Electric Course Control Patents (Class 244/175)
  • Patent number: 6421603
    Abstract: A flight plan is modeled by a trajectory with a set of segments having finite lateral and altitude extents between nominal way points. A terrain database stores hierarchical patches with maximum and minimum altitudes and pointers or altitudes for subpatches. Linear-programming inequality constraints match segments with patches. A search finds any terrain locations that impinge upon the trajectory tube, indicating an error condition for the plan. Moving hazards are modeled with segmented trajectories. Conflict with a moving hazard occurs when moving bubbles within both of the trajectories overlap in both space and time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2002
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen G. Pratt, Gary L. Hartmann
  • Patent number: 6381519
    Abstract: An aircraft display and control system generally includes a processor, a cursor control and selection device, an aeronautical information database, a geographic database, and a plurality of display devices. Users, such as an aircraft pilot and copilot, can perform flight plan entry and modification by manipulating graphical information on the display devices using cursor control. In one embodiment, the present invention allows multiple members of an aircraft crew to share control of common flight information display areas, aids the crew's situational awareness by providing software-implemented dynamic symbology and highlighting to indicate cursor location, current panel of entry, and current focus for keyboard and cursor events.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Mark I. Snyder
  • Patent number: 6366835
    Abstract: Apparatus for estimating a first height (1) of a vehicle (2) above a first reference surface (3), including a system (4) for determining position, velocity and attitude incorporating at least one sensing means (4b) operable to provide an output signal (5) indicative of a vertical specific force of the vehicle, error-estimating means (6) for receiving as input signals a horizontal reference velocity and position (4a) of the vehicle (2), and a radar altimeter measurement (7) of a second height (1b) of the vehicle (2) above a second reference surface (8) and for providing as an output signal (9) estimates of errors associated with the sensing means output signal (5), and integrating means (10) for receiving said sensing means and error-estimating means output signals (5, 9), and for subtracting the estimates of errors from the signal (5) indicative of vertical specific force while performing a double integration of the results of the subtraction, to provide an output indicative of the required estimated first he
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: BAE Systems p1c
    Inventor: Geoffrey T Henderson
  • Publication number: 20020029099
    Abstract: A system and method for intervention control of an aircraft in the event of pilot command error whether voluntary or involuntary. Impending detection of a chaotic condition associated with a maneuvering aircraft enable early prediction and control of the aircraft where solutions based upon performance prediction are available. A further feature of the present intervention control of the aircraft enables an equipment malfunction detection signal substitution of a satisfactory equipment signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 11, 2001
    Publication date: March 7, 2002
    Inventor: Conrad O. Gardner
  • Publication number: 20020022910
    Abstract: Electrical fly-by-wire system for operating an aircraft rudder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 24, 2001
    Publication date: February 21, 2002
    Inventors: Francois Kubica, Daniel Cazy, Sylvie Marquier
  • Patent number: 6341248
    Abstract: An apparatus, methods, and computer program products are provided for monitoring the attitude of an aircraft. The apparatus of the present invention includes a navigation system, such as a GPS, that provide values representing the velocity vector of the aircraft. Additionally, the apparatus includes two gyroscopes positioned with respect to the aircraft to sense the roll and pitch of the aircraft. A generator is connected to the navigation system and generates a calculated flight path and roll angle based on the velocity vector of the aircraft. Further, the apparatus of the present invention includes a combiner connected to both the generator and the gyroscopes. The combiner combines the calculated flight path angle to the sensed pitch angle and the calculated roll angle to the sensed roll angle and generates composite flight path and roll angles. The composite flight path and roll angles represent the attitude of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2002
    Assignee: Honeywell International, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven C. Johnson
  • Publication number: 20020002428
    Abstract: Aircraft with electrical fly-by-wire controls, equipped with an automatic pilot.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 24, 2001
    Publication date: January 3, 2002
    Inventor: Francois Kubica
  • Publication number: 20010052562
    Abstract: A method, apparatus and computer program product for assisting the pilot of an aircraft in making a go-around decision. Various aircraft parameters are monitored during the approach to land and a risk level assessed. When the risk level exceeds a specified threshold, an alert is provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 2, 2001
