Submersible Device Patents (Class 114/312)
  • Patent number: 10392086
    Abstract: A system for underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and wirelessly controlled subsystems is provided. The system comprises an ROV and a subsystem mounted to the ROV. The ROV includes a microcontroller, a main battery, and a transmitter-receiver. The subsystem includes a controller and a transmitter-receiver. The ROV is configured to communicate wirelessly with the subsystem via signals transmitted between the ROV transmitter-receiver and the subsystem transmitter-receiver. The system can further comprise a control center having a transmitter-receiver configured to communicate wirelessly with the ROV transmitter-receiver and the subsystem transmitter-receiver. The system can further comprise at least one relay module configured to relay signals between the transmitter-receivers of the system. The ROV of the system can also be configured to wirelessly transfer power from the main battery to the power source of the subsystem, such as by resonance coupling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: SAUDI ARABIAN OIL COMPANY
    Inventors: Hassane Trigui, Sahejad Patel, Ali Outa, Ayman Amer, Fadl Abdellatif, Ameen Obedan
  • Patent number: 10358042
    Abstract: An underwater mobile body includes: a secondary battery; a detector that detects a remaining amount of electricity stored in the secondary battery; a power generation unit that uses natural energy to generate electricity with which the secondary battery is charged; and a transition unit that when the remaining amount of electricity detected by the detector decreases below a predetermined threshold, causes transition to a charge mode in which the secondary battery is charged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2019
    Assignee: FUJI XEROX CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yoshihiko Nemoto, Tsutomu Kimura, Motofumi Baba, Masahiro Sato, Akihito Yamauchi, Kengo Tokuchi
  • Patent number: 10343749
    Abstract: A self-balancing pressure hull device, belonging to the field of pressure structure technology of deep-sea submersibles, being assembled by nesting, from inside to outside, a spherical inner housing, a spherical intermediate housing and a spherical outer housing around the sphere center, pairs of symmetric coaxial connecting shaft components being connected between the spherical inner housing and the spherical intermediate housing and between the spherical intermediate housing and the spherical outer housing, respectively; axes of the two pairs of connecting shaft components are perpendicular to each other so as to enable the spherical inner housing and the spherical intermediate housing to rotate relative to each other, and the spherical intermediate housing and the spherical outer housing to rotate relative to each other, and each of the connecting shaft components in the two pairs being provided with a spring damper for resisting the axial impact between each two adjacent housings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: JIANGSU UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Jian Zhang, Tong Zhou, Wenxian Tang, Weiguang Zhang, Mige Dai, Bing Zhang, Saisai Feng, Shijie Su, Ben Zhang
  • Patent number: 10338195
    Abstract: Techniques are disclosed for systems and methods to provide networkable sonar systems for mobile structures. A networkable sonar system includes a transducer module and associated sonar electronics and optionally orientation and/or position sensors and/or other sensors disposed substantially within the housing of a sonar transducer assembly, which is coupled to one or more user interfaces and/or other sonar systems over an Ethernet connection. The sonar transducer assembly may be configured to support and protect the transducer module and the sonar electronics and sensors, to physically and/or adjustably couple to a mobile structure, and/or to provide a simplified interface to other systems coupled to the mobile structure. Resulting sonar data and/or imagery may be transmitted over the Ethernet connection and displayed to a user and/or used to adjust various operational systems of the mobile structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: FLIR Belgium BVBA
    Inventors: Paul Stokes, Matthieu Maindrou, Paul S. Chittenden
  • Patent number: 10285309
    Abstract: The subject disclosure is directed towards a submerged datacenter, which may be made up of modules, into a body of water such as the ocean. The submersion facilitates cooling of the datacenter as well as providing protection of the datacenter from environmental conditions that exist at or near the surface. Power may be generated from the datacenter heat, and power generated by or near the body of water (e.g., via waves, tides, wind, currents, temperature differences) may be used to help power the datacenter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Sean James, Todd Robert Rawlings
  • Patent number: 10214304
    Abstract: The technical objective of the present disclosure is to provide an apparatus for driving a three-dimensional microgravity cable that can reproduce microgravity environments such as those experienced on the moon or Mars. To this end, the apparatus for driving a three-dimensional microgravity cable of the present disclosure comprises: a frame unit for forming a virtual space; a wire unit comprising three or more wires, provided at the frame unit; a winch unit for winding or unwinding each of the three or more wires; tension measuring units, respectively provided at the three or more wires, for measuring the tensions of the respective wires; a position sensing unit, provided at the frame unit, for sensing the position of a participant; and a support unit, positioned in the virtual space, for supporting the participant by the three or more wires.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2019
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Industrial Technology
    Inventors: O-hung Kwon, Jae-hwan Park, Dae-hee Won, Jin-young Kim
  • Patent number: 10191172
    Abstract: A system (1) for operating a subsea sensor field (2), comprises an automated underwater vehicle—AUV (10) and a subsea service station (13). A sensor (11, 12) in the sensor field (2) comprises a permanently installed base unit (11) and a removable control unit (12). The AUV (10) moves control units (12) to the service station (13) for charging and updating, and then back to the base units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: OCTIO AS
    Inventors: Leon Løvheim, Bjarte Even Fagerås, Magne Oldervoll, Helge Brandsaeter
  • Patent number: 10124494
    Abstract: A two-part, selectively dockable robotic system having counterbalanced stabilization during performance of an operation on an underwater target structure is provided. The robotic system includes a first underwater robotic vehicle that is sized and shaped to at least partially surround the underwater target structure. A second underwater robotic vehicle is sized and shaped to at least partially surround the underwater target structure and selectively dock with the first underwater robotic vehicle. The first and second robotic vehicles include complimentary docking mechanisms that permit the vehicles to selectively couple to each other with the underwater target structure disposed at least partially therebetween. One robot includes a tool that can act upon the target structure and the other robot includes a stabilization module that can act upon the target structure in an opposite manner in order to counterbalance the force of the tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: Saudi Arabian Oil Company
    Inventors: Ali Outa, Fadl Abdellatif, Sahejad Patel
  • Patent number: 10120103
    Abstract: A system for mapping a thermocline in a body of fluid includes a thermocline detection and monitoring module, a persistent data storage module; and a plurality of distributed sensors, including intelligent sensors, connected with the at least one thermocline detection and monitoring module and the persistent data storage module by one or more control-level programming and communication methods. The thennocline detection and monitoring module can monitor the thermocline at sampling intervals to collect and fuse measurement data from the plurality of sensors to capture thermocline changes as events, correlate measurement data and events, store measurement data in the persistent data storage module along with previously acquired measurement data for comparison and tracking, characterize the thermocline as a function of spatial location, depth, and time, create and maintain reports that describe the thermocline characteristics, status, trends, and provide multimodal notifications of events to different users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2018
    Assignee: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Eli M. Dow, Michael Kelly, Harry R. Kolar, Michael L. Passow
  • Patent number: 10099760
    Abstract: Apparatuses, systems, and methods for the deployment of a plurality of autonomous underwater seismic vehicles (AUVs) on or near the seabed based on acoustic communications with an underwater vehicle, such as a remotely operated vehicle. In an embodiment, the underwater vehicle is lowered from a surface vessel along with a subsea station with a plurality of AUVs. The AUVs are configured to acoustically communicate with the underwater vehicle or a second surface vessel for deployment and retrieval operations. The underwater vehicle and/or second surface vessel is configured to instruct the AUVs to leave the subsea station or underwater vehicle and to travel to their intended seabed destination. The underwater vehicle and/or second surface vessel is also configured to selectively instruct the AUVs to leave the seabed and return to a seabed location and/or a subsea station for retrieval.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: Seabed Geosolutions B.V.
    Inventors: Arne Henning Rokkan, Geir Valsvik, Bjarne Isfeldt, Jean-Baptiste Danre
  • Patent number: 10017060
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a shell having multiple ducts that define multiple flow passages through the shell. The apparatus also includes a core disposed within the shell and including one or more rechargeable power supplies. The apparatus further includes multiple drivers configured to cause water to flow through the ducts in order to maneuver the apparatus toward a host device. In addition, the apparatus includes at least one interface on the shell, where the at least one interface is configured to receive power from the one or more rechargeable power supplies and provide the power to the host device. The apparatus may be configured to dock with the host device and to be transported by and supply the power to the host device as the host device travels through a body of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2018
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Gregory W. Heinen, Marcos M. Sastre Cördova
  • Patent number: 10002680
    Abstract: An apparatus for generating a pressure wave in a liquid medium is disclosed. The apparatus includes a plurality of pressure wave generators having respective moveable pistons, the pistons having respective control rods connected thereto. The apparatus also includes a plurality of transducers coupled to the liquid medium and means for causing the pistons of respective ones of the plurality of the pressure wave generators to be accelerated toward respective ones of the plurality of transducers. The apparatus further includes means for causing restraining forces to be applied to respective control rods to cause respective pistons to impact respective transducers at respective desired times and with respective desired amounts of kinetic energy such that the respective desired amounts of kinetic energy are converted into a pressure wave in the liquid medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2018
    Assignee: General Fusion Inc.
    Inventors: Michel Georges Laberge, Daniel Gelbart, Ross Henry Hill, Denis J. Connor
  • Patent number: 10000264
    Abstract: An underwater watercraft including a passenger compartment and an ingress egress port in which the watercraft has buoyancy and center of gravity adjusted to maintain a generally level or other desired attitude when submerged, and an angled attitude at a water surface for ingress/egress. The attitude also is adjustable via the placement of ballast and optionally including a movable ballast that adjusts the location of the center of gravity as desired. The ingress-egress port optionally includes an entry elevated from a main passenger compartment, that has an angled orientation in a submerged mode, and an optional orientation generally parallel to the water surface in a surface mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2018
    Inventor: Ian Sheard
  • Patent number: 9983581
    Abstract: A method and system comprises a plurality of electronically controlled distributed devices and a supervisory node. The supervisory node comprises a communications interface, a processor, and a display. The supervisory node is configured to communicate with the plurality of electronically controlled distributed devices via the communications interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2018
    Assignee: SPARKCOGNITION, INC.
    Inventors: Syed Mohammad Amir Husain, John Rutherford Allen
  • Patent number: 9969470
    Abstract: A system and method for performing a marine seismic survey of a subsurface. The method includes deploying under water, from a deploying vessel, an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV); recording with seismic sensors located on the AUV seismic waves generated by an acoustic source array; instructing the AUV to surface at a certain depth relative to the water surface; recovering the AUV by bringing the AUV on a recovery vessel; and transferring recorded seismic data to the recovery vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2018
    Assignee: CGG SERVICES SAS
    Inventors: Thierry Brizard, Alice Hervé, Erwan Postic, Peter Maxwell, Robert Dowle, Salvador Rodriguez
  • Patent number: 9944353
    Abstract: A hull that is part of a system for producing energy through the action of waves. The hull's shape, dimension and orientation make the system less costly and increase the energy provided by the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: GWAVE LLC
    Inventor: Glenn L. Beane
  • Patent number: 9944355
    Abstract: A submersible remotely operated vehicle with a streamlined shape, which uses an internal support lattice to provide pressure resistance. By using a lattice frame to distribute the water pressure load on the vehicle, the vehicle may be constructed of thin-walled, injection molded plastic, yet may be capable of diving to significant depths. The vehicle may provide pitch control using a single vertical thrust actuator that is horizontally fore or aft of the center of vertical drag; this efficient pitch control improves hydrodynamic efficiency by pointing the vehicle towards the direction of travel to minimize the coefficient of drag. The vehicle may communicate wirelessly with a remote operator via a communications buoy tethered to the vehicle, thereby eliminating cabling constraints on the vehicle's range from the operator. The tether may be connected to the buoy using a waterproof connector that presses three terminals surrounded by a compliant seal onto mating contacts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: OPENROV INC.
