Captive Patents (Class 244/33)
  • Patent number: 10745097
    Abstract: Kites having an inflatable lifting-body shape with side wings or keels and a horizontal stabilizer or tail to control the angle of attack of the lifting body can be constructed efficiently and economically through a process that builds a laminate of flat sheets, then cuts and joins the sheets to produce an inflatable envelope. Other pieces are affixed to the envelope to produce a finished kite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: Head Full of Air LLC
    Inventors: Mathew W. Lippincott, Charles M. Willard
  • Patent number: 10704529
    Abstract: The invention is a system and method for the airborne generation of usable water from atmospheric water vapor and the generation of electric power from and for such system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: CHAAC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Cory Jacob Hammock
  • Patent number: 10433408
    Abstract: A system and method for misbalancing or suppressing spinning atmospheric phenomena such as tornadoes, landspouts, waterspouts, gustnadoes and whirlwinds. The systems and methods misbalance or suppress such phenomena utilizing electromagnetic fields; irradiation; neutralizing charges; or chemical reactions, thus destabilizing or disrupting the phenomenon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2019
    Assignee: New York University
    Inventor: Victor Barinov
  • Patent number: 10336432
    Abstract: Described herein are features for a high altitude lighter-than-air (LTA) system and associated methods. The LTA may include one or more super-pressure balloons (SPB). One or more of the SPB's may include one or more interior volumes. One or more of the interior volumes may be configured to receive an LTA gas therein to supplement the free lift of the LTA system. There may be an adjustable valve or vent to release the LTA gas. One or more of the interior volumes may be configured to receive ambient air to provide a variable downward force. The SPB may use a compressor to pump in ambient air. The compressor or another valve may release ambient air to decrease the downward force. A zero-pressure balloon (ZPB) may be attached with the one or more SPB's. The ZPB may supplement lift for the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: World View Enterprises Inc.
    Inventors: Rodger Farley, Taber MacCallum, G. Ryan Lee, Sebastian Padilla, John Straus
  • Patent number: 10279883
    Abstract: An energy efficient and lighter-than-air high altitude platform (HAP) is disclosed that allows for sustained station keeping at high altitudes of about 50,000-80,000 feet for prolonged periods of time. The HAP includes an aerodynamically streamlined body that may have the topology of a torus. The body may be inflated with a lighter-than-air gas in an amount sufficient to provide lift to the high altitudes. The HAP has a duct extending through the pressurized body that diverts flow through the duct and reduces aerodynamic drag. The HAP may include one or more propellers situated in the duct to provide propulsion and maintain a given location of the HAP relative to ground. There may also be a control system, a solar energy collection system, an energy storage system, and/or any of a variety of payloads to accomplish various tasks, such as communication and/or situational awareness applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: General Atomics
    Inventors: John Abele Parmentola, John Marshall Rawls, Alberto Alvarez-Calderon F., Brian Maskew
  • Patent number: 10260844
    Abstract: There is provided an inflatable dummy target comprising a chassis wrapped with a sheet. The chassis can be formed by individual inflatable ducts and can comprise at least two ring-shaped ducts interconnected by one or more elongate ducts. The inflatable dummy target can further comprise rigidizing ducts. The inflatable dummy target geometry can be conical, cylindrical, etc. Optionally, the inflatable dummy target can comprise several attached axi-symmetrical sections, wherein each section has a chassis wrapped with a sheet, the chassis formed by individual inflatable ducts. Optionally, the shape of each section can be selected from the group consisting of conical, frustoconical and cylindrical forms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: ISRAEL AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Jacob Rovinsky, Yoav Tourgeman
  • Patent number: 10246186
    Abstract: This disclosure describes an unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”) including an inflatable membrane (e.g., a balloon) and a compressed gas chamber containing a gas (e.g., helium, hydrogen, etc.) for inflating the membrane. When the UAV is approaching or departing from a location where noise reduction is desirable (e.g., a delivery location), the membrane may be inflated so as to increase the buoyancy of the UAV and allow the propulsion system (e.g., utilizing propellers, etc.) to be operated with less thrust and correspondingly with less noise. Once the UAV has departed and reached a certain distance from the location, the membrane may be deflated and retracted back into a storage area of the UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian C. Beckman, Noam Sorek
