Altitude Patents (Class 340/970)
  • Patent number: 7570177
    Abstract: Methods and systems are disclosed for preventing aircraft collisions with forward looking terrain avoidance (FLTA) functionality based on a terrain avoidance profile used to evaluate potential terrain threats based on the projected flight path of an aircraft in flight, and a clear terrain profile to determine whether the terrain threat has been cleared. If the terrain avoidance profile conflicts with terrain, a collision threat may exist whereby the pilot is notified and a terrain avoidance maneuver is executed. During the terrain avoidance maneuver the clear terrain profile extends in a direction substantially parallel with the horizon at or near the present altitude of the aircraft to check whether it is safe to return to the previous flight path angle or otherwise end the terrain-avoiding maneuver. When the clear terrain profile no longer conflicts with the terrain threat, a terrain clear indicator is then issued to the pilot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2009
    Assignee: Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems LLC
    Inventors: Zachary Reynolds, Richard Ridenour, Cyro Stone, Stacey Rowlan
  • Patent number: 7570178
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a traffic display for an aircraft, which includes a vertical traffic indicator. The vertical traffic indicator includes flight levels, depicted utilizing differing visual patterns to represent the current flight level as well as available and unavailable flight levels for transit. The vertical traffic indicator includes aircraft indicators positioned in relation to flight levels to indicate attitude. The aircraft indicators may also include status indicators indicating separation standards, vertical trend, intent, or whether an aircraft is a reference aircraft for an ITP. The traffic display provides clear and intuitive means of understanding the flying environment related to the performance of the ITP, increasing situational awareness and simplifying the ITP. The traffic display is specifically advantageous for performance of an ITP, but may be integrated with displays including terrain, weather, flight plan waypoints, or TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) traffic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2009
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald J. Whalen, Sethu R. Rathinam
  • Publication number: 20090189787
    Abstract: A primary flight display system is provided for deployment on an aircraft including a barometric altimeter and a secondary altitude-determining device. The barometric altimeter provides a first estimated altitude corresponding to a reference pressure setting, and the secondary altitude-determining device provides a second estimated altitude. The primary flight display system includes a primary flight display (PFD), and a controller coupled to the PFD. The controller is configured to generate: (i) an altitude graphic on the PFD indicative of the first estimated altitude, and (ii) a visual alert on the PFD when the difference between the first estimated altitude and the second estimated altitude exceeds a predetermined error threshold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 30, 2008
    Publication date: July 30, 2009
    Applicant: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Ratan Khatwa
  • Patent number: 7551990
    Abstract: Systems and methods for managing a visual display in a ground proximity warning system. In one embodiment, a system includes at least one aircraft sensor system operable to acquire aircraft data and a ground proximity warning computer coupled to the aircraft sensor system that is operable to process the aircraft data to generate ground proximity warning data corresponding to a sensed ground obstruction. An indicating system includes at least one visual display device that is operable to display terrain elevations and to display a visual symbol corresponding to at least one of the ground obstructions, wherein at least one of the computer and the visual display device is controllable to selectively alter an appearance of the visual symbol relative to the terrain elevations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2009
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Ratan Khatwa
  • Publication number: 20090109064
    Abstract: This simplified self powered aircraft attitude survival indicator is easily and readily transportable from one aircraft to another and provides a simple indicator which gives a visual indication of aircraft attitude and alarms when the aircraft is in a dangerous attitude. The aircraft attitude indicator includes a housing containing a power source, multiple attitude sensors, and at least one piezoelectric alarm, and a front panel display with an arrangement of light emitting elements (electric bulbs or LEDs) providing visual attitude indicators.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 26, 2007
    Publication date: April 30, 2009
    Inventor: Danny C. Joyner
  • Patent number: 7515069
    Abstract: A display screen for displaying multiple sets of information is provided. The display screen includes at least one region of a select color designated to convey a first set of information and a plurality of adjustable areas designated to convey a second set of information. The plurality of adjustable areas overlay at least a portion of the at least one region of select color of the first set of information. Moreover, each adjustable area is defined by an outline and a color encased in the outline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2009
    Assignee: Honeywell International, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael C. Dorneich, Stephen G. McCauley, Jeffrey M. Rye, Patricia M. Ververs
  • Patent number: 7511635
    Abstract: The information relates to a method of transmitting information between a communications management unit on board an aircraft and a ground air control system, characterized in that it comprises the following steps consisting, in respect of the communications management unit, in: a) detecting the reception of alerts originating from an onboard surveillance system, via a communication bus, b) when an alert is detected, shaping the information contained in the alert as a report according to a predetermined format, and dispatching this report to the ground system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2009
