US Pat. No. 9,296,270

COMBINED SUBMERSIBLE VESSEL AND UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A flying submarine, comprising:
a body structure including a hull;
at least one wing structure coupled to the body structure;
at least one horizontal stabilizer structure coupled to the body structure; and
a propulsion system coupled to the body structure and configured to propel the flying submarine in both airborne flight and
underwater operation, wherein the propulsion system includes:

a motor;
a gearbox coupled to the motor and configured to receive power generated by the motor and provide variable output power;
a drive shaft coupled to the gearbox and configured to transfer the variable output power provided by the gearbox, the drive
shaft being a hollow shaft;

a propeller coupled to the drive shaft and configured to accept power transferred to it from the drive shaft, and further
configured to rotate and propel the flying submarine in both an airborne environment and in an underwater environment; and

a rocket propulsion system having an exhaust tube concentrically located within the drive shaft.

US Pat. No. 9,056,669

HARDWARE-BASED WEIGHT AND RANGE LIMITATION SYSTEM, APPARATUS AND METHOD

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A self-contained hardware based range and weight limitation device for providing information regarding limitations to a
vehicle's range and payload weight, the device configured to be installed on an already-operating vehicle and in communication
with the vehicle's flight control system, the device comprising:
a locating device for determining the vehicle's current location;
a processor operatively coupled to a memory device;
a transmitter device enabled to communicate an approval-to-proceed signal with the vehicle's flight control system, wherein
the flight control system is spatially and mechanically separate from the hardware based weight and range limitation system;

application specific range limitation circuitry operatively coupled to the processor for dynamically calculating the distance
between the vehicle's current location and a stored location, wherein the calculated distance is compared to a stored maximum
distance value; and

application specific weight limitation circuitry operatively coupled to the processor for dynamically calculating the vehicle's
take-off acceleration, wherein the calculated take-off acceleration is compared to a stored maximum take-off acceleration
value; wherein communication of the approval-to-proceed signal to the flight control system via the transmitter device is
permitted if (i) the calculated distance is less than the maximum distance value and (ii) the calculated take-off acceleration
is less than a maximum take-off acceleration.

US Pat. No. 9,068,929

CAPACITANCE-BASED SYSTEM HEALTH MONITORING SYSTEM, APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR LAYERED STRUCTURE

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A method for detecting an amount of residual strength remaining in a layered structural component comprising the steps
of:
using a layered structural component having embedded conductive layers on at least two opposite surfaces of the layered structural
component, wherein said conductive layers are electrically isolated from the layered structural component;

detecting changes in the dielectric of the material between said conductive layers by measuring an electrical capacitance
between the conductive layers, by applying a signal waveform to a conductive layer and measuring capacitance rise time;

comparing the measured electrical capacitance to a reference value, wherein deviation from the reference value quantifies
an amount of damage in the layered structural component; and

correlating the amount of damage in structural integrity to the amount of residual strength remaining in the layered structural
component.

US Pat. No. 9,114,871

MODULAR MINIATURE UNMANNED AIRCRAFT WITH VECTORED-THRUST CONTROL

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. An aircraft for unmanned aviation, comprising:
an airframe having two or more recessed regions, each recessed region comprising an electrical interface and a passive retention
mechanism;

a payload module coupled to the airframe;
a battery module configured to interface with the airframe and the payload module;
two or more thrusters configured to interface with the payload module via the electrical interface, each of said two or more
thrust vectoring modules being configured to passively couple to one of said two or more recessed regions via the passive
retention mechanism;

wherein said two or more thrust vectoring modules provide lateral and longitudinal control to the aircraft by directly controlling
a thrust vector; and

an electronics module configured to provide commands to the two or more thrust vectoring modules.

