Depth Control Patents (Class 114/331)
  • Patent number: 10543891
    Abstract: A method of obtaining data with a sensor of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), the AUV comprising a bladder which contains a gas and is exposed to ambient water pressure. A downward thrust force is generated which causes the AUV to descend through a body of water, wherein the bladder contracts as the AUV descends due to an associated increase in the ambient water pressure, the contraction of the bladder causing the gas to compress and the AUV to become negatively buoyant. Next the AUV lands on a bed of the body of water. After the AUV has landed on the bed, the sensor is operated to obtain data with the AUV stationary and negatively buoyant and a weight of the AUV supported by the bed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2020
    Assignee: Autonomous Robotics Limited
    Inventors: Craig Paul Smith, Arran James Holloway
  • Patent number: 10490908
    Abstract: Antenna systems for receiving transmitted signals comprising at least a first tuned antenna disposed in a known relationship spatially with a second antenna, with the first tuned antenna electrically connected to the second antenna, are disclosed. The antenna system may be configured to allow the antennas to reliably discriminate between left-hand and right-hand circular signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2019
    Assignee: SEESCAN, INC.
    Inventors: Stephanie M. Bench, Mark S. Olsson, Ray Merewether, Ryan B. Levin
  • Patent number: 10374326
    Abstract: Antenna systems for receiving transmitted signals comprising at least a first tuned antenna disposed in a known relationship spatially with a second antenna, with the first tuned antenna electrically connected to the second antenna, are disclosed. The antenna system may be configured to allow the antennas to reliably discriminate between left-hand and right-hand polarized circular signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: SEESCAN, INC.
    Inventors: Stephanie M. Bench, Mark S. Olsson, Ray Merewether, Ryan B. Levin
  • Patent number: 10308334
    Abstract: The present invention provides a self-draining oil buoyancy regulating device for underwater robots, wherein the accumulator, lower hatch cover, hatch trunk, upper hatch cover and bladder are connected; the water-proof connector is fixed on the upper hatch cover; the depth-pressure sensor is settled on the lower hatch cover; the upper valve block, hydraulic-operated check valve and lower valve block are connected; the lower valve block is fixed on the lower hatch cover; the pump outlet pressure sensor and the accumulator pressure sensor are on the lower valve block; the directional valve and the upper valve block are connected; the hydraulic pump motor assembly and the relief valve are both connected with the lower valve block; the depth-pressure sensor, pump outlet pressure sensor and accumulator pressure sensor are all connected with the control panel; the control panel is connected with the external power supply and the host computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Changlin Kang, Chunlin Zhou, Rong Xiong, Qi Zhu, Qiuguo Zhu, Yong Liu
  • Patent number: 10173759
    Abstract: A combustion buoyancy control system for a submersible object is provided. The buoyancy control system includes a piston cylinder and a piston defining a combustion chamber. An oxidizer inlet introduces oxidizer into the combustion chamber. A fuel injector and igniter device injects fuel into the combustion chamber so that it mixes with the oxidizer in the combustion chamber and then ignites the mixture of oxidizer and fuel in the combustion chamber to produce combustion. Combustion within the combustion chamber displaces the piston member in a first direction causing an increase in the volume of the combustion chamber which increases the buoyancy of the submersible object. Displacement of the piston member in a second opposite direction causes a decrease in the volume of the combustion chamber which in turn decreases the buoyancy of the submersible object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Esteban Luis Castro-Feliciano
  • Patent number: 10144493
    Abstract: Systems and methods for buoyancy compensation are provided. Both active and passive buoyancy compensation can be provided using a compressible mixture made of a liquid along with a hydrophopic material such as a powder, electrospun fiber, or foam. The compressible fluid compresses as pressure is applied or expands as pressure is released thereby substantially maintaining an overall neutral buoyancy for a vessel. This allows the vessel to ascend and descend to water depths with minimal active buoyancy change. As a result, the energy usage and the reliance on higher pressure air and oils can be minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: Sea-Bird Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Bradley C. Edwards
  • Patent number: 9746367
