Marine Vehicle Patents (Class 701/21)
  • Publication number: 20150025719
    Abstract: Wakeboat hull control systems and methods are provided to monitor the orientation of the wakeboat hull in the surrounding water, and to automatically control wakeboat ballast components to achieve or maintain desired hull orientations. Systems and methods are provided to measure, store, and recall hull orientation. Systems and methods are also provided to enable automated action to improve the safety, automation, performance, convenience, and marketing advantage of wakeboat ballast systems.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 4, 2014
    Publication date: January 22, 2015
    Inventor: Richard L. Hartman
  • Publication number: 20150025718
    Abstract: When an information display layout is created, a touch panel device displays information display areas icons. A user can create the information display layout by dragging the icons to the information display areas. After the drag operation, information corresponding to the icons is displayed in the respective information display areas.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 16, 2012
    Publication date: January 22, 2015
    Applicant: FURUNO ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Tadahiro Miichi, Tatsuya Asahara
  • Publication number: 20150019053
    Abstract: A method of communicating with an underwater vehicle comprising a propulsion system for propelling the vehicle through the water. A series of data sets are encoded and transmitted to the underwater vehicle in a series of signal bursts, and decoded at the underwater vehicle. The propulsion system is operated in a series of thrust pulses separated by drift periods such that the propulsion system operates at a relatively high rate during the thrust pulses and at a relatively low (or zero) rate during the drift periods. The drift periods are timed such that each signal burst arrives at the underwater vehicle during a drift period and not during a thrust pulse. The method may be performed with a single vehicle or a plurality of underwater vehicles. The encoded data signals are broadcast simultaneously to the underwater vehicles in the series of signal bursts.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2013
    Publication date: January 15, 2015
    Inventor: Harry George Dennis Gosling
  • Patent number: 8935174
    Abstract: A method, apparatus, and computer program product are present for analyzing voyage efficiency. Historical data for a completed voyage of a ship is obtained. A baseline voyage solution for a completed voyage is generated with a software application executing on a processor unit using a model of the ship and the historical data. The baseline voyage solution is compared to an actual voyage solution used for the completed voyage to form a comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Henry Chen, Philip J. Ballou, John R. Murk
  • Patent number: 8930050
    Abstract: A method of adjusting engine throttle in an electronic shift and throttle system comprises determining a position of a control lever which allows an operator to manually control throttle functions. A throttle command is calculated based on the position of the control lever. The throttle command is adjusted in response to an input received from an input means. The position of the control lever remains constant as the throttle command is being adjusted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: Marine Canada Acquisition Inc.
    Inventors: Pierre Garon, Neil Garfield Allyn, Ray Tat Lung Wong
  • Publication number: 20150005995
    Abstract: A method of integrating, optimizing and combining in a marine electric or hybrid system, the operation and safety of one or more energy storage units, a combination of one or more electric outboard(s) and ICE outboard(s) in a propulsion systems through use of an Energy Management Computer. One aspect of the invention involves the application of logic programming to automate the optimization and the operation of the Internal Combustion Engines (STANDARD OUTBOARD) so that whenever the system requires their usage, they are operated at optimum efficiency conditions. For a STANDARD OUTBOARD to operate at peak efficiency a combination of a large energy storage unit used as a buffer combined with electric outboard(s) is used.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 4, 2014
    Publication date: January 1, 2015
    Applicant: Hybrid Innovation Technologies LLC
    Inventor: Pierre Caouette
  • Patent number: 8924053
    Abstract: A vessel steering system is provided with a control unit that calculates a control pivoting angle for pivoting the propulsion means based on a steering angle. Based on actual-state recognition of at least one of the type of the vessel, the type of the propulsion means, an actual pivoting angle of a neighboring propulsion means that is close to the propulsion means when a plurality of propulsion means is provided, the distance between the swivel shaft of a reference propulsion means and the swivel shaft of a neighboring propulsion means thereof at a time when a plurality of propulsion means is provided, and the mounting position of the propulsion means on the vessel, the control unit sets a pivoting limit angle for limiting the pivoting of the propulsion means, and controls the pivoting apparatus in such a way that the propulsion means does not pivot by more than the set pivoting limit angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Makoto Itoi, Yasuji Sekimoto
  • Patent number: 8924054
