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Title:
ELONGATION AND HEAT INDICATING SYNTHETIC FIBRE ROPE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/230171
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A non-steel strength membered high strength cable easily monitored for heat and elongation is provided comprising a length of a core-cable (10), the length of core-cable (10) comprising at least two fiber-optic conductors (2) that are: (i) disposed in a helical shape; and (ii)completely encased in a solid, flexible material. One of the fiber-optic conductors capable of transmitting at least Raman backscattering and the other capable of transmitting at least Brillouin scattering. The combination of the cable and an interrogator that can read andinterpret Raman backscattering coupled to and communicating with the fiber optic conductors that is capable of transmitting at least Raman backscattering; and another interrogator that can read and interpret Brillouin scattering coupled to and communicatingwith the fiber optic conductors that is capable of transmitting at least Brillouin scattering. Aprocess for ascertaining the elongation of the cable, without using loose tube fiber-opticplacement.

Inventors:
ERLENDSSON HJORTUR (IS)
MAGNUSSON JON ATLI (IS)
Application Number:
PCT/IS2020/050015
Publication Date:
November 19, 2020
Filing Date:
May 12, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
HAMPIDJAN HF (IS)
International Classes:
G01L5/105; D07B1/14; H01B7/18; H01B7/32; H01B9/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2009142766A22009-11-26
WO2017149553A12017-09-08
Foreign References:
US20030154802A12003-08-21
GB2567406A2019-04-17
US9958299B22018-05-01
US20020121388A12002-09-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ARNASON FAKTOR (IS)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A high strength cable capable of being monitored for heat and elongation, the cable comprising a length of a core-cable (10) and a hollow braided strength member comprising synthetic fibers, the length of core-cable (10) comprising at least two fiber-optic conductors (2) that each are: (i) disposed in a helix shape; and (ii) completely encased in a solid, flexible thermoplastic material; one of the fiber-optic conductors capable of transmitting at least Raman backscattering wavelengths, and the other fiber-optic conductor capable of transmitting at least Brillouin scattering wavelengths.

2. The combination of the cable of claim 1 and an interrogator that can read and interpret Raman backscattering coupled to and communicating with the fiber optic conductor that is capable of transmitting at least Raman backscattering; and another interrogator that can read and interpret Brillouin scattering coupled to and communicating with the fiber optic conductor that is capable of transmitting at least Brillouin scattering.

3. The cable of claims 1 and 2 wherein the fiber-optic conductors disposed in a helix shape are encased within the solid, flexible thermoplastic material by being sandwiched and/or enclosed between: (a) a solid, flexible material layer comprising the surface of the core (1 ); and (b) a solid, flexible material layer comprising a layer (3) that is exterior the surface of core (1 ).

4. The cable of claims 1 and 2 wherein the solid, flexible thermoplastic material layer comprising the surface of the core (1 ) and the solid, flexible thermoplastic material layer comprising the layer (3) that is exterior the surface of core (1 ) are permanently bonded to one another.

5. The cable of claims 1 and 2 wherein the solid, flexible thermoplastic material layer comprising the surface of the core (1 ) and the solid, flexible thermoplastic material layer comprising the layer (3) that is exterior the surface of core (1 ) each comprise an identical substance and are permanently bonded to one another.

6. The cable of claims 1 and 2 wherein: (i) the solid, flexible thermoplastic material layer comprising the surface of the core (1 ); (ii) the solid, flexible thermoplastic material layer comprising the layer (3) that is exterior the surface of core (1 ); and (iii) an exterior most layer (45) comprising each of the fiber-optical conductors are permanently bonded to one another.

7. The cable of claims 1 and 2 wherein: (i) the solid, flexible thermoplastic material layer comprising the surface of the core (1 ); (ii) the solid, flexible thermoplastic material layer comprising the layer (3) that is exterior the surface of core (1 ); and (iii) an exterior most layer (45) comprising at least one fiber-optical conductor each comprise an identical substance and are permanently bonded to one another.

8. The cable of any one of the above claims where each fiber-optic conductor is entirely encased within the solid, flexible material forming the surface of core (1 ) and the solid, flexible material forming the layer (3), and no fiber-optic conductor’s exterior directly contacts any other fiber-optic conductor’s exterior at any point along said length of core-cable (10).

9. A process for ascertaining the elongation of a load-bearing cable without using a loose tube fiber-optic construction, the process comprising steps of: a) disposing a Raman backscattering wavelength transmission capable fiber-optic conductor in a helix form and firmly affixed to a core interior the cable in combination with a distinct other fiber-optic conductor capable of being used to transmit Brillouin scattering wavelengths and where the distinct other fiber-optic conductor also is disposed in a helix form and also is firmly affixed to the core interior the cable, both fiber-optic conductors being completely encased in a solid, flexible thermoplastic material each in its helix shape and each firmly affixed to and within the core, the core comprising solid, flexible thermoplastic material; b) using heat values obtained by interpretation of Raman backscattering readings from Raman backscattering wavelengths transmitted along the fiber-optic conductor capable of transmitting Raman backscattering wavelengths in combination with data obtained from Brillouin scattering readings from Brillouin scattering readings transmitted along the fiber optic conductor capable of transmitting Brillouin scattering wavelengths in order to permit calculating elongation of the optical fiber transmitting the Brillouin scattering wavelengths; and, c) then, by mathematical calculation taking into account the helical shape of the fiber optic conductor transmitting the Brillouin scattering wavelengths, to calculate the elongation in a monitored region of the cable of the helical structure formed by the fiber-optic conductor transmitting the Brillouin scattering wavelengths, and thereby ascertain elongation of the cable in the monitored region of the cable.

10. The process of claim 9 further comprising ascertaining the load on the cable by correlating the elongation value obtained for the cable with a data base that correlates percentage elongation values for a particular cable construction to various tensile loads on the particular cable construction.

Description:
ELONGATION AND HEAT INDICATING SYNTHETIC FIBRE ROPE

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates generally to the technical field of cables and especially to cables having a strength member made from a class of synthetic fibers known as superfibers. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to synthetic superfiber formed strength membered cables that are designed to be lighter in weight in comparison to steel wire rope and to bear tension loads while being capable of being wound upon drums and winches and passed over sheaves and additionally to transmit data signals and optionally electricity.

BACKGROUND ART

Cables having strength members formed from superfibers possess an advantage over traditional steel wire rope cables in that superfiber strength members store significantly less kinetic energy compared to steel wire cables and thus are less dangerous when they unexpectedly rupture. Conversely, steel wire rope cables act as springs that store energy and thus, when experiencing an unexpected rupture of the steel wire cable, recoil with tremendous stored energy that sometimes can kill and maims crew and other persons in the vicinity of the cable, as well as destroys equipment.

Thus, it is important to replace steel wire rope cables with cables that employ superfibers for their strength members.

Other advantages of cables employing super fibers for their strength members in

comparison to wire rope is that superfiber strength membered cables do not rust and have a far lighter weight in both air as well as water compared to steel wire rope. The lower weights require less bulky and less costly equipment and facility structures, and the lack of rust can lead to greater life and greater safety of operation.

However, a main problem limiting the use of superfiber strength membered cables in substitution of steel wire rope cables is that superfiber strength membered ropes are more prone to experience a catastrophic failure due to undetected permanent elongation in a specific region of the rope that goes undetected, as such ropes when used in dynamic applications must be sheathed, and thus are more difficult to inspect. Also, as they do not rust, it is difficult to determine their remaining lifespan. Unless it is possible to monitor the temperature internal the cable as well as the elongation (elongation also is known as“strain” in the industry) of the superfiber strength membered rope and/or cable, it is impossible to accurately predict catastrophic failure of a synthetic strength membered cable. As mentioned supra, such failure could cause loss of life and limb, as well as equipment damage.

The above described problems have limited the adoption into industry of superfiber strength membered cables in substitution of steel cables. This is a problem as crew continue to be killed and injured by steel wire cables when synthetic strength membered cables are not used.

Thus, due to the safety advantages and also due to economic advantages of superfiber strength membered cables in comparison to steel cables it can readily be appreciated that a long-felt need exists in industry for a cable that permits constantly monitoring the

temperature internal the cable as well as the elongation and/or creep of the cable.

Some attempted solutions to these problems include forming cables having magnets located within a core internal a synthetic strength member. The concept includes using the magnets to monitor both heat as well as elongation. A main problem with this concept is that the monitoring can only be done to a portion of the cable where is situated sensory equipment, rather than to any length along the entire cable. As it is not feasible to always use ROVs that have sensor equipment to constantly monitor a long length of cable that can be thousands of meters submerged or that is in a constantly moving crane rope environment, such solutions are not widely adopted.

It is the knowledge of those skilled in the industry including the manufacturers of optical fibers whom we have worked with that in order to utilize optical fibers to monitor an objects elongation or strain or heat, that at least two optical fibers are needed, where one optical fiber is encased within the object in firm contact with the object, and where another optical fiber is in a“loose tube” configuration, which means that optical fiber is loose in a tube and the tube is encased within the object. The concept is that because the optical fiber that is loose in the tube is not subject to any elongation and/or strain and/or stress, that it is possible to accurately use such optical fiber to determine elongation of the encased fiber, using methods well known in the industry, including using Brillouin scattering readings where such readings are compared and contrasted between the“loose tube” optical fiber and the optical fiber that is affixed to the object, such as in concrete structures, so as to determine the elongation of the affixed optical fiber and thus of that structure it is affixed to. The knowledge and trend in the industry is to maintain the optical fibers as straight as possible when monitoring elongation. Some attempts to monitor synthetic strength membered cables elongations by using optical fibers inside the cables have been tried, but all these have failed. (“Loose tube” configuration for purposes of the present disclosure includes any construction where the optical fiber conductor is free to slide relative to surrounding objects such other components of a structure that is not forming the optical fiber conductor, e.g. not the buffer layer sheathing the optical fiber or any insulation formed integral with the optical fiber conductor; furthermore,“loose tube” configuration includes any construction where the optical fiber conductor, including its buffer and/or insultation formed integral with the optical fiber conductor, is able to slide relative to its immediately surrounding objects such as, in the case of a cable or rope, fibers or strands or the core of the cable or rope, or even other optical fiber conductors within the cable or rope)

Applicant’s prior International Publication number WO 2009/142766 A2 proposes a non-steel tension bearing data signal and energy cable capable of tolerating very high loads.

Unfortunately, while these disclosures met with some acceptance with respect especially to the metallic filament formed conductors included in this disclosure’s headline sonar cables, attempts to include optical fiber / fiber optic conductors according to these teachings failed as those optical fiber conductors broke upon initial use of the cable.

In attempt to further improve the survivability of any optical fibers included in the cables formed by disclosures of our above-mentioned publication, several years after our initial publication referenced above we proposed further and subsequent teachings embodied in a subsequent application of ours having International Publication number WO 2017/149553 A1 . While these teachings have markedly improved the signal resolution of metallic conductors used with headline sonar cables of these teachings, attempts to use optical fiber / fiber optic conductors with the headline sonar cables of these teachings also failed as those optical fiber conductors were also found to break upon initial use of the cables of these teachings.

