Electric Course Control Patents (Class 244/175)
  • Patent number: 7539561
    Abstract: An objective of the invention, focusing on these issues involved in the use of a small, hobby-type, unmanned helicopter, is to develop an autonomous control system comprising autonomous control systems for a small unmanned helicopter, to be mounted on said small unmanned helicopter; a servo pulse mixing/switching unit; a radio-controlled pulse generator; and autonomous control algorithms that are appropriate for the autonomous control of the aforementioned small unmanned helicopter, thereby providing an autonomous control system that provides autonomous control on the helicopter toward target values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2009
    Assignees: Hirobo Limited
    Inventors: Kenzo Nonami, Jin Ok Shin, Daigo Fujiwara, Kensaku Hazawa, Keitaro Matsusaka
  • Patent number: 7510142
    Abstract: An aerial robot is disclosed. The aerial robot may include at least one pair of counter-rotating blades or propellers, which may be contained within a circumferential shroud or a duct. In one embodiment, the aerial robot may have the ability to hover and move indefinitely. Electric power to the robot may be provided by a tether or an on-board power supply. In tethered embodiments, a solid-state, electronic voltage transformer may be used to reduce a high voltage, low current source to lower voltage, higher current source. In one embodiment, secure data communication between a ground unit and the aerial robot is facilitated by impressing high bandwidth serial data onto the high voltage tether wires or a thin optical fiber which is co-aligned with the tether wires. In one embodiment, precise navigational and position controls, even under extreme wind loads, are facilitated by an on-board GPS unit and optical digital signal processors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2009
    Assignee: Stealth Robotics
    Inventor: Samuel A. Johnson
  • Patent number: 7510141
    Abstract: An autonomous control method autonomously controls a small unmanned helicopter toward target values, such as a set position and velocity, by deriving model formulas well suited for the autonomous control of small unmanned helicopters, by designing an autonomous control algorithm based on the model formulas, and by calculating the autonomous control algorithm. The autonomous control system includes sensors that detect current position, attitude angle, altitude relative to the ground, and absolute azimuth of a nose of the small unmanned helicopter; a primary computational unit that calculates optimal control reference values for driving the helicopter from a target position or velocity values; a secondary computational unit that converts data collected by the sensors and the computational results as numeric values that are output by the primary computational unit into pulse signals; a ground station host computer used as the computational unit for the autonomous control system; and so on.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2009
    Assignees: Hirobo Limited
    Inventors: Kenzo Nonami, Jin Ok Shin, Daigo Fujiwara, Kensaku Hazawa, Keitaro Matsusaka
  • Patent number: 7438259
    Abstract: The Invention is a control system for a compound aircraft. A compound aircraft has features of both a helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft and provides redundant control options. The control system allows an authorized person to select any of plurality of control biases each which is designed to achieve an overall operational objective. The control system applies the selected control bias in allocating the control function among the redundant control options.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2008
    Assignee: Piasecki Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Frank N. Piasecki, Andrew S. Greenjack, Joseph F. Horn
  • Patent number: 7431243
    Abstract: The present invention provides a practical method for UAVs to take advantage of thermals in a manner similar to piloted aircrafts and soaring birds. In general, the invention is a method for a UAV to autonomously locate a thermal and be guided to the thermal to greatly improve range and endurance of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2008
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Michael J. Allen
  • Publication number: 20080149778
    Abstract: The present invention provides an alternative to the auto-throttle integrated in an aircraft autopilot by restricting the conditions in which the system operates. The proposed system removes the auto-throttle function from the autopilot system and gives it directly to the Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). A Cruise Control mode is available to the pilot only under stable flight conditions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2006
    Publication date: June 26, 2008
    Inventors: Salvatore CALANDRA, Keith Morgan
  • Publication number: 20080133069
    Abstract: According to the method of the invention, control parameters V indicating speed, R indicating turn characteristics and ? indicating a path angle are determined such that these parameters are maintained between limits, and such that one of them deviates as little as possible from a corresponding control input parameter Ri. In order to maintain (as much as possible) the value of R unchanged, V can be varied. The method may include the calculation of the maximum and minimum thrust available.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 30, 2006
    Publication date: June 5, 2008
    Inventors: Maria Jesus Morales De La Rica, Sergio De La Parra Carque, Francisco Javier Angel Martinez, Francisco Jose Ibanez Colas, Andres Herrera Martin
  • Publication number: 20080133074
