Pelagic Research Services integrates iXblue’s Rovins Nano on its Odysseus 6000m ROV for a mission for Ocean Network Canada

Inertial Navigation for harsh subsea environments

Pelagic Research Services (PRS) is recognised in the field of expedition planning, execution and state of the art sub-sea research tools to the global ocean community and  has developed  Odysseus a 6000-meter-rated, flexible and versatile ROV system designed for research, exploration and complex work tasks in some of the oceans most challenging environments.

Ocean Network Canada (ONC) is an initiative from the University of Victoria, monitoring the West and East coasts of Canada and the Arctic by gathering data in real-time through a cabled network of subsea observatories. The Venus and Neptune Ocean Observatories are both located in some very challenging ocean environments. For Venus, low visibility and high currents are the norm; while at Neptune, deep-water and major hydrothermal vents create challenging acoustic conditions – straining traditional ROV navigation. PRS provides ROV services and expertise for the deployment, repair, and maintenance of the ONC cabled observatories and needed a high-grade inertial navigation system for its ROV to perform the mission in these harsh environments.

“Pelagic Research Services supports sophisticated subsea science operations for ONC, where precision is critical for subsea positioning and navigation of the ROV” explains Ed Cassano, CEO of PRS. “For instance, to deploy or inspect the infrastructure (the 800 km fiber-optic and power loop) and observatories, we need to know exactly our location and be able to come back to that location. The ONC project required high accuracy and repeatability and we were looking for a solution to obtain the desired level of performance. We tested the Rovins Nano, combined with Nortek DVL and the solution met our requirements and ONC’s.”

iXblue Rovins Nano INS on PRS ROV 1

The Odysseus,  a 6000-meter ROV (Photos credits : Pelagic Research Services & ONC)


Rovins Nano, a compact and cost-effectve INS for ROVs


Built on iXblue’s renowned FOG solid state technology and offshore instrumentation expertise. Rovins Nano offers the unbeatable stability and accuracy of the inertial position while simplifying the operation with its autonomous external sensor management.

iXblue Rovins Nano INS on PRS ROV 2

Rovins Nanon – Photos credits : Pelagic Research Services & ONC

The latest dive of the Odysseus with the Rovins Nano took place in October 2020 along the Endeavor Hydrothermal Vents segment of the Juan de Fuca mid-ocean ridge in the northeast Pacific, where diving conditions are very challenging, with super-heated water, various water densities which make positioning and navigation very difficult. “The working environment at Endeavour is extreme, at a depth of around 2,250 meters where the hydrothermal fluids influence the temperature and water density while also creating deep canyons and towering spires. This complex oceanographic environments makes typical ROV navigation by USBL incredibly challenging. We needed a high-performance INS for our ROV navigation in order to achieve our deployment or inspection task and the Rovins Nano perfectly did the job” adds Ed Cassano.

“We are very happy with the INS and the level of technical support and expertise provided by iXblue. Integration was very easy, and the team was always supportive all along the project. We will definitely consider using iXblue INS for future projects”.