Having Depth-control Means Patents (Class 114/245)
  • Patent number: 10718878
    Abstract: Computing device, software and method for balancing forces acting on a piston of a marine vibrator towed in a body of water. The method includes estimating with a management system located on a vessel or a controller located on a marine vibrator, a transient pressure disturbance in the body of water; computing, at the controller, a force correction for the piston of the marine vibrator, based on the transient pressure disturbance; and instructing an actuation system of the marine vibrator to apply the force correction to the piston in anticipation of an arrival of the transient pressure disturbance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2020
    Assignee: CGG SERVICES SAS
    Inventors: Ivan Torres Tamanaja, John J. Sallas
  • Patent number: 10640187
    Abstract: A flying underwater imager device operates in two modes, a tow mode and a free fly mode. In the tow mode for locating underwater objects, the imager device opens foldable wings for remaining depressed below the surface when the wings generate a negative buoyancy. Otherwise, neutral buoyancy characteristics bring the imager device back to surface. In the free fly mode for approaching and imaging underwater objects, the imager device closes the foldable wings and uses thrusters for moving into position to image the underwater objects. The flying underwater imager device can be maintained or moved to a desired depth below a surface or height above a sea bed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Inventor: Li Fang
  • Patent number: 10495621
    Abstract: An apparatus for surveying includes at least one survey cable, each survey cable having a proximal end attached to a mother vessel, a distal end connected to at least one subsurface towing vessel, and at least one survey device connected to the survey cable between the proximal end and the distal end. The survey cable extends in a direction perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of the mother vessel during a survey. The survey cables extend a distance E sideways from the mother vessel, for example under an ice cap, e.g. solid ice or ice floes. When surveying in a polar region, the mother vessel needs only to break a narrow channel in order to survey a large area, thus saving energy, time and money.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Inventor: Martin John Hartland
  • Patent number: 10435991
    Abstract: A method transports and installs a heavy subsea structure such as a subsea processing center for produced crude oil or natural gas. The method includes controlledly flooding at least one ballast tank attached to or incorporated into the structure to the extent that the structure becomes negatively buoyant at a pre-determined towing depth. The method also includes towing the negatively-buoyant structure at the towing depth by the Controlled Depth Towing Method (CDTM). After towing to the installation location, the method includes further flooding the ballast tank to lower the structure onto the seabed. At the seabed, a fluid transportation pipe of a subsea production installation may be coupled to pipework of the structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2019
    Assignee: Subsea 7 Norway AS
    Inventor: Sigbjorn Daasvatn
  • Patent number: 10410788
    Abstract: A system and method provide for wireless power and/or data transfer between devices, such as coils. A first device, operatively connected to an energy source, is positioned within a wireless transmission range of a second device, which may be operatively coupled to an unmanned vehicle. Power and/or data is wirelessly transferred to/from the energy source from/to the unmanned vehicle via the first device and the second device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Viktor S Bana, John D Rockway, Gregory W Anderson, Wayne P Liu
  • Patent number: 10352705
    Abstract: A positioning method includes the steps of: obtaining a first geographic coordinate set of a first geographic position at water level in a geographic coordinate system; after a positioning system dives into water at the first geographic position, measuring acceleration in the geographic coordinate system for a predetermined time duration; calculating a displacement vector of the positioning system during the predetermined time duration; calculating an estimated coordinate set of an underwater position of the positioning system according to the displacement vector and using the first geographic coordinate set as an initial point; and outputting the estimated coordinate set to indicate the underwater position of the positioning system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: DEEPBLU INC.