    Abstract: A traffic monitoring system and method for mapping traffic speed and density while preserving privacy. The system can include fixed stations that make up a network and mobile probes that are associated with vehicles. The system and method do not gather, store, or transmit any unique or identifying information, and thereby preserves the privacy of members of traffic. The system and method provide real-time traffic density and speed mapping. The system and method can further be integrated with a complementary flood monitoring system and method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: KING ABDULLAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Christian Claudel, Atif Shamim, Muhammad Fahad Farooqui
  • Patent number: 9574682
    Abstract: A valve monitoring system includes a latching valve, a travel sensor, and a processor. The latching valve has a snap spring, a valve piston, and an inlet port. The travel sensor is for measuring travel of the valve piston between an activation pressure and a zero pressure. The processor is connected to the travel sensor for calculating a rate of travel of the valve piston and determining a latched state of the valve. In some example embodiments, the activation pressure is greater than a normal operating pressure. In some example embodiments, determining a latched state of the valve includes calculating a derivative of the rate of travel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2017
    Assignee: Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG
    Inventor: Vural Ari
  • Patent number: 9321515
    Abstract: Systems and methods for buoyancy compensation are provided. Both active and passive buoyancy compensation can be provided using a compressible mixture made of a liquid along with a hydrophopic material such as a powder, electrospun fiber, or foam. The compressible fluid compresses as pressure is applied or expands as pressure is released thereby substantially maintaining an overall neutral buoyancy for a vessel. This allows the vessel to ascend and descend to water depths with minimal active buoyancy change. As a result, the energy usage and the reliance on higher pressure air and oils can be minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Assignee: Sea-Bird Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Bradley C. Edwards
  • Patent number: 9193424
    Abstract: A manned submarine for underwater viewing and experience. A viewing window through which an outside view can be seen is disposed above the body of the submarine. The viewing window has an internal space and is open in the lower portion thereof. The propulsion systems provides a propelling force to the body. The ascending and descending system allows the manned submarine to ascend on the water or to descend under the water. The control box disposed at the forecastle of the body controls the operations of the propulsion systems, and the ascending and descending system. The viewing window is disposed above the crew room and is configured to allow water to enter the crew room except the internal space of the viewing window to allow the passengers to breathe underwater and provide a high level of leisure experience in addition to the visual viewing experience.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: PACIFIC OCEAN MARINE INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Hyo Jin Lee
  • Publication number: 20150128842
    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: Application
    Filed: October 1, 2014
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    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
  • Patent number: 8997678
    Abstract: An underwater load-carrier is disclosed that includes an underwater-balloon detachably attached to a container that is loaded with ballast. The underwater load-carrier is lowered into the water of an ocean and allowed to descend to the ocean bottom and there connected a mining-vehicle. The mining-vehicle loads mined nodules into the container while the container ejects ballast to maintain the container at a specified altitude above the ocean bottom. When nodule loading is complete, nodules and/or ballast is ejected to allow underwater load-carrier to rise to the ocean surface where mined nodules is unloaded from the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Ralph Spickermann, Steve N. Persall
  • Publication number: 20150090175
    Abstract: A system for attitude control of an underwater vehicle 20 of the present invention includes an underwater vehicle 20 with a thruster 65, an assist device 10 that is coupled to the underwater vehicle 20 with a cable 1 and has cable handling equipment 2 and a thruster 58, a cable attachment-to-attachment distance detection unit 50 that detects distance between a cable attachment of the underwater vehicle 20 and a cable dispenser of the assist device 10, and a control unit 32 that previously stores the relationship between the attachment-to-attachment distance and cable length including a predetermined amount of slack and determines the amount of cable to be wound up or let out based on the cable length associated with the detected attachment-to-attachment distance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 26, 2014
    Publication date: April 2, 2015
