Aircraft Actuation Of Land-based Landing Guides Patents (Class 340/948)
  • Patent number: 10387727
    Abstract: Described is a method that involves operating an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to begin a flight, where the UAV relies on a navigation system to navigate to a destination. During the flight, the method involves operating a camera to capture images of the UAV's environment, and analyzing the images to detect features in the environment. The method also involves establishing a correlation between features detected in different images, and using location information from the navigation system to localize a feature detected in different images. Further, the method involves generating a flight log that includes the localized feature. Also, the method involves detecting a failure involving the navigation system, and responsively operating the camera to capture a post-failure image. The method also involves identifying one or more features in the post-failure image, and determining a location of the UAV based on a relationship between an identified feature and a localized feature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: Wing Aviation LLC
    Inventors: Dinuka Abeywardena, Damien Jourdan
  • Patent number: 10372143
    Abstract: A method and system for automated air traffic management of unmanned vehicles that assures safety and continuous flow, even for vehicles of wide-ranging capabilities. Some embodiments include onboard equipment that distributes the burden of management across all the vehicles in a given airspace so that autonomous cooperation between vehicles creates useful group-level behavior. Vehicles carry definitions of rules of interaction on shared flyways. In conjunction with a means of exchanging location and velocity information with close neighbors, onboard algorithms calculate complementary navigation vectors that inform each vehicle's autopilot of a cooperative trajectory. The collective result of individual, autonomous decisions is cooperation at a group scale that manages traffic features such as density and spacing without the need for a ground-based communication infrastructure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: Apium Inc.
    Inventors: Tyler MacCready, Alan Nise
  • Patent number: 10117260
    Abstract: A method and system for communicating and sharing information for an aircraft are disclosed. In one aspect, the method includes identifying a situation from among a set of predetermined situations and obtaining, from a data structure recorded beforehand, a first set of information elements associated with the identified situation. The method also includes determining, from the first set of information elements, and from pieces of information recorded beforehand, a set of pieces of information unavailable in the first system and establishing at least one first request to be sent from the first system to at least one second system. The method further includes sending the at least one first request from the first system to the at least one second system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Fany Barailler, Nicolas Rossi, Antoine Lacombe
  • Patent number: 9536434
    Abstract: A method and apparatus of turning an aircraft for interval management. Interval management information identifying a desired spacing between the aircraft and a target aircraft is received. Turn information is determined using a performance gain factor. The turn information identifies a turn point for the aircraft. The performance gain factor identifies a desired portion of achieving the desired spacing due to turning the aircraft at the turn point and a desired portion of achieving the desired spacing due to changing speed of the aircraft. The turn information is used to turn the aircraft at the turn point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2017
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Julien Emile Sebastien Scharl, David M. Myers, Aslaug Haraldsdottir
  • Patent number: 9442490
    Abstract: A system and method for aircraft performance predictions for descent and approach phases are disclosed. In one embodiment, cruise computation is stopped substantially around a default distance from a destination. Further, current predicted aircraft state is determined using a total energy of the aircraft starting from the default distance. Furthermore, descent and approach phase profiles are computed using the determined current predicted aircraft state. In addition, the aircraft performance predictions are obtained using the computed descent and approach phase profiles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: AIRBUS ENGINEERING CENTRE INDIA
    Inventors: Veeresh Kumar Mn, Dinesh Kumar Kushwaha, Chaitanya Pavan Kumar
  • Patent number: 9355566
    Abstract: Example systems and methods for controlling aircraft arrivals at a waypoint are disclosed. An example method for controlling aircraft arrivals at a merging waypoint includes defining a tie waypoint at a first distance from the merging waypoint and generating a first parameter set of flight instructions for aircraft arriving at the tie waypoint. The first parameter set includes an aircraft speed instruction for a target separation between a first aircraft arriving at a target waypoint downstream of the tie waypoint and a second aircraft arriving at the target waypoint. The example method includes defining a diversionary flight path at a second distance from the merging waypoint. The second distance is less than the first distance. The method also includes generating a second parameter set of flight instructions for the aircraft arriving at the diversionary flight path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2016
