Take-off And Landing Monitors Patents (Class 73/178T)
  • Patent number: 6157876
    Abstract: An image sensor attached to an aircraft generates an image. The image includes a runway and other objects. The edges within the image are detected and Nav Data is used to predict the coordinates defining the runway. The predicted coordinates and the detected edges are correlated to determine the location of the runway within the image. The location of the runway within the image is then used to determine the lateral and vertical deviation of the aircraft relative to the runway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Norman G. Tarleton, Jr., Dean R. Wilkens, Peter F. Symosek
  • Patent number: 6157891
    Abstract: A positioning and ground proximity warning method for vehicle includes the steps of outputting global positioning system signals to an integrated positioning/ground proximity warning system processor; outputting an inertial navigation solution to an integrated positioning/ground proximity warning processor; measuring air pressure, and computing barometric measurements which is output to the integrated positioning/ground proximity warning processor; measuring time delay between transmission and reception a radio signal from a terrain surface, and computing radio altitude measurement which is output to the integrated positioning/ground proximity warning processor; accessing a terrain database for obtaining current vehicle position and surrounding terrain height data which is output to the integrated positioning/ground proximity warning processor; and receiving the position, velocity and time information or said pseudorange and delta range measurements of said global positioning system, the inertial navigation s
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Inventor: Ching-Fang Lin
  • Patent number: 6134485
    Abstract: A system and method for analyzing physical parameters of flight data at a plurality of discrete locations about a surface of an aircraft includes a multisensor system having an array of belts. Each belt includes a plurality of interconnected belt segments including a substrate having an electrically conductive digital data bus, and at least one module having a first sensor, a second sensor and a digital signal processor, and a coating for protecting the belt segment. The first and second sensors, which are preferably formed as microelectromechanical sensors sharing a common substrate, respectively generate signals representative of a first physical parameter and a second physical parameter. The processor receives and analyzes the first and second signals to generate a third signal. The third signal is transmitted along the electrically-conductive bus to a remotely-located controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Minas H. Tanielian, Narnsoo Kim, Mark J. Holland
  • Patent number: 6133857
    Abstract: An aircraft instrument system that informs the pilot of whether, during the takeoff roll, the aircraft's acceleration rate is sufficient to ensure that V1 speed will be achieved at the expected time (and thus distance), and, if not, how far in distance the aircraft is lagging behind the required acceleration schedule.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Inventors: Wayne C. Millard, Carl W Millard
  • Patent number: 6128951
    Abstract: An onboard system for use in measuring, computing and displaying the weight and center-of-gravity for aircraft, while keeping aircraft movement to a minimum. Pressure sensors are mounted in relation to each of the landing gear struts. An onboard pump and reservoirs are attached to each of the landing gear struts and are activated by a computer/controller, while landing gear strut pressures are monitored in the determination of strut stiction. The computer/controller calculates the stiction of each landing gear strut and compensates for the pressure distortions caused by landing gear strut stiction. Additional features include reducing strut stiction, measuring landing gear strut fluid levels, monitoring landing gear strut health, weight adjustments for external ice and de-icing fluids, weight adjustments for wind, monitoring aircraft landing gear strut movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Assignee: Trinity Airweighs, L.L.C.
    Inventor: C. Kirk Nance
  • Patent number: 6122570
    Abstract: A terrain awareness system (TAS) provides LOOK-AHEAD/LOOK-DOWN as well as LOOK-UP terrain advisory and warning indications to the pilot of an aircraft of a hazardous flight condition. The TAS includes an airport data base as well as a terrain data base that is structured to provide various resolutions depending on the topography of the particular geographic area of interest. Navigational data from a satellite-based navigational system, such as a global positioning system (GPS), is used to provide a LOOK-AHEAD/LOOK-DOWN and LOOK-UP terrain advisory and terrain warning indications based upon the current position and projected flight path of the aircraft. Since the terrain advisory and the warning signals are a function of the flight path of the aircraft, nuisance warnings are minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: AlliedSignal Inc.