Thus, it can be appreciated that a long-felt need continues to exist in the industry for a cable having as its primary purpose bearing high tension loads that permits remotely and automatically monitoring its elongation throughout the length of the cable and at any particular zone and/or length portion along the length of the cable.

Objects of the Present Disclosure

An object of the present disclosure is to provide a construction for a synthetic strength membered cable that is light weight in comparison to steel wire cable and is capable of tolerating typical crushing forces on drums, winches, sheaves and the like, where the cable permits monitoring in real time both the temperature internal the cable as well as the elongation throughout the length of the cable as well as at any particular zone and/or length portion along the length of the cable.

Another object of the present disclosure is to provide a construction for a synthetic strength membered cable that is light weight in comparison to steel wire cable and is capable of tolerating typical crushing forces on drums, winches, sheaves and the like, where the cable permits monitoring in real time both the temperature internal the cable as well as the elongation of the cable, where the cable includes optical fibers that are protected from the crushing forces found on drums, winches and sheaves and also have synthetic strength members, and that also optionally contains power conductors such as a coaxial cable internal the core of the cable.

It is another object of the present disclosure to teach a process for manufacturing a synthetic strength membered cable that is light weight in comparison to steel wire cable and is capable of tolerating typical crushing forces on drums, winches, sheaves and the like, where the cable permits monitoring in real time both the temperature internal the cable as well as the elongation of the cable, as well as the load on the cable, where the cable includes optical fibers and also optionally contains power conductors such as a coaxial cable internal the core of the cable.

It is yet another object of the present disclosure to teach a method for determining both the temperature within as well as any elongation and/or creep exhibited by a synthetic strength membered cable as well as the load on the cable, where the cable includes optical fibers that are protected from the crushing forces found on drums, winches and sheaves, and that also optionally contains power conductors such as a coaxial cable internal the core of the cable.

It is yet another object of the present disclosure is to provide a synthetic fiber strength membered data transmission cable capable of being wound on a winch under tensions and surging shocks experienced by a fishing trawler that remains unimpaired throughout a commercially practical interval of at least 24 calendar months from a date of first use, and more especially, that has a higher signal resolution and/or signal quality transmittable via fiber-optic fibers contained in the data transmission cable in comparison to applicant’s prior taught non-steel data transmission cables taught in WO 2009/142766 A2 and in WO

2017/149553 A1 , and in particular has a sufficiently high quality data signal transmission and resolution so as to permit use of equipment that is capable of discerning between different fish species, juvenile and undersized fish.

It is yet another object of the present disclosure is to provide a synthetic fiber strength membered data transmission cable capable of being wound on a winch and remaining unimpaired under tensions and surging shocks experienced by, for example, fishing trawlers and seismic vessels, particularly those having displacements exceeding 100 tons and even exceeding 3000 tons.

It is yet another object of the present disclosure is to provide a synthetic fiber strength membered data transmission cable capable of being wound on a winch at a tension exceeding 100 kg that remains unimpaired throughout a commercially practical interval of at least 24 calendar months from a date of first use on trawlers or seismic vessels exceeding 200 tons displacement.

It is yet another object of the present invention is to provide a non-steel data transmission cable that does not kink when relaxed.

Another object of the present disclosure is to provide a cable that is capable of being wound on a winch under tensions, has a strength member formed preferably of synthetic fibers and is light in weight and low in recoil in comparison to steel wire cable, that has a high signal resolution and/or signal quality transmittable via fiber-optic fibers contained in the cable, is capable of being wound on winches and drums, and that also optionally contains power conductors such as a coaxial cable internal the core of the cable.

Disclosure:

The present invention is based upon the surprising and unexpected discovery that by completely encasing within a solid flexible material two distinct optical fiber conductors, where one of the optical fiber conductors is capable of transmitting at least Brillouin scattering wavelengths; and where the other of the optical fiber conductors is capable of transmitting at least Raman backscattering wavelengths, and where each of the two distinct optical fiber conductors are themselves formed into a helix, thereby comprising a double helix formed from the optical fibers where the double helix is completely encased in the solid flexible material, and where the optical fiber conductors do not contact one another, so as to form a core-cable created by the combination of: (i) the two optical fiber conductors where each of the optical fiber conductors defines a helix (and preferably together define a double helix); and (ii) the solid flexible material within which is completely encased the optical fiber conductors each disposed in a helix (and preferably together defining a double helix), where the same solid, flexible material completely encasing the fiber optical conductors also serves to support the internal diameter of the helix shape formed by each optical fiber conductor (preferably by the same solid flexible material forming a rod about which is situated each helically shaped optical fiber conductor, such rod preferably having an oval cross sectional shape when viewed in a plan lying perpendicular to the long axis of the rod, but also usefully having an oval or elliptical shape), and using the core-cable as a supportive core for a (preferably hollow braided) strength member formed of polymeric material and preferably formed of superfibers that are formed in a hollow braid construction about the core-cable, and, preferably where the core cable supports the natural internal cavity shape of the strength member under a tension that, for example, is a tension similar to or same as the working load of the cable, that, surprisingly and contrary to the knowledge of those skilled in the industry, both the temperature as well as the elongation of the cable can reliably be determined and monitored, and that, surprisingly, resolution of information and/or data signals transmitted through one or both of the optical fiber is of a much higher quality than that obtained from known constructions of cables designed to primarily both bear high tension loads as well as to transmit data signals. Furthermore, by cross referencing the monitored values of temperature obtained by reading with an interrogator wavelengths transmitted along the Raman backscattering transmitting optical fiber with wavelengths read by an interrogator that are wavelengths transmitting along the Brillouin scattering

transmitting optical fiber, the heat and the elongation of the optical fibers and/or of predetermined regions of the optical fibers can be determined. Once the elongation of an optical fiber has been determined, then, by accounting for the helical structure of the optical fiber, including the pitch of the helical structure and the internal diameter of the helical structure, then the elongation of the cable containing the helical structure is able to be determined, thus allowing determination of whether or not the cable’s elongation at a specific load is within acceptable parameters or not, the load being monitored by load cells associated with the winch, drum or other equipment deploying the cable, and if the cable’s elongation is not within acceptable parameters, the cable can be discontinued prior to a catastrophic rupture.

Furthermore, the present invention is based upon the surprising and unexpected discovery that by suspending within a solid flexible material a minimum of two distinct optical fiber conductors, where at least one of the optical fiber conductors is capable of transmitting Brillouin scattering wavelengths; and where at least another of the optical fiber conductors is capable of transmitting Raman backscattering wavelengths, and where each of the at least two distinct optical fiber conductors are themselves formed into a helix, thereby comprising at helix that is at least a double helix from the optical fibers, where the helix that is at least a double helix is completely encased in a solid flexible material, so as to form a core-cable created by the combination of (i) the minimum of two optical fiber conductors where each optical fiber conductor defines a helix; and (ii) the solid flexible material within which is suspended (and completely encased) the optical fiber conductors each disposed in a helix, and using the core-cable as a supportive core for a (preferably hollow braided) strength member formed of polymeric material and preferably formed of superfibers that are formed in a hollow braid construction about the core-cable, and, preferably where the core cable supports the natural internal cavity shape of the strength member under a tension that, for example, is a tension similar to or same as the working load of the cable, that both the temperature as well as the elongation of the cable can reliably be determined and monitored, and that, surprisingly, resolution of information and/or data signals transmitted through one or both of the optical fiber is of a much higher quality than that obtained from known constructions of cables designed to primarily both bear high tension loads as well as to transmit data signals.

The present disclosure is further based upon the surprising and unexpected discovery that by enacting a production process for the high strength data transmission cable that includes a new step of providing additional fixation between a core comprising thermoplastic material and the fiber-optic conductor(s) that helix about the core, where such additional fixation is additional to any fixation obtained from the fact that the fiber-optic conductor(s) are connected to the core by being situated in helix fashion about the core, and that by providing this additional fixation prior to situating thermoplastic material around the combination of the fiber-optic conductor(s) and the core about which they helix so as to encase the fiber-optic conductor(s) within thermoplastic material and/or between the core and thermoplastic material; and subsequently forming at least a strength member jacket layer of polymeric material about the encased fiber-optic conductor(s) helixing about the core, that a high strength data transmission cable having a very high quality of signal is obtained, thus satisfying a need long felt in the industry.

Preferably, the core about which the fiber-optic conductors helix is formed of thermoplastic material, and at least has its outermost layer formed of thermoplastic material, while also preferably the thermoplastic material situated about the combination of the core and the fiber-optic conductors helixing about the core, is a thermoplastic material that forms a very strong bond with the thermoplastic material forming the core and at least with the

thermoplastic material forming the outermost layer of the core, e.g. forming the layer of the core that the helixing fiber-optic conductors contact. Ideally and preferably, the bond formed is an inseparable bond. For example, the bond ideally is so strong that the thermoplastic material that is situated about the combination of the core and the fiber-optic conductors helixing about the core cannot, in a solid phase, be separated from the thermoplastic material forming the core. Yet more preferably, the thermoplastic material situated about the combination of the core and the fiber-optic conductors helixing about the core, is a thermoplastic material that forms a very strong bond, and preferably an inseparable bond, with both (i) the thermoplastic material forming the core and at least and especially with thermoplastic material forming the outermost layer of the core; and (ii) the fiber-optic conductors and/or with the outermost layer and/or exterior of the fiber-optic conductors, such as any buffer material, insulative material other material forming the outermost layer and/or exterior layer of the fiber-optic conductors.

Thus, in one aspect the invention sets forth a high strength data transmission cable having a strength member and a core, the high strength data transmission cable comprising a length of a core-cable comprising said core as well as comprising at least one fiber-optic conductor that is disposed in a helical shape; and completely encased in a solid, flexible material.

Thus, generally the at least one fiber-optic cable disposed in a helical shape is disposed as a helix around the core.

In an embodiment the high strength data transmission cable is encased within the solid, flexible material by being sandwiched and/or enclosed between: (a) a solid, flexible material layer comprising at least the surface of the core and in some embodiments the whole core from the center to its surface; and (b) a solid, flexible material layer comprising a layer that is exterior the surface of core.

The solid, flexible material layer comprising the surface of the core (or the entire core) and the solid, flexible material layer comprising the layer that is exterior the surface of core preferably are permanently bonded to one another. Thus, in some embodiments the strength of the bonding is substantially similar or higher than the tearing strength of either or both materials.

In some embodiments the solid, flexible material layer comprising at least the surface of the core and the solid, flexible material layer comprising the layer that is exterior the surface of core each comprise an identical substance and are permanently bonded to one another, meaning that in some embodiments the layer comprising at least the surface of the core layer that is exterior the surface of core are made from substantially the same or exactly the same material.

In an embodiment of the high strength data transmission cable: (i) the solid, flexible material layer comprising at least the surface of the core; (ii) the solid, flexible material layer comprising the layer that is exterior the surface of core; and (iii) an exterior most layer comprising the fiber-optical conductor are permanently bonded to one another. In some embodiments these three layers each comprise an identical substance and are permanently bonded to one another, meaning that they are in some embodiments made from substantially the same or identical material. In embodiments comprising said three layers these are preferably all bonded permanently one to another.