US Pat. No. 9,341,457

COMBINED SUBMERSIBLE VESSEL AND UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A method for operating a flying submarine, comprising:
providing a rocket propulsion system to cause exhaust propulsive matter from the rocket propulsion system to propel the flying
submarine;

flooding a ballast tank with water;
placing the flying submarine at an appropriate water exiting depth;
accelerating the flying submarine to about a maximum forward velocity with a propeller propulsion system;
placing the flying submarine at a water exit angle;
firing the rocket propulsion system at or just below a water-air interface, thereby providing an exhaust propulsive matter
from the rocket propulsion system and propelling the flying submarine to a water exit velocity;

unfolding one or more wing structures on the flying submarine to a flying position just at or above the water-air interface;
and

reversing the propeller propulsion system to operate the propeller in an airborne mode.

US Pat. No. 9,682,774

SYSTEM, APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR LONG ENDURANCE VERTICAL TAKEOFF AND LANDING VEHICLE

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, comprising:
a fuselage having a nose end and a tail end;
an empennage located at the tail end of the fuselage;
a canted wing having first and second wing tips,
wherein the fuselage is positioned approximately halfway between the first and second wing tips of the canted wing, the canted
wing having (1) a first integrated hinge disposed between the fuselage and the first wing tip of the canted wing, and (2)
a second integrated hinge disposed between the fuselage and the second wing tip,

wherein the first and second integrated hinges are configured to reject wind gust by maintaining a constant moment at the
first integrated hinge or the second integrated hinge,

wherein the canted wing includes a trailing edge control surface positioned on the canted wing between each of: (1) the fuselage
and the first integrated hinge; (2) the fuselage and the second integrated hinge; (3) the first integrated hinge and the first
wing tip; and (4) the second integrated hinge and the second wing tip; and

a plurality of engines, said plurality of engines comprising (1) a first tiltrotor positioned between the fuselage and the
first wing tip of the canted wing, (2) a second tiltrotor positioned between the fuselage and the second wing tip of the canted
wing, and (3) a fixed engine positioned on the fuselage aft of the canted wing in a vertical configuration, the first tiltrotor,
the second tiltrotor, and the plurality of engines configured such that:

during a first phase of takeoff, (i) said fixed engine generates thrust, thereby causing the tail end of the fuselage to become
airborne, and (ii) said first tiltrotor and said second tiltrotor transition from a vertical configuration to a horizontal
configuration until the fuselage achieves a predetermined angle, and

during a second phase of takeoff, said first tiltrotor and said second tiltrotor are in the horizontal configuration and the
aircraft is capable of wing borne flight.

US Pat. No. 9,682,519

INTEGRAL COMPOSITE BUSHING SYSTEM AND METHOD

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A composite aircraft structure comprising:
an aircraft body portion having a first density;
a disk-shaped densified portion comprising ceramic, metal, high-strength plastic, or a combination thereof,
wherein the disk-shaped densified portion includes a hole positioned at an approximate center of said disk-shaped densified
portion,

wherein the densified portion has a density that is greater than said first density and is configured to resist a load imparted
via said hole; and

a plurality of filament tendrils,
wherein the plurality of filament tendrils is configured to wrap around at least a portion of said hole to form a form a “U”
shape,

wherein at least one of said plurality of filament tendrils comprises a carbon fiber material, a para-aramid synthetic fiber
material, or a fiberglass material,

wherein said plurality of filament tendrils is configured to direct stress away from said hole and into the aircraft body
portion.

US Pat. No. 9,568,919

SYSTEM AND METHODS FOR AUTOMATICALLY LANDING AIRCRAFT

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A method of determining a vessel-relative off-deck waypoint (VRODW) location for an aircraft in flight, the method comprising:
determining a vessel range and a vessel bearing of a vessel relative to the aircraft using a sensor;
tracking an altitude of the aircraft relative to the vessel by isolating vertical motion of the vessel from vertical motion
of the aircraft, wherein vertical motion of the vessel is isolated using a pseudo-altitude reference value;

determining the VRODW location as a function of the vessel range and the vessel bearing; and
maintaining the aircraft in flight at the VRODW location until the vessel sends to the aircraft a land command through a communications
link.

