Fluid Reaction Type Patents (Class 244/3.22)
  • Patent number: 10737807
    Abstract: A pointing mechanism for use in an electric propulsion system of a spacecraft, the pointing mechanism comprises a mobile plate adapted to receive a thruster and defining a thrust vector of the thruster received on the mobile plate. The pointing mechanism further comprises a rotary actuator coupled to the mobile plate by means of a connecting element, the rotary actuator being configured to rotate the connecting element about a rotational axis of the rotary actuator such that the thrust vector defined by the mobile plate rotates about the rotational axis, wherein the thrust vector is inclined relative to the rotational axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE GMBH
    Inventors: Frank Haertel, Harald Langenbach, Christoph Maxmilian Von Lewinski, Sebastian Schwarz
  • Patent number: 10712138
    Abstract: A method for controlling the attitude and/or flight path of a flight vehicle includes burning propellant in a gas generator to produce hot gas, storing the hot gas in an accumulator, and releasing the hot gas in the accumulator through one or more thrusters to control the attitude and/or flight path of the flight vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: Valley Tech Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Russell Carlson, Dustin Barr, Allen Yan
  • Patent number: 10625882
    Abstract: A service satellite for providing station keeping services to a host satellite has a body, and a gripping mechanism attached to the body. The gripping mechanism is adapted to attach to an interface ring extending from an external surface of the host satellite to form an interconnection between the host satellite and the service satellite through the externally extending interface ring. Attaching the gripping mechanism to the interface ring forms an interconnected unit having a combined center of mass. The service satellite has at least two movable thrusters and at least one controller. The at least one controller maintains the interconnected unit in a substantially stationary orbit by selectively orienting the two thrusters such that the thrust vectors from the two thrusters do not pass through the combined center of mass, and are each offset from the combined center of mass.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2020
    Assignee: EFFECTIVE SPACE SOLUTIONS LTD.
    Inventors: Michael Reitman, Arnon Spitzer, Arie Halsband, Ofir Azriel
  • Patent number: 10612493
    Abstract: A system allowing for the tilting of the rocket motor such that, in the tilted position, the centre of the nozzle is located at least approximately on the neutral orientation axis of said rocket motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2020
    Assignee: ArianeGroup SAS
    Inventors: Fabrice Ruffino, Benjamin Faure
  • Patent number: 10414518
    Abstract: Attitude of a vehicle may be controlled using movable mass. The movable mass may move inside a vehicle or its outline, outside of the vehicle or its outline, inside-to-outside and/or outside-to-inside of the vehicle or its outline, or any combination thereof. The movable mass may be a solid, liquid, and/or gas. When the center-of-mass of the vehicle is moved relative to the line-of-action of applied forces such as thrust, drag, or lift, a torque can be generated for attitude control or for other purposes as a matter of design choice. In the case of external movable masses that extend from the vehicle or its outline, when operating in endoatmospheric flight, or general travel through a fluid, aerodynamic forces from the atmosphere or general fluid forces may further be leveraged to control the attitude of the vehicle (e.g., aerodynamic flaps).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: The Aerospace Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin L Zondervan, Jerome K Fuller
  • Patent number: 10371495
    Abstract: A reaction control system (RCS) is provided for use with an air vehicle having a nose portion and a center of gravity aft of the nose portion. The RCS includes a belt element configured for selectively securing the RCS to the nose portion, and also includes a plurality of micro-rocket modules affixed to the belt element, each micro-rocket module being configured for being selectively activated to provide corresponding control moments to the air vehicle when secured to the nose portion thereof. A corresponding air vehicle, and a method for modifying an air vehicle, are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: ISRAEL AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES LTD.
