Remote Control Patents (Class 405/190)
  • Patent number: 10683071
    Abstract: An apparatus for use with a submerged compartment is presented. The apparatus includes deployable physical connection hardware provided with the submerged compartment. The deployable physical connection allows for a transfer of fluid between the submerged compartment and a region near a marine free surface when deployed. The deployable physical connection hardware comprises a hose in one aspect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2020
    Assignee: Global Aerospace Corporation
    Inventors: Kim M. Aaron, Kerry T. Nock
  • Patent number: 10648301
    Abstract: A method and a system for pressure regulation of well fluid produced from a hydrocarbon well in a hydrocarbon production field. The system comprises a pump arranged on a well head in fluid communication with a process fluid passage from the well, the pump arranged for receiving well fluid produced from the well and to deliver the fluid to downstream piping or equipment. The pump comprises a motor/generator unit operable as a generator as the pump is driven by well fluid in power generation mode, and wherein the pump is driven in power consumption mode by operation of the motor/generator unit as a motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2020
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Scandinavia AS
    Inventors: Giacomo Landi, Ashish Jain, Marius Rosvold
  • Patent number: 10557249
    Abstract: A wheel loader includes a work implement, an obtaining unit, and a control unit. The work implement includes a bucket. The obtaining unit obtains soil property information on a soil property of an excavation object. The control unit controls an operation to excavate the excavation object with the bucket of the work implement based on the soil property information obtained by the obtaining unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2020
    Assignee: KOMATSU LTD.
    Inventor: Hideki Tsuji
  • Patent number: 9535182
    Abstract: A skeg mounts from the stern of a towing vessel and extends below the waterline. A channel in the skeg protects cables for steamers and a source (e.g., air gun array) of a seismic system deployed from the vessel. Tow points on the skeg lie below the water's surface and connect to towlines to support the steamers and the source. A floatation device supports the source and tows below the water's surface to avoid ice floes or other issues encountered at the water's surface. The floatation device has a depth controlled float and one or more adjustable buoyancy floats. The controlled float has its buoyancy controlled with pressurized gas used for the air gun source and actively controls the depth of air gun source in the water. Each of the adjustable float connects in line with the controlled float with flexible connections. Each adjustable float has its buoyancy preconfigured to counterbalance the weight in water of the air gun or portion of the source that the float supports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2017
    Assignee: ION Geophysical Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph R. Gagliardi, Shawn Rice, Timothy A. Dudley, Curt Schneider
  • Patent number: 9410643
    Abstract: A cable hang-off arrangement for an elevated support including a cable assembly with a flexible reinforced protective tube for accommodating a transmission cable arrangement, a mounting assembly arranged on the elevated support, and a lifting assembly for lifting the cable assembly from a lower level to the elevated support, which lifting assembly is realized to engage with the mounting assembly such that the cable assembly is suspended between the elevated support and the lower level. An offshore facility mounted on an elevated support above a variable lower level including a transmission cable arrangement and a flexible protective tube for guiding the transmission cable arrangement through an essentially vertical direction from the elevated support to the lower level into an essentially horizontal direction at the lower level is also provided. A method of mounting such a cable hang-off arrangement is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2016
    Assignee: SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
    Inventor: Jesper Moeller
  • Patent number: 9199708
    Abstract: An atmospheric working cabin for underwater operation for implementing operations on the underwater object is provided. The working cabin has two or more layers of cabin bodies, each layer of the cabin body has an interface for butting with the underwater object, the interface of the each layer of the cabin bodies is provided with a flexible gel. A space between an innermost cabin body and an outer cabin body is filled with water, after the working cabin butting with the underwater object, the flexible gel is contacted with the surface of the underwater object, water is drawn out successively from the outside to the inside, whilst air is injected therein, an atmospheric pressure is maintained inside the innermost cabin body, the pressure between the cabin bodies is less than the atmospheric pressure and gradually increases from the outside to the inside.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Inventor: Xiaoming Shi