    Inventors: Hung-Ru Chen, You-Yu Chang
  • Patent number: 10324175
    Abstract: Various implementations described herein are directed to a non-transitory computer readable medium having stored thereon computer-executable instructions which, when executed by a computer, may cause the computer to sense deployment of a transducer in water based on receiving sonar data from the transducer. The computer may automatically trigger at least one event upon receiving the sonar data. The at least one event may include recording the sonar data generated by the transducer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: NAVICO HOLDING AS
    Inventor: Matthew Laster
  • Patent number: 10316596
    Abstract: The present invention is a linear actuation system comprising a reversible screw type linear actuator, equipped with at least one reversible electrical motor system and energy storage. The energy storage is charged by linear actuation system functioning as a generator when a mobile rod of the linear actuator is moved by heave and is discharged when the mobile rod is moved by activation of an electric motor of the linear actuation system motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: IFP ENERGIES NOUVELLES
    Inventors: Pierre Odru, Michel Constant
  • Patent number: 10267933
    Abstract: A system may include a message server. The system may include a telemetry unit in communication with the message server. The telemetry unit may be configured to discover an identification of an auxiliary device coupled thereto. The telemetry unit may be configured to report the identification to the message server. The telemetry unit may be configured to request the message server to send messages associated with the identification to the telemetry unit. The telemetry unit may be configured to forward the messages to the auxiliary device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: PGS Geophysical AS
    Inventor: Geir Andre Motzfeldt Drange
  • Patent number: 10253579
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a motion compensation system for a load hanging from a mobile unit (1). The compensation system comprises two blocks (3 and 4), an articulated arm (2), a cable (5), at least one main cylinder (6) and at least one secondary cylinder (7). The secondary cylinder (7) is mounted to pivot (rotation about a substantially horizontal axis) on mobile unit (1) and on a joint of articulated arm (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: IFP Energies nouvelles
    Inventor: Benoit Amaudric Du Chaffaut
  • Patent number: 10234587
    Abstract: A seismic survey system having a source array (11) coupled to a deflector device (15) that controls the position of the source array. A positioning system unit (16) is mounted on the source array to provide a signal to a controller, informing the controller of the current position of the source array so that the controller can control the position of the deflector device (15) and the coupled source array. A seismic source (14) on the source array may be triggered when the source array is at a desired location as measured by the positioning system unit. The deflector device (15) comprises one or more wings (18) in a generally vertical or, alternatively, in a generally horizontal arrangement disposed adjacent to a central body (19). The streamlined central body has connection points that allow the deflector device (15) to be connected to a tow cable (13) from the tow vessel (12) and to the source array (11).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Inventors: Martin Howlid, Rohitashva Singh
  • Patent number: 10209382
    Abstract: A system (1) for attaching a plurality of seismic nodes (110, 110a) along a main carrier rope (101). The main carrier rope is made of steel or synthetic fiber, and comprises no power or communication lines. The system has a length measuring device (210) for providing a measured length (Lm) of deployed main carrier rope (101); a data source (220, 230, 240) for providing positioning data affecting the rope position of each seismic node (110, 110a) on the main carrier rope (101); a control unit (200) for providing an attachment command whenever the measured length (Lm) corresponds to a rope position of a seismic node (110, 110a) computed from the positioning data; and a node attaching unit (100) for attaching a seismic node (110, 110a) to the main carrier rope (101) in response to the attachment command. The system is capable of attaching nodes (110) with different node spacing between some or all nodes along the main carrier rope (101).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: SEAFLOOR GEOPHYSICAL SOLUTIONS AS
    Inventors: Ian McMillan, Michael Russell, Thomas Hills, Terje Nalum
  • Patent number: 10155574
    Abstract: The invention is directed to a towing adaptation system for optimizing the pitch attitude, hydrodynamic lift and drag forces on an underwater acoustic vessel. The towing adaptation system an underwater vessel to which is attached a first adapter plate and a second adapter plate, with each adapter plate having a plurality of vertically displaced staged attachment points. Corresponding attachment points of the first and second adapter plates form attachment pairs, with each attachment pair calibrated to provide a desired cable angle, hydrodynamic lift, and drag force, at a predetermined steady-state speed, for optimizing performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Alexander Tsarev, Christopher Nunes, Dana Colegrove
