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Marine Electronics


December 2016 Issue

iXBlue Designs Sensor
For French Defense

iXBlue has launched the RAPID FOG Very High Performance program, with the support of the French Ministry of Defense’s procurement agency. The aim of this project is to design a sensor with performance drift of 1 naut. mi. in 30 days of navigation.

iXBlue’s Marins Series, comprising the M3, M5 and M7, is based on the Fiber-Optic Gyroscope (FOG) from iXBlue. The company has been modifying the sensor architecture and overhauling the signal processing, as well as processes and optical components key to performance. A demonstrator has been assembled and will be delivered to the French DGA in the near future.

Fiber-Optic Gyroscope technology can be used to equip a variety of military equipment requiring high-performance inertial navigation units: satellites, submarines, ships, aircraft, land vehicles and weapons. It also suits a variety of civil equipment for space, offshore, marine and geoscience applications.

Aquatec Equipment
Awards Winner

Aquatec Group announced the winner of the Equipment Awards 2016 – Phase 1: Nicholas Jordan from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his project “Impacts of Shoreline Protection Structures on Sediment Transport in the Great Lakes.” He used the AQUAscat 1000LT for his research project.

Call for Comms Standards
To Address Cybersecurity Risk

Frank Coles, Transas CEO, delivered a keynote speech at the Shipping Insight Fleet Optimization Conference in Stamford, Connecticut, calling for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to set standards of compliance for the communication connections between ship and shore. Without standards, there is a significant cybersecurity risk. Compared to the highly regulated ship equipment environment, the connectivity environment is relatively uncontrolled in terms of maritime certification and compliance.

“The connected ship is like a long chain, with each piece linking to the next, and at every point there is the opportunity for a failure,” he said. “It can be hardware or software or both, and it can be a cyber virus penetration or simply a denial of service, either of which can cause damage.”

The essence of cybersecurity is a smart information technology system, process and procedures; therefore, standardization and regulatory controls for the ship’s systems need to include connectivity.

“There are international maritime standards for GMDSS or AIS, but for the big data nothing exists,” he said. “This means the cybersecurity risk is left to each satellite operator, each service provider and each hardware manufacturer.”

Wave Glider Testing to
Improve Flight Coverage

Liquid Robotics partner Maritime Robotics is testing a Wave Glider with FlightRadar24 to improve the coverage of flights over the ocean. The Wave Glider, dubbed “FloatRadar24” by an Internet vote, was equipped with an ADS-B receiver, which communicates directly with airplanes.

After swimming out to a test area in the Atlantic Ocean, the Wave Glider held position and helped bridge the coverage gap between Norway and Iceland. FloatRadar24 has tracked hundreds of flights and provided additional coverage beyond FlightRadar24’s terrestrial receivers. The hope is that by expanding flight coverage over the oceans, there will no longer be disappearing flights like MH370.

Ellipse-D Equips

HYPACK chose the SBG Systems Ellipse-D inertial navigation system to equip their new UAV-based surveying solution: the NEXUS 800, a solution for lidar survey planning, data acquisition, post-processing and analysis. The NEXUS 800 powered by HYPACK harmonizes lidar data with photogrammetry.

The HYPACK-HYSWEEP mapping software enables the operator to plan, acquire and process lidar and photogrammetry data with a Windows PC and UAV, allowing for rapid analysis, product creation and export to a variety of CAD and GIS formats.

Pressure-Tolerant Battery
Project Hits Milestone

A two-year Steatite-led project to develop a pressure-tolerant battery pack has accomplished a new milestone. Due for completion in October 2017, the project has reached the halfway point and is now entering a crucial stage of battery development.

The consortium comprises Steatite, OXIS Energy, MSubs and the U.K. National Oceanography Centre. Focused primarily on marine vehicles, the project aims to exploit the inherent benefits of lithium-sulfur cell technology, including marine autonomous vehicles improved neutral buoyancy, greater levels of safety and high energy densities, which will result in greater vehicle speed, endurance and payloads.

By enabling the vehicle to remain at sea longer and achieve more on a per dive basis, launch and operational costs can be heavily reduced, resulting in improved dive efficiency.

The project is progressing well, with the cell development phase about to be completed. The battery development phase is now starting, involving continued development of Steatite’s pressure-tolerant, multichemistry Battery Management System (BMS), which will be demonstrated in a deep-dive submarine mid-2017. The battery pack is designed to operate at depths up to 6,000 m.

Flexrotor Guides Fleet
Through Arctic Ice

A workboat fleet was sent 1,000 mi. from the nearest port to retrieve massive anchors from mooring sites spread across the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, with the lead ship equipped with Flexrotor, a small unmanned aircraft built specifically for long-range imaging reconnaissance at sea. The Flexrotor had been brought as an experiment, but became an essential tool. Video from the aircraft aided the ice pilot responsible for navigating the ship to its targets. The video was streamed in real time through the boat’s satellite link.

A little more than two weeks later, after five flights totaling 19 hr., the mission was complete. Flexrotor had guided the fleet through the labyrinthine ice, all of the seafloor gear had been retrieved, and the fleet was bound for home weeks ahead of schedule.


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