    Inventors: Hans R. Muller, Kevin J. Conner, Steven C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6111526
    Abstract: A device for assisting the piloting of a vehicle by instruments. Various indications are displayed on an aircraft head-up view finder including a horizontal line graduated in terms of heading, a perpendicular line graduated in terms of atitude, an aircraft symbol representing the direction of the longitudinal axis of the aircraft above the horizontal line and a velocity vector symbol representing the tracking slope followed by the aircraft with respect to the ground. These are determined with respect to the tracking and atitude scales. The guidance window whose position is references with respect to the same axis is also displayed. The pilot must control the aircraft as to bring the velocity vector into the guidance window and keep it there. The window is placed on the screen at a position which is computed by the computer and which corresponds to the direction of a point of the desired path of the aircraft, this point being at a predetermined distance ahead of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Sextant Avionique
    Inventors: Bruno Aymeric, Roger Parus
  • Patent number: 6107943
    Abstract: Aircraft display symbology provides quantitative deceleration information in relation to a pilot familiar reference on a HUD system combiner. The symbology displayed includes a deceleration scale composed of a series of marks that provide a known reference for the display of deceleration information. The number of marks on the scale and the positioning and labeling of the marks can be tailored for a particular aircraft type. In a preferred embodiment, the deceleration scale is displayed along and proximal to the vertical path traveled by an aircraft acceleration symbol, which indicates the actual longitudinal acceleration or deceleration of the aircraft. The offset distance of the aircraft acceleration symbol below an aircraft reference or "boresight" symbol shows the actual (inertial) deceleration during landing rollout and rejected takeoff.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2000
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey R. Schroeder
  • Patent number: 6088634
    Abstract: A terrain-awareness system (TAS) provides LOOK-AHEAD/LOOK-DOWN as well as LOOK-UP terrain advisory and warning indications to the pilot of an aircraft of a hazardous flight condition. The TAS includes an airport data base as well as a terrain data base that is structured to provide various resolutions depending on the topography of the particular geographic area of interest. Navigational data from a satellite-based navigational system, such as a global positioning system (GPS), is used to provide a LOOK-AHEAD/LOOK-DOWN and LOOK-UP terrain advisory and terrain warning indications based upon the current position and projected flight path of the aircraft. Since the terrain advisory and the warning signals are a function of the flight path of the aircraft, nuisance warnings are minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: AlliedSignal Inc.
    Inventors: Hans R. Muller, Kevin J. Conner, Steven C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6043759
    Abstract: The present invention provides ground proximity warning system and method for aircraft, particularly rotary wing aircraft such as helicopters. The warning system generally includes an air ground detection device disposed on the aircraft to confirm whether the aircraft is on the ground or in the air. A controller is coupled to the air ground detection device and configured to move between a ground state when the aircraft is on the ground and an airborne state when the aircraft is in the air. The controller may be used for a variety of applications within the aircraft, such as disabling a ground proximity warning device when the aircraft is on the ground and enabling the warning device when the aircraft is in the air. In addition, the air ground controller may be used to signal the beginning and the end of a flight for the aircraft's flight history fault memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Assignee: AlliedSignal
    Inventors: Noel S. Paterson, Gary A. Ostrom, Alden L. Loos
  • Patent number: 6008742
    Abstract: The Aircraft Landing Gear Warning System is an electronic device designed for general aviation aircraft having retractable landing gear. The unit attaches to the aircraft. The system incorporates means of determining the aircraft's proximity to the ground and the status of the landing gear. If the device determines that the aircraft has descended to approximately 100 ft. above the ground and the wheels are retracted, the device provides a visual and audible warning to the pilot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1999
    Inventor: Duane Groves
  • Patent number: 6002972
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for measuring the lift generated by airfoils of an aircraft. This real-time analysis is accomplished by measuring a differential pressure between the upper and lower lift surfaces of the airfoils. The system comprises the steps of: a) measuring an actual differential pressure between the upper and lower lift surfaces for a given aircraft speed, b) transmitting this actual differential pressure measurement to a computer, c) comparing the actual differential pressure measurement with an optimal pressure differential for the same aircraft speed. The apparatus comprises a fixed array of differential pressure sensor mechanisms for measuring actual pressure differentials and a computer for comparing optimal differential pressure measurements to the actual differential pressure measurements. Each sensor mechanism preferably contains a piezoelectric sensor that communicates with the upper and lower lift surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: AERS/Midwest, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven D. Palmer
  • Patent number: 5982299
    Abstract: In this application are disclosed a variety of improvements to the original system. These improvements provide for greater utility, effectiveness, and ease of manufacturing of the laser visual landing aid system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: Cafaro Laser, Ltd.
