Watching the polar bears

22 Feb 2008

Wireless broadband technology isn't just about enabling people to download MP3s and videos on the go. You can also track polar bears with it.

Evidence: a project led by Polar Bears International to set up remote cameras on the shores of Hudson Bay in Canada to track the movement and behavior of polar bears - and to raise awareness of climate change and the impact it's having on them.

Behind the cameras was a digital system set up by remote wildlife monitoring specialist SeeMore Wildlife Systems. The system comprised an IP-based network system of digital microwave links to transmit images from cameras to a PC server in the remote town of Churchill, which was in turn linked to the control centre in Alaska via the internet.

RealVNC provided the software to control and monitor the camera network and PC server.

The project also included a hi-tech "Tundra Buggy" that fed live streaming video via a 45-Mbps wireless link to Churchill and then to the National Geographic website.

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