Accurate positioning of subsea vehicles is critical for the success of underwater operations. This is why the development of ever more performant Inertial Navigation Systems has always been a key focus for iXblue. Striving to always bring increased efficiency to companies operating in the subsea world, and to enhance its Inertial Navigation System positioning performance, iXblue has recently partnered with DVL manufacturers Nortek and Teledyne RD Instruments to offer a new INS/DVL tight-coupling solution. Benefitting from iXblue’s field-proven Fiber-Optic Gyroscope (FOG) technology, that has revolutionized navigation in the past decade, and from the latest DVL developments that Nortek and Teledyne RD Instruments have been working on, this new 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.
Modularity and ease-of-use
Offering modularity and flexibility, this new tight-coupling solution 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.
The risk posed by a damaged DVL is furthermore mitigated due to the ability to directly swap the DVL on the field, without dedicating vessel-time for DVL calibration prior to re-starting the operation. Performing calibration in hidden time directly via iXblue’s Delph INS post-processing software or iXblue 24/7 support is also made possible due to the available INS data logging capability.
Increased INS positioning performance
Sea trials conducted by iXblue, Nortek and Teledyne RD Instruments in order to qualify the characteristics of this new solution, as well as repeatable results, confirmed the new high positioning performance offered and allowed iXblue to review the positioning performance of its INS as follow: