Sonardyne has released a new high-altitude variant of its hybrid navigator, SPRINT-Nav, to allow unmanned surface or underwater vehicles (USV/UUV) to extend their operational envelope, the company announced on 9 February.
SPRINT-Nav tightly integrates a SPRINT INS, a Syrinx DVL and a highly accurate pressure sensor into a single high-performance solution, providing navigation and optional acoustic Doppler current profile (ADCP) functionality. The new variant takes this capability to an even higher level; increasing the altitude at which vehicles can work when lacking an external position reference, without compromising accuracy.
Operating at 400kHz, the high-altitude variant achieves reliable bottom lock at up to 230m above the seabed, providing USVs with a highly accurate and robust navigation source, which is critical for station-keeping applications in coastal surveys, where GNSS could be denied or subject to interreference.
Installation of the new SPRINT-Nav variant on autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) and remotely operated vehicles (ROV) allows inspections and surveys to be performed at higher altitudes than previously possible.
In addition, the instrument’s optional ADCP functionality has been extended to 120m, adding oceanographic data-gathering and increased operational capability. This can be especially beneficial in highly dynamic environments and/or where remote vehicles are being deployed from a USV and robust current profile data is required.
The new SPRINT-Nav high-altitude variant has already been delivered to the USV market, including as part of a package of Sonardyne technologies being installed on the first wave of Ocean Infinity’s new ARMADA fleet of robotic vessels.
“Our new 400kHz SPRINT-Nav high-altitude variant provides the optimal performance blend, with comparable accuracy but 30% greater altitude to our 600kHz standard SPRINT-Nav,” observes Malik Chibah, Sonardyne’s Engineering Director. “With higher altitude performance, this new variant of SPRINT-Nav allows USVs to operate in a wider range of maritime environments. UUVs can also operate at higher altitudes above the seabed, across a wide range of operational scenarios in the defence, energy and science sectors. This comes without the loss of accuracy expected of instruments offering the equivalent altitude. For example, you can increase your multibeam coverage rates or also reduce navigation drift during descent and ascent.”
In addition to releasing the SPRINT-Nav high-altitude variant, the 400kHz capability it contains is also now available as a standalone variant of Sonardyne’s SYRINX DVL, which also comes with optional ADCP functionality.