The solid flexible layer exterior the core (i.e. surrounding the fiber-optic cable) has a thickness measured from the exterior most edge of the fiber-optic conductor to the exterior surface of said layer which is preferably at minimum four times the diameter of the optical pipe (22, 22A) of the fiber-optic conductor, and preferably in a range from four times to two hundred times the diameter of the optical pipe of the fiber-optic conductor.

In preferably preferred embodiments of the invention, the high strength data transmission cable comprises a flow shield, where the combination of the flow shield and the exterior surface of the solid, flexible layer 3 surrounding the core and the optical fibers conform to the interior cavity wall of the surrounding strength member of the cable, the strength member preferably being a hollow braided strength member. In some embodiments of the high strength data transmission cable the interface between the solid, flexible layer 3 surrounding the core and the surface of the core has a form that is non-conforming to the interior cavity wall of the strength member. In some such embodiments the interface between the solid, flexible layer 3 surrounding the core and the surface of the core has a form lacking convex depressions, when viewed from exterior the core (e.g. outwardly from the core).

In some embodiments the high strength data transmission cable comprises multiple fiber optic conductors preferably each fiber-optic conductor is entirely encased within the solid, flexible material forming the surface of the core (or entire core) and the solid, flexible material forming the layer 3. Preferably no fiber-optic conductor’s exterior directly contacts any other fiber-optic conductor’s exterior at any point along the length of core-cable.

In another aspect, the invention sets forth a process for producing a high strength data transmission cable, the process comprising the steps of

(i) situating in spiraling helical fashion at least one fiber-optic conductor about a core comprising thermoplastic material that forms at least the surface of the core;

(ii) next; situating additional thermoplastic material about the combination of the core and the at least one fiber-optic conductor that is helically disposed about core, so as to entirely encase the fiber-optic conductor within thermoplastic material;

(iii) next, permitting the thermoplastic materials to set, thereby forming a core-cable (10);

(iv) next; forming a flow shield about the core-cable;

(v) next, forming a hollow braided strength member comprising synthetic material about the core-cable sheathed by the flow shield; followed by subjecting the resultant cable to tension, and to heat sufficient to permit permanent deformation of the thermoplastic material comprising layer 3 while not causing failure of the structural integrity of layer 3, while also to permit elongating and compacting said resultant cable and the strength member comprising said resultant cable;

(vi) next, determining that a desired amount of elongation and compaction of the resultant cable and the strength member comprising said resultant cable has been achieved, followed by cooling the resultant cable to a temperature where the thermoplastic material comprising layer 3 is incapable of being permanently deformed without causing failure of the structural integrity of layer 3, thereby permanently elongating and compacting the strength member as well as the resultant cable and causing the layer 3 in combination with the flow shield to conform to the interior cavity wall of the strength member. The process for producing the high strength data transmission cable is characterized by the steps of: a. providing a core, and preferably a core containing thermoplastic material and preferably having an exterior surface layer formed of thermoplastic material, and optionally containing any conductors and/or other elements within the core; b. situating at least one and up to several fiber-optic conductors in helix form about the exterior of the core; c. optionally, but most preferably, providing additional fixation between the core and the fiber-optic conductors that form a helix about the core; d. situating additional thermoplastic material about the combination of the core and the fiber optic conductors helixing about the core so as to encase the fiber-optic conductors between the core and the thermoplastic material; e. forming a flow shield about the combination of the core; the fiber-optic conductors helixing about the core; and the thermoplastic material situated around the combination of the core and the fiber-optic conductors helixing about the core; f. forming a preferably braided strength-member jacket layer of polymeric material about the flow shield and the items contained within it; g. situating in flowable state about the strength member jacket layer a settable elastic adhesive such as multicomponent blend polyurethane; and, h. forming a protective cover about the strength member jacket layer and the elastic adhesive substance, thus forming an improved high-strength light-weight crush-resistant high-data-resolution power-capable fiber cable of the present disclosure. Most preferably, the core’s thermoplastic material and the additional thermoplastic material are selected so that a bond formed by and between (a) a solid phase of the additional thermoplastic material; and, (b) a solid phase of the thermoplastic material forming the core and/or at least forming the exterior of the core, is so strong that the two thermoplastic materials cannot be separated. That is, they cannot be cleanly broken from one another, but any attempt to do so would result in an uneven break that fails to produce a structure having exclusively either the additional thermoplastic material and/or having exclusively the core without some portion of the additional thermoplastic material. The bond preferably is an inseparable bond. Yet more preferably, the additional thermoplastic material and the thermoplastic material of the core are the same thermoplastic material.

Yet even more preferably, the additional thermoplastic material forms a strong bond with the material forming the exterior layer of the fiber-optic conductors. Yet even more preferably, both the thermoplastic material forming the core and/or forming at least the exterior surface of the core; and the additional thermoplastic material, both form a strong bond with material forming the outermost layer of the fiber-optic conductors.

Next, and contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry for power and data capable crush resistant fiber cables formed with synthetic polymer strength members, e.g. applicant’s own prior art cables, and prior to the above disclosed production steps of:“g. situating in flowable state about the strength member jacket layer a settable elastic adhesive such as multicomponent blend polyurethane; and, h. forming a protective cover about the strength member jacket layer and the elastic adhesive substance”, the present disclosures cable formed by the above disclosed steps (a) through (f) and lacking the protective cover about the strength member jacket layer and the adhesive layer that adheres such cover to the strength member jacket layer can now be cold stretched. E.g. stretched at a temperature that is sufficiently low that it does not cause the thermoplastic material to become molten. Tensions between fifteen to eighty percent of the strength member jacket layer’s maximal tensile force are considered useful. Next, the cable can now be fitted with a protective cover, such as a braided sheath that is adhered to the strength member jacket layer with an elastic adhesive. Or, alternatively, and optionally, and also prior to the steps of:“g. situating in flowable state about the strength member jacket layer a settable elastic adhesive such as multicomponent blend polyurethane; and, h. forming a protective cover about the strength member jacket layer and the elastic adhesive substance”, further and subsequent steps include heat depth stretching the cable formed by the above disclosed steps (a) through (f) and lacking the protective cover about the strength member jacket layer and the adhesive layer that adheres such cover to the strength member jacket layer, as follows: (i). applying a first tension to the strength member jacket layer and thus by extension to all elements contained within the strength member jacket layer (the strength member jacket layer and all elements contained within it also optionally known herein as“the in-production cable”);

(ii). applying a heat to the present disclosures in-production cable, where such heat is selected so as to cause thermoplastic material within the present disclosures in-production cable to reach a molten, e.g. semi-liquid, phase. Optionally, and as experimentally determined desirable or not, and contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry, the heat may be selected and applied so as to cause only a portion of the core to reach a molten phase, especially so as to be sufficient to cause a portion of the core most proximal the exterior of the in-production cable to reach a molten phase while being insufficient to cause a portion of the core most proximal the longitudinal central axis of the in production cable to reach a molten phase. This can be accomplished by regulating both the temperature as well as the time duration of exposure to heat, such as is accomplished by pulling the in-production cable through an oven where the heat is being applied, regulating both the heat, the means of applying the heat, e.g. radiant heat with or without blown air or steam heat or other, as well as the speed of travel of the rope through the oven and the length of the oven, until a recipe and/or formula is experimentally arrived at for a particular in-production cable diameter and construction that permits making molten only those portions of the thermoplastic in the cable proximal the cables exterior while not making molting / being insufficient to cause to change to a molten phase those portions of thermoplastic in the cable that are proximal the longitudinal central axis of the cable. In this way, for example, the core 1 may remain solid, while the additional thermoplastic layer 3 may reach molten phase, during rope processing.

(iii). applying a tension to the strength member jacket layer of the in-production cable sufficient to elongate the hollow braided strength member jacket layer and structures contained within the hollow braided strength member jacket layer (such as the helix shape(s) formed by optical fiber(s)) a predetermined amount that is an amount that does not cause failure of the fiber-optic conductors and that also removes constructional elongation from the strength member jacket layer while also reducing its diameter and the diameter of the in production cable;

(iv). determining that a desired amount of elongation of, and preferably a predetermined amount of elongation of, at least, the strength member jacket layer, is reached;

(v). cooling the strength member jacket layer and elements contained within it, preferably while maintaining tension on the strength member jacket layer and thus also maintaining tension on elements contained within it, e.g. within the“in production cable”, until the thermoplastic material contained within the strength member jacket layer reaches a solid phase and also so that the combination of elements contained within the strength member jacket layer have been formed to a shape that conforms and adapts to the natural form of the walls formed by the interior cavity of the hollow braided strength member, and, preferably but optionally, also so that as a result the optical conductors contained within the cooled in production cable have experienced an amount of contraction and/or reduction of their length, by about zero point five percent, or less, but it can be more;

(vi). applying any further items or substance to the exterior surface of the strength member jacket layer, such as a flowable state of Polyurethane or other elastic adhesive substance; followed by

(vii), while the elastic adhesive substance is still in a flowable state (should such substance have been selected for use) forming a protective cover about the strength member jacket layer and the layer of elastic adhesive substance and/or other item(s) situated exterior the strength member jacket layer, thereby forming an Improved high-resolution synthetic fiber strength-membered data transmission cable of the present disclosure.

So formed, the high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure provides a much higher data signal quality and/or resolution in comparison to known high strength data transmission cables, thus permitting use of equipment presently in development but unable to be used with, for example, known data transmission cables, that permits identifying fish species and distinguishing between fish sizes, thereby permitting avoiding with the fishing gear non-target fish species and juvenile and undersize fish, thus improving the health of fisheries and the marine mammals and seabirds and fishing communities that depend upon them, accomplishing goals of the present disclosure.

Possessing the preceding advantages, the disclosed non-steel high strength data

transmission cable answers needs long felt in the industry.

These and other features, objects and advantages will be understood or apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment as illustrated in the various drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective plan view of a high strength data transmission cable in accordance with the present disclosure that reveals various layers included in one embodiment thereof; FIG. 1 A is a side plan view of the high strength data transmission cable of FIG. 1 , similarly revealing various layers thereof;

FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 show production step views for forming the core-cable 10 of the high strength data transmission cable in accordance with the present disclosure.

FIG. 3A is a cross sectional view taken along section line 3A of FIG. 3;

FIG. 4A is a cross sectional view taken along section line 4A of FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 shows a side plan view of the core-cable 10 of FIG. 4 of the high strength data transmission cable of FIG. 1 and FIG. 1 A where the helix shaped fiber-optic conductors 2; as well as the first strength member 8, that are completely encased in thermoplastic material 1 , 3, and thus also are completely encased in the core-cable 10, are shown in dashed lines, imitating an“X-ray view”.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken along section line 6 of FIG. 1 ;

FIG. 7 is a side plan view depicting the profile of the core-cable 10 after completion of heat and tension stretching steps of the high strength data transmission cable (such steps occurring prior to installation of the outer cover 7 and adhesive layer 6), where the strength member jacket layer 5 and the flow shield layer 4 have been removed from the drawing so as to permit viewing the core-cable 10, and where portions of the optical fiber conductors 2 encased within the core 10 are shown in dashed lines.

