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Publication numberUS3581693 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 1, 1971
Filing dateMar 24, 1969
Priority dateMar 22, 1968
Publication numberUS 3581693 A, US 3581693A, US-A-3581693, US3581693 A, US3581693A
InventorsBasset James
Original AssigneeBasset James
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Releasable buoy for submarines
US 3581693 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 2/1942 Rivera....,

3,451,079 6/1969 Hagan 9/9 Primary Examiner-Trygve M. Blix Attorney-Young and Thompson ABSTRACT: My invention has for its object a buoy adapted to be released by a wrecked submarine so as to define its location at sea, the release and operation of said buoy being obtained automatically in the case of a grounding at a considerable depth or else at the end of a predetermined period during which the crew has ceased being active or else purposely by the crew. To this end, the buoy anchored to the submarine is provided with a circuit producing its release with reference to the submarine by cutting out its moorings, said circuit being closed either purposely by control means located in the submarine or else automatically through the pressure prevailing at a depth which is normally forbidden to submarines or again under the action of a delayed means which is to be reset periodically by the crew so as to act on the releasing circuit only when the crew is no longer fit for resetting said means. The buoy includes furthermore signalling means wherethrough its position may be ascertained.

PATENIED JUN 1 1971 SHEET 1 0F 6 (/HMES 648.957

SHEET 5 BF 6 PATENIED JUN 1 I9" PATENTED JUN l 197i SHEET 6 UF 6 RELEASABLE BIJOY IFOR SUBMARINES My invention has for its object means for producing the automatic or voluntary release of the buoy carried by the wrecked submarine said buoy emerging always in an accurately upright position so as to ensure and fulfill its information duty under all circumstances whatever may have happened on board.

My invention has also for its object a buoy adapted to transmit coded radio signals and also intermittent optic signals as sociated with further locating means constituted by smokes and local coloring of the sea water.

My invention has still more for its object the possibility of an autonomous telephonic connection between the buoy and submarine provided the rope connecting the latter with the buoy is not cutoff as would be the case if the submarine were grounded at a considerable depth. Said telephonic connection allows in fact the crew to transmit directly at a distance through wireless all information providing an alann whereby a precious time is saved between the moment of the wrecking and the arrival of relief. This telephonic connection is ensured by the actual connecting rope which is provided with three leads and unwound by the buoy as it rises up to the sea level starting from the grounded submarine. Furthermore said rope is associated with automatic means which are such that in all cases and under all circumstances the release, emersion of the buoy and transmission of information by the buoy cannot be disturbed.

My invention has again for its object a buoy wherein all the control and information means are entirely autonomous and controlled automatically by the buoy itself or else are subjected to the control exerted by the crew acting on means associated with a casing carried in the submarine and communicating with the buoy circuits through two fluidtight contact studs which are disconnected automatically through the actual release of the buoy.

My invention has-lastly for its object a buoy providing for the crew a feeling of safety which is all the more important as it allows an automatic wireless connection with remote telephone stations in case of a mishap and in all cases an automatic alarm signalling.

The accompanying drawings illustrate by way of example an embodiment of a buoy according to my invention together with a few details and modifications thereof. In said drawings:

FIGS. 1 and 2 are an elevational view and a view from above of an entire buoy in the shape of a sphere capped by a cone in the case illustrated.

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate similarly a buoy of a slightly different cylindrical shape.

FIGS. 5 and 6 are the two halves of the circuit system which are carried respectively in the buoy and in the submarine, the casing enclosing most of the submarine part of the circuit system being shown apart for sake of clarity.

FIGS. 7 and 8 are axial sectional views of two modifications of a fluidtight anchoring pin adapted to be released upon ignition of an explosive charge.

FIG. 9 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of a fluidtight tube adapted to produce smokes or to project coloring matter onto the sea surface.

FIG. 10 is a sectional view of the upper fluidtight end of the buoy including by way of exemplification means for the automatic unwinding of the wireless aerial.

FIG. 11 is a sectional view of an embodiment of two fluidtight contact studsensuring an electric connection between the buoy and the submarine and serving for the transmission of voluntary control signals by the crew.

FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate two different arrangements of the rope connecting the buoy with the submarine before the buoy is released.

FIG. 14 illustrates two positions assumed by the emersed buoy for different points of attachment of the rope to the buoy.

FIG. 15 illustrates a detail of one of the delaying means adapted to be reset by the crew and carried respectively in the submarine and in the buoy.

FIG. 16 illustrates diagrammatically the section of the circuit transmitting the orders given out by the crew through the telephonic means provided by the crew.

FIG. 17 is a sectional view of a modification of the automatic cable locking and releasing means, said means allowing possibly an automatic breaking of said rope.

FIG. 18 is a modification of the section of the diagram of FIG. 5 extending between the points W and W and adapted for use together with the arrangement illustrated in FIG. 17.

