BUOYANCY SYSTEMS
 Inventors: Egmont S. Smith, McQueeny; Earl N.
Doyle; Kenneth E. Baughman, both of
Houston, all of Tex.
 Assignee: B & B Insulation, Inc., Houston, Tex.
 Appl. No.: 725,098
 Filed: Sep. 20,1976
 Int.C1.2 B636 8/00
 U.S. CI 114/331; 9/8 R;
 Field of Search 9/8 R, 9; 114/245, 16 R,
114/16 E, 267, 234, 50, 54; 61/112, 113, 114
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
3,179,962 4/1965 Shear 9/8 R
3,566,609 3/1971 Smith 61/112
3,620,028 11/1971 Wilde 61/112
3,727,417 4/1973 Shaw 61/112
3,794,965 2/1974 Charske 114/16 E
3,961,389 6/1976 Dovell 9/8 R
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS 1,407,979 10/1975 United Kingdom 114/16 E
A buoyancy system is disclosed for use in controlling the descent and ascent of an object, such as a pipe line being laid offshore. The system includes a plurality of inflatable, collapsible, submersible buoys which may be remotely controlled by air or other inflating mediums. As each of the buoys, and thus the load connected thereto, is lowered or raised in a body of water the pressure inside the buoys is controlled by a valve which is responsive to the hydro-static pressure in the body of water or the volume of the buoy to maintain a relatively small pressure differential between the pressure inside the buoy and the hydro-static pressure at all depths of submersion whether the amount of buoyancy provided by the buoys is to be positive, negative, or neutral. Also disclosed are a plurality of systems utilizing the submersible buoys of this invention for laying pipe line and other objects on or near the sea bottom.
28 Claims, 21 Drawing Figures