Subsea inertial navigation technology supplied by Sonardyne Inc., Houston has been selected by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), for its deep-rated remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), Ventana and Doc Ricketts.

The SPRINT systems will be used in conjunction with MBARI’s existing Sonardyne Ranger 2 acoustic tracking systems to improve the accuracy, precision and integrity of subsea vehicle positioning in water depths up to 13,000 feet.

The SPRINT for Ventana has already been installed and commissioned whilst the unit ordered for Doc Ricketts is scheduled to be delivered in the coming months.

Now in its third generation, SPRINT’s inertial sensors make use of acoustic aiding from data sources including USBL, LBL and Doppler Velocity Log (DVL) and pressure sensors to extend operational capability and improve vehicle control. SPRINT supports dual gyrocompass and INS operating modes, meaning that ROV pilots and science teams are able to rely upon its output simultaneously, the company explained.

Commenting on the order, Kim Swords, senior application engineer at Sonardyne said: “The need for both accurate and multiple means of subsea navigation is a priority for all missions involving marine robotic platforms. SPRINT has been helping to do this now for more than 10 years, delivering class-leading performance that helps strengthen the value of the observations and data gathered by ROVs and AUVs.”

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