Multiple-axis Altitude Stabilization Patents (Class 244/177)
  • Patent number: 10415995
    Abstract: An inertial measurement system for aircraft, the system comprising at least one processor unit connected to at least two inertial units, namely at least one inertial unit of a first type having at least three angular sensors and three linear sensors aligned on three substantially distinct sensing axes, and an inertial unit of a second type comprising at least four angular sensors and four linear sensors aligned on four substantially distinct sensing axes. The system is arranged to calculate one piece of inertial data from the six sensors of the inertial unit of the first type and four pieces of inertial data from four distinct combinations of three angular sensors and three linear sensors selected from the sensors of the inertial unit of the second type, and the processor unit is arranged to compare the four pieces of inertial data from the measurements of the inertial unit of the second type with one another so as to determine whether the inertial unit of the second type has failed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: SAFRAN ELECTRONICS & DEFENSE
    Inventors: David Roberfroid, Jean-Francois Keiffer
  • Patent number: 10420225
    Abstract: A printer deposits material onto a substrate as part of a manufacturing process for an electronic product. At least one mechanical component experiences mechanical error, which is mitigated using transducers that equalize position of a transported thing, e.g., to provide an “ideal” conveyance path; a substrate conveyance system and/or a printhead conveyance system can each use transducers in this manner to improve precise droplet placement. In one embodiment, errors are measured in advance, with corrections being “played back” during production runs to mitigate repeatable transport path error. In a still more detailed embodiment, the transducers can be predicated on voice coils, which cooperate with a floatation table and floating, mechanical pivot assembly to provide frictionless, but mechanically-supported error correction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: Kateeva, Inc.
    Inventors: David C. Darrow, Digby Pun, Robert B. Lowrance, Alexander Sou-Kang Ko
  • Patent number: 10308370
    Abstract: An inexpensive stall warning device for the instrument panel of an airplane or glider operates on the principle of balancing dynamic pressure against normal acceleration forces. It requires only static and pitot pressure inputs and electric power and employs a differential pressure transducer, MEMS rate gyros and accelerometers. These sensors will be monitored by a microprocessor to derive the aerodynamic states of the aircraft, thereupon issuing explicit display and vocal announcements to a pilot to prevent or guide recovery from a stall or spin state as well as overspeed or spiral dive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Inventor: William L. Hinks
  • Patent number: 9915550
    Abstract: Method and apparatus of integrating a three-axis magnetometer and a three-axis accelerometer to provide attitude and heading, calibrated magnetometer and accelerometer data, and angular rate, while removing sensor error sources over time and temperature and to compensate for hard and soft iron distortions of the Earth magnetic field. Filtered accelerometer data are corrected to account for various error sources. The magnetic heading is calculated from a horizontal magnetic field vector transformed from three dimensional Earth's magnetic field vector by using quasi-static roll and pitch angles from the filtered accelerometer data. A first Kalman filter estimates the state vector, based on the principle that the magnitude of local Earth's magnetic field vector is constant, to form hard and soft iron correction matrices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: MEMSIC, INC.
    Inventors: Dong An, Yang Zhao, Haipeng Ding, Jong-Ki Lee
  • Patent number: 9885577
    Abstract: Reducing noise from drive tone and sense resonance peaks of a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) gyroscope output using a notch filter is presented herein. The MEMS gyroscope can include a drive oscillation component configured to vibrate a sensor mass at a drive resonance frequency; a sense circuit configured to detect a deflection of the sensor mass, and generate, based on the deflection and the drive resonance frequency, a demodulated output; and a signal processing component configured to receive a set of frequencies comprising a first value representing the drive resonance frequency and a second value corresponding to a sense resonance frequency associated with the sense circuit, and apply, based on the first value and the second value, a notch filter to the demodulated output to obtain a filtered output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: INVENSENSE, INC.