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view of the high strength data transmission cable of FIG. 1 and FIG. 1 A, also taken along section line 6 of FIG. 1 and FIG. 1 A, showing various layers of the high strength data transmission cable 20, where the assembled high strength data transmission cable was heat and tension stretched prior to installation of the adhesive layer 6 and final outer cover 7,.

FIG. 9 and FIG. 9A are a perspective plan view and a side plan view, respectively, of an alternative embodiment of the high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure, revealing various layers thereof, where a coaxial cable has been included within the core 1 and the core-cable 10.

FIG. 10 is a cross sectional view of the alternative high strength data transmission cable of FIG. 9 and FIG. 9A, taken along section line 10 of FIG. 9 and FIG. 9A, showing various layers of the final assembled high strength data transmission cable 20, where the assembled final high strength data transmission cable was heat and tension stretched prior to installation of the adhesive layer 6 and final outer cover 7. FIG. 1 1 is a side plan view of a high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure, showing various layers thereof, where a length of each fiber-optic conductor 2 has been torn out of the core-cable 10, causing disruption of the layer 3 as well as of the layer 1 , the material of both layer 1 and of layer 3 having adhered to the exterior

buffer/insulative layer of the fiber-optic conductors with an adherence force sufficient to cause at least portions of the material of the layer 1 to detach from other material of layer 1 and remain attached to portions of the buffer/insulative layer of the fiber-optic conductor 2 during and after tearing of a portion of the fiber-optic conductor 2 from the layer 3 and thus from the core-cable 10 (thereby also forming grooves into the core-cable 10 that used to be occupied by a combination of a length of fiber-optic conductor 2 as well as portions of material forming layer 1 and forming layer 3).

FIG. 12 is a cross section view of one type of fiber-optic conductor 2 useful by way of example in forming the high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure, as viewed in a plane lying perpendicular to the long axis of the fiber-optic conductor 2, and revealing various layers and features comprising the fiber-optic conductor 2: including the core 41 ; the cladding 43; and the buffer 45 (the buffer 45 also is known as the“buffer layer”, and/or as: the“coating”; or the“jacket”; or the“insulation). For purposes of the present disclosure, the combination of the core 41 and the cladding 43 contained in any fiber-optic conductor used in forming any embodiment of a high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure form a unit known as the“optical pipe”, indicated in FIG. 12 by reference numeral 22. For purposes of the present disclosure, the greatest width of any optical pipe used in any fiber-optic conductor used in forming the present disclosures high strength data transmission cable is herein known as the diameter of the optical pipe, and is derived by measuring the distance along an imaginary straight line spanning the cross section of the optical pipe at its greatest width, as indicated in FIG. 12 by imaginary straight line 33.

FIG. 13 is a cross section view of another type of fiber-optic conductor useful by way of example in forming the high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure, as viewed in a plane lying perpendicular to the long axis of the fiber-optic conductor, and revealing various layers and features of the fiber-optic conductor. The fiber-optical conductor of FIG. 13 comprises similar layers and features as does the fiber-optic conductor of FIG. 12, including: core 41 A; cladding 43A; and buffer 45 (the buffer 45 also is known as the“buffer layer”, and/or as: the“coating”; or the“jacket”; or the“insulation), except that the fiber-optic conductor 2 of FIG. 13 additionally comprises an additional cladding layer 47 that also is known as the“outer cladding” and/or as the“outer cladding layer”, therefore also cladding layer 43A also is optionally known as the“inner cladding” and/or“inner cladding layer”. For purposes of the present disclosure, the“optical pipe” of the fiber-optic conductor of FIG. 13 and of any fiber-optic conductor used in forming any high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure also is formed by the combination of the core and the cladding (which in the case of fiber-optic conductor of FIG. 13 includes the inner and outer cladding 43A and 47), as indicated by reference numeral 22A. For purposes of the present disclosure, the greatest width of any optical pipe used in any fiber-optic conductor used in forming the present disclosures high strength data transmission cable is herein known as the diameter of the optical pipe, and is derived by measuring the distance along an imaginary straight line spanning the cross section of the optical pipe at its greatest width, as indicated in FIG. 13 by imaginary straight line 33A.

FIG. 14 shows a perspective cross sectional view of an alternative core-cable of the present disclosure taken in a plane lying perpendicular to the long axis of the alternative core-cable.

FIG. 1 and FIG. 1 A show a high strength data transmission cable 20 of the present disclosure including: a core 1 comprising thermoplastic material, and coupled to a first strength member 8 (see also FIG. 2); at least one and preferably several fiber-optic conductors 2 helixing about the core 1 (see also FIG. 3), that can be any type of useful fiber optic conductor, although a single mode fiber-optic conductor has surprisingly been found preferable; additional thermoplastic layer 3 encompassing the helically disposed fiber-optic conductors between layer 3 and the exterior surface of core 1 (see also FIG. 4); flow shield 4; strength member jacket layer 5; elastic adhesive layer 6; and protective outer cover 7.

The core 1 preferably is formed of thermoplastic material. Flowever, the core 1 may include metallic and/or other conductors (not shown in FIG. 1 ) and/or other elements (not shown in FIG. 1 ) located within the core, such as a coaxial energy and/or information cable (see elements depicted by reference numerals 21 , 22 and 23 of FIG. 9, FIG. 9A, FIG. 10 and FIG. 1 1 , depicting a coaxial cable internal core 1 ); and/or such as a braided copper filament conductor and/or such as an electromagnetic shield, as taught in our prior publications referenced above. Whatever portion of the core 1 is not occupied by items needed for the production of and/or for the function of the high strength data transmission cable preferably is formed of thermoplastic material. Whatever construction is used for the core 1 , the exterior surface layer of the core 1 is formed of thermoplastic material and has a thickness in a range of about half a millimeter to about four millimeters, preferably about one and a half millimeters to about four millimeters, prior to any stretching steps.

Preferably, for all embodiments of the present disclosures high strength data transmission cable: core 1 has a circular cross section (although, less preferably, it can have an oval or quasi oval or quasi circular or elliptical cross section); and, when core 1 has a circular cross section, the diameter of core 1 preferably ranges from thirty-two times to two hundred sixty four times; and preferably from forty times to sixty-four times, the diameter of the optical pipe of a fiber-optic conductor used in forming the present disclosures high strength data transmission cable. Such embodiments have surprisingly been shown to provide for greater resolution of the data transmitted and are contrary to the known state of the art and trend in the industry as shown by exemplary example in our prior published patent applications.

When core 1 has a cross-section which is not perfectly circular, the diameter of core 1 being measured as the diameter at the largest width of the cross-section, preferably has a value within the above mentioned ranges.

In a particular preferred embodiment of the present disclosure’s high strength data transmission cable, the core 1 preferably is directly coupled to the first strength member 8. This can be accomplished by forming the core 1 about the first strength member 8, such as by extruding a thermoplastic rod about a first strength member 8 (see FIG. 2), or, alternatively, such as by first extruding a thermoplastic rod to form core 1 and subsequently braiding in hollow braid fashion about the thermoplastic rod a hollow braided multifilament first strength member 8 such as can be accomplished using a conventional braiding machine. It is presently preferred that core 1 be formed about the first strength member 8, as shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, and that first strength member 8 not contact the surface of core 1. It is presently preferred to use a strength member capable of retaining its integrity at temperatures up to 120 Celsius, preferably up to 200 Celsius, and especially at

temperatures up to 270 Celsius, such as an Aramid filament or such as stranded polyester filaments, for forming the first strength member 8. It presently is preferred that the strength member not be formed of thermoplastic material.

Flowever, and alternatively, in reference to FIG. 9 to FIG. 1 1 , that show an alternate embodiment of the high strength data transmission cable of FIG. 1 and FIG. 1 A where a coaxial cable assembly has been included within core 1 as indicated by elements 21 , 22 and 23, when it is desired to include a metallic conductor within the core 1 , then the first strength member 8 can be situated internal a braided metallic conductor 21 , and the combination of the braided metallic conductor 21 and the first strength member 8 then may be directly coupled to the core 1 , preferably by extruding a thermoplastic layer 22 about the

combination of the braided metallic conductor 21 and the first strength member 8 so as to form a rod that defines core 1 ; and, further, an electromagnetic shield 23 may be formed about the exterior of the thermoplastic layer 22, such as by laying two opposing layer directions of copper filaments, where such electromagnetic shield 23 also may serve as a conductor and/or conductive loop, and then the thermoplastic layer forming the exterior of core 1 may be formed about the electromagnetic shield. Fiber-optic conductors used in forming any high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure preferably have a buffer layer exterior the cladding where such buffer layer is of sufficient thickness and is formed of sufficiently abrasion resistant material that it can tolerate abrasion encountered during the production process without being entirely displaced in any location from the exterior surface of the cladding, and is capable of retaining its integrity at temperatures up to 200 Celsius, and especially at temperatures up to 250 Celsius, and yet more especially at temperatures up to 270 Celsius; and, furthermore, where such buffer layer is comprised of a material that includes a blend of materials where one material of the blend is the same thermoplastic material as used in forming layers 1 and/or 3, with a polyethylene or a nylon being preferred, where a combination of silicone with a thermoplastic material presently is preferred. An example of such a buffer layer is indicated by reference numeral 45 in FIG. 12 and FIG. 13.

With reference to reference numeral 19 of FIG. 5, reference numeral 19 indicating the pitch of the fiber-optic conductors helixing about the core 1 : the fiber-optic conductors preferably helix about the core 1 with a pitch that is in a range of 160 times to 480 times; and preferably 336 times to 480 times, the diameter of the optical pipe for at least one and preferably for all fiber-optical conductors formed into the high strength data transmission cable.

With further reference to FIG. 5: For any embodiment of a high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure, the additional thermoplastic layer 3 preferably is formed so as to entirely cover the outermost surfaces 15 of the fiber-optic conductors 2 with a layer 13 of thermoplastic material having a thickness selected so that after final production of the high strength data transmission cable the fiber-optic conductors remain encased in thermoplastic, even after the combination of the core-cable 10 enclosed in flow shield 4 has, optionally but preferably, been deformed through heat stretching as taught herein so as to conform to and support the internal cavity of the strength member 5 (see FIG. 8).

With further reference to FIG. 5: for any embodiment of a high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure: Preferably, when situated around the core and the fiber-optic conductors helixing about the core, the additional thermoplastic layer 3 has a thickness measured from the exterior most edge 15 of a fiber-optic conductor to the surface 17 of layer 3 of core-cable 10 that, preferably, is at minimum four times, and can be in a range from four times to sixty-six times, the diameter of the optical pipe of that fiber-optic conductor. In other terms, for any high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure, preferably, the thickness of that portion of additional thermoplastic layer 3 that is exterior the outermost edge 15 of the buffer layer 45 of a fiber-optic conductor forming the high strength data transmission cable has a thickness in a range of from four times to sixty-six times the diameter of the optical pipe of that fiber-optic.