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: David Garrido-Lopez, Ramon Gomez Ledesma
  • Patent number: 8897935
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to a system for preventing collisions with a terrain. The system includes a detecting means for detecting risks of collision with the terrain after a predetermined forecasting delay. The system further includes a determining means for determining, based on a trajectory followed by the aircraft, a possible limit point for success of the vertical terrain avoidance maneuver. The system further includes indication means for giving indications on azimuth clearance sections, around the direction in which the aircraft is moving, suitable for success of the vertical terrain avoidance maneuver. The system further includes means for estimating a free-travel distance in each azimuth clearance sector on a straight distancing trajectory with constant gradient and over a distance correspond to more than one minute of flight, the free-travel distance being free of potential conflicts with the terrain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Hugues Meunier, Nicolas Marty, Julia Percier
  • Patent number: 8890718
    Abstract: An aircraft terrain awareness warning system is disclosed that includes an interface for entering flight plan details of an aircraft including at least one waypoint. The terrain awareness warning system is configured such that potential-terrain-collision alerts are suppressed in the aircraft during landing operations performed at waypoints associated with landing zones.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Sandel Avionics, Inc.
    Inventor: Gerald J. Block
  • Patent number: 8816881
    Abstract: A runway digital wind indicator system senses wind conditions at multiple locations, aggregates this data, and communicates up-to-date, usable information to pilots. Meteorological information, including wind speed, direction, and change (i.e., gustiness) plus temperature, humidity, barometer, wind shear, etc., can be sensed by three or more sensor pods placed along a runway (at least one at each end and another in the middle of a given runway). Data from these pods is then transferred to a computer receiver that processes the information into a real-time, concise, readable format that can be displayed to air traffic control, sent to runway digital display signs placed in proximity to runways for direct pilot reference, and/or posted to websites/internet locations that can then be used to wirelessly relay the information to any of a plethora of digital devices that can be accessed directly by a pilot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Inventors: Roger L. Nakata, Daniel G. Sprinkle
  • Patent number: 8788187
    Abstract: A method and system for providing taxiway navigational information to a crewmember of an airplane taxiing at an airport. An airport taxiway navigation system (“ATNS”) that executes on an onboard computer system that displays a map of the taxiways of an airport, receives the name of each taxiway of the taxi route specified by the taxi clearance, and highlights the taxiways on a displayed map to provide a visual indication of the cleared taxi route for the crewmembers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Reagan Doose, Richard W. Ellerbrock, Glade L. Hulet, John M. Jauglias, Matthew T. Majka
  • Patent number: 8773289
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are present for monitoring a runway. Data is received about the runway from a number of sensors associated with an aircraft while the aircraft performs an operation on the runway. A number of conditions are identified for the runway using the data received from the number of sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Jeanne C. Maggiore, Wayne R. Majkowski, Kevin L. Swearingen
  • Patent number: 8681020
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided for automated control of aerodrome lighting. An exemplary system includes a communication radio, an aerodrome lighting data source, and a processor. The communication radio is configured to selectively transmit radio frequency (RF) signals. The aerodrome lighting data source is configured to at least selectively supply aerodrome lighting data representative of light control characteristics of aerodrome lighting associated with individual aerodromes. The processor is in operable communication with the aerodrome lighting data source and the communication radio, and is configured to selectively retrieve, from the aerodrome lighting data source, aerodrome lighting data associated with an individual aerodrome, and selectively command the communication radio to transmit RF signals consistent with the light control characteristics associated with the individual aerodrome.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Sabu Mathew, Nithin Ambika, Wesley Peter, Swetha Balasa, Shashidhara Veerabhadraiah