FIG. 19 illustrates by way of example a modification of the means securing the rope to the buoy and allowing if required its breaking under the action of an explosive charge.

FIG. 20 illustrates an arrangement for automatically releasing the buoy when the submarine has sunk down to a considerable depth.

The shaped buoy illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 is constituted by an assembly of three sections 1, 2, 3 forming a fluidtight float resting on a support 4. The whole arrangement is fitted in a recess provided for this purpose in the outer wall of the submarine. The buoy is moored to the latter by pins 18 adapted to be released automatically while the electric connections are performed by two connecting studs 19. The submarine is furthermore connected with the buoy through the rope 16 enclosing three insulated leads fluidtightly secured to the buoy at 15 after passing through intermediate means 17 holding the rope fast and allowing possibly a breaking thereof if required, said last-mentioned means defining the point at which the rope exerts a tractional stress on the buoy.

The buoy is associated with various elements carried inside it or else in outer fluidtight recesses so as to further their replacement or operation, said elements being additional to those mentioned hereinabove. These elements include in particular a fluidtight arrangement 15 enclosing the transmitting aerial 61 adapted to unwind automatically upon emersion of the buoy and the luminous signalling arrangement 69 to be described hereinafter, the fluidtight housing 6 for the selfgenerating telephone station 207 connected with the submarine by the leads inside the rope 16, the recesses 7 and 8 enclosing the automatic means producing smokes and coloring material, the recess 9 closed by a fluidtight cover and carrying the contact studs P for the checking of the electric circuits and the proper operative condition of the different parts of the buoy, the fluidtight housings 10 and 11 for the pressure gauges operating under maximum and minumum pressure conditions as disclosed hereinafter, the fluidtight housings 12 and 13 for the batteries ensuring the autonomous operation of the buoy and lastly the automatic means 14 releasing the buoy when the submarine has sunk down to a considerable depth.

The buoy illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 differs through its shape and location of certain of its parts from that illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. The whole arrangement is cylindrical which furthers its fitting along the outer surface of the submarine while the batteries 12 and 13 are inserted in a further lower fluidtight section. The different sections forming the buoy are connected automatically with the assembly through conventional fluidtight pin systems.

The electric circuits illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 include chiefly in the buoy (FIG. 3) the releasing circuit L 254 associated with the batteries 401 and 402 and adapted to energize the relays releasing the anchoring pins 18 and controlling upon emersion of the buoy the operation of the wireless system and of the other means defining the location of the wreck. Said releasing circuit may be closed by any of three switches inserted in parallel at 41, 40 and 226' and controlled respectively by a pressure gauge 14 or the like arrangement adapted to operate if the submarine sinks down to a depth greater than the authorized depth of immersion, by a relay 251 controlled purposely by the crew through depression of one of the emergency pusher knobs 210, 210', 210" arranged at various parts of the submarine, and by the resettable delaying system D carried by the buoy, the resetting of which is normally executed periodically through actuation of the control knob 235 carried by the casing 201 inside the submarine and shown apart in FIG. 6. The circuits in said casing are connected with the circuits in the buoy through the connecting studs 19 (FIGS. 1 to 4) as already mentioned or else through a short cable 87 terminating as described hereinafter with reference to FIG. 11 with studs numbered 80 and 81 for the submarine and 82 and 83 for the buoy. Said casing includes furthermore batteries 403, 404, a resettable delaying system D identical with the resettable delaying system D of the buoy inserted in series with the latter and subjected to the same setting produced by the operation of the knob 235.

The buoy or buoys are secured to the submarine by three or four anchoring pins 18 (FIGS. 1 to 4), the securing means of which are illustrated in FIG. 7 with further detail. The actual pin 33 which is to remain rigid with the submarine over which it is held fast by the disconnectable hair pin 36 is fitted in a body 31 screwed inside a recess formed at 32 in the wall of the buoy. The pin 33 is held fast in said body 32 by a disc 34 which breaks open upon firing of the explosive charge 35 whereby the buoy is released in the cases defined hereinabove.

In the case ofa modification illustrated in FIG. 8, the pin 33 secured by a bolt 36' to the submarine is held fast inside the body 31 by a layer of explosive material 35 cast between the said pin and body. Said modification produces less shocks and vibrations at the moment of the release of the buoy than the arrangement of FIG. 7.

