Sonardyne Launches Portable Subsea Tracking System


Offshore technology and survey company Sonardyne has launched a new, portable configuration of its shallow water Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) system Micro-Ranger 2.

"Everything needed to start tracking divers, remotely operated vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles or any other subsea targets is contained in a single, IP67-rated ruggedized case small enough to operate-anywhere, from anything," Sonardyne said.

The one-box USBL solution is able to track up to 10 targets out to 995 m. Inside the case is a Micro-Ranger Transceiver (MRT) with 10 m of cable, a GNSS antenna with 5 m of cable, and two Nano transponders and a command hub. A built-in battery provides more than 10 hours of continuous use, enough for a full day of activity out on the water. The case can also accept external power from a boat or shore supply, Sonardyne says.

"To get started, users simply have to connect their laptop running the Ranger 2 software to the case via Wi-Fi, put the MRT in the water, connect the antenna, and fit a Nano to each target. Sonardyne says even first-time operators can expect to be up and running in around 30 minutes," the company explains.

"Nano transponders are the perfect size and weight for divers, small towfish and micro ROVs. The two that come in the case are Sonardyne’s recently introduced second-generation model, offering extended battery life and depth rating. A connector-equipped Nano is also available allowing it to operate continuously via an external power source," the company said.

According to Sonardyne, the needs of AUV developers who need to both track and communicate with targets have been addressed with the Micro-Ranger 2 integrator system kit. 

"It comes complete with Sonardyne’s add-on Marine Robotics software pack and AvTrak 6 Nanos, which support two-way messaging, vehicle control and tracking in one small instrument," the company said.

Micro-Ranger 2, Sonardyne says, is ideal for supporting shallow water operations in offshore wind, including seabed instrument positioning and release with its command functionality and/or positioning objects relative to each other. Because it’s built with the same Wideband-2 signal architecture and 6G hardware as Sonardyne’s Ranger 2 family, it’s also fully compatible with the company’s Release Transponder 6 range (RT 6). It also suits quick mobilization for underwater inspections using small ROVs, the company added.

The integrator kit is suitable for AUV developers who want to trial their ideas and capabilities, including swarm capabilities, inshore before moving into deeper waters.

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