They Invented What? (No. 231)
U.S. Patent No. 6,206,000: Canine scuba diving apparatus.
1. An underwater self-contained breathing apparatus for use by a canine, comprising:
a transparent rigid helmet having a skirted opening for the wearer’s neck, the helmet being sufficiently large to avoid contact with the face or nose of the canine user;
a regulator for supplying a breathable gas attached to the helmet;
a means of adjusting a position of a demand valve in the regulator to pressurize the helmet at no less than ambient pressure;
a harness attached to the helmet;
means for fastening the harness around the wearer’s torso; and
one or more pockets in the harness for receiving ballast weights.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 where the means for adjusting the position of the demand valve is a thumbscrew covered by a protective shroud.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 where the helmet further includes a means for receiving and securing an adjustable ballast weight inside the helmet, to compensate for moments created by the helmet about the canine user’s center of gravity.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising two exhaust hoses each attached at its proximal end to a lower side of the helmet, and a length to diameter ratio of each hose is approximately eighteen to twenty.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein the distal ends of the hoses are connected to two openings of a tee having an inlet diameter substantially the same as that of either hose, and an exhaust opening larger than either inlet.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the harness further includes a base for receiving a tank of breathable gas and straps for securing the tank to the harness.
7. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a muffler connected at a first end to an outlet of the regulator and at a second end to the interior of the helmet.
8. An underwater self-contained breathing apparatus for a canine comprising:
a transparent, rigid spherical helmet with a sealable opening surrounding the neck of a canine user, an of a sufficient size to avoid contact with the head or nose of the canine user;
a pressure reducing valve mounted on the outside of the helmet and having an inlet and an outlet, the outlet communicating through a muffler to the interior of the helmet;
a source of air communicating with the inlet of the pressure reducing valve;
a harness attached to the helmet and having straps and buckles for securing the harness to the torso of a canine user;
at least one pocket on the harness for receiving weight to compensate for the buoyancy of a canine user resulting from forces acting through the center of buoyancy of the canine user;
a ballast weight removably attached to the inside bottom surface of the helmet to compensate for any net moment about a center of buoyancy of the canine user resulting from forces acting other than through the center of buoyancy of the canine user;
a speaker and a microphone mounted inside the helmet;
an electrical connection from the speaker and microphone to a water-proof connector exterior to the helmet for connection to an intercom system;
a battery mounted inside the helmet to provide electrical power to the speaker and microphone; and
a magnetically-operated switch to connect the power supply to the speaker and microphone.