Laying, Anchoring, Or Manipulating Patents (Class 102/411)
  • Patent number: 10112686
    Abstract: The present invention involves a system for the release of low relief, self-orienting deployable payloads from a platform such as an underwater vehicle and a mechanism of passive buoyancy compensation of the vehicle. The system secures one or more payloads by a vacuum force without an additional mechanical restraining mechanism and deployment of a payload is accomplished by disengaging the vacuum hold to release the payload for its intended function. Once deployed, the payload may reorient itself to a functional orientation without additional assistance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Inventors: Thomas Austin, Michael Purcell, Robin Littlefield, Frederic Jaffre, Gwyneth Packard, Glenn McDonald
  • Patent number: 10063716
    Abstract: A system includes nodes deployable across an area and self-forming a mobile ad-hoc network. The nodes include (1) imaging circuitry for capturing an image of a local sub-area based on a triggering event, (2) image-transfer circuitry for partitioning a captured image into sub-images or image segments and transmitting them to other nodes, (3) image-transmission circuitry for transmitting a sub-image from another node on an uplink to a relay such as a satellite. The relay (1) receives transmissions of respective sub-images, in parallel on independent channels, from the nodes via respective uplinks, and (2) retransmits the sub-images to the remote location via a downlink. A central control station at the remote location (1) receives the sub-images from the relay via the downlink, (2) re-creates the captured image by combining the received sub-images, and (3) utilizes the re-created image in a monitoring or control operation of the central control station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2018
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Lloyd Steadman
  • Patent number: 9828096
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for decoupling movable control surfaces. Such systems may detect that a movable control surface is in a non-responsive state, such as a hard-over, and decouple the movable control surface from the main, fixed, control surface. The control surfaces may be coupled to an aircraft. A controller of the aircraft may detect the nonresponsive movable control surface, provide instructions to decouple the movable control surface, and compensate for the decoupling of the movable control surface in instructions provided to flight systems of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Christopher Veto
  • Patent number: 9784887
    Abstract: A portable weather station, including an lower body portion; an upper body portion disposed on the lower body portion in a spaced apart relationship thereby forming an open channel between the upper body portion and the lower body portion; and a plurality of weather condition sensors wherein a first set of one or more of the plurality of weather condition sensors is mounted on the upper body portion of the portable weather station and a second set of one or more of the plurality of weather condition sensors is mounted on the lower body portion of the portable weather station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Assignee: Physical Optics Corporation
    Inventors: Christopher Ulmer, Dmitry Starodubov, Gregory Peng, Rodion Tikhoplav, David Miller, Andrew Kostrzewski, Koyiro Minakata, Gabriel Kaplan, Tomasz Jannson, Edward Patton, Sookwang Ro, Ihor Berezhnyy
  • Patent number: 9200879
    Abstract: The present invention provides a simple and inexpensive torpedo storage and launch system that has a sea-based buoyancy type torpedo storage and launch system that has a torpedo storage and launch apparatus that stores a buoyant rise type torpedo in vertical arrangement, and further has a torpedo launch mechanism unit that has an outer peripheral surface made of a material that minimizes electric or acoustic wave reflection, that is arranged on the sea floor, whereby automatic ship detection is performed by remote control from a radar station or the like or by a sonar and controlling means provided in the torpedo storage and launch apparatus itself so that if a ship comes into an encounter position and time then the torpedo is launched from the sea floor, rises by buoyancy, and detonates on collision with the ship, thereby torpedoing the ship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Inventor: Katsuyuki Kumano
  • Publication number: 20120024136
    Abstract: An air-based vertical launch system is described by means of which ballistic missile defense can be achieved effectively from a large aircraft. A method for ensuring safe missile egress is proposed. A method for ensuring that the missile strikes the ballistic missile payload section is also proposed. Together, the air basing method employing vertical (or near-vertical) launch and semi-active laser guidance yield an affordable and operationally effective missile defense against both tactical and long-range ballistic missiles. The affordability of missile defense is enhanced by the ability of an aircraft equipped with a vertical launcher to simultaneously carry out several defensive and offensive missions and to provide other capabilities such as satellite launch at other times.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2011
    Publication date: February 2, 2012
    Inventor: Thomas H. McCants, JR.
