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micrObs – A customizable time-lapse camera for ecological studies

Camera traps for motion-triggered or continuous time-lapse recordings are readily available on the market. For demanding applications in ecology and environmental sciences, however, commercial systems often lack flexibility to freely adjust recording time intervals, suffer from mechanical component wear, and can be difficult to combine with auxiliary sensors such as GPS, weather stations, or light sensors. We present a robust time-lapse camera system that has been operating continuously since 2013 under the harsh climatic conditions of the Antarctic and Subantarctic regions. Thus far, we have recorded over one million images with individual cameras. The system consumes 122 mW of power in standby mode and captures up to 200,000 high-resolution (16 MPix) images without maintenance such as battery or image memory replacement. It offers time-lapse intervals between 2 s and 1 h, low-light or night-time power saving, and data logging capabilities for additional inputs such as GPS and weather data.

Read the full article in HardwareX