NASA has partnered with other US agencies and a Colorado-based drone manufacturer to create a UAV-based system to observe volcanoes for indications of what otherwise might be unexpected, catastrophic eruptions for local communities.

NASA has long been interested in deploying drones to replace human monitors and small aircraft habitually used for near-range examination of volcano activity and for gathering evidence of approaching eruptions. Tipped off to those by data collected with sensors on the craft, scientists could issue advance warnings when craters are getting ready to blow, as Cumbre Vieja on Spain’s La Palma, Karkatau in Indonesia, and Hawai‘i Island’s Kīleaua all did last year.

Though the tech presumably wouldn’t be applicable to the underwater explosion of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai that produced a calamitous tsunami for the people of Tonga, it would allow researchers to predict other looming eruptions ­– allowing local communities to…

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Source: dronedj.com