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CHC Navigation Launches Apache 3 Pro: A Compact Hydrographic Drone for Autonomous Bathymetric Survey

CHC Navigation | CHCNAV |

CHC Navigation (CHCNAV), a global leader in unmanned surface vehicle (USV) technology, has launched the Apache 3 Pro, an advanced compact hydrographic drone designed for autonomous bathymetric surveys in shallow waters. With its lightweight carbon fiber hull, IP67 rating, and semi-recessed motor, the Apache 3 Pro offers exceptional durability and maneuverability.

Featuring CHCNAV's proprietary GNSS RTK + Inertial Navigation sensor, the Apache 3 Pro provides consistent, high-precision positioning and heading data even when navigating under bridges or in areas with obstructed satellite signals. The built-in CHCNAV D270 echosounder enables reliable depth measurement from 0.2 to 40 meters.

"The Apache 3 Pro sets a new standard for shallow water bathymetric surveys. Its lightweight, rugged design, integrated navigation, and enhanced obstacle avoidance enable efficient, high-precision data collection even in challenging conditions," said Taxiya Wang, Product Manager, CHC Navigation. "With the D270 echosounder and seamless data connectivity, the Apache 3 Pro delivers outstanding performance and efficiency in bathymetric surveying."

Figure 1. Apache 3 Pro USV, a compact, high-performance marine drone with single beam echosounder and GNSS/INS technology for a wide range of hydrographic survey applications.


The Apache 3 Pro comes equipped with a millimeter-wave radar system that detects obstacles within a wide 110° field of view. When an obstacle is encountered, the USV autonomously charts a new course to safely navigate around it. The USV's GNSS RTK and inertial navigation sensor ensure highly accurate positioning even when the GNSS signal is temporarily lost, such as when navigating under bridges.


Weighing only 10 kg, the Apache 3 Pro features a lightweight macromolecular polyester carbon fiber and Kevlar composite hull for exceptional resilience. Even with a fully integrated payload, the Apache 3 Pro can be easily deployed and controlled by a single operator to work in a wide range of operating conditions.


The Apache 3 Pro ensures reliable communications through its integrated SIM and network bridge with automatic switching. It also features seamless cloud-based remote monitoring that provides real-time status updates, enhancing control and security. Utilizing both 4G and 2.4G networks, the Apache 3 Pro eliminates range limitations and facilitates effective data transfer in a variety of operating conditions.

Figure 2. The bathymetric survey in a shallow water environment.


The Apache 3 Pro's semi-recessed brushless internal rotor motors minimize drafts, improving the USV's maneuverability in varying water depths. The advanced propulsion design also increases protection, reducing the likelihood of damage and extending motor life.

About CHC Navigation

CHC Navigation (CHCNAV) creates innovative mapping, navigation, and positioning solutions to make customers' work more efficient. CHCNAV products and solutions cover multiple industries such as geospatial, construction, agriculture, and marine. With a presence across the globe, distributors in more than 120 countries, and more than 1,700 employees, CHC Navigation is recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in geomatics technologies today.

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