    Abstract: Systems and methods are for orienting a marine vessel having a marine propulsion device. A control circuit controls operation of the marine propulsion device. A user input device inputs to the control circuit a user-desired global position and a user-desired heading of the marine vessel. The control circuit calculates a position difference between the user-desired global position and an actual global position of the marine vessel and controls the marine propulsion device to minimize the position difference. The control circuit controls the marine propulsion device to orient an actual heading of the marine vessel towards the user-desired global position when the position difference is greater than a threshold. When the position difference is less than the threshold, the control circuit controls the marine propulsion device to minimize a difference between the actual heading and the user-desired heading while minimizing the position difference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: Jason S. Arbuckle, Thomas S. Kirchhoff, Matthew W. Snyder, Kenneth G. Gable
  • Publication number: 20140365050
    Abstract: A system for controlling a marine vessel having first and second waterjets, corresponding first and second steering nozzles and corresponding first and second reversing buckets. The system comprises a speed control device for providing a first vessel control signal that corresponds to a speed to be provided to the marine vessel, a processor configured to receive the first vessel control signal and that is configured to provide at least one first actuator control signal coupled to the first and second waterjets, and at least one second actuator control signal coupled to the first and second steering nozzles and the first and to second reversing buckets. The system any of improves upon turns provided by conventional waterjet propulsion systems, improves upon slowing down or stopping marine vessels as is done by conventional waterjet propulsion systems, and improves upon the controllability of the waterjet propulsed marine vessel at low vessel speeds.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 26, 2014
    Publication date: December 11, 2014
    Inventor: Robert A. Morvillo
  • Patent number: 8908476
    Abstract: Provided are an apparatus and a method for seabed exploration using an unmanned remotely operated vehicle. The apparatus for seabed exploration of the present invention includes: an unmanned remotely operated vehicle connected with a ship 2 by a cable 1; a transponder of an acoustic positioning system mounted on the unmanned remotely operated vehicle; a pinger mounted on the unmanned remotely operated vehicle and outputting a signal that is received by a receiver of an echo sounder system mounted on the ship; a measuring device mounted on the unmanned remotely operated vehicle and sensing or measuring various information on the seabed where the unmanned remotely operated vehicle is positioned; and a sediment collecting device collecting sediments of the seafloor, when the unmanned remotely operated vehicle grounds on the seafloor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources
    Inventors: Jong Hwa Chun, Hag Ju Kim, Byong Jae Ryu, Jang Jun Bahk
  • Patent number: 8903576
    Abstract: A metrology device, computer program product and computer-implemented method generating survey data without having the device touch subsea objects being surveyed. The metrology device may be used with an underwater vehicle or diving personnel, and may comprise an inertial navigation system having gyroscopes to detect angular velocity and accelerometers for the detection of linear velocity and transported by an underwater robotic apparatus or diver, the inertial navigation system outputting position and orientation data of the device for storage; an aiding device for collecting image data of the subsea objects, the aiding device being positioned so that the distance and orientation between the optical scanner and the inertial navigation system is known; and a computer for using the position information and image data between a successively visited known point to determine the drift of the metrology device and to use the drift of the metrology device to correct measurements of same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: Ipoz Systems, LLC
    Inventor: Charles William Tink
  • Patent number: 8897938
    Abstract: System and method for controlling an instrumented cable (30) towed in water, such as a marine seismic streamer and/or an instrumented towed cable array (streamer array), to which at least one instrumented cable (30), control devices (10, 20) are arranged to control the individual instrumented cables (30) both in shape and position in relation to other instrumented cables (30) and then counteract cross currents and/or other dynamic forces affecting a towed cable array behind a seismic survey vessel (50). The wings (12, 23) of the control devices (10, 20) are provided with acoustic transmitter/receiver means (14) and electronics for acoustic ranging, and the vessel (50) and one or more tail buoys (60) are provided with acoustic transmitter/receiver means (62) and electronics for acoustic ranging, and is provided with instrumentation for absolute position and velocity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: Kongsberg Seatex AS
    Inventors: Ola Erik Fjellstad, Arne Rinnan
  • Patent number: 8897939