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Matthieu Borel, Nicolas Rossi, Michel Subelet
  • Patent number: 7499773
    Abstract: In a method of the invention for assisting the piloting of an aircraft, a guard curve (CGS) is determined as a function of the resources of the aircraft, the position of an obstacle (O) or a terrain point situated in front of the aircraft is measured by telemetry, the distance D between the guard curve and the obstacle (O) or the terrain point is calculated, and a pull-down order or a pull-up order is produced as a function of the distance D.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2009
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventors: Richard Pire, Francois-Xavier Filias
  • Patent number: 7482951
    Abstract: An auditory attitude indicator for aircraft that includes an audio source providing an audible signal, a? stereo headset with a left side and a right side, an aircraft avionics system that provides at least aircraft pitch data and roll data to an audio processor unit. The audio processor unit includes at least one lookup table of coefficients corresponding to a plurality of possible aircraft pitch and roll orientations and at least two selectable multipoint finite impulse response filters. The first selectable multipoint finite impulse response filter having a first coefficient selected by the audio processing unit from the lookup table based upon the aircraft pitch data and roll data for varying the audible signal to the stereo headset left side. The second selectable multipoint impulse response filter for varying the audible signal to the stereo headset right side having a second coefficient selected by the audio processing unit from the lookup table based upon the aircraft pitch data and roll data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2009
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Air Force
    Inventors: Douglas S. Brungart, Brian D. Simpson
  • Patent number: 7483773
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a system for detecting deviation from a normal flight regime. The system includes at least one aircraft information system located on an aircraft for detecting an aircraft condition variable, a processing system configured to determine whether the aircraft condition variable is within a predefined tolerance of a predefined normal status for that aircraft condition variable, the processing system including an output device configured to transmit a signal indicative of a deviation from the predefined normal status, and a communication system for communicating between the aircraft and an external receiving station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2009
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventor: Karen C. Tripp
  • Patent number: 7460866
    Abstract: A wireless communications system, and a corresponding method, for use with an aircraft, includes airborne pico cell base stations mounted on the aircraft, the base stations capable of communication with wireless devices used by subscribers on the aircraft via using switching/transaction processing equipment located optionally on the aircraft or in the ground network with one or more ground-based networks. The system includes aircraft location equipment, in communication with the base stations, that determine the aircraft's location, including latitude, longitude, altitude, and other relevant data. Finally, the system includes a wireless communications enable/disable module that receives the aircraft's location and enables and disables wireless communications through the base stations based on the aircraft's location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2008
    Assignee: Tecore, Inc.
    Inventors: Jay Salkini, Thomas V. Joseph, III
  • Patent number: 7451059
    Abstract: A method and a system are recited for obtaining a true azimuth heading for correcting a coarse azimuth heading measured from an observation position to a specific selected target by operating a data acquisition system disposed at the observation position. In principle, data is acquired and measurements are taken to allow calculation of a calculated target, including error area limits. The calculated target surrounded by error area limits is presented as a search zone to an operator for searching, finding and indicating on a display, on which is superimposed at least one map, of the specific selected target. Once found, calculations of the true azimuth are performed, allowing the derivation of the true North. The method and a system are operative with a variety of maps, including digital terrain models and stellar maps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2008
    Inventors: Tomer Malchi, Yaniv Malchi
  • Patent number: 7414543
    Abstract: A display screen for displaying multiple sets of information is provided. In one embodiment, an aviation display screen includes a main window and a plurality of miniature windows. The main window is adapted to illustrate one set of information. Each miniature window is adapted to display a set of avionic information. The avionic display is further adapted to toggle a select set of avionic information in one of the miniature windows into the main window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2008
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey M. Rye, Michael C. Dorneich, Aaron J. Gannon
  • Patent number: 7403132
    Abstract: A system and methods for managing a visual display in a ground proximity warning system is disclosed. In one embodiment, a system includes at least one aircraft sensor system operable to acquire aircraft data and a ground proximity warning computer coupled to the aircraft sensor system that is operable to process the aircraft data to generate ground proximity warning data corresponding to a sensed ground obstruction. An indicating system including at least one visual display device that is configured to display an image of a visual symbol corresponding to the sensed ground obstruction is coupled to the computer. At least one of the computer and the visual display device is controllable to selectively alter an appearance of the visual symbol on the display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Ratan Khatwa
  • Patent number: 7382285
    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: October 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2008
    Assignee: Garmin AT, Inc.
    Inventors: Steve Horvath, Robert Grove, Bob Hilb, Craig Bowers
  • Patent number: 7366613
    Abstract: A wireless communication interface for inertial measurement unit is disclosed. One or more instrumentation sensors, a processor, a wireless radio frequency transceiver with an antenna, and a power source are sealed within an inertial sensor assembly. The processor is adapted to receive output signals from the instrumentation sensors and to convert the output signals into a stream of digital data packets. A radio frequency transceiver is coupled to the processor and adapted to wirelessly communicate the stream of digital data packets through the antenna. In one embodiment, the radio frequency transceiver is further adapted to wirelessly receive a stream of digital data packets through the antenna and communicate the received digital data packets to the processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Mark D. DuBois, Karl H. Becker, Charles F. Hayek, Antony J. Kurth, Charles D. Chappell, Robert H. Fall
  • Patent number: 7363152
    Abstract: The invention concerns a method and a system for calculating a flight route between a first position and a second position. According to the method, the first position is chosen as the current position, and the following steps are then repeated until the second position is reached: a loss function is determined corresponding to each flight path in a set of flight paths that are predefined in relation to the current direction of flight; a flight path that yields the most advantageous value for the loss function is selected; a subsection from the current position and a predetermined number of positions forward are registered for the selected flight path, and the position at the end of the subsection is chosen as the new current position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: SAAB AB
    Inventor: Zoran Sjanic
  • Patent number: 7327285
    Abstract: An improved system and method for eliminating terrain color confusion in aircraft displays are disclosed. An aircraft display system is described that includes a database for storing terrain data, a processing unit, an altitude determination unit, and a visual display. As the aircraft proceeds along a flight path, the processing unit determines the aircraft's current position and compares associated terrain elevation data stored in the database with altitude data received from the altitude determination unit. For example, if the processing unit's comparison of the stored terrain data and altitude data indicates that relative terrain data need not be displayed, then the processing unit provides absolute terrain color renderings to the display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2008
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen G. McCauley, Aaron J. Gannon
  • Patent number: 7327284
    Abstract: A method, computer software product, and system to generate altitude callouts according to proximity to a runway at an airport or heliport includes determining whether the helicopter is flying in proximity to the runway and automatically selecting an altitude threshold increment set based upon the determination. The threshold increment set including a plurality of altitude threshold values. A calculated terrain clearance value is calculated for each of the plurality of altitude threshold values. A suitable warning is automatically generated according to the comparison. Selecting an altitude threshold increment set includes selecting one of the group consisting of first altitude threshold increment set including a plurality of higher altitude threshold values and a second altitude increment set including the plurality of higher altitude threshold values and further including a plurality of lower altitude threshold values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2008
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Yasuo Ishihara
  • Patent number: 7324002
    Abstract: A method for implementing a weather alarm in an outdoor computer includes defining atmospheric-pressure data repeatedly, defining altitude data repeatedly and essentially simultaneously with the atmospheric-pressure data, with the aid of a satellite positioning system, and converting both measured variables into the same measurement unit, either pressure or altitude. The difference between the converted variables is determined and is stored as a reference value, the difference between the converted variables is repeatedly monitored, and when the difference changes by more than a preset limit-value relative to the reference value, a weather alarm is given. Also an apparatus for performing the method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2008
    Assignee: Suunto Oy
    Inventors: Jari Iso-Heiko, Tapio Savolainen, Terho Lahtinen
  • Publication number: 20070296612
    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: Application
    Filed: October 4, 2006
    Publication date: December 27, 2007
    Applicant: HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC.
