Altitude Patents (Class 340/970)
  • Patent number: 8374737
    Abstract: A low visibility landing system is provided for guiding aircraft on landing approaches. The low visibility landing system may aid a pilot during landing in low visibility conditions such that an aircraft may descend to lower altitudes without visual contact with the runway than is possible with other landing systems. The system may use various navigational systems to produce a hybrid signal that may be more stable than individual signals of those navigational systems. The hybrid signal is compared to a predetermined landing approach plan to determine the deviation of the aircraft from the landing approach plan and to provide guidance to the pilot to get the aircraft back onto the landing approach plan. The system may also use multiple navigational systems to perform checks on an operation of a primary navigational system to ensure that the primary navigational system is operating accurately.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
    Inventors: Robert S. Takacs, Gary M. Freeman, Glenn L. Connor
  • Patent number: 8332083
    Abstract: A method for calculating a safe extraction path from a terrain-challenged airport that does not depend upon published procedures. The method includes the steps of: a) defining at least one containment zone for a circling climb departure path relative to a reference location; b) receiving aircraft performance data from an on-board flight management system; c) receiving air mass parameters from on-board aircraft sensors; d) calculating the maximum allowable climb altitude (MACA) utilizing the at least one containment zone, the received aircraft performance data, and the received air mass parameters; and, e) comparing the MACA to at least one selected safe departure altitude (SDA) to calculate the lowest possible descent altitude that can be achieved while ensuring that at least one safe extraction path exists.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventor: Patrick D. McCusker
  • Patent number: 8314719
    Abstract: Methods and systems for operating an avionics system are provided. A set of data that is representative of traffic advisory information is received. A visual indicator is displayed to a user based on the set of data that is representative of the traffic advisory information. The traffic advisory information may be received by a user through a receiver and manually entered into an interface for viewing. Alternatively, the avionics system may automatically generate the visual indicator based on the traffic advisory information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Steven Paul Grothe
  • Patent number: 8306676
    Abstract: Systems and methods for differential altitude estimation utilizing spatial interpolation of pressure sensor data are provided. In one embodiment, a method for mobile navigation comprises: measuring a horizontal location of a mobile navigation unit to generate two-dimensional horizontal coordinate data; measuring a barometric pressure at the mobile navigation unit with a sensor to obtain local pressure data; processing information representative of pressure data derived from a network of a plurality reference stations to obtain a correction factor; performing a calculation using the two-dimensional horizontal coordinate data, the local pressure data, and the correction factor to calculate an altitude coordinate; and determining an altitude of the mobile navigation unit from the altitude coordinate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Ryan Ingvalson, Michael R. Elgersma, Wayne A. Soehren
  • 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: 8224505
    Abstract: A method and device are provided for determining a target altitude for an emergency descent of an aircraft that is to be reached by the end of the emergency descent. The method includes determining an initial target altitude representative of the initial position of the aircraft and then repeatedly determining a current target altitude along a reference horizontal distance. The current target altitude is compared to the initial target altitude and is used to update the emergency descent if the current target altitude is lower than the initial target altitude. Each target altitude is selected as the larger of a predetermined threshold altitude and a security altitude that ensures any obstructions along a remaining horizontal distance are avoided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Operations (SAS)
    Inventors: Paule Botargues, Erwin Grandperret, Lucas Burel
  • Patent number: 8190308
    Abstract: A method and device for detecting a risk of collision of an aircraft, having a profile unit having knowledge of the terrain profile, a determination unit for determining effective values of particular flight parameters, a checking unit for verifying whether a flight path determined by the effective values is compatible with the terrain profile, and a transmitting unit for emitting a warning signal in case of incompatibility. The checking unit includes at least one element for calculating a height variation due to an energy transfer and a total slope variation generated by a speed reduction, during an evasive action, an element deter mining an evasive course using the height variation, and an element verifying whether the evasive course determined is compatible with the terrain profile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Operations SAS
    Inventors: Fabien Pitard, Jean-Pierre Demortier, Florence Aubry
  • Publication number: 20120056760
    Abstract: Method and device for automatically determining an erroneous height value of a radio altimeter mounted on an aircraft. The device (1) includes means (12, 13, 15) for comparing the duration between two height thresholds to a predetermined reference time, by taking account of current height values of the radio altimeter (2), during an approach phase.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 15, 2011
    Publication date: March 8, 2012
    Applicant: AIRBUS OPERATIONS (S.A.S.)