    Inventor: David M. Shemwell
  • Patent number: 5982300
    Abstract: A device for indicating that an airplane has reached a safe speed in the presence of headwinds for initiating take-off rotation. The device senses the true ground speed of the airplane and converts the true ground speed into an "indicated ground speed" in accord with the relationship between true air speed and indicated air speed for the airplane. The device subtracts the indicated ground speed from the indicated air speed of the airplane to determine the amount of the headwind and, whenever the headwind exceeds a preselected margin, the device increases the value of the safe minimum indicated air speed for initiation of take-off by any excess of the headwind over the preselected margin. The device then directs the flight director to initiate take-off rotation when the indicated air speed of the airplane equals or exceeds the adjusted minimum indicated air speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: Safe Flight Instrument Corporation
    Inventor: Leonard M. Greene
  • Patent number: 5955972
    Abstract: Disclosed is an apparatus for displaying state and transition state information of mechanical equipment. A sensor and display system is provided for displaying aircraft landing gear status and other mechanism status. In one embodiment, the system utilizes two light emitting diodes (LEDs) for each landing gear leg to display the current position of each gear leg. One yellow LED indicates gear UP and the second green LED shows gear DOWN position. When the control switch is moved to change the position of the gear, the indicator light which had been lit is extinguished, and the indicator for the desired position begins to flash, indicating gear movement. The indicator will continue to flash until the gear leg has reached the limit of travel, at which time the indicator stops flashing and glows steadily. Each gear leg indicator operates independently of the others, so that proper position of each gear leg can be confirmed and any malfunction can immediately be identified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignee: William G. Wade
    Inventor: William G. Wade
  • Patent number: 5952570
    Abstract: A horizontal speed indicator for a rotary-wing aircraft includes first and second sensors for determining, respectively, the heading and the horizontal speed of the aircraft. The indicator processes the signals delivered by the first and second sensors, and displays the processed signals on a screen, which includes a compass rose which can rotate when the aircraft alters its heading, and a scale which represents the horizontal speed of the aircraft. The scale includes cross wires and concentric circles, and is capable of moving with respect to the compass rose.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventors: Raymond Jacques Gerard Berlioz, Vincent Frederic Saintagne
  • Patent number: 5839080
    Abstract: A terrain awareness system (TAS) provides LOOK-AHEAD/LOOK-DOWN as well as LOOK-UP terrain advisory and warning indications to the pilot of an aircraft of a hazardous flight condition. The TAS includes an airport data base as well as a terrain data base that is structured to provide various resolutions depending on the topography of the particular geographic area of interest. Navigational data from a satellite-based navigational system, such as a global positioning system (GPS), is used to provide a LOOK-AHEAD/LOOK-DOWN and LOOK-UP terrain advisory and terrain warning indications based upon the current position and projected flight path of the aircraft. Since the terrain advisory and the warning signals are a function of the flight path of the aircraft, nuisance warnings are minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1998
    Assignee: AlliedSignal, Inc.
    Inventors: Hans R. Muller, Kevin J. Conner, Steven C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 5823479
    Abstract: A method modifying the landing pitch attitude of an airplane during landing approach and touchdown is disclosed. A reference value for a predetermined flight condition parameter is subtracted from a current value of the predetermined flight condition parameter, resulting in a difference value. Based upon the difference value, a schedule determines a corresponding deflection value for a movable surface capable of producing lift. The movable surface is automatically deflected to an amount equal to the deflection value. In alternative embodiments of the invention, the predetermined flight condition parameters include approach airspeed, attitude, and angle of attack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Brian N. Nield, Ross A. Landes, Monte R. Evans
  • Patent number: 5796612
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method for three-dimensional flight control based generally upon measuring and comparing actual air pressures at or near various surfaces of an aircraft during flight. Sensors are provided for measuring air pressure acting on the aircraft surface. The method includes measuring air pressure differentials between two or more sensors to evaluate certain critical flight parameters, such as the actual lift being produced, the air direction and speed relative to the aircraft, the air density, and the aircraft position and trajectory. The actual and comparative data provide information about the present flight conditions and performance if the aircraft, such as whether there is ice formed or forming on the wings, the direction and approach of wind shear, whether a stall is approaching, etc. The information can be evaluated by a computer, the aircraft's automatic flight control system ("AFCS"), or flight crew so that appropriate flight control measures can be taken.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1998
    Assignee: AERS/Midwest, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven D. Palmer
  • Patent number: 5781126
    Abstract: The present invention provides ground proximity warning system and method for aircraft, particularly rotary wing aircraft such as helicopters. The warning system generally includes a barometric altitude rate detector, such an altimeter and a rate circuit, disposed to detect the rate of change of the barometric altitude of the aircraft. A controller is coupled to the detector for receiving the barometric altitude rate signals and adjusting the signals based on the ground effect from the main rotors when the aircraft is near the ground. Typically, the controller decreases the barometric altitude rate signals to compensate for the apparent increase in barometric altitude rate caused by ground effects. This reduces the number of nuisance warnings that may otherwise occur during takeoffs, landings or other low altitude flight conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Assignee: AlliedSignal Inc.