    Inventors: Hayato MORI, Ryosuke KOBAYASHI, Satoshi OKADA, Naoyuki KONO, Katsuhiko HIRANO, Yosuke TAKATORI, Masahiro TOOMA
  • Patent number: 8916299
    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: June 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    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
  • Publication number: 20140290554
    Abstract: An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for recording seismic signals during a marine seismic survey. The AUV includes a body having a base and sides; a propulsion system for guiding the AUV to a final target on the ocean bottom; a pump-jet connected to an inlet and plural base outlets, wherein the plural base outlets are distributed on the base; a processor connected to the pump-jet and configured to activate the pump-jet when the base in on the ocean bottom; and a seismic sensor configured to record seismic signals. The pump-jet has a first low speed so that water jets expelled at the plural base outlets fluidize the ocean bottom underneath the base and buries the AUV.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 11, 2013
    Publication date: October 2, 2014
    Applicant: CGG SERVICES SA
    Inventor: Thierry BRIZARD
  • Patent number: 8839618
    Abstract: A buoyancy engine is provided for use in a saltwater environment. The engine includes a gas filled housing and a buoyancy chamber in the housing. An elastomeric membrane is positioned between the buoyancy chamber interior and the housing interior. A semi-permeable membrane is provided between the buoyancy chamber interior and the saltwater environment. Two electrodes can be positioned with both electrodes in the buoyancy chamber or with one electrode being positioned in the buoyancy chamber and the other being positioned in the saltwater environment. A controller is joined to at least one of the electrodes for controlling an electrical potential between the two electrodes. A power source provides power to the controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: John B. Blottman, III, Barbar J. Akle
  • Patent number: 8826843
    Abstract: A method for operating a submersible vehicle includes, responsive to detection of a vortex ring undesirably affecting the vehicle and/or at least one vehicle condition indicating the presence of a vortex ring undesirably affecting the vehicle, initiating at least one control action to mitigate the effect of the vortex ring on the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Ryan Moody, Frank Agius
  • Patent number: 8820261
    Abstract: A method for detecting anomalies on a submarine object, in particular in the submarine region on a hull of a moored warcraft, which method carries out very reliable sensing of the submarine object by way of an unmanned small submarine vehicle that is equipped with simple sensor equipment, such as an acoustic sensor for measuring distances and a barometric cell for determining depth, and which method obtains a profile of the submarine object by navigating the small submarine vehicle with a constant transversal distance to the submarine object, in which profile an anomaly present on the submarine object becomes is apparent from the profile line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Atlas Elektronik GmbH
    Inventor: Detlef Lambertus
  • Publication number: 20140241122
    Abstract: An activation module to be used in a seismic equipment recovery device. The activation module includes a processor; a pressure transducer configured to measure a pressure of the ambient and provide the measured pressure to the processor; a memory connected to the processor and configured to store information related to a pressure or depth threshold; and a communication unit connected to the memory and configured to exchange information with an external device. The processor is configured to send a deployment instruction to an inflation mechanism to inflate a flotation bag based on the measured pressure and the stored information.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 19, 2013
    Publication date: August 28, 2014
    Applicant: CGG SERVICES SA
    Inventors: Damien PONCEAU, Pierre LE ROUX
  • Patent number: 8776706
    Abstract: A method of using a buoyancy fluid presenting density that is less than that of sea water, and that is confined in a rigid or flexible leaktight casing, so as to constitute an immersed buoyancy element, wherein the buoyancy fluid is a compound that is naturally in a gaseous state at ambient atmospheric temperature and pressure, and in a liquid state at the underwater depth to which the buoyancy element is immersed. A method is also disclosed for placing a buoyancy element in place between the surface and the bed of the sea, wherein fluid is stored in a tank on a surface ship as a liquid in the cooled or compressed liquid state, and is injected in the liquid state into a pipe from the surface where it is stored to an immersed casing at an underwater depth at which the underwater pressure is not greater than the vapor pressure of the gas corresponding to the compound at the temperature at the depth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Salpem S.A.
