometry-based flight control system is disclosed. The geometry-based flight control system receives a set of inputs associated with a requested set of forces and moments to be applied to the aircraft and computes an optimal mix of actuators and associated actuator parameters to achieve to an extent practical the requested forces and moments. Computing the optimal mix of actuators and associated actuator parameters includes taking into consideration dynamically varying effectiveness of one or more actuators based on a dynamic state of the aircraft. For example, the dynamic state may comprise an angle of a tiltwing of the aircraft or an angle of a tilt rotor of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: Kitty Hawk Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory Mainland Horn, Damon Vander Lind
  • Patent number: 9643740
    Abstract: An attitude estimator that uses sun sensor outputs as the only attitude determination measurements to provide three-axis attitude information. This is accomplished by incorporating the Euler equation into the estimator. An unscented Kalman filter is employed to accommodate various nonlinear characteristics and uncertainties of the spacecraft dynamics and thus improve the robustness and accuracy of the attitude estimate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Tung-Ching Tsao, Richard Y. Chiang
  • Patent number: 9641280
    Abstract: Various embodiments provide an anti-jamming method in a satellite communication (SATCOM) system. A waveform modulation is performed on a waveform of a source data to provide a modulated waveform transmitted to a transmitter and then to a receiver. The modulated waveform transmitted from the receiver is demodulated to provide a demodulated waveform. In response to interference, a game reasoning process is performed on the demodulated waveform to provide an anti-jamming adaptive waveform. By performing a game-optimal waveform modulation on the anti-jamming adaptive waveform, a frequency hopping process is used to guide the data transmission, such that the source data is transmitted with a minimal probability of being interfered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: INTELLIGENT FUSION TECHNOLOGY, INC
    Inventors: Dan Shen, Gang Wang, Genshe Chen, Khanh D. Pham, Erik Blasch
  • Patent number: 9617015
    Abstract: A method for controlling an attitude control system (30) for a space vehicle (10), the attitude of the space vehicle being controlled during at least one preparation phase followed by an observation phase during which an image capture is performed. In an attitude control system that includes a maneuvering subsystem (300) which includes at least one reaction wheel, the method includes, during the at least one preparation phase, a preparation step (50), during which commands are issued to the maneuvering subsystem in order to control the attitude of the space vehicle, followed by a step (55) of stopping the at least one reaction wheel prior to the observation phase. In addition, during the observation phase, a fine control subsystem (310) having a lower vibration signature than that of the maneuvering subsystem, is sent commands in order to control the space vehicle's attitude. An attitude control system for a space vehicle is also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignees: AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE SAS, CENTRE NATIONAL D'ETUDES SPATIALES CNES
    Inventors: Kristen Lagadec, Claire Roche, Jean Sperandei
  • Patent number: 9604736
    Abstract: An improved spacecraft actuator wheel is provided which can be operated as a momentum wheel, a reaction wheel or a gimbal. The actuator wheel has a central cavity. One or more battery modules are located within the actuator wheel's central cavity. The battery modules supply power to one or more electronic components affixed to the actuator wheel or mounted on the spacecraft frame via an electrical harness. In addition, the actuator wheel's central cavity is pressurizeable for storing spacecraft propellant which can be controllably diverted to the spacecraft's thrusters through conduits and flow valves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: NOVAWURKS, INC.