US Pat. No. 9,562,773

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE NAVIGATION SYSTEM AND METHOD

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A navigation system for an aerial vehicle, the navigation system comprising:
a housing;
a global positioning system (GPS) transceiver to determine a current position of the housing;
an optical system to generate at least one hundred and eighty degrees of optical field of view about the housing, wherein
the optical system is configured to identify a first obstacle within the at least one hundred and eighty degrees of optical
field of view about the housing;

an acoustic system to generate at least ten degrees of acoustic field of view about the housing, wherein the acoustic system
is configured to identify a second obstacle within the at least one hundred and eighty degrees of optical field of view about
the housing; and

a processor to determine a navigational path for the aerial vehicle to a location based at least in part upon signals from
the GPS transceiver, the optical system, and the acoustic system,

wherein the processor instructs the aerial vehicle to follow a first navigational path based at least in part on signals from
the GPS transceiver,

wherein the processor (1) calculates a dodging maneuver if a second obstacle is detected along the first navigational path
so as to avoid the second obstacle and (2) instructs the aerial vehicle to execute the dodging maneuver so as to deviate from
the first navigational path until the second obstacle is no longer detected by the acoustic system, whereupon the processor
instructs the aerial vehicle to return to the first navigational path,

wherein signals from the acoustic system preempt signals from the GPS transceiver and the optical system.

US Pat. No. 9,557,742

AUTONOMOUS CARGO DELIVERY SYSTEM

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. An autonomous aerial system comprising:
an aerial vehicle configured to communicate with an operating base over a wireless link, wherein said aerial vehicle is configured
to receive, from said operating base, mission plan data having one or more routes and a designated touchdown zone within a
landing zone; and

an onboard supervisory control system operatively coupled with the aerial vehicle, the onboard supervisory control system
having a processor operatively coupled with a non-volatile memory device and a sensor package,

wherein the processor is configured to generate flight control signal data based at least in part on data received via the
sensor package, the sensor package configured to, in real time, (1) detect obstacles along a flight route, and (2) perceive
physical characteristics of the landing zone, and

wherein the processor is configured to (1) autonomously navigate the aerial vehicle to the designated touchdown zone, and
(2) determine whether it is feasible to touchdown at the designated touchdown zone based at least in part on (a) said mission
plan data, and (b) physical characteristics of the designated touchdown zone perceived via said sensor package.

US Pat. No. 9,527,392

AERIAL SYSTEM AND VEHICLE FOR CONTINUOUS OPERATION

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. An aerial vehicle system for gathering data, the aerial vehicle system comprising:
a waypoint location, wherein the waypoint location comprises an arresting cable having a first set of two or more infrared
reflectors positioned thereon;

a ground control station, wherein the ground control station comprises a charging cable having a second set of two or more
infrared reflectors positioned thereon; and

an aerial vehicle,
wherein the aerial vehicle comprises an onboard battery, a capturing hook, a sensor payload for generating surveillance and
a vision processor configured to calculate the centers of each of said first or second set of two or more infrared reflectors
using an image thresholding technique;

wherein the aerial vehicle is configured to autonomously travel between the waypoint location and the ground control station;
wherein the aerial vehicle is configured to couple and decouple with the arresting cable via the capturing hook;
wherein the aerial vehicle is configured to perch from the charging cable via the capturing hook;
wherein the aerial vehicle is configured to electronically couple and decouple with the charging cable via the capturing hook
to facilitate charging the aerial vehicle's onboard battery.

US Pat. No. 9,616,997

COMBINED SUBMERSIBLE VESSEL AND UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. An unmanned submersible aerial vehicle comprising:
an airframe;
at least one electrical storage battery;
one or more propellers to propel the unmanned submersible aerial vehicle in both an airborne environment and in an underwater
environment;

one or more motors, each of said one or more motors being operatively coupled to at least one of said one or more propellers
via a gearbox configured to selectively rotate said at least one of said one or more propellers in a first rotational direction
and a second rotational direction, wherein the second rotational direction is opposite that of the first rotational direction;

a processor to selectively control a speed and rotational direction of each of said one or more motors;
a transceiver electrically coupled to the processor, wherein the transceiver is configured to receive a navigational control
signal from a remote device and to communicate the navigational control signal to the processor so as to selectively adjust
the speed of the propellers; and

a camera to capture images or video, the camera being coupled to the airframe and communicatively coupled with the processor,
wherein each of the at least one electrical storage battery, the one or more motors, the processor, the camera, and the transceiver
are sealed to prevent water damage.

