US Patent No. 10,919,626

CHARGING A RECHARGEABLE BATTERY OF AN UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE IN FLIGHT USING A HIGH VOLTAGE POWER LINE


Patent No. 10,919,626
Issue Date February 16, 2021
Title Charging A Rechargeable Battery Of An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle In Flight Using A High Voltage Power Line
Inventorship John Jaugilas, Englewood, CO (US)
Assignee The Boeing Company, Chicago, IL (US)

Claim of US Patent No. 10,919,626

1. A method of generating a flight plan for an unmanned aerial vehicle includingcharging a rechargeable battery of the unmanned aerial vehicle,
the method comprising:
receiving mission data for the unmanned aerial vehicle,
including a plurality of locations for the unmanned aerial vehicle;
calculating, using a processor,
a path for the unmanned aerial vehicle including the plurality of locations and a specified distance from a high voltage power line at which an energy is generated by the unmanned aerial vehicle;
creating an initial flight plan for the unmanned aerial vehicle that includes the path and operational settings for the unmanned aerial vehicle;
calculating a fuel consumption associated with the initial flight plan,
the fuel consumption including an energy expended and the energy generated by the unmanned aerial vehicle flying the initial flight plan;
determining whether the fuel consumption is greater than an available energy of the unmanned aerial vehicle,
the available energy comprising an existing charge of the rechargeable battery and the energy generated by the unmanned aerial vehicle flying the initial flight plan;
selecting the initial flight plan as the flight plan when the fuel consumption is not greater than the available energy;
creating an adjusted flight plan for the unmanned aerial vehicle when the fuel consumption is greater than the available energy,
wherein creating the adjusted flight plan includes increasing a portion of the flight plan, wherein the unmanned aerial vehicle flies a specified distance from a high voltage power line,
wherein the portion of the flight plan is longer than a portion that the energy is generated by the unmanned aerial vehicle flying the initial flight plan;
calculating an adjusted fuel consumption associated with the adjusted flight plan;
determining whether the adjusted fuel consumption is greater than an adjusted available energy,
wherein the adjusted available energy comprises the existing charge of the rechargeable battery and the energy generated by the unmanned aerial vehicle flying the adjusted flight plan; and
selecting the adjusted flight plan as the flight plan when the adjusted fuel consumption is not greater than the adjusted available energy.