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Publication numberUS3292564 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 20, 1966
Filing dateMar 26, 1964
Priority dateMar 26, 1964
Publication numberUS 3292564 A, US 3292564A, US-A-3292564, US3292564 A, US3292564A
InventorsGuenther W Lehmann
Original AssigneeGuenther W Lehmann
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exploration and salvage submarine
US 3292564 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

G. w. LEHMANN EXPLORATION AND SALVAGE SUBMARINE Dec. 20, 1966 :5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 26, 1964 I I Q A 11:: :3

Dec. 20, 1966 (5. w. LEHMANN 3,292,564

EXPLORATION AND SALVAGE SUBMARINE Filed March 26, 1964 5 Sh t -Sh t B W 4 ts I N V EN TOR. Guawweg A/ ZEHMA/Y/Y BY 91% m. n. W

AGL-WI' Dec. 20, 1966 G. W. LEHMANN EXPLORATION AND SALVAGE SUBMARINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 TIL 5O 48 Filed March 26, 1964 lmn'muu INVENTOR. Gus/1mm M Zfi/Mmwv BY My MQWM United States Patent '0 "ice 3,292,564 EXPLORATION AND SALVAGE SUBMARINE Guenther W. Lehmann, 425 Bernardo Ave.

- Sunnyvale. Calif. 94086 Filed Mar. 26, 1964, Ser. No. 355,057 16 Claims. (Cl. 114-16) Salvage work has been done in the past up to moderate depths only, mainly on account of restrictions set upon divers with regard to physical endurance of water pressure. Future exploration and salvage work, however, has to be done at considerable greater water depths, particularly with reference to ocean mining operations. It is one objective of the present invention to design a submarine for exploration purposes at great water depths. Another objective of the present invention concerns the attachment of salvage means to the submarine, enabling the submarine, for instance, to salvage stricken ocean mining equipment from the ocean bottom. In other words, a multi-purpose submarine which answers future requirements of deep-sea operations, may it be scientific work or commercial operations, like ocean mining.

It is proposed to provide for the operating personnel a pressure vessel of preferably cylindrical shape with halfspherical ends. The pressure vessel with its main axis in vertical position is embraced by a rigid buoyancy structure which serves as a beam for the attachment of preferably inflatable salvage bags as described in my US. Patent No. 3,080,844, and further for the attachment of propulsion organs.

The rigid buoyancy structure, composed of preferably two boxgirders, is designed for neutral buoyancy obtained by partly filling the space of the boxgirders with a fluid lighter than water, and partly filling it with seawater. In this way, the boxgirders are pressure equalized and need not be built of special shapes like cylinders or spheres. Flat boxgirders are also better suited to sustain forces and moments from the salvage gear. However, it is understood that a row of cylinders, stacked one above the other, may replace the recommended boxgirder without departing from the present invention.

Surplus buoyancy is in part produced by the pressure vessel which accommodates the operating .personnel. The pressure vessel is not fixedly attached to the boxg'irders but has allowance to move up and down. In order to prevent the pressure vessel from slipping in either .direction there are noses at the upper and lower rim of the cylindrical part of the pressure vessel. When the vessel is floating at the surface, the lower noses contact the rigid structure of the submarine, exerting a lifting force. When the vessel is submerged with slight. negative buoyancy of the pressure vessel, the upper noses contact the rigid structure of the submarine. It is recommended to provide a special cylinder between the boxgirde-rs in which the pressure vessel is housed with the purpose in mind to allow a number of noses coming in contact with the upper and lower rim of the special cylinder.

Ballast tanks within the pressure vessel, when filled, produce a slight negative buoyancy of the pressure vessel, causing the latter to sink until the upper noses contact the rim of the special cylinder. This again produces a vertical load on the submarine structure which contributes to negative buoyancy of the structure, and the submarine will sink. Sinking of the submarine may be assisted by the propulsion means as described later. Draining of the tanks inside the pressure vessel has the opposite effect.

An exploration and salvage submarine designed to work at great water depths requires high maneuverability. -It is suggested to install propulsion means capable to produce forces and moments with six degrees of freedom.

