In 2016, two industry players, DCNS (European leader in naval defence) and RTSYS, pooled their skills to offer the world of robotics a new and innovative way to launch and recover drones using an underwater docking station. This solution is intended for situations requiring a permanent presence, notably monitoring around ports and sensitive areas, detecting anomalies and measuring water quality for offshore facilities.
RTsys is focusing on developing a device to communicate with and guide drones to the docking station. Current trials at sea are focusing on the implementation of the RTSYS “COMET” AUV and will be completed in autumn 2016. The AUV positioning system works exclusively using underwater acoustics, and therefore overcomes issues of turbidity. RTsys has improved this system by using its expertise on real-time acoustic data processing, which enables the drone to quickly adjust its position during the various approach phases. The communication and positioning modem used by the drone is one of the most integrated on the market, which makes it easy to install in various drone models, even the most compact ones.
Photo credits: Romain Jan