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CHC Navigation introduces the Apache3 | 2020 Edition
CHC Navigation has announced the availability of its Apache3 Marine Drone, which brings a series of new features and additional enhancements to make lake, river and coastal hydrographic surveys even more productive. Combining a dual GNSS positioning and heading sensor, a stable and reliable hull attitude and an IMU sensor, the APACHE3 USV allows an uninterrupted survey while passing under bridges. Its high-efficiency 8 m/s motors and absolute straight-line technology enable a fully automatic, pre-determined course in adverse current conditions.
Following is a brief interview with Mr. Francois MARTIN, Vice General Manager – International Division at CHC Navigation explaining more about APACHE 3
You have emphasized Apache-3 Marine Drone being ‘highly cost-effective’ could you please elaborate this a bit more?
With this new 2020 Apache3 edition of our Marine Drone, our Marine Survey & Construction division focused on making USV even more affordable for our users. We have essentially concentrated on improving its features to bring more productivity during bathymetric surveys and reduce the cost of ownership by focusing on the lifetime of the components, especially the propulsion motors, which are more subject to wearing. At the same time, our development efforts were directed at maintaining the same price level as its predecessor.
What are the unique features of Apache-3, making it exclusive amongst other similar solution available in the market?
The Apache3 is a complete solution for single-beam hydrographic surveys.
It includes not only a GNSS RTK receiver but also a complete GNSS/ IMU for accurate surveying during temporary GNSS outages due to bridges, river banks, etc. In addition, we have added all the necessary features to ensure high efficiency in all survey conditions. It includes an integrated radar for obstacle avoidance, a 360° camera when line of sight is lost, automatic return to base in case of low power, 4G and 5G LAN transmission for DGNSS corrections, overspeed motors to cope with high water currents and, on top of that, a high-end professional transducer.
What are the growth prospects of Marine Drone market worldwide and how CHC would like to capitalise the same?
The market for marine USVs is steadily increasing with the adoption of the technology as it enters its mature phase. We are also seeing the extension of the applications from traditional riverbed or seabed mapping to hydrology and environmental protection. The lower mobilization cost of the USV compared to traditional manned vessels also enables the emergence of new user groups, such as engineering companies for the investigation of dams or reservoirs, for example.
The fact that our R&D team is able to manage all stages of development, from hull design to the development of GNSS hardware and software, as well as on-board navigation algorithms, gives CHCNAV a strong capacity to provide differentiated solutions for marine drones. We already enjoy an established position in our domestic market and we expect strong international growth through our global sales network.
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