Digital video has been the biggest single innovation in visual media for the subsea industry since the introduction of underwater video cameras and reel-to-reel video recorders in the 1970s. It has revolutionised the way video data is recorded offshore, received as deliverables and utilised onshore.
Following the publication and revision of their successful 'Digital video offshore: A review of current and future technologies' (IMCA S 008/R 012), the International Marine Contractors Association's (IMCA) Digital Video Workgroup has now published 'Discovering digital video - An introduction to digital video and its benefits' (IMCA S 014/R 014).
"This new document is aimed at users of digital video within the wider marine contracting community - not only the oil and gas industry, but also in the cable laying and renewable energy industries," explains Jane Bugler, IMCA's Technical Director. "Aimed at client education; educating and informing sales and contract personnel; and designed for use in the training of new personnel, it is a sister document to our existing technical review of digital video for the offshore market,
"Digital video, whilst used more and more, still faces some challenges in acceptance, and the newness of the technology has, until recently, had implications for the accessibility of data," she adds. "Additionally, in the modern security-conscious corporate environment, there may be restrictions placed on the free movement of digital data, which need to be addressed for digital video to realise its full potential."
The initial review of digital video was produced by IMCA in 2005. It was updated in 2009 and provides technical information on current and future technologies. It was developed in order to allow potential users to make an educated decision about the kind of digital video equipment that would be required, and includes considerable detail on the different digital video formats available.
Following an introduction that looks at key benefits, storage comparisons and client/contractor IT considerations, the new document features one contractor's story of the development of digital video. It then provides a series of case histories looking at the role of digital video in ROV pipeline and structural inspection; pipe-laying; jacket inspection; and structural inspection - with the aim of improving productivity.
Further case histories consider data security - but what if...?; digital video technology delivers enhanced data security; time saving in report preparation leads to improved performance and profitability; web-based GIS systems lead to timely, well-informed and safe decisions; data deliverables; and closing out reports.