  • Patent number: 8665138
    Abstract: A system for preventing light pollution includes one or more radar units that monitor for vehicles in a volume surrounding or containing one or more obstructions having one or more obstruction lights. A master radar detection processing unit receives sensed radar detection information from the one or more radar units with associated radar signal processing units and determines whether a vehicle is present within the monitored volume. A plurality of obstruction light controller units are interconnected in a network, such as a wireless network. Each obstruction light controller unit turns on an obstruction light when a vehicle enters the monitored volume or a failure condition exists, and turns off the obstruction light when the vehicle has vacated the monitored volume and no failure condition exists. The one or more radar units can transmit sensed radar detection information to a master radar detection processing unit via the network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: Laufer Wind Group LLC
    Inventor: Eric David Laufer
  • Patent number: 8666571
    Abstract: A flight control system for a flying object comprises a flying object, a navigating means provided in the flying object, a position measuring unit 17, a flight control unit 18 for controlling the navigating means, and a main arithmetic control unit 19 for controlling the position measuring unit and the flight control unit, and in the flight control system for a flying object, the position measuring unit has a GPS device 23 for measuring a ground coordinate of the flying object and a vertical camera 13 for taking a digital image below the flying object and measures an altitude of the flying object based on images at two points taken by the vertical camera, on ground coordinates of the two points measured by the GPS device, and on a focal length of the vertical camera, and the main arithmetic control unit controls the navigating means via the flight control unit based on the measured altitude and makes the flying object fly at a predetermined altitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha TOPCON
    Inventors: Fumio Ohtomo, Hitoshi Otani
  • Patent number: 8531315
    Abstract: A method and system for displaying three dimensional images of runways and terrain, as well as additional information, on one or more screens of an avionics display system is provided. The system merges elevation information for terrain points and elevation information for runway points by grouping runways together that are within a threshold distance of each other. For each group, a plane is calculated. The calculated plane is then projected onto all of the runways within the group. The plane may also be projected onto a subset of neighboring terrain points. The adjusted elevation created by the projection of the plane are then used in creating the images for display on the synthetic vision display. The result is that all of the runways within a group, along with their neighboring terrain, are displayed as being coplanar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: L-3 Communications Avionics Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Brett A. Painter, Joshua C. Seabloom
  • Patent number: 8494222
    Abstract: Techniques are disclosed for a video surveillance system to learn to recognize complex behaviors by analyzing pixel data using alternating layers of clustering and sequencing. A combination of a self organizing map (SOM) and an adaptive resonance theory (ART) network may be used to identify a variety of different anomalous inputs at each cluster layer. As progressively higher layers of the cortex model component represent progressively higher levels of abstraction, anomalies occurring in the higher levels of the cortex model represent observations of behavioral anomalies corresponding to progressively complex patterns of behavior.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: Behavioral Recognition Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Wesley Kenneth Cobb, David Friedlander, Kishor Adinath Saitwal, Ming-Jung Seow, Gang Xu
  • Publication number: 20130147641
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided for automated control of aerodrome lighting. An exemplary system includes a communication radio, an aerodrome lighting data source, and a processor. The communication radio is configured to selectively transmit radio frequency (RF) signals. The aerodrome lighting data source is configured to at least selectively supply aerodrome lighting data representative of light control characteristics of aerodrome lighting associated with individual aerodromes. The processor is in operable communication with the aerodrome lighting data source and the communication radio, and is configured to selectively retrieve, from the aerodrome lighting data source, aerodrome lighting data associated with an individual aerodrome, and selectively command the communication radio to transmit RF signals consistent with the light control characteristics associated with the individual aerodrome.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2011
    Publication date: June 13, 2013
    Applicant: HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC.
