Sonardyne International has installed its deepwater acoustic tracking technology known as ‘Ranger 2’ on-board the German research vessel Maria S. Merian.
The new technology was delivered by Sonardyne’s in-country agent Scholz Ingenieur Büro and replaced the vessel’s existing third-party Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) acoustic equipment.
The solution is expected to enable researchers on-board the vessel to accurately track the position of deepwater science systems, including unmanned robotic platforms and seafloor landers, beyond a 7km range.
Scholz Ingenieur Büro official Jan Wommelsdorff said: “This is the first Sonardyne Ranger 2 GyroUSBL to be fitted to a German research ship and is a key technology for enabling the country’s scientists to work in demanding deep-sea environments.”
Maria S. Merian is operated by the German Research Vessels Control Station at the University of Hamburg’s Institute of Geology.
It is primarily used to conduct sea bottom, water column and atmospheric observations in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic regions.
The vessel features an ice-breaking reinforced hull and has also been deployed within the subpolar Norwegian Sea.
The upgrade initiative also saw the vessel equipped with Sonardyne’s GyroUSBL instrument which includes a USBL transceiver and high-grade inertial navigation sensor.
GyroUSBL is intended to maximise precision by reducing common sources of USBL system errors, including lever arm offsets, pole bending and ship flexing.
The device is set to be deployed during science missions to track Wideband Sub-Mini 6+ transponders attached to scientific equipment in the water.