Recent eruptions on the island of Hawaii have again refocused the attention of world’s media on disaster zones, and the earth’s most active volcanic hot spot, and the importance of obtaining information and data in challenging environments.
The most active volcano in Hawaii is Mt. Kilauea. According to LiveScience in 2014, the current eruption cycle began in 1983. Sections of Kilauea have been continuously erupting since then, and this most recent eruption lasted for several months. (Update: in May 2018, Kilauea is actively erupting again. See the Wikipedia article and links.)
Videographers are increasingly using drones to explore volcano craters. In 2015, drones captured these spectacular video images in 2015 over the Marum Crater near Ambrym on the Pacific island of Vanuatu. The drones did not survive the harsh, challenging environment near the 2000*F molten basalt lava.
“Video technology and science converge on an active volcano in Vanuatu, where explorer Sam Cossman operated camera-mounted drones to capture high-definition images of the spectacular yet dangerous Marum Crater.
“Cossman and his team piloted the drones over the 7.5-mile-wide (12-kilometer) caldera while confronting toxic gases and boiling lava. Although two drones succumbed to the harsh environment, the team was able to bring back video and photos that will help scientists learn more about the volcano and the life around it.”
Digital Aerolus designs and builds the rugged Aertos™ drones. We continue to develop drones that can withstand the challenges of harsh environments – for example, where information from GPS satellites is compromised or denied.
The drone that captured this video for NatGeo wasn’t able to survive the harsh environment. We’re not ready to tackle the lava caldera of an active volcano yet. But, maybe someday…