  • Patent number: 7013808
    Abstract: A method for determining a bounding region for a launched weapon. The method processes the course and speed of ocean currents, and the bearing and range to an aim point to determine the resultant speed of the launched weapon. The method then processes the resultant speed to determine a course for the weapon. The method also processes the ownship position at launch, the desired aim point and the resultant speed to determine weapon run time. The method provides a mathematical distribution of the uncertainty in the speed and course of the ocean current and then processes it to generate a scatter region of possible weapon positions. The method then processes the distribution function of the mathematical distribution and the desired aim point to determine a plurality of positions that define a bounding region. Finally, the method quantifies possible positions of the scatter region that are within the bounding region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2006
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Joseph J. Perruzzi, Edward J. Hilliard, Jr., Megan M. Gibson
  • Patent number: 6779460
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to a supply vessel for transporting a plurality of payload carrying containers having powered self-burying mechanism to enable the containers to bury themselves in the seabed when released from the vessel. Each container is connected to the vessel by an umbilical including a power supply from the vessel to the container for powering the self-burying mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2004
    Assignee: Lawborough International Limited
    Inventor: Christopher Daniel Dowling Hickey
  • Patent number: 6640739
    Abstract: An air-delivered submersible vehicle system has a monocoque-construction shell made from a fiber-reinforced plastic material selected from the group consisting of thermoplastics and thermoset plastics. The shell is equipped with a wing kit so that it can be deployed from an aircraft and fly through the air to a destination at a surface of a body of water. The shell is further equipped as a submersible vehicle so that it can be propelled through the water once it has reached its water destination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2003
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Robert Woodall, Felipe Garcia
  • Publication number: 20020088365
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to a supply vessel for transporting a plurality of payload carrying containers having powered self-burying mechanism to enable the containers to bury themselves in the seabed when released from the vessel. Each container is connected to the vessel by an umbilical including a power supply from the vessel to the container for powering the self-burying mechanism.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 1, 2001
    Publication date: July 11, 2002
    Inventor: Christopher Daniel Dowling Hickey
  • Patent number: 6371003
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to an enclosure for installation in the seabed comprising an elongate container for holding a payload. The container has a plurality of passages extending lengthwise of the container and an impeller at the lower end of the container for drawing water through at least one or said passages to form a slurry with the material of the seabed and for discharging the slurry at the upper end of the container into the surrounding water. The enclosure has inner and outer concentric passageways extending lengthwise thereof and said impeller has a blade or blades extending across the inner and outer passageways. The blade of the impeller has a first portion pitched to draw water down one of the passageways to the lower end of the container and a second portion pitched to discharge slurry up the other of the passageways to the top of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: Lawborough Consultants Limited
    Inventor: Christopher Daniel Dowling Hickey
  • Patent number: 6220168
    Abstract: An underwater intelligence gathering weapon system accurately places a weapon underwater and then communicates therewith from other platform(s). The weapon is equipped to maneuver through the air to a destination at the water's surface. A first transceiver, mounted onboard the weapon and coupled to the mine's logic portion, is activated after the weapon is in the water. The first transceiver can send and receive magneto-inductive signals. A second transceiver that sends and receives magneto-inductive signals is remotely located with respect to the first transceiver. Once deployed, the weapon can be controlled from a safe distance and can report any intelligence information collected by onboard sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2001
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Robert Woodall, Felipe Garcia, John Sojdehei
  • Patent number: 6112667