  • Patent number: 10131265
    Abstract: The disclosed embodiments include a trailer for an autonomous vehicle controlled by a command and control interface. The trailer includes a trailer body configured to retain the autonomous vehicle in an undeployed configuration. The trailer also anchors the autonomous vehicle in a deployed configuration. A tether is provided having a first end coupled to the trailer body and a second end that is configured to couple to the autonomous vehicle. A winch is utilized to adjust a length of the tether to move the autonomous vehicle between the undeployed configuration and deployed configuration. Further, a communication system communicates with the command and control interface and the autonomous vehicle to control movement of the autonomous vehicle between the undeployed configuration and deployed configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: Silicis Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael J. Stigler, Nicholas James Setar
  • Patent number: 9745040
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to techniques for launching high-altitude balloons. In one aspect, a balloon launching system is provided. The balloon has a balloon envelope, a payload attached to the balloon envelope and a launching projection. The launching system includes a releasable restraint attached to the balloon between an apex and bottom of the balloon envelope. The releasable restraint is arranged to temporarily hold the balloon envelope. The launching system also includes a payload positioning assembly. The payload positioning assembly is configured to position the payload during launch of the balloon and includes a member configured to attach to the launching projection. When attached, the member is also configured to maintain the position of the payload relative to the balloon while the releasable restraint is temporarily holding the balloon envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventors: Michael Hall-Snyder, Sandeep Kumar Giri, Shane Washburn, Joseph Charles Benedetto, Keegan Gartner
  • Patent number: 9488630
    Abstract: A system for high temporal and high spatial resolution monitoring of a field of plants is disclosed. Illustratively, the system includes a plurality of ground based reference objects, a balloon adapted to be positioned above the field of plants, and a balloon positioning system coupled to the balloon and configured to position the balloon relative to the field of plants. An imaging system is supported by the balloon and includes a locations system, at least one camera, and at least one gimbal configured to orient the at least one camera. The imaging system captures at least one image of the field of plants including the plurality of ground based reference objects in the at least one image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: Dow AgroSciences LLC
    Inventors: Tristan Coram, Yang Yang, Terry R. Wright, Pradeep Setlur, Fikru Haile
  • Patent number: 9463863
    Abstract: A balloon including a balloon envelope formed with a plurality of adjacent envelope gores sealed together at respective edges of the envelope gores to form an envelope edge seam between each of the adjacent envelope gores, a ballonet positioned within the balloon envelope, the ballonet formed with a plurality of ballonet gores sealed together at their respective edges to form a ballonet edge seam between each of the adjacent ballonet gores, wherein each envelope gore is contiguous with a ballonet gore such that each envelope edge seam between adjacent envelope gores extends into a ballonet edge seam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin Roach, Richard Wayne DeVaul
  • Patent number: 9377172
    Abstract: A lighting balloon including a deformable envelope, at least one lighting mechanism mounted inside the envelope, and a supporting and stretching mechanism for the envelope, including a plate carrying the lighting mechanism and with a longitudinally extending distancing element mounted on the plate. The supporting and stretching mechanism cooperates with an apex and a base of the envelope to stretch the envelope in the longitudinal direction. The balloon further includes at least one shape-maintaining mechanism mounted on the envelope and arranged transversely in relation to the distancing element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Assignee: AIRSTAR
    Inventors: Pierre Chabert, Maxime Polese
  • Patent number: 9366225
    Abstract: An actuating system for controlling the flight of a power wing profile or kite controlled via at least two cables for conversion of wind energy into electrical or mechanical energy, includes a first unit for exerting an action of unwinding-winding of the cables to the same extent, and a second unit set between the power kite and the first unit for providing an action of differential control of the cables. The system employs a single motor or motor/generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: KITENERGY S.R.L.
