US 3349624 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 31, 1967 G. w. FRAGA I 3,
REMOTELY CONTROLLED WATER SAMPLING DEVICE Filed June 7, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENT-OR. Gasser H4 Farm Oct. 31, 1967 ca. w. FRAGA REMOTELY CONTROLLED WATER SAMPLING DEVICE l. o 9 Hm I e m Arron/5K5.
Oct. 31, 1967 .G. w. FRAGA I 3,3 REMOTELIY CONTROLLED WATER SAMPLING DEVICE Filed June 7, 1965 3 sheets-shed a 4770mm? I United States Patent Ofi 3,349,624 REMOTELY CONTROLLED WATER SAMPLING DEVICE Gilbert W. Fraga, Sacramento, Calif., assignor to The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, Calif. Filed June 7, 1965, Ser. No. 461,963 6 Claims. (Cl. 73421) My invention relates to means for capturing and retrieving a predetermined sample of water taken from a larger body of water such as a lake or river or bay for the purpose of analyzing the content of the sample.
In recent years it has become increasingly important carefully to monitor and observe the composition and contents of water samples for detection of pollution of various sorts, as well as to observe the incidence of con taminants, and sometimes also simply to observe the composition of the naturally occurring fluid.
The job is ordinarily accomplished by providing a casing which is lowered into the body of water in question, is closed while submerged and is then Withdrawn containing the selected sample for analysis.
This technique is diflicult to apply when it is desired to obtain samples from certain types of water bodies; for example, estuarine bodies. These often have marshy or overgrown shorelines which make boat and trailer access to the water body difiicult and launching from the shore side may involve extended travel to a boat launching site and a long water trip if water access is necessary. While access on foot may not be diflicult, launching a boat from a trailer may be entirely impractical.
It is therefore an object of my invention to provide a remotely controlled water sampling device which can readily be utilized in connection with bodies of water otherwise difiicult to access for sampling purposes.
Another object of the invention is to provide a remotely controlled water sampling device which is readily positionable to take a sample from a selected area of a water body.
Another object of the invention is to provide a remotely controlled water sampling device that can easily be carried about by an individual from place to place for launching as part of the sampling operation.
Another object of the invention is to provide a remotely controlled water sampling device which is consistent in its operation and can operate without substantial chance of mechanical failure.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a remotely controlled water sampling device that can readily be operated and maintained even under adverse conditions of operation.
Another object of the invention is in general to provide an improved remotely controlled water sampling device.
Other objects together with the foregoing are attained in the embodiment of the invention described in the accompanying description and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the remotely controlled water sampling device of the invention in a position of use;
FIGURE 2 is a of the device;
FIGURE 3 is a side elevation with a portion broken away to disclose the interior construction in section of the device of FIGURE 2; and
FIGURE 4 is a cross section to an enlarged scale, the plane of section being indicated by the line 4-4 of FIG- URE 2.
While the remotely controlled water sampling device of the invention can be embodied in a number of variant forms, it has successfully been embodied and operated as plan of the hull structure forming part battery 18 3,349,524 Patented Oct. 31, 1967 ice illustrated and described herein, particularly for use in sampling waters adjacent shores and in estuaries of diflicult access. The device includes a hull 6 approximately four feet long and having the shape of a ship. The hull is designed to float on a body 7 of water such as an estuary so that a portion of the hull is below the water line 8, whereas the remaining portion of the hull remains above the water line. The hull is of a size and weight so that it can easily be handled and carried by a single individual, and for that purpose the hull deck 9 is provided fore and aft with handles 11 and 12 so that the hull can easily be put into the water and can as easily be lifted therefrom by an attendant stationed at some convenient point on the shore 13 of the water body.
The hull is mobile and is self-propelled. It is preferably divided into several appropriate watertight compartments such as the compartments 16 and 17. Within the compartment 17 is disposed an electric battery 18, preferably rechargeable, accessible through a hatch 19. The battery is connected through appropriate means to an electric motor 21 disposed within the compartment 16 and connected by a shaft 22 to a propeller 23. Aft of the propeller is a rudder 24 on a rudder post 26 connected to appropriate servo-mechanism not disclosed in detail. The rudder 24 is preferably maneuvered electrically, using the as an energy source. When the battery 18 furnishes energy to the motor 21, the hull is propelled in an apropriate direction. Since the motor 21 is reversible, the hull is correspondingly reversed.