    Inventor: Vadim Tsinker
  • Patent number: 9797726
    Abstract: A reduced-order fail-safe inertial measurement unit system. A first inertial measurement unit device includes a plurality of accelerometers measuring linear accelerations and gyroscopes measuring angular velocities. A second inertial measurement unit device includes a reduced number of accelerometers and gyroscopes relative to the first inertial measurement unit device measuring at least two linear accelerations and at least one angular velocity. A processor receives acceleration data from the first and second inertial measurement units. The processor detects faulty data measurements from the first inertial measurement unit. The processor supplements the faulty data measurements of the first inertial measurement unit with transformed data generated as a function of the measurement data from the second inertial measurement unit. The processor applies predetermined transformation solutions to transform the measurement data from the second inertial measurement unit into the transformed data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Shih-Ken Chen, Nikolai K. Moshchuk, Bakhtiar B. Litkouhi, Jin-Jae Chen, David M. Sidlosky
  • Patent number: 9651948
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for a roll attitude dependent roll rate limit that may limit an aircraft to a lower roll rate limit under normal flight conditions. The systems and methods may detect situations where a higher roll rate limit may be desirable and allow the aircraft to exceed the lower roll rate limit, to either a higher roll rate limit or a roll rate between the lower and higher roll rate limit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Douglas L. Wilson, David W. Grubb, Mark R. Morel
  • Patent number: 9645219
    Abstract: Systems and methods for off-line and on-line sensor calibration are provided. In certain embodiments, a method for calibrating a sensor comprises receiving at least one reference measurement describing a system state for a system; and receiving at least one sensor measurement from the sensor, wherein the at least one sensor measurement is acquired from an observation of the environment of the system by the sensor. The method also comprises calculating a model residual power spectral density based on the at least one reference measurement and a sensor measurement model; and calculating a measurement residual power spectral density based on the at least one sensor measurement and the at least one reference measurement. Further, the method comprises identifying sensor parameters that morph the model residual power spectral density towards the measurement residual power spectral density.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Vibhor L. Bageshwar, Michael Ray Elgersma
  • Patent number: 9638526
    Abstract: Systems and methods for navigation of a vehicle may carry out one or more operations including, but not limited to: obtaining coordinates of a vector connecting two points in space using carrier phase measurements from global navigation system satellites (GNSS); setting the vector as an intended path of a vehicle; storing carrier phase signals from a GNSS receiver received at a first position of the vehicle; receiving carrier phase signals from a GNSS receiver at a second position of the vehicle; and determining a position of the vehicle relative to the intended path from one or more carrier phase signals received at the second position and one or more stored carrier phase signals received at the first position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Vladislav Gavrilets, Patrick Hwang, Gary McGraw
  • Patent number: 9501090
    Abstract: A method and apparatus process a signal include local clock signal generators configured to, based on a reference clock signal, generate operation clock signals for analog channels and, based on a synchronizing signal, adjust a phase difference among the operation clock signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: JongPal Kim, TakHyung Lee
  • Patent number: 9242723
    Abstract: A method of dynamically alleviating loads generated on an aircraft by a disturbance of gust and/or turbulence. The method comprises monitoring, during flight of the aircraft, to automatically detect a disturbance due to gust and/or turbulence and determining an incidence angle or angle of attack of the disturbance. When a disturbance due to gust and/or turbulence is detected, automatically generating control commands for deflecting control surfaces dependent on the incidence angle or angle of attack, and applying the control commands to deflect the control surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: EADS DEUTSCHLAND GmbH
    Inventor: Andreas Wildschek
  • Patent number: 9205517
    Abstract: A system and method for mounting a device to a piece of equipment is presented, and may include a handheld inertial measurement unit (IMU), a computer logic and a mounting interface. The piece of equipment may have a line replaceable unit (LRU) mount that allows a new LRU to be mounted thereon. The mounting interface may be mounted to a LRU mount. The handheld IMU may determine position data with respect to the LRU mount and the piece of equipment. The computer logic may be configured to calculate a positional error value based on the position data to indicate to a user whether corrections need to be made regarding how the new LRU is mounted to the LRU mount before the new LRU is mounted to the LRU mount or whether the new LRU can be mounted to the LRU mount without any corrections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration Inc.