    Inventors: Mario Milanese, Lorenzo Fagiano, Ilario Gerlero
  • Patent number: 9321518
    Abstract: A vertically stable aerial platform having an envelope assembly with an envelope having an edge and a base. The envelope is an aerodynamically shaped inflatable housing filled with lighter-than-air gas, whereby the envelope is substantially convex and the base is substantially flat. The lighter-than-air gas within the envelope provides lift. Further having a base frame assembly, a tail assembly, and a ground station. The ground station has a winch assembly, an electrical system, and an electrically conducted tether. The electrically conducted tether is wound onto the winch assembly to raise or lower the aerial platform to a desired predetermined altitude having ideal wind conditions at any given time. Further having a mounting post to mount a wind turbine assembly, camera equipment, communication system antennas, and/or equipment thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Inventor: Peter Rabbino
  • Patent number: 9302770
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is disclosed that includes a retractable payload delivery system. The payload delivery system can lower a payload to the ground using a delivery device that secures the payload during descent and releases the payload upon reaching the ground. The delivery device can include a channel in which a payload mount attachment for a payload can be inserted. The payload mount attachment can include an aperture for receiving a retaining rod to secure the attachment, and thus the payload, to the delivery device. The retaining rod can assume either an engaged position, in which a portion of the retaining rod engages the payload mount attachment while the payload mount attachment is inserted in the channel, or a disengaged position, in which the retaining rod does not engage the payload mount attachment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2016
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: James Ryan Burgess, Joanna Cohen
  • Patent number: 9218740
    Abstract: Described is a technology by which driver safety technology such as collision detection is implemented via mobile device (e.g., smartphone) sensors and a cloud service that processes data received from vehicles associated with the devices. Trajectory-related data is received at the cloud service and used to predict collisions between vehicles and/or lane departures of vehicles. To operate the service in real-time with low latency, also described is dividing driving areas into grids, e.g., based upon traffic density, having parallel grid servers each responsible for only vehicles in or approaching its own grid, and other parallel/distributed mechanisms of the cloud service.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2015
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Paramvir Bahl, Srikanth Kandula, Anand Padmanabha Iyer
  • Patent number: 9206952
    Abstract: A solar-powered light source may comprise a solar-powered energy production module. The solar-powered light source may be self-righting. At least one of the energy production module, an energy storage module, a light emission device, or a diffuser may provide the weight for the self-righting effect. The weight may be located substantially near a bottom portion of the solar-powered light source in order to keep the solar-powered light source positioned upright.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: Great American Duck Races, Inc.
    Inventors: Jason Gold, Michael A. Parness, Thomas Allen Sollars, II, Zhao Chunhai
  • Patent number: 9187173
    Abstract: An unmanned, towable air vehicle is described and includes electronic sensors to increase the detection range relative to the horizon detection limitations of a surface craft, an autogyro assembly to provide lift, and a controller to control operation the autogyro assembly for unmanned flight. A forward motive force powers the autogyro assembly to provide lift. In an example, the autogyro assembly includes a mast extending from the container, a rotatable hub on an end of the mast, and a plurality of blades connected to the hub for rotation to provide lift to the vehicle. In an example, an electrical motor rotates the blades prior to lift off to assist in take off. The electrical motor does not have enough power to sustain flight of the vehicle in an example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2015
    Assignee: Heliplane, LLC
    Inventors: John William Morris, Charles A. Jarnot
  • Patent number: 9187165
    Abstract: A control system for a tethered aerostat is provided, where up to two rotational and at least one translational degree of freedom are controlled to setpoints through the variation of tether lengths by an actuator system. The term tether includes a single tether, a tether group or a sub section of tether controlled by an individual actuator. Accurate rotational and translational control is essential for the successful operation of an aerostat under several applications, including surveillance, weather monitoring, and power generation. For a given use case, the controller can be constructed and arranged to manage the tradeoff between several key performance characteristics, such as transient performance, steady-state pointing accuracy, tether tension regulation, and power generation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2015