Disposed in the hull as part of the structure thereof are two upright tubes 31 and 32. These are substantially identical, so that the description of one applies to both of them. The tubes form part of the sampling mechanism and are disposed in the hull on substantially vertical axes. Each tube, such as 31, at its lower end 33 opens beneath the water line 8 to the water body in which the hull floats and is similarly open not only at its upper end 34 but likewise along the upper side 36 above the water line 8. Movably disposed within the tube 31, for example, is a sampling device 37, as particularly shown to larger scale in FIGURE 4.
The sampling device includes a central cylinder 38 having bevelled ends 39 and 41 and having webs 42 serving as supports and guides for a sleeve 44 and an internal rod 46. The sleeve extends upwardly above the cylinder 38 and carries an upper stopper 47 confined between a pair of plates 48 and 49. The upper plate is provided with cars 51 and 52. On the ear 51 a lever 53 is mounted by a pivot pin 54. The lever 53 is conical in configuration and is substantially symmetrical about the axis of the device. At one portion of its margin the lever 53 bears against one arm 56 of a latch 57. The other arm of the latch overlies a collar 58 formed at the upper end of the rod 46. The lower end of the rod 46 carries a second stopper 59 confined between plates 61 and 62 so as to move with the rod 46.
The upper end of the rod 46 adjacent the collar 58 is secured to a cable 63 extending upwardly through the tube 31 and over a pulley 64 mounted on an axle 66 carried by a bracket 67 on a cross wall 68 at the upper end of the tube 31. The cable 63 extends from the pulley 64 onto a winch drum 69 mounted within the hull and driven by an appropriate electric motor (not shown) supplied with energy from the battery 18. As the which 69 is rotated in one direction or another, the cable 63 is paid out or taken in and correspondingly moves the rod 46. Thus the sampling device 37 is moved bodily up and down within the tube 31 from a position above the water line 8 ma position below the water line to any desired depth as governed by the amount of cable paid out.
In the normal operation of the sampling device, the upper washer 47 is retained in its position with respect to the rod 46 by the interengagement of the latch 57 and the collar 58. At the same time, the position of the lower stopper 59 is maintained with respect to the central cylinder 38 because of the interengagement of a hub 71 at the lower end of the sleeve 44 with the spider 42.
Means are provided for releasing the normally open stoppers 47 and 59 so that they close the ends of the chamber 38 at an appropriately controlled time. For this reason, the upper end of the tube 31 carries a thimble 72 serving as a guide for a weight 73 having a hollow central bore to encompass the cable 63 passing therethrough. The weight 73 is normally maintained in its uppermost position by a catch 74 comprised of a lever 76 joined to the frame structure by a pivot 77 and urged toward the weight 73 by a spring 78. Secured to the latch is an operating wire 79 guided in a quadrant tube 81 and connected to an electrically operated servo-mechanism within the hull 6.
When the servo-mechanism 82 is electrically energized from the battery 18 as a source, the wire 79 retracts the catch 74 against the urgency of the spring 78, thus releasing the weight 73. This weight when released from its jacket 72 falls by gravity along the cable 63 to whatever depth the cable happens to extend. The weight 73 ultimately strikes against a cushioning grommet 84 at the upper end of the conical lever 53 and depresses the lever, in a counterclockwise direction as seen in FIGURE 4, about the pin 54 as an axis. This action removes the latch 57 from the collar 58 and permits the weight to drive the stopper 47 downwardly onto the conically bevelled end 41, thereby effectuating a top seal.
At about the same time, the released weight of the mechanism is effective to move the entire structure downwardly on the cable 63 so that the conical portion 39 then rests against the stopper 59 as a support. In this fashion, a predetermined volume of water is entrapped or captured within the sampling device 37 at whatever depth it may be situated.
Following this, the winch 69 is energized and the entire sampling device is lifted into its position within the hull 6, as illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 4, but in closed condition. An entirely similar but independent action is provided in connection with the comparable sampling mechanism 91 within the upright tube 32.
Pursuant to the invention, once the user by using the handles 11 and 12 has manually placed the hull in the water, usually near the waters edge, it is thereafter maneuvered entirely by radio control from a remote location. This location is customarily the shore 13, but can also be a boat large enough to contain the user of the device. In any event, on the shore 13, or at whatever remote point is considered appropriate, there is provided a radio sending mechanism 101 under the control of an operator and effective to send out signals such as electromagnetic or radio waves from an antenna 102. Various frequencies or amplitudes are sent in order that the user by manipulating appropriate controls 103 on the device 101 can send out any of several selected signals 104 to a receiving antenna 106 upstanding from the deck 9 of the hull 6. Within the hull, appropriate wave or radio receiving mechanism is provided and is energized by the battery 18.