  • Patent number: 10065715
    Abstract: A flying underwater imager device operates in two modes, a tow mode and a free fly mode. In the tow mode for locating underwater objects, the imager device opens foldable wings for remaining depressed below the surface when the wings generate a negative buoyancy. Otherwise, neutral buoyancy characteristics bring the imager device back to surface. In the free fly mode for approaching and imaging underwater objects, the imager device closes the foldable wings and uses thrusters for moving into position to image the underwater objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2018
    Inventor: Li Fang
  • Patent number: 10028492
    Abstract: Operating at constant depth, various embodiments are provided equipped with automatic depth-control mechanisms in dynamic devices such as lures and carriers that acquire and maintain a constant target depth when pulled through a medium such as water. The depth-control mechanism incorporates a mechanical pressure measurement of depth using a bladder with changing dimensionality and mechanical coupling to a variable angle dive plane. The measured pressure is compared with the target depth pressure causing the dive plane angle to adjust and converge to an adjustable target depth with forward motion due to retrieval or trolling. The dive plane extension is optionally a variable angle lip or bill protruding from the front of the lure or a pectoral fin-like configuration. Multi-purpose carriers are provided that can perform various underwater sensing and measuring tasks. Included are systems and methods for using a lure or platform equipped with a depth-controlling device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2018
    Inventors: Jeremy Adam Lehl, Michael Bryan Ross Smith
  • Patent number: 9975615
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for the exploration of the ocean space, intended to be fixed to a boat, the exploration device comprising a support that is able to receive one or more users in a lying position, a deployment means, said deployment means making it possible to position the support in a given position under the water such that, when the support is in said given position under the water, said one or more users can lie down on the support, being partially immersed, and fixing means for maintaining the support in the given position under the water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Inventors: Guy Baron, Sophie Baron, Cécile Baron, Georges-Henri Baron, Marie-Françoise Baron
  • Patent number: 9957142
    Abstract: A winch is employed for deploying a probe to a precise depth within a water column for making and recording physical measurement within such water column. More particularly, the winch rapidly unspools a line from an underway vessel, while maintaining minimal but constant line tension, as a probe, tethered to such line, descends within the water column in a “near” free-fall to a predetermined depth and then stops. The line lacks means for communicating its depth to the winch. The probe achieves a predictable descent behavior, even though it is tethered by a line to a winch onboard an underway vessel of unknown velocity and in variable weather conditions. The predictable descent behavior is achieved by maintaining a minimal constant tension on the line within a narrow range. The descent behavior of a probe in “near” free-fall has sufficient predictability to construct an algorithm to correlate descent time with depth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Assignee: TELEDYNE INSTRUMENTS, INC.
    Inventors: Jochen Klinke, Adrian M. Abordo, Matthew A. Moldovan, Ronald A. George, Mariah Shannon Lovejoy
  • Patent number: 9944370
    Abstract: A method of hosting an autonomous underwater vehicle (“AUV”) at a subsea location lowers at least one AUV basket to a subsea location adjacent at least one preinstalled subsea structure. The subsea structure has provision for electrical power to be provided to it. At the subsea location, the, or each, basket is connected to the, or each, subsea structure to receive electrical power from the subsea structure. Electrical power routed via the subsea structure may be used to charge batteries of an AUV docked with the basket. Provision may also be made to effect data communications with the AUV with data being communicated between the subsea structure and the basket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: Subsea 7 Limited
    Inventors: James Andrew Jamieson, Lee Wilson
  • Patent number: 9921327
    Abstract: A submerged front end buoy has a body with a connecting mechanism for connecting to a lead-in cable and a seismic streamer. A depth adjustment mechanism is disposed within the body to set a depth of the submerged front end buoy and includes an adjustable buoyancy mechanism and a plurality of wings extending from an exterior surface of the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: CGG SERVICES SAS
    Inventors: Hans Aaker, Thomas Elboth, Charlotte Sanchis
  • Patent number: 9885587
