Taisu #1 : Lake Bonney,
McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
This was the first Taisu that we built in 2001. It has an datalogger
that monitors internal temperature and battery voltage, and an "802.11"
radio interface that uses the same type of wireless communications as is now
common for internal networking in homes and offices. This provides an
Internet connection to the datalogger and .. most importantly .. the steerable webcam. The features that
were important for us are the steerability, the zoom, and the built-in web
server that delivers the images and presents a control panel to the distant
viewer. The optical zoom is awesome - try it.
Access to the camera is password protected. Please
send me e-mail and I'll send you a temporary username and password. We
have to do this to prevent undue load on the communications link between
Antarctica and the rest of the world, and also to prevent unauthorized access.
Once you get the first page and enter the User Name and Password, press
the Menu button labelled 'Control the Pan/Tilt'. This will show a
control panel with 10 preset position buttons and a steering panel. The
center buttons in the steering panel control the 'Zoom In' ("head" icon)
versus 'Zoom Out' ("body" icon). You can set the size of the movement
steps, to achieve finer motion of the field of view, or to look around more
quickly. Please do not change anything on the 'Lens Control'
Here are some examples of what you'll see:
Preset position button # 1 : Ventifact rocks about 20 feet away
Preset position button # 2 : Closeup of the Jamesway at the camp, about
1/4 mile away.
Preset position button # 4 : view to the west, 'up' the valley towards the
interior of Antarctica.
Preset position button # 6 : view to the east, 'down' the valley towards
Preset position button # 10 : we duct-taped a thermometer to the mast, so
you can see the outside temperature ..
Once you have the password, click here
for the camera view.