Patents by Inventor Hubert C. Vykukal

Hubert C. Vykukal has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 5409331
    Abstract: A space suit sizing device using a ball nut and screw drive mechanism to shorten and lengthen components of a space suit. The device includes a rotatable member having an outer race formed on an inner surface thereof, and a translatable member having an inner race formed on an outer surface thereof. A plurality of recirculating balls are located in a space defined by the inner and outer races. As the rotatable member is rotated by hand, the translatable member is caused to move in and out of the rotatable member. Since one component of the space suit is connected to the translatable member, the length of this component varies in accordance with the position of the translatable member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 25, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Hubert C. Vykukal
  • Patent number: 4678438
    Abstract: A weightlessness simulator (10) has a chamber (12) and a suit (56) in the chamber (12). O-rings (26) and valves (30, 38, 42 and 66) hermetically seal the chamber (12). A vacuum pump (32) connected to the chamber (12) establishes a pressure in the chamber (12) less than atmospheric pressure. A water supply tank (34) and water supply line (38) supply a body of water (44) to the chamber (12) as a result of partial vacuum created in the chamber (12). In use, an astronaut enters the pressure suit (56) through port (60), which remains open to ambient atmosphere, thus supplying air to the astronaut during use. The pressure less than atmospheric pressure in the chamber (12) is chosen so that the pressure differential from the inside to the outside of the suit (56) corresponds to the pressure differential with the suit (56) in outer space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1986
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1987
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Hubert C. Vykukal
  • Patent number: 4598427
    Abstract: An elbow or knee joint for a hard space suit or similar usage is formed of three serially-connected rigid sections which have truncated spherical configurations. The ends of each section form solid geometric angles, and the sections are interconnected by hermetically-sealed ball bearings. The outer two sections are fixed together for rotation in a direction opposite to rotation of the center section. A preferred means to make the outer sections track each other in rotation comprises a rotatable continuous bead chain which engages sockets circumferentially spaced on the facing sides of the outer races of the bearings. The joint has a single pivot point and the bearing axes are always contained in a single plane for any articulation of the joint. Thus flexure of the joint simulates the coplanar flexure of the knee or elbow and is not susceptible to lockup.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1984
    Date of Patent: July 8, 1986
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Hubert C. Vykukal
  • Patent number: 4598428
    Abstract: For use in hard space suits and the like, a joint between the torso covering and the upper arm covering (i.e., shoulder) or between the torso covering and upper leg covering (i.e., hip) is disclosed. Each joint has an outer covering and a inner covering. The outer covering has plural preferably truncated toroidal sections decreasing in size proceeding outwardly. In one embodiment at each joint there are two bearings, the first larger than the second. The outer race of the larger bearing is attached to the outer edge of the smaller end of each section and the inner race of the larger bearing is attached to the end wall. The inner race of the smaller bearing is attached to the end wall. The outer race of the smaller bearing is attached to the larger end of the next section. Each bearing has appropriate seals. Between each section is a rubber ring for the comfort of the wearer. Such rubber rings have radial flanges attached to the inner races of two adjacent bearings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1984
    Date of Patent: July 8, 1986
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Hubert C. Vykukal
  • Patent number: 4594734
    Abstract: For use in hard space units and the like, shoulder and hip joints comprising three serially-connected truncated spherical sections, the ends of which converge. Ball bearings between the sections permit relative rotation. The proximal end of the first section is connected to the torso covering by a ball bearing and the distal end of the outermost section is connected to the elbow or thigh covering by a ball bearing. The sections are equi-angular and this alleviates lockup, the condition where the distal end of the joint leaves the plane in which the user is attempting to flex. The axes of rotation of the bearings and the bearing mid-planes are arranged to intersect in a particular manner that provides the joint with a minimum envelope. In one embodiment, the races of the bearing between the innermost section and the second section is partially within the inner race of the bearing between the torso and the innermost spherical section further to reduce bulk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1984
    Date of Patent: June 17, 1986
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Hubert C. Vykukal
  • Patent number: 4593415
    Abstract: A hard suit for use in space or diving applications having an adjustable length torso covering that will fit a large variety of wearers. The torso covering comprises an upper section and a lower section which interconnect so that the covering will fit wearers with short torsos. One or more sizing rings may be inserted between the upper and lower sections to accommodate larger torso sizes as required. Since access of the astronaut to the torso covering is preferably through an opening in the back of the upper section (which is closed off by the backpack), the rings slant upward-forward from the lower edge of the opening. The lower edge of the upper covering section has a coupler which slants upward-forward from the lower edge of the back opening. The lower torso section has a similarly slanted coupler which may interfit with the upper section coupler to accommodate the smallest torso size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1984
    Date of Patent: June 10, 1986
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Hubert C. Vykukal
  • Patent number: 4311055
    Abstract: The invention pertains to a measurement system for simultaneously measuring torque and angular flexure in a pressure suit joint. One end of a joint (11) under test is held rigid. A torque transducer (31) is pivotably supported on the other movable end of the joint. A potentiometer (36) is attached to the transducer (31) by an arm (33). The wiper shaft (37) of the potentiometer is gripped by a reference arm (41) that rotates wiper shaft (37) the same angle as the flexure of joint (11). A signal is generated by the potentiometer (36) which is representative of the joint flexure. A compensation circuit (67) converts the output of the transducer (31) to a signal representative of joint torque.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1980