    Inventors: Eric Stackpole, Colin Ho
  • Patent number: 9828077
    Abstract: An underwater base for handling plural underwater vehicles equipped with seismic sensors for recording seismic signals during a marine seismic survey. The underwater base including a storing part configured to store the plural underwater vehicles; an inlet part located above the storing part and configured to control access of the plural underwater vehicles to the storing part; a control part configured to acoustically guide the plural underwater vehicles to the inlet part; and a support part configured to support the control part, the storing part and the inlet part. The storing part is further configured to receive the plural underwater vehicles as the plural underwater vehicles fall from the inlet part into the storing part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: CGG SERVICES SAS
    Inventors: Antoine Lelaurin, Thierry Brizard
  • Patent number: 9718523
    Abstract: A robotic submersible includes a housing having a body and a tail. In another aspect, a pump and a pump tank adjust the buoyancy of a submersible housing. In a further aspect, a first linear actuator controls the pump and/or a buoyancy, and/or a second linear actuator controls a position of a battery and/or adjusts a center of gravity. Another aspect includes a pump and at least one linear actuator that control gliding movements of the housing. In still a further aspect, a motor couples a tail with a body, such that the motor controls the movements of the tail to create a swimming movement. Moreover, an additional aspect provides a controller selectively operating the pump, first actuator, second actuator, and motor to control when swimming and gliding movements occur.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: Board of Trustees of Michigan State University
    Inventors: Xiaobo Tan, Feitian Zhang, Jianxun Wang, John Thon
  • Patent number: 9694874
    Abstract: A submersible remotely operated vehicle with a streamlined shape, which uses an internal support lattice to provide pressure resistance. By using a lattice frame to distribute the water pressure load on the vehicle, the vehicle may be constructed of thin-walled, injection molded plastic, yet may be capable of diving to significant depths. The vehicle may provide pitch control using a single vertical thrust actuator that is horizontally fore or aft of the center of vertical drag; this efficient pitch control improves hydrodynamic efficiency by pointing the vehicle towards the direction of travel to minimize the coefficient of drag. The vehicle may communicate wirelessly with a remote operator via a communications buoy tethered to the vehicle, thereby eliminating cabling constraints on the vehicle's range from the operator. The tether may be connected to the buoy using a waterproof connector that presses three terminals surrounded by a compliant seal onto mating contacts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: OPENROV INC.
    Inventors: Eric Stackpole, Colin Ho
  • Patent number: 9693676
    Abstract: A device fashioned in the shape of a toroid is rotated by a mechanism that propels itself in one or more directions based on internal rotation. In one specific example, the toroidal device is a toroidal balloon, where the tread of the toroidal balloon driven vehicle (TBDV) is self-contained and the entire outer surface is dynamic. Such a device is uniquely and ideally suitable for exploration of a tubular structure such as, but not limited to, the alimentary tract.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Inventor: J. Mathieu Massicotte
  • Patent number: 9677709
    Abstract: A gas recovery system for sub-sea use includes a sub-sea canister and a gas recovery entity. A bladder arranged within an interior of a housing of the gas recovery entity is configured to receive gas from the sub-sea canister via a pipe when a pressure of the gas exceeds a threshold at a sub-sea site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
    Inventor: Hans Espedalen
  • Patent number: 9669912
    Abstract: The invention relates to an underwater work system 1 with at least one autonomous unmanned underwater vehicle 2 and one unmanned relay vehicle 4 floating at the surface of the water 3, which comprises a radio antenna 5 for external communication 26 and a drive 16. The underwater vehicle 2 is connected to the relay vehicle 4 via an internal communication device. The invention furthermore relates to a method for operating an underwater work system. In order to create an underwater work system with an autonomous underwater vehicle and an unmanned relay vehicle floating at the surface of the water as well as a method for operating such an underwater work system, which provides an increased efficiency of the autonomous underwater vehicle 2 with short mission times, it is provided according to the invention that the relay vehicle 4 is controllable by means of a control unit 16 via the at least one autonomous underwater vehicle 2 in due consideration of navigation information 17.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH
    Inventor: Sven-Christian Hesse
  • Patent number: 9605516
    Abstract: A method includes disconnecting subsea equipment containing a first fluid from an installation in a subsea environment, wherein the first fluid is a produced fluid that includes produced hydrocarbons. Furthermore, the method also includes raising the disconnected subsea equipment from the subsea environment and controlling a fluid pressure of the first fluid in the subsea equipment with an accumulator device while raising the subsea equipment from the subsea environment, wherein the accumulator device includes first and second adjustable accumulator chambers and a movable pressure boundary separating the first and second adjustable accumulator chambers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Eric Randall Smedstad
