On Tuesday 15th March, Richard Kacerek and Peter Campbell-Burns came to connect a new meteor camera to the roof of our school. This camera is linked to a Raspberry Pi.  This system will automatically run by itself, and all the pictures will be held centrally in Canada and UK for the rest of the world to access. We are the only school in the country, to be part of the UKMON Network! Our pictures, films and analysed data, will be accessible to all scientists and enthusiasts around the world, so if there is a meteor or fireball that William Perkin Church of England High School has captured, it can be used as a match for the same ones captured elsewhere.   This is what we teach the students about reliability in science lessons, the more people that see the same result, the more reliable the data is.  

The Technical Bit:

This new Raspberry Pi system is a lot simpler than UFO Capture system we had previously, as it is fully automated.  There is no more processing, and the archive is already up-to-date.  This system will automatically process the data when it stops capturing in the morning. All data is uploaded to the Canadian GMN server and also the UKMON server (UK Meteor Observation Network). 

UKMON has developed some specific tools which allow us to send pictures to our live stream page: https://ukmeteornetwork.co.uk/live/#/

The archive is now always up to date: https://archive.ukmeteornetwork.co.uk so we can have an idea about the previous night’s activity that morning!

There are now about 60 active cameras in the UK which are part of UKMON, and we are one of them! UFO Capture systems are being phased out. You can check the latest composites from all cameras here: https://archive.ukmeteornetwork.co.uk/latest/index.html

It will be much easier to spot fireballs, see an example here from UK003C Treworga station back in the summer of 2021:

The setup: 


The archive is in active development and each station has individual always up to date page like this: https://archive.ukmeteornetwork.co.uk/reports/2021/stations/Ash_Vale.html

There are also have a reports per meteor shower, like Perseids: https://archive.ukmeteornetwork.co.uk/reports/2021/PER/index.html

This manual search can be used to see any particular event: https://archive.ukmeteornetwork.co.uk/search/index.html

Thank You to:

Jim Morris for his time, going on the roof most times with me, dropping the wire down, and doing his best to help me problem solve.  

Freddie Owusu-Ansah for also going up on the roof with me. 

Peter Campbell-Burns, Richard Kacerek and  Vera Nesvadbova, from UKMON, for helping us set up the camera and Raspberry Pi. 

Reverend Christopher Ramsay for mounting the camera on the roof. 

David Lloyd for organising remote access for UKMON for the continued  technical support.  

Ms Anita Kapila for coordinating this effort.

This is all very exciting!  Students from across the Twyford Trust  will be able to access our data daily, and will be able to access data from other cameras in the network as well.  Who knows, one day we could be in the news, because we spotted a massive fireball, here’s hoping!

Tweet from UKMON