    Abstract: Embodiments relate to coupling a heading sensor to a deflector surface reference for obtaining the deflector heading which can be used in estimation of the deflector angle of attack. A method may comprise: towing a plurality of streamers behind a survey vessel in a body of water, wherein at least one deflector provides a lateral component of force to the streamers; determining a deflector heading over ground using at least measurements from a heading sensor on a surface reference corresponding to the deflector; determining a deflector velocity over ground using at least measurements from a position sensor on the surface reference; determining a water current of the body of water; and estimating a deflector angle of attack based on inputs comprising the deflector heading, the deflector velocity over ground, and the water current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: PGS Geophysical AS
    Inventors: Mattias Dan Christian Oscarsson, Thomas Wennerod Firing
  • Patent number: 9873495
    Abstract: A system for automated rendezvous, docking, and capture of autonomous underwater vehicles at the conclusion of a mission comprising of comprised of a docking rod having lighted, pulsating (in both frequency and light intensity) series of LED light strips thereon, with the LEDs at a known spacing, and the autonomous underwater vehicle specially designed to detect and capture the docking rod and then be lifted structurally by a spherical end strop about which the vehicle can be pivoted and hoisted up (e.g., onto a ship). The method of recovery allows for very routine and reliable automated recovery of an unmanned underwater asset.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: Stone Aerospace, Inc.
    Inventors: William C. Stone, Evan Clark, Kristof Richmond, Jeremy Paulus, Jason Kapit, Mark Scully, Peter Kimball
  • Patent number: 9828076
    Abstract: A power management system comprises a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), a tether management system (TMS), and an umbilical operatively in communication with the TMS external electrical power interface and the TMS-to-ROV umbilical interface. The system can be configured to provide electrical power management that moves some or all of the electrical power required for ROV propulsion and tooling to the ROV and/or TMS, and maximizes available power and manages loads across all systems as necessary and by priority. Power management may also be required that features intelligent routing of power to subsystems and integration of variable frequency drives (VFDs).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: OCEANEERING INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: Peter Andrew Robert Moles, Kevin Frances Kerins, Scott Beggs
  • Patent number: 9828069
    Abstract: A mooring system (10) for use in mooring a marine device (24) within a fluid (12) subject to flow comprises a mooring line (16) to be secured to an anchor (18) and defining a tether point for a marine device (24), and a loading assembly (20) secured to the mooring line (16) and configured to generate hydrodynamic lift when exposed to flow to apply tension to the mooring line (16). In embodiments of the invention the loading assembly (20) is configured to also generate a buoyancy force, such that tension is applied to the mooring line (16) by a combination of the hydrodynamic lift force and the buoyancy force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Inventors: Cameron Johnstone, Dave Pratt
  • Patent number: 9822757
    Abstract: A submersible telemetry platform includes a body and lift-generating surface(s) configured to provide lift to the body when a fluid flows thereacross. The platform includes attitude control surface(s) for controlling a pitch of the body in such a way that modifies the lift characteristics of the body. A control device is coupled to the attitude control surface(s) for controlling the lift attitude control surface(s). A base is configured to be anchored to a subsurface location and is coupled to the telemetry platform by a tether in such a way that the telemetry platform has freedom-of-movement about a common center point at the base. Telemetry equipment is coupled to the body of the telemetry platform for enabling wireless communication with at least one remote device. The telemetry platform is controllable to rise from a submersed position in a body of liquid to a surface of the body of liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: The Woods Hole Group, Inc.
    Inventor: Bruce A. Magnell
  • Patent number: 9796455
    Abstract: Device, system and method for protecting towed marine survey equipment from line entanglement are provided. A cutter device has a mounting mechanism configured to fixedly attach at a predetermined position along a cable used for towing, and one or more cutting structures. The cutting structures are attached to and extend away from the mounting mechanism, being configured to cut lines that get caught by the cutting structures or slide along the cable to the predetermined position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: SERCEL SA
    Inventor: Raymond Larsen
  • Patent number: 9778388
    Abstract: The methods and devices described herein provide a sensor array positioning system that may allow a user to program a series of sensor array locations, depths and orientations into a control center, which therein commands an unmanned surface or submarine vehicle which positions a sensor array. The devices comprise of an unmanned vehicle using less than about 20 Watts of power, a tow cables, a flexible sensor array comprising one or more sensors, one or more floats and one or more weights.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: THAYERMAHAN, INC.
