The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
6th February 2019
iXblue, the French specialist in the design and manufacturing of navigation, imagery and subsea positioning solutions, and Forssea, a French robotics start-up which develops autonomous docking underwater technologies, have joined forces “to bring more agile and cost-effective subsea operations to companies operating on the challenging offshore market”.
Combining Forssea’s Atoll, an observation-class ROV that offers autonomous docking capabilities, with iXblue’s DriX unmanned surface vessel and its Gaps USBL embedded gondola, both companies are now offering a new “revolutionary” method of LBL transponders array deployment and calibration.
“We are very proud to be partnering with a company like iXblue,” said Gautier Dreyfus, Forssea chief executive officer. “Both our companies are very dynamic and strive to come up with innovative solutions that challenge how traditional operations are being conducted. By combining our complementary approaches, we have come up with a revolutionary solution that will bring down operational costs while offering more flexibility to our customers.”
The new solution uses Forssea’s Atoll light-size autonomous docking system, designed to deploy and recover loads (up to one tonne) from light opportunity offshore vessels, combined with iXblue’s DriX. Using iXblue’s launch and recovery system and advanced autodocking capability, DriX can be deployed from any lifting device in conditions of up to Sea State 3.
iXblue said: “Thanks to its embedded Gaps pre-calibrated INS and USBL acoustic system with field-proven box-in capabilities, this new solution provides flexible, robust and highly accurate calibration to offshore companies.”
The firm added: “Very agile, it does not require heavy logistical support and provides up to 70 percent savings compared to traditional methods. Stored into containers, all assets can be easily shipped to any operation in the world at very short notice and can be used from any light opportunity vessel equipped with a crane and with reduced crew on board.”