    Assignee: Altaeros Energies, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher R. Vermillion, Benjamin W. Glass, Andrew D. Goessling
  • Patent number: 9174733
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is disclosed that includes a retractable payload delivery system. The payload delivery system can lower a payload to the ground using a delivery device that secures the payload during descent and releases the payload upon reaching the ground. The delivery device can include a channel in which a payload mount attachment for a payload can be inserted. The payload mount attachment can include an aperture for receiving a retaining rod to secure the attachment, and thus the payload, to the delivery device. The retaining rod can assume either an engaged position, in which a portion of the retaining rod engages the payload mount attachment while the payload mount attachment is inserted in the channel, or a disengaged position, in which the retaining rod does not engage the payload mount attachment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2015
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: James Ryan Burgess, Joanna Cohen
  • Patent number: 9067666
    Abstract: A balloon apparatus is provided having (1) a cage structure that includes (a) a plurality of vertical tendons, where each of the vertical tendons includes a first end and second end, where the first ends of the vertical tendons are all connected to one another and where the second ends of the vertical tendons are all connected to one another and (b) one or more horizontal tendons, where each horizontal tendon is attached to each of the vertical tendons at a corresponding level of the cage structure and (2) a balloon envelope, where the balloon envelop is arranged inside the cage structure and inflatable within the cage structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin Roach, Pamela Desrochers
  • Publication number: 20150134152
    Abstract: A system for high temporal and high spatial resolution monitoring of a field of plants is disclosed. Illustratively, the system includes a plurality of ground based reference objects, a balloon adapted to be positioned above the field of plants, and a balloon positioning system coupled to the balloon and configured to position the balloon relative to the field of plants. An imaging system is supported by the balloon and includes a locations system, at least one camera, and at least one gimbal configured to orient the at least one camera. The imaging system captures at least one image of the field of plants including the plurality of ground based reference objects in the at least one image.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 6, 2014
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Inventors: Tristan Coram, Yang Yang, Terry R. Wright, Pradeep Setlur, Fikru Haile
  • Publication number: 20150083849
    Abstract: The invention provides an improved aerostat system including an aerostat, multiple tether groups and a base station. Spatially distinct tether groups allow for improved stability and controllability over a wide range of wind conditions. Independent actuation of the tether groups allows for control of the aerostat pitch and roll angle. A rotating platform including rails to rest the aerostat allows docking without auxiliary tethers, minimizing or eliminating the ground crew required to dock traditional aerostat systems. An optional controller allows remote or autonomous operation of the aerostat system. The invention is intended to extend the flight envelope in which aerostat systems can safely operate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2013
    Publication date: March 26, 2015
    Inventors: Benjamin W. Glass, Christopher R. Vermillion, Ephraim R. Lanford
  • Patent number: 8985498
    Abstract: The present invention is realized by apparatus and methods for placing a large utility scale photovoltaic array in the low stratosphere of earth's atmosphere at an altitude of about 20 km, above clouds, moisture, dust, and wind. This is accomplished using a large light-weight, rigid, buoyant structure to support the large photovoltaic array. Long, strong and light tethers connect the buoyant structure to the ground and hold it in position against wind forces. The electricity output from the photovoltaic array is then coupled to high voltage transmission lines which connect from the platform to the earth's surface. The electricity is then transmitted through the high voltage transmission lines to the earth's surface where it is connected to the electrical supply grid and provides lower cost, more reliable electricity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Inventor: Edmund Joseph Kelly
  • Patent number: 8985499
    Abstract: The present invention is realized by apparatus and methods for placing a large rigid buoyant platform in the low stratosphere of earth's atmosphere at an altitude of about 20 km, above clouds, moisture, dust, and wind. The platform can serve several uses, either individually or in any combination. These uses include uninterrupted radio and light communications, radar and optical observation including very powerful radars and solar power electricity generation. Long, strong and light tethers connect the buoyant structure to the ground which hold it in position against wind forces. The electricity output from a photovoltaic array is used to power platform uses and can also be coupled to high voltage transmission lines which transmit power from the platform to the earth's surface during daylight hours. Power can also be transmitted up to the platform during darkness to power facilities mounted on the platform ensuring continuous operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Inventor: Edmund Joseph Kelly
