Sagem's new BlueNaute® inertial navigation system guides the Safran ocean racing yacht

Boulogne Billancourt, November 21, 2013

In the latest Transat Jacques Vabre transatlantic sailboat race, which started yesterday, the Safran Open 60 monohull racing yacht is equipped with BlueNaute®, a new-generation inertial navigation system developed and produced by Sagem (Safran).

An inertial attitude and heading reference system for maritime applications, BlueNaute is based on hemispherical resonator gyros (HRG), a patented Sagem technology that was initially used in spacecraft.

With BlueNaute, Safran's co-skippers Marc Guillemot and Pascal Bidégorry enjoy a highly robust system giving them very precise information on the boat's attitude and heading.

According to Marc Guillemot, "The main advantage of this new inertial system is that it continuously gives us accurate and reliable information on 'true north', no matter where we are on the planet. And of course, this is the primary information from which all the rest is calculated, including heading, wind speed, boat speed, etc., giving us a real competitive advantage. In short, all of this data is fed into the autopilot computer. This technology is already used in aerospace, which has very demanding reliability requirements. It's an impressive machine, and we have yet to really use all its capabilities. In the future we can also ask this system to give us info on acceleration in all three axes, or to measure the boat's angle of list. It won't change how we navigate, but it will give us an autopilot with even higher performance and reliability."

The BlueNaute reference unit is perfectly adapted to commercial shipping, in line with requirements of the International Maritime Organisation and the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) treaty. Because of its core HRG technology, BlueNaute also offers virtually unlimited service life.

BlueNaute navigation systems have been in production since the end of 2012, and are integrated in Sagem's Montluçon plant. Sagem has developed proven expertise in all inertial technologies – mechanical, laser, fiber-optic, vibrating – and has over 60 years of experience in making navigation systems for both civil and military platforms deployed by customers from around the world.

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Sagem, a high-tech company of Safran, holds world or European leadership positions in optronics, avionics, electronics and safety-critical software for both civil and military markets. Sagem is the No. 1 company in Europe and No. 3 worldwide for inertial navigation systems (INS) used in air, land and naval applications. It is also the world leader in helicopter flight controls and the European leader in optronics and tactical UAV systems. Operating across the globe through the Safran group, Sagem and its subsidiaries employ 7,500 people in Europe, Southeast Asia and North America. Sagem is the commercial name of the company Sagem Défense Sécurité. For more information:

Sagem (Safran)
Arcs de Seine - 18/20 quai du Point du Jour
92659 Boulogne-Billancourt Cedex - France

Press Relations
+33 (0)1 55 60 38 54

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