Tech: Sonardyne’s Ranger 2 Upgrade for Research Vessel Atlantis
Sonardyne’s Ranger 2 Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) underwater tracking technology is to provide improved support to oceanographic work from the research vessel Atlantis, including science expeditions in the human occupied submersible Alvin. The most updated version of Ranger 2 provides greater precision, speed and range tracking and replaces the existing Ranger 1 system, which has been supporting research from the ship since 2009.
Additional upgrades include a new AvTrak tracking and telemetry instrument for Alvin, to support the increased depth rating of the submersible, from 4,500 m to 6,500 m. This bespoke 10,000 m-rated AvTrak meets the requirements for a 1.5 times safety margin for human-occupied submersibles.
The Ranger 2 system will support the Atlantis’ work by enabling science teams to precisely monitor the position of submersibles and other underwater platforms deployed from the vessel, including remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), as well as tracking its CTD (conductivity, temperature and pressure sensor), towed sleds and dredges, in all water depths.
The team on the Atlantis will also be able to use Ranger 2 to communicate with scientists onboard the Alvin throughout every stage of a dive via the AvTrak using the secure Sonardyne Messaging Service (SMS) feature. The AvTrak can also act as a relocation beacon for the Alvin, as well as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) deployed by the Atlantis.
The Atlantis is also upgrading its through-hull transceiver from a High Performance Transceiver (HPT) 5000 to a Gyro USBL 7000, complete with a new gate valve, flanges and sea chest.