|Title of Invention||
RESCUE SUBMERSIBLE APPARATUS
|Abstract||The invention relates to shipbuilding, in particular to submarine vehicles and can be used for salvage and rescue operations on submarines (11). The inventive submarine escape vehicle (SEV) (1) comprises a body (2, 3), a suction chamber (7) provided with a thrust collar (9), a movement control system (6) and an ancillary manoeuvring and dynamic positioning system (5). The body of the suction chamber (7) comprises a movable ball-shaped belt (8) which is segmented in a particular embodiment in such a way that the segments are relatively displaceable. The thrust collar (9) is mounted above the coamings deck (10) of a damaged object (11) by the ball-shaped belt (8) turn. An external illumination system is provided with lighting elements (13) and light-markers (14) and is optically connected to an optical-television field surveillance system which is embodied in the form a set of TV cameras (12) for remotely detecting the damaged object (11). Said TV cameras (12) are mounted on the body (3) of the SEV (1) around the suction chamber (7) in such a way that multi-angle stereo-pairs are formed, the light markers (14) are fixed to the thrust collar (9), thereby making it possible to control the mutual position of the suction chamber (7) of the SEV (1) and the coamings deck (10) of the damaged object (11). A television information displaying device (15) is computer-assisted and connected to the ancillary manoeuvring and dynamic positioning system (5) by means of the movement control system (6). Said invention improves the operating characteristics of the submarine escape vehicle (1). Figure 1 is the representative figure.|
|Full Text||FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to submarine shipbuilding, namely to rescue submersible apparatuses equipped with means for positioning and electronic observation equipment provided with means for underwater lighting, and may be used when performing underwater salvaging operations using chambers of fitting and suction.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
There has been known the application of means for underwater exterior lighting for submersible apparatuses in an effort to ensure visual observation of underwater medium through portholes of apparatuses, as well as other optic visual systems for TV observation, photography and filming, signaling. An underwater TV observation contemplates the use of light sources reasonably strong to create a required illumination intensity of cathodes of camera tubes. When performing underwater rescue operations, their TV monitoring seems to be the most efficient, since production of a TV image is carried out in real time (or with memorizing) and with a great resolution, thereby allowing observation in the immediate vicinity of submersible apparatuses, where sonars are inefficient, and within the line-of-sight distances, under conditions of a strong i scattering and fluctuation of luminous intensity through the availability in the medium of structural heterogeneities of various origin. Physical conditions in the real marine medium, such as water temperature, apparatuses vibrations, outboard pressure, may significantly restrict the capabilities of any optic or electron-optic observations with a small-quantity "signal-noise" ratio. Experiments show that a viewing range distance when using a TV set under water depends on a reflection factor, dimensions of an object to be observed
and, for conditions of the Atlantic Ocean (the tropics) amounts to 18-24 meters (N.A. Stoptsov, M.A. Gruzdev. Means for Underwater Lighting. L., Sudostroenie, pp. 18-26). However, a "signal-noise" ratio in the underwater TV observation may be increased not only at the expense of improving illumination engineering characteristics of underwater lighting sources such as a light source type, a maximum axial luminous intensity, light scattering and light beam directivity, a reflection type, but also at the expense of a special structure of observation scheme for a correlated signal reception and noise account.
There has been known the use of a TV observation system on board of a research submarine PX-15 (Jacques Picard, France). To ensure a required operation, there is installed an external lighting system comprising 20 searchlights each delivering 500-1,000 watts, which are located in certain places on the outside of a strong apparatus hull. With sufficient illumination intensity, the known optic-television system ensures a visual monitoring of the outboard medium for accompanying acts of the operator associated with the correction of signals from a system for controlling a submersible apparatus, and also makes it possible to perform some underwater works using, for example, a manipulator. The drawback to the known underwater lighting system, as to the apparatus as a whole, is a functionality limitation, namely the absence of automatic influence of the underwater lighting system on a submersible apparatus control system, thus preventing programmed actions from being performed, for example, given a predetermined positioning of the submersible apparatus.