    Inventor: Michael Joseph Connor
  • Patent number: 9764808
    Abstract: An enhanced system for controlling boat fenders wherein, based on a tidal range chart, a motion function is calculated for one or more boat fenders, which is loaded into a fender controller so that fenders are lifted or lowered to protect a boat over a period of time as boat rises and falls with water levels when stationed at a dock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Inventor: Shmuel Sam Arditi
  • Patent number: 9738361
    Abstract: The present invention is a submersible device comprising a body encasing an enclosed compressible void capable of physically responding to changes in ambient pressure imparted by the device's depth underwater. This physical response to pressure changes actuates a dynamic dive plane. The forces imparted on the dive plane by the motion of the device through the water drives the device to seek, achieve and then maintain a predetermined depth. This device can be used for fishing applications and other underwater activities that benefit from dynamic depth control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Inventors: Jeremy A. Lehl, Michael Bryan Ross Smith
  • Patent number: 9733377
    Abstract: Depth and tilt control systems for geophysical sensor streamers and methods of use are discussed. Such systems may include a plurality of tilt sensors disposed at spaced apart locations along the geophysical sensor streamer, each tilt sensor having a first tilt sensing element arranged to measure tilt of the geophysical sensor streamer proximate the associated spaced apart location, a plurality of LFD control devices, each disposed proximate one of the tilt sensors along the geophysical sensor streamer, and a plurality of microcontrollers, each microcontroller in signal communication with at least one of the LFD control devices and its associated tilt sensor, wherein each microcontroller is capable of utilizing the tilt measured by the associated tilt sensor to selectively operate the associated LFD control device to cause the geophysical sensor streamer to align with a selected depth profile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: PGS Geophysical, A.S.
    Inventors: Gustav Göran Mattias Südow, Ulf Peter Lindqvist, Andras Robert Juhasz
  • Patent number: 9707748
    Abstract: A spacecraft coupling system includes an integral component that can be deformed and placed into a stable state that locks one component into a mating component, and can easily be released from the deformed state, decoupling the two components. The integral component may include a central ring, a plurality of leaf elements arranged at the perimeter of the component, and a plurality of fins that extend outward from the ring to the plurality of leaf elements. A rotation of the ring element while the component is held stationary causes the fins to urge the leaf elements toward the receiving surface areas and to subsequently force the leaf elements against surfaces on the mating component. To reduce cost and complexity, the integral component is a metal, such as titanium, that can be formed using an additive manufacturing process, commonly termed a 3-D printing process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: Planetary Systems Corporation
    Inventor: Walter Holemans
  • Patent number: 9676454
    Abstract: A deflector is configured to be attached to a cable towed by a vessel. The deflector includes a foil configured to provide a lift force; first and second bulbs attached to opposite ends of the foil; and a joint attached to the foil and configured to receive the cable. The first and second bulbs are offset by a predetermined distance from a plane that extends through the foil, and at least one of the first and second bulbs has a longitudinal axis that makes an angle (?) with a cord of the foil, the cord extending in the plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: CGG SERVICES SAS
    Inventor: Frédéric Simonnot
  • Patent number: 9680251
    Abstract: A cable for connecting to a connector of a high-voltage device includes an integral yield sensor. The yield sensor may be a pressure or force sensor, or a displacement sensor, including a stator part and a mobile part, and a spring for maintaining a compression force on the end portion of the cable towards the connector of the high-voltage device. The displacement sensor can include a Hall effect sensor and a linear array of magnetic elements arranged such that the Hall effect sensor moves relative to the linear array if there is any movement between the stator and mobile parts of the sensor, The magnetic field readings are interpreted in order to determine the amount of movement. A system for controlling a high voltage device in response to pressure and other information received from sensors in the cable is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: COMET HOLDING AG
    Inventors: Stephan Haferl, Iris Schmid, Dominique Corpataux
  • Patent number: 9664811