    Inventor: Talbot Jaeger
  • Patent number: 9609569
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a method comprises: establishing a first broadband data link between a first mobile narrowbeam transceiver positioned on a vehicle and a first fixed narrowbeam transceiver mounted along a prescribed path of the vehicle; and switching from the first broadband data link, by the first mobile narrowbeam transceiver, to a second broadband data link with a second fixed narrowbeam transceiver mounted along the prescribed path after the first fixed narrowbeam transceiver, enabling the vehicle to maintain continuous broadband access to a wide area network via a prescribed sequence of the fixed narrowbeam transceivers along the prescribed path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: Cisco Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles Calvin Byers, Douglas Chan
  • Patent number: 9587943
    Abstract: One embodiment is directed towards an inertial measurement unit (IMU) for measuring an input rate of rotation about an input axis. The IMU includes a first three dimensional gyroscope disposed such that a first axis of its three axes is oriented at a skew angle in degrees away from a reference plane, wherein the reference plane is normal to the input axis. The IMU also includes one or more processing devices coupled to the first gyroscope. The IMU also includes one or more data storage devices coupled to the one or more processing devices, the one or more data storage devices including instructions which, when executed by the one or more processing devices, cause the one or more processing devices to calculate the input rate of rotation based on dividing a sensed rate of rotation about the first axis by the sine of the skew angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy J. Hanson, Terrance Troske, David S. Willits
  • Patent number: 9573623
    Abstract: A method of providing automatic collision avoidance in a vehicle with a front wheel electric power steering (EPS) system and rear wheel active rear steering (ARS) system and an automatic collision avoidance system are described. The method includes generating a vehicle math model including the control variables, designing a steering control goal as a criterion to determine the control variables, and implementing a model predictive control to solve the steering control goal and determine the control variables. The method also includes providing the control variables to the EPS system and the ARS system to respectively control a front actuator associated with front wheels and a rear actuator associated with rear wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2017
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Nikolai K. Moshchuk, Shih-Ken Chen, Chad T. Zagorski
  • Patent number: 9511882
    Abstract: A method of deploying a modular space station comprises placing an initial space station module in space in a first deployment, the initial space station module including a first control law and momentum component that provides an initial solution for guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) during the first deployment. A first space station modular segment is joined with the initial space station module in a second deployment to produce a first joint configuration of the space station. A second control law and momentum component provides a second solution for GNC of the first joint configuration during the second deployment. A second space station modular segment is joined to the first joint configuration in a third deployment to produce a second joint configuration of the space station. A third control law and momentum component provides a third solution for GNC of the second joint configuration during the third deployment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Brett McMickell, Mitch Fletcher
  • Patent number: 9428285
    Abstract: A system for managing momentum accumulation of a spacecraft in orbit may include a reaction wheel assembly for controlling an attitude of a body of a spacecraft, the body defining at least one face, and absorbing momentum, a plurality of arcjet thrusters coupled to the face to generate thrust, and a control processor coupled to the plurality of arcjet thrusters for controlling the thrust, wherein actuation of each arcjet thruster of the plurality of arcjet thrusters is configured to produce a net momentum accumulation in the reaction wheel assembly that is below a momentum saturation point of the reaction wheel assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Sadek W. Mansour, John D. Haskell, Andrew I. Mactavish
  • Patent number: 9255800
    Abstract: A space vehicle has a frame with a configuration of fiber optic gyroscopes (FOGs) and control moment gyroscopes (CMGs) at the outer perimeter of the frame. The FOGs and CMGs provide guidance and control for the space vehicle. This arrangement results in the largest possible FOG and CMG diameters, and therefore yielding the highest signal sensitivities and precision inertial control of vehicle orientation and pointing. Because the configuration places these guidance and control system components at the perimeter of the vehicle, it also provides a platform for multi-aperture signal channels in the interior of the vehicle by freeing up volume within the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2016
    Assignee: Space Photonics, Inc.