    Inventor: Alon Kahana
  • Patent number: 9927217
    Abstract: An attitude control system for a guided missile includes a gas generator, an accumulator coupled to the gas generator, and a valve positioned between the gas generator and the accumulator. The gas generator contains propellant that burns to provide hot gas to pressurize the accumulator. The valve is opened to recharge the accumulator with hot gas and closed when it is full. A vent valve can be included to extinguish the propellant in the gas generator. The accumulator can be coupled to thrusters that use the stored hot gas to adjust the attitude of the guided missile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Valley Tech Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Russell Carlson, Dustin Barr, Allen Yan
  • Patent number: 9879959
    Abstract: A control system for a missile includes a plurality of control surfaces that can be arrayed across a surface of the missile body, and a controller connected to the control surfaces to selectively move the control surfaces between an aerodynamic stowed position where the control surfaces conform to the surface of the body, and a deployed control position removed from the aerodynamic stowed position where the control surfaces extend from the surface of the body to interact with airflow over the body. The control surfaces are made of a material that includes a shape-memory alloy. Heating the control surfaces causes the shape-memory alloy to move the control surfaces from the aerodynamic stowed position to the deployed control position. By selectively extending and retracting the control surfaces, the control system provides the ability to control the missile's direction of travel or to reduce roll about a longitudinal axis of the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: RAYTHEON COMPANY
    Inventors: Ward D. Lyman, Frederick B. Koehler, Terry M. Sanderson
  • Patent number: 9551552
    Abstract: Embodiments include active protection systems and methods for an aerial platform. An onboard system includes radar modules, detects aerial vehicles within a threat range of the aerial platform, and determines if any of the aerial vehicles are an aerial threat. The onboard system also determines an intercept vector to the aerial threat, communicates the intercept vector to an eject vehicle, and causes the eject vehicle to be ejected from the aerial platform to intercept the aerial threat. The eject vehicle includes alignment thrusters to rotate a longitudinal axis of the eject vehicle to substantially align with the intercept vector, a rocket motor to accelerate the eject vehicle along an intercept vector, divert thrusters to divert the eject vehicle in a direction substantially perpendicular to the intercept vector, and attitude control thrusters to make adjustments to the attitude of the eject vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Assignee: Orbital ATK, Inc.
    Inventors: James Kolanek, Behshad Baseghi, David Sharpin, Anthony Visco, Falin Shieh
  • Patent number: 9500456
    Abstract: A combined steering and drag reduction device for a missile is disclosed. The device includes a base and an upper part which are arranged in succession along a main axis of navigation of the missile. Advantageously, the device also includes a pressurized-gas generator and at least one lateral thruster having at least one nozzle configured to deliver a thrust, by expanding gas transmitted by the generator and oriented along an axis substantially perpendicular to the main axis. The at least one lateral thruster also has at least one stabilizing chamber configured to expand the gas transmitted by the generator and expel it through an outlet section of the base substantially perpendicular to the main axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignees: ROXEL FRANCE, HERAKLES
    Inventors: Andre Pfiffer, Pascal Caubet, Jean-Michel Larrieu
  • Patent number: 9469419
    Abstract: An orbit attitude control device includes a plurality of nozzles and a control section. The nozzles inject a combustion gas supplied from a combustion chamber, opening degrees being controlled in accordance with opening degree command values. The control section calculates nozzle opening degree correction values for the opening degree command values in response to a detection value of a pressure of the combustion chamber and a command value for the pressure, and correct the opening degree command values by the nozzle opening degree correction values. Each nozzle opening degree correction value is determined based on each opening degree command value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Toshiharu Fujita, Nobuaki Hayakawa
  • Patent number: 9448049
    Abstract: A surface skimming munition comprises a hull, a traction propulsion motor positioned in the hull and having a combustion chamber for combustion of a propellant, at least one aft directed nozzle coupled to the hull at a position forward of a center of gravity of the hull and comprising an inlet section and an outlet section, the inlet section in fluid communication with the combustion chamber and the outlet section directing combustion gas received from the combustion chamber through the inlet section in the aft direction, and at least one stabilizing plane coupled to the hull and moveable between a stowed position and a deployed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2016
    Inventor: Anthony Joseph Cesaroni
  • Patent number: 9377279
