Posts Tagged ‘American’

1954 – Pressure Suit – James Hart and Theodore Hart (American)

HART pressurized suit pat 1 1954   Pressure Suit   James Hart and Theodore Hart  (American)

1954 – Pressure Suit by James Hart and Theodore Hart
Patent Name: Pressurized suit
Publication number    US2939148 A
Publication type    Grant
Publication date    Jun 7, 1960
Filing date    Dec 15, 1954
Priority date    Dec 15, 1954
Inventors    James F Hart, Theodore H Hart
Original Assignee    James F Hart, Theodore H Hart

This invention relates to pressurized suits and appurtenances thereto, especially to suits to be worn by aviators, divers, and others who are subjected to containment or perform certain duties under pressurized conditions.
Flight at high altitudes and beyond earth's environs has many advantages; but such flight has been limited heretofore, by many problems, among them, in part, the physiological considerations involved as exemplified by lung alveolar oxygen pressure, aero-embolism or "bends," and body gas expansion or "acute indigestion."
Diving to great depths in liquids has many advantages; such as, retrieving sunken military and commercial material.
Performing duties and/or containment in toxic surroundings is often required; for example, when the adjacent atmosphere contains lethal gases.
Performing duties in a fluid that cannot be contaminated by the gases required for suit occupant breathing and/or ventilation is sometimes desirable; for example, an industrial process that requires entrance by suit occupant into the processed media.
Performing duties and/or containment either all or in part in fluids that vary greatly from suit occupants temperature has many advantages; for example, as a military omni-environment suit, or the suit or suit portion may be submerged into a fluid of extreme temperature during an industrial process.

One object of this invention is to provide a suit dome with improved downward visibility, with provision for entering the dome wearing a crash helmet, the dome utilizing occupant's head to cause fore and aft movement thereby preventing a feeling of claustrophobia on the occupants part by maintaining a constant distance between occupants eyes and front of dome and the dome having a fluid-tight connection to the torso portion of the suit.
Another object is to provide a movable shoulder piece roughly duplicating the movement of the shoulder in relation to the body and joined to the torso by a fluid-tight connection.
Another object is to provide a movable fluid-tight connector between upper and lower arm in which the joint pivots about one axis only and is dependent on rotary seals which permit full twisting movement.
Another object is to provide a movable fluid-tight connector between upper and lower arm in which the joint is an integral part of the whole arm.
Another object is to provide a compensating device to assist in the movement of any joint that should inherently require effort to move due to trapped fluid volume change in the suit during joint movement.
Another object is to provide "feel" in the hand by use of novel types of glove and pressure regulating devices.
Another object is to provide a suit formed in two sections, joined across the body, which may be donned and doffed by the occupant without assistance.
Another object is to provide a closing device that assures uniform sealing of the body halves, notwithstanding the irregularity or extent of the sealing surfaces and that may be operated by one lever that entails for operation just one uniform motion.
Another object is to provide a movable fluid-tight means for rotating the torso portion of the suit with respect to the hip portion.
Another object is to provide a fluid-tight joint at the hips, fully movable in the fore and aft direction, that will permit the suit occupant to sit, stoop and stand.
Another object is to provide fluid-tight joints at the legs, movable fore, aft and sideways.
Another object is to provide fluid-tight knee joints which swing fore and aft.
Another object is to provide a suit in which body and limb members are formed of rigid sections, flexible sections with rigid end portions, or flexible sections with a rigid framework, all sections with flexible sealing means connecting them, and constructed in such a manner as not to ride up on the occupants body nor distend from occupants limb extremities when suit is pressurized.
Another object is to provide a suit that is for the most part made of rigid materials for durability and protection to the occupant.
Another object is to provide a suit with novel joint connections between body and limb sections that greatly increases permitted amounts of movement with a substantial reduction in effort.
Another object is to provide a diving suit construction that will remain habitable when internal pressures are either greater or less than external pressures and will enable the occupant to be taken from the water with a greater internal pressure, permitting last stages of decompression to occur in a decompression chamber with suit removed.
Another object is to provide a suit or suit portion operatable in toxic, non-contaminative or intemperate atmospheres.