US Pat. No. 9,540,101

SYSTEM, APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR LONG ENDURANCE VERTICAL TAKEOFF AND LANDING VEHICLE

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft comprising:
a fuselage;
an empennage located at a tail end of the VTOL aircraft, wherein the empennage is configured to engage the ground during a
launch operation;

a wing; and
a retractable pogo support to deploy from the fuselage and engage the ground during the launch operation, wherein the retractable
pogo support and the empennage define a tripod support to support the VTOL aircraft during the launch operation.

US Pat. No. 9,958,875

AUTONOMOUS CARGO DELIVERY SYSTEM

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. An autonomous aerial system for delivering a payload to a waypoint, the autonomous aerial system comprising:an aerial vehicle to transport the payload to the waypoint, the aerial vehicle configured to navigate to the waypoint and to land at a designated touchdown zone within a landing zone at the waypoint; and
an onboard supervisory control system operatively coupled with the aerial vehicle, the onboard supervisory control system having a processor operatively coupled with a non-volatile memory device and a sensor package,
wherein the processor is configured to generate flight control signal data based at least in part on data received via the sensor package, the sensor package configured to (1) dynamically sense and avoid obstacles along a flight route to the waypoint, and (2) perceive physical characteristics of the landing zone, and
wherein the processor is configured to autonomously navigate the aerial vehicle to the waypoint and to determine whether to touchdown at the designated touchdown zone based at least in part on physical characteristics of the designated touchdown zone perceived via said sensor package.

US Pat. No. 9,791,866

AUTONOMOUS CARGO DELIVERY SYSTEM

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. An autonomous aerial system comprising:
an aerial vehicle equipped with an onboard supervisory control system having a first processor, a sensor package, and a first
communication transceiver,

wherein the first processor is operatively coupled with the sensor package and the first communication transceiver, the first
processor configured to generate flight control signal data based at least in part on data received via the sensor package
and the first communication transceiver, the flight control signal data being operable to control an operation of the aerial
vehicle; and

a human-system interface (HSI) device to facilitate bidirectional communication with the aerial vehicle over a wireless link,
wherein the HSI device is remote from the aerial vehicle and includes a second processor, a second communication transceiver,
a user input device, and a display device,

wherein the HSI device is configured to receive, via the user input device, a first input from an operator representing a
designated touchdown zone within a landing zone,

wherein the HSI device is configured to transmit to said aerial vehicle, via said second communication transceiver, mission
plan data and said designated touchdown zone,

wherein the HSI device is configured to receive from said aerial vehicle, via said second communication transceiver, a notification
to indicate whether it is feasible to touchdown at the designated touchdown zone, and

wherein said display device is configured to present said notification to said operator.

US Pat. No. 10,138,942

PASSIVE FAULT-TOLERANT SHAFT SEAL CONFIGURATION

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A shaft system having a cavity and an inboard support, the shaft system comprising:a retaining ring;
a shaft seal system positioned within the cavity defined by said shaft system, the shaft seal system being positioned between said inboard support and said retaining ring,
wherein the shaft seal system comprises a first ball bearing, a second ball bearing, a primary shaft seal, and a secondary shaft seal,
wherein the secondary shaft seal is inboard with respect to said primary shaft seal,
wherein said shaft seal system defines a leak chamber between said primary shaft seal and a secondary shaft seal,
wherein the leak chamber includes one or more sensors to monitor a parameter of the shaft seal system, and
wherein said shaft seal system includes a plurality of O-rings between an outer surface of said shaft seal system and said shaft system.

