A new autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) being developed by a joint-research program between PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP) and Kasetsart University (KU), Bangkok, Thailand will feature marine robotics navigation technology supplied by Sonardyne Asia Pte. Ltd, of Singapore.
The order for Sonardyne’s SPRINT inertial navigation system (INS) and Syrinx Doppler Velocity Log (DVL) was placed by the PTTEP-KU and will be integrated on a 4,000 meter rated, long endurance AUV being built for applications including pipeline maintenance and oil-spill detection.
With a track record spanning 10 years, SPRINT technology makes use of aiding from data sources including acoustics, DVL and pressure sensors to improve the accuracy, precision and integrity of subsea vehicle positioning over long distances, Sonardyne said.
KU, as part of this research program, will be the first academic institution in the region to own Sonardyne’s new, third generation SPRINT which supports dual gyrocompass and INS operating modes, allowing AUV pilots and survey teams to utilize its navigation output simultaneously. A redesigned lightweight titanium housing provides space and weight savings to help maximize mission endurance.
Syrinx DVL provides tightly integrated beam-level aiding for SPRINT, even if one or two DVL beams are unavailable. It is able to operate at altitudes up to 50 percent higher than conventional 600 kHz DVLs with the high resolution performance of a 1200 kHz DVL, all while navigating over undulating and challenging terrain of any type, Sonardyne said.
“The marine robotics team at Kasetsart are designing a vehicle that will be capable of conducting pipeline inspections over distances of 100 kilometers without any external position aiding,” said Daniel Tan, Regional Sales Manager for Sonardyne in Singapore. “Reliable, survey-grade navigation data will be essential to the success of its missions and this is where our all-in-one acoustically-aided INS solution comes in. SPRINT and Syrinx are proven to deliver class-leading performance - as good as a fraction of a meter over many kilometers travelled.”
Yodyium Tipsuwan, Assistant Professor at Kasetsart University, said, “We chose a Sonardyne solution because a tight integration between INS and DVL results in highly reliable navigation data. This is very crucial for a very long range autonomous mission. Also, this comes with smaller cost comparing to other solutions.”