    Abstract: A real time reconfigurable, fully integrated, fault tolerant guidance and control system to act in a coordinated fashion to bring a re-entry air vehicle or a UAV to a stop, while keeping it within runway bounds after a high-speed landing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 1, 2006
    Publication date: June 5, 2008
    Inventors: Michael J. Zyss, Ashwani K. Chaudhary, David G. Childers, Viet H. Nguyen, David Poladian, Hoi T. Tran, Vincent L. Wong
  • Patent number: 7380756
    Abstract: A single dielectric barrier aerodynamic plasma actuator apparatus based on the dielectric barrier discharge phenomenon is disclosed and suggested for application to aerodynamic uses for drag reduction, stall elimination and airfoil efficiency improvement. In the plasma actuator apparatus non-uniform in time and space, partially ionized gasses are generated by one or more electrode pairs each having one electrically encapsulated electrode and one air stream exposed electrode and energization by a high-voltage alternating current waveform. The influence of electrical waveform variation, electrode polarity, electrode size and electrode shape on the achieved plasma are considered along with theoretical verification of achieved results. Light output, generated thrust, ionizing current waveform and magnitude and other variables are considered. Misconceptions prevailing in the present day plasma generation art are addressed and are believed-to-be corrected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2008
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Air Force
    Inventors: Carl L. Enloe, Thomas E. McLaughlin, Eric J. Jumper, Thomas C. Corke
  • Publication number: 20080116320
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an aircraft with wings whose maximum lift can be altered by controllable wing components. By means of a regulating device (20), depending on flight state parameters and the actually measured load on the wings (10), wing components (11, 12) are acted upon such that the maximum possible aerodynamic lift does not exceed a desired upper limit value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2005
    Publication date: May 22, 2008
    Applicant: Airbus Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Alexender Van Der Velden, Roland Kelm, Josef Mertens
  • Patent number: 7364121
    Abstract: Methods and systems for automatically controlling aircraft takeoff rolls. A method in accordance with one embodiment of the invention includes receiving an indication of a target takeoff roll path for an aircraft, and automatically controlling a direction of an aircraft, while the aircraft is on a takeoff roll, to at least approximately follow the target takeoff roll path. The method can further include providing an input to a rudder of the aircraft and, upon receiving an indication of an engine failure, can transfer the input from the rudder to a rudder trim element. In still further embodiments, the method can include commanding a ground track angle when an airspeed of the aircraft reaches a threshold value, and maintaining the ground track angle as the airspeed of the aircraft exceeds the threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Guner Firuz, Michael H. Jaeger, Robert M. Agate, William M. Bresley
  • Patent number: 7363119
    Abstract: Systems and methods for handling incoming aircraft operation instructions are disclosed. A method in accordance with one embodiment of the invention includes receiving from a source off-board an aircraft an instruction for changing a characteristic of the aircraft, and automatically displaying at least a portion of the instruction at a first display location. In response to receiving a first input signal directed by an operator onboard the aircraft, the method can further include displaying at least a target portion of the instruction at a second display location, without the instruction being manually regenerated, and without the instruction becoming part of a flight plan list. In response to receiving a second input signal directed by an operator, the method can further include displaying at least a target portion of the instruction at a third display location, again without the instruction being manually regenerated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: John C. Griffin, III, Gordon R. A. Sandell, Peter D. Gunn, Charles A. Pullen, John Wiedemann
  • Patent number: 7343228
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling a plurality of solar panels of a spacecraft is described. The method comprises the steps of providing a first step command to a first solar panel, and providing a second step command to a second solar panel at a time of a transient zero-crossing of a dynamic response of the spacecraft body to the first step command, wherein the second solar panel is disposed on an opposite side of the spacecraft from the first solar panel. The apparatus comprises a processor; a first solar panel driver, communicatively coupled to the processor, for providing a first step command to a first solar panel, and a second solar panel driver, communicatively coupled to the processor, for providing a second step command to a second solar panel at a time of a transient zero-crossing of a dynamic response of the spacecraft body to the first step command.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2008
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Arun Prakash, Hanching Grant Wang
  • Publication number: 20080029653
