Underwater Docking Or Mooring Patents (Class 405/188)
  • Patent number: 11014639
    Abstract: A drilling system configured to install a tap assembly into a ship skin is disclosed. The drilling system comprises a remotely-operated underwater vehicle and a drilling assembly configured to be operated by the remotely-operated underwater vehicle. The drilling assembly comprises a frame comprising an attachment element configured to hold the drilling assembly to a surface of the ship skin. The drilling assembly further comprises a drill actuation system comprising a linear actuator attached to the frame and a rotary actuator, wherein an actuation of the linear actuator is configured to move the rotary actuator relative to the frame to install the tap assembly into the ship skin by driving the tap assembly with the rotary actuator and the linear actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: Resolve Marine Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph E. Farrell, III, Thomas Adriaan Bambach, Patrick Louis Tielman, Cornelis Hendrikus Geurtsen, Alexander van der Speld, Todd Jeffrey Schauer, Matthew Ken Bierwagen, Nolan Blake Conway
  • Patent number: 11015398
    Abstract: A marine installation system for installing an item on a riser includes a cable extending between two supporting points, the cable being inclined relative to the horizontal; a first ROV arranged to mount the item on the cable at a first position; and a second ROV arranged to remove the item from the cable at a second position, and to install the item on the riser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: EQUINOR ENERGY AS
    Inventor: Steinar Kristoffersen
  • Patent number: 10955056
    Abstract: Device for offshore work by machining tools, such as cutters, saws, drills and the like, with a geared motor comprising a drive, a drive coupled to the transmission and at least one multi-part housing for receiving the drive and transmission, wherein the transmission at least one through the Housing leading to the outside shaft, in particular output shaft (18), to which the machining tool outside the housing can be connected, characterized in that the geared motor is equipped by a waterproof designed housing enclosure for underwater operation, wherein the housing parts along their joining surfaces by sealing means, in particular sealing rings, and the housing on the drive side and driven side rotating surfaces, in particular shafts relative to the housing (4) are sealed by pressurizable ring seals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: SCHOENING GMBH
    Inventor: Markus Schoening
  • Patent number: 10272980
    Abstract: A method for performing operations using a water environment robotic system on a target section of pipeline located in an underwater environment is provided. The method includes the steps of deploying the underwater robotic vehicle into the water and visually inspecting the underwater environment to locate the pipeline and its plurality of weld joints. A cleaning operation is performed at one of the plurality of weld joints using the underwater robotic vehicle. The robotic vehicle can land on the sea floor and deploy a robotic arm to inspect the cleaned weld joint. The underwater can then swim to a next weld joint and land and perform cleaning and inspection operations, which can be repeated until all inspection sites are inspected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: Saudi Arabian Oil Company
    Inventors: Fadl Abdellatif, Ali Outa, Sahejad Patel, Ayman Amer, Hassane Trigui
  • Patent number: 10239734
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method for lowering a subsea structure to be installed on the seabed into the water through the splash zone, said subsea structure comprising subsea equipment arranged on a substantially flat support base for preventing the subsea equipment to sink into the seabed. The method according to the invention comprises: lifting the subsea structure into the air in a horizontal position in which the flat support base extends substantially parallel to the horizontal plane; tilting the subsea structure while suspended in the air from the horizontal position into a tilted position in which the flat support base is angled with respect to the horizontal plane; lowering the subsea structure into the water through the splash zone in the tilted position; and tilting the subsea structure while suspended in the water below the splash zone back into the horizontal position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: BLUEMARINE OFFSHORE YARD SERVICE B.V.