    Publication date: December 20, 2001
    Inventors: Yasuo Ishihara, Scott Gremmert, Steven C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6317659
    Abstract: An improved aircraft flight management system (FMS) based on a layered subsystem architecture, residing on a computing platform and including an operator interface subsystem, a communications subsystem, a flight management subsystem, and a database management subsystem, wherein the architecture is predicated on the enforcement of subsystem-dependency rules wherein a given subsystem is allowed to depend only upon another subsystem in the same or lower hierarchical layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Edward Lindsley, Richard Dean Clement, James F. McAndrew, Angela Grace Morgan, Kenneth Michael Munoz
  • Patent number: 6308116
    Abstract: An avionics system for retrofitting a GPS system to work with an existing autopilot by using signal switching and conditioning in an electronic flight display to accomplish the switching without the need for logic controlled relays in the GPS to autopilot interconnect wiring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins
    Inventors: Ralph D. Ricks, Geoffrey L. Barrance, Wayne A. Smith, Leo G. LaForge
  • Patent number: 6259975
    Abstract: A flight control system for an aircraft, particularly for a helicopter receives a number of items of information, especially the position of flight control members of said aircraft, and sends, depending on these items of information, control inputs to controls of the aircraft. The flight control system includes at least one sensor which measures values representative of the flight of the aircraft and computing means which generate, at least from these measured values and from the positions of flight control members, corrected control inputs which are sent to the controls and which enable control of the lateral speed of the aircraft with respect to the ground, without varying the course of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2001
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventors: Philippe Alain Jean Rollet, Serge Joseph Mezan
  • Patent number: 6178379
    Abstract: A high integrity navigation system is created using a low integrity navigation computer monitored by a high integrity system. A navigation sensor (e.g. DGPS, GPS, ILS, MLS, and the like) is programmed with a desired trajectory. The navigation sensor calculates the vehicle position and generates a deviation signal indicative of the deviation of the vehicle from the desired trajectory. The navigation computer uses the deviation signal in the control law computations to generate steering commands for controlling the vehicle. The navigation sensor monitors the deviation of the vehicle from the desired trajectory. If the deviation exceeds a predetermined threshold, an integrity alarm signal is communicated to a display or other alarm to alert the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2001
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: David B. Dwyer
  • Patent number: 6062513
    Abstract: In a method of flight control in which a thrust command is computed based on the total aircraft energy error relative to flight path and speed control commands, and an elevator command is computed based on the energy distribution error relative to the same flight path and speed control commands, an improvement is provided including an elevator control command in response to a column control input by the pilot. In the short term, the computing establishes a change in flight path angle beyond the sustainable flight path angle at the trim speed for the prevailing thrust condition. In the long term, the computing establishes a change in speed relative to a set reference speed, the speed change being proportional to the column control input. In the long term, the computing establishes a flight path angle equal to a sustainable value for the prevailing thrust condition and the altered speed condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Antonius A. Lambregts
  • Patent number: 6064939
    Abstract: An individual guidance system for aircraft in an approach control area under automatic dependent surveillance which, by supplying the pilot with the required flight data automatically in units of micro air spaces, permits safe and accurate flight with little scope for human error, being an individual guidance system for aircraft in an approach control area under automatic dependent surveillance wherein the air-traffic control system divides the approach control area automatically into a group of micro air spaces, and establishes flight rules within the micro air spaces in order to guide aircraft by establishing no-fly air spaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignees: Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd., Ship Research Institute, Toshiba Corporation
    Inventors: Masao Nishida, Yasuhiro Taka, Toshikazu Nakajima, Keiichiro Nakaue, Ryuji Otsuka, Kakuichi Shiomi, Yoichi Kusui
  • Patent number: 6059226
