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Boxfish Research

Boxfish ROV Navigation: How USBL Positioning Works

Add the navigation package to your Boxfish ROV (remotely operated vehicle) to control and track its position with a USBL (ultrashort baseline) positioning system!

How does the Boxfish ROV USBL Positioning Work?

The USBL system consists of two main parts: a USBL transponder and a beacon. The USBL transponder is mounted or suspended from your vessel and communicates with the beacon on the Boxfish ROV wirelessly using high-frequency sound waves.

The USBL transponder periodically transmits commands to the beacon, which the beacon will immediately reply to upon receiving. The USBL transponder can then measure the response time and returning signal direction to calculate the ROV’s 3D position relative to the boat.

A diagram of how the USBL system works with a Boxfish ROV
Schematic principle of Boxfish USBL navigation system.

The USBL system we use also has an Integrated AHRS (Attitude and Heading Reference System) that helps compensate for errors caused by the boat pitching, rolling and turning.

How do I know the global coordinates of the Boxfish ROV?

To get the Boxfish ROV’s global coordinates, an included GPS module can be attached to the USBL system on the vessel. The positioning software combines the data from the USBL transponder and the GPS module to calculate and display the absolute global position of the ROV.

The software can be installed on the Boxfish Control Station or on a separate navigation laptop, allowing control of the positioning system and providing display features to monitor the mission in real-time

Custom Underwater Solutions

Can’t find what you need to accomplish work underwater? If we don’t already build it or can’t source it, we can custom engineer a solution for you.

What more information about ROV navigation?

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