  • Patent number: 9010431
    Abstract: A tool for subsea installation and testing of wellhead modules such as Xmas trees and similar equipment, from a ship using a ship crane. The tool includes a subsea unit that includes a connector for releasable connection to subsea wellhead modules or equipment, means for positioning and means for testing, and a connector for electric power and electric and/or optical control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Aker Subsea AS
    Inventors: Anders Billington, Are Synnes, Christen Sovik
  • Patent number: 8974148
    Abstract: A spool has a cylinder, a first flange coupled to a first end of the cylinder and a second flange coupled to a second end of the cylinder. A compressible material surrounds the cylinder and an optical fiber is wrapped around the compressible material. When tension is applied to the optical fiber the compressible material can be deformed to reduce the tension on the optical fiber. When submerged underwater the water pressure will not compress the compressible material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Bluefin Robotics Corporation
    Inventors: Graham Hawkes, Jonathan Epstein
  • Patent number: 8915676
    Abstract: A clamp connector emergency release tool designed for subsea operations, when normal release of a subsea clamp connector (14) is not possible, is shown and described. The tool is adapted to be handled and operated remotely by a work class ROV tool. The tool includes a clamp connector (14) adapter housing (7) arranged to engage with and connect to the clamp connector (14) body, a rotatable hole saw (11) mounted on the housing (7), a rotary motor (1) in driving connection with the hole saw (11) and a piston (3) and cylinder assembly (4,5). The piston (3) and cylinder assembly (4,5) enables advancing the rotatable hole saw (11) into the clamp connector (14) body around its jack screw, in order to separate the jack screw together with a threaded portion of said clam connector (14) in order to separate the jack screw from the clamp connector (14) body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Aker Subsea AS
    Inventor: Thomas Wäseby
  • Patent number: 8840340
    Abstract: There is described an apparatus and method for deploying a sensor array comprising a plurality of sensors (5) joined together by connection cables (6) in one or more “chains”, and connected to an input/output device (8). An input/output connection unit (7, 15) is provided on a carrier (10), and the sensors are held on or in deployment devices (14a-14e) mounted to the carrier with their connection cables (6) connected to the input/output connection unit (7, 15). The input/output device (8) may also be mounted to the carrier, and connected to the connection unit (7, 15). The carrier (10), sensors, and input/output device (8) may be delivered as a single package to the area where the sensor array is to be deployed. The sensors are then moved from the carrier to their final positions. The deployment devices (14a-14e) may be detached from the carrier and moved sequentially to the sensor positions, and a sensor may be removed from the deployment device at each sensor position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: TGS Geophysical Company (UK) Limited
    Inventors: Frank L. Eisenhower, Richard Edward Luff, Peter Hadfield, Ike Greenberg, Michael Henshaw, John Churchill
  • Publication number: 20140248087
    Abstract: A spool has a cylinder, a first flange coupled to a first end of the cylinder and a second flange coupled to a second end of the cylinder. A compressible material surrounds the cylinder and an optical fiber is wrapped around the compressible material. When tension is applied to the optical fiber the compressible material can be deformed to reduce the tension on the optical fiber. When submerged underwater the water pressure will not compress the compressible material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 14, 2013
    Publication date: September 4, 2014
    Applicant: BLUEFIN ROBOTICS CORPORATION
    Inventors: Graham Hawkes, Jonathan Epstein
  • Publication number: 20140186122
    Abstract: Systems and methods for deployment and retrieval of ocean bottom seismic receivers. In some embodiments, the system includes a carrier containing receivers. The carrier can include a frame having a mounted structure (e.g., a movable carousel, movable conveyor, fixed parallel rails, or a barrel) for seating and releasing the receivers (e.g., axially stacked). The structure can facilitate delivering receivers to a discharge port on the frame. The system can include a discharge mechanism for removing receivers from the carrier. In some embodiments, the method includes loading a carrier with receivers, transporting the carrier from a surface vessel to a position adjacent the seabed, and using an ROV to remove receivers from the carrier and place the receivers on the seabed. In some embodiments, an ROV adjacent the seabed engages a deployment line that guides receivers from the vessel down to the ROV for “on-time” delivery and placement on the seabed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2014
