US 3613615 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent nn 21244 5/511 4 11 .l 1.
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PATENTEU UBT 19 |97! SHEET 2 UF 4 FIG 2 PATENTEDUCT 19 Isn SHEET u uf 4 MANNED, MOBILE SUBMERSIBLE OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION other type It is an object of. the present invention to provide an improved submersible craft for undersea exploration, geodetic survey, and any other type of work which such vessels may perform.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a submersi- DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS FIG. l is a perspective view of a submersible constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view of one of the flotation pontoons or tubular members of the device illustrated in FIG. 1;
' FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view of the pontoon illustrated in FIG. 2 and showing the pressure fittings therein; and l FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional view of two of the pontoons of the device illustrated in FIG. l.
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view of the end portion of a pontoon showing one of the main thrusters;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the combustion chamber of the thruster of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged vertical sectional view showing the nozzles and a portion of the combustion chamber of the thruster; and
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of releasable trunnion with rack and pinion, and
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of a detail.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The manned, mobile submersible according to the invention is characterized by the following features, taken separately or in combination, in which like numerals will denote like features in the drawings.
In FIG.` l of the present invention the generally spherical transparent polyhedral command unit l is supported by trunnions 2 on rearwardly inclined parallel ramps 3 mounted on the center tubes or pontoons 4 of the quadritubular hull.
The transparent polyhedral command unit 1 is made of triangular flat transparent plates arranged so the vertices 2l of all plates 20 lie on a circumscribing sphere and the faying edges or surfaces 22 of plates 20 form planes passing essentially through the center of the circumscribing sphere. At the apices of all intersections of triangular plates 20 are openings (not shown) for support trunnions 2 and a manhole 23.
As seen in FIG. 8, the support trunnions 2 located at opposite ends of a diameter are fitted with retractable lugs 24 so that the command unit l may be freed from the supports 2 and rise by its buoyancy after being freed from all control cables by bayonet type releases (not shown). On each trunnion 2 is mounted a fully hermetically sealed electric motor 25 which drives pinion 26, engaged to a rack 27, which moves the trunnions 2 and command unit l along the rack and up or down the ramps 3. to facilitate the construction, avoid stress concentrations, on thin edges and provide entrance for control cables (not shown) for support trunnions 2 The edges 22 of plates 20 and all crevices are secured tightly by suitable bonding compounds.
The outer tubes or pontoons 5 are attached parallel to the inner tubes or pontoons 4 by hydraulically controlled parallel linkages 6 which permit the raising and lowering of the outer tubes or pontoons 5 with respect to the inner tubes or pontoons 4, as will be described hereinafter.
The cross tube 7 which is rigidly attached between inner tubes 4 maintains both alignment and spacing of the inner tubes 4. The cargo platform 8 is also mounted betweenthe two inner tubes or pontoons 4 and forward of the cross tube 7 and can be of sufficient length to accommodate various needs or missions. In each of the buoyancy chambers contained in tubes 4 and 5 are manholes 9 to permit entrance and exit to and from the inner portions of the tubes.
The craft is provided with six main propulsion units or thrusters l0 and 12 trim controls consisting of small vertical control thrusters l1. The main propulsion units or thrusters I0 are mounted at the aft end of each of the four tubes or pontoons 4 and 5 and at the forward end of outer tubes 5. The vertical thrusters 11 are positioned vertically opposed at the Vlocation .of each main thruster unit. The utilization of this trim propulsion system, with independently controlled main propulsion thrusters l0, and will permit the controlled rotation of the craft, when submerged, about its three principal axes.
AS seen in FIG. 5, the main propulsion units are powered by the burning of hypergolic fuel 30 and oxidizer under pressure in special combustion chambers 31 of sphericone shape with an'exit nozzle 32 at the apex of the cone. The combustion chamber 3l is lined with closely packed tubes carrying fuel to provide cooling the inner chamber wall and preheating the fuel for greater efficiency.
FIG. 2 is an illustration showing the arrangement of the fuel, oxidizer, and helium tanks together with the buoyancy chambers which comprise the tubes 4 and 5, of FIG. l. The fuely tanks l, the oxidizer tanks 16 and the helium tanksI7, and the buoyancy chambers 18 are fabricated of suitable materials and in such a manner as shown in FIG. 3 to withstand the internal and external pressures. The high-pressure helium is conducted from the helium tank or sphere I7 to the oxidizer and fuel tanks l5 and 16, through the buoyancy chamber I8 by means of high-pressure piping 19 containing valves 20 which regulate the flow and maintain suitable pressure within the fuel and oxidizer tanks l5 and I6. High-pressure piping 2l conducts the oxidizer from the oxidizer tank I6 through the buoyancychamber 18 through the fuel tank l5 to a regulating valve 22 which also regulates the fuel flow through high-pressure piping 23 in such a way that the proper amount of fuel and oxidizer reach the main propulsion unit. Between fuel tank 15 and oxidizer tank 16 the buoyancy chamber 18 is divided bya diaphragm 124` attached to a T-section 125 which is mounted in the relatively thin cylindrical section 126 in such a way to form a smooth continuous cylinder.
