Aircraft Guidance Patents (Class 342/63)
  • Patent number: 11015957
    Abstract: A navigation system comprising: an inertial navigation system arranged to output a first position estimate; a terrain based navigation unit arranged to output a second position estimate; a stored gravity map arranged to receive a position and to output gravity information for that position; and an iterative algorithm unit arranged to determine an INS error state in each iteration; wherein in each iteration the iterative algorithm unit is arranged to: receive the first position estimate and the second position estimate; determine a gravity corrected position estimate based on the first position estimate, the INS error state and the gravity information; and update the INS error state for the next iteration based on the INS error state, the gravity corrected position estimate and the second position estimate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: ATLANTIC INERTIAL SYSTEMS, LIMITED
    Inventor: Nicholas R. Wilkinson
  • Patent number: 9948853
    Abstract: A device for calculating one or more camera parameters of a camera mounted on a traveling vehicle includes a location information acquisition unit, a road width information acquisition unit, a scenery image acquisition unit, and a camera parameter calibration unit. The device calculates a height of a mount position of the camera and a direction of the camera. The device also converts a scenery image captured by the camera of a scenery including the road on which the traveling vehicle moves into an image that is displayed for navigation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: Clarion Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mariko Okude, Tomoaki Hiruta, Shinichi Amaya, Takeshi Shima
  • Patent number: 9528851
    Abstract: A first user device comprises a first communication interface and a second communication interface. The first user device has digital first map information and is configured for outputting a request message for making navigation information available with regard to at least one desired route section, at the first communication interface. The second communication interface is configured for receiving navigation information that is made available in response to the request message, at the second communication interface, and comprises digital second map information for at least a part of the at least one desired route section. The digital second map information comprises data for display of the at least one part of the at least one desired route section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Assignee: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Carsten Isert, Marcello Tava, Christian Gerstberger
  • Patent number: 9270184
    Abstract: A control circuit of a power converter is provided. It comprises a signal generation circuit generating an oscillation signal in accordance with an output load. A PWM circuit generates a switching signal according to a voltage-loop signal, a current-loop signal and the oscillation signal for regulating an output of the power converter. A regulation circuit receives a compensation signal for an output cable compensation and a wake-up. The compensation signal is coupled to increase a switching frequency of the switching signal once the output of the power converter is lower than a low-voltage threshold. The control circuit reduces the voltage drop of the output when the output load is changed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: System General Corp.
    Inventor: Ta-Yung Yang
  • Patent number: 9110170
    Abstract: A terrain aided navigation using multi-channel monopulse radar imaging to provide a navigation position update. The monopulse radar transmits a single RF pulse transmission or multiple quick RF pulse train bursts to generate a monopulse radar image that can be correlated with a digital terrain segment to provide navigation updates when requested. The radar has monopulse and off-axis capability that allows for selection of a terrain segment within the radar's search area that will provide a good terrain correlation. The radar measurements are made on a range/Doppler cell-by-cell basis that includes angle information. The cells in the range/Doppler map corresponding to the antenna main beam return are converted into a high resolution (x,y,z) image and correlated to the selected terrain segment in the data base reference frame to provide an updated navigation position estimate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2015
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Bruce R. Woollard, Mark A. Owens
  • Patent number: 9041587
    Abstract: According to one aspect of the present invention, a radar system is provided which accurately measures the surface profile in a wide sector beneath and forward of a helicopter, to aid low level transit and landing in poor visibility. This uses an electronic beam synthesis technique to form multiple beams directed at the area of interest, each measuring the distance to the first reflected signal received by each beam. These distances represent the profile of the ground and any objects on the ground. A processor then compares the measured profile with the ideal ground profile for safe landing. If the deviations from straight and level exceed the specified requirement for safe landing, or if sufficient rotor clearance is not detected, then a warning is given to the operator. A display will show the measured ground profile highlighting the unsafe regions, allowing the operator to seek a safe region to land.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignees: Teledyne Australia PTY LTD, Teledyne Technologies Incorporated
    Inventor: Ian Dennis Longstaff
  • Patent number: 9037401
