At volcanoes like Stromboli, we can make many key observations from safe locations, hundreds of meters from the erupting vents. Other key observations must be made from locations beside or immediately above the vents. While this information is vital to improving our understanding of how volcanoes erupt, data collected in these area are often very limited due to the obvious dangers of being so close to vents of live volcanoes dangerous.
Fortunately, robotic technology can go where humans cannot. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have become cheaper and more accessible, and they now have the ability to carry lightweight optical sensors for mapping and aerial observations of volcanic activity. Nicolas Turner and Bruce Houghton with the University of Hawaii SOEST Department of Geology and Geophysics, and team are using this approach to gain new insight into one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
Click here for more information