    Abstract: There is provided an automatic steering device with which an optimal duty ratio for achieving an optimal rudder turning speed at a cruising speed can be found simply and accurately. An automatic steering device 10 includes a correspondence acquisition component 24 and a duty ratio calculator 25. The correspondence acquisition component 24 finds a correspondence between a duty ratio and a rudder turning speed based on a first rudder turning speed while a steering mechanism 11 is controlled at a first duty ratio, and a second rudder turning speed while the steering mechanism 11 is controlled at a second duty ratio. The duty ratio calculator 25 calculates the duty ratio corresponding to a specific rudder turning speed based on the correspondence found by the correspondence acquisition component 24.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: FURUNO Electric Company Limited
    Inventors: Suminori Ekuni, Kazutoshi Shimo, Kentaroh Hamamoto
  • Publication number: 20140336854
    Abstract: A marine device, such as a trolling motor, a trim tab, a downrigger or a sonar device, is operated based upon commands generated by a wireless remote control device. The marine device is connected to a controller that provides commands to the marine device. The controller communicates with the remote control through a bidirectional wireless communication link to receive commands and to provide status information on the operation of the motor. The remote control includes user inputs for generating commands that are sent wirelessly to the controller to control operation of the marine device. The remote control also includes a display for displaying real time status information that is received wirelessly from the controller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 22, 2014
    Publication date: November 13, 2014
    Applicant: Johnson Outdoors Inc.
    Inventors: Paul D. Salmon, David M. Samek
  • Publication number: 20140336852
    Abstract: A method of determining fuel limits for an engine includes measuring an actual fuel value for the engine and creating a plurality of engine speed points. The method further includes calculating respective static fuel limit points for each of the engine speed points utilizing the actual fuel value. The static fuel limit points define and limit a rated power of the engine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 7, 2013
    Publication date: November 13, 2014
    Applicant: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jason Daniel Ozolins, John Patrick Dowell, Suseel Sukumaran, Greg Thomas Polkus, Atul George Tharakan
  • Publication number: 20140336853
    Abstract: A method, non-transitory computer readable medium and performance optimization computing device for optimizing the performance of a ship. Data associated with one or more operational parameters associated with the ship is obtained. One or more performance values corresponding to the obtained data are identified. One or more optimal operational parameters are determined based on a comparison of the identified one or more performance values and one or more historical performance values. The historical performance values correspond to historical data associated with the one or more operational parameters. The determined one or more optimal operational parameters for the ship are provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 12, 2014
    Publication date: November 13, 2014
    Applicant: ESRG Technology Group, LLC
    Inventors: Rob Bradenham, Ken Krooner
  • Patent number: 8880249
    Abstract: In one embodiment, an engine management system (EMS) can use a human machine interface (HMI) to modify operating parameters of a set of engine generators controlled by an engine control unit (ECU). The HMI can permits authorized users to adjust a plurality of operating parameters of the engine generators in accordance with an authorization level of the authorized users. The ECU can be a standalone system operable independent of the EMS. A communication network (e.g., ARCnet) can link the EMS to the ECU, wherein the changes of the operating parameters input via the HMI are maintained over a power-cycle of the EMS. Further, changes of the operating parameters input via the HMI can be maintained even when communications over the communication network linking the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Suseel Sukumaran, Anirban Roy
  • Patent number: 8880275
    Abstract: A vehicle control system is provided that includes an internal communications system. The vehicle control system further includes a controller configured to communicate with a plurality of independent vehicle systems via the internal communications system. The controller stores and accesses a plurality of libraries of system processes having data associated with the plurality of vehicle components. The controller maintains an operational state for the vehicle during an operational failure of at least one of the plurality of independent vehicle systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: James A. Del Savio, Richard P. Berube, Stuart K. Beazley, Ryan K. Miller, Peter Licis, Alberico Menozzi
  • Publication number: 20140324256
    Abstract: A method for controlling the hybrid drive system of a water craft, comprising a combustion engine (1), an electric engine/generator (2), a drive train (5) having a propeller (7) and a storage battery (3), a control unit (8) and a clutch (4). In order to increase efficiency, during travel in the upper power range the electric engine (2) is additionally operated as a generator, and during travel in the middle and lower power ranges the electric engine (2) is operated with current from a storage battery (3). The drive train is designed so that the characteristic (20) thereof lies by a defined charging capacity below the point of minimum specific fuel consumption (e.g. 25), or is steeper than the characteristic (16) of a conventional construction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 12, 2012
