US Pat. No. 10,305,609

BEAMFORMING CALIBRATION

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A method for receiver channel calibration, comprising:generating a plurality of calibration signals corresponding to a plurality of receiver channels, respectively, of a receiver module;
propagating the plurality of calibration signals through at least portions of the plurality of receiver channels, respectively;
comparing at least two signal characteristics of at least two of the propagated plurality of calibration signals;
identifying at least one adjustment in gain, phase, or timing for at least one of the plurality of receiver channels based on a result of the comparing; and
adjusting a data signal received via the at least one of the plurality of receiver channels based on the adjustment.

US Pat. No. 10,173,373

AUTOMATED BALLOON ASSEMBLY MACHINE

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A system for manufacturing a balloon envelope, the system comprising:a table component that includes a first level and a second level lower than the first level, the first level further including first and second platforms, the first platform providing a work area for sealing respective first and second sheets of material together to form a sealed edge and the second platform providing a work area for sealing the second sheet of material and a third sheet of material together, the first, second, and third sheets of material respectively forming first, second, and third gores of the balloon envelope;
a sealing component, the sealing component configured to move along a length of the first platform and to apply a heat seal to bond the first sheet of material to the second sheet material and form the sealed edge; and
a third platform configured to move in a direction away from the first and second platforms.

US Pat. No. 10,193,761

HYBRID LEO/HAPS CONSTELLATION FOR FIXED BROADBAND

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A system comprising:a network controller configured to:
receive information from a plurality of nodes of a network, the plurality of nodes including a first node that is in motion relative to a second node;
generate a data structure representing available nodes and possible links in the network based on the received information, the data structure including link bandwidth information;
determine a topology of the network for a given point in time based on the generated data structure;
receive client data information from one or more client devices from a particular geographic area;
determine that an overall link bandwidth for the particular geographic area is less than a set bandwidth amount based on the link bandwidth information for one or more of the possible links directly connected to the particular geographic area;
determine one or more additional links to connect to the particular geographic area in a given network configuration of the network based on a difference between the overall link bandwidth and the set bandwidth amount; and
send instructions to the plurality of nodes of the network to cause the plurality of nodes to implement the given network configuration and transmit client data at the given point in time.

US Pat. No. 10,173,764

SEALS FOR GORED BALLOON

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A method of manufacturing a balloon envelope, the method comprising:providing a first sheet of material for a first gore of the balloon envelope;
arranging lap seal material at least partially on the first sheet of material;
creating a first heat seal between the lap seal material and the first sheet of material;
arranging a second sheet of material for a second gore of the balloon envelope over the first heat seal; and
creating a second heat seal between the lap seal material and the second sheet of material such that the lap seal material is configured to provide additional structural support to the balloon envelope.

US Pat. No. 10,305,608

BEAMFORMING CALIBRATION

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A method for transmitter channel calibration, comprising:generating a plurality of calibration signals corresponding to a plurality of transmitter channels, respectively, of a transmitter module;
propagating the plurality of calibration signals through at least portions of the plurality of transmitter channels, respectively;
comparing at least two signal characteristics of at least two of the propagated plurality of calibration signals;
identifying at least one adjustment in gain, phase, or timing for at least one of the plurality of transmitter channels based on a result of the comparing; and
adjusting a data signal transmitted via the at least one of the plurality of transmitter channels based on the adjustment.

US Pat. No. 10,253,795

MULTI-LAYER LAMINATE LOAD RING

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A laminated load ring for a balloon assembly comprising:a plurality of ring stacking units stacked one on top of the other, each of the ring stacking units comprising:
a main body having a central opening;
a plurality of arms each extending away from the main body around a circumference of the main body; and
at least one weld line formed on the main body;
wherein the plurality of arms of the plurality of ring stacking units are aligned with one another, and wherein the at least one weld line of each of the plurality of ring stacking units is offset from the at least one weld line of a directly adjacent ring stacking unit in a direction extending around the circumference of the laminated load ring.