    Abstract: A mine placement system is provided for determining mine launch parameters ased on launcher vehicle position, speed, and direction and on latitude. The system includes an input module for receiving launcher vehicle position, speed, and direction having a settable aim point. The input module is connected to a processor module which continuously calculates the trajectory of the mine as the launch ship maneuvers. The processor module having a vectorizer, a decoder, a time processing unit and gyroprocessing unit drives a launch display having steering cursors and a range display. The steering cursors and range display provide maneuver information to the ship's operator to steer the ship to a launch window which will allow a mine to deploy to the set aim point. In addition to displaying the set aim point, the display also shows the present actual mine placement point based on the launch ships present location and velocity. Whenever a mine is launched, the system records the actual mine placement point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Vernon P. Bailey, Edward J. Hilliard, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6082266
    Abstract: An apparatus for and method of laying a minefield in open water uses a high speed air-cushion vehicle that transports substantial quantities of mines to a target area. It then deploys the mines while it is rapidly moving, d marks and records the location of each deployed mine with GPS equipment. Mines can be emplaced at speeds and rates much greater than conventional surface ships. The speed of high speed aircushion vehicle makes it less vulnerable to attack during operations, and it is less vulnerable to other mines it may encounter during a mission. The GPS on high speed air-cushion vehicle ensures an accurate and detailed record of location of the minefield. The high speed air-cushion vehicle has much greater lift capability than aircraft used in mining missions, and, therefore, can deliver a much larger payload per sortie (under all weather conditions) while creating the minefield.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2000
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: John Auzins, John Horton, David Vickers, William Jones
  • Patent number: 5689086
    Abstract: A simulated suspended mine retrieval system is described. It snares a simted suspended mine at sea that is comprised of an anchor, a buoy and a tether connecting the anchor and buoy. The retrieval system has a cable connected to a loop for snaring the simulated suspended mine. In operation the retrieval system is towed from a vessel and the loop passes over the mine and strikes the tether. When this happens the loop has a shackling arrangement that snares the tether and is of such a size that it cannot slip over the mine. This enables the simulated suspended mine to be hoisted upon the towing vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 18, 1997
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Thomas R. Stottlemyer
  • Patent number: 5646364
    Abstract: An explosive device for attachment to a user engaged in underwater demolition operations is disclosed comprising, in combination, an explosive charge, a buoyant carrier for carrying the explosive charge, and a detonator for detonating the explosive charge. The buoyant carrier includes a variable ballast pouch containing lead shot which can be removed therefrom using a control valve, thereby permitting fine control of the overall weight of the explosive device. The buoyant carrier also includes a plurality of magnets and/or suction cups for permitting the explosive device to be attached to a swimmer's backpack or to either a target surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 8, 1997
    Assignee: Donald Lee Chastain
    Inventors: Kevin R. McClung, Donald Lee Chastain
  • Patent number: 5076170
    Abstract: The invention is an underwater weapon dispenser for delivering weapons to a ocation which is remote from a water vehicle. The dispenser includes at least one pod which is capable of receiving at least one weapon system, such as torpedo or mines. The pod is hydrodynamically shaped and is slightly negatively buoyant. The pod has at least one hydrofoil so that the pod will assume a glide path in the water. Provision is made for releasably attaching the pod with its weapon to the water vehicle so that the pod can be released from the water vehicle to assume a downward glide angle path. The pod is provided with a releasable anchor which, upon release, anchors the now buoyant pod at a predetermined depth. With this arrangement, pods can be attached to the bottom hull portion of a surface vessel or a submarine for delivering the pods with their weapons to the bottom of the ocean, after which the weapons can be removed for accomplishing their intended purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1977
    Date of Patent: December 31, 1991
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Ronald L. Seiple
  • Patent number: 5016535
    Abstract: A mine assembly comprises at least one charge module having a cylindrical shape, and an upper and lower circular surface end. An activating module for detonating the at least one charge module is operatively connected thereto. The activating module has at least a lower cylindrical end and interconnecting means provided at the upper circular end of the charge module. The interconnecting means includes a ring-shaped element having an inner diameter which corresponds to an outer diameter of the lower end of the activating module and to a diameter of other charge modules. The ring-shaped element forms an upwardly extending projection along the circular upper end surface of the charge module to provide a space thereon adapted for receiving a cylindrical end of one of the modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1991
    Assignee: Aktiebolaget Bofors
    Inventor: Stig Hallstrom
  • Patent number: 4966079