    Abstract: Disclosed are methods and systems for marine geophysical surveying that include a combined electromagnetic source electrode and deflector. An example embodiment discloses an electromagnetic source assembly comprising: a deflector-source electrode, wherein the deflector-source electrode comprises an electromagnetic source electrode integrated into a deflector; a separate electromagnetic source electrode; and a power source coupled to the electromagnetic source electrode and the separate electromagnetic source electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: PGS Geophysical AS
    Inventors: Johnathan P. Linfoot, Oliver Colin Peppe
  • Patent number: 9632195
    Abstract: A foil having a leading edge, trailing edge, chord and span is attached between a first head float position and bottom submerged position below the head float on the array. The foil being flexible along its span and has a first interior conduit rearward of the leading edge and a second interior conduit forward of the trailing edge. The conduits are centered on the chord and separated by a distance. A first cable having a first length is strung inside the first conduit and a second cable having a second length is strung inside the second conduit, and an adjustment mechanism is used to vary the length of the first cable relative to the length of the second cable and vice versa.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: GX Technology Canada LTD.
    Inventor: Daniel George Martin
  • Patent number: 9599736
    Abstract: An operation managing system is provided for managing the operation of a navigation control device. The navigation control device is adapted for controlling the depth and/or the lateral position of a towed acoustic linear antenna and including a body to which is attached a set of wings. The operation managing system operates the navigation control device according to a degraded operating mode, by acting on at least one non-released and motorized wing when detecting that at least one wing of the set of wings has been released or must be released.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: SERCEL
    Inventors: Thierry Roger, Christophe L'Her, Jean-Jacques Vignaux, Christophe Coutineau, Dominique Barbot, Stephane Rousseau
  • Patent number: 9459363
    Abstract: Performing a geophysical survey beneath a surface obstruction, or around a fixed object or formation. At least some of the example embodiments include: programming a towing pattern into an autonomous underwater vehicle; and towing a sensor streamer under the surface obstruction, or around the fixed object or formation by the autonomous underwater vehicle. In some of the embodiments, the sensor streamer comprises a distributed sensor in the form of an optical fiber. In some of the embodiments, the optical fiber is encapsulated in an outer covering of resilient material, the resilient material exposed to the water during the towing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: PGS Geophysical AS
    Inventor: Stig Rune Lennart Tenghamn
  • Patent number: 9423520
    Abstract: Disclosed are rigid protracted geophysical equipment that comprise control surfaces and associated methods of use in marine geophysical surveys. An apparatus for use in a marine geophysical survey comprising: rigid protracted geophysical equipment having a ratio of length to a largest dimension of width or height of about 1000:1 or more, wherein the rigid protracted geophysical equipment comprises control surfaces for controlling movement of the rigid protracted geophysical equipment when towed through a body of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2016
    Assignee: PGS Geophysical AS
    Inventor: Rune Sindre Voldsbekk
  • Patent number: 9405030
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for a seismic cable is described. In one embodiment, a method for performing a seismic survey in a water column is described. The method comprises providing a length of flexible cable from a cable storage device disposed on a vessel to a cable handling device adjacent the cable storage device. The flexible cable comprises a specific gravity that is greater than a specific gravity of water in the water column. The method further comprises routing the flexible cable to pass adjacent a workstation disposed on the vessel, deploying a free end of the flexible cable into the water column, attaching at least one of a plurality of seismic sensor units to the cable as the cable passes the workstation, and controlling the motion of the vessel and the rotational speed of the cable handling device to allow the flexible cable to rest on the bottom of the water column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2016
    Assignee: FAIRFIELD INDUSTRIES INCORPORATED
    Inventors: James N. Thompson, Etienne Marc
  • Patent number: 9394042
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an underwater floating device (1) characterized in that it comprises: an insert (4) comprising a thermoplastic material and a hollow tube (7), a foam (5) of a thermoplastic material, at least partly covering the insert (4), an outer skin (6) comprising a thermoplastic material formed by injection molding over the foam and configured for being in contact with water during use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: SERCEL