I will now describe with further detail the different circuits of FIGS. and 6 together with the different safety means incorporated therewith, beginning with the description of the two resettable delaying systems D and D. The latter, which have received in FIGS. 5 and 6 the same reference numbers except for the addition of the index in FIG. 5, include as illustrated more clearly in FIG. a shaft 215 rigid with a toothed wheel 214 adapted to wind the spiral spring 216. Said shaft 215 is driven by a pinion 217 driven in its turn by an auxiliary motor 218 through the agency of a cardan joint, said wheel 214 serving thus for the setting of the spiral spring 216. The pinion 217 is carried by a lever 220 pivoting at 221 and urged normally by the spring 222 against the stop 223 so as to disconnect the pinion 217 with reference to the toothed wheel 214. An electromagnet 224 in series with the motor 218 attracts the lever 220 so as to engage the pinion 217 with the toothed wheel 214 as soon as the motor 218 is energized. A ratchet wheel 214a carried loose by the shaft 215 is rigid with a conventional speed reducing system 220 and revolves freely in the direction of the arrows drawn in FIGS. 5 and 6 but, in contradistinction, it is carried along by the catches 219 on the wheel 214 in the opposite direction when the circuit feeding the motor 218 and the electromagnet 224 is cut off so that the ratchet wheel 214a revolves then in the opposite direction under the action of the set spring 216 but at a reduced speed by reason of the presence of the speed reducing means 220. For instance, the setting may be executed in 10 sec. and the slow return movement in 2 hours. It should be remarked that a 6-volt circuit fed as disclosed hereinafter through the battery 403 of the casing 201 closes in series when the push button 235 is depressed, the circuits passing through both motors 218, 218' and electromagnets 224 and 224'.

The delaying system D carried by the buoy is provided in addition to the parts described for the system D with an induction coil 236 and a condenser 252 which are associated with the circuit feeding the motor 218' and electromagnet 224 for the reasons disclosed hereinafter.

In both systems D and D the toothed wheel such as 214 carries an eccentric stud 225 closing at the end of the return movement of the toothed wheel 214 the contact 226 so as to ignite in the casing 201 inside the submarine the witness lamp 227 showing that the corresponding contact 226' closed in the buoy has actually initiated the buoy releasing procedure as disclosed hereinafter since both arrangements D and D operate always synchronously. The delayed systems which have thus been reset return now slowly to their operative position for which they close the contacts at 226 and 226 so that the buoy is actually released unless a person of the crew operates in proper time the pusher knob 235 to reset the systems D and D as should be the case in the absence of any mishap.

The safety switch C carried by the casing 201 in the submarine is provided with an arm 211 which should normally be located in its locked, ready for operation position illustrated in solid lines in FIG. 6. Said arm 24 is released by the closing of the contact 226 so as to open 230 and 231.

As long as the submarine is inoperative and after closing of the switch 405 a shifting of the arm 211 into the position A closes at 230 the circuit from the 24-volt battery 404 through the connected studs 81, 83 so as to energize inside the buoy the relays 260 and 261, which switches ofi at 27 the relay 273 which is protected against the high voltage by the induction coil 236 and the condenser 252. The armature of the relay 273 urged by its spring 265 disengages the raised catch of the relay 261 which switches off the 24-volt circuit.

The contact 27 remains however open as long as the switch 405 controlling the submarine batteries 403 and 404 remains closed. This prevents the automatic release of the buoy through a closing of the switch 226' since the contact 26 in series with the latter is open and cannot close as long as the contact 27 is open. The return to inoperativeness of the buoy should therefore be obtained by disconnecting the battery 401, 402 in the buoy before opening the switch 405.

When the submarine is to be got under way, the arm 211 of the switch C is held in its locked ready for operation position with the switches 230 and 231 open which the switch 405 is closed and the switches controlling the batteries 401, 402 are closed. The delayed systems are then energized by depressing the resetting knob 235. This closes the circuit energizing the electromagnet 229 through the delayed relay 228. This releases the arm 211 after say 5 sec. during which the resetting circuit energizing simultaneously the systems D and D' causes the studs 225 and 225' which were at the end of their travel to reopen the contacts 226 and 226' safely in the submarine and in the buoy respectively. The arm 211 when thus released switches the 24-volt circuit off the stud 81 and, as it passes over the arcuate contact piece 271, it connects the 6-volt circuit from the battery 403 with the stud 81 and consequently with the relay 273 since the relay 260, no longer fed with 24 volts, no longer opens 27. The energization of 273 closes the contacts 26 and 263 and the catch 270 of 261 reengages the armature of the relay 273 so as to restore the circuit provided for 24 volts through 261. This closing of 26 cannot release the buoy through 226 and 251 (FIG. 6) by reason of the delay at 228 delaying the movement of the arm 211 (FIG. 6).

The submarine batteries 403 and 404 are preferably independent from the supply of energy to the submarine so as to ensure operation of the casing circuits even in the case of a failure of said supply.

