Northrop Grumman releases next generation maritime inertial navigation system

Charlottesville, Va. May 6, 2019 Photo(s): By Northrop Grumman
SeaFIND™ uses eFOG™ technology to maintain equivalent performance comparable to larger gyroscopes with on-board data distribution in a much smaller footprint, weight, power consumption and total cost of ownership.

Northrop Grumman Corporation has released SeaFIND™ (Sea Fiber Optic Inertial Navigation with Data Distribution), a next generation maritime inertial navigation system succeeding the company's MK-39 Mod 3 and 4 series Inertial Navigation System product line.

SeaFIND provides proven navigation capabilities in a compact and affordable package, making it ideal for applications where low cost as well as reduced size, weight and power requirements are critical. It is the first maritime inertial navigation system to move from the existing ring laser technology to Northrop Grumman's new enhanced fiber optic gyro technology (eFOG™). The system has embedded navigation data distribution capabilities, leveraging Northrop Grumman's proprietary algorithms for low data latency and allowing for the system to interface with a multitude of users that require accurate position and timing.

"SeaFIND allows us to meet a critical customer need where low size, weight and power requirements, as well as reliable position-keeping performance in GPS-denied environments, are critical," said Todd Leavitt, vice president, maritime systems, Northrop Grumman. "This new approach features eFOG technology, which allows us to maintain performance equivalent to our ring laser gyro based systems, but in a much smaller footprint and at a reduced cost."

The system is designed using a modular system architecture and is comprised of an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and a separate electronics unit (EU) connected via a single cable. Its smaller coil size and denser IMU package allows for flexible installation in tight places.

Applications include guidance systems for unmanned underwater vehicles and unmanned surface vehicles, coastal and offshore patrol vessels, as well as small, medium and large surface vessels. SeaFIND is non ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and available for use by domestic and international navies.

SeaFIND™ is significantly smaller, lighter and uses less power than its predecessor, the MK-39 Mod 3A.