HART pressurized suit pat 2 1954   Pressure Suit   James Hart and Theodore Hart  (American)

HART pressurized suit pat 3 1954   Pressure Suit   James Hart and Theodore Hart  (American)

HART pressurized suit pat 4 1954   Pressure Suit   James Hart and Theodore Hart  (American) 

HART pressurized suit pat 5 1954   Pressure Suit   James Hart and Theodore Hart  (American) 


See other early Underwater Robots here.


1965 – “XU-1″ Deep Sea Diving Suit – Fonda-Bonardi / Buckley for Litton Systems (American)

litton UX 1 1965    XU 1 Deep Sea Diving Suit   Fonda Bonardi / Buckley for Litton Systems (American)

Figure 17: Conceptual drawing of the Litton atmospheric diving suit.
In the late 1960's Litton Industries Space Science Laboratories announced the development of a new design of an atmospheric diving suit (Figure 17) capable of operating to depths of 600 feet (Fonda-Bonardi, 1967). The UX-1, for underwater experimental, suit was to use a combination of constant-volume convolute joints and rotary joints.
Their basic principle was to place the geometric axis of the suit joints as close as possible to the anatomical axis of the operator's articulation. The suit design surpassed any that had been built to date, though it never made it to production. In 1974, prior to inventing the Newtsuit, Phil Nuytten bought all rights and patents to the Litton suit (Harris, 1985).

Source: A SURVEY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN OF ATMOSPHERIC DIVING SUITS – A REPORT by MICHAEL ALBERT THORNTON


Details of the suit design were presented at the Advanced Marine Vehicles Meeting in 1967 by Giusto Fonda-Bonardi, director of applied research, and Charles P. Buckley, manager of underwater system development at Litton.


litton divesuit 01 x640 1965    XU 1 Deep Sea Diving Suit   Fonda Bonardi / Buckley for Litton Systems (American)

1965 –  "XU-1" Deep Sea Diving Suit – Fonda-Bonardi / Buckley for Litton Systems

Name: Articulated joint

Publication number    US3421158 A
Publication type    Grant
Publication date    Jan 14, 1969
Filing date    Sep 10, 1965
Priority date    Sep 10, 1965
Also published as    DE1296042B
Inventors    Fonda-Bonardi Giusto
Original Assignee    Litton Systems Inc

ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An articulated joint for interconnecting to portions of a deep sea diving suit which is adapted to enclose adjacent members of the human body, comprising a plurality of substantially spherical segments, including two end segments secured respectively to the adjacent portions of the diving suit, and at least one intermediate segment, adapted to be nested in a predetermined angular relationship as the joint is flexed. The segments are interconnected by at least one gear and linkage assembly for distributing an angle of flexure of the joint in a predetermined proportion among the segments and for reventing the segments from separating. The compressive force of the surrounding water on the spherical segments is transmitted through at least one roller assembly.

This invention relates to articulated joints for a low pressure diving suit, and more particularly to an improved form of articulated joint which maintains a constant displacement volume when flexed.

In a diving suit it is necessary to provide the wearer with an environment that will protect him and that will permit the accomplishment of useful functions. The articulated joints of the invention allow a mobility to the wearer which is comparable with that of a free swimmer, provide thermal protection to the wearer for long periods in cold water, and permit the air pressure in the suit to be maintained at a normal pressure of substantially one atmosphere.

In the prior art, numerous forms of articulated joints are employed for providing mobility to a diver. In the most common form of diving suit the joints form a part of a fabric suit attached to a rigid helmet. Protection from water pressure is afforded to the diver by maintaining the internal air pressure of the suit substantially equal to the external pressure. Subjection of the diver to extremely high air pressure has the disadvantage of a mandatory period of decompression when surfacing. A period of decompression limits the maximum operational period possible and prohibits immediate recovery of the diver in an emergency.