    Abstract: A method, system and computer readable media for route re-planning including generating enemy force movement predictions to be used during mission planning. During a mission, enemy force movements can be compared to the predictions. By using enemy force movement predictions for an initial comparison, the enemy force movements may only need to be compared to the own force mission plan if the enemy forces deviate from the predictions. When enemy force movement deviates from the predictions, new enemy force movement predictions can be generated. The new enemy force movement predictions can then be compared to the own force mission plan to determine if a route re-plan is needed. The route can be re-planned to determine a route that reduces or eliminates the chance of a lethal encounter with an enemy or threat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: James C. Rosswog, Carl R. Herman
  • Patent number: 8812229
    Abstract: A method, system and computer readable media for route re-planning including generating enemy force movement predictions to be used during mission planning. During a mission, enemy force movements can be compared to the predictions. By using enemy force movement predictions for an initial comparison, the enemy force movements may only need to be compared to the own force mission plan if the enemy forces deviate from the predictions. When enemy force movement deviates from the predictions, new enemy force movement predictions can be generated. The new enemy force movement predictions can then be compared to the own force mission plan to determine if a route re-plan is needed. The route can be re-planned to determine a route that reduces or eliminates the chance of a lethal encounter with an enemy or threat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: James C. Rosswog, Carl R. Herman
  • Patent number: 8803727
    Abstract: A method for producing a sensor-supported, synthetic view for landing support of helicopters under brown-out or white-out conditions is provided. A virtual 3-D representation of the landing zone is continuously created from 3-D data of the intended landing zone recorded during the landing approach and a monitoring routine is available to ensure that no 3-D data that was produced under brown-out or white-out conditions is considered in the representation. As soon as the monitoring routine detects that 3-D data has been recorded under brown-out or white-out conditions, an additional radar sensor is activated to continuously produce distance and/or Doppler data of potential objects entering the landing zone, the objects being displayed to a pilot of the landing helicopter in the synthetic view.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: EADS Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Thomas Muensterer, Matthias Wegner, Peter Kielhorn
  • Patent number: 8773301
    Abstract: A method of determining an angle within the beam to a target using an airborne radar includes receiving first data associated with first returns associated with a first portion of an antenna. The method further includes receiving second data associated with second returns associated with a second portion of an antenna, wherein the first portion is not identical to the second portion. The method further includes determining the angle within the beam to the target using the first and second data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel L. Woodell
  • Patent number: 8773299
    Abstract: An exemplary embodiment relates to an aircraft system for detecting wires. The system includes a processor configured to actively sense a presence of a first object and a second object. The processor determines a location of the first object and the second object. The processor determines a potential location of a wire between the first object and the second object. The processor actively senses the wire by providing electromagnetic energy to the potential location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel L. Woodell, Richard D. Jinkins, Richard M. Rademaker
  • Patent number: 8736633
    Abstract: A method and system is described for enhancing ground situational awareness to an aircrew via the display of an airport moving map within an own-ship, including determining the position of the own-ship and an aircraft on one of a taxiway, a runway, or an apron, displaying each of the own-ship and the aircraft on an airport moving map by displaying for each a first symbol that indicates the location on the airport moving map; and displaying a second symbol that changes in transparency in proportion to the range of the airport moving map.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Saravanakumar Gurusamy
  • Publication number: 20140139366
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) radar apparatus may be used in aircraft detection and avoidance. The radar apparatus may include an RF front end configured to transmit and receive RF signals, a filtering module coupled with the RF front end module that filters RF signals received at the RF front end module, and a target data processing module coupled with the filtering module that detects and identifies one or more targets based on the filtered RF signals. Avoidance procedures may be initiated based on the identification and detection of one or more targets.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 25, 2012
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Applicant: Colorado Seminary, which owns and Operates The University of Denver
    Inventors: Allistair A. Moses, Matthew J. Rutherford, Kimon P. Valavanis
  • Patent number: 8700306