    Inventors: Thierry Bourret, Pierre-Antoine Lierman
  • Patent number: 8098176
    Abstract: Systems and methods for improving landing gear alerting on a rotary wing aircraft. An example system includes a user interface device that allows a user to set a bug altitude value and a radio altimeter that produces an altitude value, both of which are in communication with a processor. The processor receives a bug altitude setting, generates a landing gear alert altitude value based on the received bug altitude setting and a predefined additive, receives a radio altitude value for the rotary-wing aircraft, and generates a landing gear alert if the radio altitude value is less than the landing gear alert altitude value and the landing gear is not in a landing position. An output device in signal communication with the processor, outputs the generated landing gear alert.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Yasuo Ishihara, Steve Johnson, Gary Ostrom
  • Patent number: 8095249
    Abstract: Methods and systems for displaying a digital terrain to a user of a vehicle are provided. First, second, and third actual terrain data points are received. The third actual terrain data point is between the first and second actual terrain data points. If the third actual terrain data point is above a line interconnecting the first and second actual terrain data points, the first actual terrain data point is modified such that the third actual terrain data point is not above a line interconnecting said modified first actual terrain data point and the second actual terrain data point. A digital terrain is displayed to the user of the vehicle. The digital terrain includes a first digital terrain data point corresponding to the modified first actual terrain data point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Michael C. Little, Troy A. Nichols
  • Publication number: 20120001773
    Abstract: The present general inventive concept relates to methods and systems to select and display information on an avionics display screen. The systems and methods allow for the selection and display of information using knobs to highlight and select the desired information for display, eliminating the need for a cursor function. The systems and methods also provide for multiple pages and/or multiple windows or “tiles” within these pages and/or windows simultaneously on a single screen of a display, with each window, page, and/or tile being fully controlled independently when selected. The present general inventive concept also relates to systems and methods to provide multiple cues on an electronic display system altitude tape to a pilot in advance and impending approach to a predefined altitude. The present general inventive concept also relates to systems and methods to employ variable resolution topographical data based on display range for an avionics navigation display.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 26, 2010
    Publication date: January 5, 2012
    Inventors: Peter Lyons, Jeffrey D. Bethel, Constantinos Kyriakos, Sean Rieb, Brian Turner, David Berlin, William Brodegard, Tony Malerich, Penny Heinz
  • Patent number: 8082874
    Abstract: An embodiment of the invention relates to a method for managing the display of a rotary indicator on a digital screen, the method making it possible to permanently display in a window at least one value of the indicator in the form of characters, the values scrolling vertically in the window, a distance d defining a spacing between two characters of two successive values. The distance d varies between a value dmini when two successive values are visible in the window and a value dmaxi when a single value is visible in the window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Philippe Chesne, Brigitte Steiger
  • Patent number: 8086361
    Abstract: Systems and methods for outputting instructions when a vehicle is not responding to a roll-angle alert. An example system includes one or more altitude sensors that determine one of altitude above ground level or barometric altitude, one or more roll-angle sensors that determine the roll-angle of the vehicle, and a processor. The processor receives the altitude and roll-angle information, determines if an excessive roll-angle condition exists based on the received altitude and roll-angle information, and generates a roll-angle alert signal if a roll-angle alert condition exists. The processor generates a roll-direction signal based upon vehicle position relative to the horizon and outputs the determined roll-direction signal via the one or more output devices, if one of the condition still exists after the time delay, the vehicle roll-angle has deteriorated away from the desired threshold, or the roll-angle rate is greater than a roll-angle rate threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin J Conner, Thea L. Feyereisen
  • Patent number: 8073579
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method and a device for extracting terrain altitudes notably for a display of a sectional view of a terrain overflown by an aircraft. The device for extracting terrain altitudes along a trajectory of an aircraft in flight includes an interface taking into account selected flight parameters of the aircraft; a terrain altitudes extraction requests manager; a geographical zones manager; a terrain data manager; a terrain profile provider. The disclosed embodiment is configured to be used within the framework of an anticollision device for preventing collision between an aircraft and the terrain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2011
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Nicolas Marty, Julia Percier, Aurélie Sallier
  • Patent number: 8068038
