Leading provider of through water communication and positioning technology to the offshore industry, Nautronix, have commissioned the largest NASDive digital diver communications system for GDA, who were working on an upgrade of the communication system on-board Submarine Rescue Vessel, the MV Belos for the Swedish Navy.

The vessel provides support for the Swedish Navy, and is fitted with hyperbaric chambers to facilitate rescue of submariners in the event of an incident. It was recently on an exercise with the NATO Submarine Rescue system. Following that exercise the chamber system upgrade took place, and included a full upgrade of the chamber communications system to NASDive. This involved communications to 8 individual locations in each of 4 chambers, 2 further locations in each of 5 locks and transfer chambers plus an additional 9 external communications locations, making an impressive total of 51 individual locations.

NASDive is unique in digitising all speech at source, as a result of which the many problems associated with signal losses in cabling and connectors are eliminated, resulting in clear communications at all times, and along with improved unscramble algorithms and helium speech unscrambling, which are available for each communications location. System cabling is also simplified by the use of CAT5 cabling to each location, or if unavailable VDSL on screen twisted pairs would be used, both of which allow standard telecoms hardware to be utilised topside. Ethernet hubs are used to marshal the signals, and control of the system is provided via a touch screen Display and Control Unit (DCU). The dive supervisor has full control over all communication locations, and can manage the system by configuring any location into one or a number of groups, each of which the supervisor can select whether he is talking and/or listening to. Wireless supervisor headsets free up the supervisors movements to facilitate the other tasks he is responsible for, while each communication location has local control over microphone and headset volumes, and sideband levels, thus minimising the supervisors ‘housekeeping’ activities.

The system was delivered 18 weeks from order following a full client witnessed FAT at Nautronix premises, and installed by the client, with final commissioning by 2 Nautronix engineers over a 4 day period 2 weeks later. The Belos installation has shown the power and flexibility of NASDive to facilitate high quality communications with a large number of locations, and be easily retrofitted to existing chamber systems.

Mark Patterson, CEO for Nautronix, says “We are delighted to have supplied NASDive to GDA for the Swedish Navy and it is a significant order for Nautronix. We have recently focussed on the development of NASDive and invested £1 million to refresh our diver communications product line which shows our commitment to the product and for the Swedish Navy to be using the system on one of their vessels is a testament to the advantages it offers to divers.”

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