    Inventors: Sabu Mathew, Nithin Ambika, Wesley Peter, Swetha Balasa, Shashidhara Veerabhadraiah
  • Patent number: 8442706
    Abstract: A system and method to facilitate approach of a VTOL aircraft to an offshore facility includes inputting a waypoint for a landing platform of an offshore facility into an aircraft module, inputting an offset distance from the landing platform into the aircraft module, inputting a minimum descent height into an aircraft module, and inputting a final approach inbound course toward the landing platform into the aircraft module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Ronald S. Doeppner, Donald W. Fowler, Stephen P. Lee, Lan Hoang, Anil Mehra
  • Patent number: 8384730
    Abstract: A present novel and non-trivial system, apparatus, and method for generating HUD image data from synthetic image data is disclosed. Based on a multi-channel pixel intensity data set generated by a synthetic vision system, a single-channel pixel intensity data set representative of a lighted solid image of terrain comprised of a plurality of intensities of one color may be generated. The single-channel pixel intensity image data set may be determined as a function of multi-channel pixel intensity data set and channel weighting, where channel weighting may be based on sky and/or terrain colors employed by an SVS. Based on the multi-channel pixel intensity data set, a three-dimensional perspective scene outside the aircraft may be presented to the pilot on a HUD combiner. Also, the multi-channel pixel intensity data set may be modified by using at least one chroma key, where such chroma key may be assigned to a specific multi-channel pixel intensity value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Travis S. VanDerKamp, Daniel Y. Chiew, Jeffrey D. Russell
  • Patent number: 8319667
    Abstract: A system and method of conveying missed approach procedures to a pilot are provided. The system and method include rendering a graphic representation of at least one leg of the missed approach procedure on a display. A determination is made as to whether the aircraft is at least substantially flying the at least one leg of the missed approach procedure. At least one visual characteristic of the rendered graphic is selectively varied based on the determination of whether the aircraft is at least substantially flying the at least one leg of the missed approach procedure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Roger W. Burgin, Blake Wilson, Sandy Wyatt
  • Patent number: 8275495
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method and device, which provide an enhanced ability to monitor the navigation of an aircraft during a phase of flight in which the aircraft is close to the ground in which the aircraft uses positional information supplied by a satellite positioning system for the navigation. A display screen is used to display a first characteristic sign representing a selected setpoint value for a height parameter of the aircraft. The display screen also displays a second characteristic sign representing a current auxiliary value expressed in the form of an achievable height parameter. An alert is emitted when the second characteristic sign is determined to be within a predetermined height value of the first characteristic sign, and the alert is shown in visual format on the display screen. An alarm is also emitted following a predetermined time after the alert is emitted, if the setpoint value is not replaced by a new setpoint value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignees: Airbus Operations SAS, Airbus
    Inventors: Fabien Joyeux, Adrien Ott, Melanie Morel, Romain Merat, Stephane Dattler, Francois Barre, Armelle Seillier
  • Patent number: 8209072
    Abstract: A method and device to assist in the piloting of an aircraft in a landing phase may apply a maximum braking of the aircraft if there is a risk of longitudinal departure from a runway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignees: Airbus Operations SAS, Airbus
    Inventors: Fabrice Villaume, Armand Jacob, Robert Lignee
  • Patent number: 8180105
    Abstract: Techniques are disclosed for a video surveillance system to learn to recognize complex behaviors by analyzing pixel data using alternating layers of clustering and sequencing. A combination of a self organizing map (SOM) and an adaptive resonance theory (ART) network may be used to identify a variety of different anomalous inputs at each cluster layer. As progressively higher layers of the cortex model component represent progressively higher levels of abstraction, anomalies occurring in the higher levels of the cortex model represent observations of behavioral anomalies corresponding to progressively complex patterns of behavior.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2012
    Assignee: Behavioral Recognition Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Wesley Kenneth Cobb, David Friedlander, Kishor Adinath Saitwal, Ming-Jung Seow, Gang Xu
  • Patent number: 8170283
    Abstract: Techniques are disclosed for a video surveillance system to learn to recognize complex behaviors by analyzing pixel data using alternating layers of clustering and sequencing. A video surveillance system may be configured to observe a scene (as depicted in a sequence of video frames) and, over time, develop hierarchies of concepts including classes of objects, actions and behaviors. That is, the video surveillance system may develop models at progressively more complex levels of abstraction used to identify what events and behaviors are common and which are unusual. When the models have matured, the video surveillance system issues alerts on unusual events.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Behavioral Recognition Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Wesley Kenneth Cobb, David Friedlander, Kishor Adinath Saitwal, Ming-Jung Seow, Gang Xu
