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Virtual submarine tours using MIC series Bosch cameras

Bosch Security Systems : 17 June, 2009  (Application Story)
Visitors to a historic German submarine in Liverpool can take a tour of its cramped interior with joystick controlled MIC Series camera installed by Bosch
Virtual submarine tours using MIC series Bosch cameras
Bosch's rugged MIC Series, or "Metal Mickey" cameras as they are commonly known, have found an unusual application, installed in a Second World War U-boat docked in Liverpool, giving visitors an up-close look at the internal workings of an old German submarine.

Located at the Woodside Ferry Terminal, Birkenhead, and operated by Merseytravel, The U-boat Story is a £5m visitor attraction with a salvaged U-534 German submarine as its centrepiece.

The World War II German U-boat, which is the only one in the UK, has been split into four sections with glass viewing partitions. Two MIC Series cameras have been installed to give visitors a complete view of the internal workings of the submarine, and reveal surprisingly well preserved artefacts including a rare Enigma machine. Joysticks enable the viewing public to control the cameras, and the MIC's 360 degree pan and 320 degree tilt control delivers a complete panoramic view.

The U-534 was sunk by RAF aircraft in May 1945 after it refused to surrender. It was the only U-boat that did not surrender despite instructions from German Navy's Commander in Chief and the mystery surrounding why remains to this day. In August 1993 the wreckage was raised from the seabed in the hope of finding hidden treasure on board.

No treasure was found but as an interactive exhibition the recovered U-boat allows visitors to gain a unique insight into life on board a submarine during wartime.

The MIC400 cameras are key to helping visitors see into the sections of the submarine and were installed on the recommendation of Blackpool Council's CCTV department, as a spokesman explains: "MIC cameras are perfectly suited for this type of scenario," he says. "They are incredibly reliable, robust and versatile, and allow the public to zoom in and see the internal workings of the submarine in greater detail, enhancing their visitor experience."

Neil Scales, chief executive of Merseytravel, said: 'The cameras are extremely effective. They give visitors a unique view of the interior of U-534, somewhere that was previously inaccessible to all but the very nimble.'

The cameras installed in the U-boat are the MIC400 aluminium and MIC400IR which features integrated infrared illuminators for low light surveillance. Both are rated to any industry-leading IP68 for the ultimate in environmental protection and can be mounted upright, inverted or canted for total installation flexibility.
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