Acoustic positioning technology from Sonardyne International Ltd. has been selected by De Beers Marine to assist in the search for diamonds buried off the Namibian and South African coasts. The Ranger 2 GyroUSBL system was supplied through Sonardyne’s South African agents, Underwater Surveys, and is being used to track the position of De Beers Marine’s two Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) as they undertake geophysical surveys in water depths up to 200 metres.


For maximum operational flexibility, De Beers Marine operates its AUVs from vessels of opportunity, with all survey equipment containerised so that it can be mobilised in under a day. The ability to quickly transfer acoustic positioning equipment between vessels is an essential operational requirement and was therefore a key factor in the company’s decision to purchase Ranger 2 GyroUSBL.


Ranger 2 tracks the position of a subsea target by precisely measuring the range and bearing from a vessel-mounted transceiver to a transponder installed on the vehicle – a technique known as Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL). The GyroUSBL acoustic transceiver supplied to De Beers Marine combines a survey grade AHRS (Attitude and Heading Reference System) and a wideband USBL transceiver in a single instrument. It is designed to be installed over-the-side of a vessel on a temporary deployment pole and because GyroUSBL is pre-calibrated, it can be made fully operational in under an hour. These time-saving features enable users to reduce survey costs yet maintain the highest levels of positioning performance.


For more information please contact Barry Cairns, Vice President – Europe and Africa on +44 (0)1224 707875 or visit www.sonardyne.com