    Inventors: Yasuo Ishihara, Charles D. Bateman
  • Patent number: 7302318
    Abstract: A method (200) is disclosed for designing an RNP approach for an aircraft at a particular runway (90). The method includes selecting a runway (201), gathering obstacle data for the obstacle evaluation area (202), selecting a VEB method and terms (204), laying out a preliminary approach, inducing a missed approach segment (206), calculating a preliminary obstacle clearance surface (208), calculating a momentary descent segment using a physical model of the aircraft (210), adjusting the obstacle clearance surface so that no obstacles intersect the surface (212), and optionally optimizing the approach by departing from the operator's standard procedures (214). Preferably, the obstacle clearance surface is adjusted so that it just touches an obstacle, without any object intersecting the surface, thereby providing an optimal decision altitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2007
    Assignee: Naverus, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel A Gerrity, Jason E Dougherty, John H Andersen, Stephen D Fulton
  • Patent number: 7298891
    Abstract: A method (300) for extracting a digital elevation model from a plurality of raw topographical points representing a plurality of frames representing a plurality of perspectives of a multi-dimensional object comprising a surface and above-surface obstructions, comprises steps or acts of: finding the surface (304) by filtering out data points produced by the above-surface obstructions to provide a plurality of surface data points representing the surface; and filtering the surface data points (306) with a competitive filter to provide a multi-dimensional surface shell of digital elevation model data points. The above-described method can also be carried out by a specialized or programmable information processing system (200) or as a set of instructions in a computer-readable medium such as a CD ROM or DVD or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2007
    Assignee: Harris Corporation
    Inventors: Tom McDowall, Jake Auxier, Mark Rahmes, Ray Fermo
  • Patent number: 7295134
    Abstract: An aircraft terrain avoidance method and device may employ a collision warning section that transmits a caution signal when the aircraft risks colliding with the terrain at the end of a first predetermined period of time. A warning signal is transmitted when the aircraft risks colliding with the terrain at the end of a second predetermined period of time, which is shorter than the first predetermined period of time. A piloting system causes the aircraft to automatically climb with a first gradient corresponding to a predetermined value upon the transmission of the caution signal. An automatic pilot is engaged automatically, if currently disengaged, to force the aircraft to climb with a second gradient, corresponding to the maximum gradient possible in the current flight conditions of the aircraft, upon the transmission of the warning signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2007
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventors: Christophe Jourdan, Vincent Foucart
  • Patent number: 7262713
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a system and method for a safe flight display through increasing situation awareness by an optimal presentation, given limited capacity of the system. The system may determine which terrain area needs a detail representation and which area needs a coarse representation. A view-dependent visual error metric may be utilized to define and maintain an error bound and accurately minimize the amount of terrain data being depicted. By performing a breadth-first search on the terrain database, a user can determine amount of geometry to be displayed with limited bandwidth of data presentation. The user may be allowed to scale the application to his/her desired level of detail, given a capacity of the system. Therefore, the system may provide a safe flight display with an anticipated and graceful (all portions of the screen would be given an equal quality representation) degradation in performance upon the choice of the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2007
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas L. Vogl, Eric N. Anderson, Alexel Postnikov, Koji Katakura
  • Publication number: 20070176794
    Abstract: A method of removing synthetic vision terrain and objects from a graphical display when unsafe to rely on the synthetic vision terrain and objects is provided. The method comprises receiving current position data from at least one sensor, determining when to fade out synthetic vision terrain and objects based on the position data received, and fading out synthetic vision terrain and objects gradually when determined.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2006
    Publication date: August 2, 2007
    Applicant: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Thea L. Feyereisen, Jeffrey M. Rye, Trent C. Reusser
  • Patent number: 7215256
    Abstract: A method for displaying attitude, heading, and navigation data on a single display is described. The method comprises configuring the display with terrain data, overlaying the terrain display with a compass rose display, and superimposing an attitude direction indicator with the compass rose display, the attitude direction indicator referenced to a center of the compass rose.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2007
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Trent C. Reusser, Thea L. Feyereisen
  • Patent number: 7209052
    Abstract: A method and device for determines a safe altitude for an aircraft. The device includes a unit that determines a clear zone corresponding to a lateral area dependent on the flight of the aircraft. A unit determines the highest altitude of the ground that is located under this clear zone. A unit determines a safe altitude, by calculating the sum of the aformentioned highest altitude and a guard height.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2007
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventors: Franck Artini, Edward Strongman
  • Patent number: 7205906
    Abstract: The present invention includes a system, method and computer program product for reducing nuisance warnings during low altitude flight conditions and in the presence of low position uncertainty. The system includes a first component that determines whether the aircraft is in a low altitude flight condition and a second component that determines the position, positional uncertainty, and the heading. The system also includes a third component that attenuates and refines the look-ahead envelope in accord with the determined condition of flight and positional uncertainty.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2007