    Abstract: The airspeed limiting performance envelope of a helicopter is converted to a groundspeed envelope by factoring-in the wind speed and direction. A groundspeed command for an unmanned helicopter is provided as a function of the range to the helicopter's destination. The function may be calculated so as to provide a nominal groundspeed command equal to a nominal groundspeed command limit, or the function may be a fixed function to cause the aircraft to creep toward final approach. The cosine and sine of the desired relative flight direction of the aircraft, which is equal to the true bearing to the destination minus the true heading of the aircraft, are utilized to scale the groundspeed command into a longitudinal groundspeed command and a lateral groundspeed command. If one of the groundspeed commands is over a corresponding limit, the other groundspeed command is scaled back so that the vector addition of the two commands will cause flight in the desired direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Bryan S. Cotton, David M. Walsh
  • Patent number: 6044311
    Abstract: A system for protecting an aircraft in cruising flight against excessive load factors when a vertical gust of wind occurs is disclosed. The system has a pitch-attitude flight control system (21) which is under the control of a pilot of the aircraft, an automatic pilot (26), a switch (25) allowing the aerodynamic pitch-attitude control surfaces (22) of the aircraft to be controlled either by the flight control system (21) or by the automatic pilot (26), and a protection system (31) capable of acting on the switch (25) to disconnect the automatic pilot (26) and switch on the flight control system (21). The disconnection of the automatic pilot (26) and the switching-on of the flight control system (21) is delayed by a delay time which is at least approximately equal to a typical duration of a vertical gust of wind, and the switching-on of the flight control system (21) is not carried out unless the gust of wind persists when the delay time has elapsed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Societe Nationale Industrielle
    Inventors: Panxika Larramendy, Daniel Delgado
  • Patent number: 6021374
    Abstract: A stand alone terrain conflict detector of an aircraft includes a global positioning system (GPS) receiver, an inertial navigation system, navigational and topographical databases, a control panel, a central processing unit (CPU), which CPU generates position data, a current flight path vector and control signals, an obstacle detector which receives the position data and the current flight path vector and which generates a flight path signal, an alert signal identifying a terrain threat to the aircraft and a projected flight path vector, a video generator coupled to the obstacle detector and the CPU, and a display connected to the video generator. The display outputs one of a 2D image, a first 3D image and a second 3D image and the terrain threat generated by video generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Charles T. Wood
  • Patent number: 5988562
    Abstract: A system and method for determining the angular orientation of a body moving in object space. The invention is usable to detect and identify the angular orientation of the body relative to the theoretical plane of gravity and thereby relative to any other theoretical plane between zero and three-hundred sixty degrees therefrom. The invention is operable regardless of whether the body is rotating with an angular velocity, either natural and/or induced. The invention may employ one or more analog and/or digital sensors. The analog sensor may be an accelerometer. The system may be used to provide real-time orientation data to permit the body to be guided or directed towards a desired destination or simply to permit the orientation of the body to be known, controlled or varied as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Inventor: James M. Linick
  • Patent number: 5948023
    Abstract: A monitoring and control system for a dual-engine helicopter for OEI flight operations includes a parametric indicator operative in response to sensor signals for monitoring an engine gas generator speed parameter N1 during dual-engine and OEI flight operations. The indicator includes a rotatable needle that provides an analog indication of the current value of the N1 parameter. For dual-engine flight operations, the indicator includes a first DE indicia defining a normal operating range for the N1 parameter, a second DE indicia that defines a precautionary operating range for the N1 parameter, and a DE indicium that defines a take off power limit for the N1 parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Charles W. Evans, David L. Jenson, John M. Kronsnoble, Charles E. Greenberg
  • Patent number: 5925079
    Abstract: A mobile craft is guided with respect to a trajectory. To guide the craft, the distance xtk is determined between the mobile craft and the point of orthogonal projection of the mobile craft on a segment of the trajectory. The angle tkae is determined between the direction of travel of the mobile craft and the direction at the point of orthogonal projection. A control value is computed for the lateral attitude from the distance and angle, two characteristic coefficients and a nominal control value. This control value is applied to the craft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Societe Nationale Industrielle
    Inventors: Eric Peyrucain, Yves Saint Upery
  • Patent number: 5873546
