The Mobotix surveillance camera that Securitas mounted on top of Valahnukur in collaboration with Mila captured good pictures of the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajokull glacier, whose clouds of ashes veiled airports all over North Europe.
“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,” said Hordur Agustsson, Marketing Specialist at Mila. “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.”
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.
Putting up surveillance cameras on top of mountains can be tricky. Viewers 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 should be suited to the harsh Icelandic environment with extremely cold weather conditions. The cameras 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,” said Haflidi Jonsson, Business Director at Securitas, which is the official sellers 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.
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.