  • Patent number: 9592895
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are an underwater docking system and a docking method using the system. An exemplary embodiment of the present invention relates to a system for docking a target body on a docking station under water, the system comprising: a guide unit provided to the docking station to transmit at least one guide signal to the target body; an agent unit connected to the docking station by a smart cable and disposed at a position spaced apart from the docking station so that the agent unit is moored under the water in a direction corresponding to a tidal current; and the target body configured to be guided toward the agent unit by the guide signal and then connected to a portion of the agent unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: Postech Academy-Industry Foundation
    Inventors: Son-Cheol Yu, Jeong Hwe Gu, Han Gil Joe, Hyeon Woo Cho, Ju Hyun Pyo
  • Patent number: 9482075
    Abstract: Generally, the present disclosure is directed to systems that may be used to facilitate the retrieval and/or replacement of production and/or processing equipment that may be used for subsea oil and gas operations. In one illustrative embodiment, a system is disclosed that includes, among other things, subsea equipment (100) that is adapted to contain a first fluid while operating in a subsea environment (160), and an accumulator device (120a, 120b, 120c, 120d, 120e) that is in fluid communication with the subsea equipment (100), wherein a pressure boundary of the accumulator device (120a, 120b, 120c, 120d, 120e) is adapted to move in response to a pressure change on the subsea equipment (100) as the subsea equipment (100) is raised from the subsea environment (160).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Assignee: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Eric Randall Smedstad
  • Patent number: 9481438
    Abstract: A cowl assembly for an outboard motor includes first and second cowl members. A fastening assembly includes a latch coupled to one of the cowl members, and a retaining mechanism coupled to the other of the cowl members. The latch and the retaining mechanism engage one another to fasten the first and second cowl members together. A seal is configured to form a fluid tight joint between the cowl members. A shape memory alloy wire is coupled to at least one of the latch and the seal. A switch is configured to selectively provide electrical current to the shape memory alloy wire to activate the shape memory alloy wire. Activation of the shape memory alloy wire causes at least one of disengagement of the latch from the retaining mechanism and disengagement of the seal from one of the first and second cowl members, enabling separation of the cowl members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventor: Andrew Tuchscherer
  • Patent number: 9463849
    Abstract: A flexible lifting tether system for lifting a marine vehicle or object is described which is capable of significantly improving the primary characteristics of an existing cable by enhancing load-carrying capabilities (e.g. in air), modifying the tether to have altered specific gravities in water, and relieving torsional stresses when in operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Inventors: Robert McCabe, Andrew Bowen, Matthew Heintz
  • Patent number: 9457331
    Abstract: Methods and systems are presented for generating and performing a seismic data acquisition mission based on an a priori sea current model and a seismic data acquisition operation model and a shooting solution model based on the a priori sea current model. The individual models can be updated based on releasing sample buoys through the survey area both before and during mission execution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: CGG SERVICES SA
    Inventor: Risto Siliqi
  • Patent number: 9403584
    Abstract: There are provide a pressure-resistant container which is less likely to be damaged due to stress concentration even in deep seas of 1000 m or deeper below sea level, and an exploration machine provided with the same. A pressure-resistant container includes a cylindrical first outer shell member; and substantially hemispherical second outer shell members which are respectively connected to both ends of the first outer shell member, and is constructed by selecting materials so that a Young's modulus E2 of a base material which constitutes the second outer shell members is smaller than a Young's modulus E1 of a base material which constitutes the first outer shell member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2016
    Assignee: KYOCERA Corporation
    Inventors: Masao Yoshida, Naoyuki Ookubo, Kenichi Asakawa, Yosaku Maeda
  • Patent number: 9276283
    Abstract: A self-propelled microbial fuel cell apparatus includes a microbial fuel cell with a cathode electrode and an anode electrode wherein the anode electrode is enclosed within an enclosure that has an opening in it. The microbial fuel cell is positioned within a self-propelled delivery vehicle so that the electrodes of the fuel cell are exposed to interface with a microbial environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2016
    Assignee: The United States of America, as Represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Wayne P. Liu, Adriane Q. Wotawa-Bergen, David B. Chadwick, Ken E. Richter, Yolanda M. Arias-Thode
  • Patent number: 9254902
