360 Vision partnership delivers cutting-edge AI trials for SSE Renewables Atlantic salmon monitoring
Advancing their partnership, UK manufacturer of rugged HD, hybrid, radar and thermal imaging cameras, 360 Vision Technology and specialist environmental and conservation technology consultancy, Excite Technology, are now involved in a series of cutting-edge trials, aimed at delivering highly accurate Atlantic salmon AI monitoring and data delivery solutions.
In the partnership, 360 Vision Technology has supplied stainless-steel Eclipse HD PoE cameras for deployment in the harsh environment trial monitoring application for Scottish & Southern Electricity Renewables (SSE Renewables), at various hydropower dams.
The monitoring of wild Atlantic salmon migratory fish is of global importance. To maintain their ethos of protecting the salmon, which SSE Renewables have been conducting since the 1960s, and help the fish to make their way upstream to spawn in Scotland’s rivers, traditionally, river-based resistivity counters have been used to detect the presence of Atlantic salmon. Now, working alongside SSE Renewables, 360 Vision Technology and Excite Technology have devised a cutting-edge, machine-learning based system for the accurate and reliable detection of Atlantic salmon.
The hardware consists of 360 Vision’s HD low-light Eclipse camera with its marine-grade stainless steel enclosure, low-power consumption and on-board recording, specially mounted in strategic positions within locations at SSE’s hydro power stations. The camera images are captured at a low frame rate and stored locally, before being transferred to an off-site server for image processing, where AI algorithms are used to accurately count the number of fish that have passed by.
The Atlantic salmon counting is important, to ensure that the fish are navigating the various hydropower dams’ flumes (multi-level tiers consisting of stepped pools) at the side of the dam walls, to allow the jumping salmon to reach the upper dam level and continue their journey upstream, to spawn. Surveillance monitoring at novel ‘Borland lift fish elevator’ shafts is also being trialled. Here, the Eclipse single cable PoE format is ideal for the vertical shaft application, where the camera video and power is supplied on a single cable via a retractor unit.
Video & AI technologies
“With the use of AI technology, the innovative 360 Vision and Excite Technology partnership is providing a ground-breaking level of species data, compared to traditional data collection methods,” says Jason Williams, Director at Excite Technology. “This data capture solution is a world first in terms of actual environmental monitoring and the use of artificial intelligence is now growing across SSE Renewables. The aim is to truly understand whether the actions the company is taking to mitigate the impact it has on local environments are as successful as it would like them to be. As such, SSE Renewables is also working with a number of internal experts across its operations and environment teams to optimise the Atlantic salmon activity monitoring technology.
“Our solution provides high quality, consistent data, with video files uploaded via either a 4G cellular or satellite internet connection. When fully implemented, this system could provide crucial information for the efficient management of Scottish fisheries.”
Protecting the environment
“We’re proud to be working with Excite Technology using our robust Eclipse cameras and their AI technology combined, to more accurately and automatically monitor the Atlantic salmon as they travel upstream, traversing the dam flumes,” says Tony Holloway, BDM at 360 Vision Technology. “The combined 360 Vision camera and Excite AI technology solution gathers footage and automatically detects and counts the Atlantic salmon being monitored, which enables the collection of valuable and accurate data, helping SSE Renewables to protect the environment.”