    Inventor: Klaas Wout Mastebroek
  • Patent number: 8776611
    Abstract: A system and method for the installation and removal of monitoring equipment is disclosed. In some embodiments, the monitoring equipment may be installed or removed using a remotely operated vehicle. In certain implementations, the monitoring system includes a sensor assembly connectable to a tubular member, an alignment tool for installing or removing the sensor assembly to and from the tubular member, and an alignment cage for facilitating access of the alignment tool to the sensor assembly. In some embodiments, the alignment tool may be aligned with the sensor assembly for installation or removal as a result of the alignment tool being inserted through the alignment cage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: BMT Scientific Marine Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Jonathan Sangel, Andrew Mail, Brian Gallagher, John Engel
  • Publication number: 20120167814
    Abstract: A coupling head 8, coupled to an autonomous underwater vehicle 4 via a rendezvous head 18 that is connectable to or part of the underwater vehicle 4. The coupling head 8 has an alignment stabilizing arrangement 12 for stabilizing its alignment and position in the water below the water surface. The invention further relates to a coupling device 2 having the coupling head 8 and having a cable 10 which is detachably connectable, mechanically, electrically and in a signal-connecting manner, to the coupling head 8, and to a rendezvous device 16 having the rendezvous head 18. The underwater vehicle 4 has the rendezvous head 18 and/or the rendezvous device 16, and a coupling system 1, which comprises at least the coupling and rendezvous heads. The invention further relates to a coupling method 58 and a deployment method 56 of an autonomous underwater vehicle 4 which includes the coupling method 58.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 29, 2011
    Publication date: July 5, 2012
    Applicant: Atlas Elektronik GmbH
    Inventor: Jörg Kalwa
  • Patent number: 7854569
    Abstract: In various embodiments, an apparatus for use in the recovery of unmanned underwater vehicles includes a recovery vehicle configured to be coupled to a winch via a tether. The recovery vehicle includes one or more sensors for locating the unmanned underwater vehicle, a first mechanical linking device for coupling the recovery vehicle to the unmanned underwater vehicle, and a plurality of steering mechanisms for actively guiding the unmanned underwater vehicle in such a way as to allow the first mechanical linking device to capture the unmanned underwater vehicle by locking onto a second mechanical linking device of the unmanned underwater vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2010
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Ryan Michael Stenson, Daniel J. Braun, Lonnie A. Hamme, Christopher D. Mailey
  • Patent number: 7704016
    Abstract: A subsea docking unit 2 including an electronic module for being removably connected to a subsea docking station 1 comprises a canister B containing electronics to be connected to the docking station, and a selectively, engageable locking device for locking the docking unit to the docking station. The locking device comprises one or more arm structures adapted for being pivotally mounted into a corresponding arm holding detail on said docking unit, and an actuator means for moving said arm structure in relation to one or more corresponding arm receiving and retaining details on said docking station, whereby a releasable locking engagement and disengagement of the docking unit and docking station is obtained. The docking station correspondingly comprises arm receiving and retaining detail adapted for receiving and retaining a docking unit. The docking unit and docking station are parts of a multiphase flow meter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2010
    Assignee: Roxar Flow Measurement AS
    Inventor: Eivind S. Gransaether
  • Patent number: 7112009
    Abstract: An apparatus for substantially horizontal connection of a conduit to a subsea structure: A frame connectable to and supportable by the subsea structure, the frame has a docking device operable to allow a horizontal connection device, including one of a remotely operated vehicle and a toolskid, to dock with the frame such that the frame is capable of bearing at least part of an operational load associated with the horizontal connection of the conduit to the subsea structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Assignees: Technip France SA, Technip Offshore UK Limited
    Inventor: Calum Mackinnon
  • Patent number: 7086807