The flow shield sheath 4 can be any layer that stops and/or mainly stops molten (e.g.“semi liquid”) phases of the thermoplastic material from passing through the flow shield. While there are various possible constructions and methods for forming such flow shield, preferably, the flow shield is formed by braiding a sheath of fibers and or filaments having a softening temperature and/or melting temperature that is higher than that of the

thermoplastic material comprising the core-cable 10 including the core 1 and the outer thermoplastic layer 3. A presently preferred flow shield is formed by braiding about the core cable a hollow-braided sheath of polyester fibers or filaments in such a fashion that molten phases of the thermoplastic contained within the flow shield, in this case thermoplastic material comprising core-cable 10, is stopped and/or mainly stopped from passing through the flow shield. It is the knowledge of those skilled in the art and the trend in the industry of rope and cable manufacturing that when forming a protective braided wrap and/or cover designed to be a barrier that the braid angle of the braid strands forming the protective braided wrap is from sixty-five degrees or greater, and especially in a range from sixty-five to eighty-five degrees, and that, the greater the braid angle, the more impenetrable the formed protective braided wrap and/or cover.

However, it has been found, surprisingly and unexpectedly, that greater longevity of the final produced data transmitting cable of the present disclosure is provided by forming a braided flow shield where the braid angle of the braid strands and/or yarns forming the flow shield is lesser than sixty-five degrees, and more particularly preferably is in a range from sixty degrees to ten degrees. However, and not presently preferred, the flow shield’s braid angle can be greater than sixty degrees, but such is not presently preferred. (It is understood in the industry that the“braid angle” of a braided sheath and/or of a braided strength member is the angle formed by and between the convergence of: (i) a single braid strand feeding off a spool of a braiding machine; and (ii) the longitudinal axis of the completed structure being braided. By way of example, in reference to FIG. 9A, the braid angle of hollow braided strength member 5 is an angle formed between the convergence of: (i) imaginary straight line 71 that is coaxial with the long dimension of braid strands 73 forming strength member 5; and (ii) imaginary straight line 75 coaxial with the final formed braided strength member 5.)

Furthermore, it has surprisingly been found that when forming the flow shield from fibers and or strands, that greater longevity of the present disclosure’s data transmitting cable is obtained when each of the braid strands forming a braided flow shield is a strand formed of at least two yarns, where each of the yarns is of a twisted construction, and where the twist ratio is such that the yarn is readily compressed into a flattened aspect ratio (e.g. has a greater width than it has height and/or relief) when the braid strands formed of the at least two yarns is compressed against the layer 3 of the core cable (10) during formation of the braided flow shield about layer 3. A flattened or tape like or film shaped strand and/or fiber may be used to form each braid strand forming the flow shield 4, provide that the above range of braid angles are adhered to. Surprisingly, and contrary to the state of the art, it has been found that longevity of the flow shield and thus of the cable itself is of longer duration when the braid angle of a braided flow shield is not the same braid angle as that of the strength member 5, but, rather, the flow shield has a braid angle of greater value in comparison to the braid angle of strength member 5. However, less preferably, these two braid angles may be same, or, the flow shield’s braid angle may be of lesser value, but this is not presently preferred.

When it is desired to enact the optional, but less preferred embodiment of the present disclosures high strength data transmission cable, by forming the high strength data transmission cable by omitting steps of heating the cable until thermoplastic material in the core 1 and/or layer 3 reaches a molten phase, that is contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry, then the flow shield can be omitted and thus the flow shield is optional but not mandatory in such embodiments, that also is contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry.

The strength member jacket layer 5 preferably is formed of a super fiber such as HMPE, and, when the option of heat stretching the high strength data transmission cable at or near the phase change temperature of the thermoplastic is selected, preferably is formed with a twenty-four strand carrier braiding machine so as to make a twenty-four strand hollow braided strength member jacket layer 5, especially for example a“2 x 24” strand construction and even more preferably a“3 x 24” strand construction, a twenty-four strand hollow braided construction for the strength member being contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry which is to use a twelve strand carrier braiding machine so as to make a twelve strand hollow-braided strength member jacket layer 5. When it is chosen to heat and tension stretch the high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure, such step is done prior to installation of the elastic adhesive layer 6 and the outer cover 7, and is done in such a way as to result in the combination of the outer layer 3 of core-cable 10 and the flow shield 4 enclosing core-cable 10 being deformed to adapt themselves to the internal cavity of the hollow braided strength member (and also cause core-cable 10 to adopt an undulating profile when viewed in plan view, see FIG. 7), while, most preferably, not deforming the layer of thermoplastic material that is most exterior the core 1 and about which the fiber-optic conductors form their helix (see FIG. 8), which can be determined by forming the exterior layer of thermoplastic material of core 1 of a different color than the layer 3 of thermoplastic material, and determining whether or not their interface is deformed as a result of the heat and tension stretching, the goal to be to remove constructional elongation and to cause compaction of the strength member without deforming the core 1 , that is contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry exemplified by our prior patent applications where the fiber-optic conductors were pressed into core 1 as a result of the stretching steps and/or heat and tension stretching steps.

Elastic adhesive layer 6 preferably is a type of polyurethane, such as two or more component blended polyurethane, that preferably is applied while in a flowable state to the exterior surface of the strength member jacket layer just prior to formation of the protective cover 7 about the strength member jacket layer. As a result, the elastic adhesive layer 6 binds the strength member jacket layer to the protective cover.

Production Processes

The method for producing the present disclosures high strength data transmission cable includes steps of:

(a). Step One: providing a flexible core 1 of solid material (see FIG. 2), and preferably a core 1 coupled to a first strength member 8 that is located internal and central the core 1 , as shown in FIG. 1 ; FIG. 1 A; and FIG. 2. The core 1 comprises flexible solid thermoplastic material, and, when it contains no other elements besides the first strength member 8, preferably comprises, in addition to first strength member 8, only flexible solid thermoplastic material (first strength member 8 itself ideally formed of a non-thermoplastic material as described supra). Core 1 preferably has a shape that is of a cable and/or of a rod having a circular cross section; or a shape that is an elongate object having a circular cross section viewed in a plane that is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of core 1. Importantly, whatever elements may optionally be included within core 1 , such as for example a metallic electrical energy conductor, core 1 has an exterior surface layer formed of flexible solid thermoplastic material.

(b). Step Two: situating at least one and up to several fiber-optic conductors 2 in helixing form about the exterior of the core (see FIG. 3). This step may be accomplished by using a winding machine, such as a machine that orbits about a central point one or more bobbins and/or spools, where each spool carries a wound spooled optic fiber conductor. The flexible core 1 is passed in continuous feed fashion through the central axis of the winding machine, such as for example by being taken off a take-off reel and being wound upon a take-up reel, preferably with guides to keep the core 1 passing through the central winding point of the winding machine that is situated along the central axis of the winding machine. Care is taken to ensure that the fiber-optic conductors are unwound from the bobbins and/or spools in a direction that perpendicular or at least that is more perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the bobbins and/or spools that it is parallel to such axis, so that not rotation is imparted to the fiber-optic conductors. The fiber-optic conductors, and thus the spools and/or bobbins, are located equidistance apart (see FIG. 3A), and the fiber-optic conductors are wound and situated on the thermoplastic surface of core 1 (see also FIG. 3A). For example, if there are four fiber-optic conductors, there are four spools and/or bobbins, each situated ninety degrees apart. If there are three fiber-optic conductors then there are likewise three spools and/or bobbins, each situated one hundred twenty degrees apart. If there are two fiber-optic conductors, then there are two spools and/or bobbins, each spaced one hundred eighty degrees apart. When only one fiber-optic conductor is used to form the high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure, then, preferably, a strand and/or filament and/or fiber that is not a fiber-optic conductor is also situated on core 1 in helix fashion in the same location and by the same means and machinery as would have been placed a second fiber-optic conductor if it had been used, resulting in a helixing fiber-optic conductor and a helixing strand that is not a fiber-optic conductor, that also may be a strand of thermoplastic material or of, for example, polyester. Yet more preferably, in the case when only one fiber-optic conductor is used, then two strands and/or filaments and/or fibers are situated in helix fashion about core 1 , where these three elements, e.g. the one fiber-optic conductor, and the two strands and/or filaments and/or fibers that are not a fiber-optic conductor, each are situated one hundred twenty degrees apart and wound about core 1 by the same machinery and methods used to wind about core 1 three fiber-optic conductors. In this case, the two strands and/or filaments and/or fibers may be a strand of thermoplastic material or of, for example, polyester.

(c). Step Three: optionally, but most preferred, providing additional fixation between the core and the fiber-optic conductors that helix about the core;

(d). Step Four: situating additional thermoplastic material 3 about the combination of core 1 and fiber-optic conductors 2 helixing about core 1 , so as to encase the fiber-optic conductors between the core 1 and the thermoplastic material 3 (see FIG. 4), and allowing the additional thermoplastic material 3 to set, thereby completely encasing the helically disposed fiber-optic conductors within a solid, flexible material formed as a rod and/or cable, thus arriving at a core-cable 10 (see also FIG. 5). Polyethylene and various forms of polyethylene are suitable for the thermoplastic material of core 1 and layer 3. This step may be accomplished by positioning downstream of the above mentioned central winding point an extrusion head that extrudes flowable thermoplastic material about the combination of : the core 1 and anything coupled to the core 1 , such as any fiber-optic conductors helixing about core 1 ; and, any strands and/or fibers and/or filaments helixing about core 1 (e.g. when only one or in some cases when only two fiber-optic conductors are used), and pulling and/or otherwise passing the“cable” formed by this combination through the extrusion head while (preferably pressure) extruding thermoplastic material to form layer 3, preferably selecting a temperature for the molten thermoplastic material as well as an extrusion pressure and time that both causes a softening (but not liquefaction) of the surface of thermoplastic exterior of core 1 while also causing sufficient pressure to force the fiber-optic conductors partially into the exterior thermoplastic surface of the exterior of core 1 so that they“seat” into the surface of core 1 , followed by permitting the thermoplastic material forming layer 3 to set (while continuing the feeding of core 1 ), thus forming resultant core cable 10.

To further discuss the core-cable 10: FIG. 5 shows a side plan view of what is the production phase of the core-cable 10 of the most preferred embodiment of the high strength data transmission cable in accordance with the present disclosure (e.g. the core-cable that is the result of Steps One through Four, especially mandatory steps Step One, Step Two and Step Four, and preferably including optional Step Three) and prior to enclosing the core-cable within either the flow shield or the strength member, and certainly prior to any chosen heat stretching steps) where the thermoplastic material forming core 1 as well as any

thermoplastic material and/or elements forming core 1 as well as the additional thermoplastic material forming layer 3 of the core-cable have been omitted from the drawing figure, excepting the peripheral outline of the thermoplastic material forming layer 3, so as to make visible the helix shaped fiber-optic conductors 2 that are completely encased in set, solid, flexible thermoplastic material. While FIG. 5 shows three fiber-optic conductors, one often is preferable, although any needed quantity may be used. Accordingly, shown in FIG. 5 is a core-cable 10 comprising a fiber-optic conductor 2 disposed in a helix and entirely encased in a flexible solid material.