    Abstract: A control system and method of controlling a propeller aircraft engine during takeoff limits the amount of engine power developed at the very beginning of the takeoff in order to maximize thrust and minimize rollout distances. The control system limits the amount of power developed by the engine, even in the face of a nominal demand by the pilot for maximum engine power. Instead, the control system provides something significantly less than full power at the beginning of takeoff and gradually increases the power developed by the engine to full power as the airspeed increases. This gradual increase from partial engine power toward full power helps prevent stalling of the propeller, thereby maximizing the effectiveness of the propeller and engine in assisting the aircraft to takeoff quickly. The control system is particularly helpful for taking off from high-altitude runways.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2006
    Publication date: February 7, 2008
    Applicant: LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION
    Inventor: James R. JOHNSON
  • Publication number: 20080027594
    Abstract: A vehicle guidance system comprising: a measurement system; a processor arranged to receive information from the measurement system and convert said information into at least one time-to-contact based parameter; and a control system arranged to receive the at least one time-to-contact based parameter from the processor and use the at least one time-to-contact based parameter to either automatically guide the vehicle or to provide vehicle guidance information to a pilot.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2006
    Publication date: January 31, 2008
    Applicants: The University of Liverpool, The University of Edinburgh
    Inventors: Michael Jump, Gareth D. Padfield, David N. Lee
  • Patent number: 7285932
    Abstract: Active and adaptive systems and methods to prevent loss of control incidents by providing tactile feedback to a vehicle operator are disclosed. According to the present invention, an operator gives a control input to an inceptor. An inceptor sensor measures an inceptor input value of the control input. The inceptor input is used as an input to a Steady-State Inceptor Input/Effector Output Model that models the vehicle control system design. A desired effector output from the inceptor input is generated from the model. The desired effector output is compared to an actual effector output to get a distortion metric. A feedback force is generated as a function of the distortion metric. The feedback force is used as an input to a feedback force generator which generates a loss of control inhibitor system (LOCIS) force back to the inceptor. The LOCIS force is felt by the operator through the inceptor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2007
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Ralph C. A'Harrah
  • Patent number: 7285933
    Abstract: Active and adaptive systems and methods to prevent loss of control incidents by providing tactile feedback to a vehicle operator are disclosed. According to the present invention, an operator gives a control input to an inceptor. An inceptor sensor measures an inceptor input value of the control input. The inceptor input is used as an input to a Steady-State Inceptor Input/Effector Output Model that models the vehicle control system design. A desired effector output from the inceptor input is generated from the model. The desired effector output is compared to an actual effector output to get a distortion metric. A feedback force is generated as a function of the distortion metric. The feedback force is used as an input to a feedback force generator which generates a loss of control inhibitor system (LOCIS) force back to the inceptor. The LOCIS force is felt by the operator through the inceptor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2007
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Ralph C. A'Harrah
  • Publication number: 20070164166
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention relate to a flight control system for controlling an aircraft during flight. The flight control system may include a primary controller configured to receive an input from a pilot and to output a primary control signal and a primary transmission path connected to the primary controller and configured to relay the primary control signal. The flight control system may also include a backup controller configured to receive the input from the pilot and to output a backup control signal and a backup transmission path connected to the backup controller and configured to relay the backup control signal. Additionally, the flight control system may include an actuator having a remote electronics unit configured to receive the primary control signal and the backup control signal and to determine if the primary control signal is available and valid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2007
    Publication date: July 19, 2007
    Inventor: Jukka Matti Hirvonen
  • Patent number: 7182296
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided for more reliably transferring operational control for various aircraft flight control surfaces from a first sub-system to a second sub-system. The present invention provides an Actuator Control Electronics (ACE) wrap-back module that monitors the output of the normal mode control module and switches control to the direct control module based upon the detection of an error condition. The switching function is controlled by a monitoring system that monitors the output from an integrated heartbeat module that emits a pre-programmed signal. The pre-programmed signal is encoded and sent over a communication bus where it is then decoded and validated by comparing the decoded signal to the expected results. Any irregularity in the heartbeat signal automatically triggers a change of control from the first flight control sub-system to the second flight control sub-system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2007
    Assignee: Honeywell International, Inc.