    Inventor: Charles H. Chalfant, III
  • Patent number: 9199746
    Abstract: Various embodiments of the present invention include an attitude control system for use with small satellites. According to various embodiments, the system allows rapid retargeting (e.g., high slew rates) and full three-axis attitude control of small satellites using a compact actuation system. In certain embodiments, the compact actuation system includes a plurality of single-gimbaled control moment gyroscopes (SGCMG) arranged in a pyramidal configuration that are disposed within a small satellite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Assignee: University of Florida Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventors: Vivek Nagabhushan, Norman G. Fitz-Coy, Frederick Aaron Leve
  • Patent number: 9065529
    Abstract: A method for characterizing a transmitting antenna of a satellite in orbit comprising a payload comprising signal amplification means, includes: configuring the said amplification means to generate thermal noise at the input of the transmitting antenna; acquiring, by means of a ground station, the signal transmitted by the transmitting antenna on the downlink of the satellite over a predetermined time period; during the said predetermined time period, controlling the said satellite in orbit in order to impart on it an angular bias of predetermined variation and recording this variation; correlating the measurement of the signal transmitted on the downlink and the variation of angular bias of the satellite in order to derive therefrom the gain variations of the transmitting antenna as a function of the angular bias of the satellite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: THALES
    Inventor: Stephane Tessandori
  • Patent number: 9045241
    Abstract: A method for reducing the angular momentum of a spacecraft comprises a propulsion device able to generate a torque along a Z axis corresponding to an axis of maximum inertia or minimum inertia of the spacecraft, an X axis and a Y axis forming with Z an orthogonal frame; an angular momentum accumulating device, able to generate an angular momentum and a torque along the three axes; and a set of sensors able to measure the angular velocities and estimate the angular momentum of the spacecraft. The method comprises a first step of aligning the angular momentum of the spacecraft along the Z axis, consisting in slaving the angular momentum of the angular momentum accumulating device to the angular velocity of the spacecraft, and a second step of reducing the angular momentum of the spacecraft using a torque generated by the propulsion device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2015
    Assignee: THALES
    Inventors: François Caullier, Faustine Delhay, Jean-Marc Lacambre, Etienne Brouillard
  • Patent number: 9038958
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are presented for spacecraft operation using non-Eigen axis attitude transitions via control momentum gyroscopes (CMGs) to avoid or mitigate singularities by providing a time-varying attitude command vector including a plurality of time-varying attitude command signals or values representing a plurality of spacecraft states and control trajectories as a guidance command input to an attitude controller of the spacecraft without modifying the spacecraft feedback control law.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Isaac Michael Ross, Donghun Lee, Mark Karpenko
  • Patent number: 8998146
    Abstract: Spacecraft momentum management techniques are coordinated with station-keeping maneuvers or other delta-V maneuvers. A body stabilized spacecraft attitude is controlled, the spacecraft including at least one momentum/reaction wheel, and a set of thrusters. A first momentum storage deadband limit is adjusted, the adjustment being related to a first delta-V maneuver window. A momentum management strategy is executed with the adjusted first momentum storage deadband limit such that a first thruster firing that performs desaturation of the momentum/reaction wheel also provides velocity change beneficial to the first delta-V maneuver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Space Systems/Loral, LLC
    Inventors: Byoungsam Woo, Farid Ganji, John Hutton Cooper
  • Patent number: 8876060
    Abstract: Various embodiments of the present invention include assemblies and methods for minimizing the amplitude of attitude jitter. In one embodiment, a split flywheel assembly includes a plurality of independent concentric flywheels axially aligned and in operable engagement with one another such that each flywheel is configured to be independently controlled in order to manipulate the phase difference therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: University of Florida Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventors: Vivek Nagabhushan, Norman G. Fitz-Coy
  • Patent number: 8880246
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are presented for spacecraft operation in which a control problem is formulated using a control law or steering law as a path constraint or as a dynamic constraint, and the control problem is solved to provide a guidance command trajectory for use in operating spacecraft control momentum gyroscopes to guide the spacecraft from an initial state to a desired final state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Mark Karpenko, Isaac Michael Ross
  • Publication number: 20140263845
    Abstract: A space vehicle has a frame with a configuration of fiber optic gyroscopes (FOGs) and control moment gyroscopes (CMGs) at the outer perimeter of the frame. The FOGs and CMGs provide guidance and control for the space vehicle. This arrangement results in the largest possible FOG and CMG diameters, and therefore yielding the highest signal sensitivities and precision inertial control of vehicle orientation and pointing. Because the configuration places these guidance and control system components at the perimeter of the vehicle, it also provides a platform for multi-aperture signal channels in the interior of the vehicle by freeing up volume within the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: Space Photonics, Inc.