    Inventors: Eric R. Ramsey, Bradley J. Bell, Tyler D. Forbes
  • Patent number: 9126693
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and devices are provided for assisted takeoff of an aerial vehicle. The aerial vehicle may takeoff using a first control scheme and switch to a second control scheme for normal flight when a takeoff threshold is met. The first control scheme optionally does not use integral control while the second control scheme may use integral control. The aerial vehicle may determine that a takeoff threshold is met, based on an output to a motor of the aerial vehicle and/or an acceleration of the aerial vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: SZ DJI TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD
    Inventors: Jun Shi, Xu Yang Pan
  • Patent number: 9038961
    Abstract: A method for simulating the movement behavior of a fluid in a closed moving container is provided. The simulation is based on the determination of the potential movement path of the center of gravity of the volume of the fluid as an elliptical trajectory situated in a disturbance plane having certain semi-axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: EADS Deutschland GmbH
    Inventor: Ronald Deslandes
  • Patent number: 8649919
    Abstract: A method for attenuating effects of turbulence on an aircraft, and a device to implement the method, the method including: using at least one signal on a wind profile signal, along an excitation direction, representing, at a given moment in an aircraft referential, a component along the excitation direction of the wind speed at a front of the aircraft according to a distance along a longitudinal direction of the aircraft; carrying out a frequency determination, in which the wind profile signal is processed to determine a frequential content; and selecting a control strategy to be adopted according to the previously determined frequential content, the strategy enabling at least one applicable control law to be identified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2014
    Assignee: Airbus Operations S.A.S.
    Inventors: Guillermo Jenaro Rabadan, Stephane Puig
  • Patent number: 8434712
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for driving rotational elements of a vehicle are provided. The apparatus includes a first driving member configured to rotate a first rotational element of the vehicle relative to a body of the vehicle. The apparatus also includes a second driving member. The second driving member includes a drive structure rotatably coupled to the body. The second driving member also includes a gimbal element coupled to the drive structure via a first joint pin. The gimbal element is configured to couple to a second rotational element of the vehicle such that when the drive structure is rotated relative to the body, the second rotational element rotates relative to the first rotational element. The gimbal element is configured to pivot about the first joint pin relative to the drive structure based on the rotation of the first rotational element and the rotation of the second rotational element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Roger D. Teter, Steven Dunn, Kenneth Barczi
  • Publication number: 20130082148
    Abstract: A system and method for steering aircraft along a predetermined track is disclosed herein. The system and method relate to steering an aircraft along a lateral path (e.g. a track described by reference to latitude and longitude) by a method comprising: calculating a nominal track correction; providing an upper limit and a lower limit for the nominal track correction; setting a desired track correction as: (i) the nominal track correction if the nominal track is between the upper limit and the lower limit; (ii) the upper limit if the nominal track correction is greater than or equal to the upper limit; or (iii) the lower limit if the nominal track correction is less than or equal to the lower limit; and steering the aircraft using the desired track correction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2012
    Publication date: April 4, 2013
    Inventors: Luis P. D'Alto, Christian Grabow
  • Patent number: 8219266
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method and device for attenuating lateral effects on an aircraft due to turbulence encountered by the aircraft during flight. The lateral effects are attenuated by applying a roll control order to control a first controllable movable member that acts on aircraft roll and minimizes aircraft roll-wise disturbances due to wind, and a yaw control order that controls a second controllable movable member to act on aircraft yaw. The roll and yaw control orders are calculated based on a sideslip value of the aircraft, while the yaw control order is calculated as a function of the roll control order to compensate for aircraft lateral effects due to turbulence, as well as lateral effects due to application of the roll control order to the first movable member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Operations SAS
    Inventors: Stephane Puig, Romeo Byzery
  • Patent number: 8185259
