Surface Tracking System (2009)


The Requirement

A customer has an underwater tracking range with the intent to track surface vessels moving within the 20km area to support the underwater tracking operation. While acoustic and surface tracking have been available for twenty years we were asked to replace and update the GNSS element. The tracking system required 20 units in contact with each other and receiving DGPS or RTK corrections from a base station. Each rover unit was required to have the option to control other units, and the master unit could control the system parameters. The system was required to work over the air up to 20km at sea state 4.

What we did

We decided that the task could be completed using a MICROpod receiver running specifically design firmware. The MICROpod was connected to a Microhard Spectra MHX320 radio operating on a restricted 320Mhz frequency. Using the radios we broadcast each rovers positional information and quality parameters. In addition to this information the commands and configuration controls were issued to configure each unit.

To display the data NAVPak-RT software was adapted for PC operation at the master and a PDA variant was used at each of the rovers.
The MICROpod was also configured to provide a range of I/O for our customer’s specific requirements including; a tracking pulse and an output of the GNSS data in AIS and KART format.
The full system was built into a waterproof (IP67) pelicase which was modified for use without needing to open the case.

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