A prototype of an open hardware-based automatic photographic camera to monitor snow cover evolution and weather phenomena in the context of the frozen ground monitoringPermarduino-camera

  1. de Pablo, M.A.
  2. de Pablo S., C.
  3. Ramos, M.
  4. Prieto, M.
Polígonos: Revista de geografía

ISSN: 1132-1202

Year of publication: 2016

Issue Title: Periglaciarismo y Permafrost

Issue: 28

Pages: 161-181

Type: Article

DOI: 10.18002/POL.V0I28.4292 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openOpen access editor

More publications in: Polígonos: Revista de geografía

Sustainable development goals


The study of permafrost and active layer thermal behavior require continuous monitoring of ground temperatures as well as other additional parameters, including snow cover, because of its isolation effect when the thickness is enough high. Typical monitoring stations from Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) network includes the air temperature monitor-ing to derive snow thickness. Moreover, its low snow deep accuracy, this device return data from one place each time. To know and study the snow onset, offset, duration and distribution is sometimes required and the use of automatic digital photographic cameras contribute to have an adequate approach. However, commercial automatic cameras are expensive. For that reason, we developed a robust, simple, low-cost, open hardware-based (Arduino) prototype of an automatic camera to take pictures and store them into an SD card (2 Gb) that allows more than 4 years of hourly continuous image acquisition. The device is powered by a small solar cell that charges a li-po battery. The firmware allows a detailed monitoring of the device and error detection, and configure the camera for its own. We used a TTL serial JPEG camera with CMOS ¼ inch sensor with 480x640 pixels in resolution, with NTCS video capacity to allow real-time camera focus. The camera acquires images on panchromatic and near IR band. The fully operative prototype has been tested in Antarctica, and it was finally installed in Byers Peninsula in order to study the snow cover evolution at the Limnopolar Lake CALM site. In this work we present the prototype and its firmware to allow others to develop their own cameras to monitor snow cover or any other phenomenological parameter.

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