USBL Solutions

Gaps Series

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Paul Urvoas

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With units operating worldwide, the Gaps Series of high-accuracy USBL acoustic positioning and communication systems has become a reference for many users across the world. Offering unrivaled horizontal tracking capabilities and high-performance from extremely shallow water depths to 4,000 meters, the Gaps Series is used for various applications such as diver-tracking, work-class ROV surveys, AUV missions or for the most critical dynamic positioning operations.

Powering ultra-performance through a unique design

Gaps Series USBL positioning and communication systems are compact, all-in one inertial and USBL solutions. Their unique design provides customers with maximum performance.

The 3D, 4-hydrophone antenna configuration utilizing differing leg lengths means the USBL horizontal tracking capabilities are enhanced and the maximum acoustic aperture widened, offering more than 200° of omnidirectional coverage.

 

High-accuracy

Thanks to its unique design that combines a high-performance ultra-short baseline (USBL) and fiber- optic based (FOG) motion sensor within the same housing, the Gaps Series provides unrivaled subsea positioning accuracy in diverse and challenging environments.

  Gaps M5 Gaps M5 Gaps M7 Gaps M7
Operating range 995m 4 000m
Absolute accuracy (% of slant range CEP50) 0.2% 0.06%
Embedded motion sensor Octans Nano FOG-based AHRS Phins FOG-based INS
Heading accuracy 0.15° secant lat (RMS) 0.01° secant lat (RMS)
Dimensions (Height x Diameter) 520mm x 296mm 638mm x 296mm
  Ask for quote Ask for quote
  Gaps M5 Gaps M5 Gaps M7 Gaps M7
Operating range 995m 4 000m
Absolute accuracy (% of slant range CEP50) 0.2% 0.06%
Embedded motion sensor Octans Nano FOG-based AHRS Phins FOG-based INS
Heading accuracy 0.15° secant lat (RMS) 0.01° secant lat (RMS)
Dimensions (Height x Diameter) 520mm x 296mm 638mm x 296mm
  Ask for quote Ask for quote

From shallow to deep waters

Gaps Series embedded gyroscope and 3D omnidirectional acoustic antenna configuration offers the USBL system with an omnidirectional coverage and 200° acoustic aperture. This translates into true horizontal tracking capabilities with no need to tilt the antenna.

Covering the full spectrum of medium frequency applications, from the surface to 4,000m water- depths, Gaps Series is extremely efficient in shallow waters and horizontal tracking conditions, especially when multiple subsea vehicles (ROV, AUV…) must be simultaneously located at 360°.

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Multi-beacon tracking

An increasing number of subsea operations require the simultaneous tracking of several targets and assets. This is the case for Mine Counter Measure (MCM) operations during which fleets of multiple AUV need to be tracked and controlled or for the Renewables and Oil&Gas industries for instance, with operations requiring the simultaneous tracking of ROVs and vessel Dynamic Positioning (DP).

The Gaps Series offer multiple and simultaneous tracking capabilities for up to 40 beacons (both iXblue and third-party), making iXblue’s USBL the perfect fit for all operations requiring highly accurate and reliable tracking and positioning of multiple assets.

A versatile and easy to use system

True calibration-free systems

Embedding their own gyro and motion sensor in their housing, the Gaps Series of USBL systems do not need to be coupled with external sensors, and do not require any on-the-field calibration. This makes them true calibration free systems that offer precious operational time savings and efficiency
on the field.

One single equipment for positioning and communication

Gaps Series can not only be deployed to precisely position subsea vehicles, but it can also be used for communication with the underwater asset. Thanks to its telemetry feature, bidirectional communication between the surface vessel and the underwater vehicle is enabled for tasks such as INS re-alignment, sensor data retrieval, LBL array calibration with iXblue Canopus transponder or AUV command & control.

Third-party friendly for easy integration

Benefiting from an open architecture, the Gaps Series is compatible with both iXblue and third-party transponders for easy integration within existing pool of equipment. Easily interfaced with the most commonly used navigation software, iXblue’s USBL are hassle-free systems that are easy to integrate and use.

Easy to deploy

The Gaps Series are particularly easy to install and operate thanks to their compact size and embedded motion sensors that make them ready to use right away. Quick to deploy, they can be used from over-the-side poles, stingers and confined spaces. Their light weight allows for the USBL to be deployed from very small vessels with a reduced crew onboard or even deployed on instrumented buoys.

One Series, a wide range of applications

Offering unrivaled horizontal tracking capabilities and high-performance from extremely shallow water depths to 4,000 meters, the Gaps Series covers a wide range of applications. The Gaps M5 will be the most suited solution for subsea positioning needs of 1,000m or less, while the Gaps M7 will be best suited for higher survey requirements and deep-water operations.

Oil and Gas

  • ROV tracking
  • AUV tracking
  • Glider tracking
  • ROTV tracking
  • Pipelaying (pre-lay survey, as laid survey…)
  • Dynamic positioning
  • Subsea structure placement
  • Mattress laying
  • LBL array calibration
  • Out-of-straightness
  • Touchdown monitoring
  • IMR (Inspection, Maintenance and Repair)
  • Seismic (streamer, nod and Ocean Bottom Cables – OBC – positioning)

Renewables

  • ROV tracking
  • AUV tracking
  • ROTV tracking
  • UXO survey
  • Cable laying
  • Dynamic positioning
  • Windfarm pre-site survey
  • IMR (Inspection, Maintenance and Repair)

Science

  • ROV tracking
  • AUV tracking
  • Glider tracking
  • Tow-fish tracking
  • ROTV tracking
  • Underwater geodesy
  • Remote data acquisition
  • Seismic events monitoring

Marine civil engineering

  • ROV tracking
  • Cable laying
  • Pipe laying
  • Subsea structure placement

Defense

  • AUV tracking and command
  • Tow-fish tracking
  • Diver tracking
  • MCM (Mine Counter measures) operations
  • Under hull inspection
  • Naval base protection

Posidonia: A dedicated USBL for ultra-long range applications

Completing the Gaps Series, iXblue Posidonia is an ultra-short baseline (USBL) acoustic positioning system dedicated to the highly accurate and ultra–long range tracking of subsea vehicles beyond 10,000 m.

Learn more about Posidonia

News & Customer Stories

Downloads

Gaps Series – Datasheet

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Subsea Positioning Brochure

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