Sea Technology

NOV 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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Page 23 of 53

22 st / November 2017 The undersea world is the most complex and challenging envi- ronment for naval warfare. It re- mains greatly constrained by the limitations of the acoustic wave propagation within a wide, opa- que and changing environment. For these reasons, naval under- sea policies have mainly concen- trated on taking best advantage of stealth for achieving offensive, deterrent or clandestine subma- rine operations. Today, developments of large long-range capable UUVs and emerging ASW techniques bring undersea warfare to a new exci- ting era, where stealth techniques may not remain the only predo- minant success factor. Yesterday's scenarios are now regarded from a new perspective by naval strate- gists: what if a swarm of large UUVs, with sufficient AI-derived si- tuational awareness, autonomous decision-making capabilities and making best use of active sonar capabilities, were to be launched against a stealth SSBN traditional- ly optimized for passive detection? As of today, the outcome may be hard to predict but developments in undersea technologies are clearly bound to create upheaval in the established order and iXblue is determined to keep on contributing to this change. Underwater autonomous navigation: iXblue, an established leading technology Over the years, iXblue has esta- blished itself as the reliable navi- gation partner for modern navies and major companies which have for long envisioned this re- volution in undersea warfare and invested in AUV technologies. They rely on iXblue's range of iner- tial systems when accurate un- dersea autonomous navigation and positioning is at stake. Phins C-series are specifically designed to meet the challenges of UUV navigation: high-grade perfor- mance, small size, low consump- tion, reliability, and no radiated noise. iXblue offers the proper solutions to meet the stringent SWAP-C require- ments that rule underwater plat- forms. This can only be achieved by using iXblue Fiber Optic Gy- roscope (FOG) technology that the company has brought to a level of unrivalled performance. iXblue equips for instance the Knifefish AUV operated by the US Navy and is a preferred supplier for a growing number of small to large UUVs in development. Entering a new era with large UUVS To specifically address the large UUV long-range navigational demand, iXblue benefits from its extensive experience in sub- marines. The company has been the first to offer a full solid-state strapdown FOG technology to meet the strategic-grade requi- rements of submarine long term navigation (bias stability < 0.001 deg/h). The Royal Navy turned to iXblue Marins inertial system first to equip the Astute-class SSN, and recently, to upgrade Trafal- gar and Vanguard-classes SSN and SSBN. So did the Swedish Navy for the retrofit of its A19 SSK and their future A26 SSK project. iXblue Marins M7 offers a pure inertial drift performance of less than 1 nautical mile in 72 hours whatever the Milspec-defined environmental conditions en- countered (shock, vibration, temperature). In addition, its re- lative small size, very-low power consumption and high MTBF inherent to its solid-state concep- tion makes it perfectly fitted for large UUV platforms that need the reliability of a traditional high- grade submarine navigation system to support their long-range mis- sions. In this regard, Marins M7 has been identified as a key differentiator and is being eva- luated as a unique navigator for large UUVs being de- veloped by or for the US Navy: "the Marins M7 is a proprietary integrated navigation system which, to the govern- ment's knowledge, provides the best available position, velocity and heading accuracy in a pac- kage which can be mounted wit- hin a UUV. No alternative systems exist which can allow for the cri- tical unaided navigation required to support the UMVC2 mission". Marins M7 brute force can be coupled with additional soft key patented technologies developed by iXblue to maintain even greater accuracy over time and distance. iXblue offers complementary soft modules making best use of all additional external aids (log, soun- der, magnetometer) and available databases (bathymetry) to main- tain large UUV's long-range navi- gation as accurate and robust over time as required. A military race to innovation and performance which may pro- foundly transform naval warfare is currently taking place under- sea and iXblue will be playing a role in this revolution. | iXblue's inertial navigation systems at the heart of a new era in naval warfare Sponsored article by iXblue The Marins M7 is a proprietary integrated navigation system which […] provides the best available position, velocity and heading accuracy in a package which can be mounted within a UUV.

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