    Abstract: The fuzzy logic-based control method for helicopters carrying suspended loads utilizes a controller based on fuzzy logic membership distributions of sets of load swing angles. The anti-swing controller is fuzzy-based and has controller outputs that include additional displacements added to the helicopter trajectory in the longitudinal and lateral directions. This simple implementation requires only a small modification to the software of the helicopter position controller. The membership functions govern control parameters that are optimized using a particle swarm algorithm. The rules of the anti-swing controller are derived to mimic the performance of a time-delayed feedback controller. A tracking controller stabilizes the helicopter and tracks the trajectory generated by the anti-swing controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Assignee: King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
    Inventor: Hanafy M. Omar
  • Patent number: 8175760
    Abstract: A device comprises means for computing the air-craft (A) current position, means for determining at least one maximum permitted deviation (E1) around a set position of the flight path of the flight plan according to accuracy and integrity performances of said current position computation and to the restriction of a flight range authorized in a flight corridor (6A, 6B), and a display system (7) for displaying at least one a distance scale (9) on a viewing screen (8), at least one a fixed symbol (10) displaying the current position and two movable pointers (13, 14) displaying the limits of said maximum permitted deviation (E1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Operations SAS
    Inventors: Patrice Rouquette, Nolween Laveant, Didier Have, Arnaud Le Tellier
  • Patent number: 8052094
    Abstract: A hybrid helicopter includes an airframe provided with a fuselage and a lift-producing surface together with stabilizer surfaces and a drive system including: a mechanical interconnection system between a rotor of radius (R) with collective pitch and cyclic pitch control of the blades of the rotor and at least one propeller with collective pitch control of the blades of the propeller; and at least one turbine engine driving the mechanical interconnection system. The hybrid helicopter includes first members for controlling the angle at which the at least one pitch control surface is set as a function of the bending moment exerted on the rotor mast relative to the pitch axis of the hybrid helicopter, and second members for controlling the cyclic pitch of the blades of the rotor in order to control the longitudinal trim of the hybrid helicopter as a function of flight conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2011
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventor: Philippe Roesch
  • Patent number: 7996120
    Abstract: The device for flying an aircraft includes a first unit for determining a control value corresponding to an instruction value representing the actuation of a control member by a pilot, a second unit for determining an effective control value corresponding to the instruction value which is actually applied to the aircraft, a third unit for automatically controlling the aircraft, a fourth unit for computing an auxiliary control value, which is closer to the effective controlled value, and a fifth unit for monitoring the control value and for detecting a pilot induced oscillation, where the automatic control is carried out with the aid of the controlled effective value and the auxiliary control value in the case of the detection of the pilot induced oscillation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventor: Stéphane Delannoy
  • Patent number: 7969110
    Abstract: The invention relates to an actuator having an (auto)synchronous rotary electric motor and a reversible speed-reducing gearbox coupled to the motor to be driven in rotation thereby An outlet shaft is coupled to the speed-reducing gearbox to be driven in rotation thereby A first angular position sensor and a control circuit are connected to the motor. The circuit delivers a motor power supply signal that varies as a function of a position setpoint signal applied to the control circuit and as a function of signals delivered by the angular position sensor. The gearbox has a plurality of speed-reducing each having a pair of gears mounted to rotate about two parallel axes of rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventors: Philippe Vincent, Sébastien Pellegrino, Bernard Gemmati
  • Publication number: 20110147515
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle including a controller operating in a search mode of operation where a receiver of an acquisition sensor searches for a target and causes flight control surfaces to guide the vehicle in a downward spiral path, a terminal mode of operation where the acquisition sensor detects a target and causes flight control surfaces to direct the vehicle toward the target, and an activation mode of operation where a trigger sensor detects a target within a predetermined distance to the vehicle and the controller activates a responder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2009
    Publication date: June 23, 2011
    Inventors: Gerald Miller, James Stewart
  • Patent number: 7840389
    Abstract: The subject of the disclosed embodiments is a method of optimizing stiffened panels under stress. In particular, the method makes it possible to determine the stress distribution in stiffened panels with postbuckling taken into account. The method proposed is a coupling between an overall, linear stress calculation approach, based on strength-of-materials results, and a local, nonlinear approach for the behavior of the stiffened panel. The disclosed embodiments fall within the field of aeronautical design, at the pilot study stage in the definition of a civil transport airplane of conventional architecture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventors: Celine Gallet, Eric Bouchet, Michel Salaun