    Inventors: Thierry Roger, Jean-Jacques Vignaux, Christophe Augor
  • Patent number: 9395458
    Abstract: A control device or “bird” for controlling the position of a marine seismic streamer is provided with an elongate, partly flexible body which is designed to be electrically and mechanically connected in series with a streamer. In its preferred form, the bird has two opposed wings which are independently controllable in order to control the streamer's lateral position as well as its depth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: WESTERNGECO, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Simon Hastings Bittleston
  • Patent number: 9354344
    Abstract: Techniques are disclosed relating to acoustically interfacing marine survey devices. In one embodiment, a system includes survey equipment, first and second acoustic transducers, and a first device. In this embodiment, the first acoustic transducer is coupled to the survey equipment and configured to perform at least one of receiving survey information and sending control information. In this embodiment, the first device is not directly coupled to the survey equipment. In this embodiment, the second acoustic transducer is coupled to the first device and configured to perform at least one of sending survey information and receiving control information. In one embodiment, the first acoustic transducer is included in or coupled to a streamer cable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2016
    Assignee: PGS Geophysical AS
    Inventors: Torbjørn Ursin, Michael Malling
  • Patent number: 9316334
    Abstract: Retriever systems for marine geophysical survey cables. At least some of the illustrative embodiments are methods including causing a submerged sensor streamer to surface. The causing may be by moving a piston within a cylinder of a housing coupled to the sensor streamer, the moving of the piston responsive to pressure exerted on a face of the piston as the sensor streamer reaches or exceeds a predetermined depth, wherein the pressure exerted on the face of the piston overcomes a latching force tending to hold the piston in place at depths above the predetermined depth; and responsive to the piston overcoming the force that latches the piston releasing a ballast weight, wherein prior to the releasing the ballast weight is at least partially held in place based on position of the piston, and the releasing responsive to movement of the piston.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: PGS Geophysical AS
    Inventors: Andre Stenzel, Youlin Hu, Troy L. McKey, III
  • Patent number: 9231323
    Abstract: An interface connector is provided for connecting homogenous spacecraft cells. The interface connector includes at least one male valve assembly and at least one female valve assembly. The male valve assembly includes an extendable and retractable piston having a central conduit. The female valve assembly has a central bore closed by a ball valve. Preferably, the male and female valves are positioned so that extension of the piston engages the ball valve so as to create a fluid pathway. Various components in the male and female valve assemblies are electrically conductive to allow the transmission of power and data. Further, the male valve assembly is constructed to function as a propulsion thruster when not mated to a female valve assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2016
    Inventor: Talbot Jaeger
  • Patent number: 9221524
    Abstract: Deflectors configured to be attached to cables towed behind a vessel for performing a marine survey are provided. A deflector has a wing body including a first part joined to a second part to form a swept-back-wing shape, the first part and the second part being substantially coplanar. A first straight line stretching along at least a portion of a front edge of the first part makes a first angle with a second straight line stretching along at least a portion of a front edge of the second part. A third straight line stretching along at least a portion of a trailing edge of the first part makes a second angle with a fourth straight line stretching along at least a portion of a trailing edge of the second part, the first angle and the second angle being non-zero angles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Assignee: CGGVERITAS SERVICES SA
    Inventor: Hervé Richer De Forges
  • Patent number: 9188687
