You want me to climb up where with the antenna?!

The Enabling Remote Activity (ERA) project has just returned from two weeks in the Highlands of Scotland, successfully supporting two mobility impaired students on the SXR339 ‘Ancient Mountains’ geology summer school.

KMi staff worked alongside course tutors to enable the students to participate in the summer school, giving them access to rock outcrops they would not have been able to get to otherwise. The ERA system provides a mobile wireless network to connect a mobility impaired student with a geologist in the field. A webcam is used by the field geologist to send back a video stream of the field site. With the support of a tutor the student uses a walkie-talkie to direct the field geologist to outcrops of interest and instructs them to take more detailed photographs and measurements. Using the video and digital photographs the student is able to complete the fieldwork tasks alongside the other residential students.

This is ERA’s third field test, and the second time it has accompanied the Ancient Mountains summer school. This year we explored the use of wireless high resolution stills cameras and Asus ultra mobile laptops alongside our existing wifi networking kit. We had the pleasure of proper Scottish rain and mists to test the quality of our equipment!

ERA is a collaboration between Earth and Environmental Sciences, the Disability Resources Team, and KMi to support remote science fieldwork.

The KMi team: Trevor Collins, Mark Gaved, Lewis McCann, Chris Valentine

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