  • Publication number: 20100243791
    Abstract: A method of determining the integrity of a gyro in a navigation system is provided. The method includes detecting a relatively sudden change in one of a pitch, yaw and roll signal from a respective pitch, yaw and roll gyro and reviewing at least one other of the pitch, yaw and roll signals to verify the relatively sudden change.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 30, 2006
    Publication date: September 30, 2010
    Applicant: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Zygmunt Zubkow, Robert R. Bacon
  • 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: 7305286
    Abstract: A flight instrument and associated method where vertical speed information is combined with gyro information to produce gyro enhanced vertical speed information that is displayed to a pilot. The gyro information may include a pitch rate gyro and may include an azimuth rate gyro. The pitch rate gyro and azimuth rate gyro may be combined to yield a corrected pitch rate in turns. In one embodiment, the display is an airplane symbol that moves relative to a horizon line responsive to the gyro enhanced vertical speed information. The horizon line may also tilt in response to the azimuth rate gyro.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2007
    Assignee: TruTrak Flight Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James R. Younkin, Charles R. Bilbe
  • Patent number: 7191985
    Abstract: Vibrations due to excitation of the natural modes of an aircraft's body are suppressed by an active multi-axis modal suppression system. Dedicated sensors are positioned in the aircraft at optimal locations for sensing modal induced vibrations. The sensor produced signals are processed through control logic which, in response thereto, and in response to aircraft inertial, velocity and altitude related signals produces output control signals. The control signals effect control surface deployment creating forces to suppress the natural mode induced vibrations on multiple geometric axis's. More particularly, a symmetric and anti-symmetric control surface deployments are used on one or more geometric axis'to damp lateral, longitudinal, vertical and most importantly torsional vibrational modes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Kioumars Najmabadi, Chuong B. Tran, John Koon-Hung Ho
  • Patent number: 7130744
    Abstract: In a GPS-supported inertial attitude and heading reference system equipped with a Kalman correction filter and a multiple axis fiber optic gyroscope, the invention provides for only that scale factor error which is determined for the measurement axis (e.g. the vertical axis) with relatively fast motion dynamics to be used as the Kalman filter correction value for the scale factor error correction for all the measurement axes of the FOG to determine and compensate for the scale factor error caused by changes in the wavelength of a common light source. The scale factor error correction is used only with a long time constant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: LITEF GmbH
    Inventor: Manfred Krings
  • Patent number: 7120522
    Abstract: A method for recursively determining alignment of a flight vehicle during flight is provided. The method includes generating data in a reference coordinate frame and in a second coordinate frame at a plurality of points in time during the flight, recursively generating first and second matrices from the data in the reference coordinate frame and the second coordinate frame, and at each point in time, determining an alignment output based on the inverted first matrix and the second matrix.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2006
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Shing P. Kau
  • Patent number: 6961643
    Abstract: A system and associated method where a vertical flight dynamic sensor is stabilized using pitch rate gyro information combined with azimuth rate gyro information corrected by scaling the azimuth rate gyro information in accordance with feedback derived from the difference between the vertical flight dynamic sensor signal and the corrected vertical flight dynamic output. In one embodiment, the vertical flighy dynamic sensor may be a vertical speed sensor. In another embodiment, the vertical flight dynamic sensor may be a pitch attitude sensor derived from the difference between an inertial based acceleration signal and a velocity based acceleration signal. The velocity based acceleration signal may be based on airspeed or GPS velocity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2005
    Assignee: Tru Trak Flight Systems, Inc
    Inventors: James R. Younkin, Charles R. Bilbe
  • Patent number: 6915989
    Abstract: Vibrations due to excitation of the natural modes of an aircraft's body are suppressed by an active multi-axis modal suppression system. Dedicated sensors are positioned in the aircraft at optimal locations for sensing modal induced vibrations. The sensor produced signals are processed through control logic which, in response thereto, and in response to aircraft inertial, velocity and altitude related signals produces output control signals. The control signals effect control surface deployment creating forces to suppress the natural mode induced vibrations on multiple geometric axis's. More particularly, symmetric and anti-symmetric control surface deployments are used on one or more geometric axis's to damp lateral, longitudinal, vertical and most importantly torsional vibrational modes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2005
