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FOCUS 3: Advancing underwater data acquisition

FOCUS 3 represents the third generation of FOCUS vehicles in the MacArtney family of ROTV systems.

FOCUS 3 is the result of more than 25 years of constant product development and customer feedback. The design philosophy of the FOCUS 3 system remains the same as for the rest of the MacArtney ROTV systems: to provide a robust, easy-to-use, accurate, steerable, open and flexible instrumentation platform which can be deployed for a wide variety of underwater data acquisition and inspection applications.

MacArtney's FOCUS 3 ROTV is an ideal platform solution for high-precision survey applications, significantly reducing survey time!

Constructed for enhanced durability

The FOCUS 3 vehicle's wing sections are constructed using carbon fibre technology, like the successful FOCUS 2 and TRIAXUS vehicle designs. The instrumentation pods are made from anodised aluminium, making them more durable for potential impact with the seabed. The instrumentation pods are bolted onto the wing sections through a modular design, allowing for on-site repairs of the vehicle in case of an accident.

Modular design and advanced sensor capacity

The modular design of FOCUS 3 includes the option of increasing the wing sections, allowing for operations at depths of up to 1,000 metres. Increasing the size of the wing sections also makes more space available for installing more sensors on FOCUS 3.

FOCUS 3 can operate a number of acoustic survey sensors and instruments simultaneously, ensuring maximum ship time usage.

The GUI is an easy-to-use Windows-based software package. The system is designed to carry a broad range of sensor packages from leading manufacturers of underwater equipment.

Survey equipment

  • Side scan sonar
  • Multibeam sonar
  • Synthetic aperture sonar
  • Mechanical forward-looking sonar
  • Mechanical scanning profiling sonar
  • Subbottom profiler
  • Magnetometer
  • Video camera
  • Laser line scan camera
  • Fibre optic gyro
  • Inertial navigation system
  • Bottom tracking Doppler log
  • Responder for USBL 

The 1,000 metres rated FOCUS 3 features

  • Carbon fibre wing sections
  • Instrumentation pods made from anodised aluminium
  • Neutral to heavy trimming in water
  • Extended wing sections
  • Increased payload capacity
  • Pressure vessels with higher pressure rating
  • Internal and external cargo rails

Other features and benefits

  • Very stable, steerable instrumentation platform
  • Operating depth of 1,000 m at 5 knots
  • High and flexible payload capacity
  • Online data acquisition
  • High data transmission capacity; tens of GB
  • Software-controlled steering functions
  • Built-in standard control sensors
  • User-friendly controls and displays
  • Modular, rugged and streamlined design
  • Low noise magnetic and acoustic signatures
  • Quick-change of sensors
  • Proven, cost-effective survey tool


  • Pipeline inspection
  • Large area searches and MCM
  • Site surveys and seafloor mapping
  • Cable route surveys
  • UXO detection

Standard vehicle control sensors

  • Attitude sensor
  • Depth sensor
  • Altimeter 

Related files



The Multi-Sensor Towbody, FOCUS 3, to Detect and Classify Unexploded Ordnance. Video via APL-UW.

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