The CAMS BeNeLux network was invited for its coordination meeting at the facilities in Oostkapelle (Netherlands) by Klaas Jobse. The March 2017 meeting was special in many ways. First of all it was 5 years ago that the CAMS network was started in March 2012 with two Watecs, one in Oostkapelle by Klaas Jobse and the one in Ooltgenplaat by Piet Neels. We had something to celebrate as the CAMS network rapidly expanded and has 60+ operational cameras today. The number of orbits collected exceeds the wildest expectations with over 63000 orbits so far. After the welcoming by Klaas Jobse, we had Romanian sparkling wine (Zarea) and Koen Miskotte had prepared a marvelous cake to celebrate 5 years of CAMS BeNeLux network.
The meeting started with a presentation by Carl Johannink with a number of points of attention for all stations for reporting detection data. An overview was presented of a selection of minor shower orbits collected by CAMS BeNeLux observed in recent months, compared to the global CAMS results published so far. Martin Breukers gave a demo of the coincidence procedure, how double station meteors are being identified by the CAMS software and how the final selection to decide if a meteor is effectively mutiple station is made based on a number of parameters and graphics displayed by the software.
After the talk of Martin, the group made a walk to the North Sea beach where Klaas Jobse offered a lunch. On the way to the lunch Klaas gave explanation about the region and its touristic aspects. Lunch time offered plenty of time for informal chat.
After the lunch the meeting continued with the witness report of a terrible disaster that happened to our friend and CAMS participant Jos Nijland. An immense fire destroyed his own and his neighbours houses in the night of 31 December. The fire was horrible intense and propagated fast around so that Jos and his family could barely save themself and escape just in time. The house, all personal belongings, the all sky and CAMS station, everything was totally destroyed. Reconstruction has been prepared, but a lot of archives, memories will remain lost for ever.
One purpose of the CAMS meeting is to coordinate the aiming of all the cameras, something which proves to be best done with all people involved around the table. With many cameras and many stations, this is worthwhile the time to optimize the orientation of all the cameras. The author had prepared plots with Google Earth to visualize the current position of all the camera fields. This was also a good opportunity to discuss future expansion of the network.
At the end of the meeting Klaas Jobse guided us to his observatory where also the CAMS 331, 332, 337, 338 and 339 are installed.
The CAMS meeting is a typical very warm and friendly meeting and also this meeting was very much enjoyed by everybody involved. We all thank Klaas Jobse for his hospitality and generosity to offer a lunch for all participants.