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Publication numberUS3805729 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 23, 1974
Filing dateMar 10, 1972
Priority dateFeb 26, 1970
Publication numberUS 3805729 A, US 3805729A, US-A-3805729, US3805729 A, US3805729A
InventorsGolay M, Waite A
Original AssigneeGolay M, Waite A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Means for the water transport of liquids
US 3805729 A
A submersible fluid transporting watercraft which may be self-propelled or towed and which is separable into segments with the segments having means for compensation for bouyancy and for shifting the segments one relative to the others to facilitate assembly and disassembly of a single unit. The invention further includes improved means for navigating ice covered waters which is capable of cutting through ice of substantial thickness or which can travel beneath the ice in waters of adequate depth.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Golay et it].

[ 1 Apr. 23, 1974 MEANS FOR THE WATER TRANSPORT OF LIQUIDS [76] Inventors: Marcel J. E. Golay, 116 Ridge Road,

Rumson, NJ. 07760; Amory H. Waite, Jr., 46 Monmouth B1vd., Oceanport, NJ. 07757 22 Filed: Mar. 10, 1972 21] Appl. No.: 233,765

Related US. Application Data [62] Division of Ser. No. 14,482, April 26, 1970, Pat. No.

[52] US. Cl. 114/235 B, 114/40 [51] Int. Cl....'. B63b 21/56 ['58] Field of Search 114/235 R, 235 B, 235 A, 114/16 R, 16 E, 16 B, 77 R, 77 A, 40, 41, 74 a T, .5 T, .5 R; 115/34 B, 20

[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,500,000 7/1924 Lake 114/40 746,606 12/1903 Toomey 114/16 B 1,813,248 7/1931 Mestice 114/77 R 1,028,644 6/1912 Viersen 115/20 2,987,024 6/1961 Rush 114/.5 F 3,067,712 12/1962 Doerpinghaus 114/74 T 3,478,711 11/1969 Combs 114/235 B 2,369,034 2/1945 Farkas 115/20 151,774 6/1874 Grant 114/41 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,203,150 10/1965 Germany 114/235 Primary Examiner-Duane A. Re ger AssistantExaminerGalen L. Barefoot 5 7] ABSTRACT A submersible fluid transporting watercraft which may be self-propelled or towed and which is separable into segments with the segments having means for compensation for bouyancy and for shifting the segments one relative to the others to facilitate assembly and disassembly of a single unit. The invention further includes improved means for navigating ice covered waters which is capable of cutting through ice of substantial thickness or which can travel beneath the ice in waters of adequate depth.

8 Claims, 41 Drawing Figures PATENTED APR 2 3 i974 SHEET 2 OF 8 mgmgg APR 23 1974 SHEET u nr 8 v WENTEQAP N 1974 SHEET 7 [1F 8 mgmgmpn 23 mm 31305729 SHEET 8 OF 8 MEANS FOR THE WATER TRANSPORT OF LIQUIDS This is a divisional of U.S. Application Serial No.

14,482, filed April 26, 1970 and now U.S. Pat. No. ti n of th power This invention concerns the water transport of liquids and is especially adapted to the transport of oil through ice-choked waters such as are encountered in high geographical latitudes.

In the past the transport of oil has been effected by surface ships to which great resistance to forward motion was offered by the need to displace surface water thereby creating bow and stem waves. When these ships had to travel through ice-choked water, and especially so, under winter ice conditions, they either required the services of a specially designed icebreaker to make a path through the ice, sometimes in to foot thick new ice, at such low speeds as 1 mile a day, or they required an ice-breaker construction permitting them to provide their own surface passage through ice, but the inordinately long length required for large cargo made maneuverability of such craft among several different types of normally encountered ice conditions so difficult that in such cases not only would the services of an icebreaker be imperatively required, but even then success would not always be assured. The use of submarine transport has been considered, but not yet tried and presents the double disadvantage of, firstly, requiring an inordinately large battery capacity or nuclear propulsion for prolonged under ice travel, and secondly, requiring a relatively thin vertical profile of inordinately low height and inordinately great width, in order to utilize existent docking facilities which would be incredibly expensive to replace and in which a draft of the order of 30 feet is available, whilehaving a large enough tank capacity to make the operation profitable.

