Coupling Means Patents (Class 114/249)
  • Patent number: 10144488
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a subsea structural connector (20) used in the offshore oil and gas industry for remotely joining elements of production and drilling vessel mooring systems and other subsea equipment. This invention relates to a connection mechanism that facilitates automatic latching of two components (1, 2) upon engagement, and then remotely controlled actuation of a device that secures the connection. Specifically, this invention relates to a securing mechanism that creates residual stress between the connected components (1, 2) such that the connector (20) can withstand high variable axial, shear, torsional and bending loads while minimizing the propensity for fatigue damage within the mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: SUBSEA RISER PRODUCTS LIMITED
    Inventors: John Shield, Michael Burt
  • Patent number: 10093392
    Abstract: Two watercraft are connected together using a hinge system. A knuckle in one watercraft is placed in a corresponding space therefore in a second watercraft. Similarly, a buttress in the second watercraft is placed in a corresponding space in the first watercraft. An axle is placed within the buttresses as well as within the knuckle to attach the hinge device to attach the two watercraft together. This axle is also attached to a rear transom and to a forward bow connector. A second axle adds further rigidity to the system as it attached through a first watercraft passageway to both the transom and to the bow connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Inventor: Jeffrey R. Pincheon
  • Patent number: 9540809
    Abstract: A modular construction system includes a first component having multiple faces arranged into a three dimensional structure, each face having receptacles. The system includes a second component having posts formed to fit within the receptacles. Electrical contacts on each post propagate electrical signals to analytical logic that determines if each post has made electrical contact with a corresponding receptacle. Each post also includes an expansive element to create mechanical engagement with the corresponding receptacle. The analytical logic generates a signal external to the second component indicative of the mechanical engagement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2017
    Inventor: Maxwell C Mirho
  • Patent number: 9400075
    Abstract: A remotely actuated fill and release device and deployment method can include a disc manifold having an upper surface, a lower surface and an outer circumferential surface. A fill passageway in the fill manifold can extend radially inward from the outer circumferential surface and can merge into a conical chamber, which can also be formed in disc manifold. The conical chamber can be formed with a maximum diameter proximate the upper surface and a minimum diameter proximate said lower surface. A release nose can be inserted into said conical chamber and fill bladder can be attached to the release nose. A FRANGIBOLT® can extend through the disc manifold and can be threaded into the release nose. A voltage can be selectively applied to the FRANGIBOLT®, which can fracture in response to the voltage, to selectively detach the release nose and fill bladder from the disc manifold without moving parts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2016
    Assignee: The United States of America, as Represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Nathan T. Miller, Gregory W. Anderson, Sean Herndon, Charles M. Ringer
  • Patent number: 9346523
    Abstract: An improved barge system comprises a barge with a connecting system built into the barge. The connecting system includes several recessed areas about the periphery of the barge with upper and lower rails about the peripheral edges of the barge. A vertical post having a lower connecting member and an upper connecting member is attached within the recessed area for rotation into position to connect the upper and lower connecting members to adjacent upper and lower rails on the adjacent barges. Wedge blocks attached outwardly on adjacent rails each receive a wedge in the gap between the respective wedge block and a connecting member. Spacer blocks improve parallel alignment of the connected barges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2016
    Inventor: William P. Rochfort
  • Patent number: 9199698
    Abstract: An engagement apparatus for use in the deployment and recovery of a marine craft from a mother ship comprises a receptacle provided on one of the marine craft and the mother ship and an engagement probe provided on the other of the marine craft and the mother ship. The receptacle has a number of spaced channels which receive the engagement probe, engagement between the probe and the channels facilitating alignment between the marine craft and the mother ship. A locking device is also provided to secure the probe to the receptacle to secure the marine craft to the mother ship for recovery. The locking device may be activated by full engagement between the probe and the receptacle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Assignee: Mactaggart, Scott (Holdings) Limited
