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  Solar Cam


May 5, 2008

Port Authority-Developed System Runs Continuously for One Year Solely on Sun

HEATH – Nicknamed “Project Cam” and originally deployed in 2005 as a property management tool to watch construction of Kaiser Drive at the Central Ohio Aerospace & Technology Center, a solar-powered, wireless-internet connected camera system hit a significant milestone last month. Late April, the Port Authority-developed camera system passed the one-year mark since solar power improvements were made. In that year, the system never lost power as it captured and delivered real-time video and digital images to the web.

The Port Authority set out to continuously improve the solar-powered, wireless-internet camera system it first developed three years ago. In addition to the 2005 construction project, this same system was used to monitor construction of James Parkway which opened in May 2007. Also, Samuel Manu-Tech’s corporate officials in Toronto, Canada used it in 2006 during construction of the company’s new 151,000 s.f. building on the COATC South Campus. The company’s users could zoom the camera in on their $14 million investment while sitting hundreds of miles away in another country. The system can be viewed, live on the internet, during daylight hours, at

“You don’t normally think of a government engaging in research and development projects, but I’m proud of our team’s success,” said Rick Platt, Executive Director of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority. “Our team was given a challenge to stretch our in-house capabilities, and they succeeded. One year of running something with so many possible uses and value, just on the power of the sun, is a major accomplishment.”

“Everything in it is commercially available right now,” said Port Authority Facilities Manager Bruce Boylan in describing the nuts and bolts of the system. He and Project Manager John Vermaaten are credited with development and improvements to the solar and internet camera device. “We found a pretty economical way and, yes, hitting the mark of one year running only on sun is pretty extraordinary too.”

What’s next? The Port Authority is considering development of an economical, low-maintenance solar camera system that would be mounted on a trailer system and could be used by local governments and agencies in Licking County. The final product would be a mobile camera system useful for public events, safety, homeland security, and countless other uses.

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