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Sonardyne Suite for Dive Technologies’ AUV

January 12, 2021

Sonardyne’s underwater technologies are supporting Dive Technologies’ large displacement DIVE-LD autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) program. Photo Courtesy Sonardyne
Sonardyne’s underwater technologies are supporting Dive Technologies’ large displacement DIVE-LD autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) program. Photo Courtesy Sonardyne

Dive Technologies of Quincy, Mass., selected a suite of Sonardyne technologies for navigation, tracking and control of its large displacement DIVE-LD autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) program.

Founded in 2018, Dive Technologies’ rapid development program has included support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and technology partnerships with organizations including the Center for Marine Autonomy and Robotics at Virginia Tech. A key part of the development has been to opt for high-performance, off-the-shelf systems for its DIVE-LD AUV, a 19-ft. long, 48-in. diameter vehicle designed for operations down to 6,000 m water depth. It is currently in production in the U.S. with sea testing ongoing in New Bedford.

The scope of equipment from Sonardyne includes:

  • To support long-distance and long-duration navigation while minimixing complexity and payload space consumption, the DIVE-LD AUV is fitted with Sonardyne’s hybrid navigator SPRINT-Nav.
  • For underwater positioning and acoustic communications, the DIVE-LD is fitted with Sonardyne’s AvTrak 6 – a combined transponder, modem and emergency relocator beacon all in one. 
  • To cover all its concepts of operations (CONOPS), including tracking and communication during development and testing, Dive Technologies has also acquired Sonardyne’s most capable Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) system, Ranger 2, with its latest, compact Gyro USBL.

“With a new development effort underway for Dive Technologies’ DIVE-LD autonomous underwater vehicle, we had a wide range of use cases in mind and needed a single system capable of supporting the various mission sets we had in mind,” said Tim Raymond, Dive Technologies’ Director of R&D. “We also needed a topside system which could scale in functionality and complexity with our vehicle as we continue to add features and capabilities, from our initial testing where our needs were just tracking and emergency commands, to more advanced features such as USBL aiding and SMS transmission of vehicle and data health metrics.

“Ranger 2 is a good fit for both of these needs and it has enabled us to meet our challenging goals of simultaneous development and testing while maintaining consistent and impressive performance even in challenging operating conditions. The system has proven reliable, easy to use, and portable to support mobilisation on a variety of support vessels.”

Ranger 2 is Sonardyne’s highest performing USBL system, designed for simultaneous long range target tracking, dynamic positioning (DP) and subsea communications. It is being supplied to Dive Technologies with Sonardyne’s new compact Gyro USBL, which combines the vessel heading, pitch and roll data that’s critical to USBL system precision, with an acoustic transceiver in a single housing, supporting system simplification and ease of mobilisation.

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