    Inventor: Joseph Charles Urciuoli
  • Patent number: 9032894
    Abstract: Marine or underwater vehicle designed to be secured to a recovery cable includes contactless elements (6) for detecting the recovery cable (2), the element being capable of guiding the vehicle (1) towards the cable (2) and elements (7) situated at one end (3b) of the vehicle (1) for coupling the cable (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: ECA ROBOTICS
    Inventors: Eric Frejaville, Gerard Mothier
  • Patent number: 9032893
    Abstract: A method and device to permit a water vessel to releasably capture a line in a towing station, remote from a parent ship. The towing station may be attached to the parent ship via a tow line. The line capturing device is an actuated catch that includes a hook assembly that is moveable between a release mode and a retrieval and holding mode. The actuated catch also includes a spring biased retaining catch that prevents a captured line from being inadvertently released.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Matthew Caccamo
  • Patent number: 9001623
    Abstract: A tow body and associated method have an acoustic projector that can be rotated about a vertical plane while the tow body is being towed through the water. In some embodiments, the tow body and method allow the tow body to be coupled to a tow cable while the tow cable is being towed through the water and under tension.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: David A. Sharp, Joseph Ricci, Patrick M. Brogan, Gregory S. Rosche, Michael A. Gonzalez, James R. Sturges, Arthur J. Pedro
  • Patent number: 8991325
    Abstract: A connection system comprises a first latching (5) element mountable on or to a first body (3) and a second latching element (6) mountable on or to a second body (4), and means for drawing the first latching element and second latching element together to facilitate connection of the first body to the second body, said drawing means comprising a buoyant winching system (2). A connection method for connecting a first body carrying a first latching element to a second body carrying a second latching element, comprises the steps of connecting a winch line (11) from a buoyant winching system comprising a winch, through the first latching element to a tether line attached to the second latching element and operating the winch to draw the first and second latching element together to connect the first body to the second body wherein the connection of the winch line to the tether line is carried out without tension in the winch line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Pelamis Wave Power Limited
    Inventors: Richard William Yemm, Edward Charles Maycock, Martin Goldman Shaw, Michael Collee, Elizabeth Anne Jane Dickens
  • Patent number: 8955448
    Abstract: A method and vessel for shipping hazardous chemicals, includes an articulated tug barge having a plurality of holds substantially filled with containers or tanks of hazardous chemicals, each container, or tank, being associated with an ISO frame, and the holds include a plurality of cofferdam bulkheads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Minyan Marine LLC
    Inventors: Joel G. Altman, Scott A. Davis
  • Patent number: 8943991
    Abstract: In one embodiment of the invention, a rope tender is rotatably affixed to the center pull on the tower to carry the rope over wakeboard racks. The rope tender is clamped to the center pull on the tower by a clamp. The rope is then pulled through an end loop on the rope tender and attached to the center pull on the tower. In one embodiment, the rope tender is looped one or more times in the middle to achieve a flexible, spring effect for the rope tender. The rope may also be pulled through the middle loop for support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Inventor: Joe W. Snow, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8792298
    Abstract: A marine seismic system having a tow vessel; a first tow member connected to the tow vessel; a second tow member connected to the tow vessel; a first distance member having a first end connected to the first tow member and a second end connected to the second tow member; and a first attachment device connecting the first end to the first tow member, the first attachment member operational between an engaged position securing the first end of the distance member in a fixed position relative to the first tow member and a disengaged position permitting the first attachment device to move along a portion of the first tow member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2014
    Assignee: WesternGeco L.L.C.