It should be remarked that the connection between the buoy and the inside of the submarine required for control of the crew is provided by the studs and 81 stud sections 80" 81" fluidtightly carried by the submarine and engaging the cooperating collapsible stud sections 82", 83" carried by a fluidtight member 84 fitted on the buoy at 85 and centrally engaging the further fluidtight member 86 secured to the submarine in the housing provided for the buoy (FIG. 11). The connection through studs may furthermore be replaced according to a modification by a short fluidtightly connected cable 87 enclosing two operative wires and a grounded area (FIGS. 5 and 6) the cable being broken or the connections being blown out at the moment of the release of the buoy at 255 (FIG. 5).

Turning again to the delaying system D in the submarine, it includes in addition to the system D two stationary conductive arcuate strips 233, 234 inserted in series in the 6-volt circuit. Said arcuate strips concentric with the toothed wheel are normally interconnected by a radial switch 232 inserted across the path of the releasing contact 225 which opens said switch at the end of its forward travel.

The periodical resetting of the systems D and D is performed by depressing the knob 235 closing the 6-volt circuit which remains closed under the action of its holding relay 237 until the radial switch 232 is opened at the end of the resetting operation at which moment the slow return movement of the arrangements D and D begins, so as to produce with a predetermined delay the release of the buoy, provided the 6- volt circuit in which the switch 232 is closedas soon as the return movementhas started is not energized again through depression of the knob 235. It is also possible to adjust the duration of the resetting and consequently of the return movement defining the delay by shifting the switch 232 along the conductive strips 233 and 234.

The release of the buoy provided by the automatic or voluntary closing 'of the releasing circuit L 254 produces through the agency of the relay 180 (FIG. 6) the closing of the circuit igniting the anchoring pins 18 and possibly of the means 255 provided for the breaking of the cable 87 containing the electric connections between the fluidtight contacts on the buoy and casing 201 when such a cable is substituted for the connecting studs 19. The relay I80 switches off said igniting circuit with a delay of for instance sec. in order to cut out any undesired grounding after ignition has been obtained.

As already mentioned the release of the buoy is defined either by the delaying systems D and D' acting on the switch 226 if the crew has allowed the predetermined delay to elapse without resetting said systems through the knob 235 or else the release is obtained in the case of an impending danger upon depression of one of the emergency knobs 210, 210', 210" so as to energize through the studs 80, 82 the relay 251 controlling the switch 40 or again the release is obtained automatically at a depth normally forbidden through action of the pressure gauge or the like means on the switch 41 inserted as already mentioned in parallel with the contacts 40 and 226.

The voluntary and instantaneous release is obtained through operation of the knobs 210, 210', 2l0",...which close the 6-volt circuit fed by the battery 403 of the buoy over the relay 33 so as to ignite the witness lamp 32 and close the holding contact 31 of the latter. At the same time the relay 33 opens the 6-volt circuit of the systems D and D at 32 and causes by acting on the contacts 34 and 36 the connections 80, 82 between the buoy and casing to be shifted off the 6-volt feed from the battery 40E onto the 24-volt feed from the battery 404.

Said voltage energizes the relay 251 which closes the switch 40 as mentioned sc as to ensure the release of the buoy. The relay 250 in parallel with 251 which is also energized switches off at 253 the circuit of the arrangement D which is furthermore protected against said voltage by the induction coil 235 and capacity 252 as mentioned hereinabove. The relay 251 is furthermore locked at the end of its operative stroke by the catch 251.

In brief the control casing 201 allows the following operations voluntary release through the knob 210 inserted in parallel with other knobs distributed within the submarine voluntary locking of the automatic release against operation by the arm 211 of the switch C returning automatically into its normal position periodical resetting of the delaying arrangements D and D through the knob 235 as long as the crew is capable of proceeding with said operation furthermore possibility of communicating through telephone with the emersed buoy and more particularly with the wireless station on the latter, which wireless station provides in all cases an automatic transmission of emergency signals.

The buoy carries along as it rises the entirety of a rope 16 (FIG. 12) made for instance of nylon enclosing three electric wires embedded within its mass. Said rope of a length of 400400 m. far instance is advantageously coiled in a casing 90 (FIG. 12) independent of the buoy and adapted to serve as a support for the latter. said casing being secured to the buoy by bolts 91. The ends of the rope are connected with the submarine and with the buoy through the corresponding fluidtight connections 92 and 93.

At a short distance from the connection 93 the rope passes through an arrangement 17 adapted to define the point at which the rope exerts a tractional stress on the buoy and where the ropemay be broken when the depth at which the submarine is stranded is greater than the length of the rope.

FIG. 13 illustrates a modification which allows only that length of the rope to be unwound which is required for the buoy to emerge at sea level. In such a case the casing containing the rope is incorporated with the buoy and the rope secured to the submarine by a fluidtight connection 101 passes between the elastic jaws guiding it 102, carried by the casing so as to be connected fluidtightly with the buoy at 104 while a central arrangement 103 of the type described hereinafter with reference to F I6. 17 provides for the release, locking, further release and possible breaking of the rope.

In both cases the point through which the rope exerts a tractional action on the buoy is transferred outside the axis of the latter.

