Sonardyne launches AvTrak 2 to provide communications and positioning for AUVsEquipment & Technology // June 6, 2006
Sonardyne International Ltd of Yateley, UK has launched a new acoustic positioning and communications instrument for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs).
AvTrak 2 has been developed to meet the needs of the latest generation of AUVs and their operators by offering high accuracy navigation, positioning and through water communications in a single lightweight, low power unit.
Incorporating Sonardyne’s new Wideband technology, AvTrak 2’s comprehensive command language allows the vehicle to undertake a variety of survey tasks from precise LBL ranging, USBL tracking via a surface vessel and robust and high speed telemetry for AUV-to-surface and AUV-to-AUV communications.
This capability is said to provide the AUV designer with absolute position reference data to constrain the drift in his inertial navigation systems.
A surface unit is available for ranging and communications but AvTrak 2 is also fully compatible with Sonardyne’s successful Fusion USBL (Ultra-Short BaseLine) acoustic positioning system.
This enables it to provide positioning and telemetry while giving users the benefits of its latest Wideband™ technology. These include protection against acoustic interference and the ability to work in multi-vessel environments with greater accuracy and faster update rates.
Users also benefit from the ability of the new AvTrak 2 system to be operated in “robust” or “high data rate” telemetry modes depending on operational requirements. It has also been designed to be Doppler immune and includes a pinger detection capability. When operated in transponder mode, AvTrak 2 can provide emergency relocation while its digital I/O capability enables AUV system designers to easily incorporate functions such as emergency ballast control.
Optional features on AvTrak 2 include temperature and depth sensors. Despite the range of tasks it is capable of performing, the unit has extremely low power consumption with an internal trickle-charged battery for emergency back-up.
The system is expected to be welcomed by designers of all types of AUV who will appreciate the advantages provided by the choice of configuration options available. These range from its supply as a chassis version with remote transducer to fully integrated unit that is available rated for a range of depths to suit operating requirements.