    Abstract: An underwater vehicle may include a buoyancy control system configured to use a dual-internal-reservoir configuration to enhance efficiency of changing buoyancy of the underwater vehicle. The buoyancy control system may utilize an incompressible fluid (e.g., oil or water) that is transferred between a first internal reservoir and an external chamber to affect buoyancy of the underwater vehicle. In exemplary implementations, a compressible fluid (e.g., air) may be used to inflate or deflate a second internal reservoir. The second internal reservoir may be disposed within the buoyancy control system so that it can act on the first internal reservoir by applying a compressive force or a tensive force on the first internal reservoir, depending on the pressure differences between the two reservoirs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2016
    Assignee: MRV Systems, LLC
    Inventors: James Edward Dufour, Brian Kenneth Newville
  • Patent number: 9162740
    Abstract: A free vehicle suitable to serve as a platform to carry a variety of equipment to the ocean floor, actuate devices at the floor and at intermediate points on the way to and returning from the ocean floor is described. The free vehicle includes standardized power, control electronics, navigation equipment and mechanical release mechanisms that can be used in conjunction with custom experiments. Exemplary experiments include sensors and sampling equipment used for deep-sea exploration. The free vehicle platform provides for scalable designs to meet scientific needs and surface vessel constraints.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Inventors: Kevin Richard Hardy, Jonas Dean Cochran
  • Patent number: 9067648
    Abstract: An unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) shipboard launcher system, which comprises a deployment device and an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) launcher. The UUV launcher includes a frame, a canister coupler to facilitate coupling of a communication line canister of a UUV to the launcher, and a UUV coupling device supported about the frame to releasably secure the UUV to the launcher. The UUV launcher also includes an arming pin engagement feature supported about the frame, and operable to engage an arming pin of the UUV upon being secured to the launcher, as well as a separation device supported about the frame and adapted to force the UUV away from the UUV launcher upon release of the UUV by the UUV coupling device, which separation may function to remove the arming pin and arm the UUV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: John Carcone, Domenic F. Napolitano
  • Patent number: 9057263
    Abstract: An apparatus for treating a medium, the apparatus including structure for generating a flow of a working fluid in a flow path, treatment structure for subjecting the medium to treatment and a delivery device for delivering the medium to the treatment structure, the treatment structure and the delivery device being operable in response to the flow of working fluid. A refuge chamber and method utilize such apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2015
    Inventors: Geoffrey Allan Whittaker, Gerald John Ness
  • Patent number: 9060102
    Abstract: An integrated system for diving operations for use in turbid water by a remote operator comprising a surface console station that supports the receipt of tethered command and control of system components and display for received real-time video via a communications channel; a remote wearable information processing unit tethered to the surface console station and having integrated controls; a wearable human interface system connected to the remote wearable information processing unit and including a video display and two-way audio system; a viewing enhancing device tethered to the remote wearable information processing unit and the surface console station, including an image capture device; and a fluid clarification unit coupled to the viewing enhanced apparatus. The apparatus may be worn and operated by a diver, mounted on a remotely operated vehicle or manipulated remotely while mounted on the end of a pole and may include an array of viewing enhancing devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2015
    Inventor: David Dwight Cook
  • Patent number: 9054555
    Abstract: Systems and methods for charging a rechargeable battery device on a marine vessel utilize a rechargeable battery device, a charger charging the battery device, and a control circuit. The control circuit calculates an amount of current that is available to charge the battery device based upon an amount of current that is available from the shore power source and an amount of current that is being drawn from the shore power source by devices other than a voltage charger and limits the amount of current being drawn by the voltage charger to charge the battery device to an amount that is equal to or less than the calculated amount of current that is available to charge the battery device. The control circuit can repeatedly calculate the amount of current that is available to charge the battery device and limit the amount of current being drawn by a voltage charger to charge the battery device to thereby actively adjust an amount of charge applied to the battery device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventor: Aaron J. Ward
  • Publication number: 20150136012
