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Publication numberUS3865062 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 11, 1975
Filing dateJul 17, 1972
Priority dateNov 9, 1970
Publication numberUS 3865062 A, US 3865062A, US-A-3865062, US3865062 A, US3865062A
InventorsBabb John J
Original AssigneeSeiscom Delta Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Marine geophysical exploration system
US 3865062 A
Abstract
A marine geophysical exploration system includes an ocean going motor vessel and a barge capable of being loaded piggyback on the motor vessel. The barge contains geophysical instrumentation so that when the barge is loaded on the motor vessel, the motor vessel is a fully equipped ocean going geophysical vessel capable of exploring deep water. When the barge is unloaded, it is fully equipped for exploration in shallow water. The system includes facilities for loading and unloading the barge from the motor vessel.
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Write 1mg abb [ 1 MARINE GEOPHYSICAL EXPLORATION SYSTEM Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation of Ser. No. 87,831, Nov. 9, I970,

[ Feb. 11, 1975 2,398,274 4/1946 Albert 114/435 3,239,081 3/1966 Poleschuk 280/414 R 3,480,907 11/1969 King 114/235 R 3,508,510 3/1970 Frankel 114/435 3,539,066 11/1970 Stevenson 9/1 T Primary Examiner-Trygve M. Blix Assistant Examiner-Sherman D. Basinger [57] ABSTRACT A marine geophysical exploration system includes an abandoned.

ocean going motor vessel and a barge capable of bemg [52] U s C 4/43 5 loaded piggyback on the motor vessel. The barge con- [511 an} .0 35/60 wins g p y instrumentation so that when the [58] Field 235 R barge is loaded on the motor vessel, the motor vessel T is a fully equipped ocean going geophysical vessel capable of exploring deep water. When the barge is unloaded, it is fully equipped for exploration in shallow [56] References Cited water. The system includes facilities for loadin and UNITED STATES PATENTS g unloading the barge from the motor vessel. 1.931.820 10 1933 Hein 114/435 2,370,916 3/1945 Reedy. Sr. 114/435 14 Claims, 9 Drawing e PmmEnn-zamsrs 3,865,062

John J. Babb INVENTOR N i u.

ATTORNEYS PATENTEUf H915 3,865,062

sum 2 ur 3 John J. Babb BY Annual, Wide X- Uwdzee 4 7 A TTORNE VS FIG. 8

SHEET 3 p 53 iVl John /NVEN70R BY Awuwmw 0mm ATTORNEYS MARINE GEOPHYSICAL EXPLORATION SYSTEM This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 87,831, filed Nov. 9, 1970, copending herewith, and now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Conventional vessels available for marine and oceanographic geophysical exploration are typically and necessarily large draft vessels. Such vessels are incapable of exploration in shallow waters such as near shorelines, in lakes, bays and other coastal water areas. Accordingly, in exploring such shallow water areas, it has heretofore been necessary to transport equipment and personnel from shore or shore based quarters to the work area at the beginning of the day and to return them at night. Even in developed areas such as along the United States coast, moving equipment and personnel to work a coastal water area is a difficult and expensive undertaking. Considering the exploration of a coastal area located in remote parts of the world, where there are few if any inland roads and, no good transportation systems and, where there may be no shore facilities for living, and also where there may be no local boats or barges suitable for use in the work, it is evident that the problems are increased. To explore such areas, shore based facilities either must be built for accommodating personnel and storing supplies, or considerable time must be taken up in each working day in transporting personnel and equipment to and from some existing shore based quarters which may be located far away. It is apparent that, however exploration of remote coastal areas is accomplished, it is exceedingly expensive.