By contrast, this invention provides surface and submersible flexible means adaptable to the entire range of conditions normally encountered in the frigid high latitudes, relativelyspeedy transport through thinner surface ice and under thicker ice islands and icebergs, as well as efficient overall operation in conditions of heavy seas. I

. In one embodiment of the invention a single vessel is utilized and acts as both icebreaker and tanker. In another embodiment, the functions of ice-breaking and fast propulsion on the one hand, and of large liquid cargo carrying capacity on the other, are separated, and are performed respectively by what will be termed a power module" and a barge. It will become apparent from the description that the first embodiment is attained by the mere enlargement of the power module to include oil storage compartments.

The above and other objects of the invention will become more apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings forming part of this application.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side view of the power module and the barge in normal underwater travel with snorkel operation in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the structure shown in FIG.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the power module of FIG. 1 breaking ice of 1 foot to 5 feet in thickenss;

FIGS. 4, 5, and 6 are cross-sectional views of FIG. 1 taken along the lines 4-4, 5-5, and 6-6 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a fragmentary pormodule illustrating retractable conning tower;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 7 taken along theline8-8 thereof;

FIG. 8a is a cross-sectional view of the electromagnetically held conning tower braces taken along the line 8a -8a of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a side view of the stern. of the power module and the bow of the barge;

FIG. 10 is a plan viewof the rear of thepower module taken along the line 10--l0 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a rear view of the power module taken in the direction of the arrows llll of FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 is a front view of the barge taken in the direction of arrows 12-12 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary side view of the stern of the barge shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view of the barge taken along the line 14-14 of FIG. 13;.

FIG. 15 is a rear view of the barge stern shown in FIG. 13;

FIG. 16 is a side view in partial section of a segment of the barge shown in FIG. 9 and 13;

FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional view of the barge segment of FIG. 16 taken along the line l7l7 thereof;

FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of the barge segment through the forward portion of the screw facilities housed in a nacelle and taken along the line 1818 of FIG. 16;

FIG. 19 is a farther aft section of a barge segment through the battery compartment of the nacelle and taken along the line 19-l9 of FIG. 16;

FIG. 20 is a still farther aft section of a barge segment through the engine room of the nacelle and taken along the line 20-20 of FIG. 16;

FIG 21 illustrates in plan view the first step in the assembly of two barge segments;

FIG. 22 is a view of the barge segments of FIG. 21 taken along the line 22-22 thereof;

FIG. 23 illustrates one type of assembly bolt for interconnecting barge segments;

FIG. 24 illustrates the assembly bolt of FIG. 23 in the locked position;

FIG. 25 illustrates another type of bolt for segment assembly;

FIG. 26 is an end view of the assembly bolts after assembly of two segments;

FIG. 27 illustrates diagrammatically two segments before first rotation previous to first connection;

FIG. 28 illustrates diagrammatically two segments after first rotation and first connection;

FIG. 29 illustrates diagrammatically two segments after second rotation and second connection;

FIG. 30 illustrates diagrammatically two double segments, or half barges after first connection and before rotation;

FIG. 31 illustrates diagrammatically the completed barge after final bolt connection.

FIG. 32 is a side view of a modified form of power module with the barges or oil carrying elements adapted to be carried about the periphery thereof, the barges in this view having been removed,

FIG. 33 is an end view of the structure shown in FIG. 32;

FIG. 34 is an end view of a set of barges intended to be carried about the periphery of the structure shown in FIG. 32;

FIG. 35 is still another modification of the invention showing a side elevation of a barge formed of individual horizontal sections of different configurations to form in assembly a streamlined self-powered unit;

FIG. 36 is a front elevational view of the structure shown in FIG. 35;

FIG. 37 is an end view of the individual sections of the barge of FIG. 35 in a disassembled but connected position for navigating shallow water;

FIG. 38 is a transverse cross-sectional view of one of the individual sections of the structure shown in FIGS. 35 to 37 and showing the individual compartments;

