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Zupt’s Fusion-Splice allows real-time, direct interfacing of Sonardyne LBL ranges into an iXBlue ROVINS or PHINS for sparse LBL operations. By developing this system that allows communication between these acoustic and inertial systems, Zupt aims to increase operational efficiency for our customers and expand our sparse LBL capabilities to third party inertial systems.

Sparse LBL is a positioning technique where an inertial navigation system is used to aid an LBL array to maintain an accurate position solution with a smaller array of transponders than would normally be necessary, or where lines of sight are limited. This can reduce costs of the array deployment both by reducing the vessel time consumed for deployment and calibration as well as the quantity of the equipment necessary for LBL seabed positioning. Due to the configuration structure of the systems currently offered, it is not possible to mix components of these products with each other. Specifically, it is not possible to use the common Sonardyne Fusion LBL system components with iXBlue ROVINS or PHINS components.

When using the iXBlue ROVINS and either Sonardyne Mk5 or 6G equipment in sparse LBL applications, it is impossible to parse the required string formats from Fusion directly into the ROVINS such that it receives the range required in real time. iXBlue has enabled their sparse solution for generic ranges and Nautronix NASNet ranges, but has not configured the systems to take raw microsecond range data. Sonardyne does not commonly publish the raw range data with associated transponder station information on any easily accessible interface ports.

Within Fusion-Splice, Zupt has enabled the facilities for the storage of all the static information associated with a transponder or seabed station. This information includes: transponder location, turn around delay, and channel information. The Fusion-Splice uses an onboard FPGA chip to act as an inline “listener” to the range interrogations and replies between Sonardyne’s Fusion software and their RovNavs. The information collected from listening to these communications allows Zupt to configure and provide, in real time, the required LBL range data along with the station information to the iXBlue product in the required format. This “listening” is transparent to normal Fusion operations. Fusion-Splice also accepts 1PPS and appropriate timing strings (ZDA) from GPS receivers to ensure that all range data is provided with the appropriate GPS time. Fusion-Splice configuration and array static data is configured using a Zupt-provided application that can be installed on any Windows-enabled laptop or desktop computer.

The Fusion-Splice is housed in a 2Ux19” rack mount. An IEC power connector is located on the back panel of the unit and can be plugged into power sources between 100 VAC and 240 VAC. Communication with both Sonardyne Fusion and PHINS uses the RS-232 standard and is made through DB9 ports located on the front of the unit. The configuration computer communicates with the Fusion-Splice via a USB type-B port, also located on the front of the unit.

ROVINS, Phins are registered trademarks of iXSea/iXBlue
Fusion, Mk5 and 6G are registered trade marks of Sonardyne Interntional, Ltd.
NasNET is a registered trademark of Nautronix, Ltd
Fusion-Splice is a registered trade mark of Zupt, LLC