SD990 for Aerial Firefighting - page 2 - General Discussion and Assistance - CHDK Forum supplierdeeply

SD990 for Aerial Firefighting

  • 19 Replies
  • 8042 Views
*

Offline barret

  • ***
  • 125
  • S3 & a550
Re: SD990 for Aerial Firefighting
« Reply #10 on: 23 / January / 2009, 14:28:02 »
Advertisements
i think it should be possible to be done inside script, for example: first take 60 shots in intervals of one minute, and then start taking shots at one second interval for, say, 3 hours, and then again, one minute interval for one hour.

and about reviewing: i don't think it's a big problem: review doesn't require copying images from card, it can be done on-card.
and with tools like irfan view it should be quite quick (i don't know of any photo browsing software which is faster than irfan... maybe picasa)

*

Offline reyalp

  • ******
  • 13234
Re: SD990 for Aerial Firefighting
« Reply #11 on: 23 / January / 2009, 16:34:41 »
If you keep the cameras clock set reasonably well, you could also correlate images times with GPS data, which would let your quickly narrow down to areas of interest. This could be automated with some very simple software. Or for that matter, just knowing the time when you got to the fire zone (from flight log or other records that are already kept) would be enough.

As Mark noted earlier, they want the absolute minimum of crew involvement once they are in the air, so useless pictures are probably preferred over a remote.

Depending how long the time between installing the camera and taking off is, it could still be useful to have a startup delay. Or you could use the angle sensor in the camera to detect takeoff ;)
Don't forget what the H stands for.

Re: SD990 for Aerial Firefighting
« Reply #12 on: 24 / January / 2009, 00:16:08 »
GPS is the right idea, and even better is that DeLorme Topo 7 (which we already have on the pilot's Tablet PC) will marry photos to ground position based on the GPS & camera clocks, and correctly overlay then on the map.  It is very slick, works well, but does take some post processing time once on the ground. The presentation and ability to zoom-in is very easy for most people to use.  The only thing that might be better is loading it up to Google Earth.  Google Earth is already used quite a bit:
- real time for tracking our flight paths
- Fire perimeters from nightly Infrared flights 
- other fire info too, but not as much as we have on our moving map topos in the cockpit

Wifi/internet connections on the ground for uploading photos to Google Earth are not assured, but are available more often than not, and getting more common.  This year we hope to also be equipped with EVDO and/or 3G UMTS.

Ground and enroute time for me has been around 20 minutes.  Delay start to eliminate un-needed pix, save space and maximize battery life is a fine idea, but irrelevant stuff at the beginning and end is also easy to ignore.  More difficult to manage is how we circle endlessly.  Picking specific views/shots from the overlapping circles will probably be the trickier part.  Keeping the photo count down to fit on 8GB cards would be nice because then we could probably afford to never erase a card, leave them behind and keep an archive.  Viewing photos on the SD card works ok for me.

We try to be on station for 4 hours, sometimes plus or minus an hour.  1 second photos would be nice, but I'd also be ok with 4 seconds if eliminates an external battery and allows be to fit on a 8GB card.  I'm not sure if photos enroute are important. They would give a sense of context and travel.  Also we often fly over areas that have just burned, or about to be burned.  Eliminating them is fine too.  btw, the reason for pointing the camera to the right is the ATGS (Air Attack Group Supervisor-interagency gov't person) is always in the right seat looking out the right window, and my job is to keep the plane banked for his best viewing.

If an external battery is required, then it is required, but hopefully not.  If the camera is mounted to an inspection plate, it really needs to be light.  Sometimes it will be lashed to a post or seat back.  Having multiple pieces with momentum are a problem because we occasionally hit very hard bumps (bangs my head against the ceiling pretty hard).

I'll work on getting my SD990's version number asap

Re: SD990 for Aerial Firefighting
« Reply #13 on: 24 / January / 2009, 01:06:13 »
GM1.00E  is the version of my SD990 IS

attached is a screen shot of Topo 7 with photos overlayed.  Each one can be clicked and zoomed into.



Re: SD990 for Aerial Firefighting
« Reply #14 on: 26 / January / 2009, 23:35:06 »
Hello Reyalp, and others,
I tested the SD850 over the weekend for longevity.  My wife's slightly tired battery would only charge up to 65% according to the CHDK meter.  Set the interval 2.5 seconds, but actually got about a 5.5 second interval.  Camera shooting lasted for 6.5 hours once the LCD was off.  If the SD990 does this well that would be great.

Is there a parameter for turning of the LCD/screen?

