Balloons Patents (Class 116/DIG9)
  • Patent number: 6164239
    Abstract: A location identification balloon system for use by lost or injured hikers and the like that includes a balloon filled with helium that is secured with a tether and allowed to float above the tree level to allow a search plane or helicopter to readily locate the missing person. Cause the balloon to provide a flickering effect, the balloon has a number of air capturing pockets that cause the balloon to spin in the wind. The balloon and tether are attached by a swivel to allow the balloon to spin freely. The balloon is filled by pulling on a spool driven compression mechanism to cause a compression plate to compress the sealed tip end of a pressurized helium canister over the piercing tube end of a valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Inventor: Pearlene N. Dawson
  • Patent number: 6032607
    Abstract: An aerial lift balloon and signaling components attached thereto are stored within a closure member held assembled with a breakaway housing to form a package storing an inflating device for the balloon. Removal of the closure member initiates inflation of the balloon and operation of the signaling components, while removal of an end cover of the package permits separation of the breakaway housing enabling the positioning of the inflating device by a flotation collar portion of the package for aerial launching of the balloon. A stroboscopic light suspended between the floatation collar and the aerial lift balloon provides enhanced visibility of the signal device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Inventor: Clifford E. Ashline
  • Patent number: 5945912
    Abstract: A rescue system is provided including a transmitter housing and a recovery assembly including a transmitter situated within an interior space of the transmitter housing. The transmitter is adapted for emitting an emergency signal via free space upon the actuation thereof. Also included is a moisture sensor situated on the transmitter housing and connected to the transmitter for actuating the same during the detection of a predetermined amount of moisture. A receiver unit includes a direction sensor for indicating a direction of the transmitter housing upon the receipt of the emergency signal via free space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1999
    Inventor: Tony Guldbrand
  • Patent number: 5732752
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for automatically releasing a gas from a pressurized cartridge of the gas is provided, especially for the purpose of inflating an emergency balloon. The apparatus includes an automatic signal balloon inflator, having a support structure, an upper surface and a bottom plate. The bottom plate has at least a single cartridge mount, each with a vent and a pin port. The pin port connects to the cartridge mount. At least a single pressurized cartridge, containing a gas stored under pressure, is received into each cartridge mount in the support structure. A spring loaded piston is mounted upon the support structure. A plunger with a piston contact surface and a puncture pin is forced by the spring loaded piston to depress and penetrate the pressurized cartridge, releasing the gas contents of the pressurized cartridge through the vent. A firing spring forces the piston to engage the plunger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1998
    Inventors: Glen R. Glessner, George M. Glessner, Aime A. Gehri
  • Patent number: 5710543
    Abstract: The device of this invention has a deployable signalling or display structure for displaying messages on a display area of the structure to signal an event that exists within the building, including a distress event. The messages are provided by indicia placed on a display area of the structure. The signalling structure is large enough to be easily seen by persons who approach the entrance to the building, as well as persons at a safe distance from the building. The deployable signalling structure is stored within an enclosure adapted for installation to a portion of the building with a deployment opening directed to an exterior location away from the building. The signalling structure is deployed by forcing a fluid into the structure by way of a supply conduit from a deployment unit. A control valve is used to control the supply of fluid to the signalling structure from the deployment unit and to maintain the signalling structure deployed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 20, 1998
    Inventor: George David Moore
  • Patent number: 5582127
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method and device 10 for marking an individual's location to facilitate rescue. The method comprises the step of removing a cover member or cap 24 of the device 10 which contains an inflatable balloon 40 to open a valve 28 of a cylinder 18 containing a pressurized, lighter than air gas which inflates a balloon 40, so that the balloon rises in the atmosphere. The balloon 40 is tied to one end of a line 48 that has another end attached to the device 10. Thus, the balloon 40 travels upward a distance essentially equal to the length of the line 48, hovering overhead to identify the individual's location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1996
    Assignee: Lee Willis
    Inventors: Lee Willis, Scott Ganaja
  • Patent number: 5579813
    Abstract: A self-triggering inflatable balloon device. In a preferred embodiment, the device comprises a cylinder of compressed gas having an actuating valve thereon. The other end of the actuating valve is coupled to a deflated balloon. The cylinder, valve and deflated balloon are secured to the interior of a box having a hinged lid. An actuating member of the valve is coupled to the box lid such that the valve is opened when the box lid is raised. Upon opening of the box lid, therefore, the actuating valve is opened and the balloon is automatically inflated with the gas from the compressed gas cylinder. The device may be given as a gift wrapped present or mailed to a friend, and will produce a surprise when opened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 3, 1996