Marine exploration vessels which have been used for oceanographic purposes are incapable of venturing into shallow water areas in bays, lakes, along shorelines and the like to make geophysical surveys. On the other hand, conventional shallow draft vessels which are capable of navigating in shallow waters are generally incapable of navigating in and exploring the ocean and other deep waters.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The marine exploration system is a self-contained system capable of geophysical exploration of both deep and shallow water areas. The system performs conventional deep water surveys and adapts to shallow water operations within a relatively short time and performs such operations at a faster rate than heretofore possible. The system includes a large ocean going vessel, hereinafter referred to as the mother ship, and a smaller shallow draft vessel or barge. The mother ship provides living space for personnel and storage space for supplies and equipment. The barge has geophysical instrumentation incorporated therein including, for example, recording instruments, streamer cable, and reel. The barge is mounted piggyback fashion on the mother ship, and when so mounted makes the mother ship a fully equipped ocean going marine exploration vessel.

Facilities are provided for unloading the barge for exploration into shallow areas such as bays, along shorelines and in coastal lakes which are accessible to the sea but may have poor access from the land. Such areas may be choice locations for mineral exploration but characteristically they are likely to be undeveloped with few or no roads, no nearby towns or supply bases,

and none of the many shore facilities necessary to sustain a shore based exploration program. The unloading facilities include a pair of hydraulic cylinders mounted near the stern of the mother ship which can be connected to the barge to incrementally move the barge rearwardly with respect to the mother ship to unload it therefrom. A winch is provided to control movement of the barge and permit a slow descent of the barge from the stern of the mother ship into the water. When unloaded, the barge becomes a complete shallow water geophysical exploration vessel. The mother ship then serves as a nearby base of operations. providing living accommodations, stores, supplies, and the like. The mother ship may also desirably carry work boats which can be unloaded from the mother ship by a crane as required.

The barge, in addition to a conventional propulsion system, includes two independently controlled water jets, each mounted for 360 rotation in recesses in the bottom of the barge along the longitudinal center line thereof. The water jets can be used to power the barge, more particularly to allow the barge to maneuver and hold a straight course at even a very slow speed while towing a long cable inthe water. The jets also allow the barge to be aligned, or oriented, with the line of traverse of the cable, which is not the case with conventional propulsion. This is important and desirable to the operator while towing a long geophysical cable. Conventional rudders and even bow thrusters are not adequate for full control especially where winds and cur rents add to the directional stability problem. The water jet control is also advantageous in facilitating the alignment of the barge and the mother ship to enable the barge to be easily loaded onto the mother ship.

Facilities are also provided for easily loading the barge onto the mother ship quickly, and for securing the barge to the deck so that the mother ship once again becomes a fully instrumented and equipped ocean going geophysical vessel.

The subject marine exploration system is capable of sustaining a good rate of production and allows certain areas which have heretofore been considered unworkable, to be successfully explored. Furthermore, the subject system is completely mobile and the mother ship can follow in deep water while the barge explores shallow areas so that the mother ship is close at all times.

This cuts down considerably the time previously required in transporting personnel from distant shore based quarters to the work area, and makes exploration in remote areas practical and economical.

Other advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the following detailed drawings, which drawings form a part of this specification. It is to be noted, however, that the drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of the invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an elevation view of the marine geophysical exploration system in accordance with the principles of this invention illustrating the mother ship having the shallow draft barge positioned on the deck.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the mother ship and barge shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a partial enlarged plan view of the stern of the mother ship illustrating a portion of the loading and unloading facilities including a pair of hydraulic cylinders which are used in unloading the barge from the mother ship.

FIG. 4 is a partial side view taken along line 44 from FIG. 3, illustrating the swiveled connections between the hydraulic cylinders and the deck of the mother ship FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional fragmentary view through the center line of the barge illustrating a passageway for a winch cable and its connection to the barge.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side view of the front of the barge illustrating a chain passageway through the side of the barge for connection to the hydraulic cylinders.

FIG. 7 is a view taken along line 77 of FIG. 6 further illustrating the passageway through the side of the barge.

FIG. 8 is a side view partially illustrating the mother ship and showing the barge in a position after being unloaded or prior to being loaded on the mother ship.

