IAn important feature of
Ranger USBL is the intuitive user interface means that the
system is easy to learn, set-up and operate ensuring that
any operator will achieve immediate success.
Two versions of the system
are available; Ranger and Ranger Pro. Ranger is designed
for DP reference and general target tracking of ROVs and
towfish. Up to 4 targets can be tracked simultaneously to
ranges of 2,000 metres. The system is compatible with Sonardyne's
WSM, DPT and Compatt 5 range of Wideband transponders.
Range Pro is desgined for
more advanced survey applications. Incorporating Sonardyne's
unique 'ping stacking' technology, the system offers fast
position update rates (1 second independent of water detph),
tracking of up to 10 targets and full ocean depth operating
range (4,000 metres). Range Pro also supports a wide range
of industry standard (Sonardyne and non-Sonardyne) MF frequency
A feature available in both
Ranger and Ranger Pro is the ability to undertake Inverted
USBL (iUSBL) tracking of towfish over super-long laybacks.
With this new method, the transceiver is not installed on
the vessel but on the towed body itself which is often several
kilometres behind and below the ship. Mounting the transceiver
in this way eliminates the need for repeated system calibration,
whilst the accuracy and repeatability of the acoustic signals
are improved, as the transceiver is located in a low noise,
dynamically stable environment.
Ranger USBL systems are
comprised of four main components; a rack-mounted or portable
Data Fusion Engine, control software, acoustic transceiver
and seabed or vehicle mounted transponder/responders.
Data Fusion Engine
The Data Fusion Engine
is the heart of the system and is an integrated PC and acoustic
processor platform running Ranger software. The unit is
designed to meet the complete on-board hardware requirements
of any acoustic operation thereby eliminating the need to
install and set-up separate systems to meet different acoustic
positioning scenarios. As the user’s requirements
grow, this ‘one-box’ solution can be upgraded
from a Ranger system through to a deep water Fusion USBL
system and ultimately, a Fusion LBL system able to undertake
complex subsea construction survey tasks.
The Navigation Controller
Unit (NCU) is the interface between the acoustic instruments,
sensors and the Navigation Computer. In addition to accurately
time stamping incoming data from external devices such as
GPS, VRU and Gyro, the NCU also provides power and communications
for ship-borne acoustic transceivers.
The Navigation Computer
is a powerful, purpose-built PC that is used in conjunction
with the Navigation Controller Unit. Features include front-mounted
USB ports for when access to the rear of the unit is restricted
by rack mounting and dedicated monitor power supply.
Ranger USBL Software
Ranger USBL software has
been designed to be very easy and intuitive to operate with
only basic user training required.
During set-up, the system
automatically identifies the type of transceiver connected
to the system and configures it accordingly. Multiple attitude,
heading and position instruments can be added in a simple
I/O ports page which provides feedback on the operation
of all inputs and outputs. Instruments are shown in Green
if working and Red if not.
Once the system is configured,
tracking of transponders can be turned ‘On’
and ’Off’ with a single click. In the event
of a power failure, the only action the user needs to take
to get the system tracking again is to restore power. The
application will start the Navigation Computer andautomatically
restart tracking the transponder it was tracking before
power was lost.
A key design principle of
the User Interface is that an operator can assess the operation
of the system at a glance from across the bridge. For example,
positions are displayed in either; Green for a good position
with update rate, Yellow for a good range but bad USBL signal
therefore no position computed, Red for no reply to the
interrogation and finally Grey to indicate no information
has been received for more than twice the update rate.
For advanced tracking of
up to ten targets with the maximum position update rate,
Ranger Pro incorporate Sonardyne’s unique ‘ping
stacking technology’ originally developed for ultra
deep water drilling operations. The technique allows the
system to transmit acoustic interrogations to transponders
before the last reply was received.
Through ping stacking, Ranger
Pro software is able to maintain position update rates of
better than one second in any water depth. Ranger software
also includes an extensive array of tools to allow the user
to optimise the performance of the system. These include
utilities to measure acoustic noise, a signal analyser to
filter out a specific transponder’s signal and a comms
viewer to monitor any NCU or Navigation serial port. To
correctly calibrate gyro and VRU offsets and therefore improve
positioning accuracy, Sonardyne’s CASIUS calibration
tool is also included.
Ranger USBL Transceivers
A wide range of Sonardyne USBL transceivers are compatible
with Range including the Type 8023 and the new Type 8091
Inverted transciver. The standard option is the Type 8021
USBL transceiver which is an all purpose transceiver proven
for general survey and DP operations where tracking could
be at shallow angles or straight up and down, for example,
To optimise tracking of
targets at shallow angles, such as long range towfish tracking,
a tilt adaptor canbe used with Type 8021 transceiver. The
advantage of this is that the target being positioned remains
within the optimal operating envelope of the transceiver
thereby maintaining positioning performance.
The Type 8024 USBL transceiver
is also compatible with Ranger. The unit is a HF frequency
transceiver originally designed for use with Sonardyne’s
shallow water USBL system, Scout. Now the same transceiver
can be used with Ranger topside equipment, therefore providing
exisiting Scout users with a cost effective upgrade path
to a deep water USBL system.
The 8024 transceiver is
compact, lightweight and can be deployedon a rigid, over-the-side
pole or through a standard 150mm (6”) gate valve if
one is available. To simplify set-up, an integrated motion
sensor automatically compensates for the dynamic motion
of the vessel. For higher accuracy work, external accuracy
work external reference sensors can be used.
Transceiver Deployment Machines
The performance of any USBL system is greatly affected by
the mounting of the transceiver. Sonardyne has extensive
experiencein both ‘through hull’ and ‘over-theside’
deployment and can assist you with the selection of the
right solution for you. Full details are contained within
our dedicated USBL Transceiver Deployment Machine brochure.
The Wideband™ Sub-Mini (WSM) is a new
compact, rugged transponder/responder designed primarily
to position ROVs, towfish and other small mobile targets.
Available as a 1,000 metre rated omni-directional unit or
3,000 metre rated directional unit, WSMs have the option
of a depth sensor for improved positioning accuracy.
The Dynamic Positioning
Transponder (DPT) is a full sized transponder designed specifically
for seabed deployment or large target tracking. Available
in 3,000 metre rated omni-directional or directional transducers,
DPTs are equipped with a simple On/Off switch, rugged spring
assisted release mechanism, depth sensors and advanced power
and gain controls if required
- Incorporates Sonardyne's latest Wideband
Technology regardless of water depth.
- Simple, intuitive software
- Available in 2 versions; Standard and
- Up to 4,000 metre operating range
- Interfaces to most makes of DP system
- 1 second update rate independent of
- High accuracy
- Supports iUSBL operations