Press Archive

HPWREN's High-Resolution Cameras Provide Quick Access to Environmental Conditions

Published 09/23/2003

Two recent additions to HPWREN's camera systems include a four-camera 360-degree view on Mount Laguna and a 90+ degree view camera at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) Ramona Air Attack Base.

These solid-state, high-resolution cameras (images available to the public at http://stat.hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras/) are a follow-up to earlier HPWREN activities to better understand environmental conditions as they impact the performance of the wireless network.

"Over the past three years various applications have emerged from our original field science uses of the HPWREN-connected cameras - such as tracking of wildfires by firefighters," said Hans-Werner Braun, HPWREN principal investigator. "These most recently connected IQeye3 cameras were suggested to us by San Diego State University's Pablo Bryant."

An IQeye3 camera like Braun describes is shown here at the flight control building (far right); these cameras are solid-state devices with built-in web servers and Ethernet interfaces, a 1288x968 pixel resolution, and replaceable lenses. Additionally, initial experiments with a near-infrared capable video camera in the airplane (left) are setting the stage for future use of higher-resolution networked cameras.

"With lenses exceeding a 90-degree view, the cameras atop Mount Laguna allow a 360-degree panoramic view of the area while the airbase camera has a 90+ degree view and displays a large fraction of the runway," explained Braun. "Both the Mount Laguna and the Ramona Air Base cameras have a built-in pixel-based motion detect capability, which means that they trigger upon the detection of animals, airplanes taking off or landing, lightning, and other such occurrences."

In addition, experiments are under way to demonstrate the usefulness of near-infrared capable cameras on the airplane itself. These experiments use the cameras to examine fire perimeters through heavy smoke, which would allow firefighters to better guide their fire retardent drops. Initial results look promising.

Real-time wildfire images are now collected via the auto-detect HPWREN-connected camera atop Laguna Mountains and at the Ramona CDF Air Attack base (shown here).

Images depicting the camera installation at the CDF air attack base are available at http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/Photos/20030829/.

For further details regarding the HPWREN-connected CDF Ramona Air Attack Base, refer to http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/news/030716.html.

For more information about the original HPWREN telemetry instruments installed atop the Laguna Mountains, see http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/news/020924.html.

For more information about HPWREN's use of the IQeye3 camera to monitor environmental conditions, see http://www.npaci.edu/online/v7.5/hpwren.html.

- Kimberly Mann Bruch