Some diving suits of the prior art employ joints which vary in displacement volume when flexed. A changing volume during flexure, particularly in a low pressure suit, requires that the diver expend energy on the surrounding water in addition to the energy required to perform a desired task.

Even in a suit using a constant volume joint, as the depth of the surrounding water increases, the joint may be incapable of carrying the increased load caused by the increased water pressure. Further, the increased water pressure may cause adjacent moving parts to bind due to friction between the parts, which requires excessive effort by the wearer to move the joint. Another problem encountered is that the bulk of the joint, e.g. thickness of material, packing, and the like, limits the allowable angle of rotation of the joint to substantially less than the range of flexure of the body members. The present invention, on the other hand, overcomes the foregoing and other disadvantages of the flexible joints of the prior art by providing improved constant volume joints which are completely flexible when subjected to pressure because auxiliary means are used to support the pressure load. The characteristics of the auxiliary means are such that friction between the parts is not increased with depth. In accordance with the concept of the invention, the constant volume joints comprise a pair of end segments, having the shape of spherical segments-of-one-base, with each contoured to form a port which adapted to receive the limb of a wearer; a plurality of ring-shaped intermediate spherical-segments-of-two-bases; a means for intercoupling the spherical segments to distribute the angle of movement of the joint among the segments and to carry compressive forces across the joint between the end segments; and a tubular section of flexible, non-permeable material, such as for example-rubberized fabric, affixed to each segment and circumscribing the intermediate segments to create a seal between the segments.

More specifically, a plurality of shells each having the form of a spherical segment, are interconnected to form a structure having the shape of a series of spherical segments of diminishing diameter, in which each segment is partially nested in the segment of next larger diameter. The segments are constructed to withstand compressive force and to maintain substantially constant volume when subjected to pressure. The segments are interconnected by gears and linkages so that, when a bending moment is applied to the joint, each segment rotates inside the segment of next larger diameter to permit the volume of the joint to remain constant throughout the range of flexure. The gears function to distribute, in a predetermined proportion, the angle of flexure of the joint, among the segments. The connecting linkages prevent the segments from separating. When the joint is immersed in a fluid, the pressure of the fluid on the joint tends to cause each segment to be enveloped in the segment of next larger diameter. Means for preventing the collapse of the joint in all relative angular positions of the segments, within the range of flexure, is provided by affixing a pair of rollers to each of the alternate odd segments. Each roller in the succession is held in pure rolling contact with adjacent rollers to bear the force of the fluid. Force on the alternate even segments of the succession is transmitted by the connecting linkages to the load bearing rollers. When the joint is flexed, a lune-shaped surface area on one side of each segment, defined by two intersecting great circles, is enveloped beneath the surface of the adjacent next larger segment. An equal lune-shaped surface area is exposed on the opposite side of each segment. Therefore, flexure of the joint does not change the surface area of the joint. Because of the symmetry of construction, provided by the spherical segments, the joint also maintains constant volume. Since the joint displaces a constant volume during flexure, it may be flexed without expending human energy on the fluid creating the outside pressure. A pressure seal between the surfaces of each shell is provided by a flexible, non-permeable fabric which convolutes over the enveloped areas and covers the exposed areas of the joint. As the joint is flexed, the fabric convolutes between segments without friction.

It is, therefore, an object of this invention to enclose a human being in an environment having a first fluid pressure, which environment is substantially constant pressure in the presence of surrounding higher fluid pressures.

It is also an object of this invention to allow movement of the enclosed human being without expending energy on the surrounding fluid.

It is a further object of this invention to improve constant volume joints for body-enclosing suits to reduce the energy expended by the wearer in moving the suit.

It is likewise an object of this invention to allow greater range of flexibility in the joints of diving suits.

It is also an object of the invention to provide for enclosing a diver or other person in a portable artificial environment corresponding to that existing at some relatively low altitude on the surface of the earth, which artificial environment is constant for any relatively lower depth and independent of the environment outside the suit.

It is an object of the invention to provide a diving suit adapted for use at great depths to maintain a substantially normal pressurized environment for the wearer.