    Abstract: A system and method for conducting one engine inoperative (OEI) flight procedures training in a dual-engine helicopter includes a multi-function OEI training switch that is operative to initiate OEI flight procedures training by selecting one of said engines as the single operative engine for OEI flight procedures training, and a training function module that is: (1) operative to establish suppressed 30-second, 2-minute, and maximum continuous OEI operating limits for selected engine operating parameters to limit the actual power provided by said powerplant system during OEI flight procedures training; and (2) operative to generate biasing factors to control the operation of the parametric indicators for the selected engine operating parameters during OEI flight procedures training.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Charles W. Evans, Karl W. Saal, Jr., Jeffrey L. Cole
  • Patent number: 5833177
    Abstract: An aircraft overspeed protection system produces proportional and integral commands for input to an autopilot controlling the aircraft. The proportional and integral commands are produced by comparing actual monitored speed of the aircraft with a target speed from a target speed selector. The target speed selector selects as the target speed a trigger speed above a nominal maximum operating airspeed of the aircraft until the trigger speed is reached by the aircraft. When the trigger speed is reached by the aircraft, the overspeed control goes into Overspeed Protect Command active mode and the target speed selector selects a new target speed below the nominal maximum operating speed of the aircraft. The overspeed protection system remains in Overspeed Protect Command active mode until the pilot takes a positive action by selecting a new autopilot mode or by disengaging the autopilot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Mark E. Gast
  • Patent number: 5774818
    Abstract: In order to pilot an aerodyne between two geographical positions associated with a transition route constraint, the method according to the invention comprises the application to each of these positions of a first transformation transforming the rhumb lines into straight lines, the construction of a path joining these positions while complying with the route constraints associated with these points, by means of arcs of circles and segments of straight lines tangential to the arcs of circles, the computation of the respective positions of the intermediate points spaced not far apart on said path, the application to said intermediate points of a transformation that is the reverse of said first transformation, so as to determine the geographical position of these intermediate points, and the automatic control of the piloting of the aerodyne so that its path flies over each of said intermediate points.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Assignee: Sextant Avionique
    Inventor: Patrick Pages
  • Patent number: 5738300
    Abstract: The invention relates to novel basic architecture for helicopter autopilots, transforming the conventional objective of maintaining fuselage trim to an objective of maintaining airspeed, and without making use of coupler techniques. On each of the pitch and roll control systems, a known fraction of the output signal (24S) from the flight control is injected by being summed with the standard fuselage trim input (1S). The signal (4S) formed in this way possesses the novel static and dynamic properties required for the control loop to make the helicopter statically stable in speed throughout its flight envelope. The novel architecture makes it possible to replace the conventional fuselage trim signal (1S) with an accelerometer signal. The signal (4S) is displayed in particular on a standard "artificial horizon" type instrument (33), thereby making it possible simultaneously to monitor rapid variations of fuselage trim and to control airspeeds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 14, 1998
    Inventor: Bernard Durand
  • Patent number: 5695157
    Abstract: This device relates to assistance in the piloting of an aircraft or helicopter in conditions of poor visibility, at the landing stage, during the final approach before touchdown. In case of poor visibility, the landing operations are facilitated by ILS radioelectrical installations that enable an automatic approach to the runway threshold. All that remains to be done is to perform a flare-out for touchdown which has to be done in a certain zone at the start of the runway. It happens, in the event of poor visibility, that this touchdown zone is difficult to assess. This causes risks of overshooting. The disclosed device is aimed at putting out an alarm in the event of overshooting of the nominal touchdown zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 9, 1997
    Assignee: Sextant Avionique
    Inventors: Philippe Coirier, Alain Goujon, Roger Parus
  • Patent number: 5695156
    Abstract: Aircraft input signals of selected altitude (h.sub.s), selected vertical speed (h.sub.s), current altitude (h), current vertical speed (h), current pitch attitude (.theta.), current normal acceleration (N.sub.z) and current pitch rate (Q) are processed to produce an elevator command (.delta..sub.e) that will result in a smooth vertical transition of the aircraft for various autopilot vertical maneuvers, including altitude capture and hold, glideslope capture and hold, and flare control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 9, 1997
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Guner Firuz, Dwight R. Schaeffer
  • Patent number: 5676334