    Abstract: A modular system for building underwater robotic vehicles (URVs), including a pressure vessel system, modular chassis elements, a propulsion system and compatible buoyancy modules. The pressure vessel system uses standardized, interchangeable modules to allow for ease of modification of the URV and accommodation of different internal and external components such as sensors and computer systems. The system also includes standard, reconfigurable connections of the pressure vessel to the modular chassis system. A standardized, modular propulsion system includes a magnetic clutch, and a magnetic sleeve used to power the URV on or off.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventor: EDDIE HUGH WILLIAMS
  • Patent number: 9032899
    Abstract: An arrangement and a method for implosion mitigation, and in particular a structural arrangement of a water vessel and a method thereof for mitigating implosion loads. The water vessel includes first and second end portions connected by a middle portion, with one portion structurally weaker than the others so that when the vessel experiences an overmatching load, only the structurally weaker portion of the vessel fails. The vessel may further include energy absorbing structures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Mark W. Hoffman, Robert Kent Tacey, Erwin Thomas Moyer, Jr., Jason S. Craft, Ronald S. Barbaro
  • Publication number: 20150068440
    Abstract: A system including a fluid injection system configured to removably couple to a mineral extraction system, wherein the fluid injection system includes a fluid injection system controller, a flow meter system coupled to the fluid injection system controller, wherein the flow meter system is configured to measure a fluid flow of a fluid through the fluid injection system, an adjustable valve configured to control the fluid flow through the fluid injection system, and a non-return valve configured to block reverse flow of the fluid through the fluid injection system, wherein the fluid injection system controller, the flow meter system, the adjustable valve, and the non-return valve are coupled to a common housing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 10, 2013
    Publication date: March 12, 2015
    Applicant: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin Minnock, Eddie McHugh
  • Publication number: 20150013586
    Abstract: A marine vessel comprising: at least one buoyant tubular foil; at least one venturi injection ring positioned adjacent to the perimeter of the at least one buoyant tubular foil so as to create a passageway between the at least one venturi injection ring and the perimeter of the at least one buoyant tubular foil, wherein the passageway is characterized by a fore opening, an aft opening, and an intermediate opening disposed between the fore opening and the aft opening, and wherein the intermediate opening is smaller than the fore opening and the aft opening; at least one fluid opening formed in the perimeter of the at least one buoyant tubular foil adjacent to at least one of the intermediate opening and the aft opening; and at least one passageway connecting the at least one fluid opening to a source of fluid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2014
    Publication date: January 15, 2015
    Inventors: Gregory E. Sancoff, Joseph Curcio, David Norman
  • Publication number: 20150000584
    Abstract: A marine vessel comprising: at least one buoyant tubular foil; and at least one baffle plate positioned about the perimeter of the at least one buoyant tubular foil so as to protrude into the flow of water passing by the perimeter of the at least one buoyant tubular foil, whereby to create a high-pressure zone fore of the at least one baffle plate and a low-pressure zone immediately aft of the at least one baffle plate, whereby to create a dense stream of supercavitated water immediately aft of the at least one baffle plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2014
    Publication date: January 1, 2015
    Inventors: Gregory E. Sancoff, Joseph Curcio, David Norman
  • Patent number: 8919273
    Abstract: A valve is disclosed. The valve can be mounted through a wall, for example in the hull wall of a submersible vehicle. The internal components of the valve can be readily removed, serviced and/or replaced without removing the valve body from the wall. A filling assembly is also disclosed, which mates with the valve to deliver a fluid from one side of the wall, through the valve and into a storage tank or other apparatus disposed on the opposite side of the wall. The filling assembly actuates the valve to open a fluid pathway therethrough in order to deliver fluid to a storage tank or other apparatus connected to the valve's exit port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Sierra Lobo, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Hoffman, Bradley N. Stoops
  • Publication number: 20140360420
    Abstract: The invention relates to remotely operated multi-component search robots for underwater search and rescue operations, and particularly suited for searches under ice.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 23, 2014
    Publication date: December 11, 2014
    Applicant: Natick Public Schools
    Inventors: Doug Scott, Adam Azanow, Daniel Carson, William Coburn, Nicholas Exarchos, Russell Forrest, Jason Geller, Ford Grundberg, Kimya Harper, Susan Haverstick, Larion Johnson, Kevin King, James Kinsey, Alex Krasa, Ilir Kumi, Douglas Laderman, Jonathan Magee, James McLean, Alex Petrovsky, Katelyn Sweeney, Nickolas Thorsen, Olivia Van Amsterdam, Jacob Wainer, Chris Williamson, Ethan Ziegler
  • Patent number: 8908476
