Underwater Habitat Patents (Class 114/314)
  • Patent number: 11027805
    Abstract: Systems and methods for launching and retrieving payloads in aquatic environments employ a platform that is both floatable and submersible at the discretion of and/or under the control of a user, on which submersible objects to be launched, delivered to a subsea location and/or retrieved (the payload) may be located. The submergible platform has a plurality of sealed and/or sealable buoyancy chambers and at least one low pressure gas storage tank having associated fixtures and valves providing introduction of gas to the buoyancy chambers. A payload docking system providing secure docking of a payload on the platform deck is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: OceanGate, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard Stockton Rush, III
  • Patent number: 10866333
    Abstract: The invention notably relates to a method for controlling depth of a seismic cable having ballasts spaced apart along its length and providing a neutral buoyancy to the seismic cable, the seismic cable being adapted for midwater data acquisition, each end of the seismic cable being connected to a respective surface autonomous vessel exerting tension on the cable through a respective lead-in cable having a negative buoyancy, the method comprising, with respect to a target depth, varying the deployed length of each lead-in cable and/or the tension exerted on the cable by each respective surface autonomous vessel. This provides an improved solution for seismic prospecting in aquatic mediums.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2020
    Assignee: KIETTA
    Inventor: Luc Haumonte
  • Patent number: 10692352
    Abstract: A buoy corrosion detection system includes a buoy having a double hull section in which the outer hull is designed to corrode and fail prior to the rest of the hull. The double hull section is positioned at the waterline, which is the area most prone to corrosion. As the outer hull corrodes, water passes through the hull and is detected by a moisture detector. The moisture detector then relays a signal that water has entered through the hull, and a signaling circuit then sends a communication signal to the user indicating that the buoy has corrosion. The buoy corrosion detection system leads to an “as-needed” maintenance cycle for buoys.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: The Government of the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of Homeland Security
    Inventors: Michael Luis Dougall, Jacob James Rath, Blaise Carlson Curtis, Liam Christian Otto, Frederick John McClimans, Matthew Tyler Williams, Thomas Carsten Rodzewicz, Ronald Adrezin, Michael Plumley
  • Patent number: 10183400
    Abstract: A water environment robotic system and method has a buoyancy configuration which can be selectively altered. The system includes an underwater robotic vehicle and a buoyancy module that is configured to be selectively buoyantly engaged and buoyantly disengaged with the underwater robotic vehicle. A tether is connected to the buoyancy module and a motor is operatively connected to the tether and is configured to extend and retract the tether and buoyancy module. The tether can be extended and retracted to extend and retract the buoyancy module. Extending and retracting the buoyancy module can buoyantly engage or buoyantly disengage the buoyancy module with the underwater robotic vehicle according to the arrangement of the system. By engaging and disengaging the buoyancy module, the buoyancy of the underwater robot can be selectively altered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2019
    Assignee: Saudi Arabian Oil Company
    Inventors: Hassane Trigui, Ali Outa, Sahejad Patel, Fadl Abdellatif
  • Patent number: 10155573
    Abstract: A diving apparatus for a diver underwater includes a portable habitat in which a breathable environment is maintained underwater. The habitat has a collapsible envelope. The collapsible envelope takes shape through inflation to an expanded state underwater. The habitat has a modular payload which removably attaches to the envelope underwater. The habitat has a seat on which a diver can sit while the habitat is underwater. The modular payload has a breathable gas source to provide breathable gas for the diver to breathe in the habitat and a carbon dioxide scrubber which removes carbon dioxide from the environment when the habitat is underwater. The apparatus has an anchor mechanism attached to the habitat to maintain the habitat at a desired depth underwater. A method for a diver to dive underwater. A system for supporting a diver underwater. A diving apparatus having a propulsion unit. An apparatus for a user in outer space or on another planet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: New York University
    Inventors: Winslow Scott Burleson, Michael Lombardi
  • Patent number: 9797224