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for controlling an unmanned generally aerodynamically symmetric aircraft includes detecting the presence of misalignment between the horizontal component of the center of gravity vector and the horizontal component of the direction of flight vector and further includes rotating the aircraft to align the horizontal components of the vectors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 14, 1997
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Bryan S. Cotton, Christopher A. Thornberg
  • Patent number: 5505410
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for addressing the effect of centripetal acceleration upon estimates of cross-track velocity, for determination of east gyro bias error, generated with a taxiing aircraft. After initial estimates of crab angle, ratio of crab angle to centripetal acceleration and lever arm are provided, velocity, heading angle and heading angle rate are observed as the aircraft taxis. An estimated value of centripetal acceleration is taken as the product of heading angle rate and heading velocity. Cross-track velocity is computed from cross-heading velocity and this is integrated to generate cross-track position. A Kalman filter generates various gains, including one associated with the ratio of crab angle to centripetal acceleration, for error allocation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 9, 1996
    Assignee: Litton Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: John W. Diesel, Gregory P. Dunn
  • Patent number: 5340061
    Abstract: A method for revising the lateral flight plan of an aircraft uses a designator and validator device connected to the flight management system of the aircraft to obtain on the ND screen of this system, in addition to a geographical representation of the flight plan selected by the pilot, a touch-sensitive area associated with each point of the ND screen and dynamically assigned function areas for constructing menus. A cursor is moved on the ND screen by action of the pilot on the designator device. The cursor can be moved to a function area or a touch-sensitive area. activating the function represented by the function area or selecting the touch-sensitive area being achieved by action of the pilot on the validator device. The method simplifies the task of the pilot who has only one display screen to monitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 23, 1994
    Assignee: Sextant Avionique
    Inventors: Mariannick Vaquier, Hugues de Beco
  • Patent number: 5255880
    Abstract: An improved fly by wire or fly by light system which provides for a smooth manual override of the autopilot function by allowing the pilot to modify the autopilot command to the control surfaces by physically manipulating the yoke to a position different than that commanded by the autopilot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1993
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventors: Woon Lyloc, David C. Pattison
  • Patent number: 5170969
    Abstract: An aircraft rudder command system for allowing a pilot to directly input a sideslip command for yaw-axis control through use of the rudder pedals is disclosed. The aircraft rudder command system includes a pedal input device for receiving a pedal input signal indicative of pilot rudder pedal input, a signal-receiving device for receiving feedback signals indicative of the current state of aircraft operation, a command generator system responsive to the pedal input signal and at least one of the feedback signals for generating a sideslip angle command, command limiting means for generating a limited sideslip angle command, and a feedback control system for transmitting a sideslip control rudder command to a rudder actuation system. The rudder actuation system causes the rudder to move in such a manner so as to produce an actual aircraft sideslip angle which follows the limited sideslip angle command. The aircraft rudder command system may also include a sideslip estimator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 1988
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1992
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Ching-Fang Lin
  • Patent number: 5169090
    Abstract: A helicopter flight control system includes a model following control system architecture having provisions to compensate for Euler singularities which occur when the pitch attitude of the helicopter starts to approach ninety degrees. The control system processes information from a variety of helicopter sensors in order to provide the control commands to the helicopter main and tail rotors. The present invention synchronizes a sensed attitude signal, and a desired attitude signal as the pitch attitude of the helicopter approaches ninety degrees to compensate for the Euler singularities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1992
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Stuart C. Wright, Joseph P. Skonieczny, Phillip J. Gold, James B. Dryfoos
  • Patent number: 5141177
    Abstract: An aircraft flight control system including model following control laws includes improved logic and algorithms to limit the error between a desired parameter value from the output of a model and an actual parameter value. Such logic is operable to sense the amount of said parameter error and to limit the amount of the error if it exceeds a predetermined value. The difference between the predetermined limit and the actual error is fed back to the model such that the output of the model is adjusted so that the error between the desired and actual parameter values does not exceed the predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1992