There has been known the use of an optic-television observation system in inhabited and remotely controlled submersible apparatuses, for example in a submersible apparatus SHINKAI-2000, "JTV-1", "Dolphin-
3K" (JAMSTEC) (M. Saeki, in "Ocean-84", v. 2, pp. 917-920, IEEE, 1984). The above-said submersible apparatuses are equipped with an optic-television system for monitoring the outboard medium, said system comprising black-and-white and color TV cameras, a broadband stereo-television system, a stationary camera and sources of its illumination used to visually inspect the medium and record characteristics to be studied as well as working heads and an automatic system for maintaining the depth and motion direction. However, with the availability of an acoustic navigation system, which ensures the motion of a submersible apparatus in the space, an optic-television system is only used to study the medium visually, store data, select a motion direction, control a manipulator or other devices etc., thereby restricting the accuracy of dynamic positioning of a submersible apparatus.
There has been known a searching submersible apparatus comprising a hull embodied in the form of ellipsoid of revolution with vertical and horizontal motion propellers and a TV camera with its optic axis being located in an apparatus centerline plane and making with the major axis of the ellipsoid an angle equal to one-half a TV camera visual angle, and the line of an apparatus metacentric height forming with the major axis of the ellipsoid an angle equal to a TV camera visual angle (Russian Federation Patent No. 2,039,678, IPC B63B 21/66, published July 20, 1995). A TV camera, whose installation is fixed, makes it possible to carry out underwater observation within a broad solid angle, but the submersible apparatus has limited functionalities, since information available from a TV camera may not be used directly to automate control of the submersible apparatus in an effort to improve accuracy of its dynamic positioning.
There has been known a rescue submersible apparatus (hereinafter referred to as the "RSA") LR5 developed by Slingsby Co. (Great Britain, 1978) to perform search-and-rescue works at depths up to 460 meters, which currently is used in naval forces of Great Britain to render help and rescue crew of injured submarines lying on ground by a "dry method", with the aid of a detachable suction chamber designed to dock a firm hull of the RSA and an injured submarine (E.R. Agishev, M.A. Erpulev, A.A. Erpulev. Structural Features of a Rescue Submersible Apparatus LR5. Sudostroenie, 1998, No. 3, pp. 20-22). The known RSA comprises a firm hull of cylindrical form with its modular compartment being equipped with propeller control systems comprising an automatic rudder device, hydraulic system and energy distribution systems, an ancillary system for controlling an apparatus motion when maneuvering close to an injured submarine, dynamic positioning above it and embarkation, said ancillary system consisting of four outboard turning columns with screw propellers in extensions, and also a detachable suction chamber with a backup ring. In dynamic positioning of a submersible apparatus and preparation for an injured submarine embarkation, said submarine lying on the ground with list and trim, the suction chamber is oriented with respect to a submarine coaming-platform by inclining a chamber backup ring by an angle up to 30 degrees (and with the availability of a special wedge - up to 60 degrees) to ensure a trim of the RSA during an injured submarine embarkation within the limits of +/- 6.5 degrees. To observe an underwater medium, the upper part of an apparatus hull is equipped with a transparent deck house made of acrylic glass, whereas the lower part, in the neighborhood of manipulators, is fitted with a color TV camera of the UMEL type (1,334 strings; a 70-mm focus) arranged on a turn-incline device. For underwater lighting, use is made of five
illuminants each delivering 1,000 watts. In the known RSA an optic-television system comprising a TV camera and illuminants (illuminating members) is only used to visually assess an outboard situation and evaluate the efficiency of maneuvering (dynamic positioning) of the RSA with the aid of a device for displaying TV information. This device, however, fails to have an impact on the system for maneuvering and dynamic positioning, thus preventing the RSA from being positioned and docked with a submarine in automatic mode and prohibiting the attainment of a high accuracy of dynamic positioning in an effort to improve the RSA operating characteristics.