    Inventors: Michel Baylot, Marc Bonnissel, Xavier Rocher
  • Patent number: 8733267
    Abstract: A telescopic submarine includes: a front submarine unit (1), a rear submarine unit (2), and a lift tower (3). A ring-shaped piston (14) connected with the rear submarine unit (2) is in a hydrocylinder (7) connected with the front submarine unit (1). When the piston (14) is moved forward, a volume of the telescopic submarine is decreased, a specific gravity of the telescopic submarine is increased, and therefore the telescopic submarine dives into the water gradually. The telescopic submarine is able to surface via operating the horizontal rudder (20) to raise the telescopic submarine to a surface of the water, and then pumping the hydraulic oil (32) into the hydrocylinder (7) via the hydraulic pump (11) to drive the piston (14) to move backward. Therefore the volume of the telescopic submarine is increased, the specific gravity of the telescopic submarine is decreased, and the telescopic submarine surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignee: Shanghai Zhijing Biological Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Jiashan Chen
  • Patent number: 8695526
    Abstract: A self-scuttling device can include a pressure hull that can define an internal void having an internal pressure PVOID. The device can be disposed in an underwater environment having a pressure PAMBIENT that is greater than PVOID. The pressure hull can be formed with a fill port, which can be selectively opened to flood the void. A reactive agent can be disposed within the void. The reactive agent can be chosen to mix with seawater and establish a solution that corrodes the pressure hull when the reactive agent is exposed to seawater by flooding the void. The reactive agent can be disposed within a watertight container, which maintains watertight integrity at PVOID, but loses watertight integrity at the greater PAMBIENT. When this occurs, the reactive agent becomes exposed to seawater to establish the solution within the void that corrodes the pressure hull.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Charles M. Ringer, Earl Floren, Peyton Hall
  • Publication number: 20140060418
    Abstract: A method for operating a submersible vehicle includes, responsive to detection of a vortex ring undesirably affecting the vehicle and/or at least one vehicle condition indicating the presence of a vortex ring undesirably affecting the vehicle, initiating at least one control action to mitigate the effect of the vortex ring on the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2012
    Publication date: March 6, 2014
    Applicant: iRobot Corporation
    Inventor: iRobot Corporation
  • Patent number: 8649922
    Abstract: A electronic pet contains a diving device which includes a sealed main body with at least one flexible portion disposed on at least one part of the main body wherein the sealed main body is sealed from water external to the sealed main body by the at least one flexible portion together with the main body, and an actuator, directly connected to the flexible portion through a transmission shaft, wherein the actuator is adapted for controlling the air density of the diving device by pulling or pushing the flexible portion inwards or outwards through the transmission shaft respectively. The electronic pet also includes a driving device, a sensing device used to sense light, sound and contact/non-contact stimulations from an external environment, a signal transceiver device used to transceive signals to and from devices other than the electronic pet, and a processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2014
    Assignee: Industrial Technology Research Institute
    Inventor: Ching-Min Shu
  • Publication number: 20130305979
    Abstract: A craft includes a rigid hull (1) that consists of a V-shaped bottom (5) and a bridge (4) on which a load can rest. The hull includes plating consisting of compartmentalized pneumatic floats (2), the rear compartments (32) of which are combined with an inflation and deflation system so as to vary the buoyancy of the craft. The craft also includes a submergible hull (1), the central cavity (9) of which is formed between the bottom (5) and the bridge (4) and is open at the rear so as to be automatically filled or emptied, the central cavity (9) containing at least one bag (10) that is combined with an inflation and deflation system enabling the buoyancy to be varied and consequently the level of immersion of the stern (7) to be changed as needed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2011