  • Patent number: 8125352
    Abstract: The invention pertains to optoelectronic devices for aiding the guidance and taxiing of aircraft, comprising a so-called head-up collimator allowing the presentation of information in the pilot's visual field. It applies notably to large-size civil aircraft of the Boeing 747 or Airbus A380 type. The optoelectronic device comprises means for calculating a deviation factor for the actual trajectory of said aircraft relative to a theoretical trajectory on said traffic way, means for generating symbols and at least one head-up collimator comprising means for displaying and superimposing said symbols on the outside landscape. The deviation factor is calculated on the basis of an angle (PÂ?G) and that the means for generating symbols generate a symbol representing said deviation factor, so as to be superimposed on said traffic way.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Bernard Dubourg, François Michel
  • Patent number: 8112188
    Abstract: Disclosed is a device for aiding the piloting of an aircraft in an approach phase during landing. The device includes a guidance system for aiding guidance of the aircraft. Controllers can be actuated by the system during an initial phase in accordance with a first guidance mode and during a terminal phase in accordance with a second guidance mode. The transition between the first and second guidance modes can be achieved automatically by the guidance system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Operation SAS
    Inventors: Patrice Rouquette, Jean-Philippe Huynh
  • Patent number: 8078344
    Abstract: A display system and method for an aircraft displays, in real-time, the protected airspace associated with a CTL maneuver. The system processes aircraft approach category data and determines the protected airspace based at least in part on the processed aircraft approach category. An image representative of the determined protected airspace is displayed on the aircraft flight deck display system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: David B. Dwyer, Aaron J. Gannon
  • Patent number: 7970507
    Abstract: This invention provides a system and method for autonomously tracking a moving target from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with a variety of airframe and sensor payload capabilities so that the target remains within the vehicle's sensor field of view regardless of the specific target motion patterns. The invention uses information about target location, UAV platform type and states, sensor payload capability, and ratio of target-to-UAV speeds to select from a suite of sub-algorithms, each of which generates desired platform positions (in form of waypoints) and/or sensor orientation commands to keep the target in view.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Kingsley O C Fregene, Peter Lommel
  • Patent number: 7589644
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method to help a person responsible for a vehicle on an airport to follow running procedures in the airport, the vehicle including a device for using the method, including: a database including: data modelling all or some of an airport environment; one or several acquisition devices for acquiring procedures applicable to the running operation on the airport; one or several devices configured to acquire and determine vehicle status information; calculation means using the database; graphic transcription means and warning means; means of generating sound and visual alarms; wherein the assistance method includes at least the following steps: determine applicable procedures; continuously calculate deviations between the behaviour of the vehicle and applicable procedures; graphic transcription of progress of the vehicle while running and deviations from applicable procedures; trigger visual and/or sound alerts when a predetermined deviation threshold is crossed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventor: Hugues Meunier
  • Patent number: 7551105
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an object oriented architecture that includes a plurality of host aircraft interface objects that enable a plurality of different host aircraft or variants to be attached or interfaced to an associated store, such as a targeting pod or a weapon system. The union of all aircraft hosts and variants are packaged and maintained as one executable capable of adapting to the predetermined suite of identified hosts and host variants. At least one or more interface objects provide a virtual translation layer which is dynamically determined and allocated during instantiation. Auto detection of the host aircraft/host aircraft variant provides the specific interface protocol by which the store can process and provide status via a predetermined signal format.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2009
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Robin H. Lewis, Kenneth E. Williams
  • Patent number: 7535380
    Abstract: Optical device for indicating the glide angle for aircraft, comprising at least one unit (10) for generating a light ray with a predefined colour, at least one unit (20) for transmitting said light ray and creating a light image, and at least one unit (30) for remotely projecting said light image, characterized in that said generating unit (10) comprises at least one light source consisting of an LED (11) and said unit (20) for transmitting the light ray and creating a light image is of the optical fibre type (21, 22).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2009
    Assignee: Calzoni S.r.l.