    Abstract: A flight deck display system and related operating methods for an aircraft are provided. The system includes a processor architecture and a display element coupled to the processor architecture. The processor architecture is configured to receive real-time aircraft data and terrain data for the aircraft and, based upon the real-time aircraft data and the terrain data, generate image rendering display commands. The display element receives the image rendering display commands and, in response thereto, renders a primary flight display that includes a conformal view of terrain corresponding to a flight deck viewpoint. The primary flight display also includes a conformal terrain avoidance guidance (TAG) element on the view of terrain. The TAG element includes visual indicia of a desired navigation path that is intended to avoid terrain that obstructs a current flight path of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2011
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Jary Engels, Thea L. Feyereisen, Aaron Gannon, Gang He, Ivan Sandy Wyatt
  • Publication number: 20110273315
    Abstract: Systems and methods for improving landing gear alerting on a rotary wing aircraft. An example system includes a user interface device that allows a user to set a bug altitude value and a radio altimeter that produces an altitude value, both of which are in communication with a processor. The processor receives a bug altitude setting, generates a landing gear alert altitude value based on the received bug altitude setting and a predefined additive, receives a radio altitude value for the rotary-wing aircraft, and generates a landing gear alert if the radio altitude value is less than the landing gear alert altitude value and the landing gear is not in a landing position. An output device in signal communication with the processor, outputs the generated landing gear alert.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 23, 2010
    Publication date: November 10, 2011
    Applicant: HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC.
    Inventors: Yasuo Ishihara, Steve Johnson, Gary Ostrom
  • Publication number: 20110270473
    Abstract: A vertical profile for an in-trail procedure can provide a pilot with enhanced situational awareness. Such a vertical profile may be able to provide a graphical indication of a clearance window for change in altitude procedures, as well as the underlying bases for such a window. A method can include providing, in a hardware display, a graphical vertical profile displaying an aircraft to a pilot of the aircraft. The method can also include providing, in the vertical profile, an indication of the relative speed of at least one other aircraft and a graphical indication of a clearance window for vertical maneuvers for the aircraft of the pilot.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 29, 2011
    Publication date: November 3, 2011
    Inventors: Zachary R. Reynolds, Cyro A. Stone, Nicholas R. Hoffman
  • Patent number: 8049644
    Abstract: A terrain advisory display including a display, a processing circuit coupled to the display and wherein the display is configured to generate a three-dimensional image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2011
    Assignee: Rcokwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Steve L. Oehlert, Jason C. Wenger, Alex Postnikov, Andrew M. Pelzer, Sarah Barber
  • Patent number: 8014912
    Abstract: A method and device for aiding the piloting of an airplane includes: (1) determining current values of flight parameters of the airplane, (2) determining, with the aid of the current values, an approach distance that corresponds to a distance in a horizontal plane between the current position of the airplane and a position of contact with the ground, and (3) presenting the approach distance on a screen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventors: Didier Zadrozynski, Isabelle Lacaze, Jean-Pierre Demortier, Bénédicte Michal, Adrien Ott, Frédéric Lemoult
  • Publication number: 20110199237
    Abstract: A method for providing a minimum safe altitude indication on an aircraft display is described. The method includes utilizing current aircraft heading and position data to generate a location and orientation for an own-ship depiction with respect to an aircraft display, utilizing the current position data, along with terrain data, to generate minimum safe altitude data for an area surrounding the aircraft, and displaying on the aircraft display, about the location for own-ship depiction, the minimum safe altitudes surrounding the aircraft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 17, 2010
    Publication date: August 18, 2011
    Inventors: Jason W. Clark, Thorsten Wiesemann, Cindy Dorfmann
  • Patent number: 7994941
    Abstract: A method for managing an interruption of emission, in an aircraft, of an acoustic message including an information item about a state of part of the said aircraft and/or about its environment, wherein the acoustic message is structured into one or more successive acoustic fragments each representative of the information item, the method includes the steps of: delaying, starting from a given moment, the execution of a decision to interrupt the emission of the acoustic message until the end of emission of an acoustic fragment that is in the course of emission at the given moment; and executing the interruption decision.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignees: Airbus, Airbus Operations SAS
    Inventors: Boris Sorbier, Pierre Campagne, Baptiste Maylin
  • Publication number: 20110187562
    Abstract: According to the invention, the device (1) comprises means (4) for adapting the altitude capture maneuver, means (5) for first detecting the emission of a first type alarm, means (6) for determining a first alarm threshold and means (7) for establishing an activation height threshold from said first alarm threshold and airplane vertical speed at the time of the alarm emission, so that, when the height separating said aircraft (AC) from the altitude set level is strictly higher than said height threshold at the time of the alarm emission, said adaptation means (4) are disabled.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 28, 2011
    Publication date: August 4, 2011
    Applicant: AIRBUS OPERATIONS (S.A.S.)