    Inventor: Rune Toennessen
  • Patent number: 8757078
    Abstract: An engagement apparatus for use in the deployment and recovery of a marine craft from a mother ship comprises a receptacle provided on one of the marine craft and the mother ship and an engagement probe provided on the other of the marine craft and the mother ship. The receptacle has a number of spaced channels which receive the engagement probe, engagement between the probe and the channels facilitating alignment between the marine craft and the mother ship. A locking device is also provided to secure the probe to the receptacle to secure the marine craft to the mother ship for recovery. The locking device may be activated by full engagement between the probe and the receptacle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: MacTaggart, Scott (Holding) Limited
    Inventor: Joseph Charles Urciuoli
  • Patent number: 8578872
    Abstract: A system for retrieving a life vessel from water and drawing the life vessel onto a deck of a rescue vessels comprises a life vessel system comprising: i) a tow-line comprising a first end portion secured to the life vessel and an opposed second end portion; and ii) a deployment system configured to deploy the second end portion of the tow-line into the water. The system further comprises a rescue vessel system comprising i) a towing device on the rescue vessel, the towing device configured to receive the second end portion of the tow-line and retract the tow-line to draw the life vessel towards the rescue vessel; and ii) a retrieval assembly assembled to the deck of the rescue vessel, the retrieval assembly configured to receive the life vessel as the life vessel is drawn towards the rescue vessel and to lift the rescue vessel onto the deck.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Offshore Marine Rescue Corporation
    Inventor: Richard Alfred Spellacy
  • Patent number: 8490567
    Abstract: Apparatus for coupling a pushboat to a barge having a notch in its stern for receiving the bow of pushboat. The pushboat has three coupler units, two on the opposite sides and one at the bow end, each of which has an extensible and retractable connecting pin. The side connecting pin has hemi-spherical part at its outer end part which comes into tight contact with the similar hemi-spherical part of the holes in side socket on the side wall of the notch when it is extended out and inserted into the hole for connection. The bow connecting pin has wedge-shaped end which engages with the teeth of the center rack located in the barge's centerline at the deepest point of the notch when it is extended out for connection. The motions of connecting pins are remotely controlled from a control panel located in the navigation bridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: Taisei Engineering Consultants, Inc.
    Inventors: Takuma Yamaguchi, Kiyoshi Mogami, Robert P. Hill
  • Patent number: 8386112
    Abstract: A vessel hull robot navigation subsystem and method for a robot including a drive subsystem onboard the robot for driving the robot about the hull. A sensor subsystem onboard the robot outputs data combining robot and vessel motion. A memory onboard the robot includes data concerning the configuration of the hull and a desired path of travel for the robot. A fix subsystem communicates position fix data to the robot. A navigation processor onboard the robot is responsive to the memory data, the sensor subsystem, the position fix data, and the data concerning vessel motion. The navigation processor is configured to determine the position of the robot on the hull by canceling, form the sensor subsystem output data combining both robot and vessel motion, the determined vessel motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: James H. Rooney, III, Stephen C. Jacobsen, Fraser Smith
  • Patent number: 8356567
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for securing and fueling a surface water vessel at a floating station, attached to and remote from a parent ship. The surface water vessel may be an unmanned surface vehicle, for example. According to the invention, the surface water vessel includes a probe and the floating station includes an opening for receiving the probe therein. The floating station includes a fuel-delivering arrangement for feeding fuel from the parent ship to the water vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Gregory V. Gaston, John T. Phillips, Brandon R. Bagwell, Ronald K. Moser
  • Patent number: 8336476
    Abstract: A method for transporting. Multiple vessels are provided, each having a hull defining an air cavity over a water surface. Different ones of the vessels are loaded with material destined for different end locations. The vessels are connected to one another with rigid couplings to effect tandem movement of the multiple vessels over water as one ship while permitting each vessel to undergo changes in pitch. The vessels are transported to a first destination. One or more of the vessels is disconnected from the ship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Inventor: Larry Bradly Keck
  • Patent number: 8327789