FIG. 39 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of one of the compartments shown in FIG. 38; and

FIG. 40 is a central longitudinal fragmentary crosssectional view of the compartment of FIG. 39 with portions in elevation.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, which illustrate generally in side and plan views the snorkel operation of the power module towing the barge 11, the numberal 12 denotes a watertight retractable conning tower raised for this operation and braced by braces 13 held in place by electromagnetic clamps 14. Conning and snorkel operation of the power module in this configuration is insured through the conning tower and intake and exhaust ports 15 and 16. Retractable fins 17 serve to control, in cooperation with suitable ballast tanks, not shown, the depth, diving inclination and aspect and roll of the power module, 18 are two of its four propellers, 19 are two of its four rudders, placed immediately one each behind each propeller to insure maximum steerability when in difficult ice. Four extensible and retractable links, supported by messengers carried by one of the upper hawsers 20 and not shown, serve to provide the barge with power, air and communication with the power module.

The barge is made up by the assembly of four segments to which a nose piece 22 and a stern piece 122 are affixed. Nose piece 22 can be brought to nest into receptacle 22' which forms part of the power module, by means of towing hawsers 20 as will be detailed below. Each barge segment by itself is an integral vessel with its own means of propulsion, the several essential elements of which will be shown in subsequent drawings, as well as retractable radio and radar antennae, not shown, and means for normal overboard discharge of waste. Retractable diving fins 23 are shown as carried by two barge segments which in cooperation with ballasting tanks serve to control the depth, inclination, aspect and roll of the barge. These retractable diving fins are located in each segment just below the edge of the port side flat portion. Also shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 are propellers 24 and rudders 25 of the barge segments. Not shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 but shown in FIG. 26 are, on the starboard flat side of each segment, compartmented sealing ridges which, in cooperation with the port flat side of an adjoining segment when assembled, divide the two adjoining flat portions into a multiplicity of thin, watertight compartments which may be each individually pumped out as the segments are assembled, or filled by sea-valves or pumps to assist the disassembly of the segments.

As shown, the barge is a relatively large cylindrical body. This arrangement provides relative ease of assembly and disassembly of the barge segments by means of the long parallel hinge construction shown. This departs from the tear-drop profile which would permit minimum resistance to motion, though it will be clear to those skilled in the art that a more streamlined profile could be utilized at the expense of shortening the structure which would require more complicated assembly means, and would also increase hull diameter for equivalent capacity.

As shown in FIG. 1, conning tower or snorkel operation is well suited for open water, where it provides minimum resistance to motion at higher speeds for both power module and barge, or through thin ice, typically up to one foot in thickness. For intermediate ice, typically from 1 to 5 feet in thickness, ice plow 26 carried by the reinforced upper fore portion of the power module, illustrated in front view in FIG. 3 and in section in FIGS. 4 and 6 serves to lift and break up this ice, and throw it outwardly to provide an ice-free passage for the barge. Thicker ice, typically from 5 to 15 feet, can be broken by the reinforced lower fore portion 27 of the power module with the barge temporarily detached. Bow height adjusting ballast tanks, not shown, serve to place the bow at the proper height for plowing ice upwardly or breaking ice downwardly. Alternately, and in the event of still thicker ice, the power module can retract its conning tower and proceed completely submerged, with the barge nose nested in 22' or not, as reqired, to a point where ice is known to be thinner or already broken. The functions of intelligence required to assist sight for the safe operation of the power module and barge in these conditions can be accomplished by the well established techniques of sonar, radar, laser radar and helicopters with foldable blades normally housed under watertight hatches in the power module, and when submerged, small pilot submarines of the order of a few feet in length preceding the power module by several hundred yards and tethered to it by cables of zero buoyancy which supply the power required for their propulsion, for the emission of the sound signals utilized by the power module for the measurement of their azimuth and elevation, and the servoing operation of their directional controls.

