Out-of-Band Management Featured ArticleDecember 20, 2012
Astrophotographer Finds Another Use for OpenGear RIM Gateways
Enterprising do-it-yourself types and the mechanically inclined are living in a golden age of possibilities when it comes to taking hardware and putting it to new uses with software modification.
Amateur astrophotographer Rick Stevenson discovered another use for his firm’s hardware during the recent total eclipse in Australia on November 14.
Photographing a total eclipse is not something done without time and thought.
“The period of Totality is very brief and there are many different phenomena to capture, some extremely fleeting. Lighting conditions vary hugely from levels that would destroy an unfiltered camera sensor to twilight darkness and back again. Accurate timing and determination of location are critical,” he wrote in a blog post after the eclipse.
“Photographing a total eclipse is very challenging,” he added. “Serious eclipse photographers use a laptop computer and special software in an attempt to automate their image capture and guarantee perfect results.”
When Stevenson began preparing for the astronomical event, he realized that his company made a device that could seriously assist with his goal.
The requirements for suitably controlling a DSLR camera in such a situation includes cellular interface with GPS for accurate location and time, USB and asynchronous serial interfaces for driving the camera, WiFi (News - Alert) for convenient control from a smartphone, non-volatile storage for images, and a CPU and operating system capable of running a camera control library and scripting.
The ACM5500 family of Remote Infrastructure Management (RIM) Gateways includes an integrated wireless access point, the ACM5504-5-G-W-I. The device offers integrated cellular, wired and wireless access, allowing IT managers a range of connectivity options to easily manage critical infrastructure at local and remote sites.
When coupled with the libgphoto2 core library for controlling digital cameras by external programs, the gear also helps amateur photographers in the field like Stevenson, who had to drive two hours to set his camera at a suitable spot for photographing the eclipse.
The combination worked great, reported Stevenson, another win for the OpenGear ACM5504-5-G-W-I.
“I took some nice images and got to enjoy the eclipse visually as well,” he wrote in his blog post about the project. “ I look forward to finding further applications for Opengear products in my spare time. One of these days I hope to have a home observatory that needs automation!”
You can see a few of the photos Stevenson took during the eclipse here.
Edited by Stefanie Mosca
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