    Abstract: A flight vehicle includes a nose portion, a fuselage retaining structure aft of the nose portion, and an axial motor for expelling axial thrust along a longitudinal axis of the flight vehicle. Radial motors are coupled to the retaining structure and axisymmetrically arranged about the axial motor. Each radial motor is configured to expel radial thrust radially outwardly in respect to the flight vehicle. Roll thrusters are operatively coupled with the radial motors and coupled to the fuselage retaining structure. The roll thrusters are configured to provide a roll moment of the flight vehicle about a central longitudinal axis of the flight vehicle. Ejectors are operatively coupled to the radial motors, and a controller is operatively coupled to the radial motors and the ejectors. The controller is configured to selectively fire and selectively eject the radial motors to maintain relative centering of a center of gravity of the flight vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Andrew B. Facciano, William G. Graves, Michael A. Barker, Michael S. Alkema, Jeffrey S. Larson
  • Patent number: 9242745
    Abstract: An orbit attitude control device includes a divert thruster including a plurality of nozzles. First group nozzles inject combustion gas in opposite directions along a first axis. Second group nozzles inject combustion gas in opposite directions along a second axis. A control section calculates correction values for opening degree commands based on a detection value of a pressure of the combustion chamber and a command value of the pressure, and corrects the opening degree command values by the correction values. The device further includes a first axis acceleration sensor for detecting acceleration along the first axis and a second axis acceleration sensor for detecting acceleration along the second axis. The correction values for the opening degrees of the first group nozzles are determined by a first axis acceleration, and the correction values for the opening degrees of the second group nozzles are determined by a second axis acceleration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Toshiharu Fujita, Nobuaki Hayakawa
  • Patent number: 9212880
    Abstract: System for steering a flying object using pairs of lateral nozzles—It comprises a gas generator (5) capable of being connected to lateral nozzles (7) via moveable plug devices (8), controlling the flow of gases coming from the generator through said nozzles. The lateral nozzles (7) are associated with at least one pair (P1, P2, P3, P4) such that the nozzles of the pair are aligned in a given axis (A1) and arranged opposite to each other, and, between the two aligned nozzles of the pair, a single controllable plug device (8) is provided, connected to said generator (5) and capable of controlling the flow of gases through said nozzles (7) in both directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2015
    Assignee: MBDA France
    Inventor: Rinaldo Rossi
  • Patent number: 9194332
    Abstract: A system for in-flight attitude control and side-force steering includes a thruster body and a plurality of valves capable of generating side thrusts put into communication with the thruster body. The valves are arranged in two sets of valves spaced apart from each other towards the front and towards the rear of the thruster body in substantially symmetrical manner relative to the center of gravity of the vehicle situated on a longitudinal axis (A) of the vehicle. Each set comprises a first pair of valves generating thrust in opposite directions along axes that are not in alignment and are parallel to a first axis, and a second pair of valves generating thrust in opposite directions along axes that are not aligned and are parallel to a second axis. The first and second axes are distinct and perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: HERAKLES
    Inventors: Pascal Caubet, Aurore Ferrant
  • Patent number: 9188303
    Abstract: An automotive headlamp includes: a light source; a movable shade configured to be movable between a first position shielding a part of light emitted from the light source and a second position having a different light shielding volume; a motor configured to generate a driving force to move the shade from the first position to the second position; and a stopper for high beam to fix the movable shade, which has been moved from the first position to the second position, at the second position. The motor is configured such that a motor phase is lag when the motor moves the movable shade to the second position by the driving force generated by supplied power and fixes the same, and an electric current is applied to the motor when the movable shade is fixed at the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2015
    Assignees: Mabuchi Motor Co., Ltd., Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Yamazaki, Noritaka Minakawa, Shoichiro Yokoi
  • Patent number: 9170070
    Abstract: Embodiments include active protection systems and methods for an aerial platform. An onboard system includes one or more radar modules, detects aerial vehicles within a threat range of the aerial platform, and determines if any of the plurality of aerial vehicles are an aerial threat. The onboard system also determines an intercept vector to the aerial threat, communicates the intercept vector to an eject vehicle, and causes the eject vehicle to be ejected from the aerial platform to intercept the aerial threat. The eject vehicle includes a rocket motor to accelerate the eject vehicle along an intercept vector, alignment thrusters to rotate a longitudinal axis of the eject vehicle to substantially align with the intercept vector, and divert thrusters to divert the eject vehicle in a direction substantially perpendicular to the intercept vector. The eject vehicle activates at least one of the alignment thrusters responsive to the intercept vector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2015
    Assignee: Orbital ATK, Inc.