    Abstract: Apparatus for connecting a conduit to a subsea structure includes a frame connectable to the subsea structure by a docking mechanism, a conduit handling mechanism on the frame to facilitate positioning of the conduit for attachment to the subsea structure and a second docking mechanism for attaching a mobile manipulating device to the frame. In use, the mobile manipulating device connects to the conduit by means of a pull-in rope on a winch, and travels under its own power to the subsea structure while paying out the pull-in rope. There, it docks with the frame and the pull-in rope is reeled in by the winch on the mobile manipulating device. The conduit is then connected to the subsea structure by the conduit handling mechanism on the frame. The invention also includes the method of attaching a conduit to a subsea structure using the described apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Assignees: Technip SA, Technip Offshore UK Limited
    Inventor: Calum Mackinnon
  • Publication number: 20040258482
    Abstract: Subsea connection apparatus comprising: a frame (5) connectable to a subsea structure (1); docking means for connecting the frame to the subsea structure; conduit handling means (10) positioned on the frame to facilitate the positioning of a conduit for attachment to a subsea structure; and means for docking a subsea tool and/or vehicle (20) onto the frame.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 23, 2004
    Publication date: December 23, 2004
    Inventor: Calum Mackinnon
  • Patent number: 6832874
    Abstract: To install a modular seabed processing system (1) on a seabed, a monopile foundation (3) is first lowered down and driven into the seabed. A docking unit (4) is lowered towards the installed foundation (3) so that a mating clamp system (6) mounted on the docking unit is aligned with a spigot (5) on the foundation. The clamp system then clamps the spigot to fix the docking unit onto the foundation. Flowlines (2) and an electrical power connector plug (18) are connected to the docking unit. A first retrievable substantially autonomous module (8) is lowered and connected to the docking unit (4) by a multi-bored connector (10, 11) and the plug (18) on the docking unit is engaged by a corresponding socket (17) on the module. Isolation valves (14, 16) in the docking unit and module are opened so that the module (8) is able to act on fluid received from the flowlines (2) via the multi-bored connector (10, 11).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Assignee: Alpha Thames Ltd.
    Inventors: David Eric Appleford, Brian William Lane
  • Patent number: 6808021
    Abstract: A system that is usable with subsea wells that extend beneath a sea floor includes a station that is located on the sea floor and an underwater vehicle. The underwater vehicle is housed in the station and is adapted to service at least one of the subsea wells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas H. Zimmerman, John A. Kerr, Alan R. Christie
  • Patent number: 6755192
    Abstract: An apparatus for preventing or minimizing decompression illness in a scuba diver, consisting of a first safety bar, at least one first cable attached to the first safety bar, and an oxygen delivery system. The first cable supports the first safety bar at a predetermined depth. The oxygen delivery system consists of an oxygen tank, an oxygen delivery line, a manifold attached to the oxygen delivery line, and a plurality of regulators attached to the manifold. When the oxygen delivery system will be used by only one scuba diver, the oxygen delivery line can be connected directly to a single regulator without the manifold. The first cable and oxygen tank are attached to a float, which is either secured to a boat or platform via a tether line or anchored to the sea floor. In an alternative embodiment, the first cable is attached directly to a boat or platform, and an oxygen supply is provided on the boat or platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Inventor: Ralph T. Potkin
  • Publication number: 20030180096
    Abstract: To install a modular seabed processing system (1) on a seabed, a monopile foundation (3) is first lowered down and driven in to the seabed. A docking unit (4) is lowered towards the installed foundation (3) so that a mating clamp system (6) mounted on the docking unit is aligned with a spigot (5) on the foundation. The clamp system then clamps the spigot to fix the docking unit onto the foundation. Flowlines (2) and an electrical power connector plug (18) are connected to the docking unit. A first retrievable substantially autonomous module (8) is lowered and connected to the docking unit (4) by a multi-bored connector (10, 11) and the plug (18) on the docking unit is engaged by a corresponding socket (17) on the module. Isolation valves (14, 16) in the docking unit and module are opened so that the module (8) is able to act on fluid received from the flowlines (2) via the multi-bored connector (10, 11).