    Inventors: Larry J. Yount, Dale D. Davidson, William F. Potter, Alan B. Hickman, Willard A. Blevins
  • Patent number: 7165747
    Abstract: The device (1) for guiding an aircraft at least over an intermediate trajectory between a first flight trajectory for a low-altitude flight and a second flight trajectory which starts at an initial point, and from which trajectory a parachute drop is carried out, comprises means (9) for determining a point of transition which lies on the first flight trajectory which represents the start of the intermediate trajectory, and which corresponds to the point where the aircraft must exit the first flight trajectory so as to reach the initial point under predetermined flight conditions, and means (13A, 13B) which use the point of transition to aid the guidance of the aircraft between the first and second flight trajectories.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2007
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventors: Franck Artini, Edward Strongman
  • Patent number: 7103455
    Abstract: This MCP/FCU interface (30) for control of the automatic pilot (13) and/or flight director (14) is provided with an access port linked to the ATN terminal (2) by a digital information transmission link (4) and furnished with display device displaying the trajectory modification orders originating from the air traffic control authorities and with enabling device imposing on the automatic pilot (13) and/or flight director (14) the operating mode and the directives corresponding to a trajectory modification order having formed the subject of an acceptance by the pilot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2006
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventor: Michel Subelet
  • Patent number: 7014141
    Abstract: An unmanned airborne reconnaissance system, the unmanned airborne reconnaissance system including a lightweight, portable, powered aircraft and a foldable launch rail, the aircraft, in a broken down condition and the launch rail in a broken down condition fitable inside a box, the box capable of being carried by one man. The launch system includes an elongated launch rail with the carriage assembly, and a propulsion means for accelerating the carriage assembly from one end of the launch rail to the other. The carriage assembly releasably engages the aircraft so as to propel the aircraft from one end of the launch rail to the other. The propulsion may be by a cartridge that explodes and releases a gas through a cylinder, or by elastic cords. The aircraft is guided through the air either by a programmed onboard computer which controls the control surfaces of the aircraft and/or by remote control. The aircraft typically contains a camera for recording and transmitting images received from the ground below.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2006
    Assignee: Mission Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Beverly Cox, Hampton Dews, Nicholas Nyroth
  • Patent number: 6948681
    Abstract: A modular automated air transport system comprising an unmanned autonomous aircraft having a selectively detachable control systems portion and a structural air frame portion, wherein the structural air frame portion contains an interior cargo hold, aerodynamic members having control surfaces and at least one propulsion device attached to the structural air frame portion; and wherein the control system portion includes a control computer for autonomously controlling the flight of said air transport system from one known location to a second known location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2005
    Assignee: BoXaiR Engineering LLC
    Inventor: John S. Stupakis
  • Patent number: 6886786
    Abstract: An engine thrust management system comprising an engine control device, an aircraft flight manual, a flight management device and a cockpit instrument device. The engine control device is operable to calculate a percent maximum available thrust parameter and a percent indicated thrust parameter. The aircraft flight manual is operable to calculate a required thrust parameter. The flight management device is operable to calculate a percent thrust setting target parameter and a percent commanded thrust parameter. The percent commanded thrust is the amount of thrust requested by an aircraft operator. The percent commanded thrust is varied by the operator according to the value of the percent thrust setting target parameter and the value of the percent indicated thrust parameter in order to produce optimal thrust.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Kiet T. Huynh
  • Patent number: 6885917
    Abstract: A method of stabilizing a jet-powered tri-mode aircraft as the aircraft travels in a helicopter mode, a compound mode, and a fixed-wing mode is disclosed. The method includes receiving a plurality of velocity vector component values and velocity vector commands derived from either (1) a number of pilot operated controllers or (2) a commanded array of waypoints, which are used for fully automated flights, and a rotor speed reference value, which is decreased with increasing forward speed to unload the rotor, thereby permitting conditions for stopping the rotor in flight. Stabilization of the commanded velocity vector is achieved in all modes of flight using blended combinations of rotor swashplate controls and aerodynamic controls such as elevons, canards, rudders, and a horizontal tail. Stabilization to the commanded velocity vector includes a plurality of control constraints applied to the pilot stick controllers that prevent penetration of envelope limits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2005