    Abstract: The invention disclosed is an anti-submarine moored mine for penetrating . The moored mine has an elongated streamline body with a heavy, strong forward hull structure that constitutes a forward penetrating means and a rearward chamber for housing an air braking means such as a parachute. The intermediate sections of the moored mine contain on specific chamber for housing an explosive means such as a warhead and a separate and distinct chamber for housing an inflatable buoyancy means used to fix the position of the moored mine in the water in the proximity of the target submarine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1981
    Date of Patent: October 30, 1990
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Samuel A. Humphrey
  • Patent number: 4768417
    Abstract: A detonator net weapon for use primarily in anti-submarine warfare. The weapon comprises spaced, interwoven alternating lengths of nylon rope and detonator cord, and the detonator cord is ignited by conventional battery-powered target contact detectors. Floats at the top of the net control the buoyancy of the net and thus regulate its rate of descent through the water. The net weapon is stored in a compact container, and may be deployed from an airplane or from a ship into the path of a submarine, hydrofoil, torpedo, missile, or the like. The detonator cord, upon ignition, will explode with sufficient force to damage any object in contact thereof. The detonator net weapon is versatile and may be used against special types of surface ships, torpedoes, etc., and may, with minor revisions, be used in land warfare against tanks and infantry. In addition, the net weapon may be configured for use against anti-armor and/or sea-skimmer missiles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 6, 1988
    Inventor: James E. Wright
  • Patent number: 4648322
    Abstract: A propulsion mechanism for an underwater device and, more particularly, a mobile mine having directional control provided by a pair of positionable fins each independently positionable by an associated fluid cylinder having a piston rod extending therefrom with a rack engaging with a pinion gear on a rotatable shaft supporting the fin. Control valve structure independently controls delivery of fluid under pressure to the two fluid cylinders for separate movement of the fins to produce the desired direction of travel. The propulsion mechanism utilizes a gas turbine which is supplied with hot gas under pressure from a gas propellant chamber which burns solid fuel and the gas turbine is located to enable substantially straight flow-through of gas from the gas propellant chamber through the turbine and through a tubular propeller shaft for exhaust aft of the mobile mine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1985
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1987
    Assignee: Sundstrand Corporation
    Inventors: Steven A. Heitz, Daniel R. Dobbs
  • Patent number: 4635554
    Abstract: An underwater demolition device has magnets for holding the device on a ferrous structure and a plunger which, once the device has been planted, is held in a retracted position by the structure on which the device is held. If the device is moved from the structure, the plunger protrudes beyond the magnets. A visual indication is provided immediately upon arming of the device if the plunger is then in its protruding position and a timer is provided to prevent detonation until a predetermined delay has elapsed from arming.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1984
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1987
    Assignee: Compact Energy Limited
    Inventor: Malcolm G. Palmer
  • Patent number: 4633778
    Abstract: A surface minelaying system that can be built up of ganged modules and rapidly mounted on any ship whose displacement permits it to carry mines in some quantity. This minelaying system is a modularized overhead conveyor system that can securely store heavy mines and safely release them overboard at short, predetermined intervals, even in high sea states. The system comprises a frame member, with first and second ends, that defines the longitudinal axis of the minelaying system. The frame member is preferably made up of a rail track braced by periodically spaced vertical and transverse connecting members. Mounting supports are provided for mounting the frame member to the ship. A drive roller and an idler roller are disposed in the first and second ends of the frame member; and an endless drive member is looped about the rollers. A drive means is operatively coupled to the drive roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 1985
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1987
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Bruno A. Joner, John W. Williams
  • Patent number: 4628820
    Abstract: A dual bouyancy elongated cylindrical naval mine connected to a similar bouyance elongated appendage, equipped with sensors, for detecting enemy vessels, having a drogue at end opposite to mine connection and suitable in size and weight for coiling appendage into a bundle for convenience in initial deployment. Initial heavy bouyancy causing mine assemble to sink to ocean floor on initial deployment, with sensors and controls capable of sensing the approach of an enemy vessel and causing mine assembly to rise to surface after blowing ballast from appendage tube/hose and mine, enabling the mine with its appendage extended by sea current action to extend to its full length covering a much greater area than a conventional anchored mine. The drogue appendage being capable of being drawn by enemy vessel's propellor suction causing appendage to wrap around propeller shaft drawing mine to it where striking propeller will explode mine at vessel's most critical area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1985