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 18, 2003
    Publication date: September 25, 2003
    Inventors: David Eric Appleford, Brian William Lane
  • Patent number: 6457907
    Abstract: A method for carrying out work on an object which is present under water, in particular, a shipwreck, wherein persons make their way to the object under water and carry out the work in artificial light. A cover is provided over the object, which cover in the main abuts the bottom on which or in which the object is present in surrounding relationship with respect to the object. The cover encloses a space in which persons can work and it comprises an entrance for admitting persons to the space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2002
    Inventor: Hendrik De Bloeme
  • Patent number: 6435771
    Abstract: A method for attaching subsea manifolds to subsea pipelines which includes attaching a tee member into the pipeline on a vessel, running the portion of the pipeline through support structures which would not pass the manifold, and to an underwater location between the vessel and the ocean floor, then attaching the manifold to the tee section, and then lowering the tee and manifold to the ocean floor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Inventor: Benton F. Baugh
  • Patent number: 6352389
    Abstract: A novel automatically submersible and refloatable underwater tubular pipe platform geometric structure adapted for deployment in underwater target monitoring systems and the like, wherein the floating upon the surface of the water enables flooding of the pipe structure and its submergence, and the introduction of compressed air drives the water out of the pipe platform structure to enable its automatic re-floating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2002
    Assignee: Academy of Applied Science
    Inventors: Justice C. Rines, Alexander H. Slocum
  • Patent number: 6227766
    Abstract: A dive rescue search device has a stanchion with a locating mechanism for the device mounted thereon and a search area determining device based on a reel of rope cooperating therewith to properly direct the search.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Inventor: Patrick D. Cook
  • Patent number: 6068427
    Abstract: A system and methods for diverless replacement of a functional component installed on a service unit on a sea bottom-based installation is provided. The component is fitted releasably into the service unit as an insert with an externally extending maneuverable part. The replacement is carried out by a tool mounted on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The invention utilizes ROV supported weight compensation means for compensating the weight of the component in order to maintain the ROV in a substantially neutral buoyancy state during operations. The weight compensating means comprises a separate adapter element having the same weight as the component to be replaced. The adapter element or adapter are equipped to be releasably supported by the ROV tool. The adapter has an upper end and a lower end and a central axis extending therethrough, and a centrally extending throughgoing opening having transverse dimensions larger than the largest transverse dimension of the component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2000
    Assignee: ABB Offshore Technology AS
    Inventor: Inge .O slashed.stergaard
  • Patent number: 6042302
    Abstract: A dive rescue search device has a stanchion with a locating mechanism for the device, a marking device to assist the diver and a search area marker to properly direct the search.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Inventor: Patrick D. Cook
  • Patent number: 5938140
    Abstract: The instant invention is an improved multi-purpose dive reel which automates underwater line-handling. The improved multi-purpose dive reel includes an anti-fouling line control system that includes a flexible line wiper and line exit guide. The reel is manufactured using a high impact reinforced polymer construction which is lightweight, inexpensive and not effected by the often corrosive marine environment. The improved dive reel has an on/off spool lock switch and contoured smooth surface including a comfort grip containing a lanyard attachment loop. Optionally, the reel may further include a ratcheting spool lock switch, a luminous polymer pigment and a wave-washer spool tension control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Inventor: Ronald Fundak
  • Patent number: 5869756
    Abstract: A water profiling apparatus having a streamlined body with a traction drive capable of repeatedly profiling along a moored or suspended cable or wire, for transporting sensing and sampling equipment through a body of water, such as an ocean, lake or river. The water profiling apparatus is able to operate unattended on a pre-programmed schedule over long periods of time, profiling to full ocean depth, with the option of changing its schedule depending on the observations it makes or operating situations encountered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Inventors: Kenneth W. Doherty, John M. Toole, Daniel E. Frye
  • Patent number: 5823708