    Publication date: October 30, 2014
    Inventor: Michael Aschaber
  • Publication number: 20140316611
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system and method of utilizing superimposed 3D imagery for remotely operated vehicles, namely 3D, reconstructed images of the environment of the ROV. In another aspect, it includes generating a virtual video of 3D elements in the operation environment, synchronizing the angle and position of the camera of a virtual video with the angle and position of a real camera, superimposing the virtual video and the real video from the real camera; superimposing these video feeds such that one is manipulated to show transparencies in areas of less interest, in order to show through the other video. It furthermore may include superimposing information, whether graphic, textual or both on to the hybrid virtual-real 3D imagery. The subject invention is also networked, such that the immersive visual interface described above is accessible to a plurality of users operating from a plurality of locations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 8, 2012
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Inventor: Manuel Alberto Parente Da Silva
  • Publication number: 20140316620
    Abstract: This invention relates to a method and a device for averting and damping rolling of an engine-driven marine vessel with propeller propulsion. The proposed method recognizes the fact that the speed controller of a ship responds to heel angle variations by propeller speed adjustments. A speed controller is reading such propeller moment change as speed variations to be corrected. By the recurrence of this process, the result is amplifying small rolling effects to a critical rolling. Further elements contribute to this process, such as the propeller side effects ship's hull contact with the sea, waves or winds. However, by suppressing the interaction between heel angle variations and the speed controller, the rolling of a ship can be effectively reduced and averted. The proposed method, by suppressing the cause of the critical rolling, reduces rolling, fuel consumption and maintenance of the ship's propulsion engines.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 11, 2012
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Applicant: Q-TAGG R&D AB
    Inventors: Arne Löfgren, Tomas Lindqvist, George Fodor
  • Publication number: 20140316657
    Abstract: Techniques are disclosed for systems and methods to provide stabilized directional control for a vehicle. A directional control system for an embodiment may include a logic device adapted to receive directional data about a vehicle and determine nominal vehicle feedback from the directional data. The nominal vehicle feedback may be used to adjust a directional control signal provided to an actuator of a vehicle. The directional control signal may be limited to a value below an actuator rate limit before a directional control signal is adjusted by the nominal vehicle feedback. A directional control system may include a logic device, a memory, one or more sensors, one or more actuators/controllers, and modules to interface with users, sensors, actuators, and/or other modules of a vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 1, 2014
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Inventors: Mark Johnson, Chris Yeomans
  • Patent number: 8868268
    Abstract: System and method for navigating an unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) using three-dimensional acoustic reflectivity data sets and a beam steered downward looking sonar capturing sub-bottom features and creating three-dimensional representations to compare with the reflectivity data sets to general navigation corrections. Acoustically senses and exploits sub-bottom features for navigation of UUVs that can provide more reliable navigation than using surface features alone, since much of the sea floor is flat (e.g. on continental shelves and abyssal plains).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: William M Sanders
  • Patent number: 8858281
    Abstract: In an apparatus for controlling operation of an outboard motor having an internal combustion engine to power a propeller, and a transmission being selectively changeable in gear position to establish speeds including a first speed and a second speed and transmitting power of the engine to the propeller with a gear ratio determined by established speed, it is determined whether acceleration is instructed to the engine when the second speed is established and whether a preset condition is met, and operation of the transmission is controlled to change the gear position from the second speed to the first speed when the acceleration is determined to be instructed and the preset condition is met, thereby improving the acceleration performance of immediately after the acceleration is started.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koji Kuriyagawa, Hajime Yoshimura
  • Patent number: 8862293
