The ML-017 satellite connected data logger can be equipped with a camera to be able to take still pictures anywhere on this planet and transfer them through space affordable. This feature enables a lot of new possibilities to have eyes on critical infrastructure or precious environments far beyond cellular reach. E.g. a daily picture of a road or railway crossing a watercourse with flooding risk. Please find below a compilation of the very first pictures we transmitted in three different resolutions over the “Swarm Satellite Constellation” orbiting about 500km over our heads!
Transmitting camera pictures
Camera pictures can be transmitted over the “Swarm satellite constellation”, but with restrictions due to the constrains and budget caps imposed by satellite communication.
Its only possible to take tiny (160×120), small (320×240) and medium (640×480) sized pictures. You can set the picture taking interval freely, but if a picture is actually transmitted depends on certain conditions. On activation of a Swarm send interval only the most recent picture will be enqueued and only if:
- 1) The Swarm queue contains less than 24 messages not yet transmitted.
- 2) The daily budget of 96 messages is not yet reached.
- 3) The picture size fits within the remaining space of the 672 message budget over the last 7 days (max 3000 message per month).
In case a picture is taken on alarm only the budget checks (2 & 3) will be evaluated, not the current amount of queued messages not yet transmitted (1).
A tiny picture can be send 2 or 3 times a day, a small picture once a day and a medium picture 2 or 3 times a week. As a trade of between resolution and size we recommend to take small pictures. We also recommend to specify an interval shift or operating time slot to avoid taking pictures in the dark.
Equipped with a right option board
A data logger must be equipped with an ML-OA-RS232 board to add an additional accessory-port to be able to connect both a Swarm board and a camera.
To avoid that the camera is powered simultaneously with the Swarm modem, the Swarm modem should be connected to the ML-OA-RS232 board as shown in the wired diagram at the side and activated by the “Power control” line of the ML-OA-RS232 board and not by the 5V “accessory power”, which will be used to power the camera.