iXblue launches new ROTV to enhance autonomous survey scope
12 October 2021iXblue, a global leader in the field of maritime autonomy, announces the launch of its first Remotely Operated Towed Vehicle (ROTV): FlipiX. Designed to be operated autonomously from iXblue DriX Uncrewed Surface Vehicle (USV) or from a light vessel, FlipiX enhances autonomous survey capabilities and allows to conduct multi-sensor operations in a single run, ultimately offering unmatched operational efficiency.
Leveraging advanced motion control and a reduced operational footprint, FlipiX is a unique conveyance platform for Side Scan Sonars (SSS) and magnetometers. Operating at towing speeds up to 7 knots, the FlipiX ROTV altitude, pitch and roll are autonomously controlled to maintain measuring instruments at a fixed altitude and constant attitude. This active motion control bestows the ROTV with increased stability and maneuverability, even during U-turns, resulting in enhanced measurement quality in the most challenging maritime environments and in reduced survey time.
When combined with the DriX USV, FlipiX can operate down to 50 meters water depths in its standard version and provides optimal positioning of measurement instruments for a data acquisition as close to the seabed as needed.
"As a key actor of the maritime industry and a pioneer in the field of autonomy, iXblue has the ambition to support the industry in its transition towards autonomous operations, and FlipiX does just that.” Stéphane Vannuffelen, Marine Autonomy Technical Director at iXblue comments. "Leveraging our unique expertise in navigation, robotics and shipbuilding, and benefitting from our extensive return on experience deploying our DriX USV on major projects for energy companies and hydrographic institute worldwide, we are committed to offer operators with a more comprehensive ecosystem for autonomous surveying. We’re convinced that our FlipiX ROTV combined with our DriX USV will bring high efficiency and cost-effectiveness to the industry. It has already gathered a strong interest from major actors from the industry confirming the strong relevance of our new autonomous solution.”