    Publication date: November 21, 2013
    Applicant: ZODIAC INTERNATIONAL
    Inventors: Marc Cassanas, Erle Dumontier, Lionel Boudeau
  • Publication number: 20130289869
    Abstract: A electronic pet contains a diving device which includes a sealed main body with at least one flexible portion disposed on at least one part of the main body wherein the sealed main body is sealed from water external to the sealed main body by the at least one flexible portion together with the main body, and an actuator, directly connected to the flexible portion through a transmission shaft, wherein the actuator is adapted for controlling the air density of the diving device by pulling or pushing the flexible portion inwards or outwards through the transmission shaft respectively. The electronic pet also includes a driving device, a sensing device used to sense light, sound and contact/non-contact stimulations from an external environment, a signal transceiver device used to transceive signals to and from devices other than the electronic pet, and a processor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 28, 2013
    Publication date: October 31, 2013
    Inventor: Ching-Min Shu
  • Patent number: 8570829
    Abstract: A steerable seismic energy source includes at least one float. The floatation device includes a device for changing buoyancy thereof. A frame is coupled to the at least one float. At least one seismic energy source is suspended from the frame. At least one steering device is coupled to the floatation device or the frame. The at least one steering device includes at least one control surface and a control surface actuator coupled to the control surface. The actuator is configured to rotate the control surface to generate hydrodynamic lift at least in a vertical direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: PGS Geophysical AS
    Inventors: Vidar Hovland, Tore Steinsland, Karl Petter Elvestad
  • Publication number: 20130269585
    Abstract: Disclosed are an underwater moving apparatus and a moving method thereof. The underwater moving apparatus of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention includes a body; a propelling device installed on a rear side of the body; a thruster unit including an up and down directional thruster and a left and right directional thruster installed at the body; and a plurality of leg units positioned at both side portions of the body and including a multi-joint module.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2011
    Publication date: October 17, 2013
    Applicant: SAMSUNG HEAVY IND. CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jaehoon Kim, Youngjun Park, Jongho Eun, Jongung Choi, Jaeyong Lee, Sungmoon Joo, Hieyong Jeong, Donghun Lee
  • Publication number: 20130259572
    Abstract: A chamber device that collects, contains, and transfers undersea leaking hydrocarbon fluids from various possible leak sources, comprises a remote controller cooperating with valves and sensors to automatically modulate the transfer flow rates of one or more fluids from the device to cooperating industry equipment. The device remote controller further comprises procedural data with simulation derived process control data, and cooperates with other sensors, valves, and external data inputs to enable updated interactive procedural data, with updated process control data to reduce the probability of error while enabling automated control functions during deployment, descent, and operation. Sea surface methods of loading ballast and low density fluids combine to deliver the very large negative buoyant force to the leak site where a method to release the ballast enables device recovery.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2012
    Publication date: October 3, 2013
    Inventor: Thomas Toedtman
  • Publication number: 20130228117
    Abstract: Systems and methods for buoyancy compensation are provided. Both active and passive buoyancy compensation can be provided using a compressible mixture made of a liquid along with a hydrophopic material such as a powder, electrospun fiber, or foam. The compressible fluid compresses as pressure is applied or expands as pressure is released thereby substantially maintaining an overall neutral buoyancy for a vessel. This allows the vessel to ascend and descend to water depths with minimal active buoyancy change. As a result, the energy usage and the reliance on higher pressure air and oils can be minimized.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2013
    Publication date: September 5, 2013
    Applicant: SEA-BIRD ELECTRONICS, INC.
