iXblue has launched its first Remotely Operated Towed Vehicle (ROTV): FlipiX. Designed to be operated autonomously from an iXblue DriX Uncrewed Surface Vehicle (USV) or from a light vessel, FlipiX enhances autonomous survey capabilities and makes it possible to conduct multisensor operations in a single run, ultimately offering unmatched operational efficiency.
Leveraging advanced motion control and a reduced operational footprint, FlipiX is a conveyance platform for sidescan sonars and magnetometers. Operating at towing speeds of up to seven 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 manoeuvrability – also during U-turns – resulting in enhanced measurement quality in the most challenging maritime environments and in reduced survey time.
Ecosystem for Autonomous Underwater Surveying
When combined with the DriX USV, FlipiX can operate down to 50-metre water depths in its standard version and provides excellent positioning of measurement instruments for data acquisition as close to the seabed as needed.
“As a key actor in 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,” commented Stéphane Vannuffelen, marine autonomy technical director at iXblue. “Leveraging our unique expertise in navigation, robotics and shipbuilding, and benefiting from our extensive return on experience deploying our DriX USV on major projects for energy companies and hydrographic institutes worldwide, we are committed to offering operators 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 strong interest from major actors from the industry, confirming the strong relevance of our new autonomous solution.”