    Inventors: Noel S. Paterson, Gary A. Ostrom, Alden L. Loos
  • Patent number: 5742508
    Abstract: A user interface apparatus for an electronic operation strip control system for supporting control services by presenting electronic operation strips used in airport control to a plurality of controllers who carry out airport terminal radar control services and entering control services previously distributed and associated with each other, including an information display device and an instruction input device provided for each controller. Operation strip control information items necessary for respective distributed control services are obtained and inputted into an information processing section, where the items are edited and processed in correspondence with the distributed control services and in accordance with contents of instructions from an instruction input device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1998
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Yoichi Kusui, Tatsuro Ito
  • Patent number: 5737222
    Abstract: An apparatus for measuring the lift generated by airfoils of an aircraft. This real-time analysis is accomplished by measuring a differential pressure between the upper and lower lift surfaces of the airfoils. The apparatus a) measures an actual differential pressure between the upper and lower lift surfaces for a given aircraft speed, b) transmits this actual differential pressure measurement to a computer, c) compares the actual differential pressure measurement with an optimal pressure differential for the same aircraft speed, and d) evaluates performance of the aircraft based on the result of the comparison. The apparatus comprises a fixed array of differential pressure sensor mechanisms for measuring actual pressure differentials and a computer for comparing optimal differential pressure measurements to the actual differential pressure measurements. Each sensor mechanism preferably contains a piezoelectric sensor that communicates with the upper and lower lift surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1998
    Assignee: AERS/Midwest, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven D. Palmer
  • Patent number: 5675327
    Abstract: The disclosed optoelectronic device is designed to facilitate the piloting of an aircraft under conditions of poor visibility, notably during landing at the stage when the aircraft approaches a runway. It consists of a collimator which displays, in addition to the artificial skyline, miniature aircraft index and attitude bars, a slope scale positioned across and on either side of the artificial skyline, at the position of the selected course chosen by the pilot. This slope scale, depicted in the form of a line of dots spaced out at one slope degree, enables the pilot to be presented simultaneously with information on selected course and slope and enables the determining of pitch attitude with high precision.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 7, 1997
    Assignee: Sextant Avionique
    Inventors: Philippe Coirier, Alain Goujon
  • Patent number: 5629848
    Abstract: A spatial disorientation detector system capable of warning a pilot of potentially disorienting flight conditions in response to Kalman filter modeling of human response characteristics. The Kalman filter models are representative of human semicircular canal and otolith responses and are capable of more accurate prediction of actual pilot disorientation conditions than are systems which respond with simple magnitude measurement of disorientation stress. Examples of disorienting environments are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 13, 1997
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Air Force
    Inventors: D. W. Repperger, W. B. Albery
  • Patent number: 5612667
    Abstract: In a vehicular warning system for sensing the approach of severe weather, a pressure sensor generates a first signal representative of the barometric pressure. A computer, coupled to the pressure sensor through the electrical system of the vehicle, generates a second signal responsive to the first signal changing in a time series pattern correlated with a known time series pattern representative of a severe weather system. The computer is coupled through the electrical system of the vehicle to the horn and/or lights for generating warning signals responsive to receiving the second signal, but only when the vehicle is not in the operating mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 18, 1997
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: David K. Trumpy, Marvin P. Kraska
  • Patent number: 5592159
    Abstract: A control system includes at least one guiding device including a long range guiding water jet generator having a plurality of first nozzles each projecting a jet of water upwardly and a first illumination apparatus projecting a plurality of beams of light upwardly each in concert with the jet of water projected from each of the first nozzles so as to guide the flight vehicle along a predetermined direction when the flight vehicle is located at a longer distance relative to the guiding device and a short range guiding water jet generator having a plurality of second nozzles each projecting a jet of water upwardly and a second illumination apparatus projecting a plurality of beams of light upwardly each in concert with the jet of water projected from each of the second nozzles so as to guide the flight vehicle along the predetermined direction when the flight vehicle is located at a shorter distance relative to the guiding device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1997
    Inventors: Yeong-shyeong Tsai, Wang-jr Li, Hong-ming Tsai, Bo-yu Tsai, Liu-sing Tsai
  • Patent number: 5565863
    Abstract: A method for automatically providing weather advisories for an airport to pilots comprises monitoring weather conditions at the airport and then generating weather advisories in response to these weather conditions. The broadcast traffic on a common traffic advisory channel is also simultaneously monitored and then menus providing for selectable weather advisories and radio check options are broadcast to the pilots. The weather advisories or radio check can then be selected by the pilot by clicks of their transmit button. The time spacing between the menus is adaptively changed in response to traffic on the common traffic advisory frequency. Also, the length of the weather advisories is also changed in response to this traffic. The radio check option is provided automatically by first confirming selection of the radio check option and then allowing the broadcaster to broadcast a short message which is recorded by the system and then rebroadcast.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1996
    Assignee: Potomac Aviation Technology Corp.