    Inventors: Paule Botargues, Xavier Dal Santo, Olivier Sapin, Vincent Bompart
  • Publication number: 20110169665
    Abstract: An aircraft display system is provided for rendering at least aircraft estimated position uncertainty (EPU) and/or vertical estimated position uncertainty (VEPU) values non-numerically and in a fairly intuitive manner. The system may also render the EPU and VEPU values non-numerically for other traffic entities within range of the aircraft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2010
    Publication date: July 14, 2011
    Applicant: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Dhivagar Palanisamy, Haricharan Reddy, Vishnu Vardhan Reddy Annapureddy, Saravanakumar Gurusamy, Santhosh Gautham
  • Patent number: 7970501
    Abstract: An inertial navigation system which includes a first control system and a second control system is described. The first control system is configured to estimate a vertical velocity based in part on received vertical acceleration data. The second control system is configured to receive the estimated vertical velocity from the first control system and determine a compensated vertical velocity utilizing the estimated vertical velocity and airspeed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey W. Kirkland, John F. Anderson
  • Patent number: 7961115
    Abstract: A display system is provided that renders a horizontal situation indicator that includes required navigation performance (RNP) and estimated position uncertainty (EPU) values rendered non-numerically and in a fairly intuitive manner. A processor receives at least data representative of a desired course of the aircraft, data representative of the RNP for the aircraft, and data representative of the EPU for the aircraft. The processor renders, on a display device, a horizontal situation indicator that includes an aircraft symbol representative of a top-down view of the aircraft, an RNP boundary graphic representative of at least one RNP boundary for the aircraft, and an EPU graphic representative of the EPU for the aircraft. The aircraft symbol is rendered at a position that is representative of actual aircraft position relative to the desired course, and the RNP boundary graphic is rendered at a position relative to the rendered aircraft symbol.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Anup Raje
  • Patent number: 7937191
    Abstract: A method of forming a safe termination operation volume, and an aircraft provided with a system using such a volume to plan a flight route and/or an emergency route. The volume indicates the lowest allowable flight altitude to achieve a glide path of a vehicle to a termination point of an area of interest, wherein non allowable fly zones are taken into consideration by adding flight altitude to come around the non allowable fly zones when calculating the lowest allowable flight altitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2011
    Assignee: SAAB AB
    Inventors: Johan Ivansson, Mathias Tyskeng
  • Patent number: 7908045
    Abstract: A system and method for presenting an image of terrain threats are disclosed. Substantially transparent terrain symbols (color or monochrome) are depicted where each symbol is representative of a level of threat. Terrain symbols may overlay a weather image without a loss in information. A system is disclosed which comprises a navigation system, a terrain database, an image processor, and an indicating system. The navigation system acquires navigation data representative of aircraft position and direction; the database stores data of a plurality of cells; and the indicating system receives image data and presents symbols representative of the terrain image. The image processor receives navigation data defines a range of elevations of threat levels based upon the aircraft altitude, receives terrain data from the terrain database, determines the terrain threat of each cell, and provides an image representing the threat level and locations to the display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2011
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventor: Patrick D. McCusker
  • Patent number: 7872594
    Abstract: The present disclosure is directed to systems and methods for providing attenuation alerts for a radar-based terrain warning. A method for providing radar-based terrain warning attenuation alerts may comprise: (a) receiving a radar return; (b) detecting a region of atmospheric disturbance limiting the range of the radar return; and (c) providing a notification of radar-based terrain awareness warning system attenuation in the region of atmospheric disturbance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2011
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventor: Andrew M. Vesel
  • Patent number: 7825831
    Abstract: A display image for use in an aircraft is produced in response to receiving aircraft location, heading, altitude, and pitch data. The location and heading data are employed to access a topographical database and obtain terrain information for a region on the earth's surface ahead of the aircraft. A terrain image is produced from the terrain information and a non-linear pitch scale is superimposed over the terrain image. The non-linear pitch scale corresponds to the relationship of the aircraft pitch and the terrain image. Additional data designating other aircraft operational parameters, such as speed and altitude, are depicted by graphical objects. The terrain image, the non-linear pitch scale, and the graphical objects are combined into the display image. The terrain image and the non-linear pitch scale move in the display image in response to changes in the pitch of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Assignee: Universal Avionics Systems Corp.
