Researchers install world’s highest webcam to provide a view of Everest
By Darren Quick
September 30, 2011
After starting out producing security cameras, German-based Mobotix is now taking video surveillance to new heights - literally. One of the company's type-M12 cameras has been situated at an altitude of 5,643-meters (18,514 ft) on the Kala Patthar mountain to stream high definition images of the summit of the nearby 8,848-meter (29,029 ft) high Mount Everest. The solar-powered webcam takes the title of the world's highest webcam from the now second highest webcam in the world located at the 4,389-meter (14,400 ft) high base camp of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina.
The Kala Patthar location, which was chosen for its excellent view of the western side of Everest, including the north and southwest faces of the mountain and the West Ridge, exposes the webcam to some pretty harsh conditions with high winds and temperatures as low as -30°C (-22°F). Images captured by the webcam are transmitted wirelessly to the Ev-K2-CNR Pyramid Laboratory/Observatory, which is located at an altitude of 5,050 meters (16,568 ft). Here, the video is analyzed before being sent onto Italy for further evaluation.
"We spent months developing the perfect setup for the installation and invested a lot of time testing and verifying the system. And it inspired us on to set a record: operating the highest webcam in the world," said Giampietro Kohl, leader of the Ev-K2-CNR technical committee who coordinated the webcam's installation by Italian engineers and the Nepalese Ev-K2-CNR team as part of the "Everest Share 2011" research project,
The research project is taking place as part of the international "Share" climate and environmental monitoring conference, with researchers hoping the images, in conjunction with meteorological data gathered at the world's highest weather station sitting at an altitude of 8,000 meters (26,247 ft) on Mount Everest, will provide an insight into climate change.
People can take in the view provided by the Mobotix webcam from the comfort of their homes by pointing their browsers here. The webcam is only active during the daylight hours of 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Nepalese time, with images updated every five minutes to allow the researchers to track the movement of the clouds around the mountain summit. If you'd like to turn the view around and see what it looks like from the summit of Everest, there's also a nice 360-degree panorama here.
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