FIG. 9 is a side view partially illustrating the mother ship and showing the barge in a position being either partially loaded or partially unloaded from the mother ship.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown an ocean going motor vessel generally designated as 20, and hereinafter referred to as the mother ship. Typically, the mother ship may be over a 150 feet in length having twin diesel engines, complete navigation and communications equipment, and crew accommodations and facilities for a number of people. The mother ship has space on the aft deck thereof for receiving a barge generally designated as 21 which can be unloaded from the mother ship 20 and used for geophysical exploration in shallow water or other treacherous waters where the mother ship 20 cannot navigate because of its draft. On the deck of the mother ship 20, a winch 22 is mounted and is connected to a traveling block 23.

The barge 21 is outfitted with geophysical exploration equipment and instrumentation including, for example, a streamer cable 24 mounted on a reel 24a. When the barge 21 is mounted in piggyback fashion on the mother ship 20 as shown in FIG. 1, the mother ship 20 becomes an ocean going geophysical exploration vessel utilizing the instrumentation and equipment mounted on the barge 21. The barge 21, when unloaded from the mother ship 20, is a geophysical exploration vessel capable of independently exploring shallow water areas as previously described. When exploring shallow water areas, the mother ship can be anchored in deep waters close to the exploration area to serve as a base of operations.

The barge 21 also preferably has a conventional navigation radar unit aboard as well asradio transmitter units enabling communication with the mother ship 20 and other stations. The barge 21 is equipped with its own propulsion system, typically being two inboard diesel engines. Additionally, the barge 21 has two high pressure-high volume water jets 25 (FIGS. 2 and 8) mounted within conical recesses formed in the bottom of the barge to provide control at slow speeds and in shallow water while towing the geophone cables. The recesses are preferably located along the center line of the barge. The water jets 25 are independently controlled and each have 360 rotation. The water jet control gives the barge 21 exceptionally good maneuvering characteristics which are particularly important in moving the barge into position for loading onto the mother ship 20, and also in traveling a straight course at slow speed while obtaining geophysical data. Thus, for example, the two jets 25 allow the barge to be kept aligned with the bearing of its survey cable, rather than angled to compensate for drift as would be the case with ordinary propellers and rudders. To permit loading and unloading of the barge without structural damage, the keel is preferably reinforced and extra-strength longitudinal bulkheads are provided. Furthermore, for safety, all barge compartments may be made water tight.

As shown in FIG. 1, the barge 21 rests on the deck of the mother ship 20 in a substantially horizontal attitude, wherein the deck of the barge 21 is substantially parallel to the deck of the mother ship 20. The barge 21 is held on the mother ship by conventional tie down devices which are not shown. The barge 21 rests on the mother ship 20 on angular guideways 26 and 27 which are lubricated to permit movement of the barge relative thereto. If desired, horizontal rollers for supporting the barge and vertical rollers for laterally guiding the barge could be used in place of angular guideways 26 and 27. The propeller shafts, propellers, and struts project from the stern 28 of the barge 21 and do not extend below the bottom of the barge, and hence do not contact the mother ship when the barge 21 is loaded thereon.

To facilitate loading and unloading of the barge 21 from the mother ship 20, a plurality of heavy duty rollers 31 are mounted to the stern of the mother ship 20. The central roller 32 has a groove 35 formed therein to serve as a sheave. Mounted to a pair of supports 33 and 34 located near the stern of the mother ship 20 are a pair of hydraulic cylinders 36 and 37 respectively. as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Each of the cylinders 36 and 37 is mounted to the respective supports 33 and 34 by means of a double swivel generally indicated by 38 and 39 which permits movement of the hydraulic cylinders both horizontally and vertically. The forward ends of the hydraulic cylinders 36 and 37 rest on supports 56 and 57 which support and position the hydraulic cylinders and keep the respective piston rods off of the deck of the mother ship.

