|Publication number||US3648635 A|
|Publication date||Mar 14, 1972|
|Filing date||Aug 3, 1970|
|Priority date||Aug 3, 1970|
|Publication number||US 3648635 A, US 3648635A, US-A-3648635, US3648635 A, US3648635A|
|Inventors||Hadi T Hashemi|
|Original Assignee||Universal Eng|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (18), Classifications (15)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Hashemi 1 Mar. 14, W72
 MARINE TRANSPORT Hadi T. llashemi, Norman, Okla.
 Assignee: University Engineers, Inc., Norman, Okla.
 Filed: Aug. 3, 1970  Appl. No.: 60,276
Primary Examiner-Trygve M. Blix Attorney-Dunlap, Laney, Hessin & Dougherty  ABSTRACT The present invention relates generally to apparatus for marine transportation and more particularly relates to apparatus for moving bulk quantities of goods in a submarine hull with ancillary surface accommodations for the crew. A preferred embodiment of the invention may include an elongated submarine hull having a plurality of cargo holds situated therein and an engine room located in the aft portion thereof. Power means, such as a diesel-electric unit, are located in the engine room and serve to provide motive force for the submarine hull and the related equipment. Projecting upwardly from the upper surface of the aft portion of the hull may be provided a relatively tall vertical fin, the front portion of which is restricted to fonn a relatively short blade" which may be used to cut through surface ice formations. A crewboat, the rear portion of which is bifurcated and shaped to receive therein a portion of the vertical fin, is in operative engagement with a portion of the fin and receives its primary motive force therefrom. Means may be: included for providing a relatively low-friction contact between the bifurcated portion of the crewboat and the vertical fin to allow restricted pitch, roll and yaw of the boat and of the submarine hull. in addition, access means are included in the fin whereby crew members may move freely from the boat to the interior of the submarine hull. There is also included means connected between the vertical fin and the crewboat for providing energy, such as heat and electrical power, from the engine room in the submarine hull to the crewboat. Air intake and stack gas exhaust conduits also extend through the vertical fin to the atmosphere, so that the submarine hull may be propelled by propulsion systems of the type conventionally used in surface vessels, such as oil fueled steam turbines, diesel engines, gas turbines and the like.
25 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures Patemmd March 14, 1972 3,648,635
4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Patented March 14, 1912 3,648,635
4 Sheets-Sheet 4. v
ATTOPA/E- 5' MARINE TRANSPORT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION As the technology utilized by man in his everyday living becomes increasingly complex there has been a corresponding lengthening of supply lines in order to provide the raw materials for utilization in mans technology. As these supply lines have lengthened, they have carried human endeavor into areas of the world which were previously considered to be remote to the point of inaccessibility and which are, under the most benign of circumstances, harsh and unyielding to mans ordinary methods of endeavor.
Among the most striking examples of mans outreach for new sources of raw material into hostile environments is the discovery and production of hydrocarbons from the icelocked areas that are above the Arctic Circle.
These and possibly other deposits of hydrocarbons and minerals similarly located can become economically feasible only when a reliable means for bulk shipment of the riches of the Arctic Region is found. While overland transportation and air cargo shipment are technically feasible, marine transportation appears to offer the greatest economic potential. Air cargo operations are unreliable in the Arctic environment, as well as being very expensive. Moreover, overland transportation has the significant disadvantage of not providing a direct link between the Arctic Region and worldwide markets, in addition to facing some severe environmental and ecological problems. Even the pipeline transportation of crude through the rough terrain of the Arctic and over some thousand feet of permafrost faces numerous costly technological and environmental difficulties. Even if these difficulties are overcome, pipeline transmission does not provide an economic route for delivering the oil found in the Arctic to the East Coast of the United States or to Western Europe.
So far marine transportation appears to solve part of the difficulties encountered in moving oil from Arctic regions, although existing proposals ignore some of the other difficulties or introduce new problems. In general, three distinct schemes for marine transportation have been proposed up to now. First, it has been suggested that mammoth ice-breaker tankers with cargo capacities varying between 100,000 to 500,000 tons can be used. Indeed, such equipment has been built and experimental runs have been made in the Arctic. In addition, it has been thought that the severe stresses placed upon the hull of a marine vessel by surface ice might be obviated by the utilization of nuclear submarine tankers having large cargo capacities which could move underneath the sea unhindered by surface ice conditions. An additional concept quite similar to the nuclear submarine envisions a train of submarine barges which might be towed by a submarine towboat.