    Abstract: Provided are an apparatus and a method for seabed exploration using an unmanned remotely operated vehicle. The apparatus for seabed exploration of the present invention includes: an unmanned remotely operated vehicle connected with a ship 2 by a cable 1; a transponder of an acoustic positioning system mounted on the unmanned remotely operated vehicle; a pinger mounted on the unmanned remotely operated vehicle and outputting a signal that is received by a receiver of an echo sounder system mounted on the ship; a measuring device mounted on the unmanned remotely operated vehicle and sensing or measuring various information on the seabed where the unmanned remotely operated vehicle is positioned; and a sediment collecting device collecting sediments of the seafloor, when the unmanned remotely operated vehicle grounds on the seafloor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources
    Inventors: Jong Hwa Chun, Hag Ju Kim, Byong Jae Ryu, Jang Jun Bahk
  • Patent number: 8881667
    Abstract: Disclosed are a cavitation device and an underwater moving body having the same. The underwater moving body includes a body; and a cavitation device for generating a cavity which encloses an outer circumferential surface of the body, wherein the cavitation device includes: a plurality of flap-up/down members rotatably connected to the body, disposed to cover the outer circumferential surface, and disposed in a circumferential direction and a lengthwise direction of the body in a matrix form; and a pressing module for flapping up the flap-up/down members such that the cavity is generated, as the flap-up/down members being rotated are inclined from the outer circumferential surface. Under this configuration, the cavitation device can freely generate a partial cavity or a super cavity on the surface of the underwater moving body. Furthermore, a ventilation module for forming a ventilated cavity may be coupled to the cavitation device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: Agency for Defence Development
    Inventors: Chul Min Jung, Chan Ki Kim, Warn Gyu Park
  • Patent number: 8880275
    Abstract: A vehicle control system is provided that includes an internal communications system. The vehicle control system further includes a controller configured to communicate with a plurality of independent vehicle systems via the internal communications system. The controller stores and accesses a plurality of libraries of system processes having data associated with the plurality of vehicle components. The controller maintains an operational state for the vehicle during an operational failure of at least one of the plurality of independent vehicle systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: James A. Del Savio, Richard P. Berube, Stuart K. Beazley, Ryan K. Miller, Peter Licis, Alberico Menozzi
  • Patent number: 8875645
    Abstract: In various embodiments a variable buoyancy profiling float is disclosed. The variable buoyancy profiling float may comprise a spherical glass housing comprising a first hemisphere and a second hemisphere. The first and second hemispheres may be coupled by a partial vacuum within the spherical glass housing. A buoyancy system may be located at least partially within the spherical glass housing. The buoyancy system may be configured to provide variable buoyancy control to the variable buoyancy profiling float. A sensor bundle may be mounted to the spherical glass housing and may be configured to measure at least one environmental parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: Teledyne Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas C. Webb, Mark Belcher, Lawrence Bovie, Robert Correllus, Andrew Elskamp, Hugh E. Fargher, Thomas Patterson, Ernest Petzrick, David Pingal, Daniel Ryan, Andrew Sealey, Clyde Streeter, James Truman, William Wallace, Steven Arruda, Robert G. Melvin, II, Thomas W. Altshuler
  • Publication number: 20140261138
    Abstract: Systems and methods for a robust underwater vehicle are described herein. A robust underwater vehicle may include a force-limiting coupler connecting an actuation system to an actuation fin. The force-limiting coupler may be configured to break away from the actuation system upon receiving a threshold force. The robust underwater vehicle may also comprise hull sections connected by a threaded turnbuckle. Carbon-fiber axial strength members may mate with the threaded turnbuckle to pull the hull sections together to a specified preload tension. The robust underwater vehicle may also include a blazed sonar array protected by a carbon fiber bow including a plurality of slits. The plurality of slits may provide significant protection to the sonar array while simultaneously allowing one or more transducers to transmit sonar signals in a two-dimensional plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: HADAL, INC.
    Inventors: Richard J. Rikoski, Robert S. Damus, Jonathan Pompa, Dylan Owens, Richard Jenkins
  • Patent number: RE46054
    Abstract: An underwater vehicle including an axi-symmetric framing system rotatable about a centerline to define a shell of revolution having a uniformly-convex outer boundary. A narrow-beam sonar array is mounted on the axi-symmetric framing system, and includes a multitude of simultaneously-fireable and/or asynchronously-fireable transducers distributed substantially evenly over a 4?-steradian viewing angle. The present invention provides the necessary configuration for a vehicle wherein an internal algorithm can compare a “new” geometry to an “old” geometry collected earlier to construct a best fit of the new world map with the old world map and locate the vehicle within the context of the new world map. This then provides a completely independent mechanism for correction of the gradual drift in x and y that is not dependent on any form of external navigation aid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: Piedra—Sombra Corporation, Inc.
    Inventors: William C. Stone, Bartholomew P. Hogan