The cylinders 36 and 37 have chains 41 and 42 connected to the piston rods thereof which are used in unloading the barge 21 from the mother ship 20. The hydraulic cylinders 36 and 37 are actuated to incrementally pull the barge 21 back from the mother ship. The chains 41 and 42 are connected to grab hooks 46 and 47 respectively which are connected to the ends of short lengths of wire rope or chains 48 and 49, the other ends of which are connected to the front of the barge 21. The chains 48 and 49 extend through passageways 51 which are formed in the front end of the barge 21. As shown in FIG. 6, a passageway 51 is formed through the port side of the barge 21 for receiving the chain 49, one end of which is connected to the grab hook 47 and the other end of which is pinned or secured to the deck'of the barge 21 at 52. The passageway 51 and a corresponding passageway on the starboard side of the barge (not shown) are sloped downwardly and rearwardly in order to permit the chains 41 and 42 connecting the barge 21 to the hydraulic cylinders 36 and 37 to be in a substantially straight line. With the chains 41 and 42 in the substantially straight line, the forces generated by actuation of the hydraulic cylinders 36 and 37 are imparted to the barge 21 to pull the barge 21 off the mother ship 20, and most of the forces so imparted are rearward, with little downward forces. It is desirable that most of the force generated by the hydraulic cylinders 36 and 37 be rearward with little or no downward force. This is particularly important during the first pulling after the barge 21 has been mounted with the guideways 26 and 27 for a long period. Thus, the chains 48 and 49 should be anchored to the barge 21 at a low point. However, connections to the sides of the barge 21 are undesirable since they provide protrusions which would not clear a pair of guide posts 63 and 64 mounted on the stern of the mother ship to guide the barge 21 onto and off of the guideways 26 and 27. Furthermore, when the barge 21 is approximately halfway off the mother ship 20, the barge 21 is tilted with its deck above the deck of the mother ship. With the barge 21 so tilted, it is much safer for a crewman to be on the deck of the barge 21 when removing the chains 41 and 42 rather than standing between the barge 21 and the mother ship 20. By providing passageways 51, the effective pull points for loading and unloading force are at a low point, being approximately where the passageways exit from the barge hull.

As shown in FIG. 5, another passageway 58 is provided through the front end of the barge 21 for receiving a wire rope or cable 59 having loops 60 and 65 on each end thereof. The passageway 58 exits from the bottom of the barge 21 at the lowermost point to aid in loading the barge 21 onto the mother ship 20. It is necessary in loading the barge 21 onto the mother ship 20 that a substantial vertical force be applied to lift the bow of the barge 21. By lifting the barge 21 from a low point, namely where passageway 58 exists, a maximum lifting force is exerted by the winch cable 59, and there is little need for using ramps, sloping platforms, or other facilities to help in loading the barge 21. The cable 59 passing through passageway 58 has one loop 60 connected to the barge 21 by passing a pin 61 through the loop 60 and screwing the pin securely to the deck of the barge 21. The other loop 65 is connected to a shackle 62 on the traveling block 23.

To unload the barge 21 from the mother ship 20, the cable 59 has one end connected to the barge 21 by passing pin 61 through loop 60 and securing the pin 61 to the barge 21. The winch 22 is operated to move the traveling block 23 down toward the barge 21 so that the other loop 65 of the cable 59 can be connected to the shackle 62. The hydraulic cylinders 36 and 37 are actuated so that the piston rods thereof extend outwardly. The chains 46 and 47 are connected to the short chains 48 and 49 by inserting the grab hooks 46 and 47 through one of the links of the chains 41 and 42 so that such chains are relatively taut. The guideways 26 and 27 are oiled or greased to facilitate movement between the barge 21 and the guideways 26 and 27. The winch 22 is operated, if necessary, to allow some slack in the cable 59. The hydraulic cylinders 36 and 37 are then slowly actuated to pull back on the chains 41 and 42. This will move the barge 21 back along the guideways 26 and 27 toward the stern of the mother ship. When the barge 21 moves back sufficiently to remove the slack from cable 59, the winch 22 is operated to unwind more of the cable 59. The cylinders 36 and 37 then continue to pull the barge 21 back until the pistons therein reach the end of their stroke. [t is to be noted that by having the double swivels 38 and 39, the cylinders 36 and 37 can move to keep the chains 41 and 48, and 42 and 49 in substantial alignment with the longitudinal axes of their respective cylinders 36 and 37, thereby exerting maximum pulling force on the barge 21 and eliminating forces which could cause the pistons to bind in the cylinders 36 and 37. At the end of each stroke, the cylinders 36 and 37 are again actuated to extend the piston rods, and the grab hooks 46 and 47 are removed from the original links of chains 41 and 42 and placed further down to make the chains 41 and 42 taut once again. This procedure is repeated to continue to move the barge 21 rearwardly along the guideways 26 and 27.