  • Patent number: 8939396
    Abstract: A system includes a plurality of liquid-hydrogen-producing balloon stations that form a total network for distributing liquid hydrogen, and said balloon stations in the network are positioned at the nearest of said target areas of use, substantially above the latter, such that the transfer of the liquid hydrogen between said production balloon stations and said target areas of use is minimal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: Astrium SAS
    Inventor: Jean-François Geneste
  • Publication number: 20140374537
    Abstract: A portable airborne multi-mission platform designed to collect meteorological data and perform other missions, either alone or in a modular array. Each portable airborne multi-mission platform comprises a tethered aerostat; a hydrogen generation, storage, and recovery system; and a control system. The tethered aerostat consists of an airship, a horizontal axis wind turbine, and a tether cable. The airship is both self-inflating and self-deflating and has the geometry of a wind concentrator and diffuser in fluid communication with the wind turbine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 27, 2013
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Inventor: Alexander Anatoliy Anderson
  • Patent number: 8864064
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a lighter than air platform, a reversible propulsive/wind turbine, a deployable anchor to constrain movement of the lighter than air platform with respect to an anchor point allowing wind to drive the turbine, and a generator/motor coupled to the turbine to produce electrical power when movement of the lighter than air platform is constrained. A method performed by the apparatus is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Donald DiMarzio, Theodore W. Hilgeman, Alice DiBiasio, Thomas J. Hunt, Douglas R. Frei, Roy A. Charletta, Michael Melnyk
  • Publication number: 20140306057
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for a communication system configured to be used in land geophysical operations. The system includes: a balloon configured to lift one or more antennas; at least one cable connected to the balloon and configured for transmission of at least one of power and data, configured as a tether connected to the balloon and configured to be deployed such that an altitude of the balloon is between 50 and 100 meters; one or more antennas mounted internally or externally to the balloon and configured to extend a communication range between a base station, a command and control truck, and one or more seismic shooting devices for communicating information associated with seismic acquisition activities; and an electronics suite configured to trigger a controlled descent of the balloon and configured to deflate the balloon.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 27, 2014
    Publication date: October 16, 2014
    Applicant: CGG SERVICES SA
    Inventors: Laurent CASSE, Eelco SIXMA
  • Publication number: 20140270795
    Abstract: The present invention is realized by apparatus and methods for placing a large rigid buoyant platform in the low stratosphere of earth's atmosphere at an altitude of about 20 km, above clouds, moisture, dust, and wind. The platform can serve several uses, either individually or in any combination. These uses include uninterrupted radio and light communications, radar and optical observation including very powerful radars and solar power electricity generation. Long, strong and light tethers connect the buoyant structure to the ground which hold it in position against wind forces. The electricity output from a photovoltaic array is used to power platform uses and can also be coupled to high voltage transmission lines which transmit power from the platform to the earth's surface during daylight hours. Power can also be transmitted up to the platform during darkness to power facilities mounted on the platform ensuring continuous operation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventor: Edmund Joseph Kelly
  • Publication number: 20140238460
    Abstract: The present invention is realized by apparatus and methods for placing a large utility scale photovoltaic array in the low stratosphere of earth's atmosphere at an altitude of about 20km, above clouds, moisture, dust, and wind. This is accomplished using a large light-weight, rigid, buoyant structure to support the large photovoltaic array. Long, strong and light tethers connect the buoyant structure to the ground and hold it in position against wind forces. The electricity output from the photovoltaic array is then coupled to high voltage transmission lines which connect from the platform to the earth's surface. The electricity is then transmitted through the high voltage transmission lines to the earth's surface where it is connected to the electrical supply grid and provides lower cost, more reliable electricity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2013
    Publication date: August 28, 2014
    Inventor: Edmund Joseph Kelly