As apparent from inspection of the left-hand side of FIG. 14 an axial securing at M urges the buoy into an oscillatory movement whereas a lateral securing at N produces a torque setting the buoy straight as shown by the right-hand side of said FIG. 14.

A safety system for the resettable delaying means is constituted by a contact 240 inserted in the path of the contact 225 adapted to release the buoy, said contact 240 being closed by said contact 225 about 10 min. for instance before the latter closes the switch 226 (FIG. 6). Said contact energizes the relay 241 which ignites the lamp 242 which is drawn again on the separate illustration of casing 201 in FIG. 6. Said relay 241 releases also an acoustic signal at 243 and is furthermore deenergized at x by the lever 220 when the 6-volt circuit of the delayed systems D and D is closed so as to provide for the resetting of the latter, during which said relay 241 should not operate.

Assuming the buoy has been released the means producing smokes and coloring of the sea as illustrated at 7 and 8 in FIGS. 1 and 3 are ready to operate. Said means include a fluidtight casing 51 illustrated in FIG. 9. Inside said casing rigid with the buoy there is screwed a fluidtight tube 52 containing a composition 53 producing smokes or coloring matter 53 and held in position by the fluidtight cover 54 which is released at the moment of the emersion of the buoy by an electric current which tires the lanyard 55 and the explosive charge 56.

On the other hand the aerial 61 displayed when the buoy emerges may be constituted as illustrated in FIG. 10 by means of coaxial telescopic tubes 61, 64 which are drawn out and erected by a yielding central blade 65 wound spirally inside the casing 66 and guided by said tubes. Said blade is driven by a pinion 67 controlled by a motor 68 provided with a speed reducer. A luminous signal 69 is located at the upper end of the inner tube 61 rigid with the upper end of the blade. Said signal is fed by the cable 70 coiled inside its housing 71 and extending axially of the aerial. When the aerial is entirely erected above the buoy a projection 72 at the inner end of the blade 65 switches off at 73 the current feeding the motor 68. The aerial arrangement rests on the support 74 screwed into the upper end of the buoy and forming with the casing 66 a disconnectable unit. In the collapsed position illustrated, the aerial arrangement is enclosed inside a fluidtight chamber 76 closed by a cover 77 adapted to resist the maximum height of the water in which the buoy may be immersed, said cover being held in position by a fluidtight cap made of nylon 78 which is held fast in its turn by the threaded ring 79 engaging the packing 78'. A further packing 79 ensures a fluidtightness of the support 74. The cover 77 is thrust away from the buoy when the latter has reached the sea level as provided by the firing of the lanyard 82 cutting off the cap 78 and urging it away with the cover 77 so as to allow the aerial to be urged freely out of the buoy. A yielding annular lining 83 provides fluidtightness against rain and spray for the lower section 64 of the aerial when the aerial is displayed above the buoy.

Instead of being telescopic, the aerial may include two symmetrically shaped blades unwinding simultaneously under the action of two pinions such as 67 or else it may be of any type adapted to be unwound and enclosed within the fluidtight chamber 76 formed by the casing 66.

It is essential that the buoy may rise accurately without being ever disturbed by the presence of the rope and that the wireless receiver may become operative before the buoy emerges. I resort to two pressure gauges 280, 281 of a type devised by myself and adapted to resist a pressure equal to once and a half the pressure corresponding to the maximum depth at which the submarine is allowed to operate. The pressure gauge 280 (FIG. is sensitive to a pressure under 5 cm. of water while the pressure gauge 281 becomes operative for a pressure corresponding to a depth of water above 70 em. Thus as long as the buoy lies in shallow waters the contacts controlled by the pressure gauges lie in the position illustrated so that the 6-volt voltage applied to the circuit L 254 passes through the contacts 291, 321, 322 in the pulse-producing relay means 326. These means are provided with a delay of 1 see. when opening its contact and of sec. for the subsequent closing. Consequently a pulse is fed once every 16 sec. by the contact 328 into the relay 329 which produces a stepwise progression of a ratchet wheel 329 closing the switch 330 at the end of an adjustable number of pulse, say 30. After about 30x16 see. that is about 8 minutes the contacts controlling the pressure gauges should open if they are no longer closed by the pressure of water. If they remain closed as a consequence of some mishap which prevents the buoy from reaching the sea level, the arrangement which has just been described closes then through its contact 330 a circuit firing the charge 205 which cuts off the rope and releases the buoy which acts henceforward as a free signalling buoy.