    Abstract: There is disclosed a means and a method for inspecting and repairing a propeller on a propeller shaft on a ship. The ship is in the water. A truss is positioned on the propeller shaft. A habitat bag is positioned over the upper part of the propeller and is attached to the truss. Then, the truss is inflated with air. An inspector and/or a repair person can enter into the habitat and work in a dry environment while the ship is in the water. There is no need, in many instances, to place the ship in a dry dock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Inventors: John M. Dwight, Richard D. Benson
  • Patent number: 5820300
    Abstract: A CO.sub.2 deep sea throw-away system includes a floating offshore base (2), receiving liquefied CO.sub.2 carried by a liquefied CO.sub.2 carrier (1). The base has a throwing pipe (3) and a throwing pipe outlet (4) to deliver the liquified CO.sub.2 in an enclosing bag (11) in the sea at a depth where a liquid phase state of the liquified CO is maintained. An unmanned submersible working boat (10) is provided and has a plurality of capsules (26) mounted thereon. Each capsule contains an enclosing bag (11) to enclose the liquified CO.sub.2. The boat transports the capsules into the sea at a depth where a liquid phase state of the liquified CO.sub.2 is maintained and operates to enclose the liquified CO.sub.2 in the enclosing bags (11). The liquified CO.sub.2 in the enclosing bag (11) and the capsule (26) are then released so as to fall onto the sea bottom. Also, a control base (9) is provided on the offshore sea to control the unmanned submersible working boat (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Keisuke Sonoda, Masahiko Ozaki, Yuichi Fujioka, Osamu Tsukamoto
  • Patent number: 5795103
    Abstract: A system for recovering petroleum products such as oil from a sunken oil transportation vessel. The system includes first and second flexible conduits communicating with the oil-containing compartments. The conduits are released upon the vessel becoming submerged. The free ends of the conduits are connected respectively to a pump for pumping sea water into the compartment to displace the oil. The second conduit is connected to a recovery container on the surface. The displaced oil is forced through the second conduit to the recovery container. The recovery container is, in the preferred embodiment, provided on a fleet or network of recovery vessels which then transport the recovered oil to port for off-loading. In the preferred embodiment, the flexible conduits are associated with a float which releases or carries the conduits to the surface so that underwater recovery operations are minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1998
    Inventor: Doroteo C. Gaerlan
  • Patent number: 5775844
    Abstract: Embodiments of a pipeline repair habitat are disclosed which may be used to facilitate the repair of vertical underwater pipelines or risers. Two hollow, half-cylindrical shells are provided which form a stable, rigid shell around the section of pipe to be repaired. Structure is provided for introducing an atmosphere into the habitat which is breathable while most repairs are accomplished. Under certain conditions a non explosive atmosphere which is not breathable is introduced into the habitat so that welding may be safely performed. Various useful accessories are provided including an elevator by which a person accomplishing repairs may move up and down within the pipeline repair habitat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1998
    Inventor: Arthur Nelson
  • Patent number: 5755532
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for connecting vessels which have equal or different internal pressures, or which are surrounded by equal or different pressures to permit transport between the connected vessels. An articulating apparatus for connecting vessels which comprises: (a) a first vessel having on one side thereof an orifice; (b) a first rotary bearing and seal associated with the circumference of the orifice; (c) a first hollow wedge shaped segment having first and second sides with a first side thereof rotationally associated with the first rotary bearing and seal; (d) a second rotary bearing and seal associated with the second side of the first hollow wedge-shaped segment; and (e) a second hollow wedge-shaped segment having first and second sides with a first side associated with the second rotary bearing and seal, the second hollow wedge-shaped segment being capable of rotation relative to the first hollow wedge-shaped segment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Assignee: Hard Suits, Inc.
    Inventor: Rene T. Nuytten
  • Patent number: 5730553
    Abstract: A carriage movable in waste including: a body having a float at its upper portion and a weight at its lower portion to suspend in the water, the body having an opening in its abdomen; a thrust fan provided on a back of the body, the fan being rotatable in a normal or reverse direction thereby enabling the body to translate in the water and to suctionally attach itself onto a wall or leave the wall; a skirt provided around the opening formed in the abdomen of the body to contact the wall thereby maintaining the bodies interior to a negative pressure as the body suctionally attaches itself onto the wall; and a drive wheel provided on the abdomen of the body to contact the wall upon suctional attachment on the wall. This underwater carriage can move on a vertical wall, have small dimensions and be lightweight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1998
    Assignee: Ishikawajima Hirima Heavy Industries Co. Ltd.