    Inventors: David Sharpin, Jim Kolanek, Mark A. Cvetnic, Mike Hutchings, James Tennison, Kent Carl Nelson, Harold Kregg Hunsberger, Behshad Baseghi
  • Patent number: 9115964
    Abstract: A projectile includes a propulsion booster for producing pressurized gases, a nozzle for expelling the pressurized gases produced by the booster, and a supplementary integrated actuation system. The integrated actuation system selectively directs propellant from a storage reservoir of the integrated actuation system through an interiorly-located outlet of the integrated actuation system located at the nozzle and into the nozzle, thus changing a direction of the pressurized gases expelled by the booster. The integrated actuation system also selectively directs propellant from the storage reservoir through a peripherally-located outlet of the integrated actuation system, to produce thrust at an external periphery of the projectile, thus diverting the projectile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2015
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Andrew B Facciano, Michael S Alkema, Michael A Leal, Daniel Chasman, Robert T Moore
  • Patent number: 9080843
    Abstract: System for steering, about its axes of rotation, a moving body propelled by jet reaction, particularly a missile. The system (1) comprises two first flow deflectors (3, 4) of which one (3) is able to act exclusively on the outlet flow from one of the nozzles (17) of the moving body (M) which is provided with two jet nozzles (17, 18), and of which the other (4) is able to act exclusively on the outlet flow from the other jet nozzle (18) of said moving body (M), these two first flow deflectors (3, 4) interacting in such a way as to be able to steer the moving body (M) about two of its three axes of rotation, and a second flow deflector (5) which is able to act on the outlet flows from the two jet nozzles (17, 18), but on just one outlet flow at a time, so as to be able to steer the moving body (M) about the third of its axes of rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: MBDA FRANCE
    Inventor: Lionel Mazenq
  • Patent number: 9035226
    Abstract: An exoatmospheric vehicle uses a control system that includes a thrust system to provide thrust to control flight of the vehicle. A regenerative heat system is used to preheat portions of the thrust system, prior to their use in control of the vehicle. The heat for preheating may be generated by consumption of a fuel of the vehicle, such as a monopropellant fuel. The fuel may be used to power a pump (among other possibilities), to pressurize the fuel for use by thrusters of the thrust system. The preheated portions of the thrust system may include one or more catalytic beds of the thrust system, which may be preheated using exhaust gasses from the pump. The preheating may reduce the response time of the thrusters that have their catalytic beds preheated. Other thrusters of the thrust system may not be preheated at all before operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Wayne C Jouse, Mark S Muktoyuk
  • Patent number: 9018572
    Abstract: A rocket is provided and includes booster stages at a rear of the nose cone, the booster stages being configured for propelling the nose cone in a propulsion direction and a divert control system housed entirely in the nose cone for controlling an orientation of the propulsion direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Andrew B. Facciano, Michael S. Alkema, Robert T. Moore
  • Patent number: 8975565
    Abstract: An interceptor is provided with an integrated propulsion and attitude control system (ACS) in which propellant burn forms a common pressure vessel for high-pressure gas. An aft port in the rocket motor directs gas through one or more main nozzles that expel high-velocity gas in a generally axial direction to propel the interceptor. A forward port directs gas through one or more attitude control nozzles that expel high-velocity gas in a generally radial direction to control the attitude of the interceptor. The main nozzle(s) and stabilization fins are fixed, there is no servo control to the main nozzles or fins to affect attitude control. The use of a common pressure vessel enables an integrated propulsion and ACS that can be compact, lightweight and inexpensive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Doron Strassman, Mark E. Elkanick
  • Patent number: 8939084
    Abstract: A surface skimming munition comprises a hull, a traction propulsion motor positioned in the hull and having a combustion chamber for combustion of a propellant, at least one aft directed nozzle coupled to the hull at a position forward of a center of gravity of the hull and comprising an inlet section and an outlet section, the inlet section in fluid communication with the combustion chamber and the outlet section directing combustion gas received from the combustion chamber through the inlet section in the aft direction, and at least one stabilizing plane coupled to the hull and moveable between a stowed position and a deployed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Inventor: Anthony Joseph Cesaroni
  • Patent number: 8884202
    Abstract: A system and methods are provided for combining systems of an upper stage space launch vehicle for enhancing the operation of the space vehicle. Hydrogen and oxygen already on board as propellant for the upper stage rockets is also used for other upper stage functions to include propellant tank pressurization, attitude control, vehicle settling, and electrical requirements. Specifically, gases from the propellant tanks, instead of being dumped overboard, are used as fuel and oxidizer to power an internal combustion engine that produces mechanical power for driving other elements including a starter/generator for generation of electrical current, mechanical power for fluid pumps, and other uses. The exhaust gas from the internal combustion engine is also used directly in one or more vehicle settling thrusters. Accumulators which store the waste ullage gases are pressurized and provide pressurization control for the propellant tanks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: United Launch Alliance, LLC
