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The submarine world is a particularly hostile environment which generates intense efforts on materials. It requires both armoring to resist pressure and materials with high buoyancy performance to compensate for its weight. There is little light in it and the water is cold. Materials are aggressed by salt. Radio-electric waves cannot be transmitted. GPS, tools without which we cannot live on dry land, do not work under water. Acoustic waves only allow low information flows.
During military operations (mine-sweeping, special operations, etc.), or civil operations (public works, drilling platforms, wind generators, etc.) divers undergo strong physiological stress, which only sophisticated materials are capable of reducing. The extreme conditions under which men work require for their equipment to be compact, reliable and maintainable at long term.
ALCEN possesses the most advanced technologies and know-how for meeting these challenges.
It has unique expertise in submarine localization for obtaining the accuracy of a GPS at the sea bottom. In this field, it is world leader for finding flight recorders and military or civil submarines in difficulty.
In robotics, it industrializes a range of dual-use undersea gliders, real concentrates of technology: hydrodynamics, ballasting, miniaturized sensors, communications via Iridium, low-consumption calculator, on-board intelligence and high density energy storage.
Concerning communications, ALCEN possesses exceptional know-how for designing discreet acoustic transmission systems and using consumable optic fibers for reaching deep sea levels. It designs antenna systems for French and foreign military submarines. The whole range of frequencies from HF to UHF is concentrated on the same antenna. Electrical power and high voltage coexist with reception modules. Simultaneous transmission and reception is also possible.
ALCEN also develops structures of high-resistance materials and syntactic foams adapted to use at depths of up to 10,000 meters. With a density amongst the lowest to be found on the world market, they offer long-term resistance to the extreme stress to which they are exposed.
ALCEN is a leader in compact submarine vision with low electricity consumption and extremely high sensitivity, or by means of light intensification systems. Its recent developments in processing real-time on-board images and in active imagery contribute to finding information despite turbidity problems.
Lastly, ALCEN proposes a wide range of services for maintaining underwater equipment in operational condition and dealing with their obsolescence problems: submarine tractors and propeller units, tools for submarine works, equipment, breathable gas supply systems and specific means of communication and monitoring.