    Abstract: Autonomous collision avoidance systems for unmanned aerial vehicles are disclosed. Systems illustratively include a detect and track module, an inertial navigation system, and an auto avoidance module. The detect and track module senses a potential object of collision and generates a moving object track for the potential object of collision. The inertial navigation system provides information indicative of a position and a velocity of the unmanned aerial vehicle. The auto avoidance module receives the moving object track for the potential object of collision and the information indicative of the position and the velocity of the unmanned aerial vehicle. The auto avoidance module utilizes the information to generate a guidance maneuver that facilitates the unmanned aerial vehicle avoiding the potential object of collision.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: L-3 Unmanned Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Davis S. Duggan, David A. Felio, Craig S. Askew
  • Patent number: 8686326
    Abstract: In certain aspects, this invention is a “control system” that detects and minimizes (or otherwise optimizes) an angle between vehicle centerline (or other reference axis) and vehicle velocity vector—as for JDAM penetration. Preferably detection is exclusively by optical flow (which herein encompasses sonic and other imaging), without data influence by navigation. In other aspects, the invention is a “guidance system”, with optical-flow subsystem to detect an angle between the vehicle velocity vector and line of sight to a destination—either a desired or an undesired destination. Here, vehicle trajectory is adjusted in response to detected angle, for optimum angle, e.g. to either home in on a desired destination or avoid an undesired destination (or rendezvous), and follow a path that's ideal for the particular mission—preferably by controlling an autopilot or applying information from navigation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Arete Associates
    Inventors: John C. Dennison, David C. Campion
  • Patent number: 8682507
    Abstract: Disclosed are a method and system for improving real-time determination of flight parameters of an aircraft during flight. A selection module selects and delivers measured values of input parameters to an estimation unit, and the estimation unit uses the input parameters to estimate at least two selected flight parameters. The input parameters are received by the estimation unit on the basis of identified flight mechanics equations associated with the selected flight parameters. The estimation unit includes an extended Kalman filter, which is configured to receive the values of the input parameters and to output joint estimations of the selected flight parameters based on the flight mechanics equations, during the flight of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignees: Airbus Operations SAS, Onera (Office National d'etudes et de Recherches Aerospatiales)
    Inventors: Pierre Ezerzere, Cedric Seren, Georges Hardier
  • Patent number: 8599046
    Abstract: Systems and methods for informing a pilot of an aircraft about a topographical condition of a runway are disclosed herein. The system includes, but is not limited to, an electronic data storage unit configured to store location information and topographical condition information for a plurality of runways, a position determining unit that is configured to determine a geographical location of the aircraft, a display unit that is configured to display a graphical image, and a processor that is operatively coupled with each of the other components. The processor is configured to obtain the geographical location of the aircraft, identify a runway that the aircraft is approaching, obtain a subset of the topographical condition information relating to the runway, and command the display unit to display a vertical profile of the runway including a graphic depiction of the subset of the topographical condition information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Santhosh Ca
  • Patent number: 8583360
    Abstract: A navigation system determines its usage mode. In some embodiments, a method comprises determining a usage mode of a navigation system based on at least one of an acceleration indicator, a speed indicator, and a magnet sensor. The usage mode is at least one of a pedestrian mode, a vehicular mode, an aerial mode, a train mode, and a marine mode. The method further comprises configuring a navigation subsystem based on the usage mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Deric W. Waters, Tarkesh Pande
  • Patent number: 8576112
    Abstract: A multifunction airborne radar device includes a plurality of transmit antenna modules and/or receive antenna modules that are fixed relative to the aircraft, placed substantially over the surface of the aircraft so as to form transmit and receive beams, enabling targets to be detected for implementing a sense-and-avoid function. The airborne radar device may also comprise processing means for tracking the detected targets and for generating information sent to an air traffic control center and/or to a control device on board the aircraft. The processing device may also receive data relating to the aircraft, enabling the antenna beams to be adjusted and the tracking calculations to be refined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Patrick Garrec, Pascal Cornic, Stéphane Kemkemian
  • Patent number: 8577608
    Abstract: A method essentially comprising a step of storing each plot mesh. Each plot mesh receiving plots sent thereto by detector means and retaining in memory at least the altitude of the highest plot and the number of plots neighboring said highest plot in said mesh. The altitude and the number of plots neighboring are updated each time a new plot is sent to the plot mesh. A step of rejecting plot meshes is presenting a number of neighboring plots that is less than a predetermined rejection threshold value. The rejection threshold value is a function of the position of the mesh relative to the detector means. A step is preparing the local terrain elevation database from the plot meshes (M(i,j)) that are not rejected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventors: Marianne Gillet, Francois-Xavier Filias, Richard Pire