    Inventors: Gary B. Simon, David Wartofsky
  • Patent number: 5548517
    Abstract: An onboard system for use in measuring, computing and displaying the gross weight and location/relocation of the center of gravity, for aircraft. Temperature and pressure transducers are mounted in relation to each of the landing gear struts. Transmit those temperature and pressure signals to an onboard microcomputer/controller with redundancy for accuracy and failure protection. The system also incorporates a software correction program, along with attached hardware, to correct and compensate for physical changes to strut components due to temperature fluctuations, seal drag and hysteresis within modern day "shock absorbing" aircraft landing gear struts. The computer makes adjustments for internal temperature changes and drag; converts sustained pressures to the weight supported by each strut, and computes the aircrafts current gross weight and center of gravity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 20, 1996
    Inventor: C. Kirk Nance
  • Patent number: 5499025
    Abstract: The invention is a real-time takeoff and landing performance monitoring system for an aircraft which provides a pilot with graphic and metric information to assist in decisions related to achieving rotation speed (V.sub.R) within the safe zone of a runway, or stopping the aircraft on the runway after landing or take-off abort. The system processes information in two segments: a pretakeoff segment and a real-time segment. One-time inputs of ambient conditions and airplane configuration information are used in the pretakeoff segment to generate scheduled performance data. The real-time segment uses the scheduled performance data, runway length data and transducer measured parameters to monitor the performance of the airplane throughout the takeoff roll. Airplane acceleration and engine-performance anomalies are detected and annunciated. A novel and important feature of this segment is that it updates the estimated runway rolling friction coefficient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 12, 1996
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: David B. Middleton, Raghavachari Srivatsan, Lee H. Person, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5434565
    Abstract: A method for automatically providing weather advisories for an airport to pilots comprises monitoring weather conditions at the airport and then generating weather advisories in response to these weather conditions. The broadcast traffic on a common traffic advisory channel is also simultaneously monitored and then menus providing for selectable weather advisories and radio check options are broadcast to the pilots. The weather advisories or radio check can then be selected by the pilot by clicks of their transmit button. The time spacing between the menus is adaptively changed in response to traffic on the common traffic advisory frequency. Also, the length of the weather advisories is also changed in response to this traffic. The radio check option is provided automatically by first confirming selection of the radio check option and then allowing the broadcaster to broadcast a short message which is recorded by the system and then rebroadcast.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1995
    Assignee: Potomac Aviation Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Gary B. Simon, David Wartofsky
  • Patent number: 5428354
    Abstract: A ground proximity warning system and a detector for aircraft having fixed or non-retractable landing gear which rather accurately detects a landing phase of flight in order to adjust the warning envelope to minimize nuisance warnings during such a phase of flight. In particular, the system monitors the flap position to provide an indication to the ground proximity warning system that the aircraft is either in an approach, cruise or landing phase of flight. Cams mounted to the air flaps system indicate a landing phase of flight when the approach flaps are configured for a normal landing, such as 16.degree.-18.degree. flaps or an approach phase of flight when the flaps are configured for a normal approach, for example, 5.degree.-7.degree. flaps. By providing a relatively accurate indication of the phase of flight for an aircraft with non-retractable landing gear, nuisance alarms will be virtually eliminated, while maximum protection is provided during all phases of flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 27, 1995
    Assignee: AlliedSignal Inc.