I'm working on how to best use these photos with an inter-agency team consisting of people from BLM, Forest Service, State and other gov't orgs.  I'm thinking about displaying the bulk images on DeLorme Topo 7, and then letting someone like dispatch choose, crop, image process and post to Google Earth.

Speaking of slow connections, all or our fire attack planes do have Irridium satellite phones with data link.  The data link is unfortunately still in the dark ages at about 2400 baud.  But it is there, and it could be possible to send back select and heavily compressed photos while over the fire.  In addition to slow transfer, the other big problem is the time to do it.  I'm flying, and the air attack guy in the right seat is busier.  Maybe another camera in the cockpit somehow directly linked to the Irridium phones serial data port...I'll have to investigate this.

*

Offline reyalp

  • ******
  • 13234
Re: SD990 for Aerial Firefighting
« Reply #15 on: 27 / January / 2009, 01:00:55 »
Note that the CHDK battery meter relies on having the correct voltage values for full and minimum charge, so starting at 65% may not reflect the actual state of charge.

There is a propcase that controls LCD. There is also a recently added script command to control the LCD backlight, which saves less power but avoids this issue. You can also set the timeout before the LCD goes off in the canon menu. Finally, there's CHDK menu item under misc to prevent the display turning off in either alt or script mode, which you'll obviously want set to none (this exists because having the display off breaks some features such as motion detection.)

Getting pictures off the camera while in flight will be somewhat difficult, even before you deal with the 2400 baud upload and lack of free time. The cameras go into a special transfer mode when USB is connected, and CHDK has relatively little control over that so far. There's been some experimental work in this area, but AFAIK it's still very rough. Some powershots allow remote control and capture over USB, but neither the 850 nor 990 seem to be on the list: http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=SDKHomePageAct&keycode=Sdk_Lic&fcategoryid=314&modelid=7474&id=3464#SDKQ7

Another way to get pictures off the camera is something like eyefi card. Would 802.11 even be allowed in flight ?
Don't forget what the H stands for.

Re: SD990 for Aerial Firefighting
« Reply #16 on: 28 / January / 2009, 01:36:54 »
Reyalp,
Eye-fi, ok, that's a new one.  It does look cool.  We use bluetooth a lot.  I was on an airliner that once had wifi.  I think it is ok, except during an instrument approach.  I also probably have an old canon elf or something that allows remote capture.  The SD990 would be over kill for point-shoot and transmit.

Irridium satellite phone tech support says it will cost about $40+ per shot and take 10 minutes for 50KB.  Not yet sure this is worth it, but the original plan for the SD990 is still good.  What is the next step for me?  Should we plan on sending you the camera, and then if it works out I can meet you to test fly it?

-MarkZ
mszaller@yahoo.com

*

Offline reyalp

  • ******
  • 13234
Re: SD990 for Aerial Firefighting
« Reply #17 on: 28 / January / 2009, 02:45:10 »
You should be able to develop the script you need and test the entire setup with the SD850. careyer's carlapse http://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php/topic,2589.0.html might be a good starting point, since shooting from a car has similar requirements (auto-exposure, fast shutter speed, fast interval) and probably sees at least as much variation as you get from the air.

I still think you might be better off trialing the whole concept on an already ported camera, but if you are set on using the SD990, I am still willing to work on the port. I'll send you a pm so we can work out the details off thread.
Don't forget what the H stands for.


Re: SD990 for Aerial Firefighting
« Reply #18 on: 01 / February / 2009, 22:32:23 »
If you are seriously considering the Eye-Fi, check that it will keep up with the rate of photos you want to take and can work with a continous stream of many gigabytes of data. The Eye-Fi card has a very slow write speed on the benchmarks.

Also if you are using a normal SDHC card (not eye-fi), you may be able to increase the rate that you can upload the data onto your PC.

A "class 6" rating is just a guaranteed minimum speed and some cards work faster so you might want to select a particular brand - see SDHC speed classes. Note that I would use a file-read benchmark from the PC rather than the CHDK benchmark since that could be limited by the camera electronics.

I also find that I get the fastest transfer to the PC using a USB to SDHC card reader. The SD card readers I have used that were built into laptops have been especially slow and unreliable.
« Last Edit: 01 / February / 2009, 22:35:22 by robocat »

Re: SD990 for Aerial Firefighting
« Reply #19 on: 06 / February / 2009, 10:46:32 »
This all reminds me a little bit to this project:
http://n95blog.com/create-your-personal-google-earth-make-the-nokia-n95-fly/

You can use pict'earth to make your own google earth layers.

 

Related Topics