This camera takes pictures of the entire night sky, uploads them to a website and generates a time lapse video at the end of each night. A website provides internet users with a view of the sky in real time making it an excellent tool for aurora monitoring.

Hardware

This device uses a high sensitivity camera originally used for astronomy purposes. This USB camera is connected to a Raspberry Pi computer. A wifi module transmits images to a wireless router. The camera is enclosed in a 4” diameter ABS enclosure. A clear acrylic dome sits at the top to protect the camera from snow and rain.

Software

The onboard computer runs a program designed to capture a new image of the sky every 5 seconds between civil sunset and sunrise. This image is then resized to a lower resolution and uploaded to a website for public viewing. At the end of each night, the computer generates a time lapse video of the past night and uploads it as well. Original full size images stay on the computer and can be accessed later. The camera uses 1GB upload per night.

An example of time lapse made with this camera can be found here:
http://www.thomasjacquin.com/allsky/videos/allsky-20160119.mp4

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  • Project: All Sky Camera
  • Hardware: Raspberry Pi, ASI224MC Camera, ABS Pipe, Acrylic dome
  • Software: C++, Shell Script, lsftp, entr, open CV
  • Cost Around $1000 CAD