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Stephen S. Osder, Thomas L. Thompson
  • Patent number: 6859694
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system and method for filing and closing of flight plans. With the present invention, a computing device is provided that includes a flight plan filing device that is capable of electronically transmitting a flight plan to an airport server. The flight plan filing device provides an electronic form, such as an electronic version of FAA Form 7233-1, which may receive input from a user, such as a pilot of an aircraft. The completed electronic form is then transmitted to an airport server which forwards the form to a regulatory agency server which assigns a transponder code to the flight plan and stores the flight plan in association with the transponder code. The airport server further monitors for transponder signals of aircraft within a predetermined distance of the airport. When the airport server receives a transponder signal, the airport server determines whether the aircraft has landed based on the altitude indicated in the transponder signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2005
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: James Neal Andrews, David Bruce Kumhyr
  • Patent number: 6832153
    Abstract: A system for tracking a fleet of vehicles, such as trucks or aircraft, includes a set of vehicle processing systems associated with each vehicle. Each vehicle processing system receives a travel route matrix from a remote server, and generates periodic vehicle position information which is compared with a propagating wave associated with different segments, or corridors, of the matrix. When the vehicle position is determined to lie outside the propagating wave and a geo-corridor at a particular point in time, alerts are sent to the server notifying the server of same. Corrective action can then be taken, such as remotely disabling the vehicle, or alerting a fleet manager.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2004
    Assignee: MobileAria
    Inventors: Peter A. Thayer, Alexander Babichev, Milind M. Dange, Subramanian Mahesh
  • Publication number: 20040230353
    Abstract: The piloting device (1) comprises means (2A, 2B) for generating orders for the control of control surfaces (3A, 3B, 3C, 3D) capable of acting on the yaw movement of the aircraft and each controlled by at least one actuator (4A, 4B, 4C, 4D), and a central unit (UC) which comprises means (5A, 5B) for determining an instruction to rotate the aircraft, based on control orders, means (6) for determining a global moment having to be applied to the aircraft about the yaw axis so that the aircraft performs the rotation instruction, means (7) for dividing this global moment into a sum of elementary moments, and means (7) for computing, for each of the control surfaces (3A, 3B, 3C, 3D), the instruction to be applied to its actuator (4A, 4B, 4C, 4D) so that the latter generates the associated elementary moment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 3, 2004
    Publication date: November 18, 2004
    Applicant: AIRBUS France
    Inventors: Fabrice Villaume, Jean Duprez
  • Patent number: 6789768
    Abstract: Differential Global Positioning System receivers (60) are located at the corners of a confined zone and receive signals from Global Positioning System satellites (62). The Differential Global Positioning System receivers (60) aid an aircraft (16) to fly and flight path or combing patten (20) over the confined zone. A vehicle (12) with a trailer (14) may be used to transport the aircraft (16) for use over the confined zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: Steadicopter Ltd
    Inventor: Gad Kalisch
  • Publication number: 20040153220
    Abstract: A system for operating an aircraft includes a navigation computer and a flight control computer. The navigation computer receives guidance instructions and guidance parameters, and outputs automatic pilot instructions. The flight control computer receives control instructions and the automatic pilot instructions, and generates operating commands based on the automatic pilot instructions in an automatic pilot mode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 19, 2003
    Publication date: August 5, 2004
    Inventor: Francois Kubica
  • Patent number: 6751530
    Abstract: A vehicle capable of flight including at least one wing including at least one oscillatory momentum generator mounted therein. A thrust force from the oscillatory momentum generator is directed outwards over the wing causing a lift-generating air flow over a wing surface. A method of flying a vehicle including providing at least one wing having at least one oscillatory momentum generator mounted therein and applying a thrust force from the generator which is directed outwards over the wing and directed to the trailing edge so that a lift generating air flow is created.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: Ramot At Tel Aviv University Ltd.
