Marine Vbox Applications

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Austal Ships VBOX SL3

Marine Vbox Applications

MVBOX SL3 Marinearine ApplicationsA Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a type of relatively small surface vessel intended for operations close to the shore (Littoral Zone). It was “envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals.” The LCS designs add the capabilities of a small assault transport with a flight deck and hangar large enough to base two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters, the capability to recover and launch small boats from a stern ramp, and enough cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with armored fighting vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility.

Vbox SL3In October 2005 Western Australian ship manufacturing and design company, AUSTAL, as part of the General Dynamics LCS team, was one of two bidders awarded a landmark construction contract for one of two LCS Flight 0 ships, USS Independence (LCS 2), followed by a contract to build a second Independence-class LCS Flight 0 ship, Coronado (LCS 4), in May 2009. Austal is the prime contractor bidding for the 10-ship program plus five additional sets of Selected Ship System Equipment for the second source shipbuilder.
The Requirement
During 2009, Austal ran sea trials off the coast of New Mexico with LCS 2 Independence (top image). To further develop the vessels onboard stabilisation systems and future hull design, all vessel motions including Trim (Pitch), Heel (Roll) and Leeway (Yaw) needed to measured, quantified and analysed.
We Have The Technology!
In answer to this, Australia’s premier Racelogic distributor, Applied Measurement Australia, supplied a Vbox SL3 Marine.

As the name suggests, the VBOX SL3 Marine was developed specific to the marine environment. This triple antenna GPS system is used to accurately measure the attitude of a vessel within its dynamic sphere, and allows for many parameters to be measured at once, including Speed, Acceleration, Heading, Roll, Trim and Leeway Angle

Austal VBOX SL3

This is achieved by comparing the relative height or heading between the antennas. These channels are all measured solely from GPS. Signals from the vessel’s onboard systems can also be logged with the use of additional input modules and/or CAN interfaces.

Why GPS?

VBOX SL3 ShipGPS technology is ideally suited to marine testing – an open water environment ensures that any GPS equipment is guaranteed a perfect view of the sky (there aren’t too many trees in the ocean). This continuous testing method means that solutions can be found, and adjustments made based on the data produced, far faster than trial and error methods. As an example, the vessel’s speed or heading accuracy can be measured and recorded incredibly accurately against the slightest adjustments made to a craft’s trim angle, allowing for the correct planning attitude to be determined.


Austal factored their purchase of the VboxSL3-M version for their unique application on easy installation, wireless real-time monitoring/ logging and overall accuracy of the three GPS engine SL3 unit. But the main factor was the sheer size of the Vbox SL3-M that allowed for easy travel around the world for storage. Demonstration and training of the unit was provided by Applied Measurement Australia’s Craig Nyssen, which Austal said proved to be very informative and useful and allowed them a head start for their tight schedule. After testing Toby from Austal commented on the unit saying “Overall the VboxSL3 is a great unit that offers a number of significant leading edge features and should prove to be very useful to Austal in the future”.
Find out more
Please contact us to discuss your requirements or arrange a demonstration.