In contradistinction if the buoy emerges under normal conditions the pressure gauge 280 operates for a minimum pressure and closes the contact 293 which through the agency of the relay 294 sets the aerial and its auxiliaries in their operative position, the relay 294 being delayed by 5 sec. in its closing so as to prevent the aerial from being projected outside the buoy as a consequence ofa transient rising of the buoy before it is stabilized at sea level. The relay 294 controlled by the relay 294' and which is delayed by 3 sec. energizes through its contact 297 the transmitting station 301 and through its contact 296 the arrangement including the luminous signal 69 through its blinker 299. The relay 294' has closed furthermore the circuit shunted off the releasing circuit L 254 and feeding the coloring and smoke producing means 7 and 8 together with the explosive charge 78' releasing the aerial (FIG. 5).

The latter is then raised into its erect position by its motor 68 energized by the closing ofthe contact 296 of the relay 294 which is delayed with reference to the relay 294', The relay 294 is held closed by its catch 295 so as to switch offits circuit and also that of the relay 294' at 298. It is thus possible to cut out any useless consumption of current as soon as the signalling and aerial system is started.

On the other hand, the pressure gauge 280 has set upon reversal of its operation its contact 291 at 291A so as to energize the relay 323 which connects the contact 292 of the pressure gauge 281 no longer as precedingly through the contact 322 with the relay 326 but through the contact 324 whereby 326 is no longer operative.

If when emersed the buoy is transiently drowned by strong marine streams for instance, the pressure gauge 280 subjected again to a higher pressure switches off 293 and restores the contact 291A and shifts it back to 291 whereby the contact 324 being still in its closed condition the relay 331 is energized. Said relay is delayed and if at the end of 15 sec. for instance the pressure gauge 280 is still closed, the relay 331 closes its contact 332 which energizes as in the preceding case the arrangement 205 which cuts off the rope. The delay of 15 sec. provided for 331 prevents the breaking of the rope if the buoy has been drowned only transiently say by the passage of a wave.

The proper operative condition of all the parts of the buoy is checked from the outside without any dismantling through the studs P collected within one or more housings 9 as already mentioned, said studs being connected with the different points to be checked.

The buoy includes furthermore a self-generating telephone station 207 (FIGS. 5 and 16) of any known type whereby the wires within the rope 16 ensure a telephone connection between the submarine and the emergency buoy. An operation of the switch 209 in the submarine casing 201 connects said telephone station through automatic switch 208 with the carrier waves of the wireless transmitter 301 whereby the crew may communicate directly through wireless telephone with remote stations as soon as the buoy has emersed so that it is possible to broadcast immediately the circumstances of the wrecking and the conditions on board and relief may be brought as soon as possible. The buoy resumes automatically its coded emergency signalling if the crew does not resort to the possibility thus afforded ofa wireless telephone, the switch 209 returning automatically into the corresponding position providing telephone connection with the buoy if it is not held purposely in the position corresponding to wireless telephone.

FIG. 17 illustrates an embodiment allowing a buoy to lock that length of rope which allows it to emerge normally while it may be released again automatically if any marine stream of tide requires such a release. The buoy carries the whole rope within a casing as illustrated in FIG. 13. The rope 16 (FIG. 17) passes through a central channel 601 extending laterally into a recess 602 enclosing an eccentric cam 603 rigid with a spindle 603 carrying an arm 606 urged back by a spring 607 and a further arm 608 held fast by a stud 609 adapted to be released by the electromagnet 610. The cam 603 may be collapsed by a fluidtight electromagnet 612 the core 611 of which is held fast at the end ofits stroke by the catch 613 adapted to be released by a third electromagnet 614. The rope passes in front of the opening 615 of a chamber containing a fluidtight explosive charge 617 adapted to break the rope upon firing through the agency of the wire 618. The operation of this arrangement is controlled by the circuit illustrated in FIG. 18. FIG. 18 is a wiring diagram replacing the section of FIG. 5 extending between the points W and Wl. Upon release of the buoy the circuit L 254 is subjected to the 6-volt voltage as precedingly. As long as the buoy is immersed the contacts of the pressure gauges 280 and 281 are in the position illustrated, the electromagnet 610 is energized and releases the arm 608. The electromagnet 612 is energized by 292 B and draws the cam rearwardly. The rope is thus allowed to unwind freely within its channel and as in the case of the diagram illustrated in FIG. 5 pulses are sent through the relay 326 once every 16 sec. towards 325 and 330 and the rope breaks automatically if at the end of a number of pulses, say 30, the buoy has not yet reached sea level in the case ofa fortuitous hindrance preventing the rope from unwinding normally, When the buoy reaches sea level the contact 291 enters the position 291 A, the contact 292 is cut off, the contact 292 B enters the position 292 C and energizes the electromagnet 614 which releases the core 611 of the electromagnet 612. The spring 607 returns the cam 609 into its original position and locks thus the rope in the channel provided for it, the catch 613 opening the circuit of its electromagnet at the end of its travel and remaining in position as provided by a notch in the core 611. The latter during its return movement closes the contact 620. The contact 291 entering the position 291 A energizes the relay 323 which switches off the contact 334 feeding the electromagnet 610 and the contact in the circuit 329, 330 and lastly it opens its own circuit 325 at the end of the stroke.