    Inventors: Avraham Seifert, David Greenblatt, Israel Wygnanski
  • Publication number: 20040111191
    Abstract: Process and device for automatically controlling the thrust of at least one engine of an aircraft during a phase of horizontal flight at stabilized speed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 1, 2003
    Publication date: June 10, 2004
    Inventors: Jean Muller, Didier Graves
  • Publication number: 20040093130
    Abstract: A method of stabilizing a jet-powered tri-mode aircraft as the aircraft travels in a helicopter mode, a compound mode, and a fixed-wing mode is disclosed. The method includes receiving a plurality of velocity vector component values and velocity vector commands derived from either (1) a number of pilot operated controllers or (2) a commanded array of waypoints, which are used for fully automated flights, and a rotor speed reference value, which is decreased with increasing forward speed to unload the rotor, thereby permitting conditions for stopping the rotor in flight. Stabilization of the commanded velocity vector is achieved in all modes of flight using blended combinations of rotor swashplate controls and aerodynamic controls such as elevons, canards, rudders, and a horizontal tail. Stabilization to the commanded velocity vector includes a plurality of control constraints applied to the pilot stick controllers that prevent penetration of envelope limits.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 7, 2002
    Publication date: May 13, 2004
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Stephen S. Osder, Thomas L. Thompson
  • Publication number: 20040078120
    Abstract: A control system compensation algorithm which operates as a comparator of a nominal state and unlimited dynamic state of an actuator. Upon reaching either rate or position saturation, the difference between the nominal state actuator model and the unlimited dynamics actuator model is the excess command signal of an uncompensated actuator command which would put the actuator into saturation. The excess command is then filtered to the designed system bandwidth. The filtered excess servo command from filter is then subtracted from the original uncompensated actuator command signal to generate the rate limited actuator command.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 16, 2002
    Publication date: April 22, 2004
    Inventors: Edgar Melkers, Vineet Sahasrabudhe
  • Publication number: 20040078121
    Abstract: Methods and systems for linking input control signals, such as control signals used to control aspects of aircraft operation. In one embodiment, the method includes receiving first and second force signals corresponding to first and second forces applied to first and second controllers. The method can further include directing first and second position signals to the first and second controllers to move the first and second controllers to approximately the same positions. Each force signal is transmitted along a signal path, and the signal paths can be linked at a point where the signals on each path correspond to a quantity other that a position of a controller. The signal paths can be linked such that only one of the forces must exceed a threshold value for both controllers to be moved, and if one of the forces is outside a selected limit range, that force can be at least partially discounted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2002
    Publication date: April 22, 2004
    Inventors: Daniel H. Cartmell, Edward E. Coleman
  • Publication number: 20040065782
    Abstract: A parachute has a canopy and rigging lines with skirt assist lines connected between a point on each rigging line adjacent a lower edge of the canopy and a point on the interior of the canopy spaced from the lower edge. The arrangement is such that a portion of the canopy between the point and the lower edge is relieved of tension as the canopy is deployed to assist the opening of the canopy. The skirt assist lines are frangible. This prevents rapid deployment of the canopy to lower g-forces on the load in high speed opening.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 3, 2003
    Publication date: April 8, 2004
    Applicant: Wardle Storeys (Safety & Survival Equipment) Limited
    Inventors: Nigel Stuart Parker, David Richard Jordan Hirst
  • Patent number: 6704624
    Abstract: A device for controlling aircraft maneuvering units includes at least one control unit and a central computing unit. The control unit may be actuated by a pilot for issuing maneuvering commands. The central computing unit is capable of establishing control signals for at least one maneuvering unit from the maneuvering commands. Each central computing unit is being provided with its own failure detection system. The device further includes at least one backup electronic module respectively associated with a maneuvering unit and capable of also establishing control signals for this maneuvering unit from maneuvering commands. The electronic module lacks any failure detection system of its own, but it is connected to a central failure detection system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2004
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventors: Jean-Marc Ortega, Jean-Pierre Garcia
  • Publication number: 20040044444