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: Fairfield Industries Incorporated
    Inventors: James N. Thompson, Clifford H. Ray, Glenn D. Fisseler, Roger L. Fyffe
  • Publication number: 20140186123
    Abstract: Systems and methods for deployment and retrieval of ocean bottom seismic receivers. In some embodiments, the system includes a carrier containing receivers. The carrier can include a frame having a mounted structure (e.g., a movable carousel, movable conveyor, fixed parallel rails, or a barrel) for seating and releasing the receivers (e.g., axially stacked). The structure can facilitate delivering receivers to a discharge port on the frame. The system can include a discharge mechanism for removing receivers from the carrier. In some embodiments, the method includes loading a carrier with receivers, transporting the carrier from a surface vessel to a position adjacent the seabed, and using an ROV to remove receivers from the carrier and place the receivers on the seabed. In some embodiments, an ROV adjacent the seabed engages a deployment line that guides receivers from the vessel down to the ROV for “on-time” delivery and placement on the seabed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2014
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: Fairfield Industries Incorporated
    Inventors: James N. Thompson, Clifford H. Ray, Glenn D. Fisseler, Roger L. Fyffe
  • Patent number: 8746346
    Abstract: An electrical and hydraulic configuration on a subsea tree that facilitates the use of an ROV control system to operate the tree during well installations, interventions, and workovers. An SCM at the tree is in communication with a fixed junction plate that receives a production umbilical during normal operation. The ROV can be deployed to disconnect and park the production umbilical during well installations, interventions, and workovers to prevent accidental operation of the SCM or tree. The junction plate is configured to connect with the ROV and thereby establish communication with the hydraulic lines of the SCM. The ROV may carry an umbilical from a vessel to provide electrical and hydraulic service to the SCM during well operations. In addition, the ROV has facilities to repressurize spent control fluid to thereby allow reuse of the control fluid by the SCM.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventor: Robert K. Voss
  • Patent number: 8705314
    Abstract: A deployment and retrieval method for ocean bottom seismic receivers, the method employs a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) having a carrier attached thereto to carry a plurality of receivers. The receivers are individually placed on the ocean bottom floor by utilizing a conveyor to move the receivers along a linear path to remove the receivers from the carrier. In one embodiment, multiple linear conveyors may be operated independently to alter the relative positions of the receivers on the respective conveyors to adjust the weight distribution of the receivers within the carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Fairfield Industries Incorporated
    Inventors: James N. Thompson, Clifford H. Ray, Glenn D. Fisseler, Roger L. Fyffe
  • Patent number: 8632274
    Abstract: A deployment method and system for ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) includes providing a plurality of circular shaped, wireless, self-contained OBS units. The circular shaped OBS units are loaded into a carrier and transported from a surface vessel to the ocean floor where a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is utilized to individually place the plurality of circular OBS units on the ocean floor. Placement of each OBS unit is accomplished by utilizing suction mechanism attached to a robotic arm. The suction mechanism is defined about an axis and employs a suction cup to individually engage each circular shaped OBS unit so that the suction mechanism is coaxially aligned with the OBS unit, and move the OBS unit from a first location to the ocean floor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: Fairchild Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: James N. Thompson, Clifford H. Ray, Glenn D. Fisseler, Roger L. Fyffe
  • Patent number: 8622657
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for installing underwater devices on sub-sea structures. The apparatus can include a body having at least one pair of support members extending therefrom. At least one actuator, adapted to move in a linear direction, can be disposed on each support member. At least one connector can be disposed on each actuator. The connector can include at least one aperture disposed therethrough for receiving an attachment member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: VIV Suppression, Inc.