  • Patent number: 8569669
    Abstract: A SAR image recorded by a reconnaissance system is transferred as a reference edge image together with the data of the trajectory as a reference. The signal of the infrared seeker head of the missile is converted into a virtual SAR edge image and compared to the SAR reference image to calculate the precise position of the missile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: LFK-Lenkflugkoerpersysteme GmbH
    Inventors: Michael Holicki, Nikolaus Schweyer, Juergen Zoz
  • Patent number: 8566027
    Abstract: A method, system and computer readable media for route re-planning including generating enemy force movement predictions to be used during mission planning. During a mission, enemy force movements can be compared to the predictions. By using enemy force movement predictions for an initial comparison, the enemy force movements may only need to be compared to the own force mission plan if the enemy forces deviate from the predictions. When enemy force movement deviates from the predictions, new enemy force movement predictions can be generated. The new enemy force movement predictions can then be compared to the own force mission plan to determine if a route re-plan is needed. The route can be re-planned to determine a route that reduces or eliminates the chance of a lethal encounter with an enemy or threat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: James C. Rosswog, Carl R. Herman
  • Patent number: 8558731
    Abstract: A method of determining an angle within the beam to a target using an airborne radar includes receiving first data associated with first returns associated with a first portion of an antenna. The method further includes receiving second data associated with second returns associated with a second portion of an antenna, wherein the first portion is not identical to the second portion. The method further includes determining the angle within the beam to the target using the first and second data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel L. Woodell
  • Patent number: 8560280
    Abstract: A method for calculating a navigation phase for a carrier, in a navigation system involving terrain correlation, includes determining a navigability map in which each point of interest of an onboard map is associated with a navigability score. The method is applicable to all terrain aided navigation techniques, and allows the consideration of the quality of the onboard maps and terrain sensors used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Christian Louis, Sébastien Reynaud
  • Patent number: 8463463
    Abstract: Methods for flying multiple aircraft in a predetermined formation in which a relative navigation grid is emitted from at least one of the aircraft, a spatial relationship is calculated based on the emitted relative navigation grid, and a relative position of at least one aircraft is altered to position the aircraft in the predetermined formation when the spatial relationship does not conform with the predetermined formation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: GE Aviation Systems LLC
    Inventors: Michael Steven Feldmann, Jerry Lynne Page
  • Patent number: 8380425
    Abstract: Autonomous collision avoidance systems for unmanned aerial vehicles are disclosed. Systems illustratively include a detect and track module, an inertial navigation system, and an auto avoidance module. The detect and track module senses a potential object of collision and generates a moving object track for the potential object of collision. The inertial navigation system provides information indicative of a position and a velocity of the unmanned aerial vehicle. The auto avoidance module receives the moving object track for the potential object of collision and the information indicative of the position and the velocity of the unmanned aerial vehicle. The auto avoidance module utilizes the information to generate a guidance maneuver that facilitates the unmanned aerial vehicle avoiding the potential object of collision.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: L-3 Unmanned Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Duggan, David A. Felio, Craig S. Askew
  • Patent number: 8378881
    Abstract: Systems and methods for collision avoidance in unmanned aerial vehicles are provided. In one embodiment, the invention relates to a method for collision avoidance system for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the method including scanning for objects within a preselected range of the UAV using a plurality of phased array radar sensors, receiving scan information from each of the plurality of phased array radar sensors, wherein the scan information includes information indicative of objects detected within the preselected range of the UAV, determining maneuver information including whether to change a flight path of the UAV based on the scan information, and sending the maneuver information to a flight control circuitry of the UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Robert A. LeMire, John M. Branning, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8373590