US Pat. No. 10,173,763

BALLOON LAUNCHING APPARATUSES

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A system for launching a balloon having a balloon envelope, a payload attached to the balloon envelope, and a launching projection arranged below the balloon envelope, the system comprising:a releasable restraint attached to the balloon between an apex and bottom of the balloon envelope, the releasable restraint being arranged to temporarily hold the balloon envelope; and
a payload positioning assembly configured to position the payload during launch of the balloon, the payload positioning assembly including a pair of arms configured to clamp onto the launching projection below the balloon envelope and maintain the position of the payload relative to the balloon while the releasable restraint is temporarily holding the balloon envelope; and
a cable including the launching projection, wherein the launching projection is provided between a plate at a base of the balloon envelope and the payload.

US Pat. No. 10,293,913

TERMINATION ASSEMBLY FOR USE WITH BALLOON ENVELOPES

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

12. A termination assembly for use with a balloon envelope comprising:a plate structure configured for a heat seal to the balloon envelope, the plate structure having:
a first portion having a top surface and a bottom surface oriented opposite of the top surface of the plate structure, the bottom surface of the first portion being arranged on and attached to a top surface of a second portion;
the second portion having a bottom surface oriented opposite of the top surface of the second portion, the bottom surface of the second portion being configured for orientation towards an interior of the balloon envelope;
a plurality of tendons; and
attached to the top surface of the first portion and each tendon of the plurality of tendons, a load ring being configured to support a load of lift gas disposed within the balloon envelope, wherein the plate structure is configured to form the heat seal as an airtight seal, and
a circular heat sealer configured to activate the heat seal by pressing and heating the plate structure and the balloon envelope together to create a circular heat seal,
wherein the load ring is positioned internal to the plate structure with respect to the heat seal.

US Pat. No. 10,287,135

GRABBING MECHANISM

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A system for grabbing an object including a pull stud, the system comprising:a grabbing mechanism including:
a piston chamber having a piston configured to move within the piston chamber when the piston chamber is pressurized;
a collet attached to the piston such that the collet and piston move together when the piston moves, the collet including a groove;
a ball cage including a plurality of balls arranged at least partially within respective ball chambers of the ball cage, the ball cage being arranged at least partially within the collet such that movement of the piston and collet causes the groove to align with the respective ball chambers, wherein the plurality of balls are configured to move into and out of the groove and to lock the pull stud within the grabbing mechanism; and
a plunger body; and
a sensor configured to send a signal indicating a location of the plunger body.

US Pat. No. 10,435,132

HANS BELL HOUSING FOR INFLATING AND DEFLATING A BALLOON ENVELOPE

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. An apparatus, comprising:a fixed housing configured to be coupled to a balloon envelope having an interior chamber; and
an impeller housing moveable relative to the fixed housing between a closed position and an open position, the impeller housing including one or more vents disposed along an outer surface of the impeller housing, the one or more vents providing an airflow passageway through the impeller housing between the outer surface and an atmosphere,
wherein, the impeller housing, in the open position, extends out of the fixed housing to position the one or more vents out of the fixed housing and into the interior chamber of the balloon envelope, allowing the one or more vents to provide fluid communication between the interior chamber and the atmosphere via the airflow passageway, and
the impeller housing, in the closed position, moves into the fixed housing to seal the one or more vents inside the fixed housing and obstruct any fluid communication between the interior chamber and the atmosphere via the airflow passageway.

US Pat. No. 10,437,260

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR CONTROLLING AERIAL VEHICLES

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

19. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing a program for controlling an aerial vehicle, the program including instructions which, when executed by a processor, cause a computing device to:receive data indicating a location and a first altitude of the aerial vehicle;
receive data indicating a destination of the aerial vehicle;
receive prevailing wind pattern data regarding winds at the location and the first altitude of the aerial vehicle;
determine when the aerial vehicle is within a predetermined distance of the destination;
when it is determined that the aerial vehicle is within the predetermined distance of the destination, determine a first speed at which the aerial vehicle is moving;
determine whether the first speed at which the aerial vehicle is moving is greater than a first threshold;
when it is determined that the first speed at which the aerial vehicle is moving is greater than the first threshold, determine a second altitude for the aerial vehicle to move at a second speed slower than the first speed;
determine a probability that a prevailing wind pattern at the second altitude will cause the aerial vehicle to move at the second speed, wherein the probability is based on a time since data regarding the prevailing wind pattern at the second altitude was last received; and
when it is determined that the probability exceeds a second threshold, cause the aerial vehicle to adjust altitude of the aerial vehicle from the first altitude to a different altitude based on the prevailing wind pattern data and the determined first speed.