    Abstract: Pressure activated linear locking mechanisms and related methods. At least some of the illustrative embodiments are systems including: a first and second cover defining an inner and outer surface, a length, and a locking portion, respectively; a first and second hollow defined in the locking portion of the first and second cover member, respectively, the hollows extending along the length of the first and second cover members, respectively; a locking member defining first and second appendages extending along a first and second side, respectively, each appendage defines a cross-section and an internal volume; said first and second appendages disposed within the first and second hollows, respectively, and when the releasable cover is exposed to atmospheric pressure, the first and second appendages in an inflated condition; and the first and second appendages are configured to transition to a deflated condition in response to a predetermined pressure greater than the initial pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2015
    Assignee: PGS Geophysical AS
    Inventors: Andre Stenzel, Bengt Finnoen, Youlin Hu
  • Patent number: 9180936
    Abstract: Control device (10, 50) for controlling the position of an instrumented cable towed in water, such as a marine seismic streamer, and/or an instrumented towed cable array (streamer array) with the possibility of controlling the individual instrumented cables both with in shape and position in relation to other instrumented cables and by that counteract cross currents and/or other dynamic forces which affect a towed array behind a seismic survey vessel, which control device (10, 50) is provided with one or more acoustic means, such as acoustic transmitter/receiver elements (40), arranged to or integrated in the wings (11, 52), main body (12, 53) or motor and drive gear housings (51) of the control device for determination of position and distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: KONGSBERG SEATEX AS
    Inventors: Ola Erik Fjellstad, Arne Rinnan, Olav Magnus Berge, Jan Erik Faugstadmo, Sveinung Skjervheim, Snorre Bache
  • Patent number: 9080392
    Abstract: A vortex-induced vibration (VIV) suppression device including a body portion dimensioned to surround a structure subject to VIV, the body portion having a first side and a second side separated by a first opening formed along a length dimension one side of the body portion and a second opening formed along the length dimension of another side of the body portion. The device further including a biasing hinge mechanism attached to the first side and the second side at the first opening, the biasing hinge mechanism to bias the first side and the second side toward one another. The device further including a closure mechanism attached to the first side and the second side at the second opening, the closure mechanism to secure the first side and the second side in a closed position around the structure. The device may be installed according to a retrofit installation method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: VIV Solutions LLC
    Inventors: Donald Wayne Allen, William Andrew West, Julie Ann Dehne, Dean Leroy Henning
  • Publication number: 20150096484
    Abstract: A wing releasing system is provided for releasing at least one wing of a set of wing or wings of a navigation control device. The navigation control device is adapted for controlling depth and/or lateral position of a towed acoustic linear antenna and includes a body to which is attached the set of wing or wings. The wing releasing system includes: a releasing decision circuit, for generating a release request signal when detecting that a foreign object is caught by at least one wing of the set of wing or wings; and an actuator comprised in the navigation control device, for releasing from the body the at least one wing of the set of wing or wings, when receiving the release request signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2014
    Publication date: April 9, 2015
    Inventors: Thierry Roger, Christophe L'Her, Jean-Jacques Vignaux, Christophe Coutineau, Dominique Barbot, Stephane Rousseau
  • Patent number: 8998535
    Abstract: Retriever systems for marine geophysical survey sensor streamers. At least some of the illustrative embodiments are methods including attaching a retriever system to a sensor streamer by: wrapping a lifting bag assembly at least partially around the sensor streamer, the lifting bag assembly comprising a deflated lifting bag, a gas cylinder, and a depth trigger mechanism; and covering the lifting bag assembly with an outer cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: PGS Geophysical AS
    Inventors: Andre Stenzel, Youlin Hu, Troy L. McKey, III
  • Patent number: 8985046
    Abstract: A streamer steering device to be attached to a streamer or a source of a marine seismic survey system. The streamer steering device includes a casing configured to be attached to the streamer or to the source; a wing assembly connected to the casing and having an active surface used to control depth and/or lateral position of the streamer; and an actuating mechanism located inside the casing and connected to the wing assembly, the actuating mechanism being configured to change a state of the wing assembly from an operational state to a folded state. The active surface has substantially the same area during the operational state and the folded state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: CGGVeritas Services SA
    Inventor: Risto Siliqi