By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Ziarno, James J. (Malabar, FL); Gallagher, Shawn (Melbourne, FL), filed on April 9, 2014, was published online on November 17, 2015.
The patent's assignee for patent number 9191053 is HARRIS CORPORATION (Melbourne, FL).
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A Digital Acquisition Unit (DAU), also known by some skilled in the art as a DFDAU, receives signals from many on-board aircraft systems. The DAU processes the data as Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) data, which is recovered from the aircraft by different prior art techniques. For example, a PCMCIA card may connect into an auxiliary PCMCIA slot of the Data Acquisition Unit and record data into a flash memory of the card. Once the data is collected into flash memory, airline operators manually replace the PCMCIA cards with a new card and retrieve the aircraft data from the flash memory of the old card.
"Other prior art techniques for collecting this aircraft data include wireless systems, which often require costly aircraft modifications. For example, a separate unit to record data, such as a ground data link unit, is required, and an additional aircraft antenna must be mounted on the fuselage. Often aircraft wiring changes are made. These ground data link units require a data processor, a data collection circuit, a wireless LAN radio, a power amplifier, and external fuselage antenna. Multiple line receiver units are also often required adding to the significant investment made by an aircraft operator.
"Examples of a ground data link systems that have been used in an aircraft are disclosed in commonly assigned U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,047,165; 6,104,914; 6,108,523; 6,148,179; 6,154,636; 6,154,637; 6,160,998; 6,163,681; 6,167,238; 6,167,239; 6,173,159; 6,308,044; 6,308,045; 6,353,734; 6,522,867; and 6,745,010, the disclosures which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.
"It would be desirable, however, to extract Flight Operations Quality Assurance data or other aircraft data from an aircraft component, such as a DAU, in a less complicated and costly system, rather than using a ground data link unit or manually replacing flash memory PCMCIA cards."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention advantageously provides a turn-key solution in a removable PC card, which includes a storage memory, control logic circuitry, a processor, and a radio transceiver for transmitting aircraft data along a radio frequency signal. In one aspect of the present invention, the skin of the aircraft receives the radio frequency signal and radiates the radio frequency signal to a location remote from the aircraft, for example, access points of a local area network. The transmitter is preferably operative in accordance with 802.11 standards in which aircraft data is transmitted over a spread spectrum communications signal, such as a frequency hopping spread spectrum communications signal or a direct sequence spread spectrum communications signal.
"The data can be transmitted to a Central Maintenance Display Unit (CMDU), indicating in real-time the health and status of aircraft systems. The data can be flight performance data, such as Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) data from the DAU, aircraft engine data, in-flight entertainment data, or aircraft data relating to aircraft contents, passenger data, aircraft departure and arrival, passenger transactions, or a sky marshall. The PC card preferably is formed as a PCMCIA card with a desired form factor, for example, a Type III PCMCIA card.
"In one aspect of the present invention, the PC card includes a PC card interface adapted for connecting to an aircraft component, such as the DAU. A memory stores aircraft data received from the aircraft component. A radio transmitter receives the aircraft data from the memory and transmits the aircraft data over a radio frequency signal. A processor is operatively connected to the PC card interface, memory and radio transmitter for reading and forwarding data from the memory to the radio transmitter. A logic circuit is operative with the memory, processor and PC card interface for controlling the downloading of data from the aircraft component to the memory and the reading and the forwarding of data from the memory to the radio transmitter without conflict between the processor and aircraft component.
"In one aspect of the present invention, the logic circuit comprises a field programmable gate array. The PC card body preferably has a PCMCIA form factor. The transmitter preferably comprises a spread spectrum transmitter for transmitting aircraft data over a spread spectrum communications signal, which could be a frequency hopping or direct sequence spread spectrum communications signal. The PC card can also include a receiver as part of a transceiver that receives data for on-board processing. This type of received data could comprise at least data for specifying one of the power limits, frequency or type of aircraft data to be transmitted."
For additional information on this patent, see: Ziarno, James J.; Gallagher, Shawn. System and Method of Transmitting Data from an Aircraft. U.S. Patent Number 9191053, filed April 9, 2014, and published online on November 17, 2015. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9191053.PN.&OS=PN/9191053RS=PN/9191053
Keywords for this news article include: HARRIS CORPORATION.
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