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Steve C. Johnson, Yasuo Ishihara, Kevin J Conner
  • Patent number: 7164366
    Abstract: A process and device for detecting on an aircraft an overshoot of design loads at the level of a structural part of the aircraft. The detection device includes a speed measuring device for measuring an effective speed of the aircraft. A first comparator compares the measured effective speed with a maximum speed relating to the current flight configuration of the aircraft. A vertical load measuring device measures a vertical load factor of the aircraft, and a second comparator compares the measured vertical load factor with a limit value of the vertical load factor. An inspection determining device determines whether a structural inspection needs to be performed at the level of the structural part, based of the results of the first and second comparisons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2007
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventors: Franck Delaplace, Sylvie Marquier, Gérard Mathieu, Gennaro Squeglia
  • Patent number: 7158152
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method of synthesizing a cartographic image consisting of pixels and representing a terrain overflown by an aircraft, the cartographic image being computed at each pixel on the basis of several cues which include a first color altimetric cue obtained on the basis of a datum of absolute altitude or relative altitude with respect to the altitude of the aircraft, of a possible cue of presence of at least one intervisibility zone and of a possible cue of presence of a forest zone, a second shading cue representative of the relief of the terrain, and a possible third color planimetric cue, the entire set of altimetric cues constituting an altimetric image and the entire set of planimetric cues constituting a planimetric image, the method comprising at least two types of mode, on the one hand a normal mode type in which, at each pixel, the shading cue modulates the altimetric cue but not the planimetric cue and on the other hand an inverted mode type in which, at each pixel, the shading c
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2007
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Laurent Jardin, Jean-René Verbeque
  • Patent number: 7158052
    Abstract: A system, method and display for monitoring the performance of an aircraft during the take-off maneuver that includes the steps of monitoring the progress of the take-off maneuver by acquiring data representative of the aircraft's motion at a plurality of points during the maneuver, generating a function that best fits the acquired data, and using the generated function to predict future progress of the maneuver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2007
    Assignee: Cranfield University
    Inventors: David Zammit-Mangion, Martin Ewart Eshelby
  • Patent number: 7106217
    Abstract: A method for flying in a degraded visual environment comprising the steps of collecting environmental data, processing the data and fusing the data together into a combined input output. The output is fed into a head down display, head mounted or heads up display and, preferably to a fly-by-wire vertical take-off and landing capable vehicle wherein the fly-by-wire system makes automatic adjustments to the helicopter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2006
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: John H. Judge, John J. Occhiato, Lorren Stiles, Vineet Sahasrabudhe, Margaret A. MacIsaac
  • Patent number: 7098809
    Abstract: A display control device, having a processor structured for receiving terrain elevation information and samples of current position and altitude above ground data; and one or more algorithms resident on the processor for generating, as a function of the current position and altitude above ground data, one or more display control signals for causing a display device to display, in a monochromatic scale graduated as a function of terrain elevation relative to mean sea level, a strategic portion of the terrain elevation information extending between a minimum elevation of the strategic portion of the terrain elevation information and a pre-selected strategic altitude threshold less than the altitude above ground data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2006
    Assignee: Honeywell International, Inc.
    Inventors: Thea L. Feyereisen, Christopher J. Misiak
  • Patent number: 7088264
    Abstract: A method and system compares combinations of vehicle or aircraft state variables against known combinations of potentially dangerous states. Alarms and error messages are selectively generated based on such comparisons. In one embodiment, pairs of aircraft state variables are selected and compared to known undesirable pairs of state combinations that indicate an error or a condition that a crew should monitor closely. The combinations and error messages are provided by the database. The comparisons are conducted on a periodic basis monitoring real time states of the parameters collected from various sensors and commands. Experts considering a matrix that provides an exhaustive pairwise comparison of potentially important state variables initially identify undesirable state combinations. Error messages and identification of potential alarms are generated based on both knowledge of actual accidents, and on use of expert knowledge to predict potentially dangerous states.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Victor Andrew Riley
  • Patent number: 7075457
    Abstract: Method and system for analyzing, separately or in combination, kinetic energy and potential energy and/or their time derivatives, measured or estimated or computed, for an aircraft in approach phase or in takeoff phase, to determine if the aircraft is or will be put in an anomalous configuration in order to join a stable approach path or takeoff path. A reference value of kinetic energy and/or potential energy (or time derivatives thereof) is provided, and a comparison index for the estimated energy and reference energy is computed and compared with a normal range of index values for a corresponding aircraft maneuver. If the computed energy index lies outside the normal index range, this phase of the aircraft is identified as anomalous, non-normal or potentially unstable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    Inventors: Thomas R. Chidester, Robert E. Lynch, Robert E. Lawrence, Brett G. Amidan, Thomas A. Ferryman, Douglas A. Drew, Robert J. Ainsworth, Gary L. Prothero, Timothy P. Romanowski, Laurent Bloch, William L. Craine, Vincent J. Zaccardi
