The Argus Video System

An Argus monitoring system typically consists of four to five video cameras, spanning a 180 deg view, and allowing full coverage of about four to six kilometers of beach. The cameras are mounted on a high location along the coast and connected to an ordinary PC on site, which in turn communicates to the outside world using conventional techniques. Data sampling is usually half-hourly (although any schedule can be specified) and continues during rough weather conditions. As the process of data collection is fully automated, the marginal operating costs are virtually zero.

Hardware involves (amongst others) Flea2 CCD cameras (manufactured by Point Grey Research Inc. in Vancouver, Canada), 2448x2048 pixels lenses, camera housings, field computers, cables and hubs/repeaters and PCI interface cards. The cameras have a 5 Mega pixels resolution to allow for high quality images in all areas of interest. The use of digital video cameras with an IEEE-1394 interface enables simultaneous data sampling from multiple synchronized cameras, as well full flexibility on the specification of data collection schedules (incl. the simultaneous collections of time-averaged imagery and timestacks).