    Abstract: A ship steering device capable of steering a hull in an intended direction by correcting an unintended rotation that occurs during an oblique sailing operation regardless of the type and size of the hull. A ship steering device is provided with an elevation angle sensor for detecting the elevation angle ? of a hull, a hull speed sensor for detecting the speed V of the hull, a storage means storing the relation among the elevation angle ? of the hull, the speed V of the hull, and a correction value K, and a calculation means serving as a correction value determination means, and an operation amount by which a joystick is operated such that the hull does not turn in the state in which the hull is obliquely sailed is determined by the calculation means and used as the correction value K.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: Yanmar Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Naohiro Hara, Akiyoshi Hayashi, Toshimitsu Hirose
  • Patent number: 8851946
    Abstract: In an apparatus for controlling operation of an outboard motor having an internal combustion engine and transmission, it is configured to determine whether acceleration is instructed to the engine by an operator when the gear position is the second speed, detect a slip ratio of a propeller based on theoretical velocity and actual velocity of a boat, control a throttle opening to suppress increase in the slip ratio when the acceleration is determined to be instructed, and change the gear position from the second speed to the first speed when the slip ratio is equal to or less than a first predetermined value and the change amount of the slip ratio is equal to or less than a prescribed value. With this, it becomes possible to appropriately control operation of the engine and the transmission during acceleration, thereby improving the acceleration performance of immediately after acceleration start.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koji Kuriyagawa, Hajime Yoshimura, Nobuchika Katagiri
  • Patent number: 8847535
    Abstract: A system and method to determine the operating status of an electrical system includes a system controller and an actuator controller. The system controller determines if the actuator controller is operating properly and initiates a safe mode of operation if the actuator is not operating properly. In turn, the actuator controller determines if the system controller is operating properly and initiates a safe mode of operation if the system controller is not operating properly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Duane Mills, Jeffrey Michael Carpenter
  • Patent number: 8849483
    Abstract: Systems and methods for operating autonomous waterborne vessels in a safe manner. The systems include hardware for identifying the locations and motions of other vessels, as well as the locations of stationary objects that represent navigation hazards. By applying a computational method that uses a maritime navigation algorithm for avoiding hazards and obeying COLREGS using Velocity Obstacles to the data obtained, the autonomous vessel computes a safe and effective path to be followed in order to accomplish a desired navigational end result, while operating in a manner so as to avoid hazards and to maintain compliance with standard navigational procedures defined by international agreement. The systems and methods have been successfully demonstrated on water with radar and stereo cameras as the perception sensors, and integrated with a higher level planner for trailing a maneuvering target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Yoshiaki Kuwata, Michael T. Wolf, Dimitri V. Zarzhitsky, Hrand Aghazarian, Terrance L. Huntsberger, Andrew B. Howard
  • Patent number: 8849484
    Abstract: A system for controlling a marine vessel having first and second waterjets, corresponding first and second steering nozzles and corresponding first and second reversing buckets. The system comprises a speed control device for providing a first vessel control signal that corresponds to a speed to be provided to the marine vessel, a processor configured to receive the first vessel control signal and that is configured to provide at least one first actuator control signal coupled to the first and second waterjets, and at least one second actuator control signal coupled to the first and second steering nozzles and the first and to second reversing buckets. The system any of improves upon turns provided by conventional waterjet propulsion systems, improves upon slowing down or stopping marine vessels as is done by conventional waterjet propulsion systems, and improves upon the controllability of the waterjet propulsed marine vessel at low vessel speeds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Inventor: Robert A. Morvillo
  • Publication number: 20140288735
    Abstract: To provide a technique capable of adjusting a tilt angle of a ship propulsion machine body with respect to a hull to a tilt angle suitable for a travelling state easily and with high accuracy. A motor adjusting a tilt angle of a ship propulsion machine body with respect to a hull and a control device controlling drive of the motor so as to change the tilt angle in accordance with an output from a hull angle sensor detecting a hull angle as an angle of the hull with respect to the water surface are included.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2013
    Publication date: September 25, 2014
    Applicant: SHOWA CORPORATION
    Inventors: Narimasa HOSOYA, Hayato TSUTSUI, Shinya HORIE
  • Patent number: 8843246
    Abstract: An unmanned vehicle comprising a body and a crush zone combined with the body. In a preferred embodiment, the crush zone is a crushable bumper connected to the body. The unmanned vehicle including the crush zone may be used to swarm a vehicle in training during a training exercise. Particularly, the unmanned vehicle including a crushable bumper may be used to swarm a warship during a live fire exercise.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: Meggitt Training Systems Canada Inc.