  • Patent number: 8740153
    Abstract: The invention relates to an aerodynamic wind propulsion device, particularly for watercrafts, comprising an aerodynamic wing being connected to a steering unit located below the aerodynamic wing via a plurality of tractive lines, a tractive cable, a first end of the tractive cable being connected to the steering unit and a second end of the tractive cable being connected to a base platform, the aerodynamic wing having an aerodynamic profile which generates an uplift force in the direction of the tractive cable when the airflow direction is about perpendicular to the tractive cable. According to the invention, an aerodynamic wing is provided being coupled to a steering unit located close below the wing via a plurality of tractive lines of different elasticity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: SkySails GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Bernd Specht, Xaver Paulig, Robert Drechsler, Stephan Brabeck
  • Patent number: 8668161
    Abstract: An illustrative airship system for long endurance stratospheric operations includes an upper airship and a first end of a tether attached to the upper airship. A lower airship is attached to a second end of the tether and a payload airship is reversibly mated to the lower airship. The airship system is free flying and configured to maintain long duration station keeping. Illustrative methods for long endurance stratospheric operations are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2014
    Assignee: Stratospheric Airships, LLC
    Inventor: Stephen Heppe
  • Publication number: 20140054412
    Abstract: An aerial balloon system comprising a payload platform suspended from an inflated balloon by means of a balloon cable, and an anchoring cable attaching the platform to an anchor point beneath it. The balloon cable and anchoring cable are attached to the payload platform by means of a connecting element pivotally attached to the platform. The platform may include a servo controlled pitch stabilizing system using the input from a pitch sensor mounted on the platform to control an angular actuator to change the angle which the platform makes with the pivoted connection element. Additionally, the platform may include a servo controlled orientation stabilizing system using the input from an orientation sensor mounted thereon to control the departure of the orientation of the platform from a predetermined orientation. This may be readily accomplished using a variable pitch rotor, the pitch being controlled by the orientation sensor signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2012
    Publication date: February 27, 2014
    Inventors: Avishay Guetta, Ragael Amber, Yuval Guetta
  • Publication number: 20140034780
    Abstract: An aerial toy including an aerial flying toy object that at least one of floats, flies, and soars in air for an extended period of time; an aerial flying toy string tethered to the aerial flying toy object; an aerial flying toy raising and lowering assembly including: a handle; a housing including a top, a front, and a rear; an aerial flying toy string reel rotatably carried within the housing and carrying the aerial flying toy string; an electric motor carried within the housing and operably coupled to the balloon string reel for driving rotation of the balloon string reel; a power source carried within the housing for powering the electric motor; an aerial flying toy string snag prevention mechanism that helps prevent snagging of the aerial flying toy string.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 8, 2013
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Inventor: Alejandro Doring Gonzalez
  • Publication number: 20130299629
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for a continuous replenishing of the lift gas and maintaining the proper pressure and lift of a tethered medium altitude aerostat utilizing a novel feed tube running the entire length of the tether. A first end of the feed tube is connected to the aerostat while a second end is connected through a novel slip ring means to a pressure controlled helium ballast chamber and scrubber on the ground to maintain pressure and lift by a reversible compressing pump. A plurality of pressure and temperature sensors and tension gauges strategically placed inside and around the airship continuously monitor the temperature and pressure changes in the aerostat. A data retrieval and communication unit mounted on the aerostat collects measurement data from the pressure, temperature and tension sensors which is relayed to the ground station and the data is used to regulate lifting gas pressure inside the aerostat.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 15, 2013
    Publication date: November 14, 2013
    Inventor: YEE-CHUN LEE
  • Publication number: 20130264413
    Abstract: There is provided a stratospheric stay facility that allows humans to stay in the stratosphere in the altitude range of 15 to 25 kilometers. The stratospheric stay facility includes a structure for stay 10 having a cabin in which an environment allowing humans to stay in it is maintained and having resistance to pressure in an environment at a highest altitude at which the structure for stay is kept flying, airships 20 that are adapted to be capable of ascending to the sky by buoyancy and lifts the structure for stay 10 to keep it flying in the stratosphere in the altitude range of 15 to 25 kilometers, and first mooring cables 50 and second mooring cable 80 each of which has a first end fixed to the structure for stay 10 and a second end fixed to the ground to moor the structure for stay 10.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2010
