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iXblue and ECA Group recently demonstrated subsea asset tracking in shallow waters using iXblue’s GAPS M7 USBL (Ultra Short BaseLine) positioning system and ECA Group’s R7 ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle), iXblue writes in a press release. Hosted by their local partner Thesta, a Polish company providing maritime navigation services and communication systems for the defence sector, the demonstration was organised for the Polish Naval Academy and NAVSUP 2022 attendees with the aim of showing that accurate positioning of underwater targets is possible in a potentially hostile and fast-approaching environment, in coastal regions characterised by shallow waters and often limited access.

According to iXblue, ECA Group’s R7 ROV investigated objects and structures submerged in the shallow waters of the Baltic Sea in Gdynia harbour as part of the mission scenario. iXblue’s GAPS M7 USBL acoustic positioning system was deployed to geolocate the R7 ROV and correct its trajectory in real time. A fixed transponder was also placed several hundreds of metres away from the vessel, at only 5 metres deep. The trials were carried out in water depths of 7 to 10 metres, surrounded by many docks and vessels causing significant acoustic echoes.

Despite challenging acoustic conditions, the positioning of the ROV and the transponder was stable and accurate. The company emphasizes. The ROV inspection was successful despite the low visibility.