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Kongsberg Maritime

Portable Navigation, Tracking & Communication System


for NATO Submarine Rescue

PNTCS is a containerised, integrated

system incorporating both above and
below water navigation, tracking and
communication systems along with
a maintenance and storage area. It
provides an operational tool set to

ƒ disabled submarine (DISSUB)

localisation, establishment of
communications with DISSUB and
rapid environmental assessment of
the DISSUB locality,
ƒ DISSUB survey, debris removal
and Emergency Life Support Stores
(ELSS) supply operations to DISSUB
personnel, and
ƒ efficient extraction of personnel from
DISSUB and transfer of rescuees to
the Mothership (MOSHIP).
Portable Navigation, Tracking & Communication System (PNTCS)
PNTCS is a containerised system comprising commercial off-
the-shelf components configured to provide the operator with a
comprehensive planning capability, as well as, an operational and
tactical support system for submarine rescue deployments.

The system displays surface and sub-surface navigation, tracking

and environmental data provided from integral (or external)
sensor packages to present the user with an intuitive and flexible
picture within a standard Windows network environment. The
master/slave network provides information to other surface
vessels and submersible rescue vehicle (SRV). The network
facilitates a message handling system.
System Description

The heart of the navigation system is an electronic chart based
contact marking package capable of interface with many types
of GPS and Heading Sensor. However, it is important that an
independent capability is maintained and therefore PNTCS is
provided with a compact GPS Compass, which has no moving
parts, is fast to set up and requires little maintenance. The unit
provides true heading anywhere in the world with heading
unaffected by latitude. An inertial rate sensor is provided to gap
fill in instances of GPS loss.

Navigation Display for Rescue Vehicle

Features include: Navigation data is provided to the submersible crew by the
ƒ Display of numerous underwater contacts on ‘blank PNTCS unit connected to the MOSHIP network via the umbilical
worksheet’ or electronic chart formats using ruggedised and backed up with an underwater modem.
COTS computer stations
ƒ Compatibility with the majority of commercial acoustic
tracking systems
ƒ Emergency Beacon location Emergency Beacon Localisation (EBL)
ƒ Rapid contact marking system with comprehensive
annotation facility The difficulty in localising a bottomed anechoic clad DISSUB
ƒ Large network capability for slave units each with is well documented and can result in a significant delay in
independent functionality to allow configuration specific intervention and subsequent rescue activity. To accelerate the
to the user localisation of a DISSUB (that is unable to launch or does not carry
ƒ Operator definable alarmed exclusion zones to warn of the SSE Transponders) PNTCS provides acoustic localisation of
submersible collision and umbilical snagging avoidance the DISSUB using a passive receive array mounted on IROV. The
with; DISSUB, ELSS seabed rig, debris, anchor moorings, EBL locks on to the DISSUB Emergency Pingers (in accordance
natural and man-made seabed obstacles, etc. with STANAG 1298 and 1382) to rapidly and accurately localise
ƒ Dynamic range and bearing measurement from contacts, the DISSUB.
vehicles, etc.
ƒ UW Vehicle(s), or MOSHIP(s), steerage window with Underwater Tracking
feedback on coarse deviation and recommended corrective
PNTCS will interface with a majority of acoustic tracking
action to assist with rapid DISSUB relocation, localisation,
systems available on most vessels of opportunity. To maintain
intervention and evacuation
an independent capability PNTCS is supplied with its own HPR
ƒ Ability to record and replay navigation data for post
410P tracking system.
deployment analysis
ƒ Facility for pre-mission planning and ability to enter and
Kongsberg provide a range of HPR compatible transponders
download survey route data
including the Naval SSE Transponder: The difficulty in localising
ƒ Ability to plan operations on electronic charts providing
a bottomed anechoic clad DISSUB resulted in the development
advanced detail of operational environment in DISSUB
of the SSE Transponder. These units, NSN 5845-99-325-0387,
are currently in-service with the Royal Navy and can be launched
ƒ On-shore training mode
through a distressed submarines submerged signal ejector. Once
ƒ The master/slave display network runs on an Ethernet with
deployed the devices mark the position and orientation of the
radio linkage to other surface units and uw modem link to
DISSUB and provide the rescue assets with active docking
Communications Video Display
Through out the SUBSUNK Rescue Operation, personnel must PNTCS displays selected video sources on the Command Console
be able to communicate effectively with each other. PNTCS from the IROV cameras and sonar’s.
provides voice and data transmission between surface-surface,
surface-underwater and underwater-underwater activities.
Networked Data
The open architecture structure of PNTCS allows for easy
Radio Comms
integration of additional sensors. Currently PNTCS displays
PNTCS provides the radio units that are required to exercise radiation and current profile data on the network.
command and control of all Work Deck activities between each
of the deck spreads and Command Team.
A Typical Scenario
Underwater Telephone
To enable coordination of Rescue and Intervention operations Planning
with the DISSUB personnel, each PNTCS system includes
an Underwater Telephone. A further unit is provided for the The position of the Submarine Indicator Buoy, or EPIRB device,
Submarine Rescue Vehicle. This enables effective voice can be plotted on PNTCS providing charted details of rescue
communications between DISSUB and MOSHIP, MOSHIP environment. The planning tools can then be used to determine
and dived Rescue Vehicle, and between DISSUB and dived efficient allocation of resources to enable rapid localisation and
Rescue Vehicle. Equipment and procedures are compatible with intervention with DISSUB.
STANAG 1074.
SRV Voice Intercoms PNTCS is a portable system with all associated spares and tools
PNTCS provides voice intercoms within the SRV. This comprises required to sustain continuous operation within the offshore
a master station interconnected with UWT, co-pilot station, pilot environment. The system is air and road transportable to a vessel
station, etc. and external communications port on SRV. The open of opportunity (MOSHIP, or multiple MOSHIPs) i.e. Intervention
intercom system is expandable to ensure that all operators are and Rescue Vessels.
provided with high quality communications.
DISSUB Localisation
Message Handling System There are several methods available to expedite the DISSUB
The PNTCS is able to provide a text message handling system localisation task. The DISSUB may have launched its SIB
exclusive to the CRF and Rescue Teams providing a degree of (Submarine Indicator Buoy) or ECB (expendable communications
closed network data protection. buoy) to alert rescue forces. Also the DISSUB may have activated
its emergency acoustic pingers and/or fired transponders via its
SSE launchers.
Acoustic Monitoring With the position of the DISSUB’s SIB, or ECB, plotted on the
PNTCS contact marking system, the Intervention Vessel can be
The PNTCS has the capacity to provide the operators with an positioned in the general locality of the distressed submarine
acoustic monitoring system known as AMS. The AMS device can (DISSUB). Then using the systems acoustic tracking sonar, the
be used to assist with frequency management during exercises underwater location and orientation of the DISSUB is ascertained
where an array of different acoustic systems are present in the by interrogation of the SSE Transponders.
rescue environment. This is of particular benefit when more than
one acoustic tracking system is in operation. The network capable In the event of the SIB, ECB or SSE Transponder not being
software supplied with the device provides a rapid visual analysis deployed, it is also possible to localise the DISSUB emergency
of the frequency spectrum along with specific signal display for pingers using the Emergency Beacon Locator (EBL). This device
more detailed identification. will output a vector to allow the intervention remotely operated
vehicle (IROV) to navigate directly to the DISSUB. At this stage
The AMS device has also found a secondary use as an audio it should be possible to contact the DISSUB using the underwater
monitor capable of listening for human generated noise in a telephone.
stricken submarine (hull-tap codes). The system can also be
employed to listen for the presence of marine mammals in an
exercise area.
Remote Intervention
The IROV, equipped with imaging sonar, camera’s and
environmental sensors is then tasked to conduct a survey of the
DISSUB, remove any obstructions and to facilitate ELSS pod
posting. Once orientation of the DISSUB is determined, a geo-
referenced scaleable profile of the DISSUB can be displayed
on the PNTCS in the correct position. This will assist with near
field IROV navigation and facilitate rapid damage assessment.
PNTCS displays environmental information, such as; current
profile, radiation levels and acoustic activity in the rescue area.
System Overview

