Detachably Connected To A Main Vessel Patents (Class 114/322)
  • Patent number: 6532886
    Abstract: A system of sensors and weapons in the form of individual cells forming a multi-functional cellular skin is provided to cover the outer surface of an underwater vehicle. The cells are engineered to have specific functional capabilities, e.g., acoustic sensing cells, communications cells, munitions cells, control cells and motive cells, and are electromagnetically attached to the vehicle. The functional arrangement of the cells types and the number of layers will be dependent on the desired capabilities and the overall mission of the vehicle. Cells may be deployed from the vehicle individually or in functional groups by decoupling appropriate cells from the vehicle. Once decoupled, motive cells can transport themselves and other cells as necessary, to positions remote from the vehicle. Groups of cells can be deployed to specific locations and arrayed in specific configurations by motive cells, allowing the vehicle to remain in a standoff position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2003
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: George C. McNamara, Bruce E. Sandman, Bernard J. Myers
  • Publication number: 20030000447
    Abstract: An arrangement and pull-in method for fluidly coupling a steel riser to a flowline of a turret on a FSO/FPSO. The riser is pulled into a connector by a pull-in line inside the flowline. A pull-in head is releasable secured inside the upper end of the riser. The pull-in head is released from the riser after the riser is locked into the connector. A flex joint is placed above the connector to provide alignment of the connector to the riser during installation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2002
    Publication date: January 2, 2003
    Applicant: FMC INDUSTRIES , INC.
    Inventors: William L. Fontenot, Charles L. Garnero, Brent A. Salyer, Stephen P. Lindblade, L. Terry Boatman
  • Patent number: 6432304
    Abstract: A remotely operated filtering system for ballast tanks used on naval vessels. A basket shaped filtering net is used in connection with the tanks and is controlled by a remote control operated by a human operator. The operator controls the movement and the operation of the filter when filtering is needed. The system includes a video monitor and an illumination means in connection with the filter structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Inventor: Hap Nguyen
  • Patent number: 6390012
    Abstract: An apparatus and methods for deploying, recovering, and servicing an AUV are disclosed. The apparatus includes a linelatch system that is made up of a tether management system connected to a flying latch vehicle by a tether. The linelatch system can be connected to a surface vessel by an umbilical on one end and to an AUV on the other end. In addition to providing a mechanical connection, between the AUV and a surface vessel, the linelatch system can also carry power and data between the surface vessel (i.e., through the umbilical) and the AUV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2002
    Assignee: Coflexip, S.A.
    Inventors: Andrew M. Watt, Allen F. Leatt, Calum MacKinnon
  • Publication number: 20010020435
    Abstract: Apparatus for gripping and moving underwater craft and the like (101,102) comprising a crane (103) mounted on-board a ship (100) and provided with articulated arms (1,2) and a crane cable (214), said crane being connected at its free end to a device (200) for gripping the craft to be recovered, wherein said device (200) essentially consists of:
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 16, 2001
    Publication date: September 13, 2001
    Inventor: Stefano Ghignone
  • Patent number: 6279501
    Abstract: An umbilical constraint mechanism. The mechanism keeps the umbilical line near the center of the payload bay opening when the umbilical line is deployed. The mechanism will transfer lateral umbilical loads into the drone vessel frame near the bottom of the payload bay. A modified cone shaped structure is provided in the payload bay above the normal storage position of the ROV. The cone is mounted on a frame that is capable of sliding up or down in the drone vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2001
    Assignee: Mentor Subsea Technology Services, Inc.
    Inventor: Leland Harris Taylor, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6189476
    Abstract: An apparatus and methods for deploying, recovering, and servicing an AUV are disclosed. The apparatus includes a linelatch system that is made up of a tether management system connected to a flying latch vehicle by a tether. The linelatch system can be connected to a surface vessel by an umbilical on one end and to an AUV on the other end. In addition to providing a mechanical connection, between the AUV and a surface vessel, the linelatch system can also carry power and data between the surface vessel (i.e., through the umbilical) and the AUV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2001
    Assignee: Coflexip, S.A.