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1982
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Hubert C. Vykukal, Bruce W. Webbon
  • Patent number: 4261349
    Abstract: A spine immobilization method and apparatus are provided which make use of a normally flat, flexible bladder filled with beads or micro-balloons that form a rigid mass when the pressure within the bladder is decreased below ambient through the use of a suction pump so that the bladder can be conformed to the torso of the victim and provide the desired restraint. The bladder is strapped to the victim prior to being rigidified by an arrangement of straps which avoid the stomach area. The bladder is adapted to be secured to a rigid support, i.e., a rescue chair, so as to enable removal of a victim after the bladder has been made rigid. A double sealing connector is used to connect the bladder to the suction pump and a control valve is employed to vary the pressure within the bladder so as to soften and harden the bladder as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 1979
    Date of Patent: April 14, 1981
    Inventors: Robert A. Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, with respect to an invention of Frosch, Kenneth H. Lambson, Hubert C. Vykukal
  • Patent number: 4151612
    Abstract: Pressure suit mobility joints for use in interconnecting adjacent segments of an hermetically sealed spacesuit in which low torques, low leakage and a high degree of reliability are required. Each of the joints is a special-purpose joint characterized by substantially constant volume and low torque characteristics and includes linkages which restrain the joint from longitudinal distension and includes a flexible, substantially impermeable diaphragm of tubular configuration spanning the distance between pivotally supported annuli. The diaphragms of selected joints include rolling convolutions for balancing the joints, while various joints include wedge-shaped sections which enhance the range of motion for the joints.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1978
    Date of Patent: May 1, 1979
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Hubert C. Vykukal
  • Patent number: 4095593
    Abstract: An improved cooling and ventilating system for removing metabolic heat, waste gases and water vapor generated by a wearer of an hermetically sealed spacesuit. The cooling system is characterized by a body suit having a first circuit for simultaneously establishing a cooling flow of water through the thorax and head sections of the body suit including circulation patches mounted in the thorax section and head section of the body suit, a second circuit for discharging a flow of gas throughout the spacesuit and a disconnect unit for coupling the circuits with a life support system externally related to the spacesuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1976
    Date of Patent: June 20, 1978
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Bruce W. Webbon, Hubert C. Vykukal, Bill A. Williams
  • Patent number: 4091464
    Abstract: Pressure suit mobility joints for use in interconnecting adjacent segments of an hermetically sealed spacesuit in which low torques, low leakage and a high degree of reliability are required. Each of the joints is a special-purpose joint characterized by substantially constant volume and low torque characteristics and includes linkages which restrain the joint from longitudinal distension and includes a flexible, substantially impermeable diaphragm of tubular configuration spanning the distance between pivotally supported annuli. The diaphragms of selected joints include rolling convolutions for balancing the joints, while various joints include wedge-shaped sections which enhance the range of motion for the joints.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1976
    Date of Patent: May 30, 1978
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Hubert C. Vykukal
  • Patent number: 4091465
    Abstract: A separable entry closure assembly for joining axially separable tubular segments of a pressure suit along an angulated zone of separation having a first portion projected transversely beneath the axilla zone of the suit and a second portion projected behind the shoulder zone thereof and characterized by a first endless member of a rigid configuration affixed to one segment of the suit, a second endless member of a rigid configuration affixed to the other segment and mated in hermetically sealed relation with the first endless member, and a releasable "C" section clamp releasably securing the first endless member to the second endless member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1977
    Date of Patent: May 30, 1978
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Bruce W. Webbon, Hubert C. Vykukal
  • Patent number: 4064642
    Abstract: A walking boot assembly particularly suited for use with a positively pressurized spacesuit, including a bootie adapted to be secured to the foot of a wearer, an hermetically sealed boot for receiving the bootie having a walking sole, an inner sole and an upper portion adapted to be attached to an ankle joint of a spacesuit, a protuberance projected from the bootie and received within a recess formed in the inner sole of the boot for positioning the bootie relative to the boot, and releasable latching means for latching the protuberance in a received relationship with the recess.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1976
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1977
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Hubert C. Vykukal, Alan B. Chambers, Roy H. St. John
  • Patent number: 4046262
    Abstract: An anthropomorphic master/slave manipulator system including master arm apparatus including a plurality of master tubular articulated portions which are coaxially adjacent one another and relatively rotatable, master transducing apparatus responsive to the relative rotation of the adjacent tubular portions and operative to provide a driving signal, slave arm apparatus including a plurality of slave tubular portions corresponding to those portions of the master arm apparatus, the slave tubular portions being coaxially adjacent one another and relatively rotatable, slave transducing apparatus responsive to the driving signal and operative to drivingly rotate the slave tubular portions through an angle that corresponds to the relative rotation of the corresponding master arm tubular portions, and a communication link between the master transducing apparatus and the slave transducing apparatus for applying the driving signal to the slave transducer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 1974
    Date of Patent: September 6, 1977
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Hubert C. Vykukal, Reginald F. King, Wilbur C. Vallotton