When the barge 21 is pulled back approximately half way, it will be close to its balancing point on the rollers 31 and 32. When this balanced position is reached, the cylinders 36 and 37 are extended and the grab hooks 46 and 47 removed from the chains 41 and 42. The chains 48 and 49 are then pulled in from the passageways 51 and stowed on deck or stored in an appropriate locker. It is necessary that the chains 48 and 49 be completely removed so that the sides of the barge can clear the rear guide posts 63 and 64.

Now, the barge 21 is held only by the winch 22. It is desirable in unloading the barge that the mother ship 20 be headed into the wind and moved forward slowly. Now, as the winch 22 is unwound slowly, the barge 21 slides off the mother ship 20 on the rollers 31 and 32 into the water. The slow forward motion of the mother ship 20 causes the barge 21 to move away from the mother ship so as to avoid any likelihood of the bow of the barge 21 colliding with the stern of the mother ship 20. When the barge 21 is in the water, the cable 59 is released from the traveling block 23 by removing the shackle 62. The winch cable 59 is then rewound, pulling the traveling block 23 close to the winch drum 22. The cable 59 can be pulled on board the barge 21 by a deckhand, and secured on the deck for furture use.

In loading the barge 21, it is desirable that the barge be loaded in calm protected waters if possible. The barge 21 is moved under its own power up to the stern of the mother ship 20. The barge 21 may be held adjacent to the mother ship 20 by tying several lines from the barge to the mother ship. Before proceeding with the loading, all of the rollers 31 and 32 should be greased and checked to see that they turn freely. Likewise, the guideways 26 and 27 should be greased. A floating line, or rope line with a small float attached, is then passed through the slanted passageway 58 in the barge. The floating end of the line is grabbed by a barge crewman and brought over the front of the barge and secured to the deck. The other end of the floating line should be tied to the loop 65 of the cable 59, and the cable 59 pulled through the passageway 58. The other loop 60 is, of course, fastened to pin 61. The floating line should then be passed to the mother ship 20 so that a deckhand can pull the loop 60 on board and fasten it to the shackle 62 connected to the traveling block 23 which will be positioned near the stern of the mother ship 20. The line 59 should then be placed in the groove 35 of the sheave 32. A U-shiaped cable guide pin 66 is installed over cable 59 to keep the cable in the groove 35 to properly align or center the barge 21 with respect to the mother ship 20. The guide pin 66 can be removed when sufficient load is on the cable 59 to keep it in place in the sheave 32. With the mother ship moving forward very slowly, preferably directed into the wind, the winch 22 is operated to pull the barge 21 aboard. The barge operator remains on board the barge 21 to operate the water jets 25 to maintain alignment of the barge 21 with the mother ship 20 during loading. The winch 22 continues to be operated, pulling the bow of the barge 21 into contact with rollers 21 and 32. It is to be noted that the passageway 58 extends from the deck of the barge to the lowermost point on the barge so that there is a substantial vertical component of force applied to lift the bow of the barge 21 up onto the rollers 31 and 32.

During loading, the mother ship 20 and barge 21 are both normally in slow forward motion to facilitate control and provide proper alignment. As the winch 22 rotates, the barge must follow the cable 59 which exerts a lifting force so that the bow of the barge is lifted. This results in the stern of the barge being partially submerged, as shown in FIG. 9, which reduces the amount of vertical force required to lift the barge and contributes to an easier loading operation. The rollers 31 and 32 extend slightly above the angled guideways 26 and 27 on the deck so that the entire load of the barge 21 rests on the rollers until the barge is about half-way onto the mother ship 20. Just before this halfway point, the bow of the barge is high in the air with the winch 22 pulling forward and slightly down. Further rotation of the winch 22 results in the barge 21 being pulled down to the deck to slide forward in the greased angled guideways 26 and 27. The guide posts 63 and 64 aid in aligning the barge 21 with the guideways 26 and 27. The winch is further rotated until the bottom of the barge 21 passes over the rollers 31 and 32 and rests flatly on the angled guideways 26 and 27. The barge may hang a short distance over the stern of the mother ship in order to preclude any damage to the propeller shafts, propellers and rudders of the barge. Preferably a stop, not shown, will be provided on the deck to prevent excessive forward movement of the barge on the mother ship. The barge 21 is then secured to the mother ship 20 by using conventional fastening devices to keep the barge securely fastened to the mother ship in a manner that will withstand rough seas.

