The US Navy has selected Sonardyne’s deep water acoustic positioning system, Ranger 2 USBL, for installation into the navy’s new oceanographic research vessel, R/V Neil Armstrong.

Sonardyne’s Ranger 2 acoustic positioning technology is designed to track underwater objects and dynamically position (DP) vessels.

It employs the ultra-short baseline (USBL) method to determine the position of a subsea object over a wide area.

“The vessel can survive 40 days at sea and can accommodate a crew of 20, along with 24 scientists.”

The equipment will support the research vessel by allowing the science research teams to monitor the position of underwater targets deployed from the vessel, which will include remotely operated vehicles (ROV), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), towfish, and seafloor landers.

Operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the research vessel Neil Armstrong is the first of two new Ocean-Class vessels ordered by the US to cater to the national requirements for a high specification research ship based on the East Coast of the country.

.The vessel can survive 40 days at sea and can accommodate a crew of 20, along with 24 scientists

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Neil Armstrong is equipped to perform advanced mapping, sampling and sustained observation missions around the world.

Sonardyne senior applications engineer Kim Swords said: "With the system now installed, we look forward to supporting WHOI through the commissioning phase of the contract and then seeing the results from its first expeditions later this year."

Sonardyne’s Ranger USBL technology has been used by WHOI in the past to track vehicles including the manned submersible, Alvin, deep-rated remotely operated vehicle, Jason, and autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry.

Image: R/V Neil Armstrong to be installed with Sonardyne’s Ranger 2 USBL. Photo: courtesy of Sonardyne.