Patented Dec. 20, 1966 To accomplish .this, there are at each end of the submarine propulsion means in form of jets or customary propellers which are rotatable around the transverse axis and around the longitudinal axis of the submarine. In this way, thrust forces can be adjusted at any spatial angle. When both propulsion means are acting in the longitudinal axis, the submarine proceeds straight ahead or astern. When the forward thrust is directed under an angle against the longitudinal axis and the aft thrust directed at the same angle in mirror arrangement, both thrusts produce a resultant thrust which transverses the submarine without motion in longitudinal direction. When the propulsion means at the aforesaid adjustment are rotated around the longitudinal axis, thesubmarine transverses in any longitudinal plane. Limit cases are vertical up and down motions, corresponding to rising and sinking.

When the two propulsion means are rotated around the transverse axis and adjusted under the same angle fore and aft against the longitudinal axis, positive at the one end and negative at the other end, there is a moment produced which rotates the submarine on the spot when both thrusts are the same. Again, when both propulsion means are rotated in this position around the longitudinal axis, the submarine turns on the spot in the respective plane. A limit case is the rotation of the submarine from its level position into avertical position with ends up-side-down.

When currents are present, and it is desired to keep the submarine motionless against such currents, the forward and aft .propulsion means can be adjusted in such manner that the resultant thrust produces the required counterforce and countermoment. This applies not only for currents in the level plane but for currents in any other plane, for instance, downward currents orcurrents which may attack the submarine from any direction. The propulsion means can be rotated around the longitudinal axis under 360 degrees. For practical reasons the rotation for the propulsion means around the transverse axis is limited to :45 degrees which is sufficient to product the desired effect.

Salvage means are arranged in the space betweenrthe two boxgirders. To provide stiffness of the -structure,'particularly with reference to salvage forces, the two boxgirders are crossconnected by bulkheads. Longitudinal centerbeams transfer salvage hook forces to the structure on which the salvage bags are suspended, i.e., the two Eoxgirders and appropriate foundations for the salvage ags.

Since adiver cannot work at great water depths, fastening jobs of salvage hooks have to be done remotecontrolled by special means. It is suggested to use a conical shaped body attached to the lower end of the salvage rope or chain. The cone is introduced by proper submarine maneuvers into a matching conical sleeve which is fastened to ships, barges and the like structure beforehand as a precautional measure.

vIn order to introduce the cone into the sleeve, the sleeve has at the side a slot. This will be done by proper maneuvers of the submarine. After the cone is engaged in the hollow of the sleeve,'the submarine is slightly raised which causes the cone to be firmly booked at the salvage object. This procedure is repeated at several locations. With all salvage bags placed in hooking position, the salvage bags are simultaneously inflated by remote controlled means, and the salvage object is raised.

Since only the salvage bags and the 'bioxgirders are needed for the salvage operation, the pressure vessel, accommodating the operating personnel, has no function anymore, It is therefore a special feature of the present invention that the pressure vessel detaches 'herself from the structure of the submarinea-fter completion of the attachment work. It is also suggested to detach the pressure vessel from the structure of the submarine from each unit after completion of the attachment work of each unit, and to insert the pressure vessel into each following unit. In this way, one pressure vessel can serve a number of salvage beams, in order to use this expression for the rigid structure of the submarine less the pressure vessel.

Detachment of the pressure vessel from the rigid structure of the submarine is accomplished by removing the lower ring of the pressure vessel which carries the lower noses. The ring, and consquently the noses are removed preferably by remote controlled means from inside the pressure vessel, preferably by explosion rivets. Prior to removal of the nose-ring, the ballast tanks inside the pressure vessel are blown resulting in positive buoyancy of the pressure vessel which enables the pressure vessel to rise immediately upon removal of the nose-ring. The pressure vessel and the operating personnel ascend to the surface. The possibility of an easy attachment of the pressure vessel from the rigid structure of the submarine provides at the same time a safety measure when for any reason the operating personnel has to abandon the submarine using the pressure vessel as a rescue vehicle.

The space between the boxgirders is occupied by gas producing apparatus, air flasks, batteries, fuel-cells and other equipment as needed for the operation of the submarine.

Power cables leading from the pressure vessel to the propulsion means and other equipment are preferably arranged at the upper portion of the pressure vessel with enough length to yield vertical movements of the pressure vessel. At those points where the power cables are going through the shell of the pressure vessel, thereare remote controlled detachable means for releasing of the power cables when the pressure vessel detaches herself from the rigid sub-marine structure as previously mentioned.

It should be appreciated that the advantages of the present invention with regard to high maneuverability and to use the submarine as a salvage means are mainly obtained by a basically symmetrical layout of the submarine with reference to the midship transverse plane.