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Kioumars Najmabadi, Chuong B. Tran, John Koon-Hung Ho
  • Patent number: 6876926
    Abstract: A method and system for processing pulse signals within an inertial device is provided. The inertial device may have inertial sensors, such as accelerometers and gyroscopes. The inertial sensors may output signals representative of a moving body's motion. The signals may require correction due to imperfections and other errors of the inertial sensors. The inertial device may receive signals from the inertial sensors and process the signals on a signal-by-signal basis so that when processing the signals, the inertial device at least recognizes which sensor output a signal and when the signal was output. The inertial device may then correlate signals that were output from the inertial sensors at selected times in order to transform the signals into a desired navigational frame of reference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey W. Kirkland, Charles P. Eckert
  • Patent number: 6845303
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for conducting proximity operations is disclosed. The method called inverser proximity operations includes maneuvering an active vehicle into general proximity to a target vehicle, transmitting from the target vehicle to the active vehicle data representing relative position and velocity between the target vehicle and the active vehicle, and maneuvering the active vehicle in accordance with the data to effect a desired proximity operation. Another method called distributed proximity operations includes maneuvering a carrier vehicle into general proximity to a target vehicle, releasing one or more active vehicles from the carrier vehicle, transmitting from the carrier vehicle to the active vehicle(s) data representing relative position and velocity between the target vehicle and the active vehicle, and maneuvering the active vehicle(s) in accordance with the data to effect a desired proximity operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2005
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: Eric Alan Byler
  • Patent number: 6751532
    Abstract: The wind turbulence prediction system according to the present invention provides a measurement system, which is capable of measuring three-dimensional wind turbulence, exhibits limited aerodynamic and structural effects when mounted on an aircraft, is capable of measurement even in cases in which the velocity is equal to or less than 20 to 30 m/s, at which velocity a Pitot tube is incapable of measurement, and even in cases where the air flow direction differs greatly from the axis of aircraft body, and does not produce an error resulting from disruption of the air flow by the aircraft body itself. The wind turbulence prediction system of the present invention adopts a system that measures the speed of remote three-dimensional air flow by mounting a laser wind speed indicator utilizing the Doppler effect on an aircraft, irradiating laser light while scanning same in a cone shape, and then receiving scattered light from wind turbulence regions forward of an aircraft body in flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan
    Inventor: Hamaki Inokuchi
  • Patent number: 6691006
    Abstract: A system for assigning maintenance tasks to crew members of a maintenance crew during a dynamically-planned maintenance check for an aircraft includes means for obtaining a dynamic maintenance flow chart detailing up-to-date scheduling data for a predetermined number of maintenance tasks, means for obtaining personnel training records for each crew member, means for determining maintenance task assignments based upon an analysis of the maintenance flow chart and the personnel training records.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Assignee: Sinex Aviation Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: Barry Sinex
  • Patent number: 6678567
    Abstract: An integrated side stick controller combines air speed, turning and altitude changing rate control into one pilot input control device. Movements of the integrated side stick controller will perform manipulations on aircraft surfaces devices in order to maneuver the aircraft. For instance, fore and aft movement of the side stick will increase/decrease the air speed, left/right movements of the side stick will control the turning of the aircraft, and up/down movements of the slider on the side stick will change the ascend/descend rate of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard S. Haendel
  • Patent number: 6621245
    Abstract: A calculation system for calculating the control signals which are designed to perform a frequency-dependent weighting of the angular velocity signals and the angular position signals. The angular velocity indicators are preferably used for stabilization in a high frequency band while the angular position indicators are suitable for stabilization in a low frequency band. A further calculation system which is designed to perform the frequency-dependent weighting such that the control signals for frequencies below a certain frequency are substantially determined by the angular position signals and the control signals for higher frequencies are substantially determined by the angular velocity signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: Thales Nederland B.V.
