A proposed design for carabiners (tether hooks used in mountaineering, rock climbing, and rescue) is intended to make it possible to operate these devices even while wearing thick gloves. According to the proposal, the gate of a carabiner would be capable of swinging either toward or away from the hook body, relative to the closed position. The gate would be spring-biased to return to the closed position. An external locking collar would be pinned to an internal locking rod that would be spring-loaded to slide the collar longitudinally over the gate to lock the gate in the closed position. The gate would be unlocked by sliding the collar axially against the spring load. To reduce the probability of inadvertent unlocking, the rod-and-collar mechanism would include two locking buttons. Optionally, the rod-and-collar mechanism could be replaced with an external locking mechanism based on a longer collar.

This work was done by Chi Min Chang and Dominic Li Del Rosso of Johnson Space Center and Gary D. Krch of ILC Dover. For further information, contact the Johnson Commercial Technology Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-23163