It is an object of the invention to provide a constant volume diving suit adapted for use at great depths with flexible joint connections for facilitating maximum freedom of movement with minimum human energy expenditure.

It is an object of the invention to provide flexible joints which employ successive segments intercoupled to maintain the displacement of the joint substantially constant when it is subjected to pressure.

It is an object of the invention to provide flexible joints for withstanding compressive force when subjected to external pressure.

It is an object of the invention to provide flexible joints which maintain substantially constant displacement when flexed.

It is an object of the invention to provide flexible joints which employ successive segments intercoupled to prevent relative axial separation when a joint under pressure is flexed.

It is an object of the invention to provide flexible joints which employ successive segments intercoupled so that the angle of flexure is distributed into relative angular movement of the segments in a predetermined proportion.

It is an object of the invention to provide flexible joints which employ successive and interconnected segments for withstanding compressive force in any position of the joint Within a range of flexure.

It is an object of the invention to provide means for withstanding compressive force received in any direction within a range of operation.

It is an object of the invention to provide means for constraining relative angular displacement between structural elements to distribute, in a predetermined proportion, the angular displacement between said elements and for carrying compressive forces across said element.

litton divesuit 02 x640 1965    XU 1 Deep Sea Diving Suit   Fonda Bonardi / Buckley for Litton Systems (American)

litton divesuit 03 x640 1965    XU 1 Deep Sea Diving Suit   Fonda Bonardi / Buckley for Litton Systems (American)


Before the XU-1, Giusto Fonda-Bonardi designed a constant volume joint for a space suit. [Trivia – Before that, he was designing fusion reactors!]

litton space 2 x640 1965    XU 1 Deep Sea Diving Suit   Fonda Bonardi / Buckley for Litton Systems (American)

Name: Constant volume joint

Publication number    US3242499 A
Publication type    Grant
Publication date    Mar 29, 1966
Filing date    Sep 7, 1962
Priority date    Sep 7, 1962
Inventors    Giusto Fonda-Bonardi
Original Assignee    Litton Systems Inc


litton spacesuit 01 x640 1965    XU 1 Deep Sea Diving Suit   Fonda Bonardi / Buckley for Litton Systems (American)

An earlier Litton space suit, the Mark 1.


Obituary – In Memory of Giusto Fonda-Bonardi

Giusto Fonda-Bonardi (89) passed away peacefully on May 16, 2011. Born April 15,1922 in Trieste, Italy he was commissioned at the Italian Naval Academy in 1943, and came to the US aboard an Italian submarine in 1944 to develop anti-submarine weapons with the U.S. Navy. In the ensuing 65 years he worked as a physicist and engineer in southern California's flagship companies such as Rotoflow, Power Industries, Litton and Hughes Aircraft. He developed over 39 patents in the fields of inertial guidance, radar and microwave applications, magneto-hydrodynamics, plasma containment, electronic circuits, space and underwater protective systems, thermo-dynamics and gas dynamics. For the last 25 years he managed his own consulting company, Meruit, specializing in computation fluid dynamics and expander-compressor systems. As a life senior member of the IEEE, Mr. Fonda-Bonardi published extensively in scientific journals throughout his professional career. He recently wrote a book entitled The Persistence of Myth.


See other early Underwater Robots here.


1965 – Diving Suit – Henry Martinez and Charles Opalek (American)

 1965 Martinez suit pat 1965   Diving Suit   Henry Martinez and Charles Opalek (American)

1965 – Diving Suit – Henry Martinez and Charles Opalek

Publication number    US3329967 A
Publication type    Grant
Publication date    Jul 11, 1967
Filing date    Mar 31, 1965
Priority date    Mar 31, 1965
Inventors    Martinez Henry J, Opalek Charles S
Original Assignee    Martinez Henry J, Opalek Charles S

