Installation of meteor detection cameras at
BOAO observatory

(17. November 2014)

Arrival at BOAO 1.8m telescope building. The cameras are planned to be installed north of the building with clear view towards SOAO

North of BOAO 1.8m telescope building is a ventilation shaft that provides fresh air to the main building via a tunneling system. Distance to main control room is around 33 meters. The ventilation shaft exit is made of reinforced concrete. Perfect for mounting the camera pier using anchor bolts. However, it is inclined by a few degrees and hence some concrete needs to be chipped of in order to level the camera pier.

Pulling the cable through the ventilation tunnel system. Two plastic tubes are used: One for the ground and electric cable the other for the three coaxial (video) cable + LAN cable. The LAN cable was installed for installation of a future all-sky camera.

Two plastic tubes have been pulled through the ventilation tunnel system. The tubes will protect the electric cables against mice bite.

... pulling and pulling ...

Inside the floor tiles in the 1.8m control room were removed to find a clear path of video cables to the BOAO Meteor PC.

... removal of more floor tiles ...

... drilling two holes through reinforced concrete for the two plastic pipes/tubes ...

... removing more floor tiles in the control room ...

 ... while inside the floor tiles are removed the holes for the camera pier are drilled into reinforced concrete ...

The pier is mounted using four stainless steel anchorbolts. Strong enough to secure a tight fastening to keep the whole camera mount steady in case of strong wind. Some concrete needed to be chipped off in order to ...

... secure the pier to be in level ...

The top part of the camera pier is mounted using three strong bolts. The green cable is low-resistant ground wire.

Lower and top part of camera pier is mounted

Installation of two plastic boxes: One box for the video signal connection and the other for the power supply and electric fuses + timer. Both plastic boxes are water proof. Holes for plastic tubes/pipes are drilled on the bottom part.

The southern plasitic box is for the video connection. The northern box for the remaining electric components.

Installation/mounting of the three camera mounts. Two weather protective plastic pipes carry the electric and video cable to the two plastic boxes. Each mount can rotate 360 degrees around vertical and 90 degrees in elevation.

... view inside a camera housing with the camera + lens system and the airventilator ...

Front side of camera houses are sealed with silicone to render the front screw holes to be watertight since the camera houses are pointing up instead of down for normal surveillance use.

Final installation of the meteor dection cameras ... view 1 ...

... view 2 ...

... and view 3 ...

Test observations: Camera gain is set to high gain. Algorithmically detected background stars are masked using special software setting in UFOCaptureV2. For high gain setting the background noise is high.

Test observations: Camera gain is set to low. Again background stars are masked. With this setting the background noise is removed and the image appears more smooth. However, fainter stars are gone as well and only the most brightest stars are visible.

Close-up view of the souther plastic box: Each coaxial cable is conncted to a Surge Protection Device (SPD) to protect the camera against lighting strikes mostly during the warm summer period.

Close-up view of the northern plastic box: The main power break is visible in the
upper left corner currently in ON position. Two circuits are used: One for direct power
supply for the camera housing heating and airventilation system. The other for the 12V
powersupply for the WATEC cameras. The 12V circuit is controlled by a timer
(Dong Hwa Timer) to switch off the camera + lens system during daytime. Since the lenses
are DC drive auto-iris lens system the CCD chip will be protected against
sun-light during day time.

Rear view of the BOAO Meteor PC. Each camera video signal is converted into a digital signal using a cheap USB 2.0 based A/D video converter. Each converter has its own bus assigned.

View of BOAO Meteor PC in the control room of the
1.8m BOAO building.