    Abstract: A system and method for detecting if a UAV is operating within its flight envelope. The invention includes defining the flight envelope of the UAV. The operating state of the UAV is identified from a present time to a future elapsed time. The invention determines if the UAV will be within its flight envelope at the end of the elapsed time in the future. It can then command the UAV to maintain operation within the flight envelope if the operating state determined is outside the flight envelope.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 29, 2002
    Publication date: March 4, 2004
    Applicant: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy L. Johnson, Martin E. Kaliski
  • Patent number: 6671588
    Abstract: The present invention is structured such that, as for travelling on the ground, there is provided a braking mechanism capable of braking wheels by the use of a single brake pedal or a braking mechanism capable of braking the wheels by flare out operation of a control stick, while automatic control of traveling direction is performed in flight using a yaw damper. In addition, a larger braking force is automatically generated, without manual operations by a pilot, for landing gear mounted on the side of an airframe toward which direction of an aircraft is to be changed as compared with the braking force applied to landing gear on the other side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yukio Otake, Kazuya Arakawa
  • Publication number: 20030229428
    Abstract: An aerial vehicle controlled and propelled by oscillatory momentum generators and method of flying a vehicle. A vehicle capable of flight is disclosed. The vehicle includes at least one wing including at least one oscillatory momentum generator mounted therein. A thrust force from the oscillatory momentum generator is directed outwards over the wing causing a lift-generating air flow over a surface of the at least one wing. Further disclosed is a method of flying a vehicle including providing at least one wing having at least one oscillatory momentum generator mounted therein and applying a thrust force from generator which is directed outwards over the wing so that a lift generating air flow is created.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 10, 2002
    Publication date: December 11, 2003
    Applicant: RAMOT UNIVERSITY AUTHORITY FOR APPLICATION AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT LTD.
    Inventors: Avraham Seifert, David Greenblatt, Israel Wygnanski
  • Patent number: 6650973
    Abstract: A flight control system for controlling a flight of an aircraft, having an actuator for actuating flight control surfaces and outputting a feedback signal in return; a flight control computer for operating the actuator; and an actuator control computer for controlling the operation of the actuator. The flight control computer comprises an FCC processor for generating an instruction signal to operate the actuator on the basis of an operational instruction signal inputted from a pilot and a state signal indicative of the state of an aircraft, and generating a reference signal on the basis of the instruction signal and the feedback signal from the actuator. The actuator control computer comprises an ACC processor for generating an actuator control signal on the basis of the instruction signal generated by the FCC processor and the feedback signal from the actuator, and a servo amplifier for amplifying the actuator control signal generated by the ACC processor to be outputted to the actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2003
    Assignee: Teijin Seiki Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tsuyoshi Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 6591169
    Abstract: A method and computer program product are provided for controlling the actuators of an aerodynamic vehicle to affect a desired change in the time rate of change of the system state vector. The method initially determines the differences between anticipated changes in the states of the aerodynamic vehicle based upon the current condition of each actuator, and desired state changes. The differences between the anticipated and desired state changes may be weighted based upon a predetermined criteria, such as the importance of the respective states and/or the weight to be attributed to outliers. The differences between the anticipated and desired state changes are converted to the corresponding rates of change of the actuators. These changes in the actuators may be limited to within predefined bounds. Control signals are then issued to the actuators to affect the desired change in the time rate of change of the system state vector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Richard D. Jones, Thomas E. Speer
  • Publication number: 20030125848
    Abstract: The present invention is structured such that, as for travelling on the ground, there is provided a braking mechanism capable of braking wheels by the use of a single brake pedal or a braking mechanism capable of braking the wheels by flare out operation of a control stick, while automatic control of traveling direction is performed in flight using a yaw damper. In addition, a larger braking force is automatically generated, without manual operations by a pilot, for landing gear mounted on the side of an airframe toward which direction of an aircraft is to be changed as compared with the braking force applied to landing gear on the other side.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 27, 2001
    Publication date: July 3, 2003
    Applicant: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yukio Otake, Kazuya Arakawa
  • Publication number: 20030120399