    Inventors: Joachim Laurenz Naimer, James Mitchell Brannen, John Russell Jorgensen, Cheng Wang, Patrick Krohn
  • Patent number: 7786900
    Abstract: Navigation of an aircraft is facilitated through the displaying on a map of an over flown region, and of the limits of zones within range of the aircraft in an emergency situation. The points of the zones within range of the aircraft are tagged on the basis of: an estimate of the vertical margins to reach these points, taking into account non-maneuverability zones neighboring the aircraft to be circumvented; a vertical flight profile to be complied with; and a safety height margin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Elias Bitar, Nicolas Marty
  • Patent number: 7783612
    Abstract: Systems and methods for generating an optimized terrain database identify several regions, including test regions that are established from the identified regions. A first set of terrain data is received for a first test region. The first set of terrain data is compared to a second set of terrain data to determine a set of quality attributes. The quality attributes are used to determine a safety margin for the first test region. The safety margin is applied to other regions having the same or similar characteristics to the first test region. Safety margins are either generated for or applied to all other regions. All regions are then compiled into an area-wide terrain database, up to and including a worldwide database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Richard Houk, Michael Fox, Jens Schiefele, Marc Launer
  • Patent number: 7756637
    Abstract: Methods and systems for a position indicating display system for an aircraft are provided. The system includes a map display unit configured to display a map representative of an area being traversed by the aircraft, and an overlay comprising an own ship depiction, said overlay displayed on the map for a period of time in response to an input from at least one of a user and an aircraft sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Patrick Ralf Wipplinger, Richard William Ellerbrock
  • Patent number: 7742846
    Abstract: A method of transitioning from a complex response flight state to a ground operation control state. Pilot intent is determined through collective position information to control the transition. An independent cockpit switch activates an emergency surface contact transition function for use with a fly-by-wire (FBW) flight control system. Once the surface contact transition function is active, FBW control laws transition from a fully augmented flight state, through an augmentation deactivation state and into the surface contact state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2010
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Todd M. Fanciullo, Paul Morphy, Lorren Stiles, Alex Faynberg
  • Publication number: 20100141481
    Abstract: An aspect of the present invention provides a method for providing information to an air traffic controller. The method comprises the steps of: displaying, on a video display, a symbol representative of a position of an aircraft and a first stage of a multi-stage label comprising information relating to the aircraft (210); and displaying, on the video display, a second stage of the multi-stage label comprising additional information relating to the aircraft when a user-controlled cursor is brought into a vicinity of the multi-stage label (220). The first stage of the multi-stage label occupies a smaller footprint on the video display than the second stage. Additional stages of the multi stage label may also be displayed in response to user action (e.g. rotation of a scroll wheel of a computer mouse or other pointing device). Each stage of the multi-stage label may be locked in place, or pinned, through selection of part of the label, via a mouse click or similar action.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2009
    Publication date: June 10, 2010
    Inventor: Mark James O'Flynn
  • Patent number: 7733243
    Abstract: The device relates to the signaling, to the pilot of a moving vehicle, for example an aircraft, of its lateral maneuvering margins taking into account obstacles placed in its maneuvering zone. This device determines, over the maneuvering zone of the moving vehicle, the contours of a first type of risk region that must be bypassed and those of two other types of risk region consisting of lateral margins surrounding the first type of risk region, of widths less than separation thresholds or their upper limit considered necessary for a lateral maneuver without space constraint and displays them for the pilot of the moving vehicle. The determination of the separation thresholds takes into account the bearing angle under which a point of the contour of a region of the first type is seen from the moving vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Elias Bitar, Nicolas Marty
  • Patent number: 7724155
    Abstract: An avionics display is disclosed. A synthetic rendering of terrain is created using stored terrain data. A horizon line is overlaid upon the synthetic rendering of terrain. The horizon line represents zero degrees pitch attitude in a direction of travel of an aircraft in which the avionics display is installed. The horizon line is configured to move in response to attitude-changing movement of the aircraft. An attitude cue is overlaid upon the synthetic rendering of terrain and depicted on first and second sides of the horizon line such that the synthetic rendering of terrain remains substantially visible. The attitude cue has a first appearance on the first side of the horizon line and a second appearance on the second side of the horizon line. The first appearance is visually contrasted from the second appearance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2010