  • Patent number: 7068187
    Abstract: A method, apparatus and computer program product for assisting the pilot of an aircraft in making a go-around decision. Various aircraft parameters are monitored during the approach to land and a risk level assessed. When the risk level exceeds a specified threshold, an alert is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Yasuo Ishihara, Scott Gremmert, Steven C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 7064680
    Abstract: Methods and systems are disclosed for preventing aircraft collisions with forward looking terrain avoidance (FLTA) functionality based on a terrain avoidance profile used to evaluate potential terrain threats based on the projected flight path of an aircraft in flight, and a clear terrain profile to determine whether the terrain threat has been cleared. If the terrain avoidance profile conflicts with terrain, a collision threat may exist whereby the pilot is notified and a terrain avoidance maneuver is executed. During the terrain avoidance maneuver the clear terrain profile extends in a direction substantially parallel with the horizon at or near the present altitude of the aircraft to check whether it is safe to return to the previous flight path angle or otherwise end the terrain-avoiding maneuver. When the clear terrain profile no longer conflicts with the terrain threat, a terrain clear indicator is then issued to the pilot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2006
    Assignee: Aviation Communications & Surveillance Systems LLC
    Inventors: Zachary Reynolds, Richard Ridenour, Cyro Stone, Stacey Rowlan
  • Patent number: 7053797
    Abstract: There is disclosed a system and method wherein precise geographical location information such as Global Positioning System coordinate data is utilized as a principal criterion for implementing other wireless transmitted instructions and communications advising aircraft of nearby restricted areas, the proximity of a hazardous condition, or virtually any other situation which is relevant to the intended recipient because of their location. The system and method further can involve intervention and control of a vehicle, such as an aircraft or automobile, which comes into a predetermined location or area, or under other circumstances. The system and method use transmitting units and receiving units, both of which can receive geographical positioning information and which may sound or otherwise output an appropriate advisory, warning or other communication selected based on their positions, heading, and/or speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2006
    Inventor: Lance G. Taylor
  • Patent number: 7043355
    Abstract: An improved method for correlating between targets in an air traffic control system. A methods or systems according to the invention compare selected components of a first target report to the components of a second target report, produce a confidence level on each component comparison, and determine whether to declare the targets similar based on the confidence level on each component compared. The first and second target reports may include ADS-B target reports and TIS target reports. The individual components of the reports may be range, bearing, track angle, and relative altitude. The methods or systems may use a fuzzy logic probability model to produce a continuous confidence level on each component comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2006
    Assignee: Garmin AT, Inc.
    Inventor: Chih Lai
  • Patent number: 7009531
    Abstract: A system and a method for providing a continuous, semi-continuous and/or repetitive aural signal to an aircraft pilot indicative of a difference between a set value and an actual value for one or more flight characteristics of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2006
    Inventor: Ram Pattisapu
  • Patent number: 6995689
    Abstract: A system for monitoring an aircraft receives navigation signals and deriving a position vector therefrom and also receives an input representative of altitude of the aircraft above ground level. The system samples the position vector at a selected sample rate and outputs a succession of samples of the position vector, the sample rate depending on whether the altitude of the aircraft above ground level is less than a predetermined value. Data packets that contain respective samples of the position vector are transmitted to a ground-based receiving station. The ground-based receiving station may calculate secondary data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2006
    Inventor: Kelly C. Crank
  • Patent number: 6995690
    Abstract: A flight information display for the flight deck of an aircraft showing a pictorial side view of the flight path or the area directly in front of the aircraft area having a selected distance of at least 0.5 nautical miles, comprising (a) a pictorial representation to scale of the profile of the highest elevations of a swath of terrain along said path or area, (b) an icon positioned on the left or right side of the display representing the aircraft, the altitude of which is to scale with the height of the terrain, and (c) an altitude reference scale; wherein the width of the swath is at least 0.1 nautical miles and no greater than the distance of the minimum accuracy of the means for determining the aircraft's location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2006
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Sherwin S. Chen, Julianne M. Fox, Neal D. Molloy, John Wiedemann
  • Patent number: 6980892
    Abstract: An avionics system and method is employed for alerting pilots of low premature descent during final landing approach. The method involves determining Final Approach Flight Safety Altitudes for a plurality of runways, identifying which runway an aircraft is likely to land on, and alerting the pilot if the aircraft altitude is lower than the final approach flight safety altitude. The method takes into account terrain information, airport and runway information, and aircraft reference data to make its determination. Particular embodiments reference the Final Approach Fix, one or more step down fix values, the Minimum Descent Altitude and the Missed Approach Point in calculating the Final Approach Flight Safety Altitudes. The system and method have particular utility with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System (“TAWS”) and display in an aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2005
    Assignee: Garmin International, Inc.
