German scientists use drone payload 4K optical camera to warn of active volcano eruption
German scientists recently successfully completed a test flight using a drone to observe an active volcano up close, the New Atlas reports. The team led by Dr. Edgar Zorn of the German Research Center for Geosciences used a DJI Phantom 4 Pro quadcopter equipped with a FLIR TAU 2 thermal imaging camera. The mission was carried out over the Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala
The team digitally combined footage from a 4K optical camera with footage from a FLIR camera to create a stereoscopic video showing both visual and thermal imaging. These videos are then analyzed using professional surveying and mapping software to construct a three-dimensional model of the volcano with centimeter-level accuracy.
The model incorporates information that cannot be gleaned from the ground, including the flow patterns and velocity of lava and the temperature of the volcano's surface. These data are important for determining whether a major eruption is imminent.