    Inventors: Rodney H. Masters, Billy L. Griffith
  • Patent number: 8616805
    Abstract: An optical fiber management system for a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) includes a spool containing a length of optical cable, a motor coupled to the spool, a motor controller, a speed sensor and a feed mechanism. The motor controller can detect the speed of the ROV through water and control the rotational speed of the motor so that the optical cable is removed from the spool at a speed that is equal to or greater than the speed of the ROV. A feed mechanism is used to apply a tension to the optical cable so that it is removed from the spool and emitted from the ROV without becoming tangled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: Bluefin Robotics, Corporation
    Inventors: Graham Hawkes, Charles S Chiau, Adam Wright
  • Patent number: 8611181
    Abstract: Embodiments described herein relate to an apparatus and method of transferring seismic equipment to and from a marine vessel and subsurface location. In one embodiment, a marine vessel is provided. The marine vessel includes a deck having a plurality of seismic sensor devices stored thereon, two remotely operated vehicles, each comprising a seismic sensor storage compartment, and a seismic sensor transfer device comprising a container for transfer of one or more of the seismic sensor devices from the vessel to the sensor storage compartment of at least one of the two remotely operated vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Fairfield Industries Incorporated
    Inventors: Reagan Neil Woodward, Jr., James N. Thompson
  • Patent number: 8556540
    Abstract: A deployment and retrieval apparatus for ocean bottom seismic receivers, the apparatus being a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) having a carrier attached thereto and carrying a plurality of receivers. The carrier includes a frame in which is mounted a structure for seating and releasing the receivers. The structure includes one or more movable conveyors disposed to move receivers along a linear path relative to the frame in order to discharge and retrieve ocean bottom seismic receivers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Fairfield Industries Incorporated
    Inventors: James N. Thompson, Clifford H. Ray, Glenn D. Fisseler, Roger L. Fyffe
  • Patent number: 8556538
    Abstract: A spool has a cylinder, a first flange coupled to a first end of the cylinder and a second flange coupled to a second end of the cylinder. A compressible material surrounds the cylinder and an optical fiber is wrapped around the compressible material. When tension is applied to the optical fiber the compressible material can be deformed to reduce the tension on the optical fiber. When submerged underwater the water pressure will not compress the compressible material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Bluefin Robotics Corporation
    Inventors: Graham Hawkes, Jonathan Epstein
  • Patent number: 8534959
    Abstract: A deployment and retrieval apparatus for ocean bottom seismic receivers, the apparatus being a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) having a carrier attached thereto and carrying a plurality of receivers. The carrier comprises a frame in which is mounted a structure for seating and releasing said receivers. The structure may comprise a movable carousel or a movable conveyor or fixed parallel rails or a barrel. The structure includes a discharge port on said frame and a discharge mechanism for removing and retrieving said receivers. A method for deployment and retrieval of ocean bottom seismic receivers comprises the steps of loading a carrier with a plurality of receivers, attaching said carrier to an ROV, utilizing said ROV to transport the carrier from a surface vessel to a position adjacent the seabed and thereafter utilizing said ROV to remove receivers from said carrier and place the receivers on the seabed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Assignee: Fairfield Industries Incorporated
    Inventors: James N. Thompson, Clifford H. Ray, Glenn D. Fisseler, Roger L. Fyffe, Stephen W. Mitchell, William E. Boone
  • Patent number: 8310899
    Abstract: Embodiments described herein relate to an apparatus and method of transferring seismic equipment to and from a marine vessel and subsurface location. In one embodiment, the method includes deploying at least one remotely operated vehicle from a vessel operating in a first direction, and operating the at least one remotely operated vehicle in a pattern relative to the direction of the vessel to form at least two receiver lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: Fairfield Industries Incorporated
    Inventors: Reagan Neil Woodard, Jr., James N. Thompson
  • Patent number: 8297883
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for installing underwater devices on sub-sea structures. The apparatus can include a body having at least one pair of support members extending therefrom. At least one actuator, adapted to move in a linear direction, can be disposed on each support member. At least one connector can be disposed on each actuator. The connector can include at least one aperture disposed therethrough for receiving an attachment member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: VIV Suppression, Inc.
