SP&T News

MOBOTIX cameras celebrate 10 years in the Antarctic

Winter temperatures of -65°C, raging storms with wind speeds of more than 250 km/h and millions of penguins – this is Antarctica. This is where O'Higgins, the German Antarctic Receiving Station, is located. It was founded in 1991 by the German Aerospace Center and the German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy to collect data from geographical satellites and stars. MOBOTIX cameras monitor the radio telescope to make sure that it continues to function properly – and these cameras are now in their tenth year.

February 22, 2012  By Staff

It all started with the M1 model, and now four M12 cameras and one M10 camera are in use. The cameras work without heating or ventilation and consume only three to four watts of electricity. A traditional camera with heating would consume around 40 watts, making it unsuitable for use under these conditions. The decentralized processing and storage in the MOBOTIX camera also reduce the required bandwidth to a minimum and significantly cut system costs. The PC or the video control center is required only to view and control the cameras (PTZ), but not to evaluate and record.

For the German Antarctic Receiving Station, it is extremely important to ensure that the radio telescope is working properly. For this reason, the telescope was initially monitored with an analogue camera, but the camera was only able to deliver good results when there was sufficient light and visibility. The switch to the M1 from MOBOTIX in 2003 meant an investment in a digital outdoor system. The camera was installed at a sheltered spot of the station’s outside wall. The camera is integrated into the station’s LAN and provides real-time images on this subnet. In order to save transfer capacity, current images are sent about every 10 minutes via satellite to the Internet.

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