Research and development within the U.S. Military often sets the stage for technological advancements that have broad societal impact. This ecosystem of military intellectual property closely aligns with our approach to IP management. We view every client as an essential partner, recognizing that today’s defense projects can become tomorrow’s commercial applications.
U.S. Grant Funding to Patents
We have handled hundreds of patents funded by the following U.S. agencies:
- Nat. Aeronautics and Space Admin. (NASA)
- National Science Foundation
- Department of Transportation
- Office of Naval Research
- Nat. Inst. of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA)
- Department of Energy
- Department of the Army
- Department of Defense
- National Cancer Institute
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Department of Veteran Affairs
- Air Force
Our expertise in intellectual property law is strategically adaptable, capable of aggressive action or calculated restraint depending on the operational requirements. Budgetary efficiency is paramount; we manage your military allocations with the same diligence we’d apply to our own resources. In offering this service model, we position ourselves as uniquely suited to meet the U.S. Military’s needs.
In response to the specific requirements of modern military engagements, such as the scenario in which a traditional round might pierce a Taliban vehicle’s windshield without causing the necessary soft tissue damage to stop the driver, a new kind of ammunition was required. This necessity was compounded by the need for NATO-approved, lead-free rounds capable of both penetrating barriers like vehicle windshields and then tumbling upon impact to cause sufficient soft tissue damage to incapacitate a target.
This innovation in projectile design addressed these requirements. Unlike traditional rounds, which maintain their integrity after impact, the advanced round is engineered to fragment upon hitting soft material. This fragmentation is a deliberate result of the projectile’s construction, where the nose and tail portions of the bullet are designed to separate. This separation is facilitated by an interface that ruptures when the projectile strikes soft targets, such as human or animal tissue.
When this engineered projectile hits a soft target, it is structured to ‘tumble’ — a movement that enhances the rupture of the interface, causing the nose and tail portions to detach from each other. The result is a controlled fragmentation that maximizes the round’s stopping power without increasing the risk of over-penetration, which could potentially harm unintended targets.
This tumbling and subsequent fragmentation ensure that the round transfers its energy to the target efficiently, maximizing the wound channel and increasing the likelihood of stopping an assailant quickly and effectively. The projectile exhibits a balance of lethality and control, designed to incapacitate while minimizing collateral damage.
Composite Fuselage Breach
U.S. Patent Number 4836030, entitled “Method of testing composite materials for structural damage,” introduces a significant advancement in nondestructive evaluation techniques, particularly advantageous for modern aircraft like the F-22 and F-35, which extensively incorporate composite materials in their fuselage and airframe.
This method employs ultrasonic waves to evaluate the integrity of composite materials without causing any damage. For aircraft such as the F-22 and F-35, which utilize composite materials for their strength-to-weight ratio and stealth characteristics, the ability to non-invasively detect internal defects is vital. This ensures the preservation of the material properties that are essential for the aircraft’s performance.
One of the foremost advantages of this patented method is the enhancement of aircraft safety. By enabling the early detection of internal defects, such as delaminations and inclusions that are not visible to the naked eye, the method ensures that such issues can be rectified before they evolve into critical structural failures. This early detection is crucial for high-performance military aircraft, where material failure can have severe consequences.
In addition, the patented method improves the reliability of damage assessment. Unlike surface-level inspection techniques, the use of ultrasonic waves provides a thorough assessment of the material’s condition, identifying potential weaknesses within the internal structure. This level of accuracy ensures that maintenance crews can target their repairs more effectively, reducing the risk of overlooking critical internal damage. The method also presents cost-saving implications. By detecting damage early, the extent of the required repairs is often lessened, thus avoiding more significant expenses associated with major repairs or overhauls that might be necessary if damage goes undetected.
Multi-Domain UAV Capable of Traversing Flooded Hamas Tunnels
The convertible ducted fan engine detailed in U.S. Patent Number 11454245 facilitates the development of a UAV capable of operating both as an aircraft and a submersible, providing a strategic advantage in complex and fluid environments such as flooded tunnels. The engine’s ability to transition between a fluid-propulsion system and a friction-based drive system enables a UAV to swiftly enter a flooded tunnel by air, submerge and navigate underwater, and then resurface to relay critical intelligence.
For military operations, such as those conducted by Israeli and NATO forces, this technology could be utilized for reconnaissance missions in challenging terrains where adversaries may utilize subterranean tactics. The UAV, equipped with this convertible engine, could fly to specific locations, submerge into flooded tunnels, and gather intelligence with minimal detection risk. Its adaptability to switch between flying and submersible modes allows for rapid deployment and extraction, enhancing the operational efficiency of the forces.
Upon collecting the necessary data, the UAV could then either return to its base to provide the gathered intelligence or relay it in real-time to the troops, depending on the communication and control systems installed. The integration of such an engine into a UAV design would aim to support the tactical and strategic objectives of the mission, ensuring that forces are informed of the ground realities in near real-time, which is crucial for decision-making and mission success.
Moreover, this technology could significantly reduce the risk to personnel by performing reconnaissance in potentially hazardous environments autonomously, ensuring that human operators remain at a safe distance while still achieving mission objectives.
Object Detection and Intelligent Magnification
Funded by the Office of Naval Research and developed at the University of Central Florida, the technology claimed in U.S. Patent Number 11798127 incorporates a novel method for adjusting the altitude of magnified objects within an augmented reality (AR) display. High-resolution cameras, potentially exceeding 500 megapixels, capture detailed images which are then processed by a computer vision system to identify and classify objects of interest from the background.