    Inventors: Spencer Fraser, Siobhan K. Penzes
  • Patent number: 8843318
    Abstract: To measure salinity and water temperature in a marine surface layer using data obtained by a marine radar, a deviation ?S' between effect of an ocean wave on received power RSI0? in a reference time zone and effect of the ocean wave on received power RSIm? in a measurement time zone is estimated, a deviation ?s? between effect of the ocean wave on the received power RSI0? in the reference time zone and effect of the ocean wave on the received power in an electrical conductivity variable time zone is estimated, a regression function f(?) of a relationship between received power obtained by subtracting the deviation ?s? from the received power in the electrical conductivity variable time zone and electrical conductivity ? in the electrical conductivity variable time zone is estimated, and a value of electrical conductivity ?c in a measurement time zone is estimated, thereby calculating practical salinity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry
    Inventor: Takumi Yoshii
  • Publication number: 20140277864
    Abstract: System and method for navigating an unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) using three-dimensional acoustic reflectivity data sets and a beam steered downward looking sonar capturing sub-bottom features and creating three-dimensional representations to compare with the reflectivity data sets to general navigation corrections. Acoustically senses and exploits sub-bottom features for navigation of UUVs that can provide more reliable navigation than using surface features alone, since much of the sea floor is flat (e.g. on continental shelves and abyssal plains).
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: The Government of the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: William M. Sanders
  • Publication number: 20140277851
    Abstract: Watercraft automation and aquatic data utilization for aquatic efforts are disclosed. In one aspect, an anchor point is obtained and a watercraft position maintenance routine is actuated to control the watercraft to maintain association with the anchor point. In another aspect, prior aquatic effort data is obtained in association with an anchor point. In yet another aspect, current aquatic effort data is generated in association with an anchor point. In still another aspect, current aquatic effort data and prior aquatic effort data are utilized for prediction generation. In yet another aspect, current aquatic effort data and prior aquatic effort data are utilized to obtain another anchor point for a watercraft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventors: Ted V. Grace, Ryan T. Grace
  • Publication number: 20140277865
    Abstract: A computer implemented method, apparatus, and computer program product for real-time creation of vessel performance models. Performance inputs are received from a set of sensors during a voyage of a vessel. The performance inputs are data associated with a performance of the vessel during the voyage. A real-time performance model is generated during the voyage using a subset of the performance inputs. A predicted value for velocity made good is identified for the vessel using the real-time performance model.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Derek G. Watson
  • Patent number: 8836570
    Abstract: A system for extending maritime domain awareness of participating vessels. The system includes a domain extension device installed on each of the vessels, the domain extension devices including at least one processor configured to receive own-ship radar track data from a navigational radar indicative of detectable targets located within a detection range of the radar, receive own-ship location values from a positioning device indicative of a geographical location of the vessel when the radar track data is generated, interface with a transceiver to receive other-ship radar track data and associated other-ship location values from one or more other participating vessels within a communication range of other-ship AIS transceivers, generate a common operating picture based upon the own-ship radar track data, own-ship location value, other-ship radar track data and other-ship location values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Raytheon Canada Limited
    Inventors: Anthony M. Ponsford, Peter Scarlett, Gregory D. Westfall
  • Patent number: 8838305
    Abstract: A boat that allows effective steering even when the motor output power is decreased due to the low battery charge includes a first predictive determination unit arranged to compare an actual charge amount of a battery supplying an electric power to a steering motor or a predicted charge amount of the battery calculated from a predicted working current with a threshold predetermined in relation to running states; a steering load detector arranged to calculate a required output value of a steering motor necessary to steer an outboard motor while the boat is under way; and a steering load controller arranged to control the required output value to be decreased from the present output value when the first predictive determination unit determines that the threshold is larger than the battery charge amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Makoto Mizutani
  • Patent number: 8831802
    Abstract: A boat propelling system capable of determining an abnormality regarding steering of a propelling system main body includes an outboard engine main body, a steering section arranged to steer the outboard engine main body, a steering angle sensor arranged to detect a steering angle of the steering section, a pivot sensor arranged to detect an actual pivot angle of the outboard engine main body, and an ECU. The ECU calculates a target pivot angle change amount based on a target pivot angle derived from the steering angle and a baseline target pivot angle, calculates an actual pivot angle change amount based on the actual pivot angle and a baseline actual pivot angle, and obtains a gap amount between the target pivot angle change amount and the actual pivot angle change amount. Then, the ECU determines an abnormality regarding steering of the outboard engine main body based on a result of comparison between the gap amount and the first threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Makoto Mizutani, Hitoshi Ishida
