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Mobotix IP cameras help to capture live footage of Icelandic volcanic eruption

Published on 9 August, 2010

Mobotix IP cameras capture Icelandic volcanic eruption
Mobotix IP cameras withstood wind, rain, snow, salt, and even volcanic ash
The Mobotix surveillance camera that Securitas mounted on top of Valahnukur in collaboration with Mila gets a good picture of the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajokull glacier, whose clouds of ash have recently closed down airports all over N-Europe. You can watch the eruption on a live webcast here, which now has had over 1.5 million hits.

"Securitas and Míla began their collaboration somewhat before the eruption in March when we were looking at possibilities for mounting cameras in several places around the country. Eyjafjallajokull glacier was one of those places, especially since we knew there was a possibility of an eruption. We can therefore say that the collaboration began at just the right moment in time," says Hordur Agustsson, Marketing Specialist at Mila. The Mobotix camera on Valahnukur was originally directed at the Fimmvorduhals eruption in March - but thanks to its convenient location has now been turned to face the Eyjafjallajokull eruption. When situation improves more cameras will be placed around that eruption.

Cameras in the wild

Putting up surveillance cameras on top of mountains can be tricky, as one can see from the picture taken by Iris Stefansdottir. You need of course both electricity and an Internet connection to send a live web-stream, and luckily the Mobotix camera on Valahnukur reaches Mila's transmitter on Hraunhóll, a nearby mountain-top.

Another thing of great importance is that the camera be suited to the harsh Icelandic weather - which can destroy cameras quickly! The camera will need to withstand wind, rain, snow, salt, and even volcanic ash!

"In my opinion the Mobotix cameras are best suited to these conditions since they are independent units and do not need a lot of equipment," says Haflidi Jonsson, Business Director at Securitas which is the official seller of Mobotix in Iceland. "They are strong, well-built, and do not require much electricity and can therefore be used under quite difficult circumstances. They also provide much better resolution than similar cameras and provide a clear and good picture." The cameras can send pictures directly to the Internet - but to be able to stream to thousands of people at the same time a middle link was needed, which was provided by Kukl, a production company.

Thousands of people world-wide watching the Mobotix camera's web-stream

It is clear by the web-sites popularity that the public is extremely interested in the eruption, well over 1.5 million in 180 countries have visited the once-obscure site - and the numbers are still growing fast.

A live web-link from an eruption is a novelty in Iceland and the data collected through these recording are priceless to the scientific community. As well as being useful for the general public, it is also a source of information for laboratories such as the Icelandic Met Office, The Science Institute at the University of Iceland, rescue squads around the country, and the Civil Protection Department.

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