    Inventor: Alan B. Torget
  • Patent number: 5415031
    Abstract: The invention is a process and a device for determining an estimation of the altitude of an aircraft from at least two independent measurements of the altitude, by polling. The aircraft must include at least one inertial reference system. A signal representing a first or second derivative of the altitude is diverted from the inertial reference system, polling is undertaken on the magnitudes of like order deduced from the independent altitude measurements and from the derivative of the altitude, respectively, and an integration operation is undertaken so as to obtain the altitude estimation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 16, 1995
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Societe Nationale Industrielle
    Inventors: Rachel Colleu, Pierre Fougere
  • Patent number: 5406487
    Abstract: An improved aircraft altitude approach control device is characterized by both visible and audible indications of changes in the aircraft altitude as the aircraft descends to a landing. A transducer is provided on the aircraft which produces an output signal corresponding to the altitude of the aircraft. The output signal is converted to a digital signal and then to an analog voltage signal. A voltage controlled oscillator produces an audio frequency signal whose pitch corresponds with altitude. A further characteristic of the invention is the provision of a memory circuit in which a digital signal corresponding to a preferred landing is stored. This signal can be modified to produce a preferred or reference analog voltage signal. The actual and reference voltage signals are delivered to a glide slope meter which indicates differences therebetween. Thus, a pilot can gauge his landing approach relative to the reference or preferred landing approach.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 11, 1995
    Inventor: Peter G. Tanis
  • Patent number: 5375058
    Abstract: A surface detection system for airport facilities is described wherein a plurality of infrared (IR) scanners as well as presence/absence detectors are located with respect to taxiways and runways of an airport complex. These devices are arranged to perform in conjunction with local processors to generate data from aircraft and ground based vehicles available from a bar coding identification of both forms of vehicles. These data are utilized to compute alert conditions as well as to develop a real time map of the airport which may be provided at a tower installation for air traffic control utilization as well as at an aircraft flight deck during the course of ground maneuvering. Through the utilization of aircraft tail numbers as an index, a master host memory may be developed which includes flight numbers, aircraft characteristics and the like which may be employed for evolving alert conditions and the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 20, 1994
    Assignee: University of Central Florida
    Inventor: Michael Bass
  • Patent number: 5359888
    Abstract: An apparatus detects an air turbulence and wind shear encountered by an air vehicle having an accelerometer sensing air vehicle vertical acceleration. The apparatus includes a pressure sensor having a pressure sensing port for sensing a pressure parameter of a local air flow which changes with changes in the local airflow turbulence, and a fast time constant pressure transducer coupled to the pressure port for generating a transducer signal representative of the parameter. Differentiating means calculates a time derivative of the transducer signal and provides a turbulence signal representative of the time derivative. Subtracter means provides the difference between the turbulence signal and a vertical acceleration signal from the accelerometer, to provide a wind shear indicating signal indicative of an increase in air turbulence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 1, 1994
    Assignee: The B. F. Goodrich Company
    Inventor: Floyd W. Hagen
  • Patent number: 5353022
    Abstract: The invention is a real-time takeoff and landing performance monitoring system for an aircraft which provides a pilot with graphic and metric information to assist in decisions related to achieving rotation speed (VR) within the safe zone of a runway, or stopping the aircraft on the runway after landing or take-off abort. The system processes information in two segments: a pretakeoff segment and a real-time segment. One-time inputs of ambient conditions and airplane configuration information are used in the pretakeoff segment to generate scheduled performance data. The real-time segment uses the scheduled performance data, runway length data and transducer measured parameters to monitor the performance of the airplane throughout the takeoff roll. Airplane acceleration and engine-performance anomalies are detected and annunciated. A novel and important feature of this segment is that it updates the estimated runway rolling friction coefficient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 4, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: David B. Middleton, Raghavachari Srivatsan, Lee H. Person, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5323332
    Abstract: The Instrument Landing System Calibrator employs a combined analog radio frequency downconverter with a digital control system for analysis of difference in depth of modulation of tones generated by an instrument landing system localizer and glide slope transmitters. Signal sensitivity and accuracy is increased by elimination of system and phase noise present in purely analog designs and hybrid analog digital designs where digital signal processing is conducted at audio frequencies. Digital signal processing is conducted at video frequency with a single heterodyne from VHF and UHF frequency through selectable crystals. Selection of ILS channels is extended by the use of high speed video digital processing in conjunction with the use of selectable filters and selectable crystals to include all ILS channels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 21, 1994
    Assignee: Infotec Development, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul C. Smith, Richard McCormack, Michael Courtney
  • Patent number: 5289185