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric N. Anderson, John C. Frank, Craig D. Pettit, Sarah Barber, Matthew Carrico
  • Patent number: 7702428
    Abstract: A device to assist in an independent piloting of an aircraft at least in a descent phase includes a unit to determine a descent axis which assists a pilot in flying from a safe altitude to a decision height, the descent axis being secured relative to the ground being flown over, and a guidance system to assist in the guiding of the aircraft along said descent axis in a descent phase.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2010
    Assignees: Airbus France, Airbus
    Inventors: Vincent Markiton, François Barre
  • Publication number: 20100090867
    Abstract: A method and system for meteorological monitoring aboard an aircraft. According to the invention: the altitude difference between the current altitude of the aircraft and the altitude of the meteorological monitoring plane is formed; said altitude difference is compared with a predetermined deviation threshold; and a first alert is emitted if said altitude difference attains or exceeds said deviation threshold and if said altitude difference diverges.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2009
    Publication date: April 15, 2010
    Applicant: AIRBUS OPERATIONS
    Inventors: Laure Christophe, Garance Raynaud
  • Patent number: 7696904
    Abstract: A system and method for filtering various targets (such as ground vehicles, stationary objects, and aircraft) from display on a display screen within the cockpit of an “Own Ship” aircraft. The system and method withhold from display any non-exempt targets that have an altitude that is either: (1) greater than an upper-threshold altitude; or (2) less than a lower-threshold altitude. The upper-threshold altitude and the lower-threshold altitude may be set to user-specified, customized values as desired to accommodate current flying conditions. In addition, the system and method may also be configured to operate in a plurality of operating modes, each of which features a different upper threshold altitude/lower threshold altitude combination. The system and method are preferably configured to reset certain threshold altitudes to pre-defined default altitudes in response to the aircraft landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Assignee: Garmin AT, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Horvath, Craig Bowers, Robert M. Grove, Bob Hilb
  • Patent number: 7693613
    Abstract: In distance maps used in order to facilitate the navigation of craft such as an aircraft, the distances estimated take into account obstacles to be circumvented but not the maneuverability of the craft. The adaptation route required by the craft in order to take the right direction is not taken into account so that certain distance estimates for accessible points located in the neighborhood of the craft are unrealistic. In order to make a distance map more realistic, it is proposed that an obstacle of concave shape associated with the craft be added behind the position of the craft, forcing the estimations of distances to be circumvented an area that is inaccessible to the craft for reasons of maneuverability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2010
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Elias Bitar, Nicolas Marty
  • Patent number: 7693618
    Abstract: Systems and methods for monitoring Required Navigational Performance (RNP) Procedures and reducing nuisance Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System warnings including a processor, a memory with RNP instructions and data, and a communication device. The processor accesses the RNP data and instructions from the memory, and uses the communication device to obtain flight information from a Flight Management System of an aircraft. When the processor determines that the aircraft is in RNP space, the processor projects an RNP envelope and modifies a warning envelope of an EGPWS to coincide with the RNP envelope if the EGPWS warning envelope extends farther than the RNP envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2010
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Steve C. Johnson, Yasuo Ishihara
  • Patent number: 7675434
    Abstract: A method and device for detecting, on the ground, the obstruction of a pressure tap of a static pressure sensor of an aircraft. The device includes a pressure sensor that measures the pressure inside a probe and a heating system for heating the probe. When the heating system is activated, the sensor carries out a first measurement of a parameter dependent on the pressure inside the probe. After a predetermined duration from the activation of the heating system, the sensor carries out a second measurement of the parameter. A central processing unit calculates the difference between the first and second measurements and compares this difference to a predetermined value. A warning device emits a warning signal indicating the detection of an obstruction if the difference is greater than the predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2010
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventors: Laurent Fontova, Sebastien Freissinet
  • Patent number: 7671761