    Inventors: Rodney H. Masters, Billy L. Griffith
  • Publication number: 20120269579
    Abstract: A method of abandoning an underwater pipeline on the bed of a body of water from a laying vessel includes the steps of lowering the free end of the pipeline into the body of water and onto the bed of the body of water using a first and second rope, both connected to the free end of the pipeline and extending from the laying vessel to the free end of the pipeline. The method also includes disconnecting the first rope from the free end of the pipeline, once the free end of the pipeline is laid on the bed of the body of water; and rewinding the first rope onto the laying vessel, while the second rope is still connected to the free end of the pipeline.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 21, 2010
    Publication date: October 25, 2012
    Applicant: Saipem S.p.A
    Inventor: Kimon Ardavanis
  • Patent number: 8251614
    Abstract: An electrical power system for stationary or movable subsea loads (7) provides one common feeder for multiple electric motors which can be individually controlled. Operational flexibility and operational safety for operation in varying water depths is provided by encapsulating electrical functional element (6) of a subsea power system with a subsea electrical distribution system (5) individually or in-groups. Electrical functional element (6) and their semi-conductor elements are arranged within at least one fluidized internal pressure casing (13). An external pressure casing (12) is provided for the subsea electrical distribution system (5) and/or other components of the subsea system. A high frequency power transmission to the subsea pressurized distribution system (5) with pressurized semi-conductor components reduces weight and size of subsea transformers (4b) and cables (9) employed in subsea systems (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2012
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Vemund Karstad, Asle Einar Skjellnes
  • Publication number: 20120141212
    Abstract: A subsea hanging device comprises a hanging frame 1 adapted to support an assembly (such as a gooseneck 3 and a subsea connector 4 being used to attach a heavy pipe 7 to a pipe hub 11. on the seabed), a hanging eye 8 which slides on said frame when a shaft 10 threaded through it is axially rotated, and a ROV drive bucket 12 attached to one end of the shaft. A guide funnel 13, 16 pivoted to the frame and adapted to fit over a guide post 17 on the seabed actuates a pointer 15 which indicates on a scale 14 whether the hanging angle needs adjustment to enable the connector 4 to be engaged with the hub 11.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 1, 2011
    Publication date: June 7, 2012
    Inventor: Nicholas Long
  • Patent number: 8186910
    Abstract: In one embodiment, the subsea deployment system may be used to install flying leads with integral buoyancy. In another embodiment, the subsea deployment system may be used to install flying leads with separate buoyancy modules. The installation sling assembly may be used with the subsea deployment system or with other systems to deploy flying leads subsea. The universal removable cartridge may be interchanged for use on a horizontal drive unit and a mud mat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Deep Down, Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald E. Smith
  • Patent number: 8075226
    Abstract: A deployment and retrieval apparatus for ocean bottom seismic receivers, the apparatus being a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) having a carrier attached thereto and carrying a plurality of receivers. The carrier includes a frame in which is mounted a structure for seating and releasing the receivers. The structure may include a movable conveyor or fixed parallel rails or a barrel. The structure includes a discharge port on the frame and a discharge mechanism for removing and retrieving the receivers. A method for deployment and retrieval of ocean bottom seismic receivers includes the steps of loading a carrier with a plurality of receivers, attaching the carrier to an ROV, utilizing the ROV to transport the carrier from a surface vessel to a position adjacent the seabed and thereafter utilizing the ROV to remove receivers from the carrier and place the receivers on the seabed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignee: Fairfield Industries Incorporated
    Inventors: James N. Thompson, Clifford H. Ray, Glenn D. Fisseler, Roger L. Fyffe
  • Patent number: 7891429
    Abstract: A subsea well intervention system that permits dynamic disconnection from subsea well intervention equipment without removing any of the equipment during a drive-off condition is provided. The system includes a blowout preventer module operatively connected to a subsea tree and a subsea control system. The subsea control system is connected via electrical jumper to an ROV's tether management system. The subsea control system is connected via hydraulic jumpers to a multipurpose fluid-injection skid and one or more hydraulic accumulation banks. A fail-safe disconnect assembly is utilized with respect to the electrical jumper in order to provide easy removal during a drive-off condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2011
    Inventors: Charles B. Boyce, William R. Bath
  • Patent number: 7762743
