Consumer drone adapted to help predict volcanic eruptions
The analysis of volcanic gases allows scientists to determine what processes are taking place deep within volcanoes, including the possibility of impending eruptions. And while big, expensive drones have previously been used to sample those gases, a small consumer model can now do the job.
At one time, the only method of collecting such gases involved actually climbing up to the rim of an active volcano’s crater. Not only is this a very arduous and time-consuming process, but it can also result in harm to the volcanologist, should an eruption occur while they’re up there.
More recently, many scientists have instead started using remotely controlled drones to obtain gas samples and other data.
Although the aircraft do make things considerably safer and easier, the type of drones used are typically large industrial models that may weigh up to 25 kg (55 lb). Not only is it difficult to lug such drones to the often remote areas where volcanoes are located, but the aircraft are also quite…