    Inventor: Bruce D. Watts
  • Patent number: 5429244
    Abstract: A rescue kit (10) for marking the position of a person or persons. The rescue kit (10) includes a balloon (12) having a body and a neck, and a canister (34) defining a cavity for containing a lighter-than-air gas (18) for inflating the balloon (12). The canister (34) is provided with a hole (58) for accessing the cavity and is provided with a membrane (26) covering the hole (58). The rescue kit (10) also includes a spool (32) which receives a securing line (20). The securing line (20) defines first and second ends, the first end of the securing line (20) being attached to the balloon (12), and the second end of the securing line being attached to the spool (32). Further, an inflating mechanism (50) is provided for selectively rupturing the membrane (26) of the canister (34) and communicating the lighter-than-air gas (18) from the canister (34) to the balloon (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Inventor: James L. McCreary
  • Patent number: 5399122
    Abstract: A novelty item is provided comprising a balloon, a container adapted to contain the balloon in a deflated state, and an inflation device adapted to act on the balloon. The inflation device includes a high pressure gas container and a valve coupled to the gas container. The valve is adapted to self-regulate and control the flow of gas into the balloon upon actuation thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 21, 1995
    Assignee: Aerobal Corp.
    Inventor: Thomas Slater
  • Patent number: 5301631
    Abstract: An emergency locating device allows an injured person to inflate and deploy a balloon using only one hand. The device has a cylindrical housing holding a cartridge pressurized with a quantity of a lighter-than-air gas, a quick-release fitting for removably attaching the balloon to the upper end of the housing, and an actuator extending from the lower end of the housing for causing a pin to puncture the cartridge when the actuator is depressed to allow gas to flow from the cartridge through the fitting to inflate the balloon. The fitting can be manually separated into a lower segment that remains attached to the housing, and an upper segment attached to the balloon that includes a one-way valve to prevent gas from escaping. The inflated balloon is tethered by a line to the housing. The upper portion of the housing can be used as a reel or spool to store the tether line when not in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 12, 1994
    Inventor: John K. Vining
  • Patent number: 5204146
    Abstract: A decorative container is disclosed having a transparent shell-like housing with an attached balloon which can be removably placed as a cover over an article. The balloon can be inflated by any of three methods including two negative pressure techniques and a positive pressure technique. In one of the negative pressure techniques, a space surrounding the balloon is evacuated while ambient air enters to expand the balloon. When the balloon is inflated, the housing is placed into the open throat of the balloon to seal the balloon. In the second negative pressure and the positive pressure techniques, the shell-like housing has a sealable air passage through which air can flow to inflate the balloon. The balloon can be inflated by evacuating a space around the balloon allowing ambient air to enter the balloon through the air passage in the housing. The air passage is then closed to seal the balloon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1993
    Inventors: Sally M. Heinze, Leda M. Borghese
  • Patent number: 5095845
    Abstract: An emergency signaling system (10) is provided for simultaneously reflecting electromagnetic energy in two distinct bandwidths of the electromagnetic spectrum. The inflatable bladder (20) includes a first portion (22,24) reflective of electromagnetic energy in a visual portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, and a second portion (30) being reflective of electromagnetic energy external the visual portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Inflatable bladder (20) is depolyed by applying a pulling force to the lanyard cord (50) which triggers release of a lighter-than-air gas from a cartridge (90). The expansion of the inflatable bladder (20) causes the closure flap (62) of the storage case (61) to be unlatched from the front wall (67), allowing the inflated bladder to ascend therefrom. Inflatable bladder (20) is tethered to the storage case (60) by way of a cord (50), the cord (50) being unwound from the cord storage assembly (70) of storage case (60).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1992
    Inventor: Betty J. Murphy
  • Patent number: 5083771
    Abstract: A novelty item in which an inflatable object is secured in a deflated state in a container with a movable lid. Inflation means is provided to rapidly expand the inflatable object beyond the bounds of the container. When the inflation means is actuated, the inflatable object rapidly expands thus causing the lid to move to an open position and a fully inflated object is suddenly thrust into view.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 28, 1992
    Inventor: Michael R. Tyner
  • Patent number: 5049106