    Publication date: October 10, 2013
    Applicant: SAKASE ADTECH CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Takahira Aoki, Yasuyuki Miyazaki, Ryoji Sakai, Yoshiko Yoneyama
  • Patent number: 8544788
    Abstract: An aerostat assembly, specifically an aerostat assembly including one or more cameras for aerial photography and surveillance. The aerostat assembly includes a frame assembly having a pivot assembly joined to a balloon tether line. Thrusters on the frame allow an operator to maneuver the assembly to desired positions as well as rotate the frame assembly about the pivot assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Captures, LLC
    Inventor: Harry M. Capper
  • Patent number: 8534217
    Abstract: A location signaling device comprising a wing balloon for signaling a location. The wing balloon is fixed to a tether line that itself is fixed to the location to be signaled. The wing balloon has an inflatable aerodynamically shaped hollow body to be at least partly be filled with a lighter-than-air gas and having a wing attack surface for air flowing relative to said wing balloon. The floating aloft of said wing balloon is supported by said air flow. When the wing balloon is inflated, a flexible wing portion is passively variable. The stronger the wind, the less attack is given. Thus, the dragging force on the tether line is generally static.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Inventor: Hans Sjoblom
  • Publication number: 20130193266
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a lighter than air platform, a reversible propulsive/wind turbine, a deployable anchor to constrain movement of the lighter than air platform with respect to an anchor point allowing wind to drive the turbine, and a generator/motor coupled to the turbine to produce electrical power when movement of the lighter than air platform is constrained. A method performed by the apparatus is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: August 1, 2013
    Applicant: Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation
    Inventor: Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation
  • Patent number: 8485465
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for a continuous replenishing of the lift gas and maintaining the proper pressure and lift of a tethered medium altitude aerostat utilizing a novel feed tube running the entire length of the tether. A first end of the feed tube is connected to the aerostat while a second end is connected through a novel slip ring means to a pressure controlled helium ballast chamber and scrubber on the ground to maintain pressure and lift by a reversible compressing pump. A plurality of pressure and temperature sensors and tension gauges strategically placed inside and around the airship continuously monitor the temperature and pressure changes in the aerostat. A data retrieval and communication unit mounted on the aerostat collects measurement data from the pressure, temperature and tension sensors which is relayed to the ground station and the data is used to regulate lifting gas pressure inside the aerostat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: StratoComm Corporation
    Inventor: Yee-Chun Lee
  • Patent number: 8444081
    Abstract: A flying apparatus having a frame configured to couple to a high voltage tether system, and at least one motor module mounted to the frame, the module including a holding structure attached to the frame, a rotating structure, including a rotor shaft, configured to rotate relative to the holding structure, a rotor attached to the rotor shaft and a plurality of motors attached to the holding structure, each including a drive shaft configured to engage with the rotor shaft, wherein the motors are configured to receive electrical energy from the tether system and drive the drive shafts to create a torque on the rotor shaft to thereby rotate the rotor and create lift to fly the apparatus from the ground to a desired position aloft while remaining coupled to the tether system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Assignee: JST, LLC
    Inventor: Albert J. Grenier
  • Publication number: 20130119189
    Abstract: A location signaling device comprising a wing balloon for signaling a location. The wing balloon is fixed to a tether line that itself is fixed to the location to be signaled. The wing balloon has an inflatable aerodynamically shaped hollow body to be at least partly be filled with a lighter-than-air gas and having a wing attack surface for air flowing relative to said wing balloon. The floating aloft of said wing balloon is supported by said air flow. When the wing balloon is inflated, a flexible wing portion is passively variable. The stronger the wind, the less attack is given. Thus, the dragging force on the tether line is generally static.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2012
    Publication date: May 16, 2013
    Inventor: Hans Sjoblom
  • Patent number: 8434711