PNTCS is a containerised system containing both above and

below water navigation, tracking and communication systems,
along with a maintenance and storage area.

The PNTCS portable command console has the primary

objective of providing the on scene Coordinator of the rescue
forces (CRF) with THE FULL PICTURE. The console
provides navigation, tracking, environmental monitoring and
surface and underwater communications facilities.

Slave units provide navigation and tracking information as

Rescue required on multiple vessels.
This is followed by the launch of the submarine rescue vehicle The system configuration provides flexibility to suit the
(SRV) equipped with imaging sensor’s and tracked using HPR numerous MOSHIP platforms that may be utilised.
transponders. The SRV has a PNTCS slave display in the
submersible linked to the network via umbilical and through water
modem. The SRV is provided with voice comms via underwater ƒ Rapid deployment from the shore base location to the
telephone and/or umbilical intercom. A short message handling DISSUB site.
system is also provided via the PNTCS slave. ƒ The accurate and robust location and tracking of all fixed
and mobile underwater assets.
ƒ The ability to transmit voice messages clearly and
adequately above and below water.
ƒ Inter-operability with various military navigation, tracking
and communications systems.
ƒ The provision of a reliable and fully integrated navigation,
tracking and communications suite to allow the CRF to
safely conduct a complete and effective rescue operation.
ƒ Air Portability.
ƒ Capability to install and operate the Rescue and Intervention
Spreads from as many MOSHIPs as possible.
ƒ Low manning levels.
ƒ High levels of Reliability and low levels of maintenance.

Post deployment analysis is achieved using the replay facility
within PNTCS and can be used as a basis for onshore training

11 The Briars Waterberry Drive Waterlooville Hants UK PO7 7YH
tel: +44 23 9224 7800 fax: +44 23 9224 7808 email: