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Publication numberUS3680515 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 1, 1972
Filing dateFeb 26, 1971
Priority dateMay 4, 1970
Publication numberUS 3680515 A, US 3680515A, US-A-3680515, US3680515 A, US3680515A
InventorsTaiichiro Agari, Tetsuo Goto, Kyuhei Taniguchi, Shoji Yoneda
Original AssigneeFujita Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Undersea observation gallery
US 3680515 A
Abstract
An undersea observation gallery comprising an annular chamber having sight windows in the outer peripheral wall thereof and an independent combination ballast tank and pontoon connected to the top of said annular chamber and communicated with said annular chamber by a stairway, said annular chamber being submerged or surfaced when water is charged into or discharged from said combination ballast tank and pontoon.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Yoneda et al.

[ 51 Aug. 1,1972

UNDERSEA OBSERVATION GALLERY Inventors: Shoji Yoneda, Kawasaki; Taiichiro Agari; Tetsuo Goto, both of Tokyo; Kyuhei Taniguchi, Yokohama, all of Japan Assignee: Fujita Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha,

Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan Filed: Feb. 26, 1971 Appl. No.: 119,135

Foreign Application Priority Data May 4, 1970 Japan ..45/38127 US. Cl ..ll4/66 Int. Cl. ..B63b 35/72 Field of Search ..1 14/66 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,254,621 6/1966 White ..1 14/66 Primary Examiner-Andrew H. Farrell Attorney-Wenderoth, Lind & Ponack [5 7] ABSTRACT An undersea observation gallery comprising an annular chamber having sight windows in the outer peripheral wall thereof and an independent combination ballast tank and pontoon connected to the top of said annular chamber and communicated with said annular chamber by a stairway, said annular chamber being submerged or surfaced when water is charged into or discharged from said combination ballast tank and pontoon.

4 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures 0 I 1000000 no SHOJI YONEDA,

TAIICHIRO AGARI, TETSUO GOTO and KYUHEI TANIGUCHI,

INVENTOR. S

smjlwfiww PATENTEDAuc 1 I972 0 o FIG. 2

FIG. I

UNDERSEA OBSERVATION GALLERY This invention relates to an undersea observation gallery.

It is an object of the invention to provide an improved undersea sightseeing facility which is simple in construction and highly safe.

It is another object of the invention to provide an improved undersea sightseeing facility which is easy to maintain.

In order to attain the objects set forth above, the undersea observation gallery according to the invention comprises an annular chamber having sight windows in the outer peripheral wall thereof and an independent combination ballast and pontoon connected to the top of said annular chamber and communicated with said annular chamber by a stairway, said annular chamber being submerged beneath the sea or surfaced when water is admitted into or discharged from said combination ballast and pontoon.

In the undersea observation gallery according to the invention, as stated above, the combination ballast and pontoon which is independent of the annular chamber having a considerably large buoyancy, is connected to the top of said annular chamber. Therefore, the annular chamber can be submerged to a predetermined depth beneath the sea by introducing sea water into the pontoon and thereby increasing the dead load of the entire facility. Thereafter, spectators on shore are transported to the combination ballast tank and pontoon by a boat or walk onto the same through a floating stage, go down the stairway into the annular chamber and observe the undersea view through the sight windows provided in the outer peripheral wall of said annular chamber while strolling within the chamber. Since the chamber is of annular shape, the spectators can observe the undersea view throughout an angle of 360.

On the occasion when the sea water is allowed to intrude into the annular chamber in the submerged state of said annular chamber, due to breakage of the sight windows or any other reasons, the spectators in the annular chamber can retire onto the deck of the pontoon through the stairway. In order to eliminate the danger of sinking of the entire facility, the combination ballast tank and pontoon is previously imparted an excess buoyancy sufficient to keep it surfaces even when the buoyancy of the annular chamber is completely lost due to intrusion of water into said chamber, and thus the submergence of the pontoon deck is avoided. Namely, the combination ballast tank and pontoon is so designed that the entire facility may be maintained afloat even if the buoyancy of the annular chamber is lost due to intrusion of water, after the sea water is introduced into said pontoon to submerge said annular chamber beneath the sea.

When the annular chamber is kept submerged for an extended period of time, the sight windows are stained with aquatic living things attaching thereto or packings used for sealing the windows become deteriorated, necessitating the replacement of the window glasses. If, in this case, the sight windows are located beneath the sea, great difficulties would be encountered in the replacing work. According to the invention, however, the capacity of the ballast tank is so selected that the water-line of the facility may be located below the sight windows of the annular chamber when the water in the pontoon is completely discharged, whereby the replacement or repair work of the sight windows can be carried out with ease.

It will be understood from the foregoing description that according to the invention, the safety and easiness in maintenance of the undersea observation gallery can be markedly improved.

Further, in the undersea observation gallery according to the invention an intersticed plastic is placed at the bottom of the annular chamber, to further enhance the safety of the entire facility without substantially increasing the weight of the facility and by decreasing the amount of water intruding into the annular chamber.

Other advantages and novel features of the invention will become apparent from the following description on an embodiment shown in the accompanying drawings:

In the drawings;

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of an embodiment of the undersea observation gallery according to the present invention, with the left half portion shown in vertical cross section, and

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the undersea observation gallery, with the left half portion shown in transverse cross section.

The drawings show an embodiment of the invention, which is designed to be held stationary on the sea by the ordinary anchoring method. In FIGS. 1 and 2, reference numeral 1 designates an annular chamber having a number of sight windows 3 formed in the outer peripheral wall thereof. The space beneath a floor of the annular chamber 1 is filled with an intersticed plastic 2.

A combination ballast tank and pontoon 5 which is independent of the annular chamber 1, is connected to the top of said annular chamber by means of connecting members 4. The upper surface of the pontoon 5 constitutes a deck 6, while the hollow portion below the deck 6 constitutes a ballast tank provided with means for pumping sea water into and out of said ballast tank. The capacity of the ballast tank is so selected that when the weight of the entire facility is lightest with no water present in the tank, the sight windows 3 of the annular chamber 1 may emerge above the water level and also the entire facility may be surfaced even if said annular chamber is filled with water intruded thereinto, whereas when said tank is filled with water, the annular chamber 1 is submerged and maintained at a predetermined depth beneath the sea level.

The pontoon 5 and the interior of the annular chamber 1 are communicated with each other by a stairway 7 which is extended through said pontoon 5 and disposed in a space isolated from the interior of said pontoon.

Reference numeral 8 designates an amusement and eating establishment constructed on the deck 6.

Spectators get on the deck 6 by way of a boat or floating stage and go down the stairway 7 to enter the annular chamber 1 which has previously been submerged to the predetermined depth below the sea level upon charging water into the combination ballast tank and pontoon 5 and wherein the spectators observe the undersea view through the sight windows 3 while strolling inside of said chamber.

3, the annular chamber 1 is surfaced to such a level that the water-line is positioned below the sight windows 3, by discharging the water from the pontoon 5 and the necessary work is performed above the sea level.

Although the present invention has been described and illustrated herein in terms of a specific embodiment thereof, it should be understood that the invention is not restricted only to the embodiment but many changes and modifications are possible within the scope not deviating from the spirit of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. An undersea observation gallery comprising an annular chamber having sight windows in the outer peripheral wall thereof and an independent combination ballast tank and pontoon connected to the top of said annular chamber and communicated with said annular chamber by a stairway, said annular chamber being submerged or surfaced when water is charged into or discharged from said combination ballast tank and pontoon.

2. An undersea observation gallery according to claim 1, comprising an annular chamber having sight windows in the outer peripheral surface and an intersticed plastic beneath a floor thereof, and an independent combination ballast tank and pontoon connected to the top of said annular chamber'and communicated with said annular chamber by a stairway, said annular chamber being submerged or surfaced when water is charged into or discharged from said combination ballast tank and pontoon.

3. An undersea observation gallery according to claim 1, wherein said sight windows of the annular chamber emerge above the sea level when the water in said combination ballast tank and pontoon is completely discharged therefrom.

4. An undersea observation gallery according to claim 1, wherein the ballast tank of said combination ballast tank and pontoon is so designed that when said annular chamber is filled with water intruded thereinto, the buoyancy of said combination ballast tank and pontoon compensate the buoyancy of said annular chamber thus reduced and causes the entire facility to surface, whereas when the water is charged into said ballast tank, the annular chamber is submerged to a predetermined depth below the sea level.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3254621 *Mar 16, 1964Jun 7, 1966Charles R WhiteFacility for viewing marine life
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3895495 *Jan 22, 1974Jul 22, 1975Shigeru AkazakiPleasure boat for observation in the sea
US4548148 *Jan 25, 1983Oct 22, 1985Bloomfield Iii John WGlass bottom boat
US4904118 *Jun 30, 1988Feb 27, 1990Thiemann Iii Henry JStructure for viewing an underwater environment
US4928614 *Apr 12, 1989May 29, 1990Ronald NilsonSubmersible observation vessel
US5315952 *Oct 19, 1992May 31, 1994Jackson Jr Curtiss EMethod of making and apparatus of a view window
US6128863 *Jun 24, 1999Oct 10, 2000Seaventure, A Nevada Limited Liability CompanyFish and marine mammal observatory featuring a carousel that moves within a sealed aquatic environment
US7036449Sep 30, 2003May 2, 2006Kimberly Michelle SutterMan-made island resort complex with surface and underwater entertainment, educational and lodging facilities
EP0161356A1 *May 3, 1984Nov 21, 1985Phillip Lincoln MayallMarine craft for viewing under water
WO2012036574A2 *Sep 2, 2011Mar 22, 2012Deep Ocean Technology Spůłka Z Ograniczoną OdpowiedzialnościąAn underwater-above water accomodation, especially for residential purposes
Classifications
U.S. Classification114/66
International ClassificationB63C11/48
Cooperative ClassificationB63C11/49, B63B2035/4426
European ClassificationB63C11/49