    Inventor: Frank C. Zeglar
  • Patent number: 8878110
    Abstract: Projectiles that include a propulsion system and a launch motor which are located on opposing sides of a payload and a method of directing a projectile toward a target are generally described herein. Placing the propulsion system and the launch motor on opposing sides of the payload may provide many potential advantages when designing the projectile. These design advantages may make it easier to create a projectile that includes more propellant and/or payload while still permitting the projectile to be stored within existing containers having a fixed size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventor: Robert D. Travis
  • Publication number: 20140311371
    Abstract: New missile systems are provided, implementing reduced pre-deployment weight, higher impact and greater deployment flexibility, among other advantages. In some embodiments, mid-flight oxygen filtration from atmospheric air, followed by concentration, compression and/or storage in ideal oxidizer deployment locations, leads to enriched, greatly increased oxidizer load and/or far greater missile weight just prior to impact. Among additional benefits, missiles implementing the system may be far less volatile, and therefore safer, prior to deployment and the concentration of oxidizer may be more concentrated than with ambient oxygen, overcoming the limitations of current fuel/air and other thermobaric explosives.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 2, 2012
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Inventor: Christopher V. Beckman
  • Patent number: 8826640
    Abstract: Embodiments of a flight vehicle are provided, as are embodiments of a method for manufacturing a flight vehicle. In one embodiment, the flight vehicle includes a solid-propellant rocket motor, control circuitry, and an electrically-interconnective support structure. The electrically-interconnective support structure includes a load-bearing frame and a plurality of electrical conductors embedded within the load-bearing frame. The solid-propellant rocket motor is mounted to the load-bearing frame, and the plurality of electrical conductors embedded within the frame electrically couples the solid-propellant rocket motor to the control circuitry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Thomas A. Olden, Walter Wrigglesworth
  • Publication number: 20140224921
    Abstract: An air vehicle, such as a missile or a steerable submunition released from a missile or another air vehicle, has a bilateral thrust system for steering. The thrust system includes a pair of diametrically-opposed divert thrusters that provide thrust having radial components in opposite radial directions. In order to control the direction of thrust, the air vehicle controls rotation of the divert thrusters and/or timing of the firing of the thrusters. The air vehicle (or some part of the air vehicle that includes the divert thrusters) may be discretely rolled to position the divert thrusters to produce desired steering thrust. Alternatively, the air vehicle or part of the air vehicle may be continuously rolled, with the steering controlled by timing the thrust to the divert thrusters, such as by allocating thrust between the diametrically-opposed thrusters. Pressurized gas may be allocated between the two thrusters by use of pintle valve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2013
    Publication date: August 14, 2014
    Applicant: RAYTHEON COMPANY
    Inventor: RAYTHEON COMPANY
  • Publication number: 20140224922
    Abstract: A method for deploying a control surface from an exterior surface of a spinning projectile during flight is provided. The method including: moving the control surface in an interior of the projectile such that a portion of the movement retracts the control surface into the interior and a portion of the movement extends the control surface from the exterior surface of the projectile; determining a roll angle of the projectile; and synchronizing the movement of the control surface with the roll angle of the projectile.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 8, 2014
    Publication date: August 14, 2014
    Applicant: Omnitek Partners LLC
    Inventor: Jahangir S. Rastegar
  • Publication number: 20140224923
    Abstract: System for steering a flying object using pairs of lateral nozzles—It comprises a gas generator (5) capable of being connected to lateral nozzles (7) via moveable plug devices (8), controlling the flow of gases coming from the generator through said nozzles. The lateral nozzles (7) are associated with at least one pair (P1, P2, P3, P4) such that the nozzles of the pair are aligned in a given axis (A1) and arranged opposite to each other, and, between the two aligned nozzles of the pair, a single controllable plug device (8) is provided, connected to said generator (5) and capable of controlling the flow of gases through said nozzles (7) in both directions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 12, 2012
    Publication date: August 14, 2014
    Inventor: Rinaldo Rossi
  • Patent number: 8789366
