SCAMP - powered by UKMON

SCAMP (the System for Capture of Asteroid and Meteorite Paths) is a network of all-sky digital cameras based in the UK

SCAMP meteor camera

SCAMP detects and records bright fireballs so any resulting meteorite can be found using triangulation and careful analysis.

Any meteorites recovered using SCAMP will be donated to the UK Natural History Museum or other UK museums or universities, along with all images and data recorded.

SCAMP is part of an international effort to recover meteorites that are seen to fall and to pair them with their pre-entry orbits. So, for example if a Martian meteorite falls (about 135 pieces of Mars have been found on Earth so far) and its calculated pre-entry orbit doesn’t cross the orbit of Mars, there’s some interesting science to do!

The SCAMP Network

At the moment there are three cameras in the SCAMP network. On a clear night when all three are operating, they provide excellent coverage of the English Midlands and most of Wales, with some coverage of East Anglia, Western Wales and the Southern Home Counties.

The SCAMP Network map

During 2018 and 2019 we’d like to increase the number of SCAMP cameras to ten or more, adding cameras in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the English regions. If you want to host a SCAMP camera, we’re happy to tell you how.

The cameras are identical to those used in the French FRIPON network and are being fully integrated with the FRIPON network.

What’s the difference between SCAMP, FRIPON and UKMON?

The FRIPON network of more than 100 all-sky digital cameras launched in France in 2016. SCAMP is the UK version of the FRIPON network. It uses the same cameras and software, and shares data with FRIPON.

UKMON uses very sensitive cameras that capture very faint meteors at night, whereas SCAMP/FRIPON is optimised for very bright meteors and will eventually operate during the day as well.

Hosting your own SCAMP Camera

You’re very welcome to join the SCAMP network. You’ll need to buy your own camera system (including a NUC computer) which we can source for you for about £1,600.

SCAMP cameras run unattended and fully automatically, as bolide events are rare. However, it’s your opportunity to be part of history when the next UK meteorite does fall.

Where are the existing SCAMP Cameras?

The three existing cameras are:

Camera 1 – Honiton, Devon

Installed in July 2016 by Alan Shuttleworth, Camera 1 was the first camera in the SCAMP network. Below are the camera and mount and a daytime view from the camera, in this case a fish-eye view of clouds.

The SCAMP Camera 1

The SCAMP Camera 1

Camera 2 – East Barnet, London

Installed in October 2016, Camera 2 is mounted on the disused chimney of a private house in East Barnet, North London. From here it can catch events over the Channel, the North Sea, the Midlands and Wales.

The SCAMP Camera 2 – East Barnet, London

The SCAMP Camera 2 – East Barnet, London

Camera 3 – University of Manchester

Installed in June 2017, Camera 3 is high on the roof of a University of Manchester faculty building in the centre of the city. Although taken on a wet day, the Manchester skyline can just be made out in the view from the camera.

The SCAMP Camera 3 – Central Manchester

The SCAMP Camera 3 – Central Manchester