    Abstract: Herein disclosed is a flight control system for controlling a flight of an aircraft, comprising: an actuator for actuating flight control surfaces and outputting a feedback signal in return; a flight control computer for operating the actuator; and an actuator control computer for controlling the operation of the actuator. The flight control computer comprises: an FCC processor for generating an instruction signal to operate the actuator on the basis of an operational instruction signal inputted from a pilot and a state signal indicative of the state of an aircraft, and generating a reference signal on the basis of the instruction signal and the feedback signal from the actuator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2002
    Publication date: June 26, 2003
    Inventor: Tsuyoshi Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 6571171
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for inserting a waypoint into a preexisting flight plan which includes selecting a waypoint on a graphical display of a portion of the flight plan and automatically generating a proposed changed flight plan based upon inserting the waypoint into the nearest leg of the flight plan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventor: Martin Pauly
  • Publication number: 20030088341
    Abstract: A method and computer program product are provided for controlling the actuators of an aerodynamic vehicle to affect a desired change in the time rate of change of the system state vector. The method initially determines the differences between anticipated changes in the states of the aerodynamic vehicle based upon the current condition of each actuator, and desired state changes. The differences between the anticipated and desired state changes may be weighted based upon a predetermined criteria, such as the importance of the respective states and/or the weight to be attributed to outliers. The differences between the anticipated and desired state changes are converted to the corresponding rates of change of the actuators. These changes in the actuators may be limited to within predefined bounds. Control signals are then issued to the actuators to affect the desired change in the time rate of change of the system state vector.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 27, 2001
    Publication date: May 8, 2003
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Richard D. Jones, Thomas E. Speer
  • Patent number: 6546317
    Abstract: Process and device for controlling at least one aerodynamic elevator surface of an aircraft during a takeoff. The device (1) comprises a control member (3), calculation means (5) and motor means (7) for controlling the aerodynamic elevator surface (2), as a function of an attitude angle control law received from the calculation means (5). If the duration T between the moment at which the pilot actuates the control member (3) so as to control the aerodynamic elevator surface (2) in such a way as to increase the pitch attitude angle of the aircraft and the moment at which the aircraft should reach the minimum takeoff speed is less than or equal to a nominal duration, the calculation means (5) determine and transmit a minimum control law. Otherwise, they determine and transmit a modified control law which is such that at a duration T after the actuation of the control member (3), the pitch attitude angle is substantially equal to a nominal value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventor: Guy Bousquet
  • Patent number: 6526338
    Abstract: An electrical fly-by-wire system for operating an aircraft rudder includes a low-pass filter, arranged between a rudder bar and an actuator of a rudder. The low-pass filter receives a control command from the rudder bar corresponding to the degree of travel the rudder bar has experienced from a neutral position. Based on the amplitude of the control command, the filter generates an operating command for the actuator. Additionally, the filter operates such that the higher the fraction of the rudder bar's travel away from the neutral position, with respect to its maximum value of travel, the higher the filter's time constant is set.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventors: François Kubica, Daniel Cazy, Sylvie Marquier
  • Publication number: 20030004621
    Abstract: Process and device for controlling at least one aerodynamic elevator surface of an aircraft during a takeoff.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2002
    Publication date: January 2, 2003
    Inventor: Guy Bousquet
  • Publication number: 20020193915
    Abstract: A navigation and guidance computer system using navigation sensors to determine aircraft position, and automatically control the aircraft to fly from an initial position to intercept and follow a crew-selected rendezvous orbit in accordance with Air Traffic Control and military specified rules. It creates maneuvers that result in smooth, efficient motion of the aircraft from an initial position to the execution of a rendezvous orbit. It controls the aircraft by applying commands to the aircraft's autopilot. The system creates the smooth and coordinated maneuvers by considering and anticipating all constraints on the aircraft flight path by creating a single maneuver that is a re-entry maneuver, an over fly maneuver, and a turning maneuver all as a single turn that is contained entirely within the allowable airspace. All maneuvers are created and executed recognizing the turning capability of the aircraft considering allowable bank angles, current wind conditions and true airspeed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 20, 2002
    Publication date: December 19, 2002
    Inventor: Ronald J. Miller