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Sonardyne Fusion systems for US Navy Deep Search ROVs

Posted on 02.05.2004 - 12:49 EDT in SURVEY NEWS by Rons_ROV_Links

Sonardyne Inc, Houston has announced that it has sold two Fusion USBL (Ultra-Short BaseLine) acoustic positioning systems to the U.S. Navy Office of the Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV). The Fusion systems contain the latest advances in subsea acoustic technology from Sonardyne and were delivered at the end of March to SUPSALV’s Undersea Operations prime contractor, Phoenix International, Inc. in Landover, Maryland. The equipment will be used to provide precise underwater positioning for Deep Drone and CURV III ROVs which are the mainstays in SUPSALV’s fleet of search and recovery equipment.

Phoenix International holds the U.S. Navy’s five year Undersea Operations contract to maintain and operate all of the SUPSALV assets needed to search, locate, and recover objects in water depths to 20,000 feet. Phoenix is responsible for maintaining the equipment in Ready for Issue (RFI) status on an around-the-clock basis and sustaining the capability to mobilize and operate the systems anywhere in the world. After receiving Navy approval, Phoenix engineers are also responsible for repair, modification, and upgrade to these systems.

CURV III is a 20,000-foot depth rated ROV, designed to meet SUPSALV’s needs for very deep-water recovery. It will be positioned using a Fusion ‘Big Head’ transceiver and transponders rated to 20,000 feet (6,000 meters). Deep Drone is a 7,200-foot depth rated ROV that will be operated in conjunction with a Sonardyne Fusion ‘Standard Head’ transceiver and two 13,000 feet (4,000 meter) rated transponders. Both ROV systems are designed to be air transportable on military cargo aircraft and to operate from vessels of opportunity.

Phoenix has been involved with numerous international search and recovery operations on behalf its military and commercial clients demonstrating ROV-based recovery techniques on such deep water projects as INS DAKAR, Japanese H-II missile, and a host of foreign and military accident investigations. Before opting for Sonardyne, Phoenix on behalf of the Navy, conducted offshore trials that showed Fusion to be effective, easy to operate, and competitively priced, making it a suitable option for the Navy’s deep water operations.

The Fusion product family was specifically developed to overcome the limitations of traditional acoustic positioning systems by integrating raw acoustic data with data from other available sensors such as position, attitude, heading and velocity. The result is faster, more accurate and more robust subsea navigation, the freedom to use new positioning techniques and the ability to maintain performance in all water depths from all types of vessel.

In addition to high accuracy acoustic positioning, the Navy’s Fusion systems purchased by Phoenix will offer greater operational flexibility in search and recovery operations. This is achieved through the elimination of the separate on-board acoustic hardware traditionally needed for different subsea positioning and navigation activities. With Fusion, the same vessel hardware can be used to undertake a relatively simple towfish tracking project one day and a complex debris survey the next.

Sonardyne Fusion USBL systems are manufactured at the company’s headquarters in Yateley, England. The company also has offices in Aberdeen, Houston, Singapore and Brazil. It is recognised as a world leader in the design and manufacture of subsea acoustic navigation, positioning and telemetry systems for use by the military, offshore oil and gas industries and the international scientific community.


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