    Assignees: United Technologies Corporation, The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Stuart C. Wright, James B. Dryfoos
  • Patent number: 5065962
    Abstract: A digital power controller for an aircraft having a computer controlled propulsion system is disclosed. A movable handle is in electronic communication with a computer of the propulsion system. The handle is positionable is a neutral location for maintaining the aircraft at a substantially constant velocity and for resetting power command functions. The handle is also positionable in locations forward the neutral location for commanding increasing acceleration rates of the aircraft. The handle is positionable in locations aft the neutral location for commanding increasing deceleration rates of the aircraft. A switch associated with the movable handle is engagable at the forward end aft positions for commanding velocity hold and for permitting reposition of the handle to the neutral location for resetting power command functions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 19, 1991
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventors: William J. Adams, Barbara G. Jex Courter, Craig S. Fong, Robert C. Murray, Paul A. Marshall
  • Patent number: 5062594
    Abstract: A control system for an aircraft or other man-machine system wherein the usual visual feedback system is characterized and is optimally supplemented by a secondary feel oriented feedback arrangement in which input signals are derived from either of two supplementary feedback signal sources and the resulting algorithms characterized mathematically. The disclosure includes several exemplary arrangements of the feedback systems in which some of the input parameters are of selected value. Mathematical characterization of the feedback paths is used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 1990
    Date of Patent: November 5, 1991
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Air Force
    Inventor: Daniel W. Repperger
  • Patent number: 5039037
    Abstract: A throttle controller includes a manual mode where engine output is a function of throttle lever angle, and an alternatively selectable Speed Hold/Thrust Hold mode which is initiated when the throttle is placed in a center Hold position. Throttle operation during the Speed Hold mode is governed by (i) a selected speed entered at a mode control panel, or (ii) a speed existing when the lever was placed in the Hold detent, given that no speed is entered and selected at that mode control panel or (iii) a selected speed/thrust designated in a flight plan entered into the aircraft's flight management computer. During the Thrust Hold mode, the throttle controller maintains the level of thrust which existed when the throttle lever was placed in the Hold detent. When out of the Hold detent, the controller operates to control output thrust as a function of Throttle Lever Angle (TLA).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 13, 1991
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Brian L. DeLuca
  • Patent number: 5029778
    Abstract: A throttle controller includes a manual mode where engine output is a function of throttle lever angle, and an alternatively selectable Speed Hold/Thrust Hold mode which is initiated when the throttle is placed in a center Hold position. Throttle operation during the Speed Hold mode is governed by (i) a selected speed entered at a mode control panel, or (ii) a speed existing when the lever was placed in the Hold detent, given that no speed is entered and selected at that mode control panel or (iii) a selected speed/thrust designated in a flight plan entered into the aircraft's flight management computer. During the Thrust Hold mode, the throttle controller maintains the level of thrust which existed when the throttle lever was placed in the Hold detent. When out of the Hold detent, the controller operates to control output thrust as a function of Throttle Lever Angle (TLA).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1989
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1991
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Brian L. DeLuca
  • Patent number: 5025199
    Abstract: A servo control apparatus comprising: a unit for generating a required position value; an actuator adapted to drive a load and having its maximum displacement in one direction and its minimum displacement in the other direction; a drive unit for driving the actuator; a position detecting unit for detecting a displacement of the actuator; and a control unit for correcting the required position value on basis of the maximum and minimum displacements of the actuator and for computing a deviation between an output of the position detecting unit and the corrected required position value; the load being controlled by the deviation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1989
    Date of Patent: June 18, 1991
    Assignee: Teijin Seiki Company Limited
    Inventor: Hidenobu Ako
  • Patent number: 4868755
