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Method and apparatus for advancing tethers

United States Patent

5,758,731
June 2, 1998
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
A tether puller for advancing a tether through a channel may include a bellows assembly having a leading end fixedly attached to the tether at a first position and a trailing end fixedly attached to the tether at a second position so that the leading and trailing ends of the bellows assembly are located a substantially fixed distance apart. The bellows assembly includes a plurality of independently inflatable elements each of which may be separately inflated to an extended position and deflated to a retracted position. Each of the independently inflatable elements expands radially and axially upon inflation. An inflation system connected to the independently inflatable elements inflates and deflates selected ones of the independently inflatable elements to cause the bellows assembly to apply a tractive force to the tether and advance it in the channel.
Zollinger; W. Thor (Idaho Falls, ID)
Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company (Idaho Falls, ID)
08/ 613,563
March 11, 1996
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION The United States Government has rights in this invention disclosed under contract number DE-AC07-84ID12435 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Westinghouse Idaho Nuclear Company, now contract number DE-AC07-94ID13223 with Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company.