    Abstract: A self-contained, self-inflating balloon unit comprising a closed, inflatable balloon, a cannister containing compressed gas, at least partly inside the balloon, and a device for releasing the compressed gas from the cannister into the balloon to inflate the balloon. The balloon comprises an inflatable body portion and a neck portion, and the cannister is located in the neck portion. The cannister is preferably slidably mounted in a sleeve in the neck portion of the balloon. The sleeve includes a pin for rupturing the cannister when the cannister is urged against it. A one-way valve allows the gas to inflate the body portion but prevents its escape.In some embodiments the unit also includes a tether which is connected at one end to the sleeve and at the other end to the cannister. After the balloon is inflated, the cannister can be removed from the sleeve, extending the tether. The empty cannister serves as a handle for the tether.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 17, 1991
    Inventors: Sunyong Kim, Dae W. Lee
  • Patent number: 5020467
    Abstract: A balloon signalling system includes a hollow, generally cylindrical casing having a container section with an upper open end and a bottom closed end, and a cap placeable on the upper end of the container section to form an enclosure. Also included is a spool on which a string may be wound, with the spool being disposed in the container section near the bottom end thereof to rotate about a transverse axis. A cartridge containing lighter-than-air gas under pressure is disposed in the container section above the spool so that a nozzle end of the cartridge protrudes from the container section when the cap is removed. A valve is disposed in the nozzle end of the cartridge and is manually operable from a closed position to an open position to allow gas to escape from the cartridge out the nozzle end and into a balloon which is mounted on the nozzle end. The balloon is dimensioned to fit in the cap when deflated and includes a mouth which may be placed over the nozzle and to secure the balloon to the cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1989
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1991
    Inventors: Norman Van Patten, Blaine Van Patten
  • Patent number: 5014757
    Abstract: A balloon device includes an inner container and an outer container that are movable with respect to each other. The device includes a pressurized gas container mounted in the inner container and a firing mechanism that is operated by slamming the device against a solid surface such as a table top or the like. The firing mechanism punctures the pressurized container and permits gas to escape into the device, and this gas is guided via orifices to the balloon that is sealingly held on the device by an O-ring type element. When the balloon is pressurized to a prescribed pressure, further pressurization of the device will move the inner container and the surface against which the O-ring seats disappears as the inner container moves with respect to the outer container. The balloon is released and sealed as the O-ring is released.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1991
    Inventors: Daniel J. Donaldson, William K. Busch
  • Patent number: 5007367
    Abstract: A helium balloon is attached to, and in communication with a helium bottle and has attached thereto four guide lines so that selected lines can be pulled as needed to guide the balloon through clearings in overhead foliage. When not in use the lines are wound on a spindle to be packed with the deflated balloon. The spindle carries an arrowhead to be extended from one end thereof and driven into the ground to anchor the guide lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1991
    Inventors: Lawrence A. Matteucci, Shirley J. Rager, Ambrose P. Maher
  • Patent number: 5005513
    Abstract: A balloon signalling system which includes a hollow flexible casing having a container section with an upper open end and a bottom closed end, and a cap for placement on the upper end of the container section. A hollow flexible flask having an opening is disposed in the container section. Disposed in the flask is a reactable material which when contacted by a certain solution, produces hydrogen gas. Also disposed in the flask is a cartridge which is breakable when bent, with the cartridge containing the certain solution. A string or other tether is held in the container section of the casing, with one end of the string being attached to the casing. Also included is an inflatable balloon dimensioned to fit in the cap when deflated and having a mouth through which gas may pass into and out of the balloon. Positioned in the mouth is a one-way valve for allowing hydrogen gas to enter the balloon and for preventing discharge of gas therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1990
    Date of Patent: April 9, 1991
    Assignees: Norman Van Patten, Blaine Van Patten
    Inventors: Norman Van Patten, Blaine Van Patten, Vernon Dillenbeck
  • Patent number: 4944242
    Abstract: A location and signaling balloon device includes a lifting body balloon, a pressurized vessel of lighter-than-air gas and tethering apparatus for an inflated balloon. The tethering apparatus includes a tether line wound on a friction spool which is attached to a necked-down portion of the pressurized vessel. The friction spool prevents the tether line from freely paying out and snarling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 31, 1990
    Inventor: Donald H. Russell
  • Patent number: 4917041
    Abstract: An inflatable marking device for marking a position comprising an inflatable balloon for receiving a lighter than air gas for inflating the balloon to cause the balloon to rise to mark a position. A line is secured at one end around the throat of the balloon and at the other end to a handle to maintain the balloon at the desired position. The handle is provided with a nipple for receiving the throat of the balloon, a spool around which the line is wound, and a shoulder to keep the line from overlapping onto the nipple when unwinding the line from the spool. One end of the handle is an opening for sealing around a gas cartridge when the cartridge is inserted therein, and a pin valve is positioned within the opening for engaging the cartridge to cause the gas to escape from the cartridge, through the nipple, and into the balloon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 17, 1990