A RSA comprising a hull incorporating a motion control system, an ancillary system for maneuvering and dynamic positioning, a suction chamber with a backup ring arranged on the RSA hull, an external lighting system with illuminating members, an optic-television system for outer observation, said system being optically linked with the latter system, and a device for displaying TV information, has been chosen as the closest prior art with respect to the claimed invention.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the present invention to improve the RSA operating characteristics by providing a high-precision dynamic positioning and maneuvering in automatic mode using an optic-television system for outer observation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The above object has been achieved by the fact that in the known RSA comprising a hull incorporating a motion control system, an ancillary system for maneuvering and dynamic positioning, a suction chamber with a backup ring arranged on the RSA hull, an external lighting system with illuminating members, an optic-television system for
outer observation, said system being optically linked with the latter system, and a device for displaying TV information, according to the present invention said suction chamber is selected from a chamber the body of which incorporates a mobile ball belt, said optic-television system for outer observation is embodied in the form of a set of TV cameras installed to ensure a long-range detection of an injured object and arranged on the RSA hull around the suction chamber with the possibility to observe the backup ring to form multi-aspect angle stereopairs, said external lighting system is provided with light markers arranged on the backup ring of the suction chamber, said device for displaying TV information is made computerized and connected through said motion control system with said ancillary system for maneuvering and dynamic positioning.
Furthermore, said mobile ball belt is segmented to ensure the relative displacement of segments.
Moreover, said illuminating members are selected from halogen-filled lamps or light-emitting diodes.
In addition, said light markers are selected from light-emitting diodes with autonomous electric power supply.
Besides, said light markers are selected from passive light reflectors
or photoluminescent devices.
What is more, at least part of light markers is arranged on the backup ring of the suction chamber equidistantly round the periphery of said ring.
The technical effect of the present invention consists in forming images of an injured object, mainly an injured submarine and its coaming-platform, at different angles of approach in stereopairs formed by TV cameras to ensure a long-range detection, which are installed in a
predetermined fashion with due regard for the design of the suction chamber of the RSA whose hull incorporates a mobile element, that is a ball belt which is segmented to ensure the relative displacement of segments, those segments being also ball belts geometrically. In so doing, comparison of TV images to be produced makes it possible to carry out control of the course of docking the backup ring of the RSA suction chamber with the coaming-platform of an injured object (an injured submarine). In the course of positioning and docking, turns of segments of a mobile ball belt of the suction chamber body are effected and the backup ring is arranged in the required position in space (see, Russian Federation Patent No. 2,157,776), while computing RSA deviations with respect to an object using a computerized device for displaying TV information and generating, based on computed data, controlling instruction in a motion control system. By delivering instructions from the motion control system to an ancillary system for maneuvering and dynamic positioning, it is possible to carry out an automatic control of the RSA dynamic positioning.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The essence of the invention is explained by the following drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of docking a double-hull RSA with an injured object (an injured submarine) by attaching a backup ring of the RSA suction chamber having a mobile element of the hull (a ball belt) to a coaming-platform of the injured submarine;
FIG. 2 is a lateral schematic view showing the process of mounting an optic-television system on the RSA with a suction chamber, said system comprising TV cameras for a long-range detection of an injured
object, said cameras forming stereopairs and optically interacting with light markers (a TV camera visual field is highlighted with dots);
FIG. 3 is a bottom schematic view of FIG. 2.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
A rescue submersible apparatus (RSA) 1 comprises a firm hull 2, a light-weight hull 3, a propeller-rudder unit 4, a maneuvering and dynamic positioning device 5 disposed in the light-weight hull 3 and embodied in the form of a system of vertical and horizontal rudders. In the firm hull 2, there are disposed a motion control system 6, a suction chamber 7 attached to the firm hull 2, said chamber being provided with a mobile hull member, namely a segmented ball belt 8, and a backup ring 9 embodied to contact and adhere to a coaming-platform 10 of an injured object (submarine) 11 (FIG. 1).