US Pat. No. 10,305,742

INTERFACES FOR SERVICE REQUESTS IN A BALLOON NETWORK

Loon LLC, Mountian View,...

1. A non-transitory computer readable medium having stored therein instructions executable by a computing device to cause the computing device to perform functions comprising:displaying a graphical interface that comprises one or more interface features to receive a request for use of bandwidth of a balloon network;
receiving, via the graphical interface, input data corresponding to a bandwidth request for a first location, wherein the bandwidth request comprises an indication of the first location;
receiving an indication corresponding to whether or not the bandwidth request is accepted, wherein acceptance of the bandwidth request is based at least in part on a state of the balloon network; and
displaying, on the graphical interface, the indication corresponding to whether or not the bandwidth request is accepted.

US Pat. No. 10,305,564

BEAMFORMING CALIBRATION

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A method for transmitter channel calibration, comprising:generating a plurality of calibration signals corresponding to a plurality of transmitter channels, respectively;
combining the plurality of calibration signals with a plurality of data signals, respectively, thereby generating a plurality of combined signals;
propagating the plurality of combined signals through at least portions of the plurality of transmitter channels, respectively;
extracting the plurality of calibration signals from the propagated plurality of combined signals, respectively;
comparing at least two signal characteristics of at least two of the extracted plurality of calibration signals;
identifying at least one adjustment in gain, phase, or timing for at least one of the transmitter channels based on a result of the comparing; and
adjusting a data signal transmitted via the at least one of the plurality of transmitter channels based on the adjustment.

US Pat. No. 10,232,955

PORTABLE BALLOON LAUNCH RIG

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A system for lifting, inflating, and launching a balloon including a balloon envelope, the system comprising:a support structure including two side supports defining an interior space for lifting and filling a balloon envelope, each side support including two side beams connected by top support beams and bottom support beams, wherein the bottom support beams each include two wheels configured to move the support structure, and the side supports are connected by a lateral support beam;
a pair of cranes arranged on the lateral support beam, each crane of the pair having an arm arranged over the interior space;
a spreader beam attached to the arms of each of crane of the pair by a respective crane cable such that the respective crane cables can raise and lower the spreader beam relative to the support structure, the spreader beam including a lift assembly configured to lift and inflate the balloon envelope within the interior space;
a platform having a pair of lateral support bars, each lateral support bar of the pair being connected to each of the top support beams by a respective support bar cable such that the respective support bar cables can be operated to raise and lower the platform relative to the interior space; and
a door assembly attached to the support structure, the door assembly including first, second, and third hangar doors configured to block wind from a respective direction of each hangar door entering the interior space during lifting and inflating of the balloon envelope.

US Pat. No. 10,230,453

MAINTAINING CONTIGUOUS GROUND COVERAGE WITH HIGH ALTITUDE PLATFORMS

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A method, comprising:determining a contiguous ground coverage area served by respective ground-facing communication beams of a plurality of high altitude platforms, wherein the plurality of high altitude platforms includes at least a first high altitude platform and a second high altitude platform, each of the first and second high altitude platforms being a lighter-than-air device, the first high altitude platform having a communication system including a first ground-facing antenna having a fixed beam width, a second ground-facing antenna having a second fixed beam width, and a third ground-facing antenna having a third fixed beam width, and wherein the first fixed beam width is different from the second fixed beam width, the first fixed beam width is different from the third fixed beam width, and the second fixed beam width is different from the second fixed beam width;
determining an increase in a horizontal distance between the first high altitude platform and the second high altitude platform;
based on the increase in the horizontal distance between the first high altitude platform and the second high altitude platform, identifying a gap in the contiguous ground coverage area between the first high altitude platform and the second high altitude platform; and
in response to identifying the gap in the contiguous ground coverage area between the first high altitude platform and the second high altitude platform, causing the communication system to transmit a wider ground-facing communication beam by switching from the first ground-facing antenna to one of the second ground-facing antenna or the third ground-facing antenna in order to cover the identified gap in the contiguous ground coverage area.