    Inventors: Wilhelmus Marie Hermanus Vaassen, Antonius C. J. Stavenuiter
  • Patent number: 6352223
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a system for the yaw control of an aircraft fitted with a plurality of engines, the system (SC) comprising in particular a computation unit (16) formulating a command dr for yaw control, dr=Ka.&PHgr;c+Kb.p+Kc.&PHgr;+Kd.r+Ke.&bgr;, on the basis of the controlled roll attitude &PHgr;c, of the roll rate p, of the effective roll attitude &PHgr;, of the yaw rate r, of the sideslip &bgr; and of gains Ka, Kb, Kc, Kd and Ke which are fixed by a device (28). According to the invention, the system (SC) comprises a a device (30) for detecting any fault with an engine of the aircraft, and the device (28) is formed in such a way as to modify the values of the gains Ka, Kd and Ke relating respectively to the controlled roll attitude &PHgr;c, to the yaw rate r and to the sideslip &bgr;, upon the detection by the device (30) of a fault with an engine of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2002
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Matra Airbus
    Inventor: Panxika Larramendy
  • Patent number: 6351092
    Abstract: A calculation system for calculating the control signals which are designed to perform a frequency-dependent weighting of the angular velocity signals and the angular position signals. The angular velocity indicators are preferably used for stabilization in a high frequency band while the angular position indicators are suitable for stabilization in a low frequency band. A further calculation system which is designed to perform the frequency-dependent weighting such that the control signals for frequencies below a certain frequency are substantially determined by the angular position signals and the control signals for higher frequencies are substantially determined by the angular velocity signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Assignee: Thales Nederland B.V.
    Inventors: Wilhelmus Marie Hermanus Vaassen, Antonius C. J. Stavenuiter
  • Patent number: 6338454
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a flight control device for an aircraft comprising a control (2) and a means for actuating a controlled member (RP, RQ) to which a command is applied. According to the invention, said device (1) additionally includes a sensor (E) for determining a second value that is representative of the control executed by the aircraft (He) with respect to the control axis, and second means (M2) which determine: as long as the second value is lower than or equal to a reference value, a first trim command that is proportional to the actuation of the control (2); and when the second value is higher than the reference value, in addition to a second trim command, a speed command that is proportional to the additional actuation over and above said second value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2002
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventors: Philippe Alain Rollet, Serge Joseph Mezan
  • Patent number: 6336060
    Abstract: An arithmetic processing method and system in a wide velocity range flight velocity vector measurement system using a square truncated pyramid-shape five-hole Pitot probe. Approximation equations that determine attack angle &agr; and sideslip angle &bgr; in the form of third-order equations concerning attack angle pressure coefficient C&agr; and sideslip angle pressure coefficient C&bgr;, which are known numbers, are expressed in the form of a polynomial equation concerning Mach number M, where the coefficients are obtained from a lookup table.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2002
    Assignee: National Aerospace Laboratory of Science and Technology Agency
    Inventors: Masashi Shigemi, Teruomi Nakaya, Shigemi Shindo, Minoru Takizawa, Takeshi Ohnuki
  • Patent number: 6073084
    Abstract: A process and a device for verifying the consistency of the measurements made by an angle-of-attack probe (2) mounted on an aircraft. The device (1) includes:first system (3) for computing a first coefficient of lift of the aircraft from a measurement from the probe (2) and from data relating to the aircraft;second system (5) for computing a second coefficient of lift from information about the aircraft;system (6) for computing the difference between the first and second coefficients of lift and for deducting therefrom that the measurement is or is not consistent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2000
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Societe Nationale Industrielle
    Inventor: Xavier Le Tron
  • Patent number: 5948045
    Abstract: A method for determining the initial conditions for an inertial measurement nit (IMU) of a second vehicle launched from a wing of a first vehicle is provided. The method includes the steps of defining a state vector x as including (a) the rotation .zeta. of the computed coordinate axes with respect to the real coordinate axes of the second vehicle and (b) the projection .delta..alpha. along the Z axis of the first vehicle of the rotation of the second vehicle from its nominal coordinate axes to its real coordinate axes. A measurement z is defined as the projection .delta..beta. of a rotation angle .beta., along the Z axis of the first vehicle, between the nominal coordinate axes and a current computed coordinate axes. The method also includes the steps of estimating x over time with a Kalman filter, wherein the projection .delta..beta. is the measurement vector and the state vector x changes only due to random noise and processing x to produce the attitude about the Z axis of the first vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: State of Israel-Ministry of Defense Armament Development Authority-Rafael