    Abstract: An automatic control system for an aircraft has a first controller connected to the pilot's operating controls. The first controller manipulates the operating controls so that goals, expressed in terms of selected aircraft parameters, are achieved. A second controller supplies a series of goals to the first controller so that the aircraft will perform desired maneuvers. A third controller acts as a mission planner, and supplies desired maneuvers to the second controller in accordance with overall mission plans.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 19, 1989
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: M. Christa McNulty, Karl E. Schricker, Glenn H. Coleman, Patricia L. Dutton, Garr S. Lystad
  • Patent number: 4863120
    Abstract: An aircraft guidance system for optimizing the flight path of an aircraft in the presence of a windshear maximizes the time the aircraft remains in the air and the distance traveled regardless of the magnitude of the windshear, in the presence of horizontal or vertical windshear components, while effectively minimizing excitation of the aircraft's phugoid mode. A flight path angle is commanded sufficient to clear any obstacle that may be found in the airport vicinity. For longitudinal or horizontal shears, a slightly positive constant flight path angle which is a function of the magnitude of the vertical wind is added to the slightly positive flight path angle command to produce a modified command that compensates for the decrease in flight path angle relative to the ground caused by the vertical wind. The system inhibits exceeding stick shaker angle of attack by reducing the command signal until the actual angle of attack is equal to or less than the stick shaker angle of attack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 5, 1989
    Assignee: Honeywell Inc.
    Inventors: Terry L. Zweifel, J. Rene Barrios
  • Patent number: 4632341
    Abstract: A biomechanical feedback arrangement wherein a varying force tending to improve the neuromotor tracking response of a human subject, particularly in the presence of lateral or front-back G force fields, is added to the test subject input member of a feedback control system. Use of the biomechanical feedback in a high-performance aircraft and in a ground-based simulator apparatus is also disclosed, along with comparison results from simulator testing of human subjects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1985
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1986
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Air Force
    Inventors: Daniel W. Repperger, Donald G. McCollor, William G. Gruesbeck
  • Patent number: 4383662
    Abstract: Apparatus and method of anti-armor missile trajectory shaping for optimum rhead penetration of armor by a guided missile. The guidance system utilizes a terminal homing guidance unit in conjunction with a programmed control signal through the missile's autopilot to cause the missile to cruise at low altitudes and then dive onto the armor target. The terminal dive angle can be selected dependent upon the target's armor characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1978
    Date of Patent: May 17, 1983
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army
    Inventors: Robert E. Alongi, Robert E. Yates, John P. Leonard
  • Patent number: 4363098
    Abstract: An aircraft spoiler control system wherein each of a plurality of spoilers is driven by an electrically responsive actuator. Sense signals representative of the aircraft's control wheel rotation, speedbrake lever deflection, flap position and air/ground status are processed by logic which produces a corresponding control signal for each actuator. Fault detection circuitry switches in a back-up actuator control signal if a fault occurs in the active control circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1980
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1982
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Henning Buus, Thomas D. MacFie, Odd Justad
  • Patent number: 4343035
    Abstract: An aircraft heading reference system including a rate gyro for sensing the yaw rate .psi. of the aircraft and producing electrical signals representative thereof; a rate gyro for sensing the pitch rate .theta. of the aircraft and producing electrical signals representative thereof; an air speed sensor for sensing air speed .nu. of the aircraft and producing electrical signals representative thereof; a roll angle computer circuit responsive to the electrical signals representative of the yaw rate, pitch rate, and air speed for determining an electrical signal representative of the roll angle .phi. according to the expression:.psi.+.theta. tan .phi.=(tan .phi./cos .phi..multidot.(g/.nu.)and a yaw and pitch computer circuit, responsive to the pitch rate .theta., yaw rate .psi., and roll angle .phi. electrical signals for resolving the yaw and pitch rates about the roll angle .phi. to provide an electrical signal representative of the heading rate of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1980
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1982
    Inventor: Walter E. Tanner
  • Patent number: 4326685
    Abstract: A sun-sensing guidance system (10) for high-altitude aircraft (A) characterized by a disk-shaped body (14) mounted for rotation aboard the aicraft in exposed relation to solar radiation and having a plurality of mutually isolated chambers (28a, 28b, 32a, and 32b); each chamber of the plurality being characterized by an opening having a photosensor (34a, 34b, 36a, and 36b) disposed therein and arranged in facing relation with the opening for receiving incident solar radiation and responsively providing a voltage output, said photosensors being connected in paired relation through a bridge circuit (38) for providing heading error signals in response to detected imbalances in intensities of solar radiation incident on the photosensors of either pair of photosensors until a nulled relationship is achieved for the disk (14) to the source of radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1980
