Sonardyne’s underwater positioning and communications technology has been selected by specialist geo-data firm Fugro to be incorporated into a global fleet of unmanned surface vessels (USVs) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).
The Mini-Ranger 2 Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) positioning system, configured with a Marine Robotics software extension pack, will be integrated into Fugro’s new 12 m-long Blue Essence USV. This system will allow the USV to deploy, track, command and control Blue Volta electric remotely operated vehicles (eROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) as part of inspection, survey and data harvesting projects. All vehicles will be controlled from Fugro’s onshore remote operations centres.
Mini-Ranger 2 provides survey-grade positioning performance and the ability to simultaneously track 10 targets at very fast update rates, with a standard operating range of 995 m and extendable to 4000 m. Sonardyne’s Marine Robotics software pack provides additional capabilities, such as secure data exchange and remote control of AUV swarm scenarios, when used with a compatible subsea vehicle mounted instrument such as Sonardyne’s AvTrak 6.
Integration of the Mini-Ranger 2 and its hull-mounted acoustic transceiver is taking place at SEA-KIT’s bespoke facility in Tollesbury, UK, where additional USVs for Fugro’s global fleet are also being constructed.
Ivar de Josselin de Jong, Global Solution Director for Remote Inspection at Fugro, commented: “The integration of Sonardyne’s positioning system into our unique remote inspection offering, which combines the Blue Essence USV with the Blue Volta inspection eROV, is key in supporting Fugro’s strategy to lead the development of remote and autonomous solutions for a safer, more sustainable and more efficient approach to the construction and maintenance of marine assets. Our fleet will deliver an entirely remote-controlled inspection solution for the first time in history and this will play a pivotal role in the rapidly growing offshore wind sector.”
Graeme Buchanan, Sales Manager for Sonardyne in Singapore, said: “We’re pleased to be continuing to support the ongoing transition towards increasingly remote and uncrewed operations across all marine sectors. Enabling entirely remote-controlled inspection with solutions such as our Mini Ranger 2 is delivering safer, more sustainable and efficient operations across the ocean space.”