    Inventors: Andrew M. Watt, Allen F. Leatt, Calum MacKinnon
  • Patent number: 6167831
    Abstract: An underwater apparatus for performing subsurface operations adapted to be operated from a remote location above the surface of a body of water is disclosed. The apparatus includes a underwater vehicle that is made up of a tether management system connected to a detachable flying craft by a tether. The tether management system controls the amount of free tether between itself and the detachable flying craft. The detachable flying craft interfaces with various underwater structures. Also disclosed are methods of transferring power and/or data between two or more underwater devices using the underwater vehicle of the invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2001
    Assignee: Coflexip S.A.
    Inventors: Andrew M. Watt, Allen F. Leatt, Calum MacKinnon
  • Patent number: 6058848
    Abstract: An underwater and land travel system comprising an underwater and land travel vehicle which is capable of being reliably and safely moved from on the land into the water and which may also be used for viewing the sight in the water with delight and safety irrespective of the weather or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Koyo Engineering Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Futami, Kenjiro Futami
  • Patent number: 5964175
    Abstract: The invention provides a system for attaching one or more unmanned, hydroamically shaped, autonomous, undersea platforms to the bow of a submarine. An array of depressions, each matching the shape of the platforms, is provided in the bow of the submarine, equally spaced about the circumference of the submarine. Once seated in the depressions and attached to the submarine, the platforms provide a smooth, hydrodynamic shape to the bow of the submarine. Additionally, conformal arrays on the platforms mate with conformal arrays on the bow of the submarine to form a continuous conformal array and the platforms' weapons systems provide the submarine with forward deployed weapons when the platforms are attached. A platform is launched by detaching it from the submarine bow and raising the leading edge of the platform slightly into the water flow around the bow. Hydrodynamic forces lift the platform away from the submarine for an acoustically quiet launch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: John E. Sirmalis, Bernard J. Myers
  • Patent number: 5660135
    Abstract: An underwater apparatus release mechanism disposed on an unmanned underwa vehicle. A launcher body is joined to the underwater vehicle with a fixed release guide thereon. A shroud is positioned over the front of the underwater apparatus which is disposed on the fixed release guide. A holddown strap is fastened about the shroud, underwater apparatus, and fixed release guide assembly and releasably joined to the launcher body by to release pins. The release pins are joined to a sliding plunger. The plunger is in turn connected to a solenoid which can cause movement of the plunger to release the holddown strap. Hydrodynamic forces cause the shroud and underwater apparatus to slide along the fixed release guide until they are free of the underwater vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1997
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Walter J. Gomes, Jr., Thomas D. Barron
  • Patent number: 5235931
    Abstract: The submersible vehicle system of the present invention comprises a unitary ndersea vehicle composed of a rigid hull submersible mated to an inflated auxiliary submersible. Both the rigid hull submersible and the auxiliary submersible may be initially stored aboard a mother vessel. The auxiliary submersible is provided with one or more compartments for storing fuel and/or ballast, either positive or negative.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1993
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Richard H. Nadolink
  • Patent number: 5235932
    Abstract: Mechanically cooperating assemblies on an undersea vehicle and an instrumation target assure the making of a rigid coupling for passing electrical, optical or fluid information between the vehicle and the instrumentation and reduce the complexity of such a coupling from a three-dimensional to a two-dimensional maneuver by the vehicle. An undersea vehicle locates a pair of spaced-apart vertical cables which are attached to an instrumentation target assembly and engages them anywhere along their length with a converging grabber assembly mounted on the forward moving underwater vehicle. After engaging the cables, the grabber assembly merely slides along the cables toward the instrumentation target assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1993
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Ronald S. Reich
  • Patent number: 5050523
    Abstract: The launching of a vehicle having front and back ends, from the submerged ll of a vessel that is moving forward through water by allowing the vehicle to pivot outboard clear of the hull, preferably from a launchway cavity, into the flow stream where it is released to move under its own propulsion and/or buoyancy forces. A first mechanism is carried on a submerged exterior surface of the hull and connected to the front portion of the vehicle, for initially supporting the vehicle front portion adjacent to the hull in the direction of hull travel, and then selectively releasing the front portion of the vehicle from the hull so that the front portion can move laterally away from the hull into the flow stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 24, 1991