    Assignee: R & P Enterprises
    Inventors: Klaus D. Weiswurm, Hubert L. Risinger, Andrew B. Phillips
  • Patent number: 4911379
    Abstract: While the broad invention is directed to a device automatically releasable of a balloon when a predetermined degree of inflation has been achieved, in a preferred combination there is included the inflatable balloon, the balloon being restrained by a restraining mechanism until inflation by a lever mechanism when moved beyond a predetermined point representing the degree of balloon inflation desired, causes the restraining mechanism to release the balloon, and the restraining mechanism including a biasing spring to facilitate rapid release, together with the balloon gas-input spincter rubber valve having inserted therethrough a gas-inflating needle providable of inflating gas from a compressed or pressurized gas source or gas container contained in an open-top box having a lid, until the opening of the lid actuates a gas-release valve to inflate the balloon; release of the inflated balloon facilitates the pulling of the balloon's spincter rubber valve off-of the gas-inflating needle, the gas being preferably
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1989
    Date of Patent: March 27, 1990
    Inventor: Shari D. Kopelman
  • Patent number: 4903958
    Abstract: An amusement device constructed to simulated a gift package, e.g. for a birthday, or for Christmas. The package is subdivided into a compressed air chamber and a balloon storage compartment. When the person receiving the gift package attempts to open it, the balloon is automatically inflated so as to pop out of the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1989
    Date of Patent: February 27, 1990
    Assignee: Fernando DiCarlo
    Inventors: Fernando DiCarlo, Tony DiCarlo
  • Patent number: 4901664
    Abstract: A survival kit apparatus is set forth wherein the same provides for a container formed with a pivotally mounted lid securable about a forward face of the container. The kit includes a selectively illuminated compass formed within the lid and a secondary storage container formed through the lid containing food rations and cutlery therein. The interior of the container includes a spool of flexible tether line formed with axially extending axles from the spool. A valved pressurized helium container has secured thereto an inflatable signal balloon and a flashlight removably positioned within a padded tubular support holder removably secured within the container along a forwardmost wall thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 1989
    Date of Patent: February 20, 1990
    Inventor: Sylva Labrecque
  • Patent number: 4872414
    Abstract: An emergency signal balloon apparatus having a helium canister, an emergency signal balloon, a predetermined length of tether line, a valve assembly and a two part canister housing within which all of the components can be carried. The balloon is constructed of ultra-light, high-strength material, such as Mylar, and most of it would have an iridescent color, such as hunter's orange, with the upper portion having large wedged shaped sections of a highly reflective silver material. The balloon would further have large black letters, "CALL 911" which is the universal distress telephone number. Each of the letters of the message is bordered with highly reflective material so that when light strikes the material at night the message is clearly reflected and is highly visible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1989
    Inventors: Janet L. Asquith, Bonnie G. Connor
  • Patent number: 4836128
    Abstract: A position indicating device (10) including a capsule (11) of lighter-than-air gas, a balloon envelope (13) and a connection and release assembly (12) securing the balloon envelope (13) to the capsule (11). The connection and release assembly (12) includes an actuator (29) which may be rotated to cause the capsule (11) to be pierced and permit gas to escape into the balloon envelope (13) and a release pin (46) to release the balloon envelope (13) when inflated. The height of elevation of the balloon envelope (13) is governed by a tether (21).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1987
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1989
    Inventor: Kevin J. Walker
  • Patent number: 4815677
    Abstract: Helium inflatable emergency locator balloon having a longitudinal body and side wings defining horizontally a triangular, bilaterally symmetrical tetralobate monochamber having a forward lobate nose, a rearward lobate hind section and flanking rearward lobate wings, the latter three lobate portions being in side by side spaced apart and unconnected relation to each other and the hind section end extending rearwardly slightly beyond the wind ends, and in inflated condition each of the body and wings defining in longitudinal cross section a bilaterally symmetrical convex profile having a slightly rounded upper side and underside, a small rounded leading edge and an acutely pointed trailing edge, and a respective tail of streamer strips attached to each of the hind section and wing ends, such strips preferably constituting tuned radar reflective dipole strips, and optionally alternatively similar dipole strips being individually loosely disposed within the balloon, and a gas supply device for inflating the ballo
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1987
    Date of Patent: March 28, 1989
    Assignee: Kiwi Research & Development Corp.