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for monitoring a remotely operated vehicle umbilical condition in real time allowing for improving of power delivery as well as early detection of threats to integrity of the umbilical. The umbilical may include an optical fiber. Processing equipment may enable distributed temperature sensing along the optical fiber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Assignee: Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter Mark Smith
  • Patent number: 7632043
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for storing, transporting, and transferring one or more sensor devices is described. In one embodiment, the apparatus includes a transfer device having a frame, and a movable platform coupled to the frame. A mesh material may be coupled to the frame and surround at least one side of the movable platform and a mating interface is formed in a side of the frame that is adapted to couple with a remotely operated vehicle in an underwater location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2009
    Assignee: Fairfield Industries Incorporated
    Inventors: James N. Thompson, Reagan N. Woodard, Jr., Clifford H. Ray
  • Patent number: 7303360
    Abstract: Disclosed is a system that performs inspection and repair of an underwater structure, specifically core internals in a pressure vessel. An underwater vehicle is provided with a drive wheel, a contact force generating unit (e.g., thruster) that presses the drive wheel to a vertical wall of the underwater structure, an ascending force control unit (e.g., ballast) that controls the buoyancy of the vehicle, a guide roller that engages with and is pressed against an undersurface of the underwater structure by the ascending force controlled by the ascending force control unit. The underwater vehicle is appropriately positioned with respect to the vertical direction by the guide roller. The drive wheel is driven for rotation so that the underwater vehicle runs horizontally along the vertical wall to reach the inspection or repair site, where the inspection or repair is carried out by work tool mounted to the underwater vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2007
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Tetsuro Nakagawa, Yasuhiro Yuguchi, Koichi Soma, Hiroshi Iimori, Mitsuaki Shimamura
  • Patent number: 7210556
    Abstract: An apparatus and method is provided for transporting, installing, retrieving, and replacing a sensor array of individual sensor pods at a geographically remote location, such as on the sea floor. The apparatus consists of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), a carousel attached to the ROV, a pod ejector mechanism attached to the carousel, and a manipulator with a manipulator end effector attached to the ROV. The carousel contains a plurality of sensor pod holders, where each sensor pod holder is capable of holding a sensor pod. The pod ejector mechanism is capable of discharging a fresh sensor pod, while the manipulator end effector is capable of lifting a depleted sensor pod and placing the depleted sensor pod in an empty sensor pod holder in the carousel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2007
    Assignee: Saipem America Inc.
    Inventors: William R. Bath, Frank Sayle
  • Patent number: 7131345
    Abstract: A device for inspecting submersed plant parts is particularly suited for ultrasonic inspection of screws in the core baffle of a nuclear reactor pressure vessel. The device includes a remote-controlled underwater vehicle that is provided at its end face with a carrier that can be pivoted about a pivot axis oriented parallel to the longitudinal central axis of the underwater vehicle, and is provided with a holding device for an inspection head that is arranged on the carrier spaced apart from the pivot axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2006
    Assignee: IntelligeNDT Systems & Services GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Hans-Jürgen Achtzehn, Robert Staudigel
  • Patent number: 6957929
    Abstract: The flying lead deployment apparatus with one reel assembly is made of a frame assembly; a reel assembly with flying lead disposed in the frame assembly adapted to rotate to distribute the flying lead; a first ROV-flying lead interface connected to the frame assembly and one end of the flying lead; a second ROV-flying lead interface connected to the reel assembly and the other end of the flying end; a drive assembly connected to the reel assembly with a counting gear adapted to count the number of times the reel assembly rotates, an adjustable rack gear, and a locking mechanism connected to the adjustable rack gear and the reel assembly adapted to stop the reel assembly when the counting gear reaches a predetermined number; and a friction brake connected to the frame assembly and reel assembly adapted to apply friction to maintain constant tension on the flying lead.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2005
    Assignee: Kvaerner Oilfield Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Willie Dee Rachel, Michael Shane Fields, Richard D. Haun
  • Publication number: 20040265066
    Abstract: Apparatus for substantially horizontal connection of a conduit to a subsea structure, the apparatus comprising a frame being connectable to and supportable by the subsea structure, the frame having docking means to allow horizontal connection means including a remotely operated vehicle and/or 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: Application
    Filed: August 23, 2004
    Publication date: December 30, 2004
    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: 6695539