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: John A. Schwemin, Richard H. Baker, James M. Sowle, Stephen A. Jordan
  • Patent number: 5042415
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus for launching and recovering a submersible vessel from a ship, and includes a gantry that pivots in an arc extending over and beyond the aft deck of the ship. A lift line passes about a head sheave that pivots from the top of the gantry and threads through a saddle that also pivots from the top of the gantry. The saddle is clamped to the vessel. The lift line is connected to the top of the submersible vessel and passes about a ram tensioner which may be mounted on the deck. After a winch pays out the lift line to lower the vessel into the ocean, the saddle is disconnected from the vessel and the lift line is rethreaded back out of the saddle. A tether provides a communicative link between the ship and the vessel, and may pass about a hanging sheave suspended from the gantry when the vessel is in the ocean. Recovery of the vessel is the reverse of deployment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1991
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Robert T. Hoffman
  • 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: 4333414
    Abstract: A submersible watercraft has at least one watertight hull and a diver-exit vessel adapted to accommodate a diver is detachably connected to the watercraft by a sealable diver-exit port which enables divers to pass between the diver-exit vessel and the watercraft. The diver-exit vessel has a buoyancy and hauling apparatus such as a pair of ropes link the diver-exit vessel to the watercraft when the diver-exit vessel is not docked at the diver-exit port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 1979
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1982
    Assignee: Gunther Rudi Laukien
    Inventor: Gerhard Hauz
  • Patent number: 4306413
    Abstract: A hydraulic power and control system which includes a pump which is mounted n a sealed housing. The pump is mounted in the sealed housing along with a pilot operated power valve. The pump has an inlet within the housing for intaking oil therein and is connected to the pilot operated power valve for operating components in a functional system, such as a submersible docking apparatus. The pilot operated power valve discharges oil into the sealed housing and is connected to a control valve which is located exterior of the housing. The control valve will pilot operate the power valve and discharges oil within the sealed housing. The control valve may be mounted within a pressure casing which receives a reduced oil pressure from the pump within the sealed housing. The sealed housing may be pressure compensated to ambient so that the pressure casing is maintained at a specific pressure level above ambient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1975
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1981
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Frederic H. Middleton
  • Patent number: 4276851
    Abstract: An underwater cruise device is disclosed which is mounted to a vessel by a vertical telescoping boom. The device includes a diving chair mounted to the vertical boom which can be selectively submerged during diving operations or completely withdrawn from the water for long distance, surface cruising. A concave, transparent shell canopy is mounted to the diving chair, forming an enclosed upper cavity which can contain a breathable gas ambient to surround the head of the seated diver. Controls are provided on the diving chair to enable the submerged diver to control the extension of the vertical boom into the water and the propulsion and steering of the vessel itself. Radio and television communication with the surface can be provided so that the diver can monitor surface conditions while cruising in the submerged diving chair.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1979
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1981
    Inventor: Jess A. Coleman
  • Patent number: 4252467
    Abstract: An apparatus according to the invention for suspending a submarine on a submerged structure and comprising a preshaped semi-rigid strap wound onto a drum disposed in a casing fixed to said submarine, whereby the strap when unwound adopts the shape of a generally circular loop so as to pass round one of the cross-members of the submerged structure and has at its free end means for cooperating with a locking device disposed on the path adopted by the strap with respect to the casing, whereby the locking device comprises safety means for bringing about the release thereof in the case of a defect to the locking system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1978
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1981
    Assignee: S.A. Intersub - International Submarine Services
    Inventor: Marcel M. Amrhein
  • Patent number: 4164195
    Abstract: Immersion apparatus for carrying out submarine works, comprising a master chamber connected to a surface unit and intended to be lowered to the area of submarine work, self-propelled work units branching out from said master chamber and having atmospheric pressure therein and being connected thereto by a so-called umbilical cord, the work units being provided with work arms operable from inside thereof by pushbuttons and pedals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1978
    Date of Patent: August 14, 1979
    Inventor: Gianfranco Frigeni