James, M.R., Carr, B., D'Arcy, F., Diefenbach, A., Diettrich, H., Fornaciai, A., Lev, E., Liu, E., Pieri, D., Rodgers, M., Smets, B., Terada, A., von Aulock, F., Walter, T., Wood, K. & Zorn, E. 2020. ‘Volcanological applications of unoccupied aircraft systems (UAS): Developments, strategies, and future challenges’. Volcanica 3 (1): 67-114. DOI: 10.30909/vol.03.01.67114. URL: https://www.jvolcanica.org/ojs/index.php/volcanica/article/view/48 (PR).
Article in a scientific Journal / Article in a Journal
Unoccupied aircraft systems (UAS) are developing into fundamental tools for tackling the grand challenges in volcanology; here, we review the systems used and their diverse applications. UAS can typically provide image and topographic data at two orders of magnitude better spatial resolution than space-based remote sensing, and close-range observations at temporal resolutions down to those of video frame rates. Responsive deployments facilitate dense time-series measurements, unique opportunities for geophysical surveys, sample collection from hostile environments such as volcanic plumes and crater lakes, and emergency deployment of ground-based sensors (and robots) into hazardous regions. UAS have already been used to support hazard management and decision-makers during eruptive crises. As technologies advance, increasing system capabilities, autonomy and availability, supported by more diverse and lighter-weight sensors, will offer unparalleled potential for hazard monitoring. UAS will provide opportunities for pivotal advances in our understanding of complex physical and chemical volcanic processes.