US Pat. No. 9,880,006

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE NAVIGATION SYSTEM AND METHOD

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. An autonomous aerial vehicle comprising,
a geolocation system to provide a position of the autonomous aerial vehicle within an operating environment;
an optical system coupled to the autonomous aerial vehicle to provide an optical field of view about the autonomous aerial
vehicle, wherein the optical system is configured to optically identify obstacles within the optical field of view;

an acoustic system coupled to the autonomous aerial vehicle to provide an acoustic field of view about the autonomous aerial
vehicle, wherein the acoustic system is configured to acoustically identify obstacles within the acoustic field of view, wherein
the acoustic field of view overlaps with at least a portion of the optical field of view;

a processor to determine a geolocation navigational path for the autonomous aerial vehicle from the position to an objective
location based at least in part upon signals from the geolocation system, wherein the processor is configured to determine
a tactical navigational path based at least in part on the geolocation navigational path and environment data reflecting known
obstacle locations within the operating environment; and

a steering mechanism to steer the autonomous aerial vehicle along the tactical navigational path in response to commands from
the processor, wherein the processor is configured to instruct the steering mechanism to effectuate a dodging maneuver to
deviate from the tactical navigational path upon detection of an obstacle by the acoustic system.

US Pat. No. 9,875,661

DYNAMIC COLLISION-AVOIDANCE SYSTEM AND METHOD

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. An obstacle-avoidance system for augmenting control inputs in an aerial vehicle, the obstacle-avoidance system comprising:
a sensor to generate obstruction data identifying a collision threats within a predetermined field of view (FOV); and
a processor communicatively coupled to the sensor and a control system of the aerial vehicle, the processor being configured
to dynamically:

receive an original control input having a magnitude from the control system,
receive, from the sensor, obstruction data reflecting a position of a collision threat within the predetermined FOV,
generate a modified control input by reducing the magnitude of the original control input as a function of a distance between
the aerial vehicle and the collision threat, and

output the modified control input to avoid the collision threat.

US Pat. No. 10,112,202

CYCLONIC AIR-COOLED MICROGRAVITY MILL

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A cyclonic system for performing subtractive machining in microgravity systems, the cyclonic system comprising:an enclosure having a top plate, a base plate, and a tapered side wall joining the top plate to the base plate, wherein the enclosure defines a chamber to house a milling machine having a cutter tool;
a blower to generate an airstream to be used to induce a cyclonic airflow to achieve cyclonic separation within the enclosure, wherein the cyclonic airflow is configured to urge debris from the milling machine toward the base plate; a flow splitter to receive the airstream from the blower and to divide the airstream across a plurality of air conduits, wherein at least two air conduits of the plurality of air conduits are fluidly coupled with the enclosure, each of the at least two air conduits being positioned at a different injection site and configured to inject air tangentially into the enclosure to generate at least a portion of the cyclonic airflow; and
a debris collection module to collect the debris from the milling machine.

US Pat. No. 9,926,084

AERIAL SYSTEM AND VEHICLE FOR CONTINUOUS OPERATION

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. An aerial vehicle landing station comprising:a first post and a second post, wherein the second post is spaced apart from the first post;
a cable to capture an aerial vehicle,
wherein the cable is stretched between the first post and the second post and is configured to support the weight of the aerial vehicle once captured,
wherein the cable provide a charging current to the aerial vehicle once captured;
one or more markers 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 to regulate tension of the cable; and
a communications transceiver to wirelessly communicate data with the aerial vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,368,401

MULTI-FUNCTIONAL COMPOSITE STRUCTURES

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A multi-functional composite system comprising:a composite aircraft structure having a first composite fiber layer and a second composite fiber layer, each of the first composite fiber layer and the second composite fiber layer having a matrix material;
a composite conductor assembly sandwiched between the first composite fiber layer and the second composite fiber layer, the composite conductor assembly having two or more graphene conductors disposed between two or more insulating layers, wherein the two or more graphene conductors are arranged to define a wide area heater mat configured to generate a predetermined heat profile that defines a first region to yield a first temperature and a second region to yield a second temperature that is lower than the first temperature,
wherein the two or more graphene conductors comprises a first graphene conductor at the first region and a second graphene conductor at the second region that are independently controllable;
an electric power source electronically coupled with said composite conductor assembly to pass electric current through at least one of said two or more graphene conductors, wherein said at least one of said two or more graphene conductors is coupled to the electric power source as a resistive load and configured to generate heat when an electric current is passed through said at least one of said two or more graphene conductors,
wherein the electric power source is configured to selectively pass the electric current through the first graphene conductor, the second graphene conductor, or both the first graphene conductor and the second graphene conductor;
one or more embedded sensors in thermal contact with the first composite fiber layer or the second composite fiber layer; and
a control system operably connected to the electric power source and to the one or more embedded sensors,
wherein the control system is configured to monitor and control dynamically one or more parameters of the wide area heater mat at each of the first region and the second region as a function of feedback received from at least one of the one or more embedded sensors.

