Advanced Concepts and Systems Architecture (ACSA) of France, based in Aix-en-Provence, will take part in the Oceanology 2008 trade show in London, to be held from 11 to 13 March. ACSA is an SME with 30 years' experience in the fields of underwater navigation systems and robotics, specialising in underwater GPS and future Galileo applications.
As a systems architect and expert in underwater positioning, ACSA has developed the GIB (GPS Intelligent Buoys) systems - the first and only systems to offer true real-time D-GPS underwater tracking capabilities. GIB systems are used worldwide in both shallow and deep waters with, among others, scientific, offshore underwater surveying and salvage & recovery applications. The French company will showcase its technology at the Oceanology trade show in London in March.
ACSA offers underwater robotics architectures oriented towards supervised concepts, whereby positioning and communications requirements are united to generate new and unique operational solutions. Since 2006, ACSA has been strengthening its expertise in the field of underwater gliders for seismic and oceanographic applications. ACSA has its own test site and facilities near Hyères on the Mediterranean coast of France, where it can conduct tests down to depths of 3,000 metres.
ACSA has developed a range of advanced systems in its field. GIB-LITE is a high-accuracy, easy-to-use, shallow-water GPS-driven underwater tracking system with applications in mine warfare (EOD diver tracking, guidance and distress system), oil and gas shallow-water surveying, and oceanographic and underwater archaeology applications.
The GIB-LITE system consists of a set of four buoys, which receive acoustic signals from pingers mounted on underwater vehicles. Equipped with a GPS receiver and linked through a local radio network to a control station, the buoys broadcast their GPS position along with the Times of Arrival (TOA) of acoustic signals received from the underwater vehicles (Divers, ROVs, AUVs etc.) Given the TOA on the buoys, triangulation algorithms can be used to calculate the position of up to two vehicles simultaneously.
The GIB-ERUS tactical system for efficient EOD-diver mission management, developed by ACSA Underwater GPS in co-operation with Thales Safare, is specially designed for diver real-time guidance and supervision from a surface control station.
From any non-dedicated ship, the GIB-ERUS system can be used to track and communicate with divers, manage planned and unplanned events from a C3 console in minimal stress conditions, and optimise elementary tasks for global underwater operations in minutes.
The GIB-USC NTP Server has been developed as a solution to the problem of interference between payload/sensors, where sharing a unique, accurate time reference becomes a necessity - not only in order to time-stamp the acquired sensor data, but also to trigger the various payloads in order to avoid such interference.
The GIB-USC NTP Server is designed to deliver a high-accuracy GPS time to all nodes on the network through a TCP/IP protocol. A set of eight trigger lines can be used simultaneously to control - with an accuracy that is better than one tenth of a millisecond - time windows associated with specific equipment such as an acoustic modem, a USBL or towed sonar on the surface or positioning equipment, an INU, some acoustic payloads, and data telemetry in an unmanned vehicle.
A high-stability clock maintains GPS time automatically while the vehicle is submerged, and the GIB-USC NTP Server comes equipped with a software toolbox for equipment configuration and payload trigger line optimisation.
The BASIL is a self-propelled buoy - a small RIB - that was originally designed for the virtual mooring of GIB buoys. It offers a large space and weight payload capacity. It can deploy remote sensors and offers multiple simultaneous measurements with up to eight BASILs being controlled at the same time.
BASIL can be used in manual-control, route-following or station-keeping mode and is operated with the aid of a user-friendly display for tracking movements on an electronic chart, in addition to having specific screens for vehicle remote control.
Full details and specifications can be given on request to readers who would want more information on the various systems and technologies described in this press release. Please get in touch with Ms Kate Ambler, FTPB Press Officer, who will also be able to give you the full contact details of the company in France, should you wish to get directly in touch with them.