    Abstract: Techniques and systems to provide additional holding ability to a subsea wellhead system. A device includes an auxiliary frame that may be coupled to an outer portion of a BOP frame that encloses at least a portion of a BOP. The auxiliary frame may also house a plurality of accumulators that may be used to provide pressurized fluid to the BOP.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: Ensco International Incorporated
    Inventors: Christopher Scott Stewart, Justin Dow Alcorn
  • Publication number: 20140209008
    Abstract: An atmospheric working cabin for underwater operation for implementing operations on the underwater object is provided The working cabin has two or more layers of cabin bodies, each layer of the cabin body has an interface for butting with the underwater object, the interface of the each layer of the cabin bodies is provided with a soft gel, there is a hollow structure between two adjacent layers of the cabin bodies.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 30, 2011
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Inventor: Xiaoming Shi
  • Patent number: 8633004
    Abstract: A method for extracting fuel gases from an underwater plume emitted from an underwater hydrothermal vent includes the step of collecting via an underwater fluid collector an underwater plume emitted from the hydrothermal vent. The underwater plume includes methane and hydrogen. The method further includes a step of directing a first fluid containing the underwater plume into a first inlet of a first underwater heat exchanger and a second fluid into a second inlet of the first underwater heat exchanger. The second fluid at the second inlet is at a temperature sufficiently lower than the temperature of the first fluid to transfer sufficient heat therebetween to form methane hydrate and hydrogen-methane hydrate in the first fluid. The method further includes the step of conveying the methane hydrate and hydrogen-methane hydrate to the surface of the water body via a duct connected to a first outlet of the first heat exchanger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: John W. Rapp, Stephanie S. Groves, Nicholas J. Nagurny
  • Patent number: 7174844
    Abstract: The simulator of the present invention comprises a submersible structure to be used in a body of water, for instance a pool. This structure comprises a bell defining a main chamber. An escape tower is provided over the bell. This escape tower defines an escape chamber communicating with the main chamber. The escape tower has a lower hatch between the main chamber and the escape chamber, and an upper hatch separating the escape chamber from outside the submersible structure. The simulator also comprises a mechanism for vertically moving the submersible structure relative to the water surface. A method of performing underwater submarine escape training is also disclosed. The simulator allows such training to be conducted in a safe and controlled environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Assignee: Innovation Maritim
    Inventors: Louis Hébert, Jean-Francois Goulet, Aurem Langevin, Luc Garand
  • Patent number: 6467424
    Abstract: A submersible system is provided for isolating a volume of water located above an underwater substrate and for analyzing the volume of water. The system includes a tent having a shape enclosing an area of underwater substrate and a volume of water immediately above the substrate. A support frame formed by frame members each including plural detachable sections for maintaining the shape of the tent. A securing assembly, comprising a peripheral flap held down by weights in the form of sandbags or a heavy chain serves to secure the tent to the substrate. A circulation system, located at least partially within the tent, provides circulation of the volume of water within the tent so as to maintain a circulating flow pattern within the tent. A flow through analytical system is provided for removing a portion of water from the enclosed volume of water and for analyzing at least one property of the portion of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Interior
    Inventors: Kimberly K. Yates, Robert B. Halley
  • Patent number: 6457907
    Abstract: A method for carrying out work on an object which is present under water, in particular, a shipwreck, wherein persons make their way to the object under water and carry out the work in artificial light. A cover is provided over the object, which cover in the main abuts the bottom on which or in which the object is present in surrounding relationship with respect to the object. The cover encloses a space in which persons can work and it comprises an entrance for admitting persons to the space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2002
    Inventor: Hendrik De Bloeme
  • Patent number: 6325012