There are significant drawbacks to each of the above-men tioned schemes. Considering first the possibility of using mammoth icebreakers, it should be noted that the ability of such a vessel to sail through the ice-packed Arctic seas depends en tirely upon the thickness of the ice. An icebreaker tanker capable of withstanding the crushing forces of the ice encountered during a severe winter would be extremely expensive and therefore impractical. Similarly, such a supertanker can be boxed in by ice packs of more than normal thickness for several days with resulting unpredictable deliveries. This uncertainty gives rise for the need of redundant tanker capacities, as well as for additional storage capacities on both loading and unloading terminals. Such redundancy in facilities introduces an economic factor which could quite conceivably by itself render the concept unfeasible. The severity of the ice encountered by a supertanker also increases the probability of collision and catastrophic structural failure of such a vessel. The probability of this kind of failure is significantly higher than that for the conventional tanker sailing through warmer seas and the higher probability is further compounded with the severity of the environment and ecological damage in the event of a catastrophic structural failure, not to mention the enormous economic loss in cargo.
The concept of using a large nuclear submarine tanker appears to be more appealing, but it too has a number of disadvantages. Foremost along such disadvantages is the fact that the highly skilled submarine crews which would of necessity be used to man such a vessel would be confined inside the submarine with virtually no contact with the outside world for long periods of time. Under these conditions the number of working hours per crewmember per year would be substantially less than that of a conventional surface tanker. and this would increase the operating costs of the submarine appreciably. Moreover, a serious failure of the submarine machinery or structure could easily lead to a catastrophic failure with a total loss of the ship and its crew. In addition, such a submarine tanker would, for the most part, be in almost complete radio communication blackout throughout the voyage under the ice covered seas. Such a condition would create numerous navigational and scheduling problems which are not familiar to operators of merchant fleets. An additional disadvantage of a nuclear submarine tanker resides in the fact that any such tanker which can meet all of the safety requirements, which are and would be demanded by not only government but also those segments of the public that are unfamiliar with and therefore concerned over the utilization of nuclear energy, would be extremely expensive. The more conventional propulsion systems, such as steam turbine propulsion, could not be utilized in submerged cruising.
Each of these problems characterizing the utilization of a nuclear submarine tanker would also characterize the utilization of a submarine barge train hauled by a nuclear submarine. In addition, in spite of some rather formidable efforts which have been made, no truly satisfactory method of controlling, stopping and maneuvering such a submarine tow train has been perfected. As a result, the danger of collision and catastrophic failure with such a barge train would be serious indeed.
From the above discussion it can be seen that all of the conventional, and some of the relatively radical suggestions which have been proposed as solutions to the problem of moving bulk cargo from ice covered Arctic areas to the world market are fraught with problems of such consequence as to render the whole effort in potential economic jeopardy. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide apparatus for moving large quantities of bulk cargo in an economic manner under adverse weather conditions.
A further objective of the present invention is to provide apparatus for moving large quantities of bulk cargo over the ocean without the hazards and discomforts of a totally submerged operation.
Still a further objective of the present invention is to provide apparatus capable of carrying large quantities of bulk cargo under surface ice while allowing constant communication of the crew of the vessel with centers of population.
A further objective of the invention is to provide a submarine vessel useful for bulk cargo transport, and employing a conventional surface vessel propulsion system which is supplied by ambient air during submerged cruising of the submarine vessel.
Yet another objective of the present invention is to provide submarine bulk transport in combination with a surface vessel which may be attached to the submarine in such a way as to allow relative vertical motion between the two vessels during passage of the transport.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Apparatus embodying one form of the present invention which is useful in implementing the foregoing objects is disclosed in the following description which is to be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference characters designate like parts in all views and wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side view, partly in section, showing the relationship of a cargo carrying submarine hull to an associated surface vessel;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 indicating the relationship of an upward projecting fin on the submarine hull and a rear bifurcated portion of the surface vessel;
FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1 showing a portion of the internal bracing structure of the submarine fin and the surface vessel, and also showing the means by which the surface vessel contacts the upward fin;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1 showing a hatch together with a ladder, and further showing a portion of a service channel leading between the submarine and the surface vessel;
FIG. 5 is a fragmental enlarged view of friction reducing means carried by the surface vessel for engaging a portion of the submarine fin;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 66 of FIG. 5 showing the apparatus for resiliently mounting the friction reducing means shown in FIG. 5;
FIGS. 7a, 7b, and 7c are fragmental views of the surface vessel and a portion of the aft structure of the submarine showing possible relative positions of the submarine and the vessel;
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of reduced cross section of an alternate embodiment of the submarine hull shown in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 9 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 99 of FIG. 8 wherein the interior structure of a submarine hull is shown.
FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 3, but illustrating a modified embodiment of apparatus for accommodating relative movement between the vessels.
FIG. 11 is a fragmental view of a modified embodiment of the surface vessel and a portion of the aft structure of the submarine.
FIG. 12 is a sectional view taken along line 12-12 of FIG. 1 1.
FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken along line l313 of FIG. 1 1.
GENERALIZED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE PRESENT INVENTION A general understanding of the principles of the present invention can be garnered from an examination of FIGS. 1 and 2. In FIG. 1, for instance, it may be seen that there is included in this embodiment of the invention an elongated cylindrical submarine hull 16 which is designed to move below the surface of the water and which contains a plurality of bulk cargo holds 17. Projecting upwardly above the surface of the water from the stern of hull 16 is an enlarged vertical fin indicated generally by the number 18. A surface vessel 19, which is independently movable with relation to fin 18, is designed to engage the forward part of the fin. For this purpose, the aft portion of surface vessel 19 is bifurcated as at 21 (FIG. 2) in such a manner as to provide a bearing surface to the forward part of fin 18 when the fin moves relatively toward the aft portion of vessel 19. Service channel means, such as a flexible conduit 30, are provided, through which vessel 19 may be furnished with electrical power, steam energy and the like, and also through which command signals to steering apparatus in the interior of hull 16 may be given from vessel 19. A trunk 90 also extends upwardly through the fin l8 and accommodates an air intake conduit 92 and a gas exhaust or stack conduit 94 for supplying air for the propulsion system and engine room, and for exhausting gases from the engines.
Propulsion means 20 are carried in the lower aft portion of hull l6 and serve to drive both hull l6 and vessel 19 through the water.
In the bearing surface between vessel 19 and fin 18 there is provided friction reducing means indicated generally by the number 61 which allow relative vertical motion with a certain amount of yaw of vessel 19 when the vessel is engaged with the front portion of fin 18.
With the apparatus described very generally in the immediately preceding paragraph, it is possible to move relative ly large amounts of bulk cargo underneath the surface of the sea without the necessity for the crew to remain submerged with the vessel. Moreover, this type of apparatus is especially suited for carrying such cargo underneath an ice covering on the sea, and an isolated, conventional submarine propulsion system is not essential.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE PRESENT INVENTION Description of Structure Associated with Submarine Hull 16 Submarine hull 16, around which the rest of the structure in this embodiment is based, is of standard design and construction. As such it includes a pair of bow fins 22 which project outwardly in a horizontal plane from the middle portion of hull 16. In addition, the hull is provided with a ballast keel 25 at the middle of the lower surface thereof, which keel extends from a point immediately behind the forward end of hull 16 to a point just forward of an engine room 23 located in the aft portion of the hull. Propulsion means 20 is located in engine room 23 and may include any one of several types of propulsion means commonly used in marine propulsion. In general, it will be preferred to utilize a diesel engine or steam turbine which may be fueled from the fuel tank 24. Air for supplying the necessary combustion support medium is supplied from the atmosphere via a suitable conduit extending through the vertically extending fin associated with the submarine hull in a manner hereinafter described. Exhaust gases from the propulsion system are vented to the atmosphere in generally the same manner. On the upper surface of hull 16 there is carried a superstructure 26 which, in a preferred embodiment, is flattened at the top, at least in the aft portions of the superstructure in order to receive thereon the bottom of surface vessel 19 when hull l6 surfaces, as for instance during unloading. Superstructure 26 extends for substantially the entire length of hull 16 and parallels keel 25.
A pair of horizontally extending stern wings 27 extend outwardly from the aft portion of hull 16 and provide stability to the hull as it moves through the water. At the opposite end of hull 16, a pair of ballast tanks 28 provide diving and surfacing control to the vessel. A similar ballast tank 29 is located in the stern of hull 16 just forward of engine room 23 and below fuel tank 24.
Cargo holds 17 are spaced sequentially from forward ballast tanks 28 to rear ballast tank 29 and substantially encompass all the space in this area of hull 16. Each of the holds includes a pair of bulkheads 31 with adjacent holds 17 sharing a common bulkhead. Means are provided for pressure equalization between the interior of each of the holds 17 and the exterior of hull 16. Such pressure equalization means in the embodiment shown includes a flexible membrane 32 secured to the bottom of each of holds 17 by securing means, such as bolts 33. In this position membranes 32 completely cover an aperture 34 formed in the bottom of each hold. Thus, if pressure within a hold 17 decreases, the surrounding water pressure forces membrane 32 upwardly into the interior of the hold until the pressure within the hold equals that of the surrounding water and the movement of membrane 32 is thus stopped.
DESCRIPTION OF STRUCTURE ASSOCIATED WITH FIN 18 The relatively large vertically extending fin 18 which projects from the upper aft surface of hull 16 to a point above the water has several functions. One of these functions is the traditional one of stabilizing the movement of hull 16 in its passage underneath the sea. In addition, as was pointed out in the general description of the structure, fin 18 serves to furnish motive force between propulsion means 20 and surface vessel 19. There is still another primary function of this fin. Specifically, it is designed to engage and cut" surface ice on the sea.
To this end, as best seen in FIG. 4, the forward portion of fin 18 is of reduced cross-sectional area whereby the fin has the cross-sectional configuration of a knife. Fin 18 includes a covering 40, the leading edge 36 of which is formed of relatively hard steel and is thickened to withstand continuing impact with sea ice. In addition to the thickening of leading edge 36, further impact resistance and rigidity is given to fin 18 by a system of internal bracing indicated generally by the number 37. While the bracing per se forms no direct part of the present invention, it is important to point out that a substantial amount of this type of structure is considered necessary in order to maintain the structural integrity of fin 18 when it impinges upon thick sea ice.
As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, a series of vertically spaced, watertight hatches 38 are located near the aft portion of the port side of fin 18. Hatches 38 may be swung outwardly from fin 18 to provide access from the deck of surface vessel 19 into the interior of fin 18. By this means, crewmen from surface vessel 19 may enter submarine hull 16 through a hatch 38, descending from the hatch into the hull by means of a ladder 39 formed on the inside of fin 18 adjacent hatches 38. A vertical, cylindrical passageway 41 is located in the interior of fin 18 immediately behind leading edge 36. The upper end of passageway 41 communicates with the interior of flexible conduit 30 and provides access from the conduit to the interior of submarine hull 16 for energy conductors, such as an electrical cable 42 shown in FIG. 4.
Another important function of the fin 18 is to provide an access structure by which the propulsion system of the submarine vessel is communicated with the atmosphere. This permits a conventional propulsion system of the type used for propelling surface vessels to be employed. Thus, ambient, atmospheric air may be inducted to the engine room 23 by means of an air intake conduit 92 extending upwardly through a trunk 90 in the fin 18. A stack conduit 94 also extends upwardly through the trunk 90 to provide a means for venting exhaust gases to the atmosphere. It will be apparent that the openings at the upper ends of the intake conduit 92 and stack conduit 94 should be spaced from each other sufficiently that undesirable contamination of the inducted air with stack gases does not occur.
As best shown in FIG. 3, the lower portion of fin 18 is enlarged as at 43 to form a step 44 with the upper portion thereof. Step 44 provides a seat for surface vessel 19 when submarine hull 16 is in a surfaced position, as best shown in FIG. 70. In examining FIG. 7c, it will be appreciated that the upper surface of step 44 is in the same horizontal plane with the flattened surface of superstructure 26 so that surface vessel 19 can rest between superstructure 26 and step 44 with the axis of the vessel substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis of hull 16.
DESCRIPTION OF SURFACE VESSEL 19 In general it is the function of surface vessel 19 to provide housing for the crew and also to provide a situs for navigation and control of the combined ship-submarine apparatus. While the surface vessel will be provided with auxiliary propulsion means so that it can maneuver independently of the submarine hull, the primary source of propulsion will, as mentioned earlier, be provided by thrust from fin 18. Vessel 19 is, with certain exceptions to be described in more detail hereinafter, of fairly standard design. As such, it includes a bridge 46 from which the submarine and surface vessel are controlled. As pointed out earlier, the stern of vessel 19 is bifurcated as indicated by the number 21. Bifurcation 21 is shaped to be congruent with the forward part of fin 18. In addition, the extreme forward part of bifurcation 21 is notched or extended as indicated by the number 48 to provide a recess to allow clearance between leading edge 36 of fin l8 and the stern of surface vessel 19. This clearance is provided so that no bearing surface will occur between the boat and the cutting edge of the fin, since the pressures which would be encountered by such an arrangement would be such as to place excessive stress on the boat and the fin during periods of extended use.
Since it is not practical to provide a direct force vector between fin 18 and the surface vessel in the direction of motion, the pushing force which is applied from the fin to the vessel will have a component normal to the direction of motion. This thrust component will tend to spread the arms of bifurcation 21 outwardly around a center of rotation immediately in front of leading edge 36. In order to reinforce the stern of vessel 19 against such spreading, removable, horizontal braces 49 may, if desired, be provided. Braces 49 may be attached to vessel 19 in such a manner as to be readily disengaged therefrom to allow relative motion between fin 18 and the vessel when the vessel is being engaged and disengaged from operative contact with the submarine.
It was mentioned in the previous discussion of fin 18 that a plurality of watertight hatches 38 are provided in the port side of the fin to allow access into the interior of the fin and thus to engine room 23. Aboard surface vessel 19 structure is provided which will allow the crew to pass from the vessel into the interior. of the fin through one of these hatches with a minimum exposure to the elements. This structure includes a sally port 51 located in the aft, port side of the deck of surface vessel 19, as shown in FIG. 2. Communicating with sally port 51 on the interior of surface vessel 19 is provided a ladder 52 (FIG. 3) from which crewmembers may ascend to the deck of the vessel. Although not shown in the drawings, if the inclemency of the weather requires, a shelter structure may be erected over sally port 51 in such a manner as to overhang the sally port and provide overhead coverage to the crewmembers during the time that they open and enter one of the watertight hatches 38.
DESCRIPTION OF FRICTION REDUCING MEANS 61 It is deemed desirable to provide means whereby relative vertical motion between fin 18 and vessel 19 may be allowed without undue friction. In addition, it is expected that in the course of movement of vessel 19 across the water the vessel will, on occasion, tend to yaw thereby having a twisting motion relative to the stable vertical fin. To provide for this kind of action, friction reducing means 61 have been incorporated into the structure of vessel 19. These friction reducing means are carried inside bifurcation 21 in the fore portion thereof in the part of the bifurcation which is at an acute angle with the central longitudinal axis of vessel 19. Friction reducing means 61, which are carried on both sides of bifurcation 21, are shown in more detail in FIGS. 5 and 6. In FIG. 5, for instance, it will be seen that each side of the friction reducing means is located in inset portion 62 of bifurcation 47 and comprises a plurality of horizontally extending rollers 63 which are parallel to the sides of the insets. Each end of each of the rollers 63 is joumaled by a rotary coupling to one end of horizontally movable bars 64. The bars on which rollers 63 are rotatably journaled slide into apertures 66 formed in the hull of vessel 19 on the rearward vertical surface of insets 62. Seals 67 are provided to prevent passage of sea water through aperture 66 into the interior of the hull.
The ends of bars 64, which are opposite rollers 63 are slidably disposed within blind apertures 68 formed in blocks 69. A connecting plate 71 secures the rear portion of blocks 69 together while the opposite ends of the blocks are mounted to the interior of the hull with blind apertures 68 aligned with apertures 66. A compression spring 72 is carried within each of the blind apertures 68 and bears against the end of bars 64 to provide a resilient mounting for such bars whereby rollers 63 may move inwardly toward the hull of vessel 19 as the vessel yaws relative to fin 18.
OPERATION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE PRESENT INVENTION The method of operation of the present invention is relatively simple and may best be understood from an examination of FIGS. 7a, 7b and 7c in conjunction with FIG. 1. Let it be assumed that holds 17 are filled with bulk cargo, such as oil, wheat or any similar material, and that surface vessel 19 is being carried on the top of submarine hull 16, as shown in FIG. 7c. This could be the configuration of the apparatus during and immediately after loading of holds 17. After maneuvering the apparatus into the open sea, ballast tanks 28 and 29 are opened to the sea whereby submarine hull-16 becomes submerged and assumes the position shown in FIG. 7a. During this time, operation of the ballast tanks and navigation of the apparatus is handled from bridge 46 on surface vessel 19. In addition, communications and energy are provided between the surface vessel and engine room 23 through flexible conduit 30 whereby the apparatus may be operated with a minimum of crew time spent submerged in the submarine. Also the induction of air for the propulsion system is accomplished through conduit 92, and exhaust gases are vented to the atmosphere through the stack conduit 94. If the apparatus encounters ice 73 on the surface of the sea, as shown in FIG. 7b, vessel 19 will ride above the ice in the manner of a sled while leading edge 36 of fin 18 will sever the ice immediately behind the bifurcated portion 47 of the vessel; thus allowing passage of the relatively thin part of the submarine vehicle through the ice.
Although not shown in detail in the drawing, it will be understood that the lower portion of the hull of vessel 19 may, if desired, be designed and reinforced as in the manner of a standard icebreaker. In general, however, the bulk of vessel 19 will not be sufficiently large to allow the vessel to operate as an icebreaker when relatively thick ice is encountered. If desired, ballast tanks may be provided in vessel 19 whereby the vessel may be weighted to more effectively provide an ice breaking capability. The hull of the vessel 19 may also be modified as shown in FIGS. 11, 12 and I3 and hereinafter described to enhance the ice breaking capability of the vessel 19. In addition, thermal means, such as steam nozzles and the like, may be included in the fore portion of the lower hull of vessel 19 to melt and/or weaken a part of the ice before it is encountered with leading edge 36 of fin 18. If as vessel 19 travels across the surface of ice 73 it encounters small hummocks or pressure ridges, it will tend to move vertically with relationship to fin 18. Should this occur, free, relatively low friction, movement is allowed due to the presence of friction reducing means 61. In addition, if localized irregularities are encountered by the vessel on one or the other side of the central axis of vessel 19, a limited amount of yaw relative to fin I8 will be allowed due to the resilient mounting of rollers 63.
After the apparatus reaches its off-loading destination, braces 49 may, if desired, be removed and vessel 19 thereafter maneuvered away from fin 18. In this event, control for the further operations of the submarine will be assumed by a crew member in the engine room 23. Under such control ballast tanks 28 and 29 will be blown and holds 17 thereafter emptied. As the holds are emptied, sea water will tend to move flexible membranes 32 upwardly to allow efficient emptying of the holds.
ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION In the description of apparatus embodying this invention presented heretofore, propulsion of standard design has been contemplated. There are, however, a number of other ways in which motive power may be given to the combined apparatus which do not rely upon diesel or steam turbine driven propeller power. One of such ways is schematically shown in FIGS. 8 and 9.
Basically the structure shown in these two figures contemplates the use of a plurality of water jets 74 mounted on bow fins 122 and a pair of similar water jets 76 secured to the aft portion of submarine hull 16. Water for these jets is drawn into the interior of hull 16 through an intake 77 located at the fore part of the hull. After entering intake 77, the water passes through a water conduit shown in FIG. 9 and indicated by the number 78 to a hydraulic pump of standard design (not shown) located in the engine compartment of the hull. The water, now under high pressure, is redistributed to water jets 74 and 76 from which it is discharged to provide motive power to the submarine. In order to provide a method for controlling the motion of the apparatus, proportional valves may be included within the water circuit leading to each of the discharge jets so that the mass of water being projected from each of the jets may be closely controlled.
As best shown in FIG. 9, the water jet means propelling the craft lends itself to specialized hold structure for the submarine. Thus, in this figure it may be seen that the submarine hull is relatively thick at the upper portion 79 thereof, while tapering to a relatively sharp edge at the bottom of the hull as indicated by the number 81. Within the interior portion of the hull there may be provided relatively large flexible cargo bags 82 which actually form a portion of the bottom of the submarine. While hull structure of this type might seem to provide insufficient mechanical rigidity, it is to be noted that such rigidity is not required with the type of propulsion system shown in FIG. 8. More particularly, when a standard propeller driven submarine is used, the force moving the forward portion of the vessel must be transmitted from the propeller through the intermediate portions of the hull. Thus, it is quite necessary under such an arrangement that the intermediate portions of the hull be structurally secure. However, when motive force is placed upon the hull from a number of positions along the hull, then the traditional structural rigidity is not required.
In FIG. 10 of the drawings, another type of friction reducing system is illustrated in which some rolling motion by the submarine hull 16 is accommodated. Here the vertically extending fin 18 of the submarine vessel 16 extends between a pair of semicylindrical rigid fender elements and 102 which are mounted in the hull of the surface vessel 19 on opposite sides of bifurcation 47. The fender elements 100 and 102 are movably mounted in complementary (semicircularly) shaped tracks (not visible) in the adjacent longitudinal bulkheads of the hull 19 of the surface vessel so that by movement in these tracks, the fender elements may pivot so that their inner, substantially planar faces adjacent the fin 18 extend at angles with respect to the vertical. Mounted in each of the fender elements 100 and 102 are spring biased rollers 104 which perform a function similar to the rollers 63 depicted in the friction reducing system shown in FIG. 6. Thus, concurrent yawing, pitching or rolling of surface vessel 19 can be accommodated even though at the same time, the submarine vessel may be rolling slightly to cause the fender elements 100 and 102 to be canted with respect to the hull 19 of the surface vessel.
In FIG. 11 of the drawings, an alternate embodiment of the invention is depicted in which the construction and configuration of the surface vessel or crewboat has been modified to enhance the icebreaking capability of this vessel. Here, the submarine hull 16 includes a vertically extending fin 18 as in the case of the other, previously described embodiments of the invention. The surface vessel, however, in being differently configured and constructed, is designated generally by reference numeral 110. The hull 112 of the surface vessel is constructed to increase the capability of the vessel of breaking ice through which the vessel moves by weight imposed upon the ice, rather than by exclusively cutting or shearing the ice. Thus, a substantial weight is imparted to the forward portion of the hull 112 by suitable ballasting techniques, and the hull has a sharp break along the lower portion thereof to permit the bow portion of the surface vessel to pass up over the ice ahead of the vessel more easily. It will be perceived that the stem of the surface vessel is also more sharply raked, as indicated by reference numeral 114.