Other features and innovations of the invention will become more apparent when the description proceeds in conjunction with the drawing of a preferred embodiment of the invention, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of the submarine showing alternately a jet propulsion means and a customary propeller;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation showing propellers for translatory motion of the submarine, here downward motion;

FIG. 4 is a cross-section along line AA of FIG. 1;

'FIG. 5 is a cross-section along line BB of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a side elevation of the submarine with salvage bags in operating condition and salvage rope attachment cones;

FIG. 7 shows the drive arrangement for rotating a customary propeller around the longitudinal axis and the transverse axis;

FIG. 8 shows the drive arrangement for rotating a jet propulsion means around the longitudinal axis and the transverse axis;

FIG. 9 is an elevation of the salvage sleeve;

FIG. 10 is a plan view of the salvage sleeve;

FIG. 11 is a view on a built-in salvage sleeve at the side of a barge.

Referring now to the drawing, and particularly to FIG. 1, there is a pressure vessel 1 with an upper half-sphere 2 and a lower half-sphere 3. The pressure vessel 1 is arranged between two boxgirders, 4, 5, which are crossconnected by bulk-heads 6, 7, 8, and 6a, 7a, 8a. Propulsion means 9 and 9a are arranged at the ends of the boxgirders 4, 5. Number 9 indicates a jet type propulsion means, and number 9a a customary propeller. Salvage bags 10, 11 and 10a, 11a are arranged between box-girders 4, 5, shown in folded condition in FIG. 1 and in operating condition in FIG. 6. Beams 12, 12a connect the base of the salvage bags and adjacent structure and carry salvage ropes 13, 13a. The space between the boxgirders 4, 5 is occupied by equipment like air flasks 14 and spheres 15, gas producing means 16, fuel-cells 17. Lights 18 are arranged at the lower portion of the submarine.

The pressure vessel 1 has inside tanks 19. When the submarine is at the surface, tanks 19 are empty, and noses 20 at the lower portion of the pressure vessel 1 contact the lower rim of a special cylinder 22 which is connected to the boxgirders 4, 5, exerting an upright force on the submarine. When the tanks 19 are ballasted, the pressure vessel 1 has negative buoyancy and sinks. During sinking the pressure vessel 1 is guided by rollers 21 between the pressure vessel 1 and the special cylinder 22. The pressure vessel 1 sinks down until noses 23 contact the upper rim of the special cylinder 22. In this position of the pressure vessel 1 the lower half-sphere, preferably built of glass, allows an unobstructed view to the outside, preferably to salvage gear.

When the submarine floats at the surface 24, FIG. 4, the box-girders 4, 5 are filled with fluid lighter than water at the lower portion of the tank 25, the upper portion 26 occupied by air. In order to destroy buoyancy, air 26 is released, whereupon fluid occupies the upper portion 25a of the boxgirder space, and the lower portion 27 is occupied by seawater which passes through openings 28.

It is recommended to design the submarine in this condition with neutral buoyancy, except the small buoyancy of the pressure vessel 1. Negative buoyancy of the entire system is produced by filling tanks 19 as previously described. After filling of tanks 19, the submarine sinks, ready to assume underwater work. Sinking of the submarine may be assisted by placing the propulsion means in appropriate position as shown in FIG. 3 producing a resultant thrust 29 which pulls the submarinedown.

Referring now to FIG. 8, a jet propulsion means 9 is hinged at 30, 31 with bearings 32, 33 which are attached to a rotatable sheave 34 having ample openings .35 for transverse rotation of the propulsion means 9. The sheave 34 is rotated by a motor 36 which engages a bevel gear ring 37 attached to the boxgirders 4, 5 and adjacent structure as best shown in FIG. 1. The sheave 34 is kept in position by thrust bearings 38. The propulsion means 9 is rotated around a transverse axis by a motor 39 via a tooth gear rim 40. The motor 39 is attached to the sheave 34.

A customary propeller 9a, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, is driven by an electromotor 41 housed in a spherical body 42. The spherical body 42 is rotatable around the transverse axis by the aid of pins 43, 44. The pin 44 carries a bevel gear 45. A motor 46 attached to the spherical body 42 and engaging the bevel gear 45 rotates the propeller 9a around the transverse axis. Pins 43, 44 are. fastened to a ring 48 carrying a bevel gear ring 48a in the transverse plane which is rotated by a motor 49. attached to the boxgirder structure. The ring 48 is kept in place by thrust bearings 50. Sphere 42 is filled with fluid.