    Abstract: A complete design for a submergible cabin is submitted, which provides commodities and standards required for housing 8 people with absolute commodity and safety under the water for an indefinite period of time. The infrastructure for life support is located at the coast and the supplies are driven through pipelines anchored to the sea bottom. The level of water in the lower access, which works under the upside down cup principle, is controlled by redundant level sensors, which in turn allow access of fresh air to the cabin, sending to the coast part of the used air in order to not recycle the same air and evacuate bad smell, CO2 and heat from air conditioner and refrigerator units. The design of the shells and the structure allows its transportation in standard containers and then assembly at the dock, close to the installation place. The total construction from ceiling to floor is carried out with only 3 small forms due to the design is done with repeating pieces in order to reduce costs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Inventor: Luis Alberto Aristizabal
  • Patent number: 6128863
    Abstract: A fish and marine mammal aquatic observatory. The observatory comprises an outer cylindrical wall and an inner cylindrical wall that define an enclosed annular volume. The inner cylindrical wall is formed of a transparent material, e.g., glass or reinforced plastic. The enclosed annular volume is partially filled with a body of sea water that includes fish and marine mammal animals and other aquatic plants. The observatory further includes a carousel or platform supported on a tower located along a longitudinal axis of the observatory. An outer diameter of the carousel substantially abuts the inner cylindrical wall of the observatory. The carousel is accessible to participants when located at a first or upper position above the enclosed annular volume of water. A lift mechanism moves the carousel from the first, upper position to a second, lower position within the enclosed annular volume of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Assignee: SeaVenture, a Nevada Limited Liability Company
    Inventor: George D. Millay
  • Patent number: 5823708
    Abstract: There is disclosed a means and a method for inspecting and repairing a propeller on a propeller shaft on a ship. The ship is in the water. A truss is positioned on the propeller shaft. A habitat bag is positioned over the upper part of the propeller and is attached to the truss. Then, the truss is inflated with air. An inspector and/or a repair person can enter into the habitat and work in a dry environment while the ship is in the water. There is no need, in many instances, to place the ship in a dry dock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Inventors: John M. Dwight, Richard D. Benson
  • Patent number: 5400735
    Abstract: A modular caisson for use in performing underwater tasks in a dry environment includes a plurality of interconnected modules. The end of at least one of the modules is equipped with an end cover through which piping or other equipment can be passed into the caisson without leakage of water into the caisson. In a preferred embodiment, the end cover includes flexible doors. The caisson can be supported by a transport vehicle, or it can be anchored to piles by means of guides formed on the outside of the modules. As a result, the caisson can be prevented from exerting undesirable loads on the piping or other structure being worked upon inside the caisson.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 28, 1995
    Inventors: Antonio A. C. Yamin, Jose D. J. S. Lopez, Vicente R. P. Vazquez
  • Patent number: 4928614
    Abstract: A submersible observation vessel having a transparent acrylic hull. The hull comprises a plurality of transparent acrylic cylinders, a plurality of seals to prevent leakage between the cylinders of the hull, a front hatch hinged on the first seal, and a bulk head having an aft hatch welded to the last seal. An integral cradle supports the vessel when on dry dock and provides a medium for lifting the vessel into and out of the water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 29, 1990
    Assignees: Ronald Nilson, Sea View Enterprises
    Inventor: Willis R. Forman
  • Patent number: 4889066
    Abstract: A self-propelled submersible vehicle which comprises a hull and a cockpit defined within the hull, a transparent dome on the top of the hull formed with the cockpit and enclosure walls defining the cockpit within the hull. The cockpit is open ended at the bottom thereof, and the hull is non-watertight. Compressed air tanks are provided in the hull, and these tanks communicate with a regulator valve which provides a constant flow of air into the cockpit forming an air bubble providing a breathable section of the cockpit for the passengers. An air exhaust device is incorporated with the regulator valve assembly for controlling the volume of the air bubble within the cockpit in response to the water level within the cockpit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1988
    Date of Patent: December 26, 1989
    Assignee: Blue Space Submersibles, Inc.