    Abstract: In this invention, there is provided a method and device for shielding and deflecting unguided missiles, mortars and other projectiles and ordnance. A plurality of lighter-than-air balloons are tethered from a plurality of ground anchors so that the balloons are positioned spaced apart, adjacent to, along and buoyed above the border to be defended between the launch area and the target area. A defense shield is suspended from the plurality of tethered lighter-than-air balloons, extending generally vertically covering a range of heights for engaging and deflecting missiles launched along the expected trajectories.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Inventors: Joel F. Berman, John W. Montgomery
  • Patent number: 8356569
    Abstract: A location signalling device comprising a wing balloon for signalling a location. The wing balloon is fixed to a tether line that itself is fixed to the location to be signalled. The wing balloon has an inflatable aerodynamically shaped hollow body to be at least partly be filled with a lighter-than-air gas and having a wing attack surface for air flowing relative to said wing balloon. The floating aloft of said wing balloon is supported by said air flow. When the wing balloon is inflated, a flexible wing portion is passively variable. The stronger the wind, the less attack is given. Thus, the dragging force on the tether line is generally static.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Inventor: Hans Sjoblom
  • Publication number: 20130007935
    Abstract: A rocket launch system (1) includes a tubular rocket launcher carriage (2) with electromotive cableway traction drives (26) conveyed beneath a two axis pivot (63) anchored to the earth, elevated into a co-axial transfer tube (124, 143) leading to three primary tether cables (27) whose weight is offset by balloons (164). The carriage is conveyed to a docking station (166) supported into the stratosphere by a pair of secondary cables (184) suspended under an attachment frame (162) for tensioning balloons. The carriage is engaged by a carriage end gripper (196) guided by two secondary and two tertiary cables (186) and lifted by a lower hoist (198) guided by the secondary cables. This lower hoist is supported by an upper hoist (168) suspended from the tensioning balloons attachment frame.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 10, 2011
    Publication date: January 10, 2013
    Inventors: Howard M. Chin, Kimberly A. Carraha
  • Publication number: 20120312919
    Abstract: A system for lifting gas replenishment in a tethered airship system includes an upper airship with a first end of a tether attached to the upper airship. A balloon is configured to travel up the tether toward the upper airship carrying a payload of lifting gas. A method for gas replenishment of an airship is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 8, 2011
    Publication date: December 13, 2012
    Inventor: Stephen Heppe
  • Publication number: 20120286089
    Abstract: The subject matter described herein relates to strain reduction on a balloon system in extreme weather conditions. The strain reduction is achieved by using an elastic bungee between a balloon and the tether attached to the balloon. As wind pushes on the balloon, immediate pressure caused by the wind is cushioned on the elastic bungee rather than on the balloon or the tether, thereby reducing immediate force and tension on either the balloon or the tether. Thus, the balloon system that includes the balloon and the tether is protected from damage that can possibly be caused by tension due to pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2011
    Publication date: November 15, 2012
    Applicant: Safe, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark E. Ogram
  • Publication number: 20120241554
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for transporting and dispersing solid particles into the earth's stratosphere, comprising a conduit connecting a substantially ground level location to an elevated location, a particle transport means, and a deagglomeration means coupled with a dispersal means, wherein the deagglomeration means and dispersal means are located at an elevated location, and to a method of transporting particles of high refractive index into the stratosphere as well as to an aircraft and to a cloud thus formed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 15, 2010
    Publication date: September 27, 2012
    Applicant: Davidson Technology Limited
    Inventors: Peter Davidson, Hugh Edmund Murray Hunt, Christopher John Burgoyne
  • Publication number: 20120235410
    Abstract: An integrated solar and wind energy conversion system that is carried aloft by an aerostat/balloon, which is filled with lighter-than-air gas or hot air comprises solar panel array and wind turbine array to convert solar radiation and wind power into usable and renewable energy for on and/or off-grid application or storage. The solar panel array includes at least one of the flexible solar panel and spray on solar composite or combinations thereof. The present invention requires minimal land mass, can be deployed in remote areas, it can be deployed as permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary configurations. The present invention uses computers to automate many of the systems function for maximum energy harvesting. The present invention can be used both day and night.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2011
    Publication date: September 20, 2012
    Inventor: Richard J. Serrano