    Inventors: Yuichi Miura, Naoya Hirose, Katsumi Kai
  • Patent number: 5727907
    Abstract: A method for the reparation of a submerged pipeline for faults includes installing a habitat system proximate the reparation zone, clearing the pipeline in the fault zone, aligning a plurality of sets of half pipes with the reparation zone for installation surrounding the reparation zone, welding the two longitudinal ends of the first half pipe of each of the plurality of sets of half pipes to the two longitudinal ends of the second half pipe of each of the plurality of sets of half pipes to form a plurality of sleeves, welding the two reparation sleeve ends to the pipeline to join the reparation sleeve to the pipeline to form an annular space between the pipeline and the reparation sleeve, and injecting resin into the annular space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1998
    Inventors: Jose de J. Silva, Jose A. Cajiga, Vicente R. Perez
  • Patent number: 5642965
    Abstract: All points at which torque is usually applied to subsea equipment, particularly in the search for and production of oil, are centralized at a single panel upon which standard kinds of connecting terminals fitted with sockets are clearly marked and corresponding to torque working points, in order to make access easier by remote operated vehicles.Individual connection between applying points and the sockets on the panel is achieved by means of flexible devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 1, 1997
    Assignee: Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.- Petrobras
    Inventors: Ney Robinson Salvi Dos Reis, Carlos Henrique Guimaraes Da Cunha
  • Patent number: 5585707
    Abstract: A robot comprised of a platform, tendons and a control system. The platform contains proximal reels for the storage, retraction and extension of the tendons, with each tendon having a reel. The distal ends of the tendons are anchored at separate locations. The work space of the robot is primarily determined by the location of the tendon anchors, although it can be expanded by having pairs of tendons cross each other in between the platform and their distal anchor points. The platform is translated and rotated in the work space by controlling the lengths of the tendons extending from their respective reels. A master computer located on the platform controls each reel and coordinates their actuation. When used with at least six tendons and reels, the platform has six degrees of freedom: translation in three axes and rotation about each of the foregoing three axes. Numerous types of end effectors can be mounted on the platform, thus enabling the robot to perform a wide variety of tasks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 17, 1996
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventors: Clark J. Thompson, Perry D. Campbell, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5567076
    Abstract: A method of positioning a pipeline across a water-course. A first coffer dam is formed to isolate a first area of the water-course and a first part of the pipeline is then positioned in the first area. A chamber is put at the distal end of the first part of the pipeline. The chamber has an upper portion with an open top and a lower portion as opposed ports to receive the pipeline. The first coffer dam is then dismantled. A second coffer dam is formed to isolate a second area of the water-course. The second area includes the chamber. The first and second areas of the water-course are positioned to include the path of the pipeline across the water-course. A second part of the pipeline is located in the chamber and a aligned with the first part of the pipeline. The ports are sealed around the pipeline. Water is removed from the chamber to allow make-up of the pipeline by joining of the first and second parts within the chamber. The upper portion of the chamber is removed and the second coffer dam is dismantled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 22, 1996
    Assignee: Arthon Construction Ltd.
    Inventors: Kerry Leong, Dennis A. Connolly
  • Patent number: 5516235
    Abstract: A flexible envelope, of fabric, plastic sheet or similar material, is made buoyant by being filled with water of lower salinity than the surrounding medium, and used to lift loads underwater. The lift can be generated in situ by pumping water into the envelope after it has been attached to the load through a hose form the surface, and reduced by either releasing the water from within the envelope or pumping it back to the surface again. By combining these two operations, the lift can be exactly controlled. Several envelopes can be used to lift a single load, and the load itself can be made up of small objects placed in a suitable container by other means. The envelopes may be towed into position, or may be provided with their own means of propulsion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1996
    Assignee: Controlled Lifting International Limited
    Inventor: James E. Stangroom
  • Patent number: 5507596
    Abstract: A support system for supporting an underwater work platform includes a work platform submerged in a body of water and a support structure supported by the body of water above the work platform. The work platform is supported by a plurality of cables connected between the support structure and the work platform. Motions of the support structure in the body of water are sensed, and the length of the cables is adjusted in response to the sensed motions of the support structure so that the work platform can be maintained stationary even when the support structure is subjected to wave forces and currents.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1996
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by The Secretary of Commerce
    Inventors: Roger V. Bostelman, James S. Albus, Andrew M. Watt
  • Patent number: 5458439
    Abstract: A pipe attachment and receiving apparatus for severing and handling a subsea pipe. The apparatus including a chassis adapted to mount onto a subsea pipe and clamps for clamping the chassis to the subsea pipe. An interface assembly is connected to the chassis. The interface assembly is adapted to extend and retract relative to the chassis. The interface assembly is adapted to receive modules. The modules are adapted to be releasably mounted to the interface assembly. A cutting module is mounted to the interface assembly to cut the pipeline and a docking module is mounted to the interface assembly to repair the pipeline with a replacement spool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1995
    Assignee: Sonsub International Management Inc.