    Abstract: The invention relates to a process for the display on a screen on board an aircraft of flying aid symbols. On the basis of information supplied by an inertial system and ground beacons processed by an on board computer, the process consists of displaying on an on board screen (EV) symbols more particularly representing the wings of the aircraft (A1, A2), the model of the aircraft (CP), its speed (V), the tendency to acceleration and deceleration (AD1, AD2), a flight path prediction (PT), the artificial horizon (H), the roll angle (.phi.), the sideslip (AL) and the total energy (ET1, ET2). It also consists of displaying the flight path to be followed in perspective (P1, P2, S3, S4, S5) and in projection (S'1 to S'5) on the plane of the runway. Any flight path segment during passage, as well as the segment following the latter are displayed in parallelepipedic form (P1, P2) in perspective.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 22, 1994
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Societe Nationale Industrielle
    Inventors: Alain Ramier, Daniel Duturc, Yves Saint-Upery
  • Patent number: 5214586
    Abstract: An onboard system for use in measuring, computing and displaying the gross weight and location/relocation of the center of gravity, for aircraft. Temperature and pressure transmitters and transducers of the more accurate quartz and digital signal type are mounted in relation to each of the landing gear struts. Transmit those digital temperature and pressure signals to an onboard microcomputer/controller with redundancy for accuracy and failure protection. The system also incorporates a software correction program to correct and compensate for physical changes to strut components due to temperature fluctuations, O-ring seal drag and hysteresis within modern day "shock absorbing" aircraft landing gear struts. The computer makes adjustments for internal temperature changes and drag; converts sustained pressures to the weight supported by each strut, and computes the aircraft's current gross weight and center of gravity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 25, 1993
    Inventor: C. Kirk Nance
  • Patent number: 5142478
    Abstract: An aircraft upon approaching a runway for a landing receives a "measurable signal" from a transmitter located at the far end of the active runway. The strength of this "measurable signal" is indirectly proportional to the distance between the aircraft and the transmitter. After this signal strength is converted to digital data, a computer uses this distance in conjunction with preprogrammed performance characteristics of the aircraft to make a "safe" or "unsafe" decision. This decision is communicated to the pilot by means of a special meter on the instrument panel. The "safeness system" may be coupled to the aircraft's automatic braking system to provide a correct amount of deceleration. If properly enabled, this "safeness system" will initiate a go-around for another try at the landing should the current landing attempt be unsafe. A similar procedure would also abort a takeoff should the aircraft not reach rotation speed in time to clear an obstacle at the end of the runway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1992
    Inventor: Mitchell M. Crook
  • Patent number: 5142480
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for providing an indication as to whether an aircraft can safely glide to a selected location. An electronic processor is provided with a manual data input, a Loran navigation system input, or electronic altimeter input, a memory, a display, and a processor program. Data representing the identity, location, and other features of a set of possible airport landing sites are stored in the memory. Data representing the aircraft flight performance parameters is entered manually. Based on the airport data, aircraft performance data, Loran data, and altimeter data, the program causes the processor to determine and display a predetermined number of nearest airports, the altitude required to glide to those airports from the aircraft's current location, or the difference between the distance to the airports and the distance the aircraft can glide from its current altitude, and whether the aircraft can safely glide to a selected airport.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1992
    Assignee: IIMorrow, Inc.
    Inventor: James Morrow
  • Patent number: 5124700
    Abstract: A system for generating on board an aircraft an alarm signal should an anomaly occur during take-off includes: a circuit for delivering signals representing the theoretical and real accelerations of the aircraft at a given moment; a calculator for calculating the expression:D.sub.2 =D.sub.2 t+(Vat.sup.2 -V.sub.12 t.sup.2 /2 .gamma..sub.1 tin which: .gamma..sub.1 t is the real acceleration of the aircraft at the moment t, V.sub.11 t is its real speed, Vat is its theoretical speed, D.sub.1 t is the real distance covered by the aircraft at the moment t, and D.sub.1 is the real forecast distance covered by the aircraft when V.sub.11t shall equal Vat, as well as the ratio:D.sub.1 /Datin which Dat is the theoretical distance covered by the aircraft at the moment t; a comparator for comparing the ratio D.sub.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1992
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Societe Nationale Industrielle
    Inventor: Jean-Louis Bonafe
  • Patent number: 5113346
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method of and apparatus for processing flight control signals in an automatic landing system so that automatic landings can be executed within the bounds of current certification requirements (Category III weather minimums) and in a manner that in effect emulates standard manual landing procedures. Included is provision for introducing engine-out sideslip that insures that the automatic landing approach and touchdown is made with the aircraft wings level or with the upwind wing low. Also provided is the generation of rudder and wheel (aileron) compensation for lateral ground effects that occur during a landing with sideslip when the aircraft altitude is approximately one wingspan or less. Provision also is made for rudder control to offset yawing moment that occurs when the thrust of the operative engines is retarded prior to touchdown.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1992
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Munir Orgun, Timothy C. McRoberts, Arvinder S. Virdee
  • Patent number: 5111403