An optic-television system for outer observation conventionally represented in FIG. 1 by two TV cameras is embodied as a whole in the form of a set of TV cameras 12 (FIGS. 2; 3) and optically linked with illuminating members 13 and light markers 14 of an external lighting system. The TV cameras 12 (FIGS. 2; 3) are designed to ensure a long-range detection of an injured object (submarine) 11 and to dock the suction chamber 7 with said object. The TV cameras 12 are installed in a predetermined fashion, namely, to ensure intersection of their optical axes, thus affording the observation of an injured object at different angles of approach, that is, with the formation of stereopairs. The stereopairs make it possible to combine two two-dimensional partial images of the object produced from two different viewing points (different angles of approach) by means of two TV cameras, to produce an object three-dimensional image. A distinctive feature of stereoscopic picture to be produced when observing the object in different pairs of
angles of approach consists in invariability of an object position in space for any positions of the observer. So, to produce a reliable three-dimensional image of the object, it is necessary and sufficient to observe thereof at least at three angles of approach to be produced from three TV cameras, which may be combined in pairs. Using a correlation processing of signals to be received, it is possible to distinguish information about a spatial position or change in the position of the object or its separate parts.
A scheme of positioning the TV cameras 12 is chosen with due regard for the design of the suction chamber 7 of the RSA 1. When using the suction chamber 7 with a mobile ball belt 8, it is technically difficult to arrange TV receivers 12 on such a body because of the possibility to damage flexible TV cables. Therefore the TV cameras 12 to ensure a long-range detection of an injured object are arranged on the hull of the RSA 1, namely on the light-weight hull 3, around the suction chamber 7, symmetrically about its axis (FIGS. 2; 3). In so doing, the TV cameras 12 are selected with a visual field and arranged so that the surface of the suction chamber 7 and the backup ring 9 come into the view of each camera 12 simultaneously with the coaming-platform 10 of an injured object (submarine) 11.
A required set of three TV cameras 12 arranged on the lightweight hull 3 of the RSA 1 to ensure a long-range detection makes it possible to produce images of the coaming-platform 10 of an injured object (submarine) 11 in stereopairs. By appropriately switching the TV cameras 12 it is possible to select their connection diagram for achievement of tasks of computerized processing of TV information about positioning of the RSA 1 and correction of the RSA position in dynamic mode and also for a possible duplication of the employed stereopairs and increase in the docking reliability.
An external lighting system is optically linked with the TV cameras 12 and comprises illuminating members 13, namely illuminants, which are required to ensure operation of the TV cameras 12 arranged under the backup ring 9 and, in particular case, equidistantly round the periphery of said ring, thereby allowing for a required illumination of all TV cameras 12 and a local uniform illumination intensity and visibility in the area of docking the suction chamber 7.
The illuminating members 13 (illuminants) are mounted by any known means, for example on the rod, and each TV camera 12 for a long-range detection of an injured object 11 may be provided with an individual illurninant (not shown in FIGS. 2; 3). Depending on the amount of a solid angle of the TV camera illumination, such illurninant may be a single-unit, in particular, such as a halogen-filled lamp or a light-emitting diode, or combined as, for example, an array of light-emitting diodes.
In doing so, additional optical devices (members), namely light markers 14, are arranged on the suction chamber 7 along the periphery of the backup ring 9 in such a way that the light therefrom, that is their optical radiation, or a glow to be excited passively (at the expense of photoluminescence), or a reflected light fall within the visual field of a corresponding TV camera 12, which determines the least total number of light markers, namely three.
Illuminating members (illuminants) 13 may be used in the form of optical devices emitting light at wavelengths about 5000 nm, with a sealed light source, which are designed for a stationary installation onto a submersible apparatus. In particular, such illuminants may be halogen-filled lamps and LED illuminants yielding a low attenuation of the light beam in water.
Light markers 14 may be selected from both light-emitting optical devices, in particular, light-emitting diodes with autonomous electric power supply, and passive sources of optical radiation, in particular, elements based on the effect of photoluminescence (labels, which are luminous under the action of light from illuminants) or light-returning elements (reflectors).
Arrangement of at least part of the light markers 14 at equal distances from each other and from the axis of the backup ring 9 (equidistantly) provides comparability of observations of an injured object 11 in stereopairs, which is essential when making a turn of a mobile ball belt 8 of the suction chamber 7.
