Inertial Navigation for Subsea Operations

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Etienne Normant

Product Manager

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Equipping over 80% of the subsea vehicles used in the Energy and Geoscience industries, iXblue FOG (Fiber-Optic Gyroscope)-based Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) and Attitude Heading and Reference Systems (AHRS) are accurate and maintenance-free navigation systems that offer unrivaled performance and power robust navigation for Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs).

Powering unrivaled navigation performance for ROV and AUV

iXblue complete range of subsea Inertial Navigation Systems have been designed to meet operators’ various needs in terms of performance and depth rating. Offering AHRS and INS in OEM and titanium versions, iXblue subsea navigation solutions cover the full spectrum of performance needed for subsea projects, from navigation to survey grade. A performance that can further be enhanced with the company’s INS/DVL tight-coupling solutions, as well as DelphINS post-processing software. A trusted partner on which to rely for highly reliable and accurate navigation, iXblue boasts over 3,000 subsea navigation systems in operation worldwide.

  Octans Nano Octans Nano Octans Nano OEM Octans Nano OEM Octans Subsea Octans Subsea Rovins Nano Rovins Nano Phins Compact C3 Phins Compact C3 Rovins Rovins Phins Compact C5 Phins Compact C5 Phins Subsea Phins Subsea Phins Compact C7 Phins Compact C7
Navigation-grade AHRS Navigation-grade AHRS Survey-grade AHRS Compact navigation-grade INS Compact navigation-grade INS for AUV Survey-grade INS Compact survey-grade INS for AUV High performance navigation deep-water survey-grade INS Compact survey-grade INS for AUV
Heading accuracy 0.5 0.5 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.04 0.04 0.01 0.01
DVL-aided optimal performance in typical conditions (%TD – CEP50) n/a n/a n/a 0.04 0.04 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.01
Roll&Pitch accuracy 0.1 0.1 0.01 0.05 0.05 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
Weight in water (kg) 5.5 1.6 6.2 5.5 1.6 6.2 4.7 13 3.5
Depth rating (m) 4,000 3,000 4,000 n/a 3,000 n/a 6,000 n/a
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  Octans Nano Octans Nano Octans Nano OEM Octans Nano OEM Octans Subsea Octans Subsea Rovins Nano Rovins Nano Phins Compact C3 Phins Compact C3 Rovins Rovins Phins Compact C5 Phins Compact C5 Phins Subsea Phins Subsea Phins Compact C7 Phins Compact C7
Navigation-grade AHRS Navigation-grade AHRS Survey-grade AHRS Compact navigation-grade INS Compact navigation-grade INS for AUV Survey-grade INS Compact survey-grade INS for AUV High performance navigation deep-water survey-grade INS Compact survey-grade INS for AUV
Heading accuracy 0.5 0.5 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.04 0.04 0.01 0.01
DVL-aided optimal performance in typical conditions (%TD – CEP50) n/a n/a n/a 0.04 0.04 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.01
Roll&Pitch accuracy 0.1 0.1 0.01 0.05 0.05 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
Weight in water (kg) 5.5 1.6 6.2 5.5 1.6 6.2 4.7 13 3.5
Depth rating (m) 4,000 3,000 4,000 n/a 3,000 n/a 6,000 n/a
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Increased performance and flexibility through INS/DVL tight-coupling

Striving to always bring increased efficiency to companies operating in the subsea world, and to enhance its Inertial Navigation Systems positioning performance, iXblue partners with DVL manufacturers Nortek and Teledyne RD Instruments to offer INS/DVL tight-coupling solutions. Benefitting from iXblue’s field-proven FOG technology and from the latest DVL developments that Nortek and Teledyne RD Instruments have been working on, this solution combines the best navigation technologies available today and offers a scalable, plug & play solution which performance and characteristics can be best suited to the user’s needs.

Offering modularity and flexibility, it enables users to choose the INS and DVL combination best suited to their needs in terms of accuracy, volume, weight and altitude, without compromising on the solution’s ease-of-use. Additionally, integration on the vehicle is made flexible thanks to the possibility to separate both the INS and DVL and individually place them anywhere and in any convenient orientation.

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Worldwide leader in harsh environments

Benefiting from FOG technology

 

iXblue gyrocompasses and Inertial Navigation Systems all benefit from the Fiber-Optic Gyroscope (FOG) technology that iXblue pioneered. Offering solid state, strap-down systems with no mechanical or moving parts, iXblue FOG technology offers maintenance-free solutions with very low cost-of-ownership.

