Inertial Navigation & Positioning Technology for Unmanned, Autonomous Systems

Navigation & Positioning Systems Selected for Minehunting UUVs & USVs

By Mike Ball / 20 Oct 2020
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Mine countermeasures unmanned systems

iXblue, along with partner ECA Group, has entered into a contract to provide navigation solutions, underwater positioning systems and obstacle avoidance sonars for the Mine Countermeasures (MCM) replacement program for the Belgian and Royal Netherlands Navies.

The upgraded MCM capabilities will centre around ECA Group’s Toolbox, a set of unmanned minehunting vehicles that includes the company’s INSPECTOR125 USVs (unmanned surface vessels) and A18-M AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles), as well as UMS Skeldar’s SKELDAR V-200 UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). Other capabilities in the Toolbox include T18 towed sonars for mine detection, as well as SEASCAN and K-STER C MIDS (Mine Identification and Disposal System) for mine identification and neutralization. These robotic systems must perform navigation, obstacle detection and avoidance, vehicle tracking, and underwater communication between vehicles with a high level of performance.

iXblue will provide the following technologies to aid these unmanned systems:

Jean-Louis Sambarino, Program Director at ECA Group, commented: “We are very pleased to partner with iXblue, a leading expert in the field of navigation, subsea positioning and imagery. Our respective domains of expertise are complementary and our teams have already been working efficiently in the past. It is an important partnership for us; I am confident in the realisation of our next steps within the Belgian-Dutch MCM programme.”

Jean-Marc Binois, Commercial Director at iXblue, said: “We would like to thank ECA GROUP for their renewed trust on this major program. ECA GROUP has been using our inertial navigation and acoustic positioning systems for many years now, and for them to select our Forward Looking Sonar for this strategic MCM program is yet another step in our longstanding partnership. We’re very proud to be able to take this partnership between two French technology companies to a new level and are looking forward to our continuous collaboration on future programs.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact
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