Automatic deformation analysis by novel camera

May 1, 2017News

Our latest addition to monitoring technologies is the novel high-definition (HD) camera with increased sensitivity and a resolution of more than 40 megapixels. The high-quality images allow for deformation analysis of the monitored hazard zone, for example a glacier. The images illustrate remarkable details despite large differences in light intensities, as often experienced on glaciers (e.g. direct sunlight and shaded areas on the same image). Sophisticated image analysis of the automatically captured and selected pictures reveals even small-scale deformations within a large coverage area.

Our station at Weissmies in Saas Grund (VS) monitors the Trift glacier by tracking its movements. The HD camera takes a number of pictures per day that show fine details of the glacier area of interest and even beyond. See here for a high resolution picture from this station including zoom function. The system autonomously selects the most qualified pictures for image analysis in a certain time period. Subsequently, an automatic daily deformation analysis is carried out by comparing the slightest displacements between the respective pictures (see below).

High-quality image analysis using this novel camera offers an excellent and cost-effective solution to assess deformations over a monitoring period of several weeks to years. As with any camera in the visible spectrum, good visibility is required and frequent spells of bad weather may make deformation analysis difficult. In this case, the interferometric radar is the ideal alternative offering continuous operation, be it day or night in all-weather conditions.

Please find further information and reference projects on our webcam options here.

High-definition picture and deformation analysis

(press on picture for full resolution and zoom function)