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Boskalis Standardizing on Aquarius

Royal Boskalis Westminster NV has purchased an Aquarius2 GPS receiver and five Aquarius receivers from Thales Navigation, Carquefou, France for use in their dredge positioning and hydrographic survey operations.

“To stay ahead in the dredging industry, we must continually enhance our ability to move more quickly and with greater accuracy than our competitors,” said Jan Eygenraam, Boskalis dredging development and survey manager. “Thales Navigation has come out with a positioning and navigation solution that allows us to do both and more – the easy-to-use combination of heading and precise positioning is ideal for the work we do,” he said.

The new receivers will replace the Aquarius 5002MK and NR203 receivers, and the new Aquarius line will be the fleet standard.

Boskalis owns about 400 pieces of prior generation GPS equipment from Thales.

The Aquarius2 system adds precise heading, greater processing speed and more flexibility to the GPS solution. The system adds a second set of GPS/GNSS channels to the Aquarius equipment, offering up to 56 independent, parallel dual-frequency channels. The system has reached 0.01 degree dual frequency heading, or 0.1 degree single-frequency heading using a two-meter baseline.

Aquarius and Aquarius2 provide simultaneous heading data and real-time kinematic positioning (single frequency KART or dual frequency LRK™). The system also offers relative OTF (on-the-fly) mode, which computes the relative position of a second mobile in real time and with centimeter precision.

KART (kinematic applications in real time) allows any initialization mode, from a static or fixed reference point to OTF ambiguity resolution, when performing single-frequency GPS positioning.

LRK (long range kinematic) makes continuous dual frequency kinematic operation possible at distances up to 40 kilometers. Conventional dual frequency kinematic operation is limited to about 10 kilometers.

The system uses Gyrosky® technology, introduced in 2001. Gyrosky computes a vector between two L1 GPS antennae, housed in one unit called the NAP11. The computation is done with phase measurements of the GPS signal. A master antenna is also used to compute DGPS solutions.

Thales Navigation was formed when Thales, a global electronics, aerospace and defense company, acquired Magellan Corporation with its Magellan consumer and Ashtech professional GPS brands in June, 2001. Thales merged Magellan with Thales Navigation S.A. with its MLR consumer and DSNP professional brands. The company offers marine survey GPS solutions under the Ashtech brand.

The company announced five new GPS products in March: the Aquarius and Aquarius2, as well as the Sagitta™ for small and medium-scale marine applications.

Two new features of Aquarius are up to two internal radio links in the receiver, ensuring high performance and reliability of differential corrections on different frequency bands. Second, screen terminal and keypad integration and the availability of five data I/O communication ports are standard on the Aquarius, increasing the ease of use and interfacing capabilities.

The 3011™ is a GPS compass that measures the vessel’s course with an accuracy of 0.5 degree, with the features of a gyrocompass.

The ADU3™ provides heading, pitch and roll correction along with three-dimensional position and velocity for static and dynamic platforms.

Thales Navigation is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, with European headquarters in Carquefou, France. Thales is headquartered in Paris, France. The website is www.thalesnavigation.com.

Royal Boskalis Westminster is an international dredging company with a fleet of more than 300 vessels, operating in more than 50 countries. The website is www.boskalis.com.

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