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method of processing an image sensed by an image sensor on board an aircraft fitted with an obstacle-locator system, in which the position and the extent of a zone in the sensed image, referred to as the zone of interest, is determined as a function of obstacle location data delivered by the obstacle-locator system, after which at least one parameter for modifying the brightness of points/pixels in said zone of interest is determined to enable the contrast to be increased in said zone of interest, and as a function of said modification parameter, the brightness of at least a portion of the image is modified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventor: Richard Edgard Claude Piré
  • Patent number: 8368583
    Abstract: An aircraft avian radar is implemented using multiple axial beam antennas mounted on an aircraft. Target range is determined by radar range. Target azimuth and elevation position is determined by triangulation. An end-fire array antenna composed of a series of monopole antenna elements enclosed inside a long thin protective cover fashioned in the form of a stall fence is mounted on the wings, tail, or fuselage to produce a low drag axial beam antenna pattern directed ahead of the aircraft. Other axial beam antenna choices include helical, pyramidal horn, and conical horn antennas mounted on or inside various forward facing surfaces of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Inventor: Gregory Hubert Piesinger
  • Patent number: 8354954
    Abstract: Systems and methods for collision avoidance in unmanned aerial vehicles are provided. In one embodiment, the invention relates to a method for collision avoidance system for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the method including scanning for objects within a preselected range of the UAV using a plurality of phased array radar sensors, receiving scan information from each of the plurality of phased array radar sensors, wherein the scan information includes information indicative of objects detected within the preselected range of the UAV, determining maneuver information including whether to change a flight path of the UAV based on the scan information, and sending the maneuver information to a flight control circuitry of the UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2013
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Robert A. LeMire, John M. Branning, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8290644
    Abstract: In a method for aiding aircraft landing using a GPS and an MLS within the context of a computed axial approach, the method uses coordinates of an azimuth antenna and/or of an elevation antenna as a reference point for the computation of a position of the aircraft in a reference frame centered on the landing runway. This position of the aircraft is thereafter used to determine an angle of azimuth between a longitudinal axis of the landing runway and the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventor: Ludovic Bouquet
  • Patent number: 8279108
    Abstract: The general field of the invention is that of viewing systems of the synthetic vision type SVS, for a first aircraft, the said system comprising at least one cartographic database of a terrain, position sensors, for the said aircraft, an air traffic detection system calculating the position and the danger rating of at least one second aircraft exhibiting a risk of collision with the said first aircraft on the basis of data originating from sensors or systems such as TCAS or ADS-B, an electronic computer, a man-machine interface means and a display screen, the computer comprising means for processing the various items of information originating from the database, sensors and interface means, the said processing means arranged so as to provide the display screen with a synthetic image of the terrain comprising a representation of the said second aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Christian Nouvel, Corinne Bacabara, Jean-Noel Perbet
  • Patent number: 8229662
    Abstract: The invention notably relates to a method of detecting obstacles on the ground receiving an obstacle clearance sensor and a zone for extracting map data. The method comprises the following steps: extraction from an obstacle database of a list of pointlike obstacles; extraction from an obstacle database of a list of linear obstacles; determination, according to the obstacle clearance sensor, of the risks associated with the extracted pointlike obstacles and generation of a warning; determination, according to the obstacle clearance sensor, of the risks associated with the extracted linear obstacles, and generation of a warning. In particular, the invention applies to the calculation of the warnings relating to the risks of collision with pointlike or linear obstacles taking into account the path of the aircraft and the altitude of the obstacles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Michel Subelet, Sylvain Fontaine, Carine Moncourt, Bernard Fabre
  • Patent number: 8212714
    Abstract: A yaw angle error of a motion measurement system carried on an aircraft for navigation is estimated from Doppler radar images captured using the aircraft. At least two radar pulses aimed at respectively different physical locations in a targeted area are transmitted from a radar antenna carried on the aircraft. At least two Doppler radar images that respectively correspond to the at least two transmitted radar pulses are produced. These images are used to produce an estimate of the yaw angle error.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Sandia Corporation
    Inventors: Armin W. Doerry, Jay D. Jordan, Theodore J. Kim
  • Patent number: 8207888
    Abstract: Systems include at least one electronic waveform processor operatively associated with at least one reflected signal electronic sensor and configured and programmed to generate an estimate of the range from an object to a target and an estimate of the closing velocity of the object to the target using a reflected signal. Systems use a non-linear swept electromagnetic FM signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Shaun David Weatherford