US Pat. No. 10,437,259

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR CONTROLLING AERIAL VEHICLES

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A system for controlling an aerial vehicle, the system comprising:an aerial vehicle; and
a computing device including:
a processor; and
a memory storing instructions which, when executed by the processor, cause the computing device to:
receive data indicating a location and an altitude of the aerial vehicle;
receive data indicating a destination of the aerial vehicle;
determine a vector from the location of the aerial vehicle to the destination of the aerial vehicle;
receive prevailing wind pattern data regarding winds at the location and altitude of the aerial vehicle;
plan a path for the aerial vehicle to move along the vector based on the prevailing wind pattern data;
cause the aerial vehicle to adjust the altitude of the aerial vehicle based on the planned path;
determine that the aerial vehicle is not moving along the planned path, wherein the determination that the aerial vehicle is not moving along the planned path includes a determination that the aerial vehicle is moving in a direction that is a predetermined amount different from a direction in the planned path;
in response to the determination that the aerial vehicle is not moving along the planned path, determine a new altitude for the aerial vehicle; and
cause the aerial vehicle to adjust the altitude of the aerial vehicle to the new altitude.

US Pat. No. 10,561,011

COMBINED HEAT SINK AND PHOTON HARVESTOR

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A heat transfer system comprising:a first component formed of a thermally conductive material, the first component secured and thermally coupled with an electronic device, the first component including first and second layers; and
a second component including a surface adapted to capture stray photons to provide heat to the electronic device, wherein the first component is in superposed relation with the second component.

US Pat. No. 10,554,499

HYBRID LEO/HAPS CONSTELLATION FOR FIXED BROADBAND

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A computer-implemented method for implementing a network configuration in a network, the method comprising:receiving, by one or more processors, link bandwidth information for possible routing paths in the network to or from nodes in a particular geographic area from one or more nodes of the network;
determining, by the one or more processors, that an overall link bandwidth for the particular geographic area is less than a set bandwidth amount based on the link bandwidth information for the possible routing paths to or from nodes in the particular geographic area;
determining, by the one or more processors, one or more additional links to form in a given network configuration of the network based on a difference between the overall link bandwidth and the set bandwidth amount; and
sending, by the one or more processors, instructions to at least one node of the network to cause the at least one node to implement the given network configuration for transmitting client data to or from the particular geographic area.

US Pat. No. 10,464,443

MANAGING POWER OF AERIAL VEHICLES

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A system for managing power of an aerial vehicle, the system comprising:an aerial vehicle including:
a power storage module, and
at least one component; and
a computing device communicatively coupled to the aerial vehicle, the computing device including a processor and a memory storing instructions which, when executed by the processor, cause the computing device to:
receive data indicating a state of charge of the power storage module,
receive data indicating a location of the aerial vehicle,
determine a time until sunrise based on the data indicating the location of the aerial vehicle,
receive data indicating a rate of power consumption of the at least one component,
generate, based on the determined time until sunrise and at least one of the state of charge of the power storage module or the rate of power consumption of the at least one component, a power command to switch the at least one component to a power-saving state, and
transmit the power command to the aerial vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,450,046

SEPARATION APPARATUS FOR SEPARATING A FIRST OBJECT FROM A SECOND OBJECT

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A system comprising a separation apparatus for separating a connection between a first object and a second object, the separation apparatus comprising:a first shaft configured to attach to the first object, the first shaft including two openings;
a second shaft configured to attach to the second object, the second shaft including two slots arranged in line with the two openings of the first shaft;
a first pair of arms;
a bracket arranged to secure the pair of arms to the first shaft; and
a bolt arranged through the two openings of the first shaft and the two slots of the second shaft.