    Inventor: Jacob Reiner
  • Patent number: 5833173
    Abstract: An aircraft modal suppression system which recognizes that the frequency and phase of the body bending mode varies when the weight of the aircraft differs from the design gross weight. An active damper notch filter which is tabulated as a function of aircraft gross weight is utilized, thereby enabling not only the frequency, but also the width and depth of the notch filter to vary according to the gross weight of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Chuong B. Tran, Stephen White
  • Patent number: 5797105
    Abstract: An air active control aircraft having an air three-dimensional true airspeed detection system composed of an air data sensor probe in the form of a truncated pyramid-shape Pitot probe and an air flight velocity operation processor for calculating an air flight velocity vector from three-dimensional air pressure information detected by the air data sensor probe, airframe motion detection sensors for detecting an airframe motion, and an on-board control computer for generating a flight control law. The on-board control computer inputs an air flight velocity vector signal obtained from the air flight velocity vector device into a control-surface control system in parallel with airframe motion detection sensor signals, and presumes a flight motion induced by a change in air to generate the flight control law for quickly carrying out air flight stability control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1998
    Assignee: National Aerospace Laboratory of Science & Technology
    Inventors: Teruomi Nakaya, Osamu Okamoto, Naoaki Kuwano, Seizo Suzuki, Shuichi Sasa, Hidehiko Nakayasu, Masakazu Sagisaka
  • Patent number: 5678786
    Abstract: A failure of any one of three swashplate actuators of a helicopter rotor blade is detected. Once such a detection is made, the position of this nonfunctional swashplate is locked and measured. The inputted commanded swashplate collective position, commanded swashplate x-axis rotational position, and commanded swashplate y-axis rotational position are then passed to a failure-mode control matrix. The failure-mode control matrix computes swashplate actuator commanded positions for the two operable swashplate actuators so that aircraft attitude control is maintained. These two swashplate actuator commanded positions instruct positional movement of the rotor blade swashplate to thereby meet the commanded swashplate x-axis rotational position and the commanded swashplate y-axis rotational position which will control attitude. A quasi-swashplate-collective-position corrector computes the quasi-swashplate collective position that will occur because of the successful control of the aircraft's attitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 21, 1997
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co.
    Inventor: Stephen S. Osder
  • Patent number: 5465212
    Abstract: An integrated fire and flight control (IFFC) system determines a ballistic firing solution based on the position of targets relative to a helicopter and also based on the type of weapons to be fired. An elevation command is determined based on the required change in helicopter attitude to achieve the ballistic firing solution that, combined with the estimated time required to perform the aim and release of weapons, provides an estimate of deceleration and velocity loss that will occur. A forward acceleration and velocity profile is determined based on the desire to make a symmetrical maneuver sequence involving a nose down acceleration to achieve the acceleration and velocity profile that will be canceled by the subsequent deceleration and velocity loss during the pitch up maneuver to the ballistic firing solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 7, 1995
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Donald W. Fowler, Nicholas D. Lappos, Joan A. Edwards
  • Patent number: 5428543
    Abstract: A vertical control system for a rotary winged aircraft receives inputs from a displacement collective stick and a sidearm controller. The system provides a set point for the vertical rate of change of the helicopter as a function of a vertical lift command signal from the sidearm controller. The set point is used as a reference for an altitude rate of change feedback path, and an integrated value of the set point is used for an altitude feedback path. The set point is also input to a feedforward control path having an inverse vehicle model to provide a command signal indicative of the command for aircraft collective pitch necessary to achieve the desired set point. Signals from all three paths (i.e., the altitude rate of change feedback path, the altitude feedback path, and the feedforward path) are summed to provide a signal to backdrive the displacement collective which controls main rotor collective pitch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 27, 1995
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Phillip J. Gold, Lorren Stiles, Joseph A. Post