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8169360
    Abstract: A system(s) and method(s) of tracking a target(s). Systems include at least one electronic waveform processor operatively associated with an apparent emitted signal electronic sensor and a reflected signal electronic sensor and configured and programmed to generate an estimate of the range from an object to the target and an estimate of the closing velocity of the object to the target by processing a semi-active mode apparent emitted signal and a reflected signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Shaun David Weatherford
  • Patent number: 8160809
    Abstract: A method is provided for automatically controlling a first vehicle (follower vehicle) that is to follow a second vehicle (leader vehicle) in a desired manner with respect to movement of the second vehicle. In the follower vehicle, bearing and acceleration control inputs are generated based on data representing bearing and acceleration control inputs made at the leader vehicle and a position of the follower vehicle relative to the leader vehicle so as to mimic in the follower vehicle the bearing and acceleration control inputs made in the leader vehicle. Adjustments may be made to the control inputs applied in the follower vehicle based on deviation between the velocity of the follower vehicle and velocity of the leader velocity, and on deviation between estimated (actual) follow distance and lateral offset and target follow distance and lateral offset between the follower vehicle and the leader vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2012
    Assignee: Exelis Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Lalon Farwell, Chad Martin Seldomridge, Robert Eric Larson
  • Patent number: 8098192
    Abstract: A terrain awareness system includes a processor for receiving radar returns and providing terrain and/or obstacle alerts or warnings in response to the radar returns. The processor receives information from a database and the information is used to select the radar transmit function and/or the radar reception function to optimize the performance of the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Joel M. Wichgers, Richard D. Jinkins, Richard M. Rademaker, Daniel L. Woodell
  • Patent number: 8094937
    Abstract: A system and method for labeling feature clusters in frames of image data for optical navigation uses distances between feature clusters in a current frame of image data and feature clusters in a previous frame of image data to label the feature clusters in the current frame of image data using identifiers associated with the feature cluster in the previous frame of image data that have been correlated with the feature clusters in the current frame of image data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignee: Avago Technologies ECBU IP (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
    Inventors: Edward Kah Ching Teoh, Zi Hao Tan
  • Patent number: 8086396
    Abstract: A method is provided for automatically controlling a first vehicle (follower vehicle) that is to follow a second vehicle (leader vehicle) in a desired manner with respect to movement of the second vehicle. In the follower vehicle, bearing and acceleration control inputs are generated based on data representing bearing and acceleration control inputs made at the leader vehicle and a position of the follower vehicle relative to the leader vehicle so as to mimic in the follower vehicle the bearing and acceleration control inputs made in the leader vehicle. Adjustments may be made to the control inputs applied in the follower vehicle based on deviation between the velocity of the follower vehicle and velocity of the leader velocity, and on deviation between estimated (actual) follow distance and lateral offset and target follow distance and lateral offset between the follower vehicle and the leader vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: ITT Manufacturing Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Lalon Farwell, Chad Martin Seldomridge, Robert Eric Larson
  • Patent number: 8035547
    Abstract: A system and method of providing aerial navigation. Techniques are described for receiving global positioning system data, receiving local positioning system data such as instrument landing system data, generating a virtual target flight path using the global positioning system data and the local positioning system data, and presenting a virtual target flight path indicator corresponding to the virtual target flight path. In one implementation, the system includes a user interface, a global positioning component, a local positioning component, and a processing system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: Garmin Switzerland GmbH
    Inventors: Daniel Keegan Flanigan, Jay R. Flatland, Merlin R. James, Eric D. Schlef
  • Patent number: 7999726
    Abstract: A system for estimating an antenna boresight direction. The novel system includes a first circuit for receiving a Doppler measurement and a line-of-sight direction measurement corresponding with the Doppler measurement, and a processor adapted to search for an estimated boresight direction that minimizes a Doppler error between the Doppler measurement and a calculated Doppler calculated from the estimated boresight direction and the line-of-sight direction measurement. The line-of-sight direction measurement is measured relative to the true antenna boresight, and the calculated Doppler is the Doppler calculated for a direction found by applying the line-of-sight direction measurement to the estimated boresight direction. In a preferred embodiment, the first circuit receives a Doppler measurement and a line-of-sight direction measurement from each of a plurality of pixels, and the processor searches for an estimated boresight direction that minimizes a sum of squares of Doppler errors for each of the pixels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2011