    Abstract: A sectional barge assembly and a hydraulic thruster apparatus for maneuvering the sectional barge assembly. The hydraulic thruster apparatus includes a hydraulic power unit and a thruster unit. The hydraulic power unit includes an engine and a hydraulic pump connected to the engine. The thruster unit includes a hydraulic motor and a propeller drivingly connected to the hydraulic motor to provide a thrust force that acts to move the sectional barge assembly. The sectional barge assembly includes a plurality of barges interconnected by connector devices that are also used to interconnect the thruster unit to the sectional barge assembly. Further, a hydraulic connection panel is mounted on the thruster unit and includes a plurality of hydraulic connectors which allow a plurality of hydraulic lines to be removably connectable thereto, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Mid-America Foundation Supply Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey J. Emch
  • Publication number: 20120226636
    Abstract: Disclosed is a tug-barge offshore cargo transport device and method, comprised of two separate elements which are removably attached: a barge and a tug boat. The barge includes a bow shaped to cut through and deflect waves, a rectangular cargo deck protected by a bulwark, compartments below the cargo deck, means for maneuvering the barge, and means at the stern of the barge for removably attaching the barge to a tug boat. The tug boat includes means at the bow to removably attach to the barge, and means to control the means for maneuvering the barge from the tug boat.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 2, 2012
    Publication date: September 6, 2012
    Inventor: Robert H. Perez
  • Patent number: 8225735
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for securing and fueling a surface water vessel at a fueling block, connected to and remote from a parent ship. The surface water vessel may be a manned or an unmanned surface vehicle, for example. According to the invention, the surface water vessel includes a probe for securing the water vessel to the fueling block and also for receiving fuel from the parent ship at the fueling block. The fueling block includes an opening for receiving the probe therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Robert J. Galway
  • Patent number: 8166902
    Abstract: An improved barge system comprises a barge with a connecting system built into the barge. The connecting system includes several recessed areas about the periphery of the barge with upper and lower tubes about the peripheral edges of the barge. A connecting system with a vertical post having a lower connecting member and an upper connecting member is attached within each recessed area. The vertical post and upper connecting member are separated hinged within the recess for rotation into position to connect an adjacent barge by connecting the upper and lower connecting members to adjacent upper and lower tubes on the adjacent barges. An adjustable hinge and wedged lower end of the connecting member is provided for alignment of the upper connecting member with the vertical post. A liner on the upper connecting member provides load absorption and noise abatement, and torsion bars on the barge provide structural control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Inventor: William P. Rochfort
  • Patent number: 8146527
    Abstract: A system for connecting an auxiliary craft and a mother ship includes a cable suspended from the mother ship, a cable tensioner, a mother-ship coupler that is slideably engaged to the cable, a fixture that depends from the auxiliary craft, and an auxiliary-craft coupler. The auxiliary craft is maneuvered to engage the cable. Once engaged, the cable tensioner tensions the cable, thereby maintaining the auxiliary craft in position next to the mother ship. As the cable is tensioned, the auxiliary-craft coupler axially aligns to the mother-ship coupler. After axial alignment, the mother-ship coupler is released to slide into mating engagement with the auxiliary-craft coupler. Mated couplers enable bi-directional electrical or optical communications as well as the transfer of power, fuel or other fluids from the mother ship to the auxiliary craft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2012
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: Alain T. Pellen
  • Patent number: 8028637
    Abstract: A method for intercepting and yawing an errant sailing vessel is disclosed, wherein the vessel might have been hijacked or malfunctioned and in danger of colliding with an object. The method comprises dispatching a watercraft to approach the sailing vessel and secures itself to one side of the sailing vessel's hull. Preferably, a second watercraft is secured to the other side of the vessel's hull. At least one of the watercrafts is then operated to direct propulsion thrust to yaw the vessel in a desired direction. Preferably still, the first and second watercrafts are each secured respectively to the right and left sides of the vessel's hull proximate to the stem or bow end. The first (right side) watercraft then operates a fluid propulsion which thrust is directed away from the vessel's right side while the second (left side) watercraft's propulsion is on standby. As a result, the vessel is turned rightward or clockwise.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2011
    Assignee: Singapore Technologies Dynamics PTE Ltd
