How to build a satellite-powered Raspberry Pi security camera for off-grid locations
A friend of mine recently took a rest in his hut to the north. He wanted to know if I had any technical advice that would allow him to observe things from a distance. The only challenge is that his cabin is relatively remote and there is no cell phone service or internet in the area. With this in mind, I want to design a solution that can use Raspberry Pi, some edge computing, and satellite connections to keep an eye on things.
For this project, I am using Group satellite constellation; This is a low-cost solution that provides satellite connections for IoT devices in remote areas. One solution is to use a high-bandwidth connection to transmit images from the camera in real time for offsite processing. The project performs on-site processing (edge computing) instead of just sending the results. Let us keep the project running for a long time at a low of $5 per month. cost. Here is how to build a remote cabin monitoring and alarm system using Raspberry Pi, camera and Swarm evaluation kit.
What do you need for this project
How to build a remote cabin monitoring system with Raspberry Pi
Before you start, please set up your Raspberry Pi.If you have not done this before, please refer to our article on how to do it Setting up the Raspberry Pi First time or how to do it Headless Raspberry Pi installation (There is no keyboard and screen).For this project, we recommend one Headless Raspberry Pi installation.
1. Install git. We need it to download the code from GitHub.
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get -y install git
2. Clone the repository to your home directory. This will download all necessary source code for personnel detection and communication with Swarm tiles.
cd ~/ git clone https://github.com/rydercalmdown/remote_cabin_monitor.git
3. Run the “make install” command Install all project dependencies. This script will be responsible for installing the lower-level dependencies, as well as the Python libraries needed to run the project. The machine learning library we use to detect people is packaged in one of the Python libraries, so the installation may take a few minutes.
cd ~/remote_cabin_monitor/ make install
4. Connect your Raspberry Pi camera to Raspberry Pi And install it in the desired location.
5. Test your Raspberry Pi camera Take a snapshot by using the following command.
raspistill -o test.jpeg
6. Assemble and register your Swarm evaluation kit use Instructions in the quick start guide. This will make it connect to the network to transfer data.
7. Open your Swarm evaluation kit System with buttons on the side.
8. Set your Raspberry Pi Wi-Fi as the Swarm Evaluation Kit SSIDThis needs to be done directly on the pi using an external monitor and keyboard. When pi switches to Swarm SSID, any SSH connection to pi will be deleted.
The easiest way is to use raspi-config (sudo raspi-config), navigate to System Options -> Wireless LAN, then enter the SSID of Swarm Eval Kit (you must find it on another device swarm-xxxx) and enter the default The password is 12345678.
9. Run the application to test itIf the Raspberry Pi successfully connects to the Swarm Kit, it will send a startup email via the network. Depending on your satellite availability, it may take some time to reach your inbox; Use this pass checker To determine when the satellite will be overhead.
cd ~/remote_cabin_monitor make run
10. Configure the application to run at startup By adding a line in the /etc/rc.local file.
sudo nano /etc/rc.local # Add the following line before the last line . /home/pi/remote_cabin_monitor/env/bin/activate && export EMAIL_FROMfirstname.lastname@example.org && export EMAIL_TOemail@example.com && /home/pi/remote_cabin_monitor/env/bin/python /home/pi/remote_cabin_monitor/src/app.py &
11. Put the Swarm evaluation kit in the sky, And then install the Raspberry Pi and camera where you want.
When running, the Raspberry Pi will continuously extract images from the camera and check if they are human. If someone is detected, the Raspberry Pi will send a message to the Swarm Eval Kit, and then the kit will communicate with a group of satellites via VHF. The satellite will forward the message to the downlink, and then you will receive an email stating that someone has been detected. Pi will also send an email every 24 hours stating that no one has been detected to let you know that it is still working.
This type of system can also be modified to send more than just personnel detection data. Leak detection, fire detection, and any sensor that can communicate with the Raspberry Pi can be sent over the network.