Remote Image and Video Capture

Application Notes

Application Background                                                                                                                                      Printer Friendly Version

Unidata has received many requests for enhanced remote monitoring with images for remote measurement sites.

video remote monitoring

These requests are driven by the need to see what is happening on the sites to confirm measurement instrument readings. The need for images will only increase as health and safety regulations are now mandating many operational requirements for visits to remote sites. These new requirements are making it harder and more costly to send maintenance teams into the field to check remote equipment.

2018E Inmarsat Remote Image Capture

Effective high resolution images and some video reduce the need to visit remote sites. Reduced site visits represent significant cost savings.

Application Detail

Unidata has both low resolution and high resolution Neon Camera systems. Both systems provide cost effective low resolution images of measurement sites, with a very small image resolution, and a very small bandwidth load on the transmission system.

Unidata-Neon Remote Video and Image Capture

With the availability of the higher capacity networks, this higher resolution, on demand service is now practical and reasonably priced. The Neon Applications Software includes support for different camera types. The low resolution camera is very cost effective, and the high resolution camera can be configured with different resolutions as required.

For remote image / remote video capture, higher bandwidths are needed and a higher bandwidth telemetry system is needed. This is more likely to be satellite as cell tower coverage is limited in remote areas. Also, as the bandwidth demands are high, and requiring an always on service, a low earth orbit satellite system or an older 2G cell phone system would not be suitable.

remote image / remote video capture

The system also supports video, with the ability to capture an immediate or scheduled high resolution image and an immediate video capture for a defined period, from 1 to 5 minutes, and to set up a suitable frame rate and resolution. For most applications a slower frame rate of 5 frames per second, similar to security camera frame rates will provide a reasonable video performance reducing the bandwidth requirements.

The Neon Applications Software maintains the hi res and video files in the same SQL database and these can be viewed on the web interface and or reported out of the neon system in the same way data logging files are reported out. For example by ftp, email and web services or by direct SQL database access.
The screenshots show how the Unidata Neon High Resolution Satellite Telemetry Cameras are added to Neon via the Cameras tab on the Loggers tab, and how the resolution and frame rate and encoding can be selected via the web interface at a central location, while the equipment is located at the very remote location.

Neon 2502D IP Camera
NEON IP logger with Camera
NEON IP Camera

Multiple camera buttons may be added so that different resolution images and videos may be captured from the same camera without the need to reconfigure the camera. Simply press the appropriate capture button to take a photograph or video at the required resolution or frame rate.
Photographs and captured videos may be viewed on the photographs tab. An historical list of photographs is presented. Photographs and videos may be previewed on screen or downloaded for viewing at full resolution.

Typical Configuration

Options for Neon Telemetry - NRT / RTU / Field UnitsUnidata Part NumberDescription
Cellular RTU 3G2013F-AB03Neon Metering Module 3G with Antenna and Li Battery
Cellular RTU 4G2013F-AB04Neon Metering Module 4G with Antenna and Li Battery
Cellular RTU 3G - Industrial2016F-AB03Neon Remote Terminal 3G with Antenna and Li Battery
Cellular RTU 4G - Industrial2016F-AB04Neon Remote Terminal 4G with Antenna and Li Battery
Low Earth Orbit Satellite Globalstar2015E-AB0Neon Remote Terminal - Satellite Globalstar Modem with Antenna and three Li Batteries
Ethernet2017E-0B0-1 or 3NRT Ethernet with single or triple Ethernet Ports
with three Li Batteries
Equatorial Orbit Satellite - Inmarsat2018E-AB0-1 or 3NRT Ethernet with single or triple Ethernet Ports
with three Li Batteries
LCD Display2500ENRT LCD Display
NRT Field Termination Strip2103F2015E,2016F,2017E, and 2018E NRT FTS
NRT Firmware Option2303A-8M8M Extended Memory Option
NRT Firmware Option2303A-8M-CAM8M Extended Memory & Serial Camera Option
NRT Firmware Option2303A-CAMSerial Camera Option
Options for Neon Application Software - Customer ServerUnidata Part NumberDescription
Neon Application Software2302ANeon Server Software Licence Incl 5 NAL
Neon Application Software2302A-10Additional 10 NRT Access Licences
Neon Application Software2302A-20Additional 20 NRT Access Licences
Neon Application Software2302A-50Additional 50 NRT Access Licences
Options for Neon Application Software - Unidata ServerUnidata Part NumberDescription
Neon Application Software2301ANeon Data Initial Subscription Setup Fee
Neon Hosting Service2301A-01Neon Data Service Fee for 1-50 NRTs
Neon Hosting Service2301A-02Neon Data Service Fee for 51-100 NRTs
Neon Hosting Service2301A-10Neon Data Service Fee Metering
Options for Conventional Dataloggers / Field UnitsUnidata Part NumberDescription
Standards Starlogger6004D-11Red Logger 512K with Alkaline Battery
Display Starlogger6004D-21Blue Logger 512K with LCD and Alkaline Battery
Prologger7001D-11Green Logger 1M with LCD and Alkaline Battery
Micrologger8010C-EURMicrologger 512K
Starlogger Field Termination Strip6103E6004D FTS
Prologger Field Termination Strip7100E7001D FTS
Starlog V4 Management Software6308A-AUEStarlog V4 Full Licence Key