    Inventor: Bradley C. Edwards
  • Publication number: 20130206049
    Abstract: An underwater load-carrier is disclosed that includes an underwater-balloon detachably attached to a container that is loaded with ballast. The underwater load-carrier is lowered into the water of an ocean and allowed to descend to the ocean bottom and there connected a mining-vehicle. The mining-vehicle loads mined nodules into the container while the container ejects ballast to maintain the container at a specified altitude above the ocean bottom. When nodule loading is complete, nodules and/or ballast is ejected to allow underwater load-carrier to rise to the ocean surface where mined nodules is unloaded from the container.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 10, 2012
    Publication date: August 15, 2013
    Applicant: LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ralph SPICKERMANN, Steve N. PERSALL
  • Patent number: 8509972
    Abstract: An electronic pet and a system therewith are provided herein. The electronic pet includes a driving device, a sensing device used to sense light, sound and contact/non-contact stimulations from an external environment, a signal transceiver device used to transceive signals to and from devices other than the electronic pet, and a processor. The pet interaction system includes an electronic pet, a system sensing device used to sense a position of the electronic pet and a physiological status of a user, a dummy, a system signal transceiver device used to transceive signals to and from the electronic pet and the dummy, and a system processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: Industrial Technology Research Institute
    Inventor: Ching-Min Shu
  • Patent number: 8495965
    Abstract: A submersible apparatus is configured to eject air and/or water in desired predetermined patterns to simulate particular types of ordnance to facilitate safe and effective splash testing of ship radar systems. The apparatus includes a frame, one or more adjustable buoyancy bodies, a source of fluid such as an air compressor or a water pump, and a plurality of nozzles through which the fluid is ejected to create the desired splash. Fluid can be supplied to the buoyancy bodies to adjust the level of the apparatus in the water as necessary to simulate a particular type of ordnance. Additionally, the nozzles can be individually adjustable to facilitate ordnance simulation. A control system is provided to enable remote and/or preprogrammed control of the apparatus. A wireless or hard wired link can be provided to allow a remote user to control the apparatus in real time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2013
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph Hadida, David B. Arnal
  • Patent number: 8418642
    Abstract: An unmanned submersible vehicle for use in a body of liquid having a top surface and in air overlying the top surface includes a hull, an integral antenna, and an antenna positioning system. The hull has first and second opposed ends. The hull includes a first hull portion adjacent the first end and a second hull portion adjacent the second end. The antenna is disposed within the first hull portion and/or is mounted on the first hull portion. The antenna positioning system is configured to reorient the hull from a transit position to a signal position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventor: Frederick Vosburgh
  • Patent number: 8414241
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a device for lifting and lowering a load in water, including a hoisting gear with a first hoisting rope and a storage drum with a second hoisting rope, which preferably are arranged on a floating unit. In accordance with the present disclosure, a hoisting gear frame is fastened to the first hoisting rope, whose buoyancy in water is variably adjustable. Furthermore, the present disclosure relates to a method for lifting and lowering a load in water by using such a device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Liebherr-Werk Nenzing GmbH
    Inventor: Walter Laenge
  • Publication number: 20130074759
    Abstract: A telescopic submarine includes: a front submarine unit (1), a rear submarine unit (2), and a lift tower (3). A ring-shaped piston (14) connected with the rear submarine unit (2) is in a hydrocylinder (7) connected with the front submarine unit (1). When the piston (14) is moved forward, a volume of the telescopic submarine is decreased, a specific gravity of the telescopic submarine is increased, and therefore the telescopic submarine dives into the water gradually. The telescopic submarine is able to surface via operating the horizontal rudder (20) to raise the telescopic submarine to a surface of the water, and then pumping the hydraulic oil (32) into the hydrocylinder (7) via the hydraulic pump (11) to drive the piston (14) to move backward. Therefore the volume of the telescopic submarine is increased, the specific gravity of the telescopic submarine is decreased, and the telescopic submarine surfaces.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 30, 2011
    Publication date: March 28, 2013
    Inventor: Jiashan Chen
  • Patent number: 8397658
