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TopAxyz, the resilient and autonomous high-performance navigation solution

Recent conflicts have shown that GPS/GNSS signals for naval navigation are jammed even before the first operations. Resilience and autonomy of positioning and navigation are thus the key words in the execution of missions in this new context of electronic warfare, and navies are therefore turning to navigation systems that guarantee autonomy: inertial sensors.

Thales offers the TopAxyz solution, a control unit that provides navigation, orientation, position and velocity data based on measurements of the vessel's angular velocity using its inertial core.

Emmanuel Nguyen, Navigation Systems Expert at Thales, explains that "the sensors were first developed for civil aviation, for equipment intended for the Airbus A350, which had to meet numerous constraints in order to provide high-precision positioning and a level of performance with integrity. Now proven through more than 20 million hours of operation on various platforms, its performance is now available for naval applications: surface platforms - manned and unmanned, frigates, patrol boats, etc. - as well as submarines and underwater drones.” 

Advanced technology for high-level performance

Mickaël Brouillet, Business Development and Sales Manager for TopAxyz at Thales, explains that naval players need to be able to rely on two key capabilities: "Firstly, on means such as Artificial Intelligence, which will make the mission system even more effective, simplifying and accelerating decision-making. Second, to best adapt the mission to the evolving operational context, particularly in the field of electronic warfare, it is necessary to be able to predict navigation performance throughout the mission. This ability to predict and assure mission systems that the navigation performance of the chosen mission can be executed, while preserving the safety of the ship, is a significant key decision support element that will enable the transition to intelligent mission systems and autonomous decision making for marine drones.”

Emmanuel Nguyen adds: "This is how the operator can have complete confidence, because our sensors and algorithms greatly simplify their mission, by guaranteeing the reliability of the navigation data regardless of the context or environment in which they will be operating.”

This is one of the key assets of the RLG (Ring Laser Gyroscope) technology developed by Thales and composed of a single-piece gyrometer that operates in all three dimensions of space (the X, Y and Z axes referred to in the name TopAxyz), with total immunity to the external environment and extreme performance stability. Emmanuel adds that "the stability of the performance of the inertial core of TopAxyz and the use only of external data perfectly controlled and deterministic (invariant whatever the weather, the sea conditions, the tides, the hydrodynamism of the vessel) are the fundamentals of these new capabilities made available to naval players.”

The adaptation to the specificities of naval platforms, as well as the installation of inertial units on board, can be ensured thanks to the cooperation established with CS Group, who are a recognized player in this field.

• The TopAxyz solution will be showcased on the Thales stand at the Euronaval trade show, October 18-21 in Paris.
Further information about the TopAxyz inertial navigation system for naval platforms by clicking here.