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method of and apparatus for generating a signal representative of aircraft gear altitude after the flare maneuver is initiated in an automatic landing procedure. In accordance with the invention, the gear altitude signal is produced by complementary filtering of the aircraft gear altitude signal and the aircraft inertial vertical acceleration signal, with the complementary filter frequency being varied so that the aircraft filtered gear altitude signal primarily is produced on the basis of the vertical inertial acceleration signals prior to the time at which the aircraft reaches the runway threshold and is primarily produced on the basis of the aircraft gear altitude signal after the aircraft crosses runway threshold. The result is the reduction of the filtered gear altitude signal variation that can be caused by irregular terrain along the landing approach path while maintaining signal sensitivity to runway slope and runway slope variation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1992
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Munir Orgun, Venkata R. Pappu, Alfredo A. Toledo, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5103224
    Abstract: The displays are provided for assisting a pilot in making critical decisions during the takeoff roll of the aircraft. The first of the displays includes four pointers which indicate, respectively, the maximum available acceleration of the aircraft, the minimum acceleration required to achieve a velocity V.sub.2 at 35 feet above the end of the runway with all engines operating, the minimum required acceleration which will allow the aircraft to accelerate to a critical velocity with all engines operating and complete a legal takeoff after loss of an engine at the critical velocity (V.sub.1), and the actual acceleration of the aircraft. The second display indicates the ability of the aircraft to safely complete the takeoff if an engine were to fail and the ability of the aircraft to stop safely if the pilot were to decide to abort the takeoff.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1990
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1992
    Inventor: Ady Arad
  • Patent number: 5067667
    Abstract: An aircraft flight dynamics indicator utilize an artificial horizon and a plurality of indicators to establish climb and descent indexes wherein safe flight may be maintained during ascent and descent by cuing aircraft attitude to a visibly perceptive change in aircraft motion related to the pitch at a given air speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1990
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1991
    Inventor: Charles B. Shivers, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5047942
    Abstract: The invention is a real-time takeoff and landing performance monitoring system for an aircraft which provides a pilot with graphic and metric information to assist in decisions related to achieving rotation speed (V.sub.R) within the safe zone of a runway, or stopping the aircraft on the runway after landing or take-off abort.The system processes information in two segments: a pretakeoff segment and a real-time segment. One-time inputs of ambient conditions and airplane configuration information are used in the pretakeoff segment to generate scheduled performance data. The real-time segment uses the scheduled performance data, runway length data and transducer measured parameters to monitor the performance of the airplane throughout the takeoff roll. Airplane and engine performance deficiencies are detected and annunciated. A novel and important feature of this segment is that it updates the estimated runway rolling friction coefficient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1991
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: David B. Middleton, Raghavachari Srivatsan, Lee H. Person, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5043726
    Abstract: A spectral analyzer and direction indicator system (10) is disclosed and includes optical channels (20,30,40) for providing detected optical information indicative of incidence direction and spectral content of incident radiation. Each optical channel includes a reflector element (11,17,23) having a non-ruled section (11a, 17a, 23a) and a spectrally dispersing ruled section (11b, 17b, 23b); an analytical optical system (13,19,25); and a detector array (15,21,27). For each reflector element the non-ruled section is tilted in one or two directions relative to the ruled section. The disclosed spectral analyzer and direction indicator system is advantageously utilized as an aircraft based sensor in an aircraft landing system having ground based lasers (29L, 29R, 33L, 33R, 37L, 37R) directed into the landing approach path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1985
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1991
    Assignee: Hughes Aircraft Company
    Inventor: Gordon A. Shifrin
  • Patent number: 5036469
    Abstract: This invention provides a flare control modification for pilot-in-the-loop aircraft maneuver command electronic flight control systems. During flare, pilot pitch control inputs are interpreted as incremental pitch attitude commands. The flare control modification allows conventional piloting technique (i.e., pitch controller pull-and-hold) to be used during flare, while retaining the benefits of maneuver command system masking effects of gusts, winds, wind shear, and variations in airplane weight, balance, and aerodynamic configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 1989
    Date of Patent: July 30, 1991
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Scott L. Pelton
  • Patent number: 5001476
    Abstract: A system for warning the pilot of a tactical aircraft in a tactical maneuver such as a dive of the point at which recovery must be immediately initiated to prevent the aircraft from descending below a minimum desired altitude monitors the altitude, descent rate and pitch angle of the aircraft, and issues a voice warning when recovery must be initiated. The system also provides warnings of dangerous flight conditions during non-tactical or common route segments of a flight such as the take-off, landing and cruise segments of a flight. Circuitry responsive to the arming of the weapons of the aircraft enables the tactical warning portion of the system and disables certain functions of the non-tactical portion of the system that may cause false warnings to be generated during tactical maneuvers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 19, 1991
    Assignee: Sundstrand Data Control, Inc.
    Inventors: Everette E. Vermilion, Noel S. Paterson