GAPS combines a USBL, inertial navigation system (INS), real-time positioning, and GPS within the same unit, which means that units are stand-alone and compact. Flexibility for either portable or permanent installations, pre-calibration, and simplicity of deployment result in operational cost and time-saving advantages. Critically, the design of the units also makes them suitable for use in both deep (greater than 4 000 meter) and very shallow (10 meter) waters, from noisy vessels and in reflective environments such as harbors – all performance benefits which have been repeatedly demonstrated in a wide range of demanding environment and commercial applications.
The fourth-generation GAPS system offers a range of other new key features. Chief among these are compatibility with third-party beacons, support of dynamic positioning (DP), the ability to position more transponders simultaneously and enhanced coupling. In addition, the units come with Ethernet connections and a web-based MMI; the ability to position and command release transponders; more inputs and outputs; and open architecture to aid evolution and the use of the latest add-ons.
Christian Giroussens, iXBlue’s VP of acoustic products business unit said: “GAPS new powerful DP mode (L/USBL/INS), universal utilization, extended range from very shallow to very deep waters, and flexibility for use in portable and permanent installations, combined with the system’s accuracy, ease and speed of use and its increased versatility, translate to higher return-on-investment and faster-time-to-market for our USBL positioning customers. iXBlue is committed to providing customers with the best technology packaged in ways that make life easier and operations less expensive. We talk to customers constantly and strive continuously to improve our products in line with their needs.”
Based on the clear performance benefits of the new GAPS system, a leading global seabed seismic exploration company has already signed up to the product. The selection decision, over an incumbent supplier, was heavily influenced by the pre-calibration capability of GAPS plus the fourth-generation features, notably the system’s transponder versatility.
Additionally, Applied Acoustic Engineering (AAE), based in the UK, and iXBlue have started to promote the fully validated cross-compatibility between their acoustic positioning products thus creating a greater degree of flexibility across a wide market area.
Customers of fourth-generation GAPS will additionally benefit from iXBlue advantage with combined Inertial-Acoustic solutions for underwater positioning and navigation. GAPS customers would be well served in combining GAPS benefits with the solution advantages of next generation medium-frequency (MF) RAMSES (new RAMSES was simultaneously launched) with sparse array positioning, auto-calibration functionality, and third-party transponder support.
GAPS comes with iXBlue’s comprehensive warranty and a 24/7 support line. Fourth-generation is available immediately.