    Inventors: Daniele Maria Bertin, Laura De Maria
  • Patent number: 7477164
    Abstract: The flight display includes a vertical terrain profile display having a format that includes a side-on vertical terrain profile comprising a plurality of color filled vertical alerting bands representing areas of terrain that are within defined limits above and below the airplane altitude. A symbol is positioned relative to the side-on vertical terrain profile for representing an altitude and position of the aircraft. Displays of range and altitude are positioned relative to the symbol and side-on vertical terrain profile in predetermined increments. In another broad aspect the side-on vertical terrain profile includes a plurality of color filled horizontal absolute altitude bands representing the absolute altitude of the terrain. These displays may be accompanied by nested color filled blocks representing weather hazards and/or terrain alerting prediction icons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2009
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventor: Sarah Barber
  • Patent number: 7474962
    Abstract: A method for guiding the approach and landing of an aircraft is provided. The method involves receiving navigation information from the aircraft, receiving navigation information from an aircraft carrier, integrating the navigation information from the aircraft with the navigation information from the aircraft carrier to determine a relative velocity and a relative position between the aircraft and the aircraft carrier, and propagating the relative velocity and the relative position forward in time for navigation purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2009
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: James Waid, Kevin Dutton, Adam Boseley, Kenneth S. Morgan, Phil Hess, Michael Vaujin
  • Patent number: 7412324
    Abstract: The present invention is a flight management system with precision merging that may determine a rejoin turn location based upon a heading to allow proper spacing between an aircraft and an identified target aircraft. The flight management system may monitor for deviation from assigned airspace, winds, turn radius and desired airport speed profile for the approach to further refine a turn-back location. Advantageously, a delay in landing of the target aircraft may not affect the landing approach of other aircraft. This may result in more accurate spacing between aircraft which are closer to the allowed separation minima and may provide an increase in capacity especially in high-density areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2008
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles J. Bagge, Donald J. Whalen, Bechara J. Mallouk
  • Patent number: 7363145
    Abstract: A method, computer program product and apparatus for locating aircraft with respect to airport runways, generating and annunciating imminent landing situational awareness advisories as a function of aircraft height above runway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin J Conner, Scott R. Gremmert, Yasuo Ishihara, Ratan Khatwa, John J. Poe, James J. Corcoran, III
  • Patent number: 7302316
    Abstract: A system and method for providing autonomous control of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is disclosed. The system includes a ground station in communication with an unmanned aerial vehicle. The method for providing autonomous control of a UAV includes methods for processing communications between the ground station and UAV. The method also includes procedures for processing commands from the ground station. Also included in the method is a process for estimating the attitude of the UAV and autonomously maintaining its altitude within a desired threshold. The method also includes a process for autonomously orbiting about a specified point in space. Combined with these processes, the method also includes a process for an autonomous takeoff and landing of the UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2007
    Assignee: Brigham Young University
    Inventors: Randal W. Beard, Walter H. Johnson, Reed Christiansen, Joshua M. Hintze, Timothy W. McLain
  • Patent number: 7209053
    Abstract: An improved system and method are disclosed for indicating the validity of airport runway visual approach slope indicators on an aircraft display. An aircraft display system is provided, which includes a database for storing data about the specific visual approach slope lighting indicator system being used by each airport of a plurality of airports and any special distance and/or usage limitations associated with each such visual approach slope indicator system, a processing unit, a position determination unit, and a visual display. As an aircraft approaches an airport, the processing unit receives the aircraft's current position from the position determination unit, and compares the aircraft's current position data with the distance and/or usage limitation data stored in the database for the approach slope indicator system being used by that airport.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2007
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Aaron J. Gannon
  • Patent number: 7196621
    Abstract: A tracking system (10) for tracking movable assets (16) and several methods for using the system are provided. The tracking system includes a monitoring device (22), a tracking information network (20), a data communication network (18), a tracker tag (12), and a tracking information server (14). The tracker tag uses GPS technology. The tracking information server provides programmed instructions to the tracker tag in messages via a messaging system. The tracker tag selectively retrieves the messages from the messaging system. The tracking information server provides tracking information and related information to a subscriber. In one embodiment, the tracker tag is in communication with an Iridium satellite constellation (28) and tracking information is displayed to the subscriber when the asset is substantially anywhere in the world.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2007