US Pat. No. 10,310,517

AUTONOMOUS CARGO DELIVERY SYSTEM

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. An autonomous aerial navigation system comprising:an aerial vehicle configured to receive information from an operating base over a wireless link;
a mission manager operatively coupled with said aerial vehicle and having a processor and a non-volatile memory device, wherein said mission manager is configured to receive, from said operating base, mission data that includes a set of routes and a landing zone, said set of routes defining one or more routes of the aerial vehicle from launch to land;
a sensor operatively coupled with said mission manager, wherein said sensor is configured to detect obstacles along a flight path of the aerial vehicle; and
a flight controller coupled with said mission manager,
wherein said flight controller is configured to generate a flight control signal based at least in part on data received from said mission manager,
wherein said mission manager is configured to execute a descent procedure of the aerial vehicle via commanding said flight controller, in which said mission manager (1) scans using the sensor, at a first distance from the landing zone, the landing zone to detect terrain features or objects and (2) determines whether landing within the landing zone is feasible at or before reaching a second distance from the landing zone, and
wherein the first distance is greater than the second distance.

US Pat. No. 10,062,294

DYNAMIC COLLISION-AVOIDANCE SYSTEM AND METHOD

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A collision-avoidance system for an autonomous aerial vehicle having a flight-control system, the collision-avoidance system comprising:a communication device to communicate information between the flight-control system and a remote operator;
a plurality of sensors to detect collision threats within a predetermined distance of the autonomous aerial vehicle; and
a processor communicatively coupled with the communication device and each of the plurality of sensors,
wherein the processor is configured to receive a navigation command from the remote operator via said communication device,
wherein the processor is configured to generate, using at least one of said plurality of sensors, obstruction data reflecting a position of a collision threat,
wherein the processor is configured to generate, using said obstruction data, a derivative command to avoid the collision threat by attenuating the navigation command as a function of a distance between the autonomous aerial vehicle and the collision threat, and
wherein the processor is configured to output, via said communication device, the derivative command to the flight-control system.

US Pat. No. 10,315,742

HIGH EFFICIENCY, LOW RPM, UNDERWATER PROPELLER

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A marine propeller comprising:a propeller hub; and
two propeller blades, each propeller blade having a blade length with a proximal end attached to said propeller hub and a distal end extending radially outward from said propeller hub,
wherein each of said propeller blades has a chord length that varies in size as a function of a radial position ratio, with a maximum chord length ratio between 0.300 and 0.330,
wherein each of said propeller blades has a twist angle that decreases from the proximal end to the distal end as a function of the radial position ratio, and
wherein the twist angle is between 58 and 68 degrees at the proximal end and between 10 and 20 degrees at the distal end.

US Pat. No. 10,308,346

SOLAR-POWERED AIRCRAFT

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A solar-powered aircraft comprising:a fixed wing panel;
a motor-driven propeller;
a plurality of secondary wing panels, each of the plurality of secondary wing panels configured to rotate about a longitudinal pivot axis extending from the fixed wing panel through a central transverse portion of said secondary wing panel,
wherein each of the plurality of secondary wing panels comprises one or more moveable control surfaces configured to manipulate airflow to alter or maintain flight characteristics of the solar-powered aircraft, and
wherein each of the plurality of secondary wing panels comprises a first array of solar panels on its surface; and
a tail assembly having a first tail panel and a second tail panel,
wherein the first tail panel comprises a second array of solar panels located on a surface of the first tail panel, the first tail panel being configured to rotate about a second longitudinal pivot axis through a central transverse portion of said first tail panel.

