iXblue announces a new version of Gaps USBL including now a wireless data communication link

As of now, Gaps USBL features a wireless data communication link for subsea vehicles and remote monitoring applications.

Gaps is able to simultaneously perform tracking and data communication without compromise to Gaps’ legendary performance levels. Using its own iXblue wideband telemetry modulation, robust even in adverse conditions, Gaps and beacons have a half-duplex acoustic communication link capable of up to 160 bits per recurrence. The acoustic communication link is open for any user application. Users can implement the acoustic link for their own subsea communication needs.

A decade ago Gaps USBL was a revolution in its field, integrating an INS (Inertial Navigation System), Phins, into an acoustic system for the first time ever. Gaps has since earned an enviable reputation in the most difficult use cases where existing solutions generally proved deficient.

Constantly attentive to customers’ needs, iXblue has since evolved GAPS up to the current version, introducing many more features and ever-higher performance levels. Key developments to the product have included:

  • Shift from titanium to carbon fiber structure, much lighter and easier to handle with no loss of performance.
  • Opening of the system to existing acoustic beacons on the market.
  • Creation of a new web-based user interface (MMI) and an Ethernet link for managing/using the product- Addition of a bi-directional telemetry link (latest evolution to date).

Main benefits of Gaps USBL including Telemetry:

  • Control/Command your AUV

Gaps enables simultaneous tracking and acoustic coms without the need to install a dedicated modem transducer on the AUV or on the surface vessel. You can now track, send commands and receive AUV status, all with the same equipment.

  • Wirelessly send a position to recalibrate an INS in an UUV

For AUV and ROV applications, GAPS enables a position to be sent wirelessly to a subsea INS:
– Gaps estimates the position of the beacon (USBL)
– Gaps sends its position to the beacon
– The beacon broadcasts the position to the subsea INS

  • Collect data from any subsea sensor

Any sensor can be interfaced to a subsea beacon. The beacon broadcasts the measurements to the GAPS through the acoustic channel. GAPS outputs the information on serial or Ethernet communication port.