Even though the blog has been fairly quiet for the last while, a lot of work has been performed to improve the capability of the GaugeCam water level measurement camera system. We will now start posting more frequently to discuss some of these improvements and talk about planned future improvements. There are three categories of improvements where we have made significant advancments. These are:
- The real-time web interface – This is the movement of images from the camera to the webserver, the application of the algorithm to create measurements, and the presentation of graphics and measurments on the internet. You can see some of the results of this work on this web page that shows the water level in a tidal marsh on the North Carolina coast as measured by one of our cameras. Andrew is responsible for our software systems and infrastructure.
- Camera, remote power, mounting, and target hardware – One of our hardest tasks is to develop a truly remote camera system that generates its own power, withstands the weather, provides its own light at night, is phsically stable, etc., etc. François is responsible for this in addition to his maintenance of the lab and our test cameras. Up until now, his improvements to the hardware have taken place behind the scenes, but expect to see a dramatically improved set of hardware on this blog in the very near future as we move to our first prototype camera production run.
- Vision algorithms – Up until the marsh camera was put into place and started shoveling images out to our web site, the requirements of the image processing software were not really well known because there were no images with which to work other than what we gathered in the lab. Therefore, we made our best best a what was required, wrote the algorithms and deployed them. They really work quite well, but now that we have a “real” and continuing stream of images, we know a lot more about what the vision algorithms will have to handle. I (Ken) am responsible for making the improvements to handle things like fog (See Image 1 below) and dirty high water marks (See Image 2 below). I will write about these and other improvements to the vision algorithms as they are developed and deployed.
Image 1. Fog
Image 2. High water line