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1. WO2004063001 - PLATE-FORME D'INSTRUMENTS, APPAREIL ET KIT

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

CLAIMS :

1. An instrument platform having a transport
configuration and being reconfigurable to a landing configuration by deployment of a support arrangement for orienting the platform in a preferred orientation.

2. An instrument platform according to claim 1 wherein the platform is for deployment in water and the support arrangement is arranged for deployment after the platform enters the water.

3. An instrument platform according to claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the platform is for deployment on the seabed.

4. An instrument platform according to any one of claims 1 to 4 wherein said preferred orientation of the platform is upright, with the support arrangement being disposed at the lower end of the platform in the landing configuration, the centre of gravity of the platform being disposed above the support arrangement .

5. An instrument platform according to claim 4 wherein, in the landing configuration, the support arrangement has at least three support points, at least two and
preferably three of said support points being laterally disposed around the intersection point of a plane
containing the three support points and the upright direction containing the centre of gravity of the
platform.

6. An instrument platform according to claim 5 wherein the linear footprint of the platform is at least equal to the distance between the centre of gravity of the
platform and the intersection point .

7. An instrument platform according to claim 5 or claim 6 wherein the support arrangement includes at least three support feet, a support point being located on each foot, wherein the support feet are pivotable with respect to a main body of the platform from the transport
configuration to the landing configuration.

8. An instrument platform according to claim 7 wherein, in the transport configuration, the feet are located close to each other, the outer surfaces of the feet
cooperating to form a tapering shape at a lower extremity of the platform.

9. An instrument platform according to claim 7 or claim 8 wherein, in the transport configuration, the legs are surrounded by one or more covers that are breakable from the platform on reconfiguration of the platform from the transport to landing configurations.

10. An instrument platform according to any one of
claims 1 to 9 wherein the platform includes an actuator for driving the reconfiguration of the platform between the transport configuration and the landing configuration.

11. An instrument platform according to claim 10 wherein the actuator is arranged to operate automatically due to immersion in water.

12. An instrument platform according to claim 11 wherein the actuator is arranged to operate in response to water pressure, the actuator having a threshold pressure above which it is operable, that threshold pressure
substantially corresponding to the hydrostatic pressure at a predetermined depth in water.

13. An apparatus which is a combination of an instrument or instrument package with an instrument platform
according to any one of claims 1 to 12.

1 . An apparatus according to claim 13 wherein the instrument or instrument package has net positive
buoyancy in water but the overall apparatus has negative buoyancy.

15. An apparatus according to claim 13 or claim 14 wherein the instrument or instrument package is
automatically detachable from the instrument platform to allow the instrument or instrument package to float up to the water surface.

16. An apparatus according to any one of claims 13 to 15 wherein the instrument or instrument package includes communications means via which data collected by the instrument may be transmitted to a remote location.

17. An apparatus according to any one of claims 13 to 16 wherein the instrument package provides an acoustic beacon.

18. A device adapted for immersion in water, the device including an actuator containing a compressible volume, compression of the volume providing a force for operating at least a part of the device, the actuator having a threshold pressure above which it is operable, that threshold pressure substantially corresponding to the hydrostatic pressure at a predetermined depth in water.

19. A device according to claim 18 wherein the force provided by the actuator is used to provide movement of one part of the device with respect to another to
reconfigure the device from a deployment configuration to another configuration.

20. A device according to claim 18 wherein the force provided by the actuator is used to store potential energy within the device .

21. A device according to any one of claims 18 to 20 wherein the actuator includes a cylinder along the axis of which a piston is moveable, the piston forming a sealing engagement with an internal surface of the cylinder.

22. A device according to claim 21 wherein the actuator has an inlet for water, arranged to allow ambient water pressure to act on a first surface of the piston.

23. A device according to claim 21 or claim 22 wherein the actuator has an outlet in fluid communication with the interior of the cylinder, the outlet being controlled by a valve .

24. Use, in an oceanographic apparatus, of a device according to any one of claims 18 to 23.

25. A kit including:
an instrument platform according to any one of
claims 1 to 12;
an apparatus according to any one of claims 13 to 17; or
a device according to any one of claims 18 to 23, and deployment means for containing and deploying the instrument platform, device or apparatus .

26. A kit according to claim 25 wherein the deployment means includes a parachute for slowing descent of the instrument platform, device or apparatus through the atmosphere before the instrument platform, device or apparatus enters water.