At sea, naval platforms need to know where they are at all times and to the highest possible degree of accuracy in order to conduct superior operations. To be effective and independent of GNSS signals that can be lost, jammed, spoofed or non-existent undersea, both surface and subsea naval platforms are making use of advanced Inertial Navigation Systems (INS), that integrate the platform motion over time.
Fiber-Optic Gyroscopes (FOGs) are the only combat-proven technology that offers unrivaled performance to vessels by providing measures and rotation rates to deliver the platform’s attitude, while the data gathered by accelerometers are integrated to yield speeds and distances. Advanced algorithms then use the data provided to continuously update the platform’s position relative to its starting point, along with its attitude (roll, pitch and yaw), speed and heading.
Leveraging 30 years of advanced and innovative expertise in FOG technology, iXblue designs and manufactures combat-proven FOG-based INS and is now recognized as a global leader that provides resilient navigation to navies worldwide. Solid-state, FOGs have no moving parts and do not require preventive maintenance while offering unlimited lifespan. They have very low power consumption and are vibration-free, offering the acoustic discretion necessary for stealthy naval operations.
Performance offered by FOG INS is moreover deemed unlimited, as it primarily depends on the length of the coil used within the system. Incidentally, iXblue’s Marins Series INS, that offers high-end inertial navigation capabilities meeting the military requirements of the most modern combat ships, boasts unrivaled proven performances that can reach up to a drift of one nautical mile per 360 hours.
To complete the navigation solution, iXblue also provides the Netans Navigation Data Distribution System (NDDS). Found at the heart of the navigation system, iXblue’s Netans NDDS interfaces directly with the navigation sensors, acquiring, analyzing, correlating and then distributing the collected data to all onboard systems. Directly contributing to the vessel operational capabilities, iXblue Netans Series is a real-time system that processes and distributes almost instantaneously the very diverse and complex data from all navigation sensors. The Netans range thus provides reliable, consistent and accurate navigation information, while addressing the cybersecurity challenges faced by the world's leading navies.
Integrated onto a single platform, iXblue’s Marins INS and Netans NDDS thus precisely match the exacting requirements of major combat vessels in terms of performance, capacity and cost of ownership.
Mastering the full chain of technologies needed to produce its INS within its own manufacturing facilities – from optical fibers, accelerometers, to optical circuits –, iXblue furthermore maintains direct control over its products, making them entirely ITAR-free. Unrivaled know-how and a growing presence on the international market – the company conducts its business with over 60 countries worldwide – have thus enabled iXblue to develop a complete range of products that meet the full spectrum of its customer’s needs, on the naval, land defense, aerospace and civil markets.
Drawing on its extensive experience, iXblue has sold more than 8,000 INS or 25,000 FOGs, and is now on board over 60 navies and armies around the world, including some of the most recent and renowned naval programs such as the Royal Navy Astute-class nuclear attack submarines, Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, Duke-class frigates and Vanguard and Trafalgar-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, as well as the German Navy Type 123 Brandenburg-class and Type 122 Bremen-class frigates and the Swedish Navy next generation A26 and Gotland-class submarines. More recently, the company was furthermore chosen to equip the future FTI medium size frigates for the French Navy.