IMCA Publishes Revised Inter-Vessel Survey Data Standard Telemetry Protocol

Small changes have been made to the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) Inter-Vessel Survey Data Standard Telemetry Protocol (IMCA S 006 Rev.2)

“Our publications are constantly reviewed and revised and reissued where necessary, it is important that they are ‘living documents’,” explains Jane Bugler, Technical Director of IMCA. “The small changes made in this revision to IMCA S 006 are primarily to the names used in the examples to reflect changes in company names since the document was originally published.”

The new version can be downloaded free of charge by members and non-members alike from the IMCA website at; and printed copies are available at £5.00 for members, and £10.00 for non-members (zero VAT, plus 20% for delivery outside Europe).

Background to the document
Through the auspices of IMCA’s Offshore Survey Division, a proposal was raised for the division’s members and the industry to adopt a common standard for the transmission and reception of general survey positioning data between survey systems offshore. A format was developed, and was successfully trialled by members of the Offshore Survey Division in 2002, and a standardisation format was agreed.

With the growing trend towards multi-vessel operations and with survey contractors using different survey navigation software suites, the Offshore Survey Division management Committee felt that a level of standardisation in data telemetry would be in the industry’s interests. A review of existing standards such as the NMEA 0183 documentation indicated that currently nothing was in use or in existence that met the varied requirements of survey projects undertaken by members of IMCA’s Offshore Survey Division.

It was therefore agreed to progress the design and implementation of a simple format that could be easily implemented and used by the contractors. Following a number of meetings and reviews, a format was agreed between the members.

As part of the commissioning of these developments, an inter-company trial was undertaken where the different systems were tested together.



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