    Inventor: Charles H. Chalfant, III
  • Publication number: 20140229136
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for estimating gyro scale factor during normal spacecraft operations, using small attitude motions that are compliant with mission pointing accuracy and stability requirements and a signal processing method that specifically detects the intentionally induced motions. This process increases operational availability by avoiding the need to take the spacecraft offline for large calibration maneuvers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 8, 2013
    Publication date: August 14, 2014
    Inventor: Alan D. Reth
  • Patent number: 8798816
    Abstract: The method for unloading the inertia wheels of a spacecraft comprising three references axes X, Y, Z, the axis Z corresponding to a pointing direction, consists in inverting the direction of accumulation of the angular momentum in the wheels by automatic rotational flipping of the spacecraft about the axis Z, the pointing direction remaining fixed. The method has application to the field of satellites or of interplanetary probes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventor: Francois Guyot
  • Publication number: 20140209751
    Abstract: A system and method for controlling and stabilizing a satellite or other vehicle about any axis is disclosed. Embodiments achieve this three-axis control and stabilization with a spherical motor system or reaction sphere capable of storing momentum in a rotor. The spherical motor system comprises a spherical rotor having permanent magnets arranged in evenly-spaced antipodal pairs. Each of the permanent magnets are oriented with the same magnetic pole facing outward from a center of the rotor. The spherical motor system also comprises a stator which has magnetic sensors surrounding electromagnets. The spherical motor system further comprises a control system that controls timing and duration of energization of the electromagnets based on the detection of one of the permanent magnets by the magnetic sensors. Such a spherical motor system provides three-axis stabilization and control of a satellite (or other vehicle).
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 31, 2014
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Applicant: NORTHROP GRUMMAN SYSTEMS CORPORATION
    Inventor: Emory Stagmer
  • Publication number: 20140209750
    Abstract: The method for unloading the inertia wheels of a spacecraft comprising three references axes X, Y, Z, the axis Z corresponding to a pointing direction, consists in inverting the direction of accumulation of the angular momentum in the wheels by automatic rotational flipping of the spacecraft about the axis Z, the pointing direction remaining fixed. The method has application to the field of satellites or of interplanetary probes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2009
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Applicant: Thales
    Inventor: Francois Guyot
  • Publication number: 20140138491
    Abstract: Spacecraft momentum management techniques are coordinated with station-keeping maneuvers or other delta-V maneuvers. A body stabilized spacecraft attitude is controlled, the spacecraft including at least one momentum/reaction wheel, and a set of thrusters. A first momentum storage deadband limit is adjusted, the adjustment being related to a first delta-V maneuver window. A momentum management strategy is executed with the adjusted first momentum storage deadband limit such that a first thruster firing that performs desaturation of the momentum/reaction wheel also provides velocity change beneficial to the first delta-V maneuver.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2012
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Applicant: SPACE SYSTEMS/LORAL, LLC
    Inventors: Byoungsam Woo, Farid Ganji, John Hutton Cooper
  • Patent number: 8688296
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method for maneuvering an imaging satellite, and more particularly a method for commanding control moment gyroscopes on an imaging satellite to change the attitude of the satellite. In one embodiment, a method for generating a gimbal rate trajectory for maneuvering a satellite to point to a target includes providing a final attitude for pointing to the target and a final satellite rate for imaging the target, providing an initial attitude and an initial set of gimbal angles, and determining a gimbal rate trajectory from the initial set of gimbal angles to a final set of gimbal angles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Inventor: David A. Bailey
  • Publication number: 20140027577
    Abstract: A system and method for deploying a satellite having an integrated bus and an aperture, wherein the integrated bus extends along its longitudinal axis and wherein the aperture intersects the longitudinal axis. The satellite is deployed into an orbit, wherein deploying includes orienting the satellite so that the aperture points at a desired location. The satellite is spun so that the logitudinal axis and the aperture remain pointing at the desired location and data regarding the desired location is captured via the aperture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 26, 2012
    Publication date: January 30, 2014
    Applicant: Alliant Techsystems Inc.
    Inventor: Dilip K. Darooka
  • Patent number: 8620496
    Abstract: A system for damping nutation and removing wobble of a spacecraft spinning about a given axis is provided. The system includes a sensor configured to determine three dimensional attitude measurements of the spacecraft, a processor operatively coupled to the sensor and configured to execute a process that facilitates aligning the spin axis with a spacecraft momentum vector. The processor, when executing the process, is programmed to receive spacecraft attitude data from the sensor, determine a torque command using the received attitude data, and control a momentum storage actuator on the spacecraft using the determined torque command such that an angular deviation about the given axis is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Dan Y. Liu, Qinghong W. Wang, Richard Y. Chiang