How drones and lasers will help predict volcano eruptions

New early warning systems mean scientists can better forecast when a mountain is about to blow its top.

Three years ago, scientists from the University of Costa Rica flew a fixed-wing drone carrying a small mass spectrometer at Turrialba Volcano, in central Costa Rica while Turrialba was in the middle of erupting, emitting a plume of ash. They’ve also flown eight-rotor drones with 6-kilogram (13-pound) mass spectrometers over Vulcano, a small Italian island near Sicily, and the crater of Solfatara, near Naples. In partnership with the volcanologists in Costa Rica, Pieri’s colleagues at JPL hope to create a mass spectrometer weighing as little as 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds).

The close range data gathered by drones complements imaging NASA has been gathering from a device on its Terra satellite since 2000. The images help scientists measure variations in gasses and temperatures at volcanoes around the world, helping to identify the warning signs of rising magma.

Drones and satellites have a big advantage over backpacks. People don’t have to carry them into danger zones.

Read the full article here:


Drone friendly zones maybe coming to Joondalup – Perth Western Australia

The mayor of the City of Joondalup (Mayor Albert Jacob) , located in the northern suburbs of Perth, wants the local council to identify potential launching sites within the city for recreational drone use.

The mayor, is reported as saying that the use of drones was growing at a phenomenal rate, but most people where confused about where they could be used, and wanted to make Joondalup a drone friendly city.

Both the Town of Cambridge and the  City of Stirling (two other norther Perth councils) have recently tightened restrictions on drone use in public areas, most due to privacy concerns.


Commercial Drone Services Predicted To Increase To $22B By 2026

A resent report from Tractica is predicting that commercial drones services will continue to grow in popularity for a wide variety of application. The report forecasts that global drone-enabled services should increase from $337.6 million in 2017 to $22 billion by 2026!

Tractica anticipates that the three leading industries for drone services market will be film and media, utility, energy and infrastructure sectors and agriculture. Glenn Sanders (Tractica’s Senior Analyst) stated that other large application markets for drones include surveying and monitoring, mapping, inspections, aerial imagery, data collection and analytics and deliveries.

“In addition to traditional tasks, new capabilities and intelligent software are enabling a variety of innovative services that include rapid deployment, timely and more accurate data, and a tangible return on investment to clients while minimising capital and personnel requirements,” Sanders said in a statement.

Amazon is considering using drones for deliveries to doorsteps and IBM just patented a drone system to deliver coffee to individuals and at cafes, and events.

North Carolina is a hotbed of drone research. Duke University researchers used drones to measure the impact of hurricanes on North Carolina beaches and NC State uses them to monitor disasters. Raleigh is also home to drone startup PrecisionHawk.

Tractica’s report, “Commercial Drone-Enabled Services” examines the global marketplace trends and provides a 10-year outlook.


Drone video captures footage of Amazon tribe isolated from the world

A recent news report shows a drone capturing video imagery of Brazilian indigenous people who have been isolated from the rest of the world, the country’s National Indian Foundation said this week.

Video from a recent jungle expedition appears to show a one or more figure walking though a clearing of felled trees in an area near Brazil’s border with Peru. One figure seems to be holding a long stick or spear as another figures across the clearing.

The observation of these previously unknown indigenous people in the tributaries of the Jutaí and Juruazinho rivers, was the result of the Brazilian government’s struggle to document and protect indigenous tribes.

This area is known to includes six tribes that have had previous contact with the outside world with at least 11 tribes that have remained isolated throughout history, according to the report.

Photos of indigenous creations, including palm trees hollowed out to make canoes, an axe fastened with vegetation, and a thatched hut have been collected.