This is a PreGrant Publication.

After two rejections I have taken it to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) which, with the recent major changes to the Patent Law under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011, will now be called the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). I am blogging it separately. Click here.

United States Patent Application Publication 20080033604

System and Method For Safely Flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Civilian Airspace


A system and method for safely flying an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), or remotely piloted vehicle (RPV) in civilian airspace uses a remotely located pilot to control the aircraft using a synthetic vision system during at least selected phases of the flight such as during take-offs and landings.

Full Patent Application (1 MByte PDF)
Specification only (html)
Drawings only (PDF)
Image File Wrapper - Including References (50 MBytes PDF)
Transaction History as of 10/26/2011

References - Listed Separately (PDF)

Patent References

U.S. Patent 5,153,836   Universal dynamic navigation, surveillance, emergency location, and collision avoidance system and method, Fraughton, et al., October 6, 1992.
U. S. Patent 5,187,485  Passive ranging through global positioning system, Tsui, et al., February 16, 1993.  Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Air Force.  PDF
U.S. Patent 5,904,724    Method and apparatus for remotely piloting an aircraft issued May 18, 1999 to Margolin. PDF
Publication Number 20060174221  Remote component and connection architecture  Kinsella, et al., published 8/3/2006

Non-Patent References

The listed links are the original links. In some cases they are broken. The PDF version was made from the original link and is the document in the File Wrapper.

Sensing Requirements for Unmanned Air Vehicles, AFRL's Air Vehicles Directorate, Control Sciences Division, Systems Development Branch, Wright-Patterson AFB OH,  June 2004, .

Presentation: Developing Sense & Avoid Requirements for Meeting an Equivalent Level of Safety given by RUSS WOLFE, Technology IPT Lead, Access 5 Project at UVS Tech 2006. (January 18, 2006) PDF
Presentation: Integration into the National Airspace System (NAS) given by John Timmerman of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (July 12, 2005) PDF
Zone Ready for Drone, April 7, 2006, on the web site for the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization Employees,
Virtual Cockpit Window for a Windowless Aerospacecraft  NASA Tech Briefs, January 2003 page 40, (
Press release from Rapid Imaging Software, Inc.

"On December 13th, 2001, Astronaut Ken Ham successfully flew the X-38 from a remote cockpit..."
Article:  Flying UAVs in Civil Airspace By Using Synthetic Vision by Jed Margolin PDF
NTSB Incident Report on crash of Predator on April 25, 2006, northwest of Nogales, NM. NTSB Identification CHI06MA121
Lockheed's Polecat UCAV Demonstrator Crashes  Aviation Week & Space Technology, AMY BUTLER, 03/19/2007, page 44
The F-22 Continues to Encounter  Aviation Week & Space Technology, 02/26/2007, page 18
Gulf of Mexico Helo Ops Ready for ADS-B  Aviation Week & Space Technology, FRANCIS FIORINO, 02/26/2007, page 56 PDF
Embedded Experts: Fix code bugs or cost lives, RICK MERIT, EE Times, 04/10/2006
Entries from the Software Failure Hall of Shame, Part 1, TOM RHINELANDER, July 06,2006,
Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation, MARTIN GOMEZ, Embedded Systems Design, 11/30/01,
Supreme Court Decision, Boyle v. United Technologies Corp., 487 U.S. 500 (1988)
Basic Concepts of real-time operating systems, DAVID KALINSKY (Nov. 18, 2003)