At a point about midships of the surface vessel 110, the keel line breaks downwardly and in doing so, the bottom of the hull undergoes a transition from a relatively flat beamwise configuration forward, as shown in FIG. 12, to a sharpened keel rib 116, as shown in FIG. 13. With the surface vessel 110 constructed in the manner described, the weight imposed by the forward portion of the vessel on the ice over which it is passing helps to crush and break the ice, and the keel rib 116 further aids in cutting through the fractured ice which has been weakened by the weight of the surface vessel passing thereover.
It will be obvious that a number of changes and alterations may be made in the structures shown in the drawings without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. For instance, if desired, fin 18 may be mounted at the fore portion of hull 16 and provide propulsive force to vessel 19 from that position. Such an arrangement would have the advantage of allowing sonar scanning direct from vessel 19 prior to the passage of the submarine hull. In addition, it would be feasible to utilize a front drive mechanism so that the total length of the hull would be in tension rather than compression. With this type of an arrangement it would not, of course, be necessary to structurally reinforce the hull in the manner required by a rear-driven mechanism. indeed, if desired, with a front drive, the hull could be relatively flexible to produce the obvious advantages which such flexibility would have under adverse weather conditions. Thus, it will be seen that the embodiments described herein are presented by way of examples only and that many changes and modifications thereto may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the annexed claims.
What I claim is:
1. Marine transport apparatus comprising:
a. a submarine hull;
b. propulsion means mounted in the hull for moving the hull through the water;
c. a vertical fin mounted on the upper portion of said hull;
d. a surface vessel, the stern of said vessel being bifurcated to receive therein a portion of said fin whereby said surface vessel is propelled across the water by said submarine hull; and
e. means for connecting said surface vessel to said submarine hull for providing energy to said surface vessel.
2. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein the forward portion of said fin is of reduced cross-sectional area whereby a cutting edge is formed.
3. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said fin has formed therein an access way to allow communication between the surface vessel and the submarine hull.
4. The apparatus defined in claim 2 wherein the horizontal cross-sectional shape of the bifurcated portion of the surface vessel conforms to the horizontal cross-sectional shape of the forward side portions of the fin and wherein a recess is formed in the forward portion of the bifurcation whereby the cutting edge at the forward portion of the fin is restricted from engaging said surface vessel.
5. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said means for connecting comprises a flexible conduit in which is disposed an electric cable.
6. The apparatus defined in claim 1 further characterized by friction reducing means mounted on the surface vessel for reducing frictional engagement between the surface vessel and the fin.
7. The apparatus defined in claim 6 wherein said friction reducing means comprises a plurality of horizontally extending rollers mounted on the inward facing, vertical sides of the bifurcation formed in the stern of the surface vessel.
8. The apparatus defined in claim 3 wherein said access way comprises: i
a. a watertight hatch formed on the side of said fin, and
b. a substantially vertical ladder mounted within said fin between the submarine hull and said watertight hatch.
9. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein means are provided for bracing the bifurcated portions of the surface vessel against horizontal motion relative to each other.
10. The apparatus defined in claim 9 further characterized by friction reducing means mounted on the surface vessel for reducing frictional engagement between the surface vessel and the fin.
11. The apparatus defined in claim 10 wherein said friction reducing means comprises a plurality of horizontally extending rollers mounted on the inward facing, vertical sides of the bifurcation formed in the aft portion of the surface vessel.
12. The apparatus defined in claim 11 wherein said rollers are resiliently mounted in the hull of said surface vessel to allow limited horizontal movement of said rollers relative to said hull.
13. The apparatus defined in claim 12 wherein the forward portion of said fin is of reduced cross-sectional area whereby a cutting edge is formed.
141. The apparatus defined in claim 13 wherein the horizontal cross-sectional shape of the bifurcated portion of the surface vessel conforms to the horizontal cross-sectional shape of the forward side portions of the fin and wherein a recess is formed in the forward portion of the bifurcation whereby the cutting edge at the forward portion of the fin is restricted from engaging said surface vessel.
15. The apparatus defined in claim 1 1 wherein said fin has formed therein an access way to allow communication between the surface vessel and the submarine hull.
16. The apparatus defined in claim 15 wherein said access way comprises:
a. a watertight hatch formed on the side of said fin, and
b. a substantially vertical ladder mounted within said fin between the submarine hull and said watertight hatch.
17. The apparatus defined in claim 15 wherein said means for connecting comprises a flexible conduit in which is disposed an electric cable.
18. Marine transport apparatus as defined in claim l and further characterized as including conduit means extending through said vertical fin and placing said propulsion means in communication with the atmosphere.
19. Marine transport apparatus as defined in claim 18 wherein said conduit means includes:
an air intake conduit; and
an exhaust gas stack conduit.
20. Marine transport apparatus as defined in claim 6 wherein said friction reducing means comprises:
a pair of opposed semicylindrical fender elements movably mounted on the hull of said surface vessel on opposite sides of the bifurcation in the hull of the surface vessel; and
horizontally extending rollers mounted on the inward facing, substantially planar sides of said semicylindrical fender elements and contacting said vertically extending fin.