    Inventors: John A. Rushing, Sam Harris, Ross S. Penney
  • Patent number: 4800835
    Abstract: A device for providing location data for use by a lost child or adult or an individual in need of assistance. The device is in the form of a small compact unit including a container having a top case and a bottom case containing a deflated airfoil and a gas cylinder containing lighter-than-air gas such as helium. A release key which when pulled allows the top case to separate from the bottom case and automatic inflation of the airfoil commences. The plunger strikes a lever driving a puncture pin into the gas cylinder filling the airfoil through a one way valve. The airfoil is tethered at one end by a line and is attached to the bottom case and maintains flight even in adverse weather conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 1988
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1989
    Assignee: Radarfind, Inc.
    Inventor: Arthur W. Mears
  • Patent number: 4729337
    Abstract: An air pressure indicator for mounting on an automobile tire valve. An inflatable balloon is used to indicate a desired condition. The balloon is surrounded by a transparent cap. Should the air pressure in the tire fall below a desired level, the balloon will deflate. A free floating valve is positioned in a cavity formed adjacent to the transparent cap. The valve seals an air passage through the transparent cap should the inflatable balloon rupture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1987
    Date of Patent: March 8, 1988
    Inventor: Edgar Schopp
  • Patent number: 4697706
    Abstract: The present disclosure is directed to life spotting package comprising a lighter than air inflatable cylindrical device of an international orange composite having an inflated diameter of the order of one foot in diameter and a length of the order of five feet. A mirror finish helical strip of highly light reflective material runs from the top of the cylinder and winding axially down and around the cylinder to its bottom. The cylinder is of a metallic foil over plastic composite and is radar reflective. The bottom of the cylinder has an apron for the attachment of signaling devices by way of grommet eyelets and velcro patches. The cylinder is provided by a helium charged no return cannister. There is provision for introducing the helium from the cannister into the inflatable cylindrical device making the cannister part of the airborne lighter than air cylindrical device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 1986
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1987
    Inventor: Donald L. Schaller
  • Patent number: 4696252
    Abstract: An improved emergency signalling device for use by skiers, hunters and other persons who may be exposed to the outdoors, remote from civilization, and who may in the course of their avocation or occupation become injured or disabled while far removed from contact with assistance. The device comprises a package, which may be secured by straps to a limb or the body of the person, the package containing a signal balloon, a helium container and a reel for paying out a length of tether line together with means for easily inflating the balloon with the helium and sending it aloft to attract the attention of searchers who may be looking for the person in distress. Radar reflective streamers are provided to improve the radar reflectivity of the balloon and thus make it easier to locate by searchers using radar from the air or water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1986
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1987
    Inventor: Edward Grill
  • Patent number: 4617015
    Abstract: The invention comprises a visual pressure indicator for endotracheal cuffs. More particularly, the indicator of the invention comprises an indicating diaphragm which is sealingly positioned within a body by means of a cap. A hole is positioned within the cap to allow protrusion of an indicating stem of the diaphragm. The air space between the diaphragm and the body is connected in fluid communication with the cuff supply tube by means of passageways. A syringe-operable, one-way valve is positioned within the body to allow filling of the endotracheal cuff with air by means of a syringe, and to prevent leakage of the air from the cuff once it is properly filled. The indicator of the invention is fitted to the end of the cuff supply tube, and a conventional syringe is fitted to the indicator. When the endotracheal tube is in position within the patient's trachea, the syringe is operated to force air into the endotracheal cuff via the one-way valve, cuff supply tube, and cuff supply channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1984
    Date of Patent: October 14, 1986
    Assignee: Halkey-Roberts Corporation
    Inventor: Carl L. Foltz
  • Patent number: 4586456
    Abstract: A balloon distress marker wherein the balloon has, in a wall thereof, a small compartment interiorly of the balloon and accessible through an aperture in the wall of the balloon for retaining an article therein. The compartment is substantially smaller than the volumne of the balloon and is useable for interconnecting balloons in series or inserting a flashlight therein to illuminate the balloon. A coupling for interconnecting balloons is preferably a small balloon in itself which can be inflated when in the compartment. A two-part balloon wherein the two parts are interconnected by a narrow neck portion rendering the marker useable as a life preserver. A rescue kit consisting of a casing having a removable top that can be illuminated by flashlights in the cap. Located within the container is a cylinder containing lighter-than-air gas for inflating the balloon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1984