  • Patent number: 8827758
    Abstract: A marine vessel propulsion device includes an engine, a propeller shaft, a drive shaft that is rotated by power transmitted from the engine, a dog clutch that transmits rotation of the drive shaft to the propeller shaft, and an engine load generating unit. The engine load generating unit detects relative rotation speed between the drive shaft and the propeller shaft, and generates an engine load opposite in phase to the relative rotation speed detected therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Kazuyuki Agemura
  • Patent number: 8825241
    Abstract: This invention provides a vessel system and methodology that can be used to promote growth of phytoplankton in the oceans. Unmanned self-controlled wave-powered vessels are equipped with storage units for dispensing a fertilizer, and with sensors to monitor ocean conditions and effects. Fleets of vessels move autonomously by on-board processing of GPS and directional information, piloting a path that is coordinated by a central processing unit. The vessels travel through a defined target area, creating a detailed survey of chemical and biological characteristics that affect grown. The data are processed in a computer model to identify precise locations and precise amounts of fertilizer that will produce the best results. Projected benefits of fertilizing plankton include sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere, and enhancing the marine food chain to improve the fish stock in and around the treated area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Liquid Robotics, Inc.
    Inventor: Roger G. Hine
  • Publication number: 20140244081
    Abstract: There is provided an automatic steering device with which a heading can be stably controlled even under powerful disturbance. The control computer 8 outputs an ordered rudder angle calculated based on the drift angle and the turning angular velocity. The angular velocity inversion timing acquisition component 21 acquires a timing at which the turning angular velocity changes from a direction in which a divergence of the drift angle from zero increases to a direction in which the divergence decreases. The steering stop command component 22 orders a steering stop based on the above-mentioned timing. The steering gear controller 10 controls a steering gear such that it changes a rudder angle of the steering gear based on the ordered rudder angle, and such that it does not change the rudder angle while a command of the steering stop has been received.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2014
    Publication date: August 28, 2014
    Applicant: FURUNO Electric Company Limited
    Inventor: Hideki UENO
  • Patent number: 8818587
    Abstract: Methods and systems are for controlling movement of at least one propulsion unit on a marine vessel. The method comprises plotting a first plurality of points representing a first surface of a first propulsion unit and plotting a second plurality of points representing a second surface. The method further comprises limiting movement of at least the first propulsion unit such that the first surface does not come within a predetermined distance of the second surface during said movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: Jason S. Arbuckle, Thomas S. Kirchhoff, Kenneth G. Gable
  • Patent number: 8818586
    Abstract: Protection system for ship loading provided with a cover device comprising a universal adaptable cover, a coupling and operation device comprising a ring structure that houses the elements necessary for operation of the protection system, such as the fixing device, tractor assembly responsible for handling, lowering and collapsing the protection cover and its system of monitoring of the load, which, together, allow a new approach in the protection of loading of ships.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Inventor: Gustavo Possas Pereira
  • Patent number: 8807059
    Abstract: Systems for maneuvering a marine vessel comprise an input device for requesting lateral movement of the marine vessel with respect to the longitudinal axis and a plurality of propulsion devices including at least a port propulsion device, a starboard propulsion device and an intermediate propulsion device disposed between the port and starboard propulsion devices. A control circuit controls orientation of the port and starboard propulsion devices inwardly towards a common point on the marine vessel, and upon a request for lateral movement of from the input device, operates one of the port and starboard propulsion devices in forward gear, operates the other of the port and starboard propulsion devices in reverse gear, and operates the intermediate propulsion device in reverse gear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: William J. Samples, Robert S. Mirman, William R. Robertson, Kenneth G. Gable
  • Publication number: 20140229034
    Abstract: The present invention applies model-based processing to a sensor output from a sensor such as a sonar, radar, or laser range finder. In particular, embodiments of the invention use a priori knowledge of a model signal return expected from a particular object to identify the location of the object relative to the sensor (and/or vice versa). In some embodiments the object is augmented with reflectors that return the sensor signal back towards the sensor so that the object can be more easily detected by the sensor. In preferred embodiments the reflectors are arranged in an a priori known pattern on the object, to help identify both the location and the orientation of the object with respect to the sensor. In the preferred embodiment, the sensor is a sonar, mounted on an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV).