It is to be understood that the above described embodiments are merely illustrative of an application of the principles of this invention and that numerous other arrangements and modifications may be made within the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A marine geophysical exploration system for exploring in deep and shallow water comprising:

a first geophysical exploration vessel having geophysical exploration instrumentation and equipment thereon;

a second geophysical exploration vessel having space for receiving said first vessel;

means for unloading said first vessel from said second vessel for said first vessel to perform geophysical exploration in shallow waters;

means for loading said first vessel in said space on said second vessel for geophysical exploration by said second vessel using said geophysical instrumentation and equipment of said first vessel;

a plurality of rollers mounted across the stern of said second vessel for supporting said first vessel during loading and unloading;

said loading and unloading means including:

1. a plurality of hydraulic cylinders mounted on said deck of said second vessel adjacent to each side of said first vessel;

2. means for interconnecting said cylinders and said first vessel;

3. means for actuating said cylinders to incrementally move said first vessel rearwardly onto and over said rollers until said first vessel is substantially balanced thereon; and

4. means mounted on said second vessel and connectable to the bow of said first vessel for controlling the rate of descent of said first vessel as it is unloaded into the water from said balanced position, and for pulling said first vessel from the water onto said second vessel; and

guide means mounted on the deck of said second vessel for guiding and supporting said first vessel.

2. A marine geophysical exploration system as set forth in claim 1 wherein said space on said second vessel is located near the stern of said second vessel and said geophysical instrumentation and equipment includes a cable adapted to be trailed behind said first vessel, said first vessel being positioned on said second vessel so that said cable can be trailed over the stern of said second vessel.

3. A marine geophysical exploration system as set forth in claim 1 wherein one of said rollers is centrally disposed on said second vessel and has a groove formed therein to receive a winch cable, and means for holding said winch cable in said groove during initial loading of said first vessel.

4. A marine geophysical exploration system as set forth in claim 1 wherein said first vessel includes means for establishing a bow lifting point substantially near the bottom of said first vessel so that during loading substantial vertical forces are applied to said first vessel by said means for controlling.

5. A marine geophysical exploration system as set forth in claim 4 wherein said establishing means includes a passageway extending downwardly from the deck of said first vessel and exiting at a point substantially near the bottom of said first vessel.

6. A marine geophysical exploration system as set forth in claim 1 wherein said first vessel is a barge and has two water jets mounted in recesses in the bottom thereof for manuevering said barge, said recesses being located substantially on the longitudinal axis of said barge.

7. A marine geophysical exploration system as set forth in claim 1 wherein said first vessel has a plurality of passageways formed therein near the bow thereof, at least one on each side of said first vessel, each passage way extending from the deck of said first vessel downwardly and rearwardly to exit from the side of said first vessel to receive said interconnecting means.

8. A marine geophysical exploration system for exploring in deep and shallow water comprising:

a geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel;

a support vessel having space for receiving said geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel;

a plurality of rollers rotably mounted with said support vessel;

guide means mounted with said support vessel for guiding and supporting said geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel, said guide means comprising a pair of guideways, one mounted on each side of said support vessel, said guideways comprising horizontal legs supporting said geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel and vertical legs laterally guiding same; and wherein said rollers are mounted slightly higher than said horizontal legs of said guideways;

means for pulling said geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel onto said rollers for unloading said geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel; and

means for controlling the descent of said geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel from said rollers into the water.

