iXBlue in collaboration with ECA Group have successfully carried out subsea asset tracking demonstration in the shallow waters.

The demonstration was conducted for the US Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) and the Polish Naval Academy’s attendees.

Hosted by a Polish defence sector company THESTA, this demonstration involved iXblue’s Gaps M7 ultra short baseline (USBL) positioning system and ECA Group’s new R7 remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

During the demonstration, R7 ROV was deployed to investigate objects submerged in shallow waters of the Baltic Sea region in Gdynia harbour.

The acoustic positioning system Gaps M7 USBL was responsible for geolocating R7 ROV and correcting its trajectory in real time.

The trials were conducted in 7m to 10m deep waters, surrounded by several docks and vessels causing significant acoustic echoes.

Besides, a fixed transponder that was placed 5m deep and hundreds of meters away from the vessel.

It aimed to showcase that it is possible to locate the precise position of underwater targets in a fast-approaching and potentially hostile environment, in coastal regions with limited access.

THESTA technical director Cezary Majchrowicz said: “The R7 ROV along with Gaps M7 USBL acoustic positioning system is able to transmit information accurately, even in noisy and difficult acoustic environments.

“They both enable fast operation as well as regular and quick position updates, even in very shallow waters, which is a definite asset for the navies, given their need for a fast, clear and concise picture of the battlespace to quickly manoeuvre naval forces in the field.”

According to iXblue, the ROV inspection was successful even in low visibility.

It was possible with the help of HD acoustic inspection camera that provided high-resolution data with superior localisation precision.

ECA Group’s R7 ROV and iXblue’s Gaps M7 USBL ready to be deployed at sea. Credit: iXblue.