AvTrak 6 – AUV Tracking & Communications

Combines tracking, communications, and emergency pinger functionality in one instrument
Track your AUV in USBL mode, localise it in LBL transponder mode
Bi-directional acoustic modem with user selectable data rates; 200-9,000 bps
Integrated outputs enable control of a release, burn-wire or drop-weight functions
Worried about onboard power interruption? AvTrak’s internal battery provides hours of emergency vehicle relocation tracking
Choice of hardware configurations to simplify vehicle installation

The most versatile instrument you can fit to your AUV

Built for simple integration on medium to large AUV platforms, all-in-one functionality comes as standard with AvTrak 6. It allows your AUV to undertake simultaneous LBL ranging, USBL tracking via a surface vessel and robust telemetry for AUV to vessel and AUV-to-AUV communications. In an emergency, it works as a relocation pinger and can activate a ballast release mechanism.

AvTrak 6 has been designed to form part of an integrated AUV tracking and navigation system. Built on our 6G hardware platform running secure Wideband 2 spread-spectrum signal processing, AvTrak 6 combines the functions of transponder, transceiver and telemetry link in one low power unit that meets the requirements of a wide variety of AUV mission scenarios and vehicle types.

The unit is fully compatible with our family of survey quality LBL and USBL navigation systems. AvTrak 6 supports Sonardyne Messaging Service (SMS) allowing USBL position fixes to be sent to the vehicle or for status messages to be retrieved from the topside system.

AvTrak 6 is available in a variety of configurations to help meet a range of mission profiles. A popular option is an omni-directional unit with integral or remote transducer options. For operations at depth an integral directional transducer option is common. AvTrak 6’s flexible configuration is intended both to assist the AUV manufacturer with mounting of the instrument within the AUV and to ensure the highest levels of acoustic performance. Low-medium frequency (LMF) and high-power (HP) versions of AvTrak 6 are also available.

Unlike competing products, by combining transponder, transceiver and emergency relocation functionality, AvTrak 6 requires less payload space and power. A number of acoustically controlled digital I/O lines are also provided for custom use, typical applications includes abort and emergency ballast jettison control

An AUV equipped with AvTrak 6 can receive navigation updates from any 6G compatible USBL or LBL system, send status updates to multiple 6G instruments including other AUVs and synchronise clocks with other 6G instruments to better than 50 microseconds as standard.

That’s not all, there is an option to include a HPR400 Series tone for compatibility with a variety of other acoustic systems and transponders and another option to enable a RSPSK Modem upgrade for large volume data transfers.

Simple to integrate to your AUV using our rich 6G protocols and command language and RS232 serial interface. Choose from over 600 independent acoustic addresses and work as part of a swarm if required.

Why AvTrak 6


  • Combined transponder, transceiver, and telemetry link in one low power unit
  • Emergency burn-wire, drop-weight, or release options
  • Open interfaces and protocols
  • Supports AUV swarm operations


  • Different configurations including omni-directional and directional transducers
  • Integrated depth sensor supports horizontal tracking
  • Low power and compact for ease of integration
  • OEM option also available


  • Depth rated to 3000 m and 7000 m
  • Effective data transfer rates between 200 and 9000 bps
  • Emergency battery life 30 days
  • Range precision better than 15mm
  • LMF (14-19 kHz) and MF (19-34 kHz)


  • What’s in the box: AvTrak 6 and manual
  • Warranty: 1 year return to Sonardyne service centre

More about this product

Specifications & Data Sheet

Feature Type 8220-3111 Type 8220-7212
Depth Rating 3,000 m 7,000 m
Frequency Band MF (19–34 kHz) MF (19–34 kHz)
Transducer Beam Shape Omni-directional ±120° Directional ±40°
Source Level
(re 1 µPa @ 1 m)
High Power 187 dB 193 dB
Low Power 181 dB 187 dB
Tone Equivalent Energy
(TEE)* WBv2+
High Power 193 dB 199 dB
Low Power 187 dB 193 dB
Range Precision Better Than 15 mm Better Than 15 mm
Depth Sensor ±0.5% Full Scale ±0.5% Full Scale
Communication Interface RS232 (9,600 – 115,200 Baud) RS232 (9,600 – 115,200 Baud)
External Supply Voltage 24 or 48 V dc (±10%) 24 or 48 V dc (±10%)
External Power Sleep ~650 mW ~650 mW
Wideband Listening ~1 W ~1 W
Battery Charging 6 W 6 W
Peak (During Transmission) <50 W <50 W
Battery Life
(Li-ion 15 V)
Listening 30 Days 30 Days
Continuous 5 Sec Interrogation Approx 6 days at low power Approx 6 days at low power
Mechanical Construction Anodised aluminium alloy and plastic Anodised aluminium alloy and plastic
Dimensions; Diameter x Length 93 x 500 mm 97 x 513 mm
Weight in Air/Water** 5.1/2.2 kg 7.0/3.5 kg

Remote cable connected transducer (see separate datasheet)

Right-angle connector

Right-angle connector



Instrument Firmware
AvTrak 6 V3.09.00.14



To request a manual simply tick the box next to the manual you require and then press the Request Form button. You will then be able to request addition manuals for other products and your request will be emailed to our Customer Support Team who will reply to your enquiry. Alternatively please contact your local office who will be more than happy to help.

User Manual - Avtrak 6

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    Spares and Accessories

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    • Spares and Accessories


      Q: Can I get USBL position updates from my AUV with Ranger 2/ Mini-Ranger 2?

      A: A new feature in the latest release of Ranger 2/ Mini-Ranger 2 software allows an AUV fitted with an AvTrak 6 transceiver to receive USBL position updates on every navigation cycle. This can be used to provide high update rate USBL aiding to a navigation system – something that’s particularly important during descent when the vehicle’s navigation system has no Doppler Velocity bottom lock aiding, i.e. operating on free-inertial. In addition to receiving high update USBL position observation, the feature allows the AUV to pass status information into the AvTrak 6’s data buffer which is then retrieved automatically on the next navigation cycle and forwarded to the user’s topside mission control software. It is also possible for the mission control software to substitute bespoke commands such as requesting the AUV status, emergency abort, navigation status and snippets of observed data for QC. For details on how to update your software, email: support@sonardyne.com

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