9. A marine geophysical exploration system as set forth in claim 8 wherein said pulling means includes at least two hydraulic cylinders, one positioned on each side of said barge, the rearward end of each cylinder being movably mounted to the deck of said vessel, and elongated members connecting said cylinders to the front of said barge, said cylinders being actuable to move said barge rearwardly toward the stern of said vessel.

10. A marine geophysical exploration system as set forth in claim 9 wherein said barge has a passageway through each side thereof to receive an elongated member, said passageways exiting at points below the deck of said barge to permit said cylinders when actuated to apply substantially rearward forces to move said barge relative to said vessel.

11. A marine geophysical exploration system as set forth in claim 8 wherein said controlling means includes a winch, a winch cable connected to a traveling block, and an elongated member connecting said traveling block to the bow of said geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel, said winch being actuable to slowly pay out cable to allow said geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel to descend into the water from said rollers, and said winch being actuable to pull and lift said geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel from a position behind the stern of said vessel onto said open space of said vessel.

12. A marine geophysical exploration system as set forth in claim 11 wherein said geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel has a central passageway for receiving said elongated member, said passageway extending downwardly from the deck of said geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel and exiting at a point near the bottom of said geophysical instrumentation and equipment vessel.

13. Apparatus for loading and unloading a barge from a ship comprising:

guide means mounted on the deck of said ship for supporting said barge on the stern of said ship with the longitudinal axes of said barge and ship being parallel;

a pair of hydraulic cylinders mounted to the deck of said ship close to the stern thereof;

a plurality of rollers rotatably mounted across said stern;

a winch having a cable wound thereon mounted to said deck forwardly of the bow of said barge;

means for interconnecting said. hydraulic cylinders and said barge;

means for connecting said winch cable to the bow of said barge;

means for actuating said hydraulic cylinders to pull said barge rearwardly along said guide means and onto said rollers until said barge is substantially balanced on said rollers; and

means for actuating said winch to allow said barge to descend slowly from said balanced position into the water, and for actuating said winch to lift said barge from the water onto said rollers and guide means.

M. A marine geophysical exploration system for exploring in deep and shallow waters comprising:

a. a geophysical exploration instrumentation vessel;

b. a support vessel having space for receiving said instrumentation vessel;

0. a plurality of rollers mounted with said vessel;

d. guide means mounted with said support vessel for guiding said instrumentation vessel, said guide means comprising a pair of guideways, one mounted on each side of said support vessel, said guideways comprising: horizontal legs supporting said instrumentation vessel and vertical legs laterally guiding same and wherein said rollers are mounted slightly higher than said horizontal legs of said guideways;

e. means for mounting said instrumentation vessel onto said rollers for unloading said instrumentation vessel; and

f. means for controlling the descent of said instrumentation vessel from said rollers into the water.

support

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5689475 *Sep 1, 1995Nov 18, 1997Port Autonome De BordeauxNautical apparatus to conduct reconnaissance missions of a site, particularly bathymetric surveys
US5775250 *Jun 27, 1991Jul 7, 1998Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki KaishaWatercraft
US6431105 *Nov 29, 2000Aug 13, 2002Simon Mokster Shipping AsMethod for bringing people in life boats aboard a support vessel and a support vessel
EP0685387A1 *May 30, 1995Dec 6, 1995Port Autonome De BordeauxWatercraft for charting a site, especially for depth soundings
Classifications
U.S. Classification114/259
International ClassificationB63B35/40, B63B35/00
Cooperative ClassificationB63B35/40, B63B35/00
European ClassificationB63B35/40, B63B35/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 12, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: WESTINGHOUSE CREDIT CORPORATION A DE CORPORATION,
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SEISCOM PRODUCTS CORPORATION, A CA CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005810/0191
Effective date: 19900516
Mar 21, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: WESTINGHOUSE CREDIT CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE,
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SEISCON PRODUCTS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005268/0641
Effective date: 19890810
Sep 12, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: FIRST CITY NATIONAL BANK OF HOUSTON, 1001 MAIN ST.
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SEISCOM DELTA, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004171/0601
Effective date: 19830810