    Abstract: A buoyancy control system comprises a housing, first and second pistons, and a source of pressurized air. The pistons are coaxially aligned and are supported by the housing such that movement of the pistons changes a volume of a control chamber. In a shallow mode, fluid flows from the source of pressurized fluid to the first piston such that the pressurized fluid displaces the first piston to alter the volume of the control chamber and thus a buoyancy of the buoyancy control system. In a deep mode, fluid flows from the source of pressurized fluid to the first and second pistons such that the pressurized fluid displaces both of the first and second pistons to alter the volume of the control chamber and thus the buoyancy of the buoyancy control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Alaska Native Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Joseph Imlach, Paul J. Farley, Marian Ilene DeVoll
  • Publication number: 20130032078
    Abstract: A sea glider that includes a pressure hull and fore and aft fairings encapsulating the pressure hull. At least one of the fore and aft fairings defines an Ogive profile.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 6, 2012
    Publication date: February 7, 2013
    Applicant: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Christopher R. Yahnker, Robert Eugene Hughes, Marc Jeremy Hoffman, Amber Kardes
  • Publication number: 20120329345
    Abstract: An autonomous submersible vessel employs ambient wave energy to both propel itself and to generate required onboard electrical power. The vessel combines a ballast stabilized stator portion and a wave orbit driven rotor portion. Controlled resistance to their relative rotation occurs only when the horizontal component of wave orbit motion coincides with the desired direction of navigation, so increased hydrodynamic drag at that time acts to pull the vessel forward. The vessel incorporates a means to collect and preserve plankton samples. The vessel design enables alternate operation as an oceanographic glider to also navigate in deep water and in calm seas.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2012
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Inventor: John Hincks Duke
  • Publication number: 20120312221
    Abstract: A submersible vehicle for use in water includes a vehicle body and a hybrid vehicle propulsion system to propel the vehicle body through the water. The hybrid vehicle propulsion system includes a passive thrust system and an active thrust system. The passive thrust system includes a force redirector and a buoyancy control system. The buoyancy control system is operable to selectively generate vertical thrust by varying a buoyancy of the submersible vehicle and the force redirector is configured to generate a glide thrust responsive to changes in the elevation of the submersible vehicle in the water. The active thrust system includes a thruster mechanism operable to selectively propel and/or steer the vehicle body through the water.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 5, 2008
    Publication date: December 13, 2012
    Inventor: Frederick Vosburgh
  • Publication number: 20120289103
    Abstract: An hybrid unmanned underwater vehicle comprises a body housing a controller; a vector thruster for propelling the body; deployable wings allowing the unmanned underwater vehicle to traverse by gliding as the unmanned underwater vehicle ascends and descends; a center-of-mass shifter for shifting a center-of-mass of the vehicle to allow the unmanned underwater vehicle to pitch up and pitch down; and one of a multi-stage buoyancy control system within the body and configured to adjust an apparent displacement of the unmanned underwater vehicle and an expandable outer shell configured to adjust an apparent displacement and therefore a buoyancy of the unmanned underwater vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 8, 2012
    Publication date: November 15, 2012
    Inventors: Edison Thurman Hudson, Stephen Carl Licht, Donald Patrick Eickstedt
  • Publication number: 20120137950
    Abstract: An underwater vehicle includes systems for harvesting ambient hydrostatic pressure and storing the same as a gas pressure in a compressed gas system and as a water pressure in a pressurized electrolysis system. The gas pressure is used to perform mechanical work or to generate electrical power via a prime mover. The water pressure is used to release pressurized hydrogen and oxygen gases via electrolysis. The pressurized hydrogen and oxygen gases are used in a combustion chamber to generate propulsion power for the underwater vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 7, 2010
    Publication date: June 7, 2012
    Applicant: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: John W. Rapp, Louis J. Larkin
  • Publication number: 20120118218
    Abstract: Designs and techniques for fluid thrusters and vehicles that are powered by propelling fluids with fluid thrusters. Multiplex-thruster (MT) systems are disclosed that include a single thruster and a flow multiplexer with multiple channels to deliver thrusting flow in various directions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 23, 2011
    Publication date: May 17, 2012
    Applicant: UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
    Inventor: Wei-Min Shen
  • Publication number: 20120103245
    Abstract: A method for detecting anomalies on a submarine object, in particular in the submarine region on a hull of a moored warcraft, which method carries out very reliable sensing of the submarine object by way of an unmanned small submarine vehicle that is equipped with simple sensor equipment, such as an acoustic sensor for measuring distances and a barometric cell for determining depth, and which method obtains a profile of the submarine object by navigating the small submarine vehicle with a constant transversal distance to the submarine object, in which profile an anomaly present on the submarine object becomes is apparent from the profile line.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 25, 2010