FIGS. 7 and 8a illustrate the retractable conning tower in more detail. The outer portion of the conning tower consists of a cylindrical body having the crosssection illustrated in FIG. 8 and designed to provide a cutting edge 29 effective against thin ice, as well as a streamlined shape for minimal water resistance. Watertightness is provided by the seal 30. The lifting and retracting of the conning tower is provided by hydraulic lift 31 energized by motor and pump means 32. Snorkel intake and exhaust are through ports 15 and 16 and lowered conduits 33 and 34. Vertical companionway 35 provides access to the control and command space 36 of the conning tower. As the conning tower is lifted braces 13 lift freely, pulling behind them the armature 14 of electromagnets 37. After the conning tower has reached the desired height, electromagnet 37 is energized by coils 37' and effectively clamps the position of the lower ends of braces 13.

FIG. 9 illustrates the method and means for connecting the power module to the barge and towing it, and FIGS. 10 and 11 are the plan and rear views of the aft portion of the power module. Propulsion and steering are effected through four propellers l8 and four rudders 19. Four hawsers 20 are reeled out from four reels 38. Not shown is a fifth reel for paying out barge supply links 21. All five reels are designed for immersion below nominal ice-island depth and are energized through water-tight seals not shown. Extensible and retractable cranes 39 are utilized to assist the initial connections to the barge which is then close up to the stern of the power module, after which the hawsers are reeled out or withdrawn as required with the barge assisting with its own propellers. The barge may assist in this operation by lifting its nose or stem and rolling on one side or the other to bring up successively its several towing rings, using for this procedure its several ballast and balancing tanks as will be detailed below.

FIG. 12 illustrates the fore portion of the assembled barge, showing nose piece 22 in which provisions are made for the through connections of barge supply links 21, and the four towing rings 40 for connecting hawsers 20. Nose piece 22 can be nested in the receptacle 22', heavily lined with resilient material 22", by drawing up hawsers 20 for the purpose of forming an articulated assembly of the power module and the barge when conditions demand careful and precise maneuvering of the assembly. I

The four segments forming the completed barge each have its own propulsive, maneuvering, and other selfsustaining means as will be described below.

FIG. 13 illustrates the rotatable nacelles 41 of two barges. These nacelles house control facilities, power plant, battery-charging generator plane and crews quarters and each is equipped with a propeller and rudder. As each segment can rotate on itself, each nacelle can be given a counter rotation designed to keep crews quarters, batteries and rudder in a proper upright position, as will be described below.

FIG. 14 illustrates a cross-section of the assembled barge showing the arrangements of the tanks. In each segment there are shown three balancing tanks of equal capacities 43', one ballast tank 43, and three cargo tanks 44. The three equal balancing tanks, the total content of which is one and one half tankfuls, control the rotational positioning of the segments or pairs of segments for assembly purposes, and of the assembled barge to assist connection with the power module. As this control is effected by transferring liquid from one balancing tank to the other, these tanks also may be used for liquid cargo, during cargo runs, and contain sea water on return voyages. The ballast tanks on the other hand must be filled or blown as the needs for diving or surfacing arise, and hence must be used for sea water only. In each segment the ballast tanks are located near the narrow flat portion which will be termed the deck" of the segment and which emerges when the segment travels as an individual vessel. In principal there should be, in each segment, a minimum of two ballast tanks to control the nose height i.e., fore and aft balance of the barge, and in practice, these two ballast tanks as well as the three balancing tanks will be com partmented in accordance with principles of good submarine naval architecture.

FIG. 15 is a rear view of the assembled barge and illustrates all nacelles in their'normal positions for operation which provides maximum effectiveness of the barge rudders when the barge propellers are powered. Quartered stern cone 122 is shown in place with its snorkel connections.

FIGS. 16 to 20 illustrate the general arrangement of a barge segment in position for travel as an individual vessel, between loading or unloading areas and assembly and dis-assembly points. The upper balancing tank 42 is shown divided into several compartments which are connected through pumps to the corresponding compartments of the two balancing tanks 42 in the same fore and aft locations. Ballast tank 43 is likewise partitioned into compartments which can be individually filled or blown. Alternately, water may be transferred between fore and aft ballast tanks to control the nose height or the fore and aft angular position of the segment, or of the assembled barge. Companionway 45 of circular cross-section is located in the approximate center of each segment. The remaining portions of each segment are utilized for cargo, with the exception of small spaces near the top which are utilized for power and communication cables and for air intake and engine exhaust.

