iXBlue has launched the next generation of its underwater global acoustic positioning system, designated GAPS-NG.
GAPS-NG, like its predecessor GAPS, is a truly portable and precalibrated ultra-short baseline positioning system (USBL) that incorporates INS and GPS technologies. GAPS is designed to work in demanding environments, notably acoustically challenging and/or extremely shallow waters, where other systems commonly fall down.
“Our overall aim with the new system was to make life even better for the user,” says Hubert Pelletier, Sales and Marketing Director, iXBlue Acoustic Products Division. “We know that users value the basic performance advantages that GAPS offers, but we wanted to make the system more flexible and easier to use, and also to improve its functionality. We have listened to our customers and come up with a package of measures to respond to the feedback we have received from customers over the past few years.”
iXBlue has improved GAPS principally by providing the system with new, generic I/Os, Ethernet connectivity and its standard webbased MMI – a man-machine interface already available across the product range that enables the system to be interrogated via the web and its operating parameters very simply modified on screen.
The enhancements make GAPS-NG compatible with more underwater transponders and easier to interface with a variety of peripheral systems and sensors. The result is a more practical underwater positioning system that can be quickly adapted to a variety of applications. GAPS is widely used for towfish and diver tracking, and ROV and AUV navigation and positioning. GAPS-NG pushes the user envelope and opens up the possibility of applications involving telemetry and dynamic positioning. “We feel that with GAPS-NG we have taken underwater positioning to the next level,” concludes Hubert Pelletier. “We expect a series of novel applications to emerge as users begin to appreciate the practical benefits of the new system.”