    Inventors: N. Victor Hall, Peter Rash
  • Patent number: 5456501
    Abstract: A pipeline connector apparatus comprising piston actuated means for gripping and sealing a pipe comprising a cylinder having an inner surface, the cylinder having a first groove for receiving a spring biased ring, a piston movable in the cylinder and actuating one of the gripping and sealing means, the piston having a second groove holding a spring biased ring. A plurality of compressible and relaxable spring biased rings are provided, each having an outer surface and a radius such that each will compress within the second groove and will expand within the first groove. The outer surfaces of the different rings have shoulders of different widths which allows the operator to control the piston stroke in the cylinder. The apparatus further comprises a means for predetermining and/or monitoring the displacement of the pistons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1995
    Assignee: Oceaneering, Inc.
    Inventor: James R. Reaux
  • Patent number: 5400735
    Abstract: A modular caisson for use in performing underwater tasks in a dry environment includes a plurality of interconnected modules. The end of at least one of the modules is equipped with an end cover through which piping or other equipment can be passed into the caisson without leakage of water into the caisson. In a preferred embodiment, the end cover includes flexible doors. The caisson can be supported by a transport vehicle, or it can be anchored to piles by means of guides formed on the outside of the modules. As a result, the caisson can be prevented from exerting undesirable loads on the piping or other structure being worked upon inside the caisson.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 28, 1995
    Inventors: Antonio A. C. Yamin, Jose D. J. S. Lopez, Vicente R. P. Vazquez
  • Patent number: 5324140
    Abstract: A flexible, submersible compartment for underwater work in dry conditions which is particularly suited for work on petroleum drilling structures. The flexible, submersible compartment includes a flexible bell of reinforced elastomeric material having an opening surrounded by a collar at its top portion. A rigid platform-brace having a contractible outer ring is located beneath and attached to the flexible bell. The platform-brace also includes an inner ring which can be secured to a submerged portion of the petroleum drilling structure. In the event of contact with a rigid obstacle, the flexible bell adapts to the shape of the obstacle while the platform-brace contracts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1994
    Inventors: Jose De Jesus F. S. Lopez, Vincente R. P. Vazquez, Jose A. A. C. Yamin
  • Patent number: 5318384
    Abstract: A device for depositing and recovering a heavy load on the ocean floor including a first part which can be attached mechanically to a handling and recovery cable and a second part which can be attached mechanically to the load to be deposited. The second part is buoyant and includes means for attaching it flexibly to the load. Each of the two parts include a cylindrical joining element, one of which fits inside the other. The device also includes means for locking and unlocking the cylindrical joining elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 7, 1994
    Assignee: COFLEXIP
    Inventors: Rene Maloberti, Alain Coutarel, Guy Jahant
  • 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: 5219245
    Abstract: A recovery system for a submerged instrument that includes a buoyant member and an electrically promoted magnetic flux diversion device comprising a pair of pole pieces, a permanent magnet disposed substantially centrally between said pole pieces, and a release plate comprising ferromagnetic material bridging one end of said pole pieces, the pole pieces and permanent magnet forming tow flux paths with the metal release plate forming a portion of one of said flux paths. A control winding associated with the pole pieces are disposed for producing a momentary magnetic field opposite to that of the permanent magnet to divert the flux path from the path that includes the release plate to the other flux path. A remotely activated electrical pulse to the control winding diverts the flux path and releases the release plate form the pole pieces allowing the marker buoy to rise to the surface for recovery of instrument or device to which the buoy is attached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1993
    Assignee: Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, as represented by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans
    Inventor: Mark Chin-Yee
  • Patent number: 5215410
