Glacsweb meets openIMAJ

We have deployed a Brinno TLC100 camera to monitor the flow in the outlet river from the glacier we work on, footage from this camera can be seen in a previous blog post.  However, whilst being simple to set up the output from the camera is not particularly useful for analysis.   It saves the images as an avi file, which is great for the amateur timelapse market, not so good for our purposes.

In order to fix this the file was first run through ffmpeg in order to get separate jpeg files for each image.  However, this then let to the problem of how to extract the time stamp from the image.  Image processing is not area but fortunately the openIMAJ team is based in the same building as us.  I went and had a chat to Jon Hare asking if there was anything suitable available off the shelf, unfortunately the software available did not produce good results.  So Jon went away and within a few hours he had written a custom piece of software to perform the OCR for us.  I then wrapped this in a python script to process a folder and  automatically rename the files with the timestamp and add the relevent data to the database.

Once the script had run we had a collection of about 900 images all the the correct timestamp for the file name, and included in the database to enable us to keep track of what times we had images for.

That was the simple part – the hardest part is yet to come – working out river depth from the images we now have.

Leaving to Iceland

Well, the day has finally arrived! Today we head off to Iceland for deployment.

What a roller-coaster the last few weeks have been! No time to do anything except eat, sleep and breath probes, geophones, gps’s, radios and antennas! I still have to build a hardware SSN this morning, and once thats done we head off on a jetplane.

So last week we packed the Landrover and a little funny VW bus – which looked a little like a teddy bear. By the time it was filled it definitely was a fat little teddy bear packed full with GPSs, jetwash and allsorts. Just some of the things ready for packing

Alex and Phil drove the two cars up to Immingham with the geography support guy Peter driving another car to bring them back in.
Landy ready to go
Kirk and I meanwhile tried to get some understanding on the antenna side of things with a quick tour of the VNA (Vector Network Analyser) with Reuben. We discovered quite a few ineresting things about what we believed were good antennas, and what really were good antennas. Afterwards, Dennis Nicole helped Kirk with a little mini-VNA device which we are luckily taking with us to test antennas in the Ice.

The rest of the week we rapidly built and tested portions of the code to ensure low power sleep, scheduling and other funny things…