    Abstract: The system contains a receiver in communication with a programmable device. The receiver receives a first horizontal distance from the aircraft to a threshold of the runway, an angle of a glide path, and a threshold crossing height. The programmable device determines a projected ground distance from the aircraft to the threshold. The programmable device determines a projected ground distance from the threshold to a glide path intercept point. The programmable device determines a vertical value along the glide path relative to a projected ground distance between the aircraft and the glide path intercept point. The programmable device determines a synthetic altitude above runway for the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2010
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Tiffany R. Lapp
  • Patent number: 7667621
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and system for displaying critical navigational data on a primary flight display to a pilot of an aircraft. The method includes providing an image representative of weather information on a primary fight display and superimposing an image representative of a terrain warning indicator over at least part of the image representative of weather information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2010
    Assignee: Avidyne Corporation
    Inventors: Antonio M. Dias, Steven W. Jacobson
  • Publication number: 20100033350
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a standby instrument fitted to the instrument panel of an aircraft detecting overloads. The standby instrument includes a processor to calculate and display flight information based on data provided by associated sensors integrated into a standby system. It additionally includes a module for detecting overload of the aircraft on the basis of the data provided to display the flight information. The invention applies to the detection of overloads during a heavy landing. More generally, it applies to the detection and indication of overloads of an aircraft in various types of environment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 17, 2007
    Publication date: February 11, 2010
    Applicant: Thales
    Inventors: Jerome Papineau, Lionel Collot
  • Patent number: 7642929
    Abstract: An electromagnetic emissions free optical signal based helicopter landing assistance arrangement wherein helicopter rotor wash dust cloud-caused obfuscation of the intended landing site and other landing threats are overcome. Real time optical sourced data is collected early and used during helicopter approach to the intended landing site. Upgrading of this data for use during dust cloud presence is accomplished with image processing techniques applied in response to such inputs as helicopter flight data. Military use of the invention especially in current theatre conflict environments is contemplated. Dust cloud related landing hazards are disclosed as a significant difficulty in such environments and generate need for the invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2010
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Air Force
    Inventors: Alan R. Pinkus, Vincent M. Parisi
  • Patent number: 7633430
    Abstract: A terrain awareness and warning system includes electronics for receiving radar returns and providing terrain and/or obstacle alerts or warnings in response to the radar returns. The electronics receives information from a database and the information is utilized to suppress false alerts or warnings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2009
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Joel M. Wichgers, Richard D. Jinkins, Patrick D. McCusker, Richard M. Rademaker, Daniel L. Woodell
  • Patent number: 7633411
    Abstract: The device relates to the signaling, to the pilot of a craft, of the risks that it incurs due to obstacles placed in its zone of deployment. This device determines, on the zone of deployment of the craft, the contours of several types of risk region as well as the contours of two lateral regions of tight deployment tied to the craft and produces alarms as a function of the types of zones at risk found in the lateral regions of tight deployment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2009
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Elias Bitar, Nicolas Marty
  • Patent number: 7634335
    Abstract: This method uses for the estimation of a distance, a propagation distance transform considering only the paths which are both accessible to the aircraft taking account of its vertical flight profile and complying with air regulations. The propagated distance Dp is accompanied by a propagated altitude Ap which at all points follows the vertical flight profile of the aircraft, while being greater than the altitudes of these points and complying with the air regulation constraints at these points. This is obtained by subjecting the propagation to compliance with the vertical flight profile of the aircraft, constraints of the elevations of the points of the relief and air regulation constraints.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2009
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Elias Bitar, Nicolas Marty
  • Patent number: 7626514
    Abstract: Systems and methods for controlling activation of a look-ahead function of a terrain alert and warning system. The system receives rate of climb and aircraft speed information, compares the rate of climb and aircraft speed information to a predefined threshold, and deactivates a look-ahead function based on the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2009
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Yasuo Ishihara, Charles D. Bateman