    Inventors: Saik Hay Fong, Hong Soon Tan, Tee Peng Toh
  • Patent number: 8020505
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for securing a surface water vessel to a floating station. The surface water vessel may be an unmanned surface vehicle, and the floating station may be attached to a larger parent ship. According to the invention, the surface water vessel includes a forwardly projecting elongated probe and the floating station includes a receiver having a receiver opening for receiving the elongated probe therein. The elongated probe includes a spherical tip having a circumferential groove. The receiver includes movable spheres that are moved into engagement with the circumferential groove, thereby locking the probe within the receiver. This locking arrangement secures the surface water vessel to the floating station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2011
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Robert J. Galway
  • Patent number: 7997370
    Abstract: A multiple unit surface effect vehicle movable through an aquatic environment is provided including connected units and lift fans. The multiple unit surface effect vehicle may further include a coupling system and/or a plurality of skirt portions connecting one of the connected units with another of the connected units. The multiple unit surface effect vehicle includes the connected units connected to form a continuous movable unit movable in an aquatic environment. Each connected unit includes a forced air containment chamber defined within each of the connected units. The forced air containment chambers of each of the connected units are connected to form a continuous pressurized air cushion. The lift fans force air into the forced air containment chamber to pressurize the continuous pressurized air cushion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2011
    Assignee: Keck Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Robert Scher, Weimin Hu, Larry B. Keck
  • Patent number: 7992824
    Abstract: An end effector operatively coupled to an extendable tensile element extended from a first vehicle engages a primary receptacle of a second vehicle. The first and second vehicles are drawn together by retracting the extendable tensile element into the first vehicle until contact therebetween, after which roll axes of the first and second vehicles become substantially aligned responsive to a further retraction of the extendable tensile element into the first vehicle and a resulting tension in the extendable tensile element. At least one alignment post of at least one of the first and second vehicles engages with at least one surface of at least one corresponding secondary receptacle so as to at least substantially align the first and second vehicles in roll responsive to the tension in the extendable tensile element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Michigan Aerospace Corporation
    Inventors: Peter Tchoryk, Jr., Jane Camile Pavlich, Anthony Beckman Hays, Gregory Joseph Wassick, Greg Alan Ritter
  • Publication number: 20110168075
    Abstract: A connection system comprises a first latching (5) element mountable on or to a first body (3) and a second latching element (6) mountable on or to a second body (4), and means for drawing the first latching element and second latching element together to facilitate connection of the first body to the second body, said drawing means comprising a buoyant winching system (2). A connection method for connecting a first body carrying a first latching element to a second body carrying a second latching element, comprises the steps of connecting a winch line (11) from a buoyant winching system comprising a winch, through the first latching element to a tether line attached to the second latching element and operating the winch to draw the first and second latching elements together to connect the first body to the second body wherein the connection of the winch line to the tether line is carried out without tension in the winch line.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 25, 2009
    Publication date: July 14, 2011
    Inventors: Richard William Yemm, Edward Charles Maycock, Martin Goldman Shaw, Michael Collee, Elizabeth Anne Jane Dickens
  • Publication number: 20110120363
    Abstract: Apparatus for coupling a pushboat to a barge having a notch in its stern for receiving the bow of pushboat. The pushboat has three coupler units, two on the opposite sides and one at the bow end, each of which h an extensible and retractable connecting pin. The side connecting pin has hemi-spherical part at its outer end part which comes into tight contact with the similar hemi-spherical part of the holes in side socket on the side wall of the notch when it is extended out and inserted into the hole for connection. The bow connecting pin has wedge-shaped end which engages with the teeth of the center rack located in the barge's centerline at the deepest point of the notch when it is extended out for connection. The motions of connecting pins are remotely controlled from a control panel located in the navigation bridge.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 15, 2008
    Publication date: May 26, 2011
    Applicant: TAISEI ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS, INC.