FIG. 3 shows the unique fabricating scheme whereby the high-pressure spheres and tanks are incorporated into the tubes in such a way'that the exterior surface of the tubes is a smooth continuous cylinder. The hemispheres of the helium tank 17 and the hemispherical ends of the fuel and oxidizer tanks 15 and 16 are forged to a sufficient thickness so that the required wall thickness can be machined with a generous fillet between the main body of the hemisphere and a short length of tube which has the same thickness as the wall 126 of the buoyancy chamber 18. After the machining of the hemispheres, the connections 30 for the high-pressure piping I9, 2l, and 23 are installed. After suitable preparation the hemispheres are shop welded to form the high-pressure helium, fuel, and oxidizer tanks. The welded units can then be subjected to the necessary heat treatment so that the welds 131 will be in a' heat-treated condition. The relatively thin wall 126 of the buoyancy chamber 18 can then be welded to the short length of tube 29 by field welds to make up the entire tubular member.
The buoyancy chambers 18 between the pressure tanks l5. I6, and 17 are made relatively thin compared to the pressure tanks l5, 16, and I7. Pairs of automatic valves 50 in each chamber keep the pressure differential between the chamber and the ambient water at tolerable limits. One of each pair of valves or valve 50 opens to admit water to the buoyancy chamber when the pressure within the chamber 18 falls beloitl a preset pressure differential less than the ambient pressure around the chamber 18 and the other opens to expel gas or water from that chamber when the pressure in that chamber reaches a preset differential greater than the ambient pressure around the chamber.
These valves 50, 5l, or other valves may be operated from the command unit l to provide control when the craft is at or slightly below the surface of the water.
High-pressure piping within the tubes 4 and 5, conducting and controlling the flow of helium, fuel, or oxidizer is provided with valves which are controlled by the ambient pressure around the craft. Certain other valves controllable from the command unit are also provided to permit controlled rising or sinking of the craft.
The combustion chambers 3l are fed with fuel from a fuel plenum chamber 40 into which the preheated fuel flows from the'closely packed tubes 45. Preadjusted nozzles 4l spray the fuel into the chamber 3l reacting against a saucer shaped reflector of suitable material. The oxidizer is fed from the oxidizer plenum chamber 43 to nozzle 42 through passageways 44 in the block 45 forming the base of a plenum chamber 40, and extending through integrally formed tubes 46 in 40. The connections are goldplated to provide positive nonleak seals. The oxidizer is also sprayed and reacts against the same saucer shaped reflector in the chamber 31, thus providing an intimate mixture of fuel and oxidizer even if the chamber is initially filled with water.
The small vertical thrusters ll are also sphericone in shape and contain catalytic material which causes the fuel to decompose thereby producing a gas which produces a thrust when ejected.
The whole propulsion system is covered by a detachable conical shroud 34 with large ports 35 near the base and an exit nozzle 36 at the apex end. The exit nozzle is coordinated with the exit nozzle 32 of the main propulsion unit l0.
The trunnions 2 riding on and slidably carried by the ramps 3 permit the moving of the unit l upwardly and downwardly thereon so as to vary the height of unit l with respect to the pontoons 4, and 5.
Telechirics l2 may be mounted on the hull. Exterior lights 13 may also be mounted on the hull and a protective bumper 14 may be positioned to protect the command unit l.
FIG. 4 shows the arrangement of linkages 6 which raise and lower the outer tubes 5 with respect to the inner tubes 4. The dotted configuration represents the case for which the outer tubes 5 are on the same level as the inner tubes 4. This conformation is maintained by a high-pressure fluid conducted by piping (not shown) in the cylinder forcing the piston 131 to its lowest position. The solid line configuration represents the case for which the outer tubes 5 are depressed below the inner tubes 4. This conformation is maintained by a high-pressure fluid conducted by piping (not shown) in the cylinder 30 forcing the piston 3l to its uppermost position. All of the members of the linkages 6 are tubular and self-buoyant.
l. A submersible comprising a plurality of spaced pontoons, a transparent curvilinear pressure resistant command unit carried by said pontoons, said pontoons having variable buoyancy, and means for connecting said pontoons together and to said command unit, said submersible comprising a hull, said command unit being carried by said hull, said command unit including a plurality of triangular fiat segments of transparent material arranged so that the vertices of all segments lie on a circumscribing sphere and the faying surfaces between said segments form planes passing essentially through the center of the circumscribing sphere, and a pair of trunnions mounted on said hull for supporting said command unit.
2. A submersible as in claim l, including lugs projecting through diametrically opposed apices and into said trunnions, said lugs being retractable into said command unit for releasing said command unit from said trunnions.
3. A submersible as in claim l, further including an electric motor in one of said trunnions and means on said hull cooperating with said motor for supporting said trunnions at various preselected heights with respect to said hull.
4. A submersible as in claim l, including a pair of inclined ramps mounted on said hull and means movable along said ramps for supporting said command unit.
5. A submersible comprising a hull formed of spaced and rigidly connected pontoons having variable buoyancy, a pair of inclined ramps mounted on said hull, one of said ramps being provided with a longitudinally extending rack, a cornmand unit, a pair of` trunnions supporting said unit for longitudinal movement along said ramps, a gear mounted on one of said trunnions for engaging said rack and means for rotating said gear to move the command unit along the ramps.
6. A submersible as in claim 5, wherein said rotating means is an electric motor mounted in said one trunnion.