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1982
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Robert D. Reed
  • Patent number: 4254465
    Abstract: Estimators of a vehicle's position and attitude with respect to the earth are generated continuously by integrating the outputs of translational and rotational accelerometers that are attached to the vehicle. These estimators are corrected by comparing them to corresponding reference dynamic variables measured independently by instruments onboard the vehicle. The estimators are modified by slowly responding servo loops to equal their corresponding reference variables. Differences between certain of the estimators and their corresponding reference dynamic variables are used in generating feedback signals for correcting other of the estimators. By combining various of the estimators, system outputs representing sideslip angle and change in cross-track velocity can be generated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1978
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1981
    Assignee: Dynamic Sciences International, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert P. Land
  • Patent number: 4179087
    Abstract: An automatic rate range switching and control system adapts the full range of an analog output signal of a gyroscopic rate sensor to a range consistent with the precision conversion thereof into a digitally compatible signal. In a digital strapped down inertial reference system, for example, a plurality of strapped down, force-rebalanced rate sensors is used to sense aircraft body rates, wherein each gyro pick off signal is fed back to the gyro torquer in a manner to maintain the pick off signal essentially null, the torquer current signal thus being proportional to the sensed aricraft rate. The full range of the gyro's rate sensing capability may extend from zero to several hundred degrees per second. However, with the present invention, the switching and conversion of the analog rate signal into a digitally compatible signal is necessary only over a limited range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 1977
    Date of Patent: December 18, 1979
    Assignee: Sperry Rand Corporation
    Inventor: James S. Johnson
  • Patent number: 4144571
    Abstract: Terminal guidance of vehicles is accomplished by accurately determining true position and speed of the vehicle from terrain contour measurements and updating a dead reckoning navigation system with precision to permit navigation by following a programmed flight path. A narrow beam radar altitude sensor measures vehicle clearance altitudes and a reference altitude sensor measures the vehicle clearance above a reference level. These measurements are input to a digital processor for comparison to stored digital terrain contour reference data. Recursive data matching is performed in the digital processor by a nonlinear Kalman filtering technique to provide vehicle position and vehicle velocity correction signals to a navigation controller that generates steering commands to the vehicle control system. Three vehicle position and three vehicle velocity signals are generated and updated in the nonlinear Kalman filtering technique to give near real-time three dimensional position and velocity information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1977
    Date of Patent: March 13, 1979
    Assignee: E-Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: William F. Webber
  • Patent number: 4132378
    Abstract: A control system for generating a control signal at a first station, transmitting the control signal to a second station, and processing the control signal at the second station to provide a controlled output. At least some of the processing equipment at the second station draws electrical power, and power for such purposes is generated by a generator located at the second station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 1974
    Date of Patent: January 2, 1979
    Assignee: Bertea Corporation
    Inventor: Curtis E. Stevens
  • Patent number: 4106094
    Abstract: Estimators of a vehicle's position and attitude with respect to the earth are generated continuously by integrating the outputs of translational and rotational accelerometers that are attached to the vehicle. These estimators are corrected by comparing them to corresponding reference dynamic variables measured independently by instruments onboard the vehicle. The estimators are modified by slowly responding servo loops to equal their corresponding reference variables. Differences between certain of the estimators and their corresponding reference dynamic variables are used in generating feedback signals for correcting other of the estimators. By combining various of the estimators, system outputs representing sideslip angle and change in cross-track velocity can be generated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1976
    Date of Patent: August 8, 1978
    Assignee: Turpin Systems Company
    Inventor: Robert Perry Land