    Assignee: Argo-Tech Corporation
    Inventor: Gary Kochis
  • Patent number: 6992597
    Abstract: A symbology system uses programmable software in a computerized system interacting with the altitude, attitude, air speed, and other flight indicators of an aircraft to create symbology in the pilot's display seen in the field of view of the pilot. The symbology represents a virtual geometric solid form, such as a vertical cylinder, always appearing perpendicular to the horizon and moving across the terrain with the aircraft in the center of the form. The pilot sees a front portion of a virtual series of horizontal circles or other shapes, spaced by a programmable distance, symbolizing the geometric solid form appearing to surround the aircraft. The geometric form references the world as-ground for use in recognizing the attitude of the aircraft-as-figure. On landing, the form appears to stop at the ground and the aircraft appears to descend within it. A virtual bank indicator line changes orientation to the geometric solid corresponding to the attitude change of the aircraft relative to the horizon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2006
    Inventors: Steven P. Rogers, Charles N. Asbury
  • Patent number: 6950036
    Abstract: An aircraft on-board system for communicating with a ground-based radio transmitter forming a part of a Local Area Augmentation System for aiding in the navigation and landing of the aircraft, comprising a radio receiver adapted to receive signals, including identification signals identifying the Local Area Augmentation System, from the ground-based radio transmitter, a controller coupled to the radio receiver having an entry device for entering the channel number of a desired ground-based radio station and for tuning the on-board radio receiver to a desired frequency and further receiving from the radio signals, including the identification signals, and further having a signaling mechanism for providing to an operator of the aircraft on-board system a message including the identification of the ground-based radio station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2005
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Ken L. Snodgrass, John A. Howell, III, Robert S. Doyle
  • Patent number: 6946975
    Abstract: An airfield guidance sign. The sign 100 (of FIG. 1a) includes a case (102), a multi-element light source (114) attached to the case (102) for providing light interior to the case (102), a light dispersion subsystem of the case for dispersing the light from the light source (114) substantially uniformly throughout the interior of the case (102); and a side panel (126) forming a side of the case (102) for displaying information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2005
    Assignee: Siemens Airfield Solutions
    Inventors: Richard L. Hansler, Glenn Morrow
  • Patent number: 6940427
    Abstract: A ground proximity warning system including a pitch angle alerting device, the pitch angle alerting device including warning logic having an input that is structured to receive a signal that is representative of the indicated pitch angle of the aircraft, the warning logic being structured to determine a difference between a pitch angle signal received on the input and a predetermined threshold, the warning logic being structured also to output a signal representative of the difference between the two signals; and an advisory indication generator coupled to accept the output of the warning logic, the advisory indication generator being structured to generate an advisory indication signal as a function of the difference between the two signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Honeywell International, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter J. Bateman
  • Patent number: 6927701
    Abstract: Techniques are described for monitoring runway occupancy and providing an indication of occupancy of a runway to an airplane on final approach the runway. A system, for example, defines and monitors one or more zones on the runway to determine whether the runway is occupied. Such a system includes sensors, such as inductive loop sensors, that may be located proximate to or on the runway, and the system may monitor ingress and egress of objects, such as airplanes or other vehicles on the ground, into and out of the zone in order to determine whether the zone is activated. The sensors may be located at points of entry and exit for the zone. The zones may be located at take-off hold areas of the runway and intersections of the runway with taxiways. A ground-based approach light array of the system may provide the indication of runway occupancy to the airplane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2005
    Assignee: Architecture Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Noel E Schmidt, Kirk J Swanson, Eric R Chartier
  • Patent number: 6900742
    Abstract: The present invention involves a lighting control module for at least one aviation obstruction light including a microcontroller, and switching means for selectively coupling the aviation obstruction light to a power source, the microcontroller coupled to the switching means and selectively activating the aviation obstruction light. The microcontroller has programming for sensing a master light controller such that if a master light controller is sensed, then the microcontroller coordinates activation of the aviation obstruction light with the master light controller, and if a master light controller is not sensed, then the microcontroller sends activation signals as a master light controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2005
    Assignee: Little Circuits, Inc.