    Inventors: Susan S. Chen, Clayton E. Barber
  • Patent number: 6967616
    Abstract: An improved system and methods for correlating an interrogation-based air traffic surveillance intruder, such as an Traffic alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) intruder, and a GPS-based air traffic surveillance target, such as an Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) target to minimize or eliminate the display of two symbols for the same intruder/target on the CDTI of an aircraft. The method comprises the steps of receiving ADS-B data at a processing unit and calculating select component deltas for the ADS-B data versus an entry in a TCAS intruder file. Progressive weights are assigned to the deltas and the progressive weights are summed, resulting in a total confidence score. Total confidence scores of ADS-B target and TCAS intruder pairs are compared to determine correlation between the ADS-B target and the TCAS intruders.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Assignee: Garmin AT, Inc
    Inventor: Lee McNeil Etnyre
  • Patent number: 6927702
    Abstract: The present invention provides for a computer that accepts inputs from a surface monitor to determine whether the terrain below the aircraft is water or land. In a preferred embodiment an improved landing gear warning system is provided to warn a pilot when landing gear of an aircraft are in the improper configuration for a landing on a particular surface. The warning system comprises a computer operatively connected to a surface monitor and a gear-status warning indicator. The computer also accepts an input from the gear status sensors to determine if the landing gear is extended or retracted. If the system senses a water surface and the landing gear is down, a warning light and/or buzzer alerts the pilot that the landing gear is in the incorrect configuration. If the landing surface is land and the gear is up, the “gear status” indicator warning is initiated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2005
    Inventor: Robert D. Wiplinger
  • Patent number: 6906641
    Abstract: An apparatus, method and computer program product for alerting rotary wing aircraft of potentially hazardous proximity to terrain also reduces nuisance warnings and provides a terrain display consistent with the unique performance capabilities of such aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2005
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Yasuo Ishihara
  • Patent number: 6870490
    Abstract: Pilot error is reduced and auto pilot operation is improved by the addition of capture information to the information provided on a cockpit display. The capture information, such as, for example, capture start point, last point to initiate capture, trajectory during capture, and capture overshoot region provide information to the pilot regarding the correct initiation of capture. Pilots are therefore better able to evaluate the ongoing performance of the automation or auto pilot systems and to trust that the auto pilot is functioning as desired. Furthermore, the pilot operating the aircraft in manual mode receives guidance based on this information to better know when to initiate capture of the assigned altitude or vertical path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Lance C. Sherry, Steven T. Quarry
  • Patent number: 6847893
    Abstract: A method for satellite receiver autonomous integrity monitoring (RAIM) real time fault detection and exclusion implementation comprising the following steps: (1) continuously computing a horizontal protection level (HPL) and a vertical 32 protection level (VPL) associated with the effective configuration of real time measurement geometry; (2) if the HPL is less than or equal to the horizontal alert limit (HAL), and/or if the VPL is less than or equal to said vertical alert limit (VAL); declaring the RAIM detection function available; (3) continuously computing a horizontal exclusion level (HEL) and continuously computing a vertical exclusion level (VEL) associated with the effective configuration of real time measurement geometry; and (4) if the HEL is less than or equal to the HAL, and/or if the VEL is less than or equal to the VAL, declaring the RAIM fault exclusion function available.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Assignee: Trimble Navigation, LTD
    Inventor: Lawrence O. Lupash
  • Patent number: 6833797
    Abstract: An apparatus, method and computer program product for displaying terrain and terrain alerts to pilots of rotary wing aircraft provides a terrain display consistent with the performance capabilities of such aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Yasuo Ishihara