ACASAK
(Formerly Coastal Sensor Solutions) Boston, MA



In coordination with the BU Multimedia Communication Laboratory and the UMB Center for Coastal Environmental Sensor Networks, a network of wireless video cameras was deployed on Thompson Island in Boston Harbor to monitor long-term erosion of the northern bluff and other coastal processes along the eastern side. This installation served two purposes. It was a test to see how well low cost video cameras on a long-distance wireless network could perform in a harsh coastal environment. And it was intended to be a resource for the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center. The successful completion of the test spawned contracts for other camera installations in the Jones River Marsh and Essex Bay which have both been used to support serious scientific research. The Thompson Island organization is dedicated to educating school children in outdoor experiences and environmental science. The images gathered from this camera were used as an exhibit in the education programs run on the island.

Thompson Island erosion monitoring cameras wireless network

Bluff Camera

The bluff camera was in place for 2 years and 3 months delivering daily images and video. It was used to study the infrequent but sudden slumping that has been rapidly eroding the bluff. It survived Hurricane Sandy, and many other storms afterward. It was finally knocked down by winter storm Juno on January 27, 2015. The project successfully proved that video cameras can provide valuable data for coastal research.

bluff erosion camera
bluff erosion camera
Oct. 27, 2012 (pre-Hurricane Sandy)
bluff erosion camera
Oct. 30, 2012 (post-Sandy)
bluff erosion camera
Dec. 18, 2012 (extreme high tide)
bluff erosion camera
Dec. 19, 2012 (post-extreme high tide)
bluff erosion camera
Dec. 22, 2012 (minor slumping)
bluff erosion camera
Dec. 24, 2012 (frost?)
bluff erosion camera
Dec. 25, 2012 (snow)
bluff erosion camera
Dec. 28, 2012 (post-45 mph winds)
bluff erosion camera
Jan. 4, 2013 (minor slumping)
bluff erosion camera
Jan. 6, 2013 (minor slumping)
bluff erosion camera
Jan. 11, 2013
bluff erosion camera
Jan. 15, 2013
bluff erosion camera
Jan. 18, 2013 (no high tides, ~32degF)
bluff erosion camera
Jan. 21, 2013 (early frost settling)
bluff erosion camera
Jan. 28, 2013 (7 days < 32F)
bluff erosion camera
Feb. 3, 2013
bluff erosion camera
Feb. 12, 2013 (13' tide, 45mph wind)
bluff erosion camera
Feb. 16, 2013
bluff erosion camera
Feb. 24, 2013 (max. frost settling)
bluff erosion camera
Mar. 7, 2013 (12.3' tide + storm)
bluff erosion camera
Mar. 10, 2013 (after storm)
bluff erosion camera
Apr. 22, 2013
bluff erosion camera
Jun. 11, 2013 (before)
bluff erosion camera
Jun. 12, 2013 (after only wind gusts)
bluff erosion camera
Jun. 25, 2013
bluff erosion camera
Jul. 24, 2013 (high tide)


Click here to see the full time-series of pictures

Time series snapshots October 2012 to June 2013


Video of extreme high tide waves 12/18/12


Video of frost induced bluff settling 2/23/13


Beach Camera

A second camera was placed along the beach on the eastern side of the island. This was used to monitor beach changes and look for other interesting dynamics.

beach dynamics camera
Dec. 4, 2012
beach dynamics camera
Dec. 7, 2012
beach dynamics camera
Dec. 8, 2012
beach dynamics camera
High tide: Dec. 11, 2012 9:48 am
beach dynamics camera
Low tide: Dec. 11, 2012 1:54 pm
beach dynamics camera
Dec. 19, 2012
beach dynamics camera
Dec. 21, 2012
beach dynamics camera
Dec. 27, 2012 (30 mph winds)
beach dynamics camera
Dec. 28, 2012 (frost line?)
beach dynamics camera
Jan. 03, 2013 (snow)
beach dynamics camera
Jan. 6, 2013
beach dynamics camera
Jan. 16, 2013
beach dynamics camera
Jan. 28, 2013 (7 day < 32F)
beach dynamics camera
Feb. 3, 2013
beach dynamics camera
Feb. 10, 2013


Click here to see other pictures from the beach camera

Video of 30 mph winds on beach 12/27/12