US Pat. No. 10,374,695

TEMPOROSPATIAL SOFTWARE-DEFINED NETWORKING FOR NGSO SATELLITE NETWORKS

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A system comprising:a network controller configured to:
receive information from a plurality of nodes of a network, the plurality of nodes including a first node that is in motion relative to a second node;
generate a table representing nodes, available storage at each node, and possible links in the network over a period of time based on the received information;
determine a series of topologies of the network over the period of time based on the generated table;
receive client data information from one or more client devices, the client data information including a data amount;
determine a plurality of flows for the determined series of topologies based on at least the data amount and the available storage at each node, each of the plurality of flows comprising one or more requirements for a routing path through the network;
generate a schedule of network configurations for the determined series of topologies based on the determined plurality of flows; and
send instructions to the plurality of nodes of the network for implementing the schedule of network configurations and transmitting client data over the period of time.

US Pat. No. 10,279,884

ENVELOPE FILM SUSPENDERS FOR HIGH-ALTITUDE BALLOONS

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A system comprising:a balloon envelope including envelope film;
at least one tendon; and
a suspender having a first end attached to the envelope film, the suspender being configured to stretch such that the first end moves towards an equator of the balloon envelope as the balloon envelope pressurizes in order to control movement of the envelope film both relative to the tendon and towards the equator as the balloon pressurizes.

US Pat. No. 10,477,418

OPERATION OF SECTORIZED COMMUNICATIONS FROM AEROSPACE PLATFORMS USING REINFORCEMENT LEARNING

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A method of operating a communication network that includes a plurality of nodes, a first node of the plurality of nodes being in motion relative to a second node of the plurality of nodes, the method comprising:receiving, by one or more processors, input data related to a state of the communication network and input data related to operation of the communication network for a first time interval;
determining, by the one or more processors, a first policy for the communication network based on the input data, the first policy being a set of features for forming a plurality of communication links in the communication network over the first time interval, the plurality of communication links providing one or more paths through the communication network;
determining, by the one or more processors, a utility value associated with the first policy as a function of a performance metric of the communication network in the first time interval;
determining, by the one or more processors, a second policy for the communication network for a second time interval based at least in part on the utility value associated with the first policy; and
operating, by the one or more processors, the communication network to implement the second policy in the second time interval.

US Pat. No. 10,472,040

SEALING DUCTS INTO A BALLOON

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A method of manufacturing a duct, the method comprising:providing a portion of material that will form the duct;
folding the portion of material such that an edge of the portion of material meets with a first area of the portion of material;
heat sealing the edge and the first area to one another such that the duct includes an opening that extends between a first open end of the duct and a second open end;
arranging a first substance on a second area of the portion of material, wherein the first substance is configured to keep an interior surface of the duct from being sealed to itself when heat from a heat sealing device is applied to the duct;
heat sealing the second open end of the duct to form a second closed end of the duct;
positioning the duct between a first sheet of material and a second sheet of material;
heat sealing the first sheet of material to the second sheet of material; and
after heat sealing the first sheet of material to the second sheet of material, pulling the second closed end of the duct through the opening in order to invert the duct.

US Pat. No. 10,456,990

AUTOMATED BALLOON ASSEMBLY MACHINE

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A method for assembling a balloon assembly, the method comprising:providing a first sheet of material, wherein the first sheet of material extends from a second platform of a table component to a third platform of the table component;
positioning a second sheet of material across a first platform, the second platform, and an opening extending between the first and second platforms of the table component so that a first end of the second sheet of material overlies at least a portion of the first sheet of material that overlies the second platform and a second end of the second sheet of material overlies the first platform;
securing a tendon on a portion of the second sheet of material overlying the first platform;
heat sealing the first sheet of material and the second sheet of material together on the second platform;
moving the second end of the second sheet of material from the first platform to the second platform by moving the second end over the tendon; and
moving at least a portion of the first platform to transfer the tendon and the portion of the second sheet of material to the third platform.

US Pat. No. 10,419,946

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR PLANNING HIGH ALTITUDE PLATFORM-BASED COMMUNICATION NETWORKS

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A method for planning a high altitude platform-based communication network, the method comprising:aggregating data from at least one data source, wherein the data includes environmental data comprising wind pattern data according to at least one of geographic location, altitude or time;
determining by one or more processors based on the aggregated data whether communication coverage gaps exist in one or more geographic locations to identify a plurality of network expansion potential scores according to geographic location;
estimating, by the one or more processors according to the wind pattern data, a navigation efficiency for a set of stratospheric balloon high altitude platforms, the navigation efficiency estimate indicating a likelihood of keeping a given balloon on station at a selected geographic service region over a period of time;
evaluating, by the one or more processors, the plurality of network expansion potential scores based on the navigation efficiency to assess potential coverage for an unconnected or under-connected population;
identifying, by the one or more processors based on the potential coverage for the unconnected or under-connected population, one or more geographic regions as regions to be served by the high altitude platform-based communication network; and
generating, by the one or more processors for presentation to one or more users of a display device, a visual output based on the one or more geographic regions as regions to be served by the high altitude platform-based communication network.

