iXblue’s new subsea positioning system chosen by European institute for geodetic mission, in Sicily

Created January 24, 2019
Applications and Research

iXblue, which provides innovative solutions for  navigation, subsea positioning and underwater imaging, has been chosen by the European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM) to provide eight Canopus LBL transponders for a major geodetic mission off the coast of Sicily.

Deployed on the seabed, 2,500 metres below the surface, the Canopus transponder network will measure the crustal deformation along the North-South Alfeo faults with a millimetre-scale resolution over the course of four years.

Hubert Pelletier, head of iXblue Acoustic division, commented, “Because the Canopus transponders precisely meet the exacting requirements of such a long-term subsea project, iXblue was chosen to provide autonomous and continuous monitoring of the movements of the tectonic plates along a two-kilometre segment of the North-South Alfeo faults. Installed on the seafloor along the faults, our transponder network will measure, over the next four years, the acoustic distance travel-time from one transponder to another to precisely determine their accurate distance. Therefore the IUEM will then be able to better characterise the way the fault behaves and will gain valuable insight into seismic risks.”

Enhancing iXblue’s offer in subsea positioning solutions, the Canopus LBL transponder was developed in tight collaboration with several major scientific partners. It is designed for scientific and industrial applications that require high autonomy, instrumentation, repeatability and accuracy.

With its hundreds of acoustic codes for interrogation and reply, Canopus can be used in the most complex environments without any acoustic interferences. It features underwater acoustic communication between transponders, transceivers and surface equipment and embeds environmental temperature, pressure, sound velocity and inclinometer sensors.

“We needed a highly accurate and reliable system able to provide precise measurements over many years,” said Jean-Yves Royer, leader of the project at the IUEM.  “The autonomy provided by the Canopus transponder, along with its ease-of-use and the availability of the iXblue teams during the tests phase were decisive factors in our choice of transponders for this major project.”

For more information, visit www.ixblue.com

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This article was written
by Matthew Peach

Matthew Peach is a freelance technology journalist specialising in photonics and communications. He has previously worked for several business-to-business publishers, editing a range of high-tech magazines and websites.