The TV cameras 12 carrying out observation with the provision of a long-range detection are connected to a motion control system 6 through a computerized device for displaying TV information 15.
The design of the device 15 corresponds to the applicable method for processing TV information and comprises, in particular, a minicomputer (a microcomputer, a PC) with a video processor, which are connected to TV cameras, an analog-to-digital converter of signals, other than TV, to be received (for example, from sensors of water flow velocity vectors), also connected to said mini-computer, as well as memories, displays and an interface. The'device 15 must allow for the performance vi of arithmetical and logic operations with data arrays of TV signals and physical parameters, accumulation and storage of large bodies of information, their statistical (correlation) analysis, geometrical conversion of images (scaling, transformation into cartographic projection), generation of data signal to be delivered to a motion control system. Specifically, if a dynamic positioning is carried out using the known method for measuring shift of coordinates of the center of gravity of an
object image, said object being a coaming-platform of an injured object (submarine), then a TV signal processing shall include a TV image digitization, selection of check points, that is images of light markers, to define coordinates of the center of gravity of an object image, calculation of the sought-for coordinates of an image center of gravity, comparison of signals of TV stereopairs in the RSA positioning, summation of signals by a specified algorithm to define temporal variation of the unknown quantity and generation of data error signals for the RSA linear and angular displacements with regard to the medium parameters in proximity to an injured object (submarine) 11, said parameters being measured in parallel and delivered to the motion control system 6. Error signal are used in the system 6 to generate control instructions to be delivered to steering devices and rudders of an ancillary system for maneuvering and dynamic positioning 5. To implement the above-described method of positioning by measuring shift of the center of gravity of an image of the coaming-platform 10 of an injured object (submarine) 11, use may be made of, for example, the known device (see, Russian Federation Patent No. 2,040,120), whose interrelationship with the motion control system 6 and, through the latter, with the ancillary system for maneuvering and dynamic positioning 5 affords an automated control of the motion on a real-time basis. In the general case the device for displaying TV information 15 may be made in any known fashion that enables a comparative processing of images from stereopairs.
A rescue submersible apparatus (RSA) 1 is used as follows.
The RSA 1 whose motion is ensured by a propeller-rudder unit 4, approaches the location of an injured object (submarine) 11, takes up a position that is possible or convenient for embarkation, for example, staying on a heading against the stream, and hovers above a coaming-
platform 10 with illuminating members 13 of an external lighting system off, following which the positioning of a suction chamber 7 begins with the use of turning segments of a mobile ball belt 8 in an effort to attain coaxiality and parallelism of a backup ring 9 with respect to the coaming-platform 10. In doing so, TV cameras 12 of an optic-television system for external observation are placed in the operating condition of automated guidance and boarding of the RSA 1, said condition being determined by a selected scheme for arranging the TV cameras 12 and also by a TV image processing scheme.
The TV cameras 12 with their visual angle under water being in the region of 45 degrees are oriented in the direction of the coaming-platform 10. To illuminate each TV camera 12, use is made of an illuminant providing a required intensity of the light beam to ensure a long-range detection of an injured object (submarine) 11. Said illuminant may be combined comprising, for example, two halogen-filled or four LED light sources (in an underwater embodiment), which are arranged at a distance of no less 2 m from the camera. Using an image received from the TV camera 12, there is determined a spatial position of the coaming-platform 10 of an injured object 11 approach to which is performed while hovering at a height of 1 -1.5 m.
At such a 'distance the TV cameras 12 may capture with a visual field a hatch on the coaming-platform 10 and ensure measurement of an angle of inclination of the coaming-platform 10 with respect to the plane of installing each stereopair. Angles of inclination of a backup ring 9 with respect to the plane of installing each stereopair are determined using a TV image of light markers 14.