    Inventors: Takuma Yamaguchi, Kiyoshi Mogami, Robert P. Hill
  • Patent number: 7933165
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for a seismic cable is described. The apparatus includes a plurality of cable segments comprising at least a first cable segment and a second cable segment coupled by a connector. The connector comprises a cylindrical body having a first diameter, a portion of the body having a second diameter that is smaller than the first diameter and centrally positioned between opposing ends of the body, a first coupling section having a terminating end of the first cable segment anchored therein, and a second coupling section having a terminating end of the second cable segment anchored therein, at least a portion of the first and second coupling sections being rotatably coupled to respective ends of the body, wherein the connector isolates the first cable segment from the second cable segment. A method of deployment and retrieval of the seismic cable is also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2011
    Assignee: Fairfield Industries Incorporated
    Inventors: James N. Thompson, Etienne Marc, Richard Campbell, Richard E. Nye
  • Publication number: 20110056424
    Abstract: An aquatic device (10) for providing maneuverability to a user (11) moving in water. The aquatic device (10) may be propelled through the water in any appropriate way, such as by being towed through the water or propelled through the water by the user (11). The aquatic device (10) comprises a handle means (20) adapted to be grasped by the user (11) with arms extending forwardly, and two fins (21, 22) movable one with respect of one to the other to manoeuvre the aquatic device. The aquatic device (10) can be maneuvered through movement of the fins (21, 22) to provide directional control or variation to the orientation of the aquatic device. The directional control may include both steering and depth control. The handle means (20) are operably connected to the two fins (21, 22) whereby the user can manually control movement of the fins one with respect to the other.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 9, 2010
    Publication date: March 10, 2011
    Applicant: Heather PRITCHARD
    Inventors: Heather Pritchard, Walter John Edwards, Matthew Lee Roe
  • Patent number: 7857261
    Abstract: An automatically aligned docking system, comprises a multi-point kinematic rigidization system that provides precise, repeatable rotational alignment at the spacecraft-docking interface without over-constraining the interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2010
    Assignee: Michigan Aerospace Corporation
    Inventors: Peter Tchoryk, Jr., Jane Camile Pavlich, Anthony Beckman Hays, Gregory Joseph Wassick, Greg Ritter
  • Patent number: 7845297
    Abstract: A ship and associated methods of formation with vessels having connectable hulls. In an example embodiment, a method of operating a ship includes providing a plurality of vessels over water, each comprising at least two spaced-apart hull sections defining a cavity when the vessel is afloat. Each hull section on each vessel is configurable as a portion of a coupling mechanism with fore and aft portions of each hull section reduced in width relative to intermediate hull section portions. Pairs of hull section fore portions may be lapped with and connected to pairs of hull section aft portions on different vessels to form complete coupling mechanisms which connect vessels to one another. Accordingly, the plurality of vessels can form a single assembly and power can be transferred between vessels to move the vessels through water in a tandem arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2010
    Assignee: Keck Technologies, LLC
    Inventor: Larry Bradly Keck
  • Publication number: 20100263955
    Abstract: A multiple unit surface effect vehicle movable through an aquatic environment is provided including connected units and lift fans. The multiple unit surface effect vehicle may further include a coupling system and/or a plurality of skirt portions connecting one of the connected units with another of the connected units. The multiple unit surface effect vehicle includes the connected units connected to form a continuous movable unit movable in an aquatic environment. Each connected unit includes a forced air containment chamber defined within each of the connected units. The forced air containment chambers of each of the connected units are connected to form a continuous pressurized air cushion. The lift fans force air into the forced air containment chamber to pressurize the continuous pressurized air cushion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Publication date: October 21, 2010
    Applicant: ALION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Robert Scher, Weimin Hu
  • Publication number: 20100242823
    Abstract: A depressor for towed hydrophone arrays is contemplated having a remotely controllable tow point to allow array depth to be modified without requiring manual reconfiguration. The tow cable is attached to the depressor in an adjustable manner also providing improved depth control precision.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 26, 2009
    Publication date: September 30, 2010
    Applicant: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: Thaddeus J. Kurpiewski
  • Patent number: 7798086
    Abstract: An apparatus for deployment and recovery of an underwater vehicle can be introduced into a recovery tube of an underwater recovery vehicle. The apparatus has a moveable tube provided with an insertion/extraction device at one of its ends. The device is in the form of a tube or of a ring in a retracted state and in the form of a funnel in an extended state. There is also disclosed a method for deployment and a method for recovery of an underwater vehicle by way of the above-mentioned apparatus that is introduced into a recovery tube of an underwater recovery vehicle. Additionally, there is disclosed a method for docking an underwater vehicle at a recovery tube of an underwater recovery vehicle provided with the above-mentioned apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Assignee: Diehl BGT Defence GmbH & Co. KG.