US Pat. No. 10,406,756

TENDON PLACEMENT FOR HIGH-ALTITUDE BALLOONS

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

9. A system comprising:balloon envelope material corresponding to a portion of a gore of a balloon envelope;
a tendon arranged on the balloon envelope material;
tubing arranged over the tendon; and
restraining tape arranged at one or more locations between the tendon and the tubing, the restraining tape being configured to provide stability to the balloon during inflation of the balloon envelope.

US Pat. No. 10,324,161

BALLOON-BASED POSITIONING SYSTEM AND METHOD

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A method comprising:determining, by a computing device, a first set of spatial relationships relating to a group of at least three balloons deployed in the stratosphere, wherein determining the first set comprises (i) determining a distance between a balloon in the group and another balloon in the group, and (ii) determining an angle between a first vector and a second vector, wherein the first vector extends from a first balloon in the group towards a second balloon in the group, and wherein the second vector extends from the first balloon towards a third balloon in the group;
determining, by the computing device, a second set of spatial relationships relating to at least a portion of the group and to a reference point;
determining, by the computing device, a position of the reference point relative to the earth;
using the determined first set, the determined second set, and the determined position of the reference point relative to the earth as a basis for determining a position of a target balloon in the group relative to the earth; and
transmitting the determined position of the target balloon relative to the earth,
wherein using the determined first set, the determined second set, and the determined position of the reference point relative to the earth as a basis for determining the position of the target balloon relative to the earth comprises using an optimization function to determine the position of the target balloon relative to the earth.

US Pat. No. 10,568,197

COMBINED HEAT SINK AND PHOTON HARVESTOR

LOON LLC, Mountainview, ...

1. A passive heat transfer system for use with a stratospheric platform, the heat transfer system comprising:a first component formed of a thermally conductive material, the first component having a first surface and a second surface, the first surface of the first component being secured and thermally coupled with an electronic device of a platform configured to operate in the stratosphere; and
a second component adapted to capture stray photons to provide heat to the electronic device, the second component having a first surface and a second surface, the first surface of the second component being arranged to capture the stray photons and the second surface of the second component being secured to the second surface of the first component;
wherein the first component is adapted to passively heat the electronic device from the captured stray photons when an ambient temperature of the platform is below an operating temperature of the electronic device.

US Pat. No. 10,558,219

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR CONTROLLING AN AERIAL VEHICLE USING LATERAL PROPULSION AND VERTICAL MOVEMENT

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. An aerial vehicle control system for controlling a lighter-than-air aerial vehicle, the control system comprising:a lighter-than-air aerial vehicle including:
an outer envelope;
one or more ballonets received within the outer envelope, the one or more ballonets being configured to control buoyancy of the aerial vehicle;
an altitude controller configured to adjust the buoyancy of the aerial vehicle by modifying a state of the one or more ballonets; and
a lateral propulsion controller configured to control one or more propellers of the aerial vehicle in order to manage at least one of position or movement of the aerial vehicle during flight; and
a computing device remote from the aerial vehicle, the computing device including:
a processor; and
a memory storing instructions that, when executed by the processor, cause the computing device to:
obtain location data corresponding to a location of the aerial vehicle;
obtain wind data;
determine an altitude command and at least one of a latitude command and a longitude command, based on at least one of the location data or the wind data;
cause the altitude controller of the aerial vehicle to implement the altitude command to increase or decrease a mass of the aerial vehicle; and
cause the lateral propulsion controller of the aerial vehicle to implement at least one of the latitude command or the longitude command to propel the aerial vehicle in a selected lateral direction.