If the tractional stress exerted by the rope under the action of the tide or of a marine stream causes the buoy to be immersed again, the contacts at 291 and 292 are restored and operate the relay 326 but not 329 which has been cut off once and for all at X upon emergence of the buoy by 323. In contradistinction 292 B energizes 612 which releases through the relay 611 the cam 603 which has been locked at the end of its stroke which allows the rope to unwind freely again.

If at the end of 16 sec. the buoy remains immersed, the core 611 is released by the electromagnet 614 which is energized by the deenergization of 326. However as soon as the contact 620 is restored, 612 is energized and the core 611 moves rearwardly and is locked again in its rearmost position by 613; this disengages the cam 603 and allows the rope to unwind freely again during 16 sec. and so on until the buoy returning normally to sea level causes 292 B to assume the position 292 C whereby the rope is again held fast while 611 is released.

If the buoy is constrained to unwind the entire length of the rope without being capable of rising to sea level, in such a case a knob 641 is carried by the last unit length of the rope closes the contact 640 fed by 291 and 292 whereby the explosive charge 617 breaking the rope is fired and the buoy is completely released and becomes a mere emergency buoy transmitting automatically its coded wireless and optic signals.

FIG. 19 illustrates a modification of the means securing the point at which the rope exerts a tractional stress on the buoy, said figure illustrated also the rope-breaking means. A fluidtight recessed member 509 formed within the body of the buoy is provided with four bosses 510 carrying two plates 502 and 503 secured by bolts 504. The rope 16 is clamped between the two plates and passes freely in registry with an opening 505 formed in the plates. The recessed member 509 encloses a fluidtight unit 508 screwed inside said recess which carries also a fluidtight explosive charge 506 which may be fired by the lanyard 511. The charge is protected by a fluidtight cover 507 adapted to resist the maximum pressure to which the buoy may be subjected when immersed at maximum depth.

FIG. 20 illustrates an embodiment of the automatic buoy releasing means when the submarine is sunk to a considerable depth, said arrangement corresponding to that of the means illustrated at 14 in FIG. 5. 709 designates a recessed member providing an electric connection with the switch 4 (FIG. 5). In said recess there is screwed a fluidtight system operating through a breaking of a diaphragm constituted by the body 715 enclosing a fluidtight piston 71] held by a spring 712 in contact with the fluidtight diaphragm 713 held in position by the screwed ring 716, said diaphragm being broken open when the depth is greater than the gauged maximum allowed depth of immersion, say 40 bars. A cover 717 of porous plastic material allows only slow modifications in pressure to act on the diaphragm whereas sudden modifications are damped and inoperative. When the diaphragm has been thrust open by the pressure of water, the fluidtight electrodes 41 are crushed by the piston 711 and short circuit the switch 41 whereby the buoy is released and the rope is broken at 205 (FIG. 5). In fact the rope is no longer of any interest at such considerable depths.

It is important to remark that in all the accompanying wiring diagrams current flows through the circuit only during the very short time required for the movements of the contacts and that the circuits are automatically opened at the end of their operation, whereby the consumption of current is reduced to a minimum which is extremely important for a buoy carrying with it the totality of the electric energy it requires.

All the circuits provided with contacts as illustrated in the various diagrams include preferably transistorized parts or else flat circuit elements with double balanced contacts of a high mechanical reliability while they are not disturbed by the most violent shocks and accelerations produced by the releasing of the buoy by explosive charges opening the securing pins.

The buoys described are perfectly complete and autonomous machines and are released in all the cases to be considered while fulfilling under the best conditions their duty of information including possibly immediate transmission to remote stations between a stranded submarine and remote stations which may bring relief.

What I claim is: e

1. A buoy adapted to be released by a disabled submarine comprising a float body, moorings detachably securing the buoy to the submarine, means adapted to cut out said moorings, a signalling system carried by the buoy and adapted to operate after release of the buoy upon cutting out of the securing means and rising of the buoy to sea level, a circuit adapted to operate the mooring cutting out means and including two sections carried respectively by the submarine and by the buoy and leads electrically connecting said sections as long as the moorings are operative, a device carried by the buoy and adapted to energize the circuit section in the buoy to operate said means immediately after the submarine has sunk down to an unauthorized depth, a control operable at any moment by the crew inside the submarine and energizing the circuit section in the submarine and thereby the second circuit section to operate said means, two interconnected similar delaying systems carried respectively by the buoy and submarine and of which the system in the buoy operates the mooring cutting out means at the end of a predetermined delay and means adapted to be actuated by the crew in the submarine before the end of the delay provided by the delaying systems to reset said systems to prevent their operation.

