Ashtead Technology Adds Exail Navigation Solution to Subsea Fleet - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

Ashtead Technology Adds Exail Navigation Solution to Subsea Fleet

While GNSS remains a core positioning and navigation technology in the open air, other tools are needed below the waves, where GNSS signals cannot pass.

Ashtead Technology, one of the leading providers of advanced underwater technologies and support services to the global offshore energy and construction sectors, recently acquired six new Rovins 9-DVL navigation units, the latest all-in-one INS/DVL system by Exail.

A high-performance navigation system, the Rovins 9-DVL seamlessly integrates inertial navigation system (INS) and Doppler velocity log (DVL) functionalities, delivering highly accurate and reliable subsea positioning and velocity measurements. DVL is an acoustic sensor technology that estimates velocity relative to the sea bottom. It does so by sending a long pulse along a minimum of three acoustic beams, each pointing in a different direction.

Established in 1985, Ashtead Technology has one of the largest equipment rental fleets in the subsea industry, with over 19,000 assets serving its international customer base. This includes a comprehensive fleet of remote visual inspection (RVI) machines and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), equipped with sensors used in a broad range of applications such as pipe, sewer and vessel inspection, inspection of inaccessible areas such as turbines, gearing and engine components, and other types of preventative maintenance. With its purchase of the Rovins 9-DVL, Ashtead becomes the first rental company in the market to adopt Exail’s new INS/DVL technology.

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Accurate navigation is vital in the complex subsea environment, a challenging task requiring highly specialized solutions. Exail is a leading provider of cutting-edge underwater technology, including highly accurate and reliable subsea navigation solutions. The company is the fruit of ECA Group’s acquisition of iXblue in 2022.

Highly compact for easy vehicle integration, the Rovins 9-DVL combines Exail’s advanced fiber-optic-based INS with a Nortek DVL in a single housing. Tight integration of raw sensor data from both INS and DVL provides operators with highly accurate position, velocity, and attitude information.

With its advanced capabilities as an integrated INS/DVL system, and with its compact, horizontal design and plug-and-play feature, the Rovins 9-DVL will easily integrate into various Ashtead Technology subsea vehicles, helping to streamline operations. Of course, enhanced accuracy and efficiency in subsea navigation also entail cost savings and improved safety.

The acquisition of the Rovins 9-DVL units is the latest in a series of recent strategic moves undertaken by Ashtead Technology, augmenting its underwater technology portfolio through partnering with Exail.