    Date of Patent: May 6, 1986
    Inventor: Ross M. Forward
  • Patent number: 4499763
    Abstract: Apparatus for attaching a sounding balloon by its filling tube to a device which is adapted to be connected to a radiosonde by a flexible connecting element includes an attachment member in which an aperture is formed and a fixing member adapted to be fitted in locking position on the attachment member so that at least a portion thereof extends through the aperture. The fixing member includes at least one wedge-shaped portion which extends through the aperture of the attachment member when the fixing member is fitted into locking position to urge the filling tube of the sounding balloon against the marginal edge of the aperture to fix the filling tube and, therefore, the sounding balloon to the attachment member. The attachment member preferably is integral with a plate body which widens in a downward direction and which constitutes a device for releasing the flexible connecting element between the radiosonde and the sounding balloon in a controlled manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1983
    Date of Patent: February 19, 1985
    Assignee: Vaisala Oy
    Inventor: Esa Varkia
  • Patent number: 4287819
    Abstract: The source of vacuum comprises a tubular body in which a piston which is combined with a piston rod is axially slidable. A seal is interposed between the rod and the body where the rod extends out of the body. A suction orifice is provided which is on the axis of or in the vicinity of the axis of the body and parallel to the axis. An arrangement is provided for holding the body and urging the piston to one end of the body in one hand. A communication passage is provided for putting the suction orifice in communication with a chamber defined between the piston and the body when the piston is depressed relative to the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 1978
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1981
    Inventor: Andre A. C. Emerit
  • Patent number: 4219819
    Abstract: A device for aiding in the location of a person or object comprises a balloon connected by a valve to a container for a pressurized gas lighter than air, all of which are disposed within a casing in which a tethering line for the balloon is disposed and held closed by a releasable strap and lid which also holds the valve closed and which is operative to permit escape of the balloon and gas container from the casing whilst simultaneously opening the valve to admit gas into the balloon whereby the inflated balloon with the gas container connected thereto can rise into the air at one end of the tethering line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1978
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1980
    Inventor: Rasik M. Patel
  • Patent number: 4185582
    Abstract: A distress signal device comprising an inflatable balloon, a tether line with one end attached to the balloon and its other end attached to a casing and a gas cartridge or vial containing water or ammonium halide solution and metal hydride crystals located within the casing. A cartridge actuator apparatus is also provided which comprises a spring loaded pin axially aligned with the end of the glass vial, a line connected to a blunt end of the pin with the other end of the line being looped around an inclined leg of a support member connected to the inner side wall of the casing and a rod. A ball weight is connected by a universal joint to the lower end of the rod, and coil springs are located between the inner casing wall and the ball weight on all sides so that upon an impact of predetermined force the ball weight moves a sufficient distance to release the rod causing the pin to puncture the glass vial to allow mixing of the liquid and crystals to inflate the balloon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1977
    Date of Patent: January 29, 1980
    Inventor: Clyde C. Bryant
  • Patent number: 4123987
    Abstract: A compact signal balloon device includes a special charge container having a liner for holding a first reacting chemical and preventing its egress through access holes provided in a wall of the charge container. The device also includes an activation container which holds a second reacting chemical and which is adapted to receive the charge container to effect mixing and reaction of the chemicals to produce a lighter-than-air gas. A balloon seals the activation container and is inflated by the gas generated by the reaction. The balloon is then sealed and detached and then released on the end of a line. A detachable covering member over the access holes seals the holes and prevents inadvertent reacting prior to the time that the charge container is placed in the activation container. A piece of reflective metallic material is carried by the balloon and increases its detectability. Also, a transmitter may be attached to the balloon to transmit its location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 1977
    Date of Patent: November 7, 1978
    Assignee: Res-Q-Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard C. Singerle, Gail M. Denman