    Publication date: May 3, 2012
    Applicant: Atlas Elektronik GmbH
    Inventor: Detlef Lambertus
  • Patent number: 8132525
    Abstract: A water navigable vessel or glider can transport cargo across oceans and other bodies of water without the use of fossil or nuclear fuels. The vessel includes a housing, a cargo or payload area within the housing, one or more control fins attached to the housing, a ballast within the housing, an expandable and contractible container configured to receive a clathrate and maintain a minimum amount of pressure on the clathrate within the housing in proximity to the ballast, and an intake valve coupled to the ballast. The clathrate changes state, thereby changing the buoyancy of the glider, and causing the glider to move through the body of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2012
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Matthew Herbek, Robert Dietzen, Braden Powell, Sean Day, Kenneth Blanchette, Matthew Gries, Matthew B. Ascari, John W. Rapp, Robert J. Howard
  • Publication number: 20110297071
    Abstract: A multiple stage buoyancy changing system, or variable buoyancy device, for an underwater vehicle. The multiple stage buoyancy changing system comprises: a pressure hull containing a flexibly-sized internal fluid reservoir; a flexibly-sized external fluid reservoir attached to the pressure hull and connected to the internal reservoir; a system of devices and channels configured to move fluid between the internal fluid reservoir and the external fluid reservoir to change a displaced volume of the vehicle. Each stage of the variable buoyancy device can be optimized for maximum energy efficiency while changing the vehicle's displaced volume within an ambient pressure range. A control system for the variable buoyancy device engages different stages depending on ambient external pressure such that maximum energy efficiency is achieved over a large range of pressures/depths.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2011
    Publication date: December 8, 2011
    Inventors: Edison Thurman Hudson, Robert Eugene Hughes, Frederick Roland Stahr, Jason Isaac Gobat, Timothy James Osse
  • Patent number: 8069808
    Abstract: A buoyancy control system comprises a housing and first and second pistons movably supported by the housing. In a shallow mode, displacement of the first piston alters a buoyancy of the buoyancy control system. In a deep mode, displacement of the first and second pistons alters the buoyancy of the buoyancy control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2011
    Assignee: Alaska Native Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Joseph Imlach, Paul J. Farley, Tracy D. DeVoll
  • Patent number: 8033235
    Abstract: A water craft (10) includes a hull (12) defining two cavities (18). An inflatable chamber (22) is arranged in each cavity (18), for displacing water from hull (12), in use, to increase the buoyancy of the craft (10). As the chamber (22) is inflated, it expands to reduce the free space available for water in the cavity (18), so as to directly expel water from the cavity (18). The chamber (22) can be deflated, in order to flood the cavity and thereby sink the craft (10). The craft (10) is intended to be operated in a normal buoyant mode and in a submarine mode, and includes propeller means (34). The craft may be in the form of a catamaran-type vessel, a jet-ski, or a submersible tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Inventor: Robin Jac Harris
  • Publication number: 20110232558
    Abstract: A submersible vehicle having an outer hull which defines a hull axis and appears substantially annular when viewed along the hull axis, the interior of the annulus defining a duct which is open at both ends so that when the vehicle is submerged in a liquid, the liquid floods the duct. At least part of the outer hull is swept with respect to the hull axis. A buoyancy control system may be provided. Various methods of deploying and using the vehicle are described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 28, 2011
    Publication date: September 29, 2011
    Applicant: GO SCIENCE LIMITED
    Inventor: Harry George Dennis Gosling
  • Patent number: 7921795
    Abstract: A buoyancy control system for a submersible object submerged in an ambient fluid, comprising a piston housing, a piston member, a pump, control fluid, and working fluid. The piston housing is supported by the submersible object. The piston member defines a piston portion and a shaft portion. The piston member is supported within the piston housing such that the piston portion and the piston housing define a control chamber and an ambient chamber and the shaft portion and the piston housing define a working chamber. The pump is operatively connected to the working chamber. The control fluid is arranged within the control chamber. At least a portion of the working fluid is arranged within the working chamber. Operation of the pump displaces working fluid within the working chamber to displace the piston member to alter a volume of the control chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: Alaska Native Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Joseph Imlach, Paul J. Farley, Tracy D. DeVoll