    Inventors: Alan Neil, Gary W. Hesketh, Gary Bojeck
  • Patent number: 4841896
    Abstract: A submarine includes a body and two ballast tanks. The ballast tanks are moveable from an up or diving configuration to a down or beach configuration. With the ballast tanks in the diving configuration and full of water, the submarine normally floats awash, and can be caused to dive at shallow depths for sight-seeing. With the ballast tanks full of air and in the beach configuration, the body will float substantially out of water, and the submarine may be beached or brought to a wharf for easy boarding or debarkation. In the diving configuration, the submarine is identical above and below a horizontal central plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 27, 1989
    Inventor: Tommy J. Fury
  • Patent number: 4753552
    Abstract: A one-atmosphere underwater modular system is provided. The modular system comprises components which can be manipulated and attached to one another through use of a submarine or the like. A variety of components are provided including: a maneuvarable submarine component; a bottom frame; a two-connection module; a one-connection module; and christmas tree modules. A variety of means and methods for connection in various orientations is disclosed. The system is specifically adapted for use in the recovery of natural resources, such as for oil and gas recovery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1986
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1988
    Assignee: Kvarner Subsea Contracting A/S
    Inventors: Eva R. Karal, Rolf Kvamsdal
  • Patent number: 4299066
    Abstract: A dome structure having a plurality of isolatable and preferably environmentally isolatable and inhabitable compartments. These inhabitable compartments are preferably capable of generating an environmental condition capable of supporting animal life and preferably human life. The dome structure comprises a first upper dome section and a first lower dome section which form a first environmentally isolated dome chamber therebetween. The apparatus includes a second upper dome section having a peripheral size smaller than the first upper dome section. A second lower dome section has a peripheral size smaller than the first lower dome section and is capable of being attached to the second upper dome section to form a second environmentally isolated dome chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1981
    Inventor: Virley P. Thompson
  • Patent number: 4186532
    Abstract: An off-shore underwater observatory comprising a lower, submerged observation gallery fitted with at least one observation window and having a ceiling with an opening through which the observation gallery is accessible, and a body of water on top of the gallery such that the combined weight of the structure and the water exceeds the buoyancy. An annular skirt may depend from the ceiling in extension of said opening to a level which is below the head level of a person standing in the gallery, the upper edge(s) of the window(s) not exceeding the lower edge of said skirt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1977
    Date of Patent: February 5, 1980
    Inventor: Morris S. Kahn
  • Patent number: 4153001
    Abstract: A manned submarine includes first and second side-by-side chambers extending in a fore-to-aft direction. The first chamber is maintained at substantially atmospheric pressure and includes sleeping and eating compartments for ship-based personnel, and a galley. The second chamber is maintained at greater than atmospheric pressure and includes sleeping and eating compartments for diver personnel. Passages interconnect the chambers, enabling ship-based personnel from the first chamber to service diver personnel in the second chamber. The submarine carries guides which can be mated with corresponding guides on a piece of underwater equipment to stabilize the submarine against lateral movement and allow the equipment to be attached to the submarine for transport. The submarine carries weights which are placed on the water bed and connected to the submarine by initially slackened lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1977
    Date of Patent: May 8, 1979
    Inventor: Alan R. Krasberg
  • Patent number: 4109601
    Abstract: A vessel for working under water comprising a substantially spherical residence chamber with an atmospheric pressure therein and accommodating necessary monitoring apparatus for controlling working tools and devices arranged on the outside of the residence chamber. The working tools and devices are mounted on a service section to which the residence chamber is detachably affixed by a coupling apparatus actuated from the residence chamber. In case the service section with its working tools and devices gets hooked or wedged during the underwater operation the residence chamber can be released from the service section and allowed to rise to the surface separated from the service section. The working tools and devices of the service section are so designed that in any working positions they do not render the escape path of the residence chamber blocked.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1976
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1978
    Assignee: Skipsaksjeselskapet Suderoy
    Inventor: Carl M. Ronnevig