A device for processing a TV image 15, which is used to compare signals from stereopairs, makes possible a programmed calculation of
parameters for mutual disposition of the backup ring 9 and the coaming-platform 10, such as parallelism and angles of inclination. When the parameters to be measured are in agreement, the docking is possible. In so doing, the control system 6 generates an adequate control signal to be delivered to vertical and horizontal rudders of an ancillary system for maneuvering and dynamic positioning 5. As a result, the RSA 1 carries out the docking of a flange of the backup ring 9 Of the suction chamber 7 with the coaming-platform 10 of an injured object 11.
When the light markers 14 are used as passive light-returning elements, namely reflectors, whose brightness is substantially less than that of light-emitting diodes, those elements are arranged in at least a double amount of light-emitting diodes, in order to ensure a required accuracy of measurement.
When the light markers 14 are used as photoluminescent devices (labels), the latter are protected against an aqueous medium by means of a coating, whereas dimensions, quantity and scheme of arrangement are selected with due regard for a possibility to record their luminescence.
Functional check of an optic-television system under submerged conditions when simulating the process for docking the RSA 1 with an injured object (submarine) 11 has shown that with a sampling rate of the TV channel equal to 5 Hz, the accuracy of measuring linear characteristics makes up no less than 1 cm at a distance of 2 m, whereas that of measuring angular characteristics - no less than 2 degrees. Furthermore, it is possible to record and take into account as noises linear and angular velocities of extraneous objects falling within the view of TV receivers even with their 5 % contrast. In so doing, the accuracy of measuring these velocities amounts to 5 rnm/s and 0.1 degree of circle per second,
respectively, thereby increasing noise immunity of an automated control of the submarine maneuvering.
Processing of TV signals may be carried out by any known method applicable for handling goals to be sought. A specific selection of circuits for switching TV cameras to produce long-range detection stereopairs and of illuminants to be used may be performed on the basis of specific conditions and duration of works, power resources of a submersible apparatus and also an applicable hardware-software for the signal processing.
1. A rescue submersible apparatus (1) comprising a hull (2; 3)
incorporating a motion control system (6), a suction chamber (7)
with a backup ring (9) arranged on the hull (2) of the rescue
submersible apparatus (1), an ancillary system for maneuvering and
dynamic positioning (5), an external lighting system with illuminating
members (13), an optic-television system for outer observation (12),
said system being optically linked with the latter system, and a
device for displaying TV information (15), characterized in that said
suction chamber (7) is selected from a chamber the body of which
incorporates a mobile ball belt (8), said optic-television system for
outer observation is embodied in the form of a set of TV cameras
(12) installed to ensure a long-range detection of an injured object
(11) and arranged on the hull of the rescue submersible apparatus
(1) around the suction chamber (7) with the possibility to observe
the backup ring (9) to form multi-aspect angle stereopairs, said
external lighting system is provided with light markers (14) arranged
on the backup ring (9) of the suction chamber (7), said device for
displaying TV information (15) is made computerized and connected
through said motion control system (6) with said ancillary system for
maneuvering and dynamic positioning (5).
2. A submersible apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein a mobile
ball belt (8) is segmented to ensure the relative displacement of
3. A submersible apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein
illuminating members (13) are selected from halogen-filled lamps or
4. A submersible apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein light markers (14) are selected from passive light reflectors or photoluminescent devices.
5. A submersible apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein light markers (14) are selected from light-emitting diodes with autonomous electric power supply.
6. A submersible apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least part of light markers (14) is arranged on the backup ring (9) of the suction chamber (7) equidistantly round the periphery of said ring.
|Indian Patent Application Number||2114/DELNP/2007|
|PG Journal Number||02/2012|
|Date of Filing||19-Mar-2007|
|Name of Patentee||FEDERALNOE GOSUDARSTVENNOE UNITARNOE PREDPRIYATIE SANKT-PETERBURGSKOEMORSKOE BYURO MASHINOSTROENIYA MALAKHIT|
|Applicant Address||UL. FRUNZE, 18, ST.PETERSBURG, 196135, RUSSIA|
|PCT International Classification Number||B63G 8/00|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/RU2005/000041|
|PCT International Filing date||2005-02-07|