This mechanism responds to the individual tones of the sundry different signals which can be sent from the device 101 to control a number of the functions powered by the battery 18 on the hull. For example, the electric motor 21 is made to stop or to run at a variable speed in a forward or reverse direction. Also, the rudder 24 is made to hold or to turn in appropriate directions so that the user on shore or at the remote point can maneuver the hull into a predetermined or selected position over the point at which the water sample is to be taken.
When the hull has arrived at that location, again by a different radio signal the winch 69 is operated to lower the sampling device 37 to an appropriate depth at which the winch 69 is stopped. An additional signal from the device 101 is then utilized to energize the servo-mechanism 82 and to release the weight 73 so that a sample can be taken not only from the right area, but also at the right depth and at the proper time. Following this, the Winch 69 is reversed by remote control and the sampling device is retrieved and retracted into the tube 31. The duplicate sampling device 91 is operated by individual signals in a similar way. Thereafter, the chamber 38 is brought to a point for ready access and removal if necessary for laboratory analysis or for release of its contents by maneuvering the hull to a point for withdrawal of the hull from the water. The user simply grasps the handles 11 and 12 and lifts out the mechanism.
The hull is provided with certain auxiliary mechanism such as an indicator light 107 to indicate that the electrical circuitry is operable under the control of a switch 108 so that during transport and non-use all of the electrical mechanism can be inactivated if desired. Furthermore, the hull carries a warning device 111 fed from the battery 18 and also subject to remote control so that in the event the hull is in a location wherein it might inadvertently be over-run by other craft, an appropriate Warning can be afforded.
With the water sampling device disclosed, it is easy by operating from almost any convenient point on shore to place the bull in the water and to dispatch it by means of the mechanism 101 to the desired sampling station. After taking the samples at the desired sampling station and then returning the hull under power to the launching point or sending it to another convenient point, it is easily withdrawn by the user employing the handles 11 and 12.
What is claimed is:
1. A remotely controlled water sampling device comprising a hull adapted to float in water, an upright tube in said hull and opening at its lower end below said water and opening at its upper end above said water, means movable in said tube and out of said lower end thereof for capturing a sample of said water, means on said hull for so moving said capturing means, means on said hull for controlling said moving means in response to a signal emanating from a point remote from said hull, and means at said point for furnishing said signal.
2. A device as in claim 1 in which said signal is an electromagnetic wave of radio frequency.
3. A remotely controlled water sampling device comprising a hull adapted to float in water to be sampled, an upright tube in said hull and opening at its lower end below said water and opening at its upper end above said water, means for capturing a sample of said water, first means on said hull for lowering said capturing means through said tube and out said lower end thereof, second means on said hull for raising said capturing means through said lower end of said tube into said tube, means on said hull for selectively energizing said first means or said second means, means on said hull for controlling said selective means in accordance with a radio signal from a remote point, and means at said remote point for furnishing said radio signal.
4. A remotely controlled water sampling device comprising a hull adapted to float on water, a source of energy on said hull, means on said hull deriving energy from said source for propelling said hull in said water, means responsive to a radio signal for controlling said propelling means, an upright tube on said hull and opening at its lower end into said water beneath said hull, means for capturing a sample of water, means on said hull and deriving energy from said source for moving said capturing means between a position in said tube above said water and a position out of said tube and in said water, and
means responsive to a radio signal for controlling said moving means.
5. A device as in claim 4 including a handle on said hull for manual maneuvering of said hull.
6. A remotely controlled water sampling device comprising a hull adapted to float in the water and to be manually carried, means on said hull for furnishing driving power, means on said hull powered by said furnishing means for propelling and steering said hull, means on said hull powered by said furnishing means for descending from said bull to take a water sample, and means separate from said hull and operable at a point remote from said hull for controlling said propelling and steering means and said descending means.
References Cited 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,388,548 11/1945 Gurs 73425.4 2,391,978 1/1946 Kahl 7342-5.4 2,645,940 5/1953 Kohl et a1. 73-4215 10 LOUIS R. PRINCE, Primary Examiner.
S. CLEMENT SWISHER, Assistant Examiner.