Flaving discussed the core-cable 10 resultant of Steps One through Four, discussion resumes of subsequent production steps:

(e). Step Five: optionally, and in the event that it should be desired to heat stretch the high strength data transmission cable after adding the strength member, a subsequent step is forming the flow shield 4 (see FIG. 6) about the core-cable 10 (preferably directly about the additional thermoplastic material forming layer 3 situated around the combination of the core 1 and the fiber-optic conductors 2 helixing about the core); (f). Step Six: forming a preferably braided strength-member jacket layer 5 of polymeric material about the thermoplastic material forming layer 3 (see FIG. 1 ), or, should the optional step have been made of forming a flow shield 4 about layer 3, then the strength member jacket layer is formed about the flow shield and thus by extension all the items contained within the flow shield; while ensuring that the fiber-optic conductors remain intact, thus forming a high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure.

A preferred construction for the strength-member jacket layer is a hollow-braided

construction, preferably where there are an equal number of S and Z strands forming the hollow braid, where each main braid strand preferably, has a flattened form. Each such braid strand preferably has a width that is at minimum two times its height, especially when in the formed hollow braided strength-member jacket layer. Each such braid strand preferably also is comprised of multiple yarns. Preferably, each such braid strand comprises two yarns, where each of the yarns is not of a braided or parallel laid construction but preferably is of a twisted / laid construction, especially with a long twist and/or loose twist, according to industry standards for a loose twist for HMPE and/or other fiber chosen. Importantly and preferably, each such yarn is formed sufficiently loosely constructed, e.g. sufficiently loosely twisted / laid, that the braiding tension applied by the braiding apparatus deforms each such yarn into a flattened form, having a greater width in comparison to its height, in the final produced hollow braided strength-member jacket layer. In this way, the braid strands adopt a flattened form having an aspect ratio greater than two to one. That is to say, because there are at minimum two yarns forming each braid strand forming the strength-member jacket layer, and because each such yarn has a similar height and width as other such yarns forming the single braid strand, and because each such yarn exhibits a greater width in comparison to its height after the braiding process, the final braid strand that is formed of the at minimum two yarns must by extension have and/or define a flattened form having a greater width in comparison to its height and where its width is greater than and/or more than two times its height.

Contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry, the high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure may be used at the state it is in at Step Six above, preferably after applying a protective cover that is adhered to the strength member with an elastic adhesive layer. However, this is not preferable. Most preferably, and contrary to the state of the art and against the trend of the industry, the high strength data

transmission cable formed by the methods as taught above in Steps One through Six (and lacking the adhesive layer 6 and outer cover 7) is further processed with steps of applying to the high strength data transmission cable heat selected so as to be sufficient to, preferably, allow for deformation of the thermoplastic layer 3 without causing a change to the phase of the thermoplastic material comprising core 1 ; and yet more preferably, and also contrary to the state of the art and against the trend of the industry, also without causing a change to the phase of the thermoplastic material comprising layer 3 and/or the high strength data transmission cable (e.g. so as to preclude said thermoplastic from changing phase from solid phase to a molten phase and/or liquid phase), combined with steps of stretching the cable a predetermined amount so as to permanently elongate and permanently compact the strength member jacket layer and the core-cable 10 especially so as to reducing both its diameter as well as the diameter and/or average thickness of the entire the high strength data transmission cable (lacking its adhesive layer 6 and outer cover 7), followed by cooling the high strength data transmission cable (lacking its adhesive layer 6 and outer cover 7) preferably while maintaining a sufficient tension on the cable so as to maintain its elongation and compaction, so that the combination of the outer portion of thermoplastic layer 3 combined with the flow shield 4 adapt a form that conforms to and supports the natural interior cavity wall surface of the hollow braided strength member, while retaining the predetermined amount of elongation and compaction so as to permanently elongate and permanently compact and permanently reduce the diameter of the cable. Contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry, as exemplified by our own prior patent applications, the amount of heat, tension, and time in one preferred embodiment preferably is selected so as to cause the combination of the thermoplastic layer 3 and the flow shield 4 to deform so as to adapt to the natural shape of the interior cavity wall of the hollow braided strength member 5 while, most preferably: (i) not displacing the fiber-optic conductors 2; (ii) precluding the fiber-optic conductors 2 from displacing the material of core 1 from its position prior to the heating and stretching steps in comparison to its position after the heating and stretching steps; and, (iii) precluding the fiber-optic conductors from becoming intertwined with core 1 in comparison to their position relative to core 1 prior to the heating and stretching steps.

The next step in the production of the high strength data transmission cable can then be covering the strength member jacket layer with the protective cover 7 that, preferably, is adhered to the strength member jacket layer by the elastic adhesive layer 6.

So formed, the high strength data transmission cable of the present disclosure provides a much higher data signal quality and/or resolution in comparison to known high strength data transmission cables, thus permitting use of equipment presently in development but unable to be used with known high strength data transmission cables, that permits identifying fish species and distinguishing between fish sizes, thereby permitting avoiding with the fishing gear non-target fish species and juvenile and undersize fish, thus improving the health of fisheries and the marine mammals and seabirds and fishing communities that depend upon them, accomplishing goals of the present disclosure.

It is surprising and unexpected that by combining steps of, firstly: providing additional fixation between the core and the optic fibers helixing around the core, that is fixation beyond what fixation is obtained by helixing the optic fibers around the core 1 , with steps of, secondly, and subsequently, situating the additional thermoplastic material 3 so as to completely encase the helixing optic fibers 2 within thermoplastic material, where the thermoplastic material of the core 1 also forms the surface of the core 1 and is compatible with and forms a tight and preferably inseparable bond with the thermoplastic material used to form additional thermoplastic material layer 3, and preferably is the same material as the thermoplastic material of layer 3, followed by permitting the thermoplastic of layer 3 to set and/or cool, thus forming the core-cable 10, followed by forming the polymeric strength member jacket layer, preferably of HMPE fibers around layer 3 (and any optional flow shield), that even without heat stretching with temperatures sufficient to cause the thermoplastic of either or both core 1 and layer 3 to reach a molten phase, that a superior signal resolution transmitting high resolution high strength data transmission cable is formed.

The key step of providing additional fixation between the core 1 and the fiber-optic conductors that helix about the core 1 can be accomplished in any suitable fashion that causes the fiber-optic conductors to resist sliding along the core 1 , and especially in any suitable fashion that stops the fiber-optic conductor from sliding along the core 1 and/or that maintains the originally formed helix form of the fiber-optic conductors so that the helix form of the fiber-optic conductors is not altered during further processing steps including but not limited to the step of situating the additional thermoplastic material 3 about the fiber-optic conductors and the core 1 so as to completely encase the fiber-optic conductors within thermoplastic material.

In other terms, the fixation between the fiber-optic conductors and the core about which they are situated is increased, so as to provide a resistance to sliding along the core and/or to alteration of the helix shape of the fiber-optic conductors that is greater than is provided by the mere fact the fiber-optic conductors are situated in helix fashion about the core.

Examples include:

1. situating a tacky substance such as an adhesive substance on the exterior surface of the core prior to wrapping the fiber-optic conductors about the core in helix fashion. The tacky substance could be situated by passing the core through a bath of such tacky substance that does not dry too quickly, or, by spraying or rolling or brushing such substance onto the core. The substance should be compatible with molten phases of the thermoplastic selected for the thermoplastic core and for the additional thermoplastic material forming the layer 3.

2. taping the fiber-optic conductors into place onto the core about which they helix, such as by binding the fiber-optic conductors into place with two-way tape.

3. heating the fiber-optic conductors prior to helixing them about the core so that the combination of their temperature and the tension on the fiber-optic conductors while helixing them onto the core cause the fiber-optic conductors to displace some of the material on the surface of the core and form a depressed track such as a groove track on the surface of the core within which lie at least a portion of the width of the helixed fiber-optic conductors.

4. heating the core or at least the surface of the core prior to helixing the fiber-optic conductors about the core so that the combination of the heat and the tension on the fiber optic conductors while helixing them onto the core cause the fiber-optic conductors to displace some of the material on the surface of the core and form a depressed track such as a groove track on the surface of the core within which lie at least a portion of the width of each fiber-optic conductor.

5. spraying or otherwise situating an adhesive substance onto the fiber-optic conductors prior to helixing them about the core so that the fiber-optic conductors become adhered to the core and resist moving along the length of the core.

6. spraying or otherwise situating an adhesive substance onto the combination of the fiber optic conductors and the core after helixing the fiber-optic conductors about the core so that the fiber-optic conductors become adhered to the core and resist moving along the length of the core.

7. as presently preferred, the method of providing additional fixation between the core and the fiber-optic conductors helixing about the core is to pass the core that already has the fiber-optic conductors situated about it in helix form through a heating element that uses heat, such as radiant heat, at a temperature and exposure duration sufficient to cause excitement of the (preferably thermoplastic) surface of the core, followed by permitting the combination of the core and the fiber-optic conductors to reach a cooler temperature than it reached within the heating element, and especially a temperature at which the thermoplastic is in a solid phase, followed by situating the additional thermoplastic material about the combination of the core and the fiber-optic conductors helixing about the core.

After the step of providing additional fixation between the fiber-optic conductors helixing about the core and the core has been accomplished, the step of situating the additional thermoplastic material forming layer 3 about the combination of the core 1 and the fiber-optic conductors helixing about the core preferably is enacted. To accomplish this step, it has surprisingly and unexpectedly been discovered that it is preferable to use a type of extrusion known as pressure extrusion. After the additional thermoplastic material forming layer 3 has been situated so as to result in completely encasing the fiber-optic conductors within the thermoplastic of layer 3 with the thermoplastic of at least the surface of the core 1 , the next step is to form the flow shield about the thermoplastic layer 3, followed by the subsequent production steps taught supra for forming the strength member jacket layer, the elastic adhesive layer and the protective cover.

Alternative Core Embodiments

FIG. 14 shows a perspective cross sectional view of an alternative core-cable 1 10 of the present disclosure taken in a plane perpendicular to the long axis of the alternative core cable 1 10. As shown, alternative core-cable 1 10 includes a variant of core-cable 10 that includes a coaxial cable 1 1 1 contained within core-cable 10, and additionally includes several additional conductors 1 12 that are encased within a solid, flexible material 1 14, preferably a solid, flexible thermoplastic material, that preferably is a same thermoplastic as that forming layer 3 of core-cable 10. As shown, the several additional conductors 1 12 are situated external core-cable 10. Most preferably, flow shield 4 has been formed about and sheaths core-cable 10, and most preferably the several additional conductors 1 12 are situated both external core-cable 10 as well as external the flow shield 4 that sheaths core cable 10. The several additional conductors 1 12 preferably are parallel laid about core-cable 10, but may be twisted.

