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8751 results about "Flight vehicle" patented technology

Robotically Assisted Launch/Capture Platform For An Unmanned Air Vehicle

An embodiment of the invention is directed to a platform for launching and/or capturing an unmanned air vehicle (UAV), particularly a small UAV. The launch/capture platform includes a frame, a floor attached to the frame that is capable of supporting the UAV, means for acquiring and tracking the UAV in flight, a connector and a connector controller, connecting the platform to an external support structure, providing a controllable, adaptive motion of the platform in response to approaching UAV position and attitude, means for launching the UAV from the platform and for capturing an in-flight UAV to the platform, and means for locking down the UAV between the capture and launch of the UAV. Another embodiment of the invention directed to a method for capturing a small, in-flight UAV involves providing a UAV capture platform, providing a UAV capturing means as an integrated component of the platform, providing means for determining in real-time the relative location of an engaging portion of the capturing means with respect to an approaching in-flight UAV, providing means for automatically maneuvering the engaging portion of the capturing means with respect to at least one of a position and an attitude of the approaching in-flight UAV, capturing the UAV, and securing the captured UAV to the capture platform.
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