ION Geophysical Corporation has announced the second sale of a number of its highly differentiated optical magnetic heading sensors to enable subsea vehicles to quickly reach their desired destinations. In the fourth quarter, successful field trials demonstrated the advanced compasses’ accuracy and robustness in GPS-deprived environments and led to delivery of the first commercial order in the first quarter.

This example demonstrates how ION can successfully broaden its customer base and diversify its technology into adjacent markets. In less than a year, the Devices business line made agile adjustments to adopt the mature compass offering from ION’s industry-leading towed streamer positioning solution to suit the underwater vehicle market’s navigation requirements.

"The customer has been really pleased with our optical magnetic heading sensor’s unique performance and how quickly we integrated it into their subsea vehicle precision navigation,” said Chris Usher, Executive Vice President of ION’s Operations Optimization group. “In multiple tests we have demonstrated improved positioning accuracy to under half a percent of the distance travelled, without the aid of GPS or acoustic navigation and without locally calibrating the compass. Our mechanically gimbaled optical magnetic heading sensor does not require calibration across different latitudes as the Earth’s magnetic field changes. We are exploring additional commercial opportunities for our technologies in marine robotics and other industries.”

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