The classified objects are segmented, and the foreground is subjected to a computational method that adjusts object altitudes in the user’s field of view when presented on an AR display. This adjustment is key to providing a coherent visual experience by ensuring that the magnified objects are not only clearer, but also correctly positioned within the natural spatial context, avoiding any disorientation that could arise from flat magnification.
The patent describes a system that seamlessly integrates these magnified objects into the user’s perception of the real world. The magnification process considers the object’s relative importance and the user’s visual acuity, selectively enhancing the perception of the object without disrupting the overall visual field. This method is intended for real-time applications and is capable of functioning with multiple users and processors, emphasizing efficiency in enhancing visual acuity with spatial awareness.
U.S. Patent Number 9989078, issued to Florida State University and funded by the United States Air Force, presents a method for improving aerodynamic efficiency through flow control. This method specifically addresses flow separation, which impairs lift and increases drag on aerodynamic bodies due to boundary layer detachment under adverse pressure gradients.
The core of this patented technology is the independent injection of momentum and vorticity into the fluid flow over an airfoil, a capability not offered by existing flow control devices. Prior devices, categorized as active or passive, could not separately adjust the momentum and swirl introduced into the flow. This patent overcomes this limitation, providing a means to fine-tune aerodynamic properties critical for applications in which performance is paramount.
The design involves actuator sites that input momentum and vorticity at strategic points, such as near the separation point on the body, to maintain attached flow. This system offers a more sophisticated approach to flow manipulation, with potential military applications in which precise aerodynamic control can yield significant operational benefits. The independent control of flow characteristics through this method could lead to advancements in military aircraft design, enhancing lift and reducing drag, thus offering a strategic edge in aerodynamic performance.
Opioid Pyroelectric Detection
U.S. Patent Number 11460399 funded by DARPA and developed at the University of Central Florida dicloses a pyroelectric detector with the capability to detect electromagnetic radiation specifically within the terahertz (THz) range. Traditional detectors are designed for mid-wave and long-wave infrared spectral regions and are not suitable for the THz range. This device circumvents the need for multiple optical components on which other alternatives rely, like bolometers and deuterated triglycine sulfate detectors.
Terahertz detectors are significant for identifying substances like fentanyl, which is a highly potent opioid with various analogs that interact with opioid receptors in the body. Fentanyl’s lethal nature is underscored by its low lethal dose in comparison to heroin, and the even more dangerous carfentanil, which is an analog of fentanyl. The increased fatalities due to fentanyl highlight the urgent need for an efficient detection method.
Current methods for detecting fentanyl present risks to first responders due to the drug’s high potency and various intake methods. Hence, a contact-free, easy-to-operate, quick, and accurate detection device is crucial for safety and effectiveness in the field. The proposed invention fulfills this need by providing a device and method that can quickly and safely detect fentanyl and its derivatives without direct contact.
The inventive device combines specific materials and geometrical configurations to resonate at frequencies within the THz spectrum (0.1-15 THz), with ultra-narrow channel widths for spectral selectivity. It can function as a large area resonator for collecting weak signals or as part of an array to create images within its sensitive spectrum. This technology was not an obvious solution to the prior art’s limitations and represents a novel approach to addressing the challenges of detecting specific optical qualities, including dangerous narcotics like fentanyl, within the terahertz wavelength range.
Nanocomposites For Thermoelectric Applications
U.S. Patent Number 8759662 covers technology developed at the University of South Florida supported by The Department of Defense and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Comand. Thermoelectric (TE) elements are utilized in heat sensors, heat pumps, and generators (TEGs) to convert heat into electricity. Advances in nanotechnology, specifically using quantum dots and nano-scale polycrystalline materials, have led to improvements in TE elements. These materials are doped with metals like silver or sodium and processed through spark plasma sintering to enhance their properties.
With increasing energy demand and decreasing resources, TE elements’ efficiency becomes paramount, especially for automotive applications where they can convert exhaust heat to electrical energy. This contributes to better fuel efficiency and pollution reduction. TE devices are favored for their reliability, safety, and eco-friendliness.
The efficiency of TE materials is measured by the figure of merit, ZT, a function of the Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and thermal conductivity. Improvements in ZT are vital for better TE devices but are challenging due to the interrelated nature of these properties.
The generation of electrical voltage from TE materials requires high Seebeck coefficients and substantial temperature differences, presenting a manufacturing challenge. Current production methods can’t economically create bulk materials with the necessary properties, making the widespread use of TE technology costly.
Digital Coding Scheme For Data Transmission
U.S. Patent Number 8295326, developed at the University of South Florida with funding from the Army Research Office and SOCOM, describes an enhanced data transmission system that combines Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) with turbo coding. This method integrates DSSS de-spreading as part of the turbo decoding process, omitting a separate outer error correction code (ECC). This allows for higher data transmission rates by reducing the number of bits required for encoding, which is particularly beneficial in military applications where communication reliability and speed are critical.
Digital transmissions often suffer from noise interference, which can corrupt data. Traditional ECC methods combat this by adding extra bits for error correction, sacrificing data rate for accuracy. The patented system offers a solution that improves the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) without heavy data rate penalties, an advantage in scenarios like underwater acoustic communications where SNR is usually low.
Turbo coding, a method used to ensure data integrity, typically operates separately from DSSS. However, this patent unifies them, allowing for the de-spreading process of DSSS to act as a reliable ECC. DSSS works by spreading the original data over a broader bandwidth, which is then narrowed back down (de-spread) at the receiver to weed out noise. In the patented system, this de-spreading is adeptly combined with the decoding steps of turbo coding to improve efficiency.
This innovation streamlines the encoding-decoding process, enhancing the robustness and speed of digital data communication, which is of significant value in military operations where secure, fast, and accurate data transmission is paramount for operational success.