    Abstract: A shape memory stored energy assembly includes a projectile housing having a projectile lumen. A projectile is within the projectile lumen and the projectile is movable relative to the projectile housing. A shape memory actuator is coupled between the projectile anchored end and the projectile housing. The shape memory actuator is configured to transition from a strained energy stored configuration to a fractured kinetic delivery configuration at a specified temperature range to propel the projectile through the projectile lumen. A method includes storing energy in a shape memory actuator coupled with a projectile. The stored energy in the shape memory actuator is released and propels the projectile. Releasing the stored energy includes heating the shape memory actuator, tensioning the shape memory actuator, and fracturing the tensioned shape memory actuator at a fracture locus to propel the projectile away from the fracture locus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2014
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Ward D. Lyman, Frederick B. Koehler
  • Publication number: 20140197270
    Abstract: An air vehicle, such as a missile, for example an interceptor, includes control surfaces and a vectored thrust system, both used for steering the missile. A controller is operatively coupled to both steering mechanisms, and is configured to operate in a low dynamic pressure mode, which uses the vectored thrust system for at least part of the steering, only when the dynamic pressure is low, such as when the missile is at high altitude. At higher dynamic pressure, such as at lower altitude, the controller is configured to operate in a high dynamic pressure mode that uses only the control surfaces for steering. This allows the interceptor to operate at higher altitudes than interceptors that use only control surfaces for steering during flight. During flight for a high altitude interception the missile shifts from the high dynamic pressure mode to the low dynamic pressure mode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2013
    Publication date: July 17, 2014
    Applicant: RAYTHEON COMPANY
    Inventor: RAYTHEON COMPANY
  • Patent number: 8735788
    Abstract: Embodiments of a propulsion and maneuvering system that may be suitable for use during a terminal phase in an interceptor are generally described herein. The propulsion and maneuvering system may include one or more axial thrusters to provide thrust along axial thrust lines that run through a center-of-gravity of the interceptor and a plurality of divert thrusters to provide thrust in radial directions. The combination of divert and axial thrusters may allow the interceptor to respond to a maneuvering target and may allow the interceptor to increase its velocity along a line-of-sight (LOS) to a target to change target impact/engagement time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Kenneth G. Preston, Michael A. Leal, Rondell J. Wilson, Richard C. Hussey
  • Publication number: 20140138474
    Abstract: Embodiments include active protection systems and methods for an aerial platform. An onboard system includes one or more radar modules, detects aerial vehicles within a threat range of the aerial platform, and determines if any of the plurality of aerial vehicles are an aerial threat. The onboard system also determines an intercept vector to the aerial threat, communicates the intercept vector to an eject vehicle, and causes the eject vehicle to be ejected from the aerial platform to intercept the aerial threat. The eject vehicle includes a rocket motor to accelerate the eject vehicle along an intercept vector, alignment thrusters to rotate a longitudinal axis of the eject vehicle to substantially align with the intercept vector, and divert thrusters to divert the eject vehicle in a direction substantially perpendicular to the intercept vector. The eject vehicle activates at least one of the alignment thrusters responsive to the intercept vector.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 25, 2012
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Applicant: Alliant Techsystems Inc.
    Inventors: David Sharpin, Jim Kolanek, Mark A. Cvetnic, Mike Hutchings, James Tennison, Kent Carl Nelson, Harold Kregg Hunsberger, Behshad Baseghi
  • Publication number: 20140138475
    Abstract: A rocket is provided and includes booster stages at a rear of the nose cone, the booster stages being configured for propelling the nose cone in a propulsion direction and a divert control system housed entirely in the nose cone for controlling an orientation of the propulsion direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 6, 2012
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Applicant: RAYTHEON COMPANY
    Inventor: Raytheon Company
  • Patent number: 8729443
    Abstract: Some embodiments pertain to a projectile and method that includes a flight vehicle and a propulsion system attached to the flight vehicle. The propulsion system includes a plurality of motors that propel the projectile. A guidance system is connected to the propulsion system. The guidance system ignites an appropriate number of the motors to adjust the speed of the projectile based on the location of the projectile relative to a desired destination for the flight vehicle. In some embodiments, the flight vehicle is a kinetic warhead. The projectile may be an interceptor that includes a first propulsion stage, a second propulsion stage and a third propulsion stage that includes the third propulsion system. The number of booster motors that will be ignited by the guidance system depends on the speed that the projectile needs to be adjusted to in order to maneuver the projectile to a desired location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Andrew B. Facciano, James A. Ebel, Michael Alkema, Robert D. Travis, Mike J. Saxton
  • Patent number: 8729442
