CSA Ocean Sciences Inc.’s (CSA’s) multidisciplinary programs range from nearshore monitoring surveys to full ocean depth studies. Visual data collection, photography, and video play a significant role in successfully fulfilling the scientific requirements of these programs. CSA owns and utilizes numerous cameras, video systems, and remote camera systems such as towed platforms and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Using divers, towed systems, or ROVs, our marine operations teams have the means necessary to transport these photographic systems to wherever they are needed.
Our photographic data collection methods vary significantly, depending on project requirements and location. In shallow water (less than 30 m), we use divers experienced in conducting repetitive video transects or taking still photos of quadrats, which enables further analysis and determination of the identities and relative abundance of marine organisms. Our diving staff regularly travels the world to collect photographic data in order to monitor various long-term programs such as coral relocation, seagrass restoration, and pre- and post-construction surveys or to document a damaged submarine telecommunications cable as part of the repair process. For deepwater projects, CSA uses various types of ROVs, depending on project needs. Between 2010 and 2011, CSA conducted numerous deepwater ROV dives in the Gulf of Mexico and collected massive amounts of video and still photographic data. The ROVs utilized for this large, challenging project ranged in size from a small SeaBotix inspection vehicle (the size of a bread box) to extremely large hydraulic work class vehicles (the size of a small automobile).
For over 45 years, CSA has successfully employed towed video systems to effectively and economically cover large project areas, particularly for linear facilities surveys and monitoring programs associated with offshore oil and gas operations. We have extensive experience integrating various camera systems into ROV platforms, having designed a number of towed platforms over the past four decades that have been towed thousands of miles. To help facilitate data collection and analysis, CSA personnel have integrated lasers and navigation systems in both diver-operated systems as well as towed and ROV systems. The laser system provides a scale for marine organisms and can be used to maintain camera/platform elevation above the seafloor.