Brigadoon - An Occasional Corner on the Internet
Sky Camera Software
Designed by Mark Little
A sky camera is usually expected to run automatically, updating the image periodically. In many setups, the image is uploaded to a web server so that the image of the state of the sky can be displayed along with observations from a weather station. If the images are being uploaded to a commercial server such as WOW, or Weather Underground, then there are usually restrictions about the size of the image being uploaded.
In many cases, the largest allowable image is much smaller than the image that the camera is producing. This means that after the image from the camera is recorded, it has to be resized to the acceptable size.There is normally a maximum rate at which the image can be uploaded to the server to limit the bandwidth necessary to upload the images.
This means that the Raspberry Pi software has to do the following tasks as a minimum:
(1) Update the image from the sky camera at an interval compatible with the host's requirements.
(2) Read the image from the camera and save for processing.
(3) Resize the image so that it is less than or equal to the maximum allowable image and file size.
(4) Upload the resized image to the host computer using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a similar process.
The following pages will provide examples of how each of these functional requirements can be implemented. These pages step you though setting up a simple script for either a Raspberry Pi camera or an IP based camera, but if a script to run a either a Raspeberry Pi or IP based sky camera, along with a script to help you set the system are provided here.