21. A marine transport apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said surface vessel is further characterized in having a flat bottomed bow portion, a raked stem and sharp, downwardly breaking keel rib amidships.
22. Apparatus for bulk marine transportation which comprises:
a. a submarine hull having an engine room in the stern thereof and a plurality of holds therein;
b. diesel-electric propulsion means carried within said engine room;
c. an upwardly extending fin projecting from the upper surface at the stern of the submarine hull, said fin being designed to protrude above the surface of the water when the submarine hull is submerged, the forward portion of said fin being of reduced horizontal cross-sectional area whereby a cutting edge is formed thereby;
cl. a surface vessel, the stern of said vessel being bifurcated to receive therein a portion of the said fin whereby said surface vessel is propelled across the surface of the water by said submarine hull;
e. friction reducing means mounted on the surface vessel for reducing frictional engagement between said vessel and the fin; and
l 24. The apparatus defined in claim 23 wherein said friction reducing means comprises a plurality of horizontally extending rollers mounted on the inward facing, vertical sides of the bifurcation formed in the aft portion of the surface vessel.
25. The apparatus defined in claim 24 wherein said rollers are resiliently mounted in the hull of said surface vessel to allow limited horizontal movement of said rollers relative to said hull.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US1500000 *||Jul 1, 1924||Submersible vessel tob navigation otdeb ice|
|US2984202 *||Jan 6, 1958||May 16, 1961||Lunde Thomas T||Lashing arrangement for pusher towboat and barge|
|US3429287 *||Jan 16, 1967||Feb 25, 1969||Us Navy||Hydrofoil semisubmarine|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3754523 *||Nov 19, 1971||Aug 28, 1973||Exxon Research Engineering Co||Icebreaking tank ship|
|US3759046 *||Mar 23, 1972||Sep 18, 1973||Global Marine Inc||Movement of marine structures in saline ice|
|US3817199 *||Mar 2, 1972||Jun 18, 1974||Air Logistics Corp||Landing craft for conveying dry cargo over ice|
|US3850125 *||Sep 24, 1971||Nov 26, 1974||Global Marine Inc||Icebreaking|
|US3866557 *||Nov 24, 1972||Feb 18, 1975||Thomas G Lang||Semi-submerged vessel adaptable to sailing|
|US3868920 *||Nov 1, 1971||Mar 4, 1975||Air Logistics Corp||Semi-submerged cargo transport system|
|US3973509 *||Jul 15, 1974||Aug 10, 1976||Heinrich Waas||Icebreaker vessel|
|US4215862 *||Jun 21, 1978||Aug 5, 1980||Japan Aircraft Mfg. Co., Ltd.||Water-surface towed target|
|US4350114 *||Mar 17, 1980||Sep 21, 1982||Sea-Log Corporation||Semi-submersible tanker with directional ice cutters|
|US4819576 *||Jan 20, 1988||Apr 11, 1989||Shaw Chung Chen C||Hydrofoil - submarine vessel system|
|US5479871 *||Dec 3, 1993||Jan 2, 1996||General Dynamics Corporation||Emergency power system for submarines|
|US7360993||Sep 25, 2003||Apr 22, 2008||Marine Current Turbines, Ltd.||Fatigue resistant large hollow rotor blade for underwater energy converter|
|US7500442||Jan 11, 2008||Mar 10, 2009||Schanz Ii, Llc||Submerged transporter and storage system for liquids and solids|
|US7841289||Nov 30, 2010||Schanz Richard W||Water level and/or sub surface water transporter/storage systems for liquids and solids simultaneously or in single cargo|
|US20060152011 *||Sep 25, 2003||Jul 13, 2006||Fraenkel Peter L||Fatigue resistant large hollow rotor blade for underwater energy converter|
|WO1997026180A1 *||Jan 18, 1996||Jul 24, 1997||Harding David K||Cargo submarine|
|WO2004029448A1 *||Sep 25, 2003||Apr 8, 2004||Marine Current Turbines Limited||Fatigue resistant large hollow rotor blade for underwater energy converter|
|WO2013124704A1 *||Aug 23, 2012||Aug 29, 2013||Turin Alexander Sergeevich||Method of navigation under an ice surface and subsea structure therefore|
|U.S. Classification||114/321, 114/244, 114/337, 114/40, 114/248|
|International Classification||B63G8/00, F02B3/06, B63B25/00|
|Cooperative Classification||B63B2211/06, F02B3/06, B63B2702/12, B63G8/00, B63B25/00|
|European Classification||B63G8/00, B63B25/00|