  • Patent number: 4114561
    Abstract: An avalanche rescue marker system consisting of an openable pack assembly and a trigger inflation assembly, the openable pack assembly being carried by the user on his upper back and the trigger inflation assembly being carried by the user on an upper front portion of his outer garment with a gas tube coupled therebetween. The trigger inflation assembly carries a gas cylinder having compressed lighter-than-air gas therein and is coupled to the input of a deflated marker balloon which in turn has its neck portion coupled tethered to a tether which is folded in anti-fouling loops. When a lever is pulled by the wearer the gas in the cartridge enters the balloon, inflating the balloon after which the balloon automatically escapes, pulling the tether upward along with it. The tether is attached to the wearer and hence, the balloon becomes a marker marking the location of the wearer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1975
    Date of Patent: September 19, 1978
    Inventor: Vito F. Asaro
  • Patent number: 4094267
    Abstract: This device is a red or orange balloon, with white lettering spelling out the word, "HELP", on both sides. The device includes a helium tank with cord retaining means thereon, and a valve device for insertion into a sleeve secured within a fitting on the neck of the balloon, and one end of the cord is secured to the balloon, and the other end is secured to the tank, which will serve as anchor means for the balloon, when the device is in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1977
    Date of Patent: June 13, 1978
    Inventor: John Davis, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4056000
    Abstract: An altitude release mechanism for releasing a radiosonde or other measuring instrument from a balloon carrying it up into the atmosphere includes a bottle partially filled with water, a tube sealed into the bottle having one end submerged in the water in the bottle and the free end extending above the top of the bottle and a strip of water-disintegrable paper held within the free end of the tube linking the balloon to the remainder of the package. As the balloon ascends, the lowered atmospheric air pressure causes the air in the bottle to expand, forcing the water in the bottle up the tubing to wet and disintegrate the paper, releasing the package from the balloon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1977
    Date of Patent: November 1, 1977
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventor: Frank C. Kulhanek
  • Patent number: 4052955
    Abstract: An emergency balloon device includes a balloon member clamped onto a gas cartridge, wherein the gas cartridge is removably received into a cartridge holding section which is also capable of holding a plurality of smoke bomb cannisters. The cartridge holding device is removably received into a sleeve member which is secured to an end of a flexible cable; the other end of the cable is secured to a weighted base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1976
    Date of Patent: October 11, 1977
    Inventor: Nathan Haushalter
  • Patent number: 4044711
    Abstract: A distress marker assembly in the form of an inflatable balloon fastened to a cylinder of compressed helium or hydrogen gas, with a flexible line fixed at one end to the cylinder and at the other end to an anchor unit. The anchor unit is shaped with a clasp for fastening to a fixed object or the person of the user, and formed with a pair of flexible clamp jaws through which the line is fed out to the balloon, when inflated. The balloon is marked with a distinctive color and with large letters spelling out S.O.S. The balloon contains a quantity of metal oxide powder to serve as a radar reflector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1976
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1977
    Assignee: The Raymond Lee Organization, Inc.
    Inventor: Leon L. Jamison, deceased
  • Patent number: 4020786
    Abstract: The signal assembly includes a deflated balloon capable of retaining a lighter-than-air gas. It also includes a container for the gas under pressure which has an opening in it. The open edges of the balloon in deflated form are sealingly fixed to the opening. The balloon is retained in deflated form within the container by means of a lid or cap for the container which prevents outward movement of the balloon through the opening which would be necessary to inflate the balloon. The lid is normally attached to the container in a way sufficient to prevent escape of its contents except when the assembly is to be actuated. In one form of the invention, the balloon is disposed and retained in deflated form toward the open top of a rigid container having a lid that is tightly fitted around the upper edge of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 1975
    Date of Patent: May 3, 1977
    Inventor: Saul Z. Kopeika
  • Patent number: 4016885
    Abstract: Inflatable cuff-type catheters, e.g., endotracheal and tracheotomy tubes, with cuff pressure indicators are provided. One indicator means comprises an expandable chamber with an open-ended spring about the mid-section of the chamber. As the chamber expands, the spring also expands to indicate the gas pressure in the cuff.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1975
    Date of Patent: April 12, 1977
    Assignee: Sandoz, Inc.
