US 9,809,942 B2
On-board re-inflatable containment boom and control system
Michael T. Miller, Covington, LA (US); and Terry Hall, Metairie, LA (US)
Filed by Michael T. Miller, Covington, LA (US); and Terry Hall, Metairie, LA (US)
Filed on Aug. 12, 2016, as Appl. No. 15/235,306.
Application 15/235,306 is a continuation of application No. 14/730,778, filed on Jun. 4, 2015, granted, now 9,487,926.
Application 14/730,778 is a continuation in part of application No. 12/902,282, filed on Oct. 12, 2010, granted, now 9,206,575, issued on Dec. 8, 2015.
Prior Publication US 2016/0348328 A1, Dec. 1, 2016
Int. Cl. E02B 15/06 (2006.01); E02B 15/08 (2006.01); E02B 15/04 (2006.01); G05D 16/20 (2006.01)
CPC E02B 15/0871 (2013.01) [E02B 15/047 (2013.01); E02B 15/06 (2013.01); E02B 15/0807 (2013.01); E02B 15/0814 (2013.01); E02B 15/0828 (2013.01); E02B 15/0842 (2013.01); E02B 15/0864 (2013.01); G05D 16/2026 (2013.01)] 6 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A control system to coordinate operator-controlled speed of deployment and recovery of an on-board re-inflatable spool-wound containment boom having a plurality of linearly arranged inflatable and deflatable float sections with air chambers, which are configured to have automatically controlled inflation and deflation, the control system comprising:
a control manifold adapted to monitor and control sensors, valves, spool motor, compressed air source, and vacuum source;
a control display adapted to provide information to and accept commands from an operator;
a control manifold antenna and a control display antenna for data communication between said control manifold and said control display;
where said control manifold continually senses a rate at which the on-board re-inflatable containment boom is being deployed or recovered;
where said control manifold continually senses positive air pressure at intermediate points between the compressed air source and a pneumatic control pathway at a point at equal pressure with an incorporated air hose in the re-inflatable containment boom in the spool, and adjusts the air pressure at said intermediate points by controlling valves regulating positive air pressure and flow in a stepping-down high-to-low pressure sequence, wherein the air hose is maintained at a predetermined positive air pressure while the air hose and the containment boom are wound on the spool before deployment of the boom, thereby allowing inflating a first off air chamber of the containment boom and then remainder of the containment boom air chambers sequentially as the containment boom is unwound from the spool;
where said control manifold continually senses the air pressure in the pneumatic control pathway at a point at equal pressure with the incorporated air hose in the re-inflatable containment boom in the spool, and adjusts the air pressure by controlling the valves regulating positive air pressure and a valve regulating vacuum and pressure release, in order to provide adequate positive or negative pressure and flow for deployment or recovery while avoiding overpressure conditions by releasing excess pressure or applying a vacuum;
where said control manifold monitors and adjusts the direction and speed of the spool motor according to operator commands, and monitors and adjusts the positive or negative pressure applied by the pneumatic control pathway to the incorporated air hose in the re-inflatable containment boom in the spool, adapting to changing circumstances of atmospheric pressure, air and water temperatures and turbulence, speed of deployment or recovery, and size of boom, and provides updated optimal positive and negative pneumatic pressures to facilitate operation without damage to the boom and without premature or delayed inflation or deflation; and
wherein said re-inflatable containment boom and is capable of being spooled when deflated, and floats with the proper orientation of boom upper and lower portions when inflated, wherein the incorporated air hose extends along an entire length of the boom and is connected to all filling valves and all emptying valves of individual float sections of the re-inflatable boom, with an interior of the air hose being maintained at a pre-determined positive air pressure while the boom and the air hose are wound on the spool before deployment of the boom; and wherein a containment skirt is formed by the lower portion of the boom below the air hose and below said inflatable float sections.