FIG. 17 shows in cross-section the several tanks, the companionway and the cable and air intake and exhaust spaces.

The stem of the segment houses the rotatable nacelle, on bearing rings 48, within which are the crew facilities and a small power plant designed to give the segment, when used as an individual vessel, low speed propulsion to and from the loading and unloading points and to provide steera'ge-way when decoupled from the power module during ice-breaking operations. Also housed within the nacelle are the batteries designed to give the assembled barge the power required for propulsion if accidentally detached while submerged. Sections shown at FIGS. 18, 19, and 20 are respectively taken through the screw compartment, the battery compartment, and the generating and propulsive power plant compartment. The rotation of the nacelle is effected through electric motor 46 coupled to the nacelle through pinion 47 and tooth-wheel 48. The motor 46 as well as all pump motors and other powered devices outside the nacelle incorporate a lubrication system capable of 360 rotation around fore and aft axes. Communication with and power from the power module are provided through cables 49 and air intake for the crew and the engines is through airduct 50, and rotating manifold 50. Power and communication cabling isnot shown. Used air and engine exhaust is through duct 51, manifold 51' and ;demountable snorkel 52. For underwater travel during which power is obtained from power module so that the internal combustion engines are not used, air exhaust is through a small compressor not shown. Also shown on FIGS. 17 to 20 are two stabilizing, hullstrengthening keels 52' on each segment.

For surface travel a portable controlhouse 53 communicating with the segments central control communication center in the nacelle and the remainder of the segment and all other segments in any assembly through cable 53 is placed on the deck by an assisting lighter not shown in the drawing. A second location for a control house in the fore portion of the apex of the segment is provided but not shown. Other control stations connecting positions, not shown, are provided on the starboard large flat side of each segment and on the outer surface of its hull, to be used during the assembly operation, or when double segments are to be utilized, in rivers or otherwise, as individual liquid transport. The provisions of these control points, similar to the provision of the conning tower of a submarine, present no unsolved difficulties and are within the scope of conventional naval architecture.

FIGS. 21 and 22 illustrate the methods and means of joining two barge segments into a half barge. The balancing tanks are utilized as will be described below to cause the segments to roll 45 so as to have the port flat face of one with its male hydraulic hinge mechanism abreast of the starboard flat face of a second one, with its female hydraulic hinge mechanisms, and in a horizontal plane as shown in FIG. 22. At this juncture spring lines 54 are arranged so they do not interfere with hydraulic hinges and are extended between turkheads and winches of the two vessels, so recessed in each hull that no interference exists after assembly, are used to bring the two segments in closer proximity, while suitable fenders, not shown, are used to prevent hull damage from wave action. When the straight portions of the outer edges of the two segments are in the proper position, bolt 55 of hydraulic hinge lock of a first type shown in FIG. 23 is moved home in female portion 71 by means of the springlines and winches, and when its position is signalled by telltale 59, the second bolt 55' is sent home by means of hydraulic cylinder 56 and piston 57 which causes bolt 55 to enter aperture 58, thereby locking the two segments at one point and preventing any sideways motion of the two segments, as illustrated in FIG. 24. This also operates telltale device 59 which signals the successful end of this part of the operation to the control house. Further taking up of the spring lines insures that the remaining portion of the straight edge of the hulls of the two segments are aligned whereupon single ended bolts of the male portions 72 of hinge of a second type as shown in FIG. 25 are also sent home, in the female portions 73, firmly tying together the two segments except for the 1 of freedom left which permits them to rotate with respect to each other along the axis defined by the bolts operated thus far. The hinge thus formed serves to stiffen the two segments against any bending of one with respect to the other, while acting as a hinge for the two segments.