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for remotely installing vortex-induced vibration (VIV) reduction and drag reduction devices on elongated structures in flowing fluid environments. The apparatus is a tool for transporting and installing the devices. The devices installed can include clamshell-shaped strakes, shrouds, fairings, sleeves and flotation modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2004
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventors: David Wayne McMillan, Richard Bruce McDaniel
  • Patent number: 6672407
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for drilling, analyzing, and stabilizing subsurface formations. The system is generally formed around a reusable bottomhole assembly (BHA) that provides an anchoring and thrust mechanism, furnishing the necessary downward force needed to provide comminution of geological material in a borehole. The BHA is conveyed into the borehole via a communications link wireline equiped with internal power and data telemetry lines. The BHA permits the use of multiple comminution sampling and analysis tools via a coupling device. The BHA and communications link wireline are mounted so as to couple with different tools. The main drilling mechanism is a torque drive assembly powered coring tool. A borehole televiewer and/or logging analysis tool may follow each coring period. The final step in each coring period is a wellbore consolidation technique. This series of steps is then repeated, each time coring the wellbore to a deeper depth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2004
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven George Streich
  • 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: 6588985
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus, for deploying an object or a load on the seabed, the object or the load being coupled to a hoist, such as a hoisting wire in order to enable the object or the load to be lowered to the seabed from a vessel, the apparatus including a body having parts for releasably securing the object or the load to the body and propulsion for moving the body when submerged, whereby the propulsion is positioned offset from the parts for releasably securing the object or the load, in order to be able to induce rotational control on the hoist, when the propulsion is in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Inventor: François Bernard
  • Patent number: 6276874
    Abstract: A subsea steep wave lock and guide mechanism (1) for elongated articles (2) such as cables, pipes and umbilicals provides a substantially horizontal inlet (6) for the article at seabed level and a substantially vertical flexible article outlet (4) leading to the steep wave. The lock and guide mechanism (1) includes a number of lockable/releasable gates (20-24) for restricting and defining allowable movements of the article in the horizontal as well as in the vertical direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2001
    Assignee: Alcatel
    Inventors: John Øivind Nørholmen, Jan Erik Karlsen, Knut Ivar Ekeberg
  • Patent number: 6223675
    Abstract: An underwater apparatus for performing subsurface operations adapted to be operated from a remote location above the surface of a body of water is disclosed. The apparatus includes a linelatch system that is made up of a tether management system connected to a flying latch vehicle by a tether. The tether management system controls the amount of free tether between itself and the flying latch vehicle. The flying latch vehicle interfaces with various underwater structures. Also disclosed are methods of transferring power and/or data between two or more underwater devices using the linelatch system of the invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2001
    Assignee: Coflexip, S.A.
    Inventors: Andrew M. Watt, Allen F. Leatt, Calum MacKinnon
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 5340237
    Abstract: This invention concerns a mechanism for the interchanging of guide-posts worked by remotely controlled vehicle which consists of guide-cones (6) provided in the side of base beam (2) that supports socket (4) of guide-post, which guide-cones are placed axially and enter all around the socket (4) of guide-post, to create an operating channel inside the socket (4) while guide-post (8) is provided with a channel all around its bottom (1) to house a locking-pin (12). Guide-post (8) is placed inside its respective socket (4) so that the operating channel created by the guide cones (6) inside socket (4) matches channel all round the bottom (10) of socket, exactly, so that locking of guide-post (8) takes place by means of turning the locking-pin (12) housed in channel all around (10) the guide-post (8) by means of a remotely operated vehicle or suitable tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 23, 1994
    Assignee: Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.
    Inventors: Ney Robinson S. d. Reis, Fabio K. P. Conti
  • Patent number: 5316412
    Abstract: The inspection of underwater structures and the repair of leaking cracks or oints therein is effected by the use of a platform positionable at the work site and supporting an equipment cart movable therealong with the cart carrying an underwater light and television camera system for viewing the site and a number of tools for cleaning the site, injecting a leak detecting dye thereon and injecting a sealant to close the cracks or joints. Movement of the equipment cart and operation of the tools are remotely controlled, preferrably with air motors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 31, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army
    Inventor: Kenneth B. Sondergard