Sonardyne Tests Nav Systems for UK ASVs
Sonardyne International Ltd. has demonstrated technologies that will aid autonomous vehicle operations in challenging environments under a project funded by the U.K.’s national Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA).
Working with a 12 m-long SEA-KIT X USV, Sonardyne tested and validated sensors already used by UUVs for deployment on USVs in support of missions in coastal waters.
Sonardyne’s SPRINT-Nav hybrid inertial navigation instrument was integrated into a SEA-KIT X and tested against local real-time kinematic (RTK) GPS positioning as part of the DASA program to fast-track autonomous vehicle capability in challenging or harsh conditions.
Loss of satellite-based timing signals needed for navigation and positioning can occur in ports and harbors around tall structures or close to cliffs or inside fjords, where GPS or GNSS receivers may not have a clear line of sight with the sky. It can also happen through deliberate signal jamming or degrading of performance, known as spoofing.
Sonardyne’s SPRINT-Nav is already proven as a reliable navigation instrument for unmanned underwater vehicles, which operate in what is effectively a GPS- or GNSS-denied environment. Now it will also be used to provide a high integrity, continuously available navigation solution for a USV, like SEA-KIT X, operating in littoral zones in water depths up to 150 m.
SEA-KIT is a 10,000 nautical mi.-range vessel able to carry up to 2.5 tonnes of payload and deploy and recover AUVs and ROVs. This capability, and flexibility, means it is well suited to support naval missions, including intelligence gathering and hydrographic survey, and to serve as a communications gateway.