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AUV gateway buoy

The gateway buoy represents the leading edge in remote AUV tracking, communication, and navigation.

The Gateway buoy is used in conjunction with the REMUS autonomous underwater vehicle system to provide the operator with the ability to remotely track, monitor, command, and interact with the vehicle while it is underway. This allows operators to maintain communication with the vehicle, and share information with all interested parties, whether they’re in the next room, or around the world.

The low-power, long-life Gateway buoys run off standard alkaline battery packs, and includes an on-board power management system that automatically puts the buoy to sleep during periods of inactivity.

The compact yet powerful buoys can be easily deployed from a small boat without special handling equipment. The standard Gateway Buoy includes the following capabilities:

Vehicle Tracking and Navigation

The Gateway Buoy is an anchored buoy that serves as a standard REMUS multi-channel digital transponder that allows anywhere from 1 to 4 REMUS vehicles to navigate acoustically within the survey area. When multiple buoys are deployed in known positions, simple triangulation techniques can be used to provide precise vehicle position information throughout the mission.

This vehicle information can then be transmitted via an installed FreeWave Radio Modem to a ship or shore-based control station that may be up to 5 miles away. This station, running the standard tracking software, triangulates the latitude and longitude position, and displays it in real-time on any Windows laptop.

The Gateway Buoy can also be upgraded to include a variety of options to enhance the systems capabilities. Upgrades include:

GPS Receiver - optional

For highly accurate navigation information, the Gateway Buoy and REMUS AUV can be upgraded to include GPS capability. The buoy is installed with an on-board GPS receiver, which is used to monitor the buoy ’s exact position after it has been deployed. The REMUS VIP can then query the buoy to obtain its GPS position.

Iridum Satellite Modem - optional

For highly remote or long-range deployments, the Gateway Buoy and REMUS AUV can be upgraded to include an Iridium Satellite modem to allow for communications with the Gateway buoy from anywhere in the world via the Iridium Satellite network.

Micro-Modem Acoustic Communication - optional

The Gateway Buoy and REMUS AUV(s) can be equipped with an acoustic modem to provide a digital communication link between the buoy and the subsea vehicle, allowing the operator to exchange information with the vehicle throughout the deployment.

The topside modem, installed in the Gateway Buoy, transmits this information to the operator via the FreeWave radio or an optional Iridium satellite modem. The REMUS VIP user interface software includes the ability to make the acoustic/radio connection to the vehicle, and to display its status and position to the operator. A convenient pop-up window allows the operator to send commands and mission re-direct messages to the vehicle during its mission.

Gateway buoy specifications

  • Float Diameter:15 inches
  • Antenna Height off sea surface: 36 inches
  • Weight In Air: 38 lbs.
  • Net Buoyancy: 40 lbs.
  • Antenna Height Above Water: 4 feet
  • Source Level Output: Greater than 186 dB re 1 Pascal @1 meter (20 –30 kHz)
  • Transponder Turn-around Delay: 50ms ± 1ms
  • RF Modem: Freewave,900 MHz spread spectrum, no FCC license required
  • RF Range: Line of sight,20 miles max.
  • Acoustic Operating Frequency Range: 20 –30 kHz
  • Maximum Acoustic Range: 2000 meters, typical
  • Battery Life: 200 hours "awake" time, or 60 days asleep time, using standard dual 18D cell alkaline batteries.
  • Shipping weight (including mooring): 145 lbs.
  • Shipping size: 43"x 28"x 21"

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