Complete mastery of the technology

Mastering the full value chain of the inertial navigation technologies it develops, iXblue designs and manufactures, in-house, every component that are integrated into its systems, from its FOG gyroscopes to its own accelerometers, electronics and Kalman filters. This vertical integration allows iXblue to push the limits of its INS and gyrocompasses technology to enhance their performance to the best of their possibilities.

Advanced algorithms and Kalman filter

Leveraging this unique mastery of all its navigation systems components, iXblue, acting as both a system manufacturer and integrator, is able to develop the best-in-class real-time and post-processing algorithms for its inertial navigation systems. This translates into the design of the most advanced navigation systems available on the market today.

A robust inertial technology

Reliability is key when operating in the extreme environments of the subsea sector, and iXblue comprehensive range of subsea gyrocompasses and Inertial Navigation Systems is trusted worldwide for its high accuracy and reliability. iXblue navigation systems have thus been operated, for the past 20 years, in the most challenging environments such as subsea or long duration space applications.

iXblue systems have furthermore been qualified to withstand the extremely harsh environments of land defense, with its extreme vibrations, shocks and temperature changes and are now operated by over 60 navies and armies worldwide, testifying of the robustness and reliability of iXblue solutions.

500 000 hours of MTBF

iXblue INS and AHRS have cumulated over 3 million functioning hours. Using standard telecom technology components with proven lifetime and reliability, iXblue navigation systems – including their three fiber-optic gyroscopes, three accelerometers and system electronics – have demonstrated over 150 000 hours of Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF), with the FOG itself boasting an MTBF higher than 500 000 hours, making iXblue navigation systems highly reliable solutions.

 

Low-power consumption

iXblue continuously works on the power consumption of its INS systems. This is especially important for AUV manufacturers and operators who seek to save watts, while keeping high data processing power.

An open ecosystem for easy integration

Interfacing

Integration of external sensors (DVL, pressure sensors, Sound Velocity Probes…) is made easy thanks to a wide range of protocols offered, both in inputs and outputs. Ascii, NEMEA, and binary telegrams are available through a system embedded web-based Graphical User Interface (GUI) or accessible through control command for AUVs.

Third-party friendly

As per the company’s open philosophy, iXblue inertial navigation systems all benefit from an open format protocol, making them compatible with third-party products and solutions. This results into INS/AHRS that are easy to integrate into existing pool of equipment and operational fields.

ITAR-free

iXblue in-house manufacturing of all its INS/AHRS ensures the navigation company’s independence in relation to strategic suppliers and allows iXblue to offer ITAR-free products that are easy to export worldwide.

A solution for all subsea vehicles

Scalable navigation solutions

 
Offering a complete suite of scalable AHRS and INS which performance and characteristics cover the full spectrum of users’ needs and requirements, iXblue subsea navigation solutions can easily be integrated into various subsea vehicles such as Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) or Tow-fish.

Flexible vehicle integration

iXblue subsea navigation systems offer integrators and operators a versatile solution available either in titanium housing or in EM version for applications requiring bespoke vehicle integration.

A powerful post-processing suite

Delph INS is a post-processing and batch productivity tool for the iXblue subsea INS product range: Phins Compact Series (C3/C5/C7), Rovins Nano, Rovins and Phins Subsea.

Powerful data editing and processing functions together with data export capability make this tool ideal for quick and easy navigation enhancement. This software is the processing data solution helping you to get the best from your iXblue INS based inertial navigation system.

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Rovins: One single product, a sea of performance

In order to answer operators, surveyors and rental companies diverse and evolving performance requirements and operational needs relating to attitude, heading, roll and pitch, iXblue enables owners of its Octans Subsea survey-grade AHRS, to easily upgrade their systems to the higher performance of the Rovins INS. For this upgrade, a simple activation license key is needed to update the existing Octans Subsea software to the Rovins’.

News & Customer Stories

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Octans – Datasheet

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Octans Nano – Datasheet

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Phins Compact Series – Datasheet

(399 KB)
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Phins Subsea – Datasheet

(170 KB)
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Rovins – Datasheet

(276 KB)
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Rovins Nano – Datasheet

(257 KB)
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Subsea Positioning Brochure

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