US Pat. No. 10,308,375

CAPTURING HOOK FOR AERIAL SYSTEM

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A capturing hook for engaging a cable during capture and release of an aerial vehicle, the capturing hook comprising:a first gate pivotally supported at a first end by a base portion and movable between a closed position and an open position;
a first return spring biasing the first gate to the closed position;
a second gate pivotally supported at a first end by the base portion and movable between a closed position and an open position;
a second return spring biasing the second gate to the closed position; and
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.

US Pat. No. 10,167,550

MULTI-FUNCTIONAL COMPOSITE STRUCTURES

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A multi-functional composite structure comprising:a composite structure configured to pass structural loads, the composite structure having a plurality of structural composite fiber layers, each of the structural composite fiber layers comprising a matrix material;
a connector configured to interface with one or more electrical devices;
a composite conductor assembly electrically coupled with said connector, the composite conductor assembly having a moisture barrier resin adhesive and one or more carbon nanotube (CNT) conductors disposed between two or more insulating layers, wherein each of the two or more insulating layers comprising fiberglass,
wherein a first portion of the composite conductor assembly is embedded between a first set of two non-adjacent layers of said plurality of structural composite fiber layers,
wherein the first portion is substantially parallel to the first set of two non-adjacent layers,
wherein the two or more insulating layers electrically isolate the one or more CNT conductors from said plurality of structural composite fiber layers, and
wherein a second portion of the composite conductor assembly egresses from the multi-functional composite structure by traversing at least one of the plurality of structural composite fiber layers while maintaining electrical isolation between the composite conductor assembly's one or more CNT conductors and the plurality of structural composite fiber layers.

US Pat. No. 10,148,121

SOLAR POWER SYSTEM AND METHOD THEREOF

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A solar power system comprising:a first solar panel and a second solar panel;
a load, the load comprising an electric motor operatively coupled with a propeller;
a first battery pack group and a second battery pack group, each of said first and second battery pack groups comprising one or more voltage controllable battery packs, each of said one or more voltage controllable battery packs comprising a plurality of battery cells and a rigid printed circuit board electically coupled with plurality of battery cells;
a first source switch and a second source switch,
wherein the first source switch is electrically coupled in-line between the first battery pack group and the load, and
wherein the second source switch is electrically coupled in-line between the second battery pack group and the load; and
a controller operatively coupled to each of said first source switch and said second source switch, the controller being configured to selectively activate or deactivate each of said first source switch and said second source switch.

US Pat. No. 10,276,051

DYNAMIC COLLISION-AVOIDANCE SYSTEM AND METHOD

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A collision-avoidance system for an aerial vehicle having a flight-control system, the collision-avoidance system comprising:one or more sensors to detect collision threats within a field of view of the one or more sensors of the aerial vehicle; and
a processor communicatively coupled with each of the one or more sensors;
wherein the processor is configured to generate, using at least one of said one or more sensors, obstruction data reflecting a position of a collision threat;
wherein the processor is configured to receive a navigation command from the flight-control system;
wherein the processor is configured to generate, based at least in part on the obstruction data, a derivative command by attenuating the navigation command as a function of the position of the collision threat; and
wherein the processor is configured to communicate the derivative command to the flight-control system to cause the aerial vehicle to deviate from a flight path to avoid the collision threat.

US Pat. No. 10,285,219

ELECTRICAL CURING OF COMPOSITE STRUCTURES

Aurora Flight Sciences Co...

1. A composite structure cured by a process comprising the steps of:electrically coupling a first lead to a first portion of the composite structure, wherein the composite structure comprises two layers of pre-impregnated carbon fiber 0° laminate material;
electrically coupling a second lead to a second portion of the composite structure;
passing an electric current through the composite structure from the first portion to the second portion using an electric power source to increase a temperature of a portion of the composite structure to a predetermined temperature; and
subjecting the composite structure to pressure using a vacuum when the electric current passes through the composite structure.