Drone for Volcano Science BlackSwift Technologies
BlackSwift Technology is using a drone for volcano observation, flying a Swift S2 Fixed Wing beyond visual line of sight to approach the Makushin Volcano.
by Ian M. Crosby
In a landmark for UAS operations, Black Swift Technologies is currently working on a project supported by the USGS, NASA and the Alaskan DOT for volcano observations, and is conducting some of the first beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations for UAS without visual observers or land-based radar.
Makushin Volcano, located on Unalaska Island, Alaska, is ranked within the highest threat category identified by the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Volcanic Threat Assessment. The volcano’s activity levels are monitored by the USGS AVO using a network of seismic monitoring stations and webcams installed on and around the volcano, as well as with visits by AVO volcanologists to assess the summit region and sample gases emitted from the summit craters and hydrothermal areas on the flanks of the…