    Abstract: Technology for predicting and correcting a trajectory is described. The technology can create a model to predict a position of the reusable launch vehicle at a time in the future; observe a wind condition during ascent of the reusable launch vehicle; store the observed wind condition in a wind map; predict during ascent a position and a terminal lateral velocity of the reusable launch vehicle at a terminal altitude; and correct a flight trajectory of the reusable launch vehicle based on the wind map.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Frederick W. Boelitz, Mark O. Hilstad
  • Patent number: 8686325
    Abstract: A method for guiding a gun-fired or mortared round towards an intended target. The method including: capturing image data from an image pick-up device during a descent of the round; transmitting the image data to a control platform remotely located from the round; transmitting guidance information to the round from the remote platform based on the captured image data; varying a flight path of the round based on the guidance information to guide the round towards its intended target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Omnitek Partners LLC
    Inventors: Jahangir S. Rastegar, Andre Rastegar, Thomas Spinelli
  • Publication number: 20140061364
    Abstract: An interceptor is provided with an integrated propulsion and attitude control system (ACS) in which propellant burn forms a common pressure vessel for high-pressure gas. An aft port in the rocket motor directs gas through one or more main nozzles that expel high-velocity gas in a generally axial direction to propel the interceptor. A forward port directs gas through one or more attitude control nozzles that expel high-velocity gas in a generally radial direction to control the attitude of the interceptor. The main nozzle(s) and stabilization fins are fixed, there is no servo control to the main nozzles or fins to affect attitude control. The use of a common pressure vessel enables an integrated propulsion and ACS that can be compact, lightweight and inexpensive.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2012
    Publication date: March 6, 2014
    Inventors: Doron Strassman, Mark E. Elkanick
  • Patent number: 8664576
    Abstract: A vehicle for launching from a gun such as a gas gun and having a housing; preferably incorporating a precessional attitude control system; and utilizing a flared base, fins, or active use of the attitude control system during passage through the atmosphere. Subtly canting the fins can produce desired spinning of the vehicle. The propulsion system can employ liquid, hybrid, or solid fuel. A removable aero-shell assists atmospheric flight with thermal protection being provided by anticipated ablation, an ablative aero-spike, or transpirational cooling. And a releasable sabot enhances the effectiveness of the launch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: Quicklaunch, Inc.
    Inventors: John William Hunter, Harry E. Cartland, Philip James Sluder, Richard Edward Twogood
  • Patent number: 8624171
    Abstract: A system and method for guiding a projectile is presented. A nozzle system includes a boom assembly body that can be attached to a rear end of a projectile. A gas tank in the boom assembly contains pressurized gas. Fins are attached to the boom assembly body to guide the projectile. A valve lets a pulse of gas out of the gas tank. A nozzle expels the pulse of gas to control an angle of attack and lift of the projectile to guide the projectile to a target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration Inc.
    Inventor: Robert D. Frey, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8618455
    Abstract: An adjustable range munition has at least one gas vent that is selectively variable to affect the amount of force that is directed onto the projectile upon actuation of the propellant section, thereby to control the range of the munition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: Safariland, LLC
    Inventor: John A. Hultman
  • Publication number: 20130319212
    Abstract: A vehicle for launching from a gun such as a gas gun and having a housing; preferably incorporating a precessional attitude control system; and utilizing a flared base, fins, or active use of the attitude control system during passage through the atmosphere. Subtly canting the fins can produce desired spinning of the vehicle. The propulsion system can employ liquid, hybrid, or solid fuel. A removable aero-shell assists atmospheric flight with thermal protection being provided by anticipated ablation, an ablative aero-spike, or transpirational cooling. And a releasable sabot enhances the effectiveness of the launch.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 9, 2013
    Publication date: December 5, 2013
    Applicant: QUICKLAUNCH, INC.
    Inventors: John William HUNTER, Harry E. CARTLAND, Philip James SLUDER, Richard Edward TWOGOOD
  • Patent number: 8548650
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a missile or munition with a hierarchical, modular, closed-loop flow control system, more particularly to aircraft or munition with flow control system for enhanced aerodynamic control, maneuverability and stabilization. The present invention further relates to a method of operating the flow control system. Various embodiments of the flow control system involve elements including flow sensors, active flow control devices or activatable flow effectors, and logic devices with closed loop control architecture. The sensors are used to estimate or determine flow conditions on the surfaces of a missile or munition. The active flow control device or activatable flow effectors create on-demand flow disturbances, preferably micro-disturbances, at different points along the various aerodynamic surfaces of the missile or aircraft to achieve a desired stabilization or maneuverability effect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Orbital Research Inc.