A presently preferred method for forming alternative core-cable 1 10 includes steps of:

A) providing a finished core-cable 10 produced as described supra and sheathed within flow shield 4;

B) providing several rods 1 16 where each rod comprises a conductor 1 12 encased in the solid, flexible material 1 14 that preferably is the same thermoplastic material as forming layer 3, and where each rod 1 16 itself is sheathed within a flow shield 1 17, where the flow shield

1 17 preferably is formed of tightly braided polyester fibers and/or filaments that preferably are braided in hollow braided fashion, but also can be any layer that stops and/or mainly stops molten (e.g.“semi-liquid”) phases of the thermoplastic material from passing through the flow shield;

C) situating a desired quantity of the rods 1 16, preferably in parallel lay fashion, about the core-cable 10, thereby forming alternative core-cable 1 10; and D) situating a flow-shield 4A about the core-cable 1 10, where the flow shield 4A preferably is formed of tightly braided polyester fibers and/or filaments that preferably are braided in hollow braided fashion, but also can be any layer that stops and/or mainly stops molten (e.g. “semi-liquid”) phases of the thermoplastic material from passing through the flow shield.

While the rods 1 16 may have any cross sectional shape, it presently is preferred that the rods 1 16 themselves are formed with and thus have a tapered cross sectional shape 1 18 (viewed in a plane perpendicular to the long dimension of any such rod 1 16), such as for example a truncated wedge, so as to facilitate their position in parallel lay fashion about core-cable 10.

Preferably, each conductor 1 12 is attached to a strength member (not shown) prior to being enclosed within a sheath and/or other layer of thermoplastic material, such as by being attached to a fiber and/or filament of HMPE or Aramid, such as by being formed of hollow braided copper and/or other metallic filaments about the strength member, where such strength member preferably has a higher softening point and/or degeneration temperature in comparison to the solid, flexible material 1 14

After the flow shield 4A has been formed about the exterior of the alternative core-cable 1 10, then the remainder of the production processes as taught above that occur after formation of the flow shield 4 for core-cable 10 are enacted in like fashion for alternative core cable 1 10, so as to arrive at an alternative variant of the present disclosures cable that may, for example, be used as a kit rope to connect floating vessels to kites that are used to provide sail power to such vessels.

Methods for Use

With reference to FIG. 1 1 : in order to use the present disclosures elongation and heat indicating data transmission cable it must be connected to an interrogator or other equipment, such as the sonar, for which it is necessary to expose the fiber-optic connectors. This preferably may be accomplished by, firstly, removing portions of the cover 7, adhesive layer 6, strength member 5 and any flow shield 4, so as to result in the core-cable 10 extending and/or protruding outward from a surface 44 formed by the cut edges of the cover, adhesive layer, strength member and flow shield; secondly, by heating the outer surface of layer 3 of the protruding portion of the core-cable ten (preferably heating its most distal end 51 ), as can for example be accomplished by directing a stream of heated air from an air gun at a certain fiber-optic conductor visible through the preferably translucent thermoplastic layer 3 forming the exterior surface of core-cable 10 for a sufficient duration of time so as to soften the thermoplastic material directly contacting the selected certain fiber-optic conductor; followed by digging the fiber-optic conductor out of the layer 3, such as may be accomplished by probing alongside it with sharp nosed pliers or tweezers, then grabbing the fiber-optic conductor at its distal end 61 ; followed by gently tearing the selected certain fiber optic conductor outward from the softened thermoplastic layer 3 of core-cable 10; followed by pausing and heating the next region of thermoplastic layer 3 of core-cable 10 that is exterior the remaining encased portions of the selected certain fiber-optic conductor;

followed by continuing to tear out of core-cable 10 the selected certain fiber-optic conductor until sufficient length of such fiber-optic conductor has been exposed and withdrawn from core-cable 10 to permit its being spliced to another fiber-optic conductor that couples the fiber-optic conductor forming the high strength data transmission cable to other fiber-optic conductors connecting to other equipment. When the data transmission cable also includes a coaxial cable or energy conductor, such also is extended from the core-cable 10 as shown in FIG. 1 1 to make it accessible for connection to other equipment.

Methods for Use:

The method for using the present disclosures embodiment that includes using Brillouin scattering and Raman backscattering to determine heat and elongation of certain predetermined zones and/or length portions of the cable core and thus of the cable comprises using a suitable interrogator and/or interrogators to read the Brillouin scattering and/or Raman backscattering; and then to determine, when using Brillouin scattering, the location along the optical fiber where a disturbance and/or anomaly is detected, using known means; and to determine temperature at said zone(s) and/or length portion(s), with Raman backscattering, also using known means; next, to use the temperature value obtained by interpreting the Raman backscattering in order to ascertain the elongation of the optical fiber transmitting the Brillouin scattering wavelengths at said predetermined zone and/or length portion along the length of the cable; next, using the determined elongation of an optical fiber to determine the elongation at said predetermined zone and/or length portion of the helical structure formed by the optical fiber, such as can be mathematically determined taking into account the diameter of the optical fiber forming the helical structure as well as the helical structures pitch and its interior diameter, thereby determining the elongation of the cable itself at said predetermined zone and/or length portion along the length of the cable as the elongation of the helical structure equates to the elongation of the finished cable itself at any particular zone and/or length portion along the length of the cable, thereby permitting monitoring and determining the elongation of the finished cable and/or o specific key portions of the cable without needing to position remote sensors and/or ROVs along the entire length of the, and permitting determining whether to continue or discontinue the cables use.

To determine the cables elongation in industrial application without first calibrating the finished cable itself, the Raman backscattering and also the Brillouin scattering light energy is monitored and read during use of the cable; the read Brillouin scattering values are correlated to a database that indicates what is the elongation of the optical fiber transmitting the Brillouin scattering at specific temperatures and/or ranges of temperature for those read wavelength values, thereby determining the elongation of the Brillouin scattering optical fiber for the specific temperature determined by monitoring and reading the Raman

backscattering; next, using the determined elongation of the Brillouin scattering optical fiber to determine the elongation of the helical structure formed by the Brillouin scattering optical fiber, such as can be mathematically determined taking into account the diameter of the optical fiber 2, the elongation of the optical fiber 2 forming the helical structure, the helical structures pitch and its interior diameter, thereby determining the elongation of the helical structure itself, that determines the elongation of the finished cable itself, thereby permitting monitoring and determining the elongation of the finished cable without needing to monitor water and/or air temperature, and permitting determining whether to continue or discontinue the cables use prior to a catastrophic rupture.

Methods of Determining Heat and Elongation of the Cable:

In some cases, it may be desired to verify the accuracy of the calibration provided by the manufacturers and/or providers of the optical fibers used with the Raman backscattering readings and the Brillouin scattering optical fibers, or, to account for how those calibration values may have been altered by the present disclosures cables production process, if at all. In such case, a portion of the finished cable having the optical fiber used for the Brillouin scattering readings and the optical fiber that is used for the Raman backscattering readings may be experimentally calibrated by subjecting the finished cable to a predetermined range of temperatures and elongating the cable to various elongation values at each temperature, and taking the Brillouin scattering and Raman backscattering readings while the portion of cable is at each specific predetermined temperature and each specific elongation value, thereby either calibrating and/or verifying the accuracy of the calibration provided by the manufacturers and/or providers for the Raman backscattering temperature determinations and for the Brillouin scattering elongation determinations.

In more detail: When it is feasible and desired to experimentally correlate cable elongation and temperature to Brillouin scattering readings and Raman backscattering readings, a method for using the present disclosures elongation and heat indicating data- capable fiber cable includes: (i) subjecting a predetermined length of a finished cable to a range of predetermined temperatures at a range of predetermined elongation values for the cable; and (ii) reading the wavelengths returning to and transmitting through the Brillouin scattering fiber optic(s), and also reading the Raman backscattering from at least one of the optical fibers, for each specific combination of a specific temperature and a specific elongation value; (iii) recording the readings, thereby forming a database that correlates the Brillouin scattering wavelength readings as well as the Raman backscattering readings for a specific cable formed according to the present disclosure when that cable is at a specific temperature and experiencing a specific elongation. Although the length of cable may simultaneously be subjected to the temperature and tension, due to the fact that it is important to ensure that all portions of the length of cable have reached the specific temperature, it is presently preferred to subject the cable to each specific temperature without much tension until it surely has reached the specific temperature at all portions of the length of cable, and then to subject the cable to sufficient tension so as to achieve a desired elongation. For example, the cable may firstly be subject to a specific temperature for a sufficient period of time so as to ensure that the length of cable is at the specific temperature throughout the body of the length of cable, as may be determined by probing into the cable with temperature probes while the cable is not under high tension; then, the cable is subject to tension until it reaches a specific elongation; then, transmitting certain wavelengths of light energy through the Brillouin scattering optical fibers and reading the light signals that transmit along the entire length of the optic fiber as well as those that return to the originating end of the optical fiber (e.g. that were returned back by a Brillouin scattering), and also transmitting light energy through an optical fiber that allows Raman backscattering readings; recording the read light energy and/or wavelength values, thereby creating a database that correlates Raman backscattering readings to certain temperatures and that also correlates specific light energy and/or wavelength values for a specific Brillouin scattering optical fiber in a specific cable construction that is at a certain elongation and at a certain temperature. Finally, using the cable in industrial application, while monitoring the temperature via Raman backscattering readings and also reading Brillouin scattering readings, and correlating the temperature values ascertained from the Raman backscattering readings to the wavelength values ascertained from the Brillouin scattering optical fiber readings so as to determine the cable’s elongation for specific Brillouin scattering wavelengths corresponding to specific zones of the cable (it being known how to use Brillouin scattering in order to determine where along the length of an optical fiber is the read Brillouin wavelength originating from, e.g how far from the interrogator is the read wavelength originating from, this being a main value of using Brillouin scattering). This way, the elongation and heat indicating data-capable fiber cable of the present disclosure is able to be used to monitor both cable temperature as well as cable elongation and/or creep, at specific zones and/or length portions along the length of the cable. By comparing the elongation and/or creep to what is known to be acceptable limits at certain loads, for certain loads determined by load cells, the relative integrity of the strength member formed of superfibers can be determined, and a decision taken as to whether or not continue to use or discontinue use of the cable, prior to a catastrophic failure of the cable.

To obtain an accurate elongation measurement for a portion of a length of a cable by disposing a Raman backscattering wavelength transmission capable optical fiber conductor in a helix form and firmly affixed to and interior of the monitored cable rather than in a“loose tube” configuration (“loose tube” configuration includes any construction where the optical fiber conductor, including its buffer and/or insultation formed integral with the optical fiber conductor, is able to slide relative to its immediately surrounding objects such as, in the case of a cable or rope, fibers or strands or the core of the cable or rope, or even other optical fiber conductors within the cable or rope), in combination with a distinct other optical fiber capable of being used to read Brillouin scattering and where the distinct other optical fiber also is disposed in a helix form and firmly affixed to and interior of the monitored cable rather than in a“loose tube” configuration, and then using heat value readings from the Raman capable optical fiber in calculation with readings taken from the Brillouin capable optical fiber in order to obtain elongation values for the Brillouin capable optical fiber, is contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry and surprisingly and unexpectedly allows useful monitoring of heat and/or elongation.