    Inventor: Charles B. Chesney, II
  • Patent number: 6876905
    Abstract: A device to enable automatic wireless communication with an aircraft after the aircraft has parked at a gate. A terminal cellular bridge (TCB) enables the retrieval of data from, and the sending of data to the aircraft by an internet service provider. The internet service provider uses the Internet to send data to and receive data from a remotely located network operation center and data warehousing center. The data warehousing center provides secure data storage and retrieval, and data processing. The network operations center provides for system control and monitoring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Assignee: System and Software Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Rod J. Farley, Joseph J. Renton
  • Patent number: 6794994
    Abstract: An aerially deployable position marking device includes an elongated housing, a handle secured to the housing, a ground engaging portion at or adjacent the lower end of the housing and at least one locating element which may take the form of visibility enhancing elements which are nonenergized, electrically energized, visibility enhancing devices or acoustic devices or energy releasing elements which release RF signals or other sources of energy as well as other types. Appropriate sources of energy and switch or switches may be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: West Virginia University Research Corporation
    Inventor: James E. Smith
  • Patent number: 6629023
    Abstract: A method for automating a landing maneuver for an aircraft, comprising the steps of generating an approach profile comprising an initial approach fix (IAF), a flight path, a landing decision point, a balked landing route, a pre-landing point, and a landing point, engaging an automated approach system to access the approach profile, receiving periodic position data of the aircraft, comparing the position data to the approach profile to compute a plurality of deviations each time the position data is received, outputting the plurality of deviations to a display, converting the plurality of deviations into a plurality of control commands, and maneuvering the aircraft in response to the control commands along the flight path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen H. Silder, Jr., Charles W. Evans, Christopher A. Thornberg
  • Patent number: 6438469
    Abstract: A flight control system and method for controlling a circle-to-land (“CTL”) maneuver utilizes an airborne area navigator. The area navigator receives inputs on aircraft category, aircraft position and speed, airport navigation data and pilot supplied data. In response to this data, the area navigator calculates the necessary conditions for executing the CTL maneuver and outputs control commands to a flight director. The pilot then executes the CTL maneuver either manually using the information provided by the area navigator or by using the aircraft autopilot under the direction of the flight director.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: David Brandt Dwyer, Dave Charles Maahs
  • Patent number: 6405107
    Abstract: A self contained electronic system for manual or automatic control and navigation of fixed winged aircraft using electronic position sensing such as GPS, DGPS, WAAS, and the like, as the primary sensor and making use of known flight characteristics of the aircraft to determine aircraft attitude without any interaction with the aircraft, its controls, or the outside environment and without any moving mechanical devices other than switches, dials and connectors. The automatic and visual interface between the system and the pilot provides for simplified flight controls, and a new solution to the hazard of disorientation, and will reduce the time needed for a pilot to become proficient in VFR and instrument flying. A single instrument replaces many of the conventional instruments used for flight. Navigation data is provided in an easy to understand graphical format. The pilot is told explicitly where to move aircraft controls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Inventor: Gary Derman
  • Patent number: 6282488
    Abstract: An airport surface movement guidance and control system (SMGCS) involving detection, integrated processing and graphical display of the relevant, in particular the safety-relevant, positions and movements of aircraft, and optionally, vehicles, on airside (runway, taxiways, apron) and in the relevant airport airspace. At least one radar detects the positions and movements between airborne and parked positions of the aircraft. The relevant data are displayed after data concentration on the monitor of at least one controller station in graphical form and/or letter or number form. As a result, the operational management of the surface movement can be planned and executed from the at least one controller station by means of solely the SMGC system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2001
    Assignees: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft, Oslo Lufthaven AS
    Inventors: Robert Castor, Lothar Belger, Andre Jelu, Per Ingar Skaar, Einar Henriksen, Fredrik Berg-Nielsen