    Abstract: The immersion and positioning of a sink element on the sea bottom is controlled by providing a weight system suspended from the sink element. An auxiliary surface vessel has a control cable directly connecting the vessel with the weights system suspended from the sink element. The sink element is immersed with the weight system suspended therefrom and therebelow until the weight system contacts the sea bottom and the sink element reaches a preselected stabilized equilibrium elevational position above the sea bottom. Then the sink element can be laterally displaced while substantially maintaining the height of the sink element above the sea bottom by having the auxiliary surface vessel pull on the control cable connected to the weight system in a direction of movement towards the final location site. The weight system contacts the sea bottom during this movement to help control the movement of the sink element and minimize the influence of outside forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 1, 1993
    Assignee: Norwegian Contractors
    Inventor: Karel Karal
  • Patent number: 5203645
    Abstract: Self-contained, waterproof, water-submersible, remote-controlled apparatus is provided for manipulating a device, such as an ultrasonic transducer for measuring crack propagation on an underwater specimen undergoing shock testing. The subject manipulator includes metal bellows for transmittal of angular motions without the use of rotating shaft seals or O-rings. Inside the manipulator, a first stepper motor controls angular movement. In the preferred embodiment, the bellows permit the first stepper motor to move an ultrasonic transducer .+-.45 degrees in a first plane and a second bellows permit a second stepper motor to move the transducer .+-.10 degrees in a second plane orthogonal to the first. In addition, an XY motor-driven table provides XY motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1993
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Phillip B. Schrum, George H. Cohen
  • Patent number: 5074712
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for repairing leaks in subsea pipelines which comprises two split clamp halves with redundant seal means which are installed around the subsea pipeline in a programmed fashion to allow low clearances below the pipeline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 24, 1991
    Inventor: Benton F. Baugh
  • Patent number: 5069580
    Abstract: Improved methods and apparatus are provided for landing and securing a payload to a subsea assembly, such as a hydrocarbon recovery assembly, utilizing a surface vessel and a subsea ROV. The payload is suspended from a submersible payload package, and the package and payload are lowered subsea by a vessel cable. Guide cables extending from the package may be secured to the subsea assembly, and a floatation device thereafter activated to render the package positively buoyant, thereby making the guide cables taunt and relaxing the vessel cable to de-couple the package and payload from the surface vessel. The guide cables are then used to lower the payload from the package onto the assembly, and the payload secured to the assembly with the ROV. The floatation device is subsequently deactivated such that the pacakage is no longer positively buoyant, thereby re-coupling the package to the surface vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 3, 1991
    Assignee: FSSL, Inc.
    Inventors: Harry A. Herwig, Doyle D. Hickok
  • Patent number: 5046895
    Abstract: An approximately neutrally buoyant system for operations in a subsea environment having a buoyant upper module, a heavy lower module, and multiple connecting members which allows trim stability and extended lifting capacity for the buoyant upper module when the heavy lower module is landed on the ocean floor or available structures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1991
    Inventor: Benton F. Baugh
  • Patent number: 5046896
    Abstract: A riser system includes inflatable buoyancy bladders and a near surface disconnect so that a drilling vessel can rapidly disconnect from the riser leaving the riser in a freestanding buoyant position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1991
    Assignee: Conoco Inc.
    Inventor: Charles M. Cole
  • Patent number: 5042959
    Abstract: An undersea operation system comprising an undersea operation machine for conducting undersea operations such as undersea construction and the collection of stones and rocks, and a backup ship operatively connected to this undersea operation machine. The undersea operation machine includes a vehicle, arms which are connected to this vehicle, etc. The vehicle and the arms are operated by hydraulic pressure which is supplied through a cable connecting the undersea operation machine to the backup ship, whereby smooth operation of the undersea operation machine is ensured even in a deep sea region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1991
    Assignee: Masao Sakagami
    Inventor: Gunkichi Tadatsu