After this initial operation, liquid is transferred between the balancing tanks within each of the two segments so as to cause the hinged portion of the two hinged segments to sink while the two formerly horizontal flat portions of the segments rotate around the hinge toward each other. This operation can be assisted by spring lines and, as the starboard sealing ridges described earlier begin to touch the flat port side of the adjoining section, this operation can be further aided by the pumps provided to empty the compartmented space between the segments, until the two deck edges 60 of the two segments are in the proper position to lock them together by means of bolts of the second type distributed along edges 60. Further, bolts of the second type distributed along the curved portions of the outer edges of the segments are then sent home to strengthen and complete the entire assembly. Other pumps may be utilized to pump water into the compartmented space between segments to assist the disassembly operation.

In order to promote maximum interchangeability of the segments, the male portions of the bolts are on the port side of each segment, for instance, and the female portions are on the starboard side.

While the assembly of the two segments has been shown here to be effected by means of bolts, it will be realized that other means may be utilized, such as, for instance, a multiplicity of fixed bolts in one segment fitting into a multiplicity of corresponding V-shaped pieces in the other segment, and a multiplicity of short hawsers and associated winches extending along the entire periphery of the flat portions of the segments to be connected together. Whether hydraulically operated bolts, or fixed bolts, V-shaped pieces and hawsers, or a combination of both, or even electromagnetic means are utilized to bring together and hold these edges will depend upon design considerations, and it is not intended to restrict this invention to the use of any specific type of bolt.

FIG. 27 illustrates the normal orientation of two segments when travelling to and from the assembly points, and 61 indicates the approximate waterline in these conditions. It will be noted that the draft required for these segments is approximately one-third the diameter of the assembled barge. Typically said draft will be 30 feet when the diameter of the assembled barge is 90 feet, said diameter being adequate for the efficient transport of, typically, l60,000 tons of crude oil.

When the segments are about to be assembled, their ballast tanks are filled until the waterline is as illustrated at 62, and then they are assembled as illustrated in FIGS. 27 to 31 which show the use of the balancing tanks in that operation. It is predicated that after the ballasting tanks have been filled for near submersion, the centers of gravity of the segments without the contribution of the liquid in the balancing tanks coincide approximately with their respective metacenters, so that the liquid in the balancing tanks can serve to place the center of gravity of each segment in any position of the segment with respect to its metacenter, and adequately distant from it for stable balancing. Under these circumstances, the two segments shown in FIG. 27 will be in the position indicated when the two lower tanks are each filled to percent capacity, it being recalled that the three tanks of equal capacity are 50 percent filled on a time average. As liquid is transferred from one of the lower tanks to the other, as indicated by the arrows of FIG. 27, the decks of the two segments will tip away from each other, until their respective starboard and port flat sides are horizontal, when the balancing tanks are filled as indicated. The two segments are then hinged, after which they are rotated toward each other by transferring liquid as shown by the arrows of FIG. 28 until the situation shown in FIG. 29 obtains, at which point the remaining assembly means are effected as described earlier. The other half barge having also been made by the assembly of two segments, and the two half barges having been hinged as illustrated by FIG. 30 with edges adjusted vertically by balancing tanks as required for this function, liquid is transferred between the tanks in the direction of the hinge, as shown by the full arrows, and subsequently, for two of the four segments, as shown by the dashed arrows and finally, as shown by the dotted arrows, until the situation shown in FIG. 31 has been achieved. It

must be understood that the percentage filling figures I shown in FIGS. 27 to 31 for the several angular position of the segments are approximate, and that the eventual figures will be those determined by the specific design. It must be understood also that nose and stem pieces are assembled after this to effect a complete assembly at which time necessary cable and air duct connections from the power module are made.

A further modified embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 32 through 34. In this form of the invention, the power module 80 has a rounded nose 81, a tapered aft portion 82 having propellers 83 and a narrowed central portion 84 about which oil carrying segments or sections are normally carried. The segments denoted by the numeral 85 are shown in end elevation in FIG. 34 and are releasably hinged one to the others at 86. The position of the segments in FIG. 34

facilitates navigation of shallow water, and while under normal ocean-going conditions, they are carried securely about the narrowed module section 84. The segments 85 each carry suitable fluid carrying tanks, fluid balancing tanks and bouyancy control tanks as may be desired together with appropriate means for shifting the positions of the segments for assembly of the segments about and removal from the module 80.

The embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 35 through 40 is a segmented or longitudinally sectioned submersible module or barge and is generally denoted by the numeral 90. It consists of longitudinal segments with the top and bottom segments being denoted by the numeral 91 while the intermediate segments are denoted by the numeral 92. Each of the segments 91 and 92 are releasably hinged one to the others at 93, are completely separable and include means for varying their buoyancy about zero value. More specifically each segment includes a plurality of compartments 94, 95, and 96. Each compartment includes an oil gravity compensating tank 97 and one or more tanks 98 for ballast or machinery such as pumps and the like as may be desired. By dividing each segment into compartments which are multi-sided such as square or hexagonal and with the bouyancy of each compartment approximately zero, the mechanical support for the compartments is greatly minimized since a decrease in compartment height or width by a factor of 2 reduces the strength requirements by a factor of 4. The oil gravity balancing tanks 97 must be of sufficient size and weight relative to the volume of the associated compartment to enable the specific gravity of the compartment to be maintained near that of sea water. Two sets of three balancing tanks 198 are shown.

The invention described above embodies a module to be towed which is separable into longitudinal segments. It is understood, however, that it may be formed of separable longitudinal portions of other configurations provided, however, that such portions are joinable to form a substantially unitary module. Accordingly, the word segment as used in the claims is intended to mean a portion of the module having any desired configuration.

While only certain embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it is apparent that alterations, modifications and changes may be made without departing from the true scope and spirit thereof as defined by the append-ed claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A submersible fluid transporting Watercraft comprising a smooth streamlined outer shell, a retractable conning tower, ice cutting means at the bowof said craft, said ice cutting means forcing said ice upwardly and outwardly of said craft, means for driving said craft, a fluid carrying module, means releasably coupling said module to said water craft, said module being formed of a plurality of individual longitudinal segments and means releasably securing said segments to each other, each of said segments including fluid carrying tanks, a plurality of fluid balancing tanks, means for transferring fluid from one balancing tank to another and at least two bouyancy controlling tanks, and said releasable securing means comprises releasable hinging means along the longitudinal edges of said segments.

2. A submersible fluid transporting watercraft according to claim 1 wherein said craft includes a concave receptacle carried by the stern and said module includes a convex nose resting in said receptacle for pivotal movement of the craft and module.

3. A submersible fluid transporting watercraft according to claim 1 wherein the center of gravity of each segment with said fluid carrying tanks and said bouyancy tanks full approximately coincides with its metacenter whereby angular position of said segment about its longitudinal axis can be changed through approximately 360.

4. A submersible fluid transporting watercraft according to claim 1 including water sealing means carried by said segments to seal the segments.

5. A submersible fluid transporting watercraft according to claim 4 wherein said segments include companionways all watertight hatches closing said companionways whereby said hatches may be opened between joined segments to provide access from one segment to the other.

6. A submersible fluid transporting watercraft according to claim 1 wherein each-segment includes indi- 8. A submersible fluid transporting watercraft according to claim 7 including means for simultaneously controlling the propulsive and steering means of at least two joined segments from a single location.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6536365 *Feb 1, 2002Mar 25, 2003The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyShock-mitigating nose for underwater vehicles
US7921793 *Apr 12, 2006Apr 12, 2011Reidar Holch BrulandAirborne tugboat for emergency aid for seagoing vessels
WO2010102642A1Mar 10, 2009Sep 16, 2010Wärtsilä Ship Design Germany GmbHIce-breaking system for floating bodies
WO2013124704A1 *Aug 23, 2012Aug 29, 2013Turin Alexander SergeevichMethod of navigation under an ice surface and subsea structure therefore
U.S. Classification114/244, 114/246, 114/40, 114/254
International ClassificationB63G8/00, B63B35/08, B63B35/00, B63B35/12
Cooperative ClassificationB63B35/12, B63B2702/12, B63G8/42, B63G8/001
European ClassificationB63G8/00B, B63G8/42, B63B35/12