The invention relates to diving apparatus or dress of utility especially for deep-sea diving, and relates more particularly to a novel flexible joint structure for use in such diving apparatus or dress, to give to the wearer not only complete security against pressure and leakage under extreme environmental conditions of deep-sea diving but also to ensure a high degree of mobility to the wearer by enabling the structure to change its very shape freely under all conditions and adapt itself to various configurations resulting from arm, leg, or torso movements of the wearer.

martinez 65 pat 1 1965   Diving Suit   Henry Martinez and Charles Opalek (American)

martinez 65 pat 2 1965   Diving Suit   Henry Martinez and Charles Opalek (American)

martinez 65 pat 3 1965   Diving Suit   Henry Martinez and Charles Opalek (American)


See other early Underwater Robots here.


1952 – Deep-Sea Diving Robot – Al Mikalow (American)

deep diving suit press 61 1 x640 1952   Deep Sea Diving Robot   Al Mikalow (American)

TREASURE HUNTING ROBOT-A 1,500 pound diving robot is checked over by diver Al Mikalow (right) and Paul Ilsley, a diving instructor at Mikalow's diving school in Oakland, Calif. Mikalow intents to dive in the robot later this summer in a search for treasure which legend says lies waiting in the Rio de Janiero, which sank in the Golden Gate entrance to San Francisco Bay, in 1901. Source: Press photo June 1961.

al mikalow 52 x640 1952   Deep Sea Diving Robot   Al Mikalow (American)

Photo: Carlos Domingues via divingheritage.com.


A SURVEY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN OF ATMOSPHERIC DIVING SUITS

A REPORT

by MICHAEL ALBERT THORNTON

December 2000

Mikalow – 1952 (United States)

During a period of history considered by many to be a gap in the development of the atmospheric diving suit, Alfred A. Mikalow, once director and owner of the Coastal School of Deep Sea Diving, in Oakland, California, designed and built an atmospheric diving suit (Figure 16). His suit, employing ball and socket joints, was built for the purpose of locating and salvaging sunken treasure. The suit was reportedly capable of diving to depths of 1,000 feet and was used successfully to dive on the sunken vessel, City of Rio de Janeiro, in 328 feet of water near Fort Point, San Francisco, California (Rieseberg, 1965).

The Mikalow had several interchangeable instruments that could be attached in place of the usual manipulators at the end of the arms. The "deep-sea diving robot", as it was called in Fell's Guide to Sunken Treasure Ships of the World [1st 1965], carried seven 90 cubic feet high-pressure cylinders to provide the breathing gas and control the buoyancy. The ballast compartment covered the air cylinders and opened at the bottom near the diver's legs. The suit used hydrophones as its primary means of communication with the surface and powerful searchlights were attached to the head and arms.

Note: Although Thornton dates this suit at 1952, the first press articles don't appear until 1961.


See other early Underwater Robots here.


1918 – Diving Armor – Rudi De Graff (Russian / American)

degraff diving suit 1918 pat x640 1918   Diving Armor   Rudi De Graff (Russian / American)

1918 – Diving Armor by Rudi De Graff.

degraff pat 1918 russian x640 1918   Diving Armor   Rudi De Graff (Russian / American)

Publication number    US1368786 A
Publication type    Grant
Publication date    Feb 15, 1921
Filing date    Jan 12, 1918
Priority date    Jan 12, 1918
Inventors    Rudi De Graff

The invention relates to diving suits designed for service at great depths, one hundred feet or more, and the object of the invention is to provide a metallic suit or armor capable of withstanding successfully the great pressure due to deep submersion, and also permit free movements of the body and limbs of the diver.

Another object is to provide means for supplying air at atmospheric pressure to the interior of the suit, and for removing the vitiated air therefrom through non-collapsible separate conduits.

Another important object is to provide means for insuring the flexible joints of the suit independently against the entrance of water while permitting such joints to move freely.

A further object is to provide a form of universal joint for certain articulations of the suit, to permit movement in all directions while held water-tight by the pressure of the water.

A further object is to provide a form of joint having folding leaves for certain other articulations, constructed to allow free movements of the limbs without cramping.


See other early Underwater Robots here.