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 5, 2013
    Publication date: August 14, 2014
    Inventors: CHRISTOPHER ROBERT SPENCE, EDMUND PETER SPARKS
  • Patent number: 8805601
    Abstract: An object path prediction method, apparatus, and program and an automatic operation system that can secure safety even in situations that can actually occur are provided. For this purpose, a computer having a storage unit that stores the position of an object and the internal state including the speed of the object reads the position and internal state of the object from the storage unit, generates trajectories in a space-time consisting of time and space from changes of the positions that can be taken by the object with the passage of time based on the read position and internal state of the object, and predicts probabilistically paths of the object by using the generated trajectories.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kazuaki Aso, Toshiki Kindo
  • Patent number: 8801477
    Abstract: In a control apparatus for an outboard motor having an internal combustion engine and a transmission adapted to establish speeds including first and second speeds and transmit an engine output to a propeller with an established speed, it is configured to determine whether acceleration is instructed to the engine by an operator when the second speed is established; detect an engine speed; detect a navigation acceleration indicative of a change amount of navigation speed per predetermined time; change the gear position from the second speed to the first speed when the acceleration is determined to be instructed; and change the gear position from the first speed to the second speed when the engine speed is at or above a predetermined speed and the navigation acceleration is at or below a predetermined value after the gear position is changed to the first speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koji Kuriyagawa, Keiichi Nakayama
  • Publication number: 20140222260
    Abstract: A steering apparatus comprises a rotatable steering shaft and a sensor which senses angular movement of the steering shaft. An electromagnetic actuator actuates a stop mechanism to releasable engage the steering shaft. There is a microcontroller which causes the electromagnetic actuator to actuate the stop mechanism to fully engage the steering shaft and prevent rotation of the steering shaft in a first rotational direction, which corresponds to movement towards the hardstop position, while allowing rotational play between the steering shaft and the stop mechanism in a second direction, which corresponds to rotational movement away from the hardstop position, when the sensor senses that the steering shaft has reached a hardstop position. A driver applies a reserve polarity pulse to the electromagnetic actuator when the stop mechanism is fully engaged and the steering shaft is rotated, as permitted by the rotational play, in the second rotational direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2013
    Publication date: August 7, 2014
    Applicant: MARINE CANADA ACQUISITION, INC.
    Inventors: Chan Anson, Higgs David, Clarke Douglas
  • Patent number: 8798825
    Abstract: Wakeboat hull control systems and methods are provided to monitor the orientation of the wakeboat hull in the surrounding water, and to automatically control wakeboat ballast components to achieve or maintain desired hull orientations. Systems and methods are provided to measure, store, and recall hull orientation. Systems and methods are also provided to enable automated action to improve the safety, automation, performance, convenience, and marketing advantage of wakeboat ballast systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Inventor: Richard L. Hartman
  • Patent number: 8798823
    Abstract: An electronic control apparatus for driving a boat capable of safely and positively steering the boat to move forward and backward, including: a steering mechanism; a shift actuator for switching neutral, forward, backward; a throttle actuator for driving a throttle valve; and an electronic control unit connected to the steering mechanism, the shift actuator and the throttle actuator, for calculating a movement command value and an output command value for controlling the shift actuator and the throttle actuator, respectively, based on a steering position signal from the steering mechanism, and for controlling the shift actuator and the throttle actuator according to the movement command value, the output command value, feedback signals indicating control states, the electronic control section restrains the output command value until a shift operation of the shift actuator is completed, when the movement command value has been generated for shifting the shift actuator to forward or backward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Ryo Sakaguchi, Hideki Umemoto