US Pat. No. 10,356,742

LOCATION-AWARE CACHING IN AN AERIAL NETWORK

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A computer-implemented method comprising:at an aerial vehicle that is at a location associated with first geographic area in an aerial vehicle network, wherein the aerial vehicle network comprises a plurality of moveable aerial vehicles that provide service to client devices in a plurality of geographic areas, and wherein the aerial vehicle is one of the plurality of moveable aerial vehicles, determining that a location-aware cache of the aerial vehicle should be updated with user-data associated with the first geographic area; and
in response to determining that the location-aware cache should be updated:
sending a location-aware cache-update request;
receiving, as a response to the location-aware cache-update request, user-data that corresponds to the first geographic area; and
storing the user-data that corresponds to the first geographic area in a location-aware cache of the aerial vehicle; and
wherein determining that the location-aware cache of the aerial vehicle should be updated with user-data associated with the first geographic area comprises determining that the aerial vehicle has moved from outside of the first geographic area to a location within the first geographic area.

US Pat. No. 10,354,535

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR DETERMINING WHEN TO LAUNCH VEHICLES INTO A FLEET OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A method comprising:receiving information indicative of a sequence of coverage requirements for a region over a period of time, wherein the region is characterized by a plurality of landmarks and the period of time is divided into a plurality of time intervals, and wherein an individual coverage requirement identifies a desired number of vehicles of a plurality of operating vehicles for given landmarks at a given time interval, wherein vehicles of the plurality of vehicles include a balloon within a data network that is operable to provide data communication via optical or radio-frequency (RF) links;
defining one or more landmarks as a launch site representative of a landmark at which a given vehicle can be added to the plurality of operating vehicles;
determining, by a processor, for at least one respective landmark of the plurality of landmarks, estimated landmarks of the plurality of landmarks that can be reached by one or more vehicles starting from the respective landmark by an end of a respective time interval;
based on the sequence of coverage requirements and the estimated landmarks that can be reached by the one or more vehicles, determining, by the processor, a given launch site and corresponding time interval at which to add the given vehicle to the plurality of operating vehicles to provide data communication according to the sequence of coverage requirements; and
determining a fleet plan for the plurality of time intervals, the fleet plan indicating landmarks of the plurality of landmarks for vehicles of the plurality of operating vehicles to travel to during each of the time intervals.

US Pat. No. 10,355,327

DYNAMIC BATTERY PACK THERMAL MANAGEMENT

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A method comprising:determining a range of operating temperatures of a battery, wherein the range of operating temperatures comprises a plurality of benchmark temperatures;
generating a plurality of setpoint profiles, wherein each of the setpoint profiles is associated with one of the plurality of benchmark temperatures; and
generating one or more temperature setpoints for each of the plurality of setpoint profiles, wherein generating each of the one or more temperature setpoints comprises:
comparing an energy required to heat the battery from an initial temperature to a target temperature with an extractable energy gained by heating the battery from an initial operating temperature to the target temperature, wherein each of the initial temperature and the target temperature is one of the range of operating temperatures of the battery.

US Pat. No. 10,322,789

FILLING APPARATUS FOR HIGH-ALTITUDE BALLOONS

Loon LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A system comprising:a filling apparatus for filling a balloon, the apparatus comprising:
a tube having a first end and a second end; and
a plug member connected to the second end such that the tube extends through at least a portion of the plug member to provide a conduit for gas between the first end and a second end and through the plug, the plug member having a flange portion arranged around the tube, and the plug member further having at least one groove arranged around an external surface of the plug member; and
an o-ring arranged in the at least one groove.

US Pat. No. 10,220,929

FILLING APPARATUS FOR HIGH-ALTITUDE BALLOONS

LOON LLC, Mountain View,...

1. A fill port apparatus comprising:a tubular body portion having a passageway extending between a first end of the tubular body portion and a second end of the tubular body portion;
an attachment structure arranged at the first end of the tubular body portion, the attachment structure being configured to attach to a top plate of a balloon envelope of a balloon; and
a plurality of energy directing structures arranged on an interior surface of the tubular body portion and extending into the passageway from the interior surface, each of the plurality of energy directing structures being configured to contact at least one other of the plurality of energy directing structures when the tubular body portion is welded to itself.