    Inventors: Troy S. Prince, Richard Kolacinski, Mehul Patel
  • Patent number: 8536502
    Abstract: A vehicle for launching from a gas gun having a housing; preferably incorporating a precessional attitude control system; and utilizing a flared base, fins, or active use of the attitude control system during passage through the atmosphere. Subtly canting the fins can produce desired spinning of the vehicle. The propulsion system can employ liquid, hybrid, or solid fuel. A removable aero-shell assists atmospheric flight with thermal protection being provided by anticipated ablation, an ablative aero-spike, or transpirational cooling. And a releasable sabot enhances the effectiveness of the launch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Assignee: Quicklaunch, Inc.
    Inventors: John William Hunter, Harry E. Cartland, Philip James Sluder, Richard Edward Twogood
  • Patent number: 8528316
    Abstract: Systems and methods of controlling solid propellant gas pressure and vehicle thrust are provided. Propellant gas pressure and a vehicle inertial characteristic are sensed. Propellant gas pressure commands and vehicle thrust commands are generated. A propellant gas pressure error is determined based on the propellant gas pressure commands and the sensed propellant gas pressure, and vehicle thrust error is determined based on the vehicle thrust commands and the sensed vehicle inertial characteristic. Reaction control valves are moved between closed and full-open positions based on the determined propellant gas pressure error and on the determined vehicle thrust error. The system and method allow the reaction control valves to operate at variable frequencies or at fixed frequencies. The system and method also allows propellant pressure to be commanded to follow a predetermined pressure profile or commanded to vary “on-the-fly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Mark H. Baker, Steve Abel, George Woessner
  • Publication number: 20130181086
    Abstract: The 6-axis position and attitude of an imaging vehicle's detector assembly is measured by mounting the detector assembly on a compliant isolator and separating the main 6-axis IMU on the vehicle from a secondary IMU comprising at least inertial rate sensors for pitch and yaw on the detector assembly. The compliant isolator couples low-frequency rigid body motion of the vehicle below a resonant frequency to the isolated detector assembly while isolating the detector assembly from high-frequency attitude noise above the resonant frequency. A computer processes measurements of the 6-axis rigid body motion and the angular rate of change in yaw and pitch of the isolated detector assembly to mitigate the drift and noise error effects of the secondary inertial rate sensors and estimate the 6-axis position and attitude of the detector assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2012
    Publication date: July 18, 2013
    Inventors: Michael S. Bielas, Edward C. Schlatter, Andrew B. Facciano, Philip C. Theriault, James A. Ebel, Robert J. LaPorte
  • Patent number: 8478456
    Abstract: Some embodiments relate to a method of controlling a flight of a flight vehicle according to a first mode of operation and changing the mode of operation to a second mode of operation having a different bandwidth than the first mode of operation. Other embodiments relate to a flight-control system for a flight vehicle configured to control a flight of a flight vehicle according to a first mode of operation and to control the flight of the flight vehicle according to a second mode of operation to use less energy than the first mode of operation. Other embodiments relate to a control actuation system configured to control positions of aerodynamic elements in a flight vehicle in response to commands from a guidance system according to a first mode of operation and to change the mode of operation to a second mode of operation having a different bandwidth than the first mode of operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Jeffery P. Sowers, Karl F. Spiessbach, Donald E. Croft
  • Patent number: 8436283
    Abstract: Higher Order Sliding Mode (HOSM) control techniques are applied to the Guidance Control (G&C) of interceptor missile in which velocity may be steered by combination of main thrust, aerodynamic lift and lateral on-off divert thrusters, and attitude may be steered by continuous or on-off actuators. Methods include the pointing of the seeker, its associated estimation processes, a guidance law that uses concurrent divert mechanisms, and an attitude autopilot. The insensitivity of the controller to matched disturbances allows the concurrent usage of the divert mechanisms without adverse effect on the accuracy. The controller also allows the de-coupling of the control of roll, pitch and yaw channels, and usage quaternions to represent body attitude and it provides control perfect robustness. While it conceivable to design separately the components of the G&C method, it is widely accepted that designing them in an integrated fashion usually produces a better result.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: Davidson Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Christian Tournes, Yuri Shtessel