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KVH’s New Solid-state GyroTrac Compass Offers Latest in Reliability and Performance


Middletown, RI, October 10, 2000 – The newest GyroTrac™ gyro-stabilized magnetic compass from KVH Industries, Inc., features solid-state components that provide even higher levels of reliability and performance than its award-winning predecessor. In addition to increasing accuracy, speed and turn-rate capabilities, the new solid-state gyro sensors have no moving parts, virtually eliminating system maintenance and noise in the GyroTrac magnetic compass. The new GyroTrac is also fully compatible with the previous model so KVH customers can easily upgrade existing installations.

“We believe the three-axis, solid-state gyro enhancement further solidifies GyroTrac’s position as the best magnetic compass in the world,” said Jim Dodez, vice president of marketing of KVH. “With the ability to perform on vessels at higher speeds and faster turn rates than ever before, GyroTrac now has significantly expanded its potential applications. This is particularly true in military, ferry, and law-enforcement markets worldwide where compass accuracy and durability are critical for their high-speed vessels.”

Even in the heaviest seas where location and orientation is constantly changing, GyroTrac continually measures and compensates for vessel motion to provide accurate heading data. Consistently stable heading at high speeds and in all sea conditions is provided by a combination of KVH’s innovative digital magnetic compass and three-axis gyro stabilization. The digital magnetic compass is self-compensating, providing a drift-free, long-term heading reference that is accurate to better than one degree. Momentary compass errors due to shock and sudden accelerations are eliminated by the GyroTrac’s three-axis rate gyro stabilization. The result is both an incredibly stable magnetic compass and a very economical gyro.

The self-calibrating GyroTrac offers user-selectable digital and analog outputs, allowing the system to interface easily with other onboard electronics and providing mariners with a single central heading device that can output magnetic or True North data. Compass errors that often cause many autopilot “steering problems” are dramatically reduced or totally eliminated with the GyroTrac. GyroTrac’s stable accurate heading information is also the ideal input for North-up/ARPA radars.

GyroTrac features a completely watertight sensor box design that can be installed in a variety of convenient locations. A single, professional-grade cable connects the box to the Advanced Digital Control Unit (ADCU), a below-deck “brain” that offers a two-line display, intuitive menus, and push buttons for the user interface, complete configuration control, and data input and output selection. The ADCU also functions as the system junction box so installation, service and connections to other navigation systems are simple. Optional display units make the data clearly visible at all times to captain and crew.

“The capabilities of our new GyroTrac made it an ideal component for the TracVision® G4 satellite television antenna system we introduced at the Miami Boat Show in February,” said Dodez. “In the dynamic environment of the sea where vessels and their equipment are subjected to a number of severe forces, GyroTrac has demonstrated its ability to function despite such rigors, continually providing three-axis stabilization and accurate North bearings. For a global system like TracVision G4, such dependable performance is critical.”

GyroTrac was named Best Gyro Compass in 1999 by the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA). The system was introduced by KVH in 1999 as the successor to the company’s popular Azimuth“ Digital Gyro Compass, which won the same NMEA Best Gyro Compass award in 1998. GyroTrac’s selection by the NMEA dealer members, who have experience with a range of similar products, is a strong validation of the compass’ superiority and evidence of the leading role KVH continues to play in marine compass innovation.

KVH Industries produces digital navigation systems and mobile satellite communications products for commercial, military, and marine applications. The company has headquarters in Middletown, Rhode Island, USA, a European sales, marketing and support office in Hoersholm, Denmark, and facilities in Tinley Park, Illinois, and St. Petersburg, Florida.

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