Manassas, VA, United States

Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation

www.aurora.aero
Manassas, VA, United States

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Patent
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation | Date: 2016-12-22

The present invention is directed to methods of determining a vessel-relative off-deck waypoint (VRODW) location comprising the steps of providing an aircraft in flight; determining vessel range and vessel bearing relative the aircraft; and determining the VRODW location using the range and bearing measurements of the vessel. The present invention is further directed to methods of landing an aircraft on a vessel.


Patent
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation | Date: 2016-12-22

An autonomous vehicle is improved with a navigational system having both cameras and echolocation sensors, each including overlapping fields of view. The cameras and echolocation sensors may be part of an optical and echolocation system, respectively, that may work in conjunction with a global positioning system to determine a course for the autonomous vehicle to reach an objective while detecting and avoid obstacles along the course.


Patent
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation | Date: 2016-10-17

The present invention is directed to a system and methods of providing platform-agnostic systems and methods capable of providing an integrated processor and sensor suite with supervisory control software and interfaces to perform small unit rapid response resupply and CASEVAC into hazardous and unpredictable environments.


Patent
University of Massachusetts Amherst and Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation | Date: 2017-01-11

Various embodiments disclosed relate to methods and apparatuses for forming composites. In various embodiments, the present invention provides a method of making a composite. The method can include placing a resin-impregnated fiber on a tooling surface. The method can include at least partially curing the resin-impregnated fiber. The method can also include placing a material in contact with the resin-impregnated fiber, to provide a composite.


Patent
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation | Date: 2017-01-11

A hybrid propulsion aircraft is described having a distributed electric propulsion system. The distributed electric propulsion system includes a turbo shaft engine that drives one or more generators through a gearbox. The generator provides AC power to a plurality of ducted fans (each being driven by an electric motor). The ducted fans may be integrated with the hybrid propulsion aircrafts wings. The wings can be pivotally attached to the fuselage, thereby allowing for vertical take-off and landing. The design of the hybrid propulsion aircraft mitigates undesirable transient behavior traditionally encountered during a transition from vertical flight to horizontal flight. Moreover, the hybrid propulsion aircraft offers a fast, constant-altitude transition, without requiring a climb or dive to transition. It also offers increased efficiency in both hover and forward flight versus other VTOL aircraft and a higher forward max speed than traditional rotorcraft.


Patent
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation | Date: 2016-10-12

An aerial vehicle having a vision based navigation system for capturing an arresting cable situated at a landing site may comprise a fuselage having a propulsion system; an arresting device coupled to the fuselage, the arresting device to capture the arresting cable at the landing site; a camera situated on the aerial vehicle; an infrared illuminator situated on the aerial vehicle to illuminate the landing site, wherein the arresting cable has two infrared reflectors situated thereon; and an onboard vision processor. The onboard vision processor may (i) generate a plurality of coordinates representing features of the landing site using an image thresholding technique, (ii) eliminate one or more coordinates as outlier coordinates using linear correlation, and (iii) identify two of the plurality of coordinates as the two infrared reflectors using a Kalman filter.


Patent
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation | Date: 2016-10-12

A capturing hook for engaging a cable during capture and release of an aerial vehicle may comprise a first and second gate pivotally supported at their first ends by a base portion and each being movable between a closed position and an open position, but spring-biased to the closed position. The capturing hook may further include a latch device comprising a movable locking part biased by a return spring to a locked position to lock the second gate in the closed position.


Patent
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation | Date: 2016-10-12

An aerial vehicle landing station comprising a first post and a second post, wherein the second post is spaced apart from the first post and a cable to capture an aerial vehicle, wherein the cable is stretched between the first post and the second post and configured to support the weight of the aerial vehicle once captured and the cable may provide a charging current to the aerial vehicle once captured. One or more markers may be further positioned on the cable to designate a landing point, wherein the one or more markers are configured to be visually tracked by the aerial vehicle. A cable management device coupled to the cable via one or more pulleys may regulate tension of the cable. A communications transceiver at the aerial vehicle landing station may wirelessly communicate data with the aerial vehicle.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.99K | Year: 2015

Aurora Flight Sciences and the Lockheed Martin Sippican propose to develop a new propulsion system to increase the top speed of an EMATT (Expendable Mobile ASW Training Target) vehicle to 14 knots. Aurora and Lockheed will leverage the vehicle concepts developed in Phase I to downselect critical propulsion components and generate a preliminary design to integrate the high-speed propulsion system into the existing EMATT and assess thermal management techniques. Aurora and Lockheed will develop a safe, high energy-density battery that provides sufficient power and capacity to meet the sprint speed power requirements. Aurora will size a high-efficiency motor matched to a novel, optimized propeller design which will ensure efficient operation across the range of EMATT operating speeds. Improvements in motor efficiency and power density will be achieved through novel thermal management techniques. Bench-level testing will be performed to validate the performance of the motor, propeller, and battery. Risk reduction activities, such as shaft-seal design and testing will be performed. A detailed design for the high-speed propulsion system will be completed by the end of the Phase II base period. During the Phase II Option, Aurora and Lockheed will fabricate and test an EMATT Sprint-Speed demonstration vehicle.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.93K | Year: 2016

A major market for vertical lift aircraft is in urban operations, primarily for police and electronic news gathering (typically a Bell 206 or a Eurocopter AS350). Manned systems are more costly to operate and have a much larger operational footprint than their unmanned counterparts. But the unmanned multirotor does not have the range and endurance to compete with the manned systems. Aurora Flight Sciences believes that the Passive Miller Cycle (PMC) Series Hybrid System is a viable way to achieve the range and endurance required to penetrate the manned vehicle market. The PMC, like the typical Miller Cycle, uses delayed intake valve timing that allows the expansion ratio to be greater than the compression ratio; reducing pumping losses and giving greater energy extraction. But the PMC does not use a positive displacement supercharger. The delayed intake valve closing also allows the PMC greater quench in the combustion chamber to confront the fuel droplet issue associated with small engines. The delayed valve timing also allows the generator in the hybrid system to be optimized for power generation while still being used as the engine starter. Based on the models developed in the Phase I program, Aurora will design, procure, and integrate the components required to demonstrate the Passive Miller Cycle (PMC) in a series hybrid architecture. The test system will be used to calibrate Phase I models and design a multirotor using the PMC hybrid system that will be able to perform police and news gathering missions.

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