    Inventor: Willi Ruggaber
  • Patent number: 7762206
    Abstract: The invention disclosed herein is a universally adaptable, collapsible, adjustable boom designed for selective attachment and detachment to any configuration of a boat tower, and which provides multiple support points to counteract the downward force exerted by a water sport participant. Attachment and detachment of the boom is efficiently accomplished with the use of adjustable clamps and lynch pins, and the boom further secured by a cabling system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Inventors: John Seipel, Mike Siepel
  • Publication number: 20100170428
    Abstract: A marine seismic system having a tow vessel; a first tow member connected to the tow vessel; a second tow member connected to the tow vessel; a first distance member having a first end connected to the first tow member and a second end connected to the second tow member; and a first attachment device connecting the first end to the first tow member, the first attachment member operational between an engaged position securing the first end of the distance member in a fixed position relative to the first tow member and a disengaged position permitting the first attachment device to move along a portion of the first tow member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 13, 2009
    Publication date: July 8, 2010
    Inventor: Rune Toennessen
  • Patent number: 7748338
    Abstract: A method for intercepting and yawing an errant sailing vessel is disclosed, wherein the vessel might have been hijacked or malfunctioned and in danger of colliding with an object. The method comprises dispatching a pair of watercraft to approach said sailing vessel, providing a tow rope to be secured at one end to first watercraft and the other end to second watercraft. The tow rope is brought to extend between the first and second watercrafts over the hull of said sailing vessel. The first watercraft is then secured to one side of said sailing vessel's hull, while second watercraft pulls the tow rope away from the direction of sailing on the other side of said vessel's hull. In an alternative embodiment, the tow rope end held by the first watercraft may be secured directly to the vessel's hull, thus freeing the first watercraft to evacuate crew from the vessel to a safer distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2010
    Assignee: Singapore Technologies Dynamics Pte Ltd.
    Inventors: Hock Thye Chia, Saik Hay Fong, Hong Soon Tan, Tee Peng Toh
  • Patent number: 7699015
    Abstract: Sub-ordinate and host maritime vessels are connected to each other by a tow loop trailed by the host vessel through a capture frame which engages the sub-ordinate vessel. The capture frame acts to engage the sub-ordinate vessel in the transitional coordinate space shared jointly between the sub-ordinate and host vessels, which vessels can be either or both surface-going, submersible, and/or non-surface vessels. The capture frame possess features which allow it to disengage from the host vessel while remaining semi-related and recoverable by a linkage of one or more tensioned lines to the host vessel during the time that its tow loop is connected to the sub-ordinate vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2010
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corp.
    Inventor: Brian R Said
  • Publication number: 20100083889
    Abstract: An improved barge system comprises a barge with a connecting system built into the barge. The connecting system includes several recessed areas about the periphery of the barge with upper and lower tubes about the peripheral edges of the barge. A connecting system with a vertical post having a lower connecting member and an upper connecting member is attached within each recessed area. The vertical post and upper connecting member are separated hinged within the recess for rotation into position to connect an adjacent barge by connecting the upper and lower connecting members to adjacent upper and lower tubes on the adjacent barges. An adjustable hinge and wedged lower end of the connecting member is provided for alignment of the upper connecting member with the vertical post. A liner on the upper connecting member provides load absorption and noise abatement, and torsion bars on the barge provide structural control.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2009
    Publication date: April 8, 2010
    Inventor: William P. Rochfort
  • Patent number: 7685955
    Abstract: A ship and associated methods of formation and operation. In an example embodiment, a ship comprises a vessel for attachment to a second vessel. The vessel may comprise a catamaran hull including first and second parallel sides extending from a fore portion of the vessel to an aft portion of the vessel and defining a cavity when the vessel is afloat and a deck may be formed above the hull. A first connection component may be positioned along the fore portion and a second connection component may be positioned along the aft portion, the second component being of a connectable design, such that when a like second component is formed on another vessel, the like second component can be joined with the first component to effect a connection between the two vessels. A seal may be provided along the first component, positioned to sustain air pressure within the cavity when the like second component formed on the other vessel is joined to the first component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Assignee: Keck Technologies, LLC
    Inventor: Larry Bradly Keck
  • Publication number: 20100064955
