iXblue technology investment

Jon Lawson

iXblue is a leading global provider of innovative subsea solutions for navigation, positioning and imaging. Ashtead Technology is currently the only rental company to offer the iXblue GAPS-NG system with the new Telemetry capability, a high performance Ultra Short Baseline (USBL) positioning system for locating subsea assets. 

The system, similar to its predecessor GAPS, provides full hemisphere tracking, replaceable transducers and unrivalled deployment flexibility. It can provide precise positioning of any subsea object in the most demanding environments, including extremely shallow waters, where other systems commonly fail. With the new Telemetry capability the system can now also programme, command and calibrate compatible beacons on the seabed.

Ashtead’s extensive rental fleet also includes the addition of further iXblue Ramses. By using synthetic ranges, rather than traditional LBL, and its SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping) functionality inside, the system has proven to deliver faster, more accurate results in even the world’s most challenging seas. Ramses can be used to track the position of subsea structures without the need for multiple transponders or umbilicals, enabling immediate and simplified mobilisation. Traditionally, achieving subsea accuracy required the deployment and calibration of subsurface equipment – an often lengthy and very costly process.

One of the latest additions to the Ashtead rental pool is iXblue’s PHINS 6K system, a high grade inertial navigation tool for providing positioning, heading, attitude, speed, depth and heave data for deep water operations. Its high accuracy inferential measurement unit is based on iXblue’s fibre-optic gyroscope technology coupled with an embedded digital signal processor that runs an advanced Kalman filter.

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