In a nutshell,
the FTACS is designed to turn on a camera during each flooding
event, and capture a photo every 15 minutes while water is
still flowing. The camera will turn off once the water falls
below ground level.
The FTACS (Fig.
3) consists largely of a central controlling board, which
includes the interval trigger and voltage regulator. A modified
camera is used to capture the images, with its focus and shutter
both automatically controlled by the interval trigger. The
above components are in turn controlled by a water level switch.
A 12V battery provides power to the system, and during the
day the battery is kept charged by a solar panel located on
top of the observation box.
The entire system
is designed to consume no power if the water level is below
ground. The positioning of the water sensing probes are such
that trace or small amounts of rainfall are prevented from
triggering the system, as such images would most likely be
of a largely dry valley.