    Abstract: The present invention relates to the handling, the attaching to a drag line and the putting to sea of a submersible craft, dragged by a surface vessel. The invention includes a system for automatically attaching and handling submersible craft towed by a tow line, comprising an automatic attaching device for carrying out the mechanical attaching of the submersible craft to the drag line and the linking of the submersible craft to the structure conveying the signals and the energy in this same line. The system according to the invention also includes an automatic device for handling the submersible craft, on which device the submersible craft is positioned when it is not attached to the drag line and from which it is separated after attachment, and which makes it possible to automatically position the submersible craft with respect to the drag line in such a way that the attaching and detaching can likewise be done automatically.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 11, 2007
    Publication date: March 18, 2010
    Applicant: THALES
    Inventors: Christophe Coupeaud, Jean-Philippe Goudeau
  • Publication number: 20100050919
    Abstract: A ship and associated methods of operation. In an example embodiment, a method of transporting includes providing multiple vessels each having a hull defining an air cavity over a water surface. Different ones of the vessels are loaded with material destined for different end locations. The vessels are connected to one another with rigid couplings to effect tandem movement of the multiple vessels over water as one ship while permitting each vessel to undergo changes in pitch. The vessels are transported to a first destination and one or more of the vessels are disconnected from the ship.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 2, 2008
    Publication date: March 4, 2010
    Inventor: Larry Bradly Keck
  • Patent number: 7581506
    Abstract: A hitching device permits towing a cargo transport device behind a kayak. The cargo transport device comprises a watertight container and a connection member extending along a longitudinal axis between the container and the watercraft. The connection member includes a swivel such that the container and watercraft on opposite sides of the swivel are freely rotatable about the longitudinal axis relative to one another. This free pivoting allows relative rotation between the container and watercraft such that each can react to outside forces, for example those exerted by waves, independently. As a result, rolling of the container does not tend to induce rolling of the watercraft and so the ride quality of the watercraft is not significantly reduced by the hitching device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2009
    Inventor: Shawn Whitney
  • Patent number: 7537502
    Abstract: An aquatic recreational device is configured for towing with a towline and has a rider-support structure for supporting a rider during travel in water. The device has a hook for releasably retaining the towline, the hook being movable between a first position, in which the hook is oriented to be substantially within the rider-support structure, and a second position, in which at least a portion of the hook is located exterior of the rider-support structure for engaging the towline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2009
    Inventor: Keith Parten
  • Patent number: 7530872
    Abstract: An aquatic recreational device is configured for towing with a towline and has a rider-support structure for supporting a rider during travel in water. The device has a hook for releasably retaining the towline, the hook being movable between a first position, in which the hook is oriented to be substantially within the rider-support structure, and a second position, in which at least a portion of the hook is located exterior of the rider-support structure for engaging the towline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2009
    Inventor: Keith Parten
  • Publication number: 20090114138
    Abstract: An aquatic device (10) for providing manoeuvrability to a user (11) moving in water. The aquatic device (10) may be propelled through the water in any appropriate way, such as by being towed through the water or propelled through the water by the user (11). The aquatic device (10) comprises a handle means (20) adapted to be grasped by the user (11) with arms extending forwardly, and two fins (21, 22) movable one with respect of one to the other to manoeuvre the aquatic device. The aquatic device (10) can be manoeuvred through movement of the fins (21, 22) to provide directional control or variation to the orientation of the aquatic device. The directional control may include both steering and depth control. The handle means (20) are operably connected to the two fins (21, 22) whereby the user can manually control movement of the fins one with respect to the other.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 23, 2008
    Publication date: May 7, 2009
    Applicant: Heather PRITCHARD
    Inventors: Heather Pritchard, Walter John Edwards, Matthew Lee Roe
  • Patent number: 7493868
    Abstract: A system is provided for rigidly attaching a supply ship to a receiving ship to facilitate efficient transport of materials there-between even when the vessels are subject to heavy seas and weather. A telescoping truss assembly is provided on the first ship, and has a distal end configured to mate with a receptacle assembly on the second ship. Cables are disposed within the truss and are used to draw the truss and receptacle assemblies into engagement with each other. Once the assemblies are engaged, a hydraulic system is used to draw the two ships together, rigidifying the truss assembly and fixing the two ships in a “catamaran” arrangement. Subsequent transfers of materials between the ships can be carried out without the need to compensate for the relative dynamic vertical and horizontal displacements between the ships due to wind and waves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2009
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: David B. Arnal, Dana L. Day, Edward M. Brennan