    Inventor: James D. Bruner
  • Patent number: 4013035
    Abstract: The signal assembly includes an inflatable ballon capable of retaining a lighter-than-air gas connected to a container of the gas under pressure. A seal is provided to prevent the contents of the container from being released into the balloon. The container has a manually yieldable and resilient wall portion to which a needle or equivalent is connected so that, upon inward pressure on the resilient wall portion, the needle breaks the seal. When the manual pressure is released, the restorative action of the resilient wall portion causes the needle to withdraw from the seal leaving a punctured passageway through which gas flows from the container into the balloon. A one-way valve may be provided adjacent the seal to prevent reentry of the gas from the balloon into the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1975
    Date of Patent: March 22, 1977
    Inventor: Saul Z. Kopeika
  • Patent number: 3964427
    Abstract: Apparatus for marking a location which includes a balloon and a bottle of pressurized helium which is selectively connected to the balloon which is in turn secured by a cord which is fed through an indicator as it is released to show the amount of cord that has been released and thereby the height of the balloon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1974
    Date of Patent: June 22, 1976
    Assignee: Lawrence Peska Associates, Inc.
    Inventor: Norma M. Murphy
  • Patent number: 3951260
    Abstract: An open top housing is provided including upstanding peripheral side walls joined at their lower marginal portions by a bottom wall extending therebetween and further including a removable top wall provided with depending peripheral flanges telescoped over at least the upper marginal portions of the side walls of the housing with the top wall closing the open top of the housing in a fluid-tight manner. Coacting latch structure is carried by exterior portions of corresponding side walls and flanges of the housing and top wall for removably securing the top wall in the closed position and the interior of the housing includes baffles dividing the housing into separate compartments. One of the compartments includes a pressurized container of lighter-than-air gas and a second compartment includes a collapsible inflatable balloon which may be inflated by the aforementioned gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1974
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1976
    Inventor: Kenneth G. Frazee
  • Patent number: 3945338
    Abstract: A location indicator for lost aircraft comprises a deflated balloon stored within an aircraft is connected to an inflator which is capable of generating a large quantity of lighter-than-air gas in less than one second in response to an omnidirectional crash sensor to inflate the balloon. The balloon is connected to the aircraft by a reeled line which becomes unreeled as the inflated balloon rises from the aircraft. The balloon is thus maintained at a predetermined height above the aircraft so as to be clearly visible for a long distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1974
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1976
    Inventor: Affonso Henriques Correa
  • Patent number: 3941079
    Abstract: A visual locating device for use as an aid in finding lost persons, wherein the device comprises a high-pressure cylinder having a lighter-than-air gas stored therein, and a valve means to control the flow of gas therefrom and into an inflatable balloon. Attached to the balloon is a second valve means wherein a portion of the gas cylinder is operably engaged therein to allow gas to flow into the balloon for inflation -- and, conversely, preventing gas once contained therein from flowing out of the balloon when released. A rotatable cylindrical reel is operably attached and supported by the gas cylinder, the reel forming a spool having a tether line disposed thereon and attached to the balloon, thus allowing the balloon to ascend to the predetermined length of the line, the balloon having a prominent color so as to be easily located. A radar reflective means is also secured to the tether line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1974
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1976
    Inventor: John McNeill
  • Patent number: 3938466
    Abstract: A location indicating device comprises a container having two partitions therein forming three compartments. Each of the partitions has a hole therethrough. The container is open at one end at a first of the compartments and has a selectively openable cap covering the open end thereof and a hole formed through another end thereof at a second of the compartments. The third compartment is between the first and second compartments. Cord is provided in the second of the compartments extending at one end through the hole in the container. A grappling device is affixed to the end of the cord passing through the hole in the container. A valve is provided in the hole through the partition between the first and third compartments. A collapsed balloon in the first compartment has a neck part connected to the valve. The cord extends through the hole through the partition between the second and third compartments and is affixed to the valve in the third compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1974
    Date of Patent: February 17, 1976
    Assignee: The Raymond Lee Organization, Inc.
    Inventor: Jay W. Crissman