Bosch Security System's PTZ cameras have weathered harsh environmental conditions for nearly a decade to give visitors to the Scottish Seabird Center (SSC) an insight into the otherwise inaccessible world of Scotland's coastal wildlife.
Plymouth-based Outersight (UK) specializes in designing wildlife observation systems for remote and hazardous locations. Peter Barlow, MD, has been working with the SSC for more than 10 years and designed the center's surveillance infrastructure.
The SSC is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Scotland, winning many awards and is a leader in the use of remote cameras to observe wildlife which includes sea eagles, gannets, puffins and grey seals.
Visitors to the center view footage on large screens and can actually move any of the 10 live cameras using a joystick which controls the PTZ functions. This ensures they are always looking at something they find interesting. All focus and iris functions are carried out automatically by the cameras which optimize the picture. Web feeds are available 24/7 via the SSC website.
The cameras are renowned for their rugged design and durability, which is imperative for such remote locations. “Many of the camera locations are not accessible during breeding season, or are on cliff faces that would require specialist climbing equipment to reach in the event of a camera failure. As the SSC is a charity, all expenditure having to be funded by donations or ticket sales to minimize the cost of maintenance is essential,” Barlow said.
Ensuring the birds are not disturbed by the cameras is of paramount importance. “The brushless design means there is very little noise from the camera as it moves, so birds are happy to nest nearby and visitors get as ‘up close and personal' as possible,” Barlow said.