Furthermore, to dispose a Raman backscattering wavelength transmission capable optical fiber in a helix form and firmly affixed to a core interior a monitored cable rather than in“loose tube” configuration and/or otherwise able to slide relative to other components of the cable, in combination with a distinct other optical fiber capable of being used to read Brillouin scattering and where the distinct other optical fiber also is disposed in a helix form and also is firmly affixed to a core interior the monitored cable, and to suspend and/or completely encase both optical fibers each in its helix shape and each firmly affixed to and within a core formed of a solid flexible material inside a load bearing cable, and to use heat values obtained by interpretation of the Raman backscattering readings in combination with data obtained from the Brillouin scattering in order to permit calculating elongation of the optical fiber transmitting the Brillouin scattering wavelengths, and then by mathematical calculation taking into account the helical shape of the optical fiber carrying the Brillouin scattering wavelengths to calculate elongation of the helical structure formed by such fiber in a monitored region of the cable and thereby ascertain elongation of the cable in the monitored region of the cable, is contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry and surprisingly and unexpectedly allows useful monitoring of heat and/or elongation of the cable.

Having determined the elongation of the cable and/or of a predetermined zone and/or length portion along the length of the cable using the above taught methods, it is possible to calculate the tension load on the cable and/or on the predetermined zone and/or length portion along the length of the cable. This can be done by correlating the elongation value with a data base that correlates percentage elongation values for a particular cable construction to various tensile loads on the cable. Thus, by knowing either the cables elongation or its load, the other value is able to be determined. Therefore, having calculated the cables elongation, either for the cable as a whole or for a particular zone and/or length portion along the length of the cable, the load on the cable can be determined.

Industrial Applicability

The data transmission cable of the present disclosure may be used as a crane rope/cable; as a deep sea deployment rope/cable; as a headline sonar cable and also may also be used to connect to and communicate with and, when a metallic power conductor 21 is included, provide power to sonar units located at other regions of the trawl in addition to the headline, and can for example serve as a sonar cable for sonar units mounted on the trawl’s midsection, bag or belly/codend. The data transmission cable also can also be deployed from a trawler’s main warp drums and serve a double purpose, e.g. as a trawler warp as well as a headline sonar cable, and thus for example communicate with a headline sonar or other device in the fishing gear through a trawler warp rather than through a dedicated headline sonar cable.

The data transmission cable of the present disclosure also is able to serve as a high strength data cable for trawler warps, and thus for example communicate with a headline sonar or other device in the fishing gear through a trawler warp rather than through a dedicated improved high-resolution power-capable crush resistant fiber cable, and also that is capable of being used as a towing warp, a deep sea winch line, a crane rope, a seismic line, a deep sea mooring line, a well bore line, an ROV tether or ROV line, a superwide for seismic surveillance, or as a load bearing data and/or energy cable, as a lead-in cable for towed seismic surveillance arrays, and/or energy cable. When used as a well bore line and/or well bore cable, it is anticipated useful to make the final outer cover of laid steel wire so as to armor the cable. However, in most other applications it is anticipated that the braided cover already disclosed supra is most useful. When used as a seismic Superwide or as a crane rope, or in any application requiring heat tolerance, including a well bore cable, it is anticipated useful that the strength member shall be formed of a hollow braided construction using a 24 strand construction, that is contrary to the state of the art and against the trend in the industry, where most useful is anticipated to be a 2x24 strand construction, or, even more preferably, a 3 x 24 strand construction, where each of the 24 strands is formed of an Aramid strand that is ensheathed within a HMPE or PTFE or Polyester sheath, and then those strands are braided together into the hollow braided 24 strand constructed strength member, that is preferably, at least a 2 x 24 strand or a 3 x 24 strand construction. When used in any application requiring any of heat tolerance, heat detection, elongation detection, or break detection, or detection of a region of the cable responsible for failure of any of the cable’s ability to transmit data and/or energy, it is anticipated useful that the improved high- strength light-weight crush-resistant high-data-resolution power-capable fiber cable of the present disclosure comprise for its optical fibers those selected from a type capable of being used with interrogators that read and interpret Brillouin scattering and/or Raman

backscattering wavelengths, and specifically with optical fibers capable of transmitting accurately interpretable Brillouin scattering wavelengths and/or Raman backscattering wavelengths, so as to permit monitoring the elongation and/or heat of the optical fibers at any region along the length of the optical. Thus, by transmitting light through the optical fibers in such a fashion that permits reading Brillouin scattering and/or Raman

backscattering, and interpreting the Brillouin and/or Raman wavelengths with a suitable interrogator, the elongation and/or heat at specific locations along the optical fiber being monitored may be determined and thus the elongation of the cable may be determined at specific locations along the cable; and thus the elongation of the cable’s strength member as well as its temperature may be determined at specific locations along the length of the cable; and thus the integrity of the cable’s strength member is able to be determined and a determination made as to whether or not the cable is suitable for continued use in a particular application or is better retired from that application and replaced. Importantly, prior attempts at using Brillouin scattering wavelengths and/or Raman backscattering

wavelengths monitor the elongation and/or heat of the optical fibers at any region along the length of the optical fibers and/or cable containing the optical fibers have failed, and none of the art has proposed the construction and method of the data cable of the present disclosure. Importantly, it has been the long held belief in the industry and the trend in the industry to minimize bending of fiber optic conductors contained within cables of any type, including but not limited to yachting cables, including when using such fiber optic conductors to monitor heat and or elongation of both the fiber optic conductors and by extension of the cables containing them. It is contrary to the state of the art and against the trend and commonly held views in the industry that a fiber optic conductor formed into a helical shape and used to form the core of a cable in the manner and construction as taught herein is capable of transmitting high resolution data signals. The fact that the present invention’s cable functions this way is contrary to the widely held beliefs in the industry.

Further industrial application of the present disclosures teachings are in forming high strength synthetic strength membered ropes and cables having shaped supportive cores, where such ropes and cables are heat stretched in order to remove constructional elongation; compact the strength member and cable itself, and, when materials used in forming the strength member permit, to induce creep into fibers in the strength member so as to result in all fibers in the strength member carrying load.

A presently preferred means to form a high strength synthetic strength membered rope with a supportive, shaped core using teachings of the present disclosure is to: provide a core 1 comprising thermoplastic, such as a rod 1 comprising thermoplastic material (the core may or may not contain conductors or other elements); then, to form a flow shield 4 about said core, while using the novel teachings of the present disclosure to form such flow shield; followed by forming a hollow braided strength member about the combination of the core and the flow shield (where the hollow braided strength member may be formed from main braid strands formed of HMPE, or formed of Aramid; or where each braid strand may comprise an Aramid central strand or yarn or other cordage that is sheathed by a sheath formed of HMPE or another material), thereby forming a cable; followed by steps of heating the cable until thermoplastic material comprising the core softens and/or is molten, e.g. “semi-liquid”, but not actually liquid, and also stretching the cable (preferably under controlled tension or tensions) until a predetermined and/or desired amount of elongation of the strength member and thus of the entire cable is achieved and until a desired compaction (reduction in overall width) of the cable and strength member is achieved while the thermoplastic material comprising the core is either softened and/or molten; followed by cooling the cable until the thermoplastic material comprising the core is solid, while maintaining sufficient tension to retain the predetermined and/or desired amount of elongation of the cable; the method characterized by the steps of selecting to form the flow shield with steps comprising any or all of the following steps, either singly or in combination: a) forming a braided flow shield where the braid angle of the braid strands and/or yarns forming the flow shield is lesser than sixty-five degrees, and more particularly preferably is in a range from sixty degrees to ten degrees. b) forming a braided flow shield where each of the braid strands forming the braided flow shield is a strand formed of at least two yarns. c) forming a braided flow where each of the braid strands forming the braided flow shield is a strand formed of at least two yarns, and where each of the yarns is of a twisted construction. d) forming a braided flow where each of the braid strands forming the braided flow shield is a strand formed of at least two yarns, and where each of the yarns is of a twisted construction, and where the lay directions is same for all yarns forming the strand; e) forming a braided flow where each of the braid strands forming the braided flow shield is a strand formed of at least two yarns, and where each of the yarns is of a twisted construction, and where the twist ratio is such that the yarn is readily compressed into a flattened aspect ratio (e.g. has a greater width than it has height and/or relief) when the braid strands formed of the at least two yarns is compressed against the core during formation of the braided flow shield core.

Thus, the present disclosure teaches: A high strength synthetic rope and/or cable have a supportive core 1 shaped to adapt to the internal cavity of a hollow braided strength member 5, the core 1 sheathed within a flow shield 4; the braided strength member 5 formed about the combination of the core and the flow shield that sheaths the core; the flow shield formed of braided strands and in a hollow braid construction; and strength member formed of braided strands and in a hollow braid construction, the high strength synthetic rope and/or cable characterized by the fact that the strands forming the flow shield comprise a braid angle that is (i) different than a braid angle comprised by the strands forming the strength member; and (ii), where the braid angle of the strands forming the flow shield further comprise a greater value in comparison to the braid angle of strands forming the strength member.

Additionally: a) the strands forming the braided flow shield comprise a braid angle of the braid strands and/or yarns forming the flow shield where such braid angle is lesser than sixty-five degrees, and more particularly preferably is in a range from sixty degrees to ten degrees. b) each of the braid strands forming the braided flow shield is a strand formed of at least two yarns. c) each of the braid strands forming the braided flow shield is a strand formed of at least two yarns, and where each of the yarns is of a twisted construction. d) each of the braid strands forming the braided flow shield is a strand formed of at least two yarns, and where each of the yarns is of a twisted construction, and where the lay directions is same for all yarns forming the strand; e) each of the braid strands forming the braided flow shield is a strand formed of at least two yarns, and where each of the yarns is of a twisted construction, and where the yarn is in a flattened aspect ratio (e.g. has a greater width than it has height and/or relief) about the core.

Additionally, the present disclosure teaches: A high strength synthetic rope and/or cable have a supportive core 1 shaped to adapt to the internal cavity of a hollow braided strength member 5, the core 1 sheathed within a flow shield 4; the braided strength member 5 formed about the combination of the core and the flow shield that sheaths the core; the flow shield formed of braided strands and in a hollow braid construction; and strength member formed of braided strands and in a hollow braid construction, the high strength synthetic rope and/or cable characterized by the fact that braid strands forming the braided flow shield comprise a strand formed of at least two yarns, and where each of the yarns is of a twisted construction, and where the yarn is in a flattened aspect ratio (e.g. has a greater width than it has height and/or relief) about the core. (Any of the above taught novel features for the construction of the flow shield also applies to this rope and/or cable).

Although the present disclosure has been described in terms of the presently preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that such disclosure is purely illustrative and is not to be interpreted as limiting. Consequently, without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure, various alterations, modifications and/or alternative applications of the disclosure are, no doubt, able to be understood by those ordinarily skilled in the art upon having read the preceding disclosure. Accordingly, it is intended that the following claims be interpreted as encompassing all alterations, modifications or alternative applications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the disclosure.