    Date of Patent: December 16, 1986
    Inventor: Theodore M. Williams
  • Patent number: 4586421
    Abstract: An underwater weapon system comprises an elongate outer container which is buried or partially buried in the sea bed in an upright position using devices at the bottom end of the container and which preferably comprise both a pump for removing sand or silt and an auger for boring a hole in the sea bed or a rotary stirrer. The weapon is a self-propelled device with guidance and is housed within an inner container which is telescopically arranged within the outer container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 1983
    Date of Patent: May 6, 1986
    Assignee: Underwater Storage Limited
    Inventors: Christopher D. D. Hickey, Bernhard D. Parker
  • Patent number: 4566367
    Abstract: An underwater weapon system comprises an elongate outer container which is positioned horizontally on the sea bed and which has powered screws or scroll devices extending along its underside to displace sand or silt and so bury or partially bury the container in the sea bed. The weapon is self-propelled and is activated after raising and ejecting or partially ejecting an inner container to lift the weapon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1983
    Date of Patent: January 28, 1986
    Assignee: Underwater Storage Limited
    Inventor: Christopher D. D. Hickey
  • Patent number: 4505442
    Abstract: A transient surface contact vehicle for transporting a load from a surface starting point to a surface end point has a structure for carrying the load from the starting point to the end point. A vehicle support extends from the structure. A buoyancy control device mounted in the structure is coupled to the vehicle support for selectively making the support buoyant and non-buoyant whereby when the support is buoyant it abuts the surface of a body of water thereby supporting the vehicle at a predetermined distance above the surface of the body of water. An acquisition sensor mounted on the structure initiates water surface operations. A sensor is mounted on the structure and cooperates with the acquisition sensor to energize upon tracking of the target and to move the vehicle along the water surface to impact with the target at the end point. A position control mounted on the vehicle produces a negative pitching moment to maintain the structure in surface-following contact with the body of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1983
    Date of Patent: March 19, 1985
    Assignee: Grumman Aerospace Corporation
    Inventors: Jerome Kirsch, M. Alan Kopsco, Edward Markow, Michael Sturm
  • Patent number: 4479437
    Abstract: A marine mine 10 (FIG. 4) is arranged to have a buoyancy state in which the force of gravity and/or buoyancy act on the mine in a vertical direction to move the mine through the water and includes control means operable to control guidance surfaces 16, 17, 18 projecting from the mine to impart a lateral gliding movement to the mine to steer it to intercept a target. The buoyancy state is determined by a buoyancy compartment forming part of the mine body which may be flooded to lay the mine at a submerged station. Sonar sensing means detecting a target causes air from a cartridge to displace water from the buoyancy compartment to provide an upward buoyancy force which is used to give lateral movement to the mine which is steered on a trajectory intercepting the target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1981
    Date of Patent: October 30, 1984
    Assignee: Ferranti Limited
    Inventor: James M. Buick
  • Patent number: 4395952
    Abstract: An underwater weapon system comprises a container for a self-propelled weapon with target homing means, the container including pumps having inlets on the underside of the container to pump silt, gravel etc, from underneath the container whereby the container can be buried or partially buried in the sea bed. Reverse operation of the pumps raises the container which is opened automatically, e.g. with a radio control system, to release the weapon when the weapon is to be used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1980
    Date of Patent: August 2, 1983
    Inventor: Christopher D. D. Hickey
  • Patent number: 4274333
    Abstract: 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1959
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1981
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Glen T. Lampton
  • Patent number: 4273050
    Abstract: An apparatus for the simultaneous placement of a plurality of objects on a substantially horizontal surface is disclosed, said apparatus comprising a platform to position the objects, release mechanisms to releasably attach the objects to the platform and a system for simultaneous release of the objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 1977
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1981
    Assignee: Jet Research Center, Inc.
    Inventor: Claude H. Brown