2. In a buoy as claimed in claim 1 the provision of a rope connecting the buoy with the submarine and unwound by the buoy as it rises when released.

3. A buoy as claimed in claim 1 wherein the signalling system includes an aerial carried within the top of the buoy, a wireless transmitter carried by the buoy and means whereby the transmitter is energized and the aerial is erected above the buoy and connected with the transmitter as soon as the buoy has been released and has reached sea level.

4. A buoy as claimed in claim 1 wherein the signalling system includes an aerial carried within the top of the buoy, a wireless transmitter carried by the buoy, optical signalling means, means whereby the transmitter is energized and the aerial is erected above the buoy and is connected with the transmitter as soon as the buoy has been released and has reached sea level, and means rendering the optical signalling means operative as soon as the buoy has actually reached sea level.

5. A buoy as claimed in claim 1 wherein the delaying system includes an adjustable time-measuring mechanism and a switch inserted in the buoy circuit section and adapted to be closed at the end of a predetermined delay by the time-measuring mechanism to cut out the mooring, the resetting means including an auxiliary control operable by the crew and operation of which returns speedily the time-measurin g mechanisms into their starting positions.

6. A buoy as claimed in claim 1 wherein the mooring cutting out means are constituted by explosive charges.

7. A buoy as claimed in claim 1 including testing studs connected with various points of the buoy circuit section and lying on the outer surface of the buoy and a cover protecting said studs against action of water.

8. A buoy as claimed in claim 1 comprising a rope connecting the buoy with the submarine, coiled between them and adapted to unwind when the released buoy rises towards sea level with telephone wires enclosed within the rope, a wireless receiver carried by the buoy, means whereby said receiver transmits automatically coded signals as soon as the buoy has reached sea level and means adapted to make the crew of the submarine communicate with said transmitter through said wires to broadcast spoken intelligence through said transmitter.

9. A buoy as claimed in claim 1 comprising a rope connecting the buoy with the submarine, coiled between them and adapted to unwind when the released buoy rises towards sea level with its telephone wires enclosed within the rope, a wireless receiver carried by the buoy, means whereby said receiver transmits coded signals as soon as the buoy has reached sea level and means adapted to make the crew of the submarine communicate with said transmitter through said wires to broadcast intelligence through said transmitter, and means breaking off the rope when the buoy has risen by a height equal to the rope length without reaching sea level.

10. A buoy as claimed in claim 1 including means preventing energization of the circuit section in the buoy.

11. A buoy as claimed in claim 1 including a low voltage battery in the submarine adapted to feed the resetting means, a battery ofa higher voltage, a relay through which said higher voltage operates the mooring cutting off means upon operation of the control by the crew, said relay being nonsensitive to the low voltage.

12. A buoy as claimed in claim 1 comprising a battery of a low voltage in the'buoy which energizes the corresponding circuit upon operation of the control and of the energizing device, an auxiliary circuit controlled by the circuit section in the buoy and actuating the signalling system and a further battery of a higher voltage carried by the buoy to feed said auxiliary circuit.

13. A buoy as claimed in claim 1 comprising a battery of a low voltage in the buoy of which one energizes the corresponding circuit upon operation of the control and of the energizing device, an auxiliary circuit controlled by the circuit section in the buoy and actuating the signalling system and a further battery of a higher voltage carried by the buoy to feed said auxiliary circuit and furthermore pressure gauges controlling the unwinding of the rope in accordance with the transient modifications in sea level.

14. In a buoy as claimed in claim 1, the provision ofa rope connecting the buoy with the submarine and unwound by the buoy as it rises when released and means adapted to lock the rope against further unwinding when the buoy has reached sea level before complete unwinding of the rope.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2273497 *Feb 3, 1940Feb 17, 1942Benito RiveraSignal pontoon for submarines
US3451079 *Jul 18, 1967Jun 24, 1969Hagan William EReleasable float for locating and raising sunken objects
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3933109 *Nov 29, 1973Jan 20, 1976Etat FrancaisBuoy releasable from a submarine
US3961259 *Jul 5, 1974Jun 1, 1976Pains-Wessex LimitedMarine smoke markers
US4776295 *Aug 6, 1987Oct 11, 1988Kline Allen JBoat flaps for controlling and steering a boat operating at low speeds
US4981453 *Mar 31, 1989Jan 1, 1991Litton Systems, Inc.Emergency transmitter buoy and bracket assembly
US6871610 *Jun 6, 2003Mar 29, 2005The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyAssembly for launching bodies from an underwater platform
Classifications
U.S. Classification114/328, 114/329, 441/10, 441/27, 441/19, 441/16
International ClassificationB63G8/00, B63C7/00, B63C7/26, B63G8/08, B63G8/41
Cooperative ClassificationB63C7/26, B63G8/41, B63G8/08
European ClassificationB63G8/08, B63G8/41, B63C7/26