Referring to the salvage hooking device as shown in FIGS. 9, 10 and 11, there is a sleeve 54 which has a slot 55 with an opening 56 that a cone 57 can be introduced in the hollow of the sleeve 54. The cone 57 is attached to a salvage rope 13. After the cone is introduced into the sleeve 54 and lifted, the upper part 58 of the cone 57 engages a hole 59 of the sleeve 54 which prevents the cone 57 from slipping. In this position the cone 57 contacts the inner surface of the sleeve 54 and is able to transmit salvage forces. It should be appreciated that the opening of the hole 59 is slightly larger than the diameter of the salvage rope 13, and the bore of the hole 59 slightly larger than the diameter of the upper part of the cone 57.

The upper part 58 of the cone '57 is perferably of cylindrical shape. Sleeves 54 are attached to salvage objects 60 as shown in FIG. 6. A number of sleeves may be attached to hard points of ships, barges and the like structures. Another arrangement of .the sleeves 54 is shown in FIG. 11. A barge 61 has at a number of places at the side matching channels 63 in which the cone 57 is introduced by proper manuevering of the submarine in the same fashion as shown in FIG. 9 for establishing salvage rope connections. It should be appreciated that the high maneuver capabilities of the submarine on account of the special arrangement of the propulsion units as described previously will greatly contribute to the establishment of salvage rope connections to the salvage object at great water depths where customary diver work to perform such jobs is prohibitive.

The upper half-sphere 2 of the pressure vessel 1 carries an access hatch 64. Tanks 19 may be arranged at the lower portion or at the upper portion of the pressure vessel 1 as indicated by dotted lines in FIG. 4. A platform 65 divides the space of the pressure vessel 1 in an upper and in a lower observation space. The platform 65 has a hatch opening 66. Detachment means 67 hold cables 68, FIG. 4.

While the invention has been described in connection with a single embodiment, it will be obvious that many changes and modifications in structural details may occur to the skilled in the art, particularly after benefiting from the present teaching, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. An exploration and salvage submarine, comprising a cylindrical pressure vessel with half-spherical ends in vertical positioning between two longitudinal boxgirders, inflatable salvage bags fore and aft of said pressure vessel and attached -to said two longitudinal boxgirders, propulsion means at both ends of the submarine attached to and between said two longitudinal boxgirders, transverse bulkheads connecting said two longitudinal boxgirders, structural transverse and longitudinal members at the lower portion of said bulkheads fore and aft of the pressure vessel and salvage ropes and hooks attached thereto.

2. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 1, wherein the cylindrical pressure vessel is floating at positive buoyancy while the system is at the surface, and equipped inside with ballast tanks for producing a negative buoyancy of the cylindrical pressure vessel while the system is submerged.

3. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 1, wherein said two longitudinal boxgirders define buoyancy spaces on port and star-board which are partly filled with a fluid lighter than water in their lower portion and with air in their upper portion for positive buoyancy of the system, openings at the lower portion of said boxgirders allowing entrance of water when the said air is allowed to escape for producing neutral or slightly negative buoyancy when the system is submerged with said boxgirders pressure equalized when their space is filled entirely with water and fluid.

4. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 1, wherein the propulsion means at both ends of the submarine are rotatably attached to the longitudinal boxgirders around the longitudinal axis and the transverse axis.

5. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 4, wherein the propulsion means consist of a reversible submersible electromotor, a propeller shaft, a propeller, and the propulsion means housed in a pressure equalized sphere having a pear-shaped extension accommodating the shaft and the propeller, and said sphere filled with fluid.

6. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 5, wherein the said sphere rotates around the transverse axis by the aid of two rods, said rods engaging bearings fixedly attached to the sphere, said rods fixedly attached to a 6. ring which rotates around the longitudinal axis, said ring held in position by thrust bearings fixedly attached to the longitudinal boxgirders and other adjacent structure of the vehicle.

7. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 1, having a first motor and gear for rotating said propulsion means around the longitudinal axis, and a second motor and gear for rotating said propulsion means around the transverse axis.

8. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 1, having a power supply cable to the propulsion means extending from the end-bulkhead and of suflicient length beyond the end-bulkhead to allow for rotation of the propulsion means around the longitudinal axis and the transverse axis.

9. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 1, equipped with at least one salvage rope, said salvage rope carrying at its lower end a cone with an upper cylindrical extension, said cone matching the hollow of a conical sleeve with a corresponding slot for introducing said cone, said sleeve attached to surface structures beforehand as a precautional measure, said sleeve having a bore at the upper end with a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of the cylindrical upper extension of the cone, said bore having a slot with an opening slightly greater than the diameter of the salvage rope.

10. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 1, having power supply cables from inside of the pressure vessel to outside, said cables being of sufficient length to yield vertical movements of the pressure vessel.

11. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 1, having structural members basically in symmetrical arrangement relative to the midship transverse plane.

12. An exploration and salvage submarine, comprising a. cylindrical pressure vessel with half-spherical ends mounted movably in vertical direction between two longitudinal boxgirders, inflatable salvage bags fore and aft of said pressure vessel and attached to said two longitudinal boxgirders, propulsion means at both ends of the submarine attached to and between said two longitudinal boxgirders, transverse bulkheads connecting said two longitudinal boxgirders, structural transverse and longitudinal members at the lower portion of said bulkheads fore and aft of the pressure vessel, and salvage ropes and hooks attached thereto.

13. An exploration and salvage submarine, comprising a cylindrical pressure vessel with half-spherical ends mounted movably in vertical direction between two longitudinal boxgirders within a special cylinder attached to said boxgirders, inflatable salvage bags fore and aft of said pressure vessel and attached to said two longitudinal boxgirders, propulsion means at both ends of the submarine attached to and between said two longitudinal boxgirders, transverse bulkheads connecting said two longitudinal boxgirders, structural transverse and longitudinal members at the lower portion of said bulkheads fore and aft of the pressure vessel, and salvage ropes and hooks attached thereto.

14. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 12, wherein the cylindrical pressure vessel is floating at positive buoyancy while the system is at the surface and equipped inside with ballast tanks for producing a negative buoyancy of the cylindrical pressure vessel while the system is submerged.

15. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 1 having power supply cables from inside of the pressure vessel to outside arranged at the upper half-spherical structure, said cables being of suflicient length to yield vertical movements of the pressure vessel.

16. The exploration and salvage submarine of claim 1, wherein the propulsion means are housed in a pressureequalized sphere.

(References on following page) References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1920 Deam 11454 8/1942 Babcoke 115-35 X 9/1963 Froehlich 114 16 FOREIGN PATENTS 10/1961 France.

8 OTHER REFERENCES 5 MILTON BUCHLER, Primary Examiner.

FERGUS S MIDDLETON, Examiner.

T. M. BLIX, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1332433 *Apr 13, 1918Mar 2, 1920Deam Henry DGalvaging apparatus
US2291940 *Jan 19, 1942Aug 4, 1942Wilbur Babcoke GeorgeSubmarine vessel
US3104641 *Aug 29, 1961Sep 24, 1963Gen Mills IncUnderseas vehicle
FR1277356A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3356055 *Apr 15, 1966Dec 5, 1967Ocean SystemsSelf-propelled diving chamber
US3384043 *Mar 20, 1967May 21, 1968Kenneth RehrerSport fishing device
US3400680 *Apr 26, 1967Sep 10, 1968Max W. TaylorCatamaran for underwater exploration
US3448710 *May 4, 1967Jun 10, 1969Thomas GaskinsPropelling and steering device
US3474750 *Aug 7, 1967Oct 28, 1969Bleu Robert D LeUnderwater vehicle
US3589325 *Nov 27, 1968Jun 29, 1971Hovermarine LtdMethod and apparatus for steering marine craft
US3625171 *Sep 5, 1969Dec 7, 1971Perry Oceanographics IncSubmarine transfer arrangement
US4153001 *Apr 5, 1977May 8, 1979Krasberg Alan RManned submarine
US4307679 *Dec 21, 1979Dec 29, 1981The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Department Of EnergySubmergible barge retrievable storage and permanent disposal system for radioactive waste
US4377982 *Sep 17, 1980Mar 29, 1983The Bendix CorporationSpherical vehicle for operation in a fluid medium
US5186117 *Nov 1, 1991Feb 16, 1993Newport News Shipbuilding And Dry Dock CompanySubmarine steering apparatus and method
US20040112269 *Dec 11, 2002Jun 17, 2004Solomon BudnikFront drive submarine
US20040163581 *Feb 21, 2003Aug 26, 2004Solomon BudnikMulti-propulsion submersible ship
Classifications
U.S. Classification114/333, 440/38, 114/338, 114/54
International ClassificationB63G8/00
Cooperative ClassificationB63G8/00, B63B2702/12
European ClassificationB63G8/00