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Ralph Guertin, David Faulkner, John Treece, Donald Bruyere
  • Patent number: 7979200
    Abstract: Systems and methods that coordinate assignments of aircraft operating within a controlled airspace to ground radios are provided. In one embodiment, such a system includes an air traffic control (ATC) facility (12), a plurality of ground radios (16A-16C), and a network manager (20) communicatively coupled to the air traffic control facility (12) and the ground radios (16A-16C). The air traffic control facility is responsible for controlling aircraft (14A-14I) operating within the airspace (10) and providing ATC information to the network manager (20). The ground radios (16A-16C) are operable to provide communications between the air traffic control facility (12) and the aircraft (14A-14I). The network manager (20) is operable to assign each aircraft (14A-14I) to one of the ground radios (16A-16C) based on network management considerations using the ATC information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2011
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: FM Bay, David E. Walton
  • Patent number: 7953524
    Abstract: A method of navigating a mobile platform. A reflectable electronic signal is transmitted. A reflection of the reflectable signal is received. A position of the mobile platform is determined based upon the reflection of the reflectable signal. A platform position signal is transmitted to the mobile platform. The platform position signal provides the mobile platform the determined position of the mobile platform. The mobile platform is navigated based upon the platform position signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventor: Brian R. Roggendorf
  • Patent number: 7864096
    Abstract: An embodiment of the present invention provides a collision avoidance system for a host aircraft comprising a plurality of sensors for providing data about other aircraft that may be employed to determine one or more parameters to calculate future positions of the other aircraft, a processor to determine whether any combinations of the calculated future positions of the other aircraft are correlated or uncorrelated, and a collision avoidance module that uses the correlated or uncorrelated calculated future positions to provide a signal instructing the performance of a collision avoidance maneuver when a collision threat exists between the host aircraft and at least one of the other aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Assignee: Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems LLC
    Inventors: Gregory T. Stayton, Mark D. Smith, Michael F. Tremose
  • Patent number: 7843380
    Abstract: A system and method for sensing elevation terrain using an airborne weather radar. Method techniques include sampling first and second radar returns from a weather radar at two portions of an antenna. First radar returns are removed from second radar returns to generate third radar returns for a third portion of the antenna. The third portion of the antenna is included in the second portion but not the first portion. Changes in the third radar return are analyzed to sense elevation of the terrain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2010
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel L. Woodell
  • Patent number: 7839322
    Abstract: A method of detecting obstacles on board an aircraft while in the vicinity (44) of a touchdown point (27, 42), includes the following operations: selecting/determining a path (41) to be followed by the aircraft overflying the touchdown point; the aircraft overflying the touchdown point following the overflight path, and during the overflight recording signals/data delivered by an on-board rangefinder observing a portion of space extending below the aircraft; analyzing the rangefinder data to detect the presence of obstacles and to determine their positions in a terrestrial frame of reference, where appropriate to determine their dimensions; and recording the detected obstacle position data, and dimensions, if any, in a memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventors: François-Xavier Filias, Jean Sequeira
  • Patent number: 7818127
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for at least semi-autonomously controlling a vehicle so as to avoid collisions are provided. A sensor is utilized to scan an area proximate the vehicle for a potential object of collision. The apparatus calculates navigational states of the potential object of collision relative to the vehicle to determine that the vehicle is on a course to enter within a predetermined miss distance relative to the potential object of collision. The apparatus alters the course of the vehicle based on the calculated navigational states.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2010
    Assignee: Geneva Aerospace, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Duggan, David A. Felio, Craig S. Askew
  • Patent number: 7791529
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method of determining an estimated speed of an aircraft relative to ground being overflown by the aircraft, in which use is made of the sum of an acceleration measurement of the aircraft plus a difference value, the difference value being obtained from observation data or signals relating to a region of the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2010
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventors: François Xavier Filias, Jean-Paul Petillon, Richard Pire