In comparison to remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous vehicles (AUVs), CSA has found that towed/drop video systems still provide the best value for offshore video data collection in many situations.
CSA has continually upgraded its capability to stay at the forefront of underwater imagery and data collection—we have visually documented thousands of miles of the world’s seafloor over the past 48 years. Over the years, we have designed and interfaced the latest technology in photographic and video equipment to various platforms such as divers, ROVs, AUVs, and USVs as well as towed/drop video systems. CSA’s latest system is an advanced 4K video system rated to 6,000 m that can be used in either a drop or towed configuration.
Towed/drop video systems can offer significant cost savings over ROVs or AUVs for seafloor video collection: the operational day rate is significantly lower, production is higher, vessel requirements are reduced, and the system is much more portable and capable of being air freighted. Over the years, CSA has successfully used a variety of video systems in various locations around the world in depths exceeding 3,000 m for benthic habitat analysis, clearance surveys, and general research programs. Most recently, CSA collected video and still images at 3,000 m depth for oil and gas operations offshore Mexico and Colombia using our older 3,000-m rated, HD video system.
With the latest model CSA video system, 4k video (also known as Ultra HD) is collected at a depth down to 6,000 m to provide 3840 pixels by 2160 pixels of resolution—FOUR times greater than traditional HD. In addition to the 4k video components, the new video system combines integrated lasers; dimmable lights; a USBL transponder beacon; altimeter; pitch, roll, and heading; pan and tilt; and strobe and still photo functionality—all controlled through a subsea multiplexer to bring the data topside—for a truly superior video data collection system.
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