Researchers share drone expertise to help Guatemalans better prepare for volcanic eruptions | 11/9/2018 | Staff
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A team of scientists and engineers from the Universities of Birmingham and Bristol have returned from Guatemala where they have been teaching local scientists how to use drones to map the Fuego volcano which violently erupted earlier this year.

The eruption on June 3 included pyroclastic flows (fast-moving currents of hot gas and volcanic material) which left almost no evacuation time and resulted in the deaths of several hundred people, making it Guatemala's deadliest eruption since 1929.

Drones - Volcanology - Access - Data - Life

Drones are revolutionising volcanology, provided unprecedented access and data without risking life and limb.

Supported by the World Bank and the British Embassy in Guatemala, the team have been assisting volcanologists at Instituto Nacional de Sismología, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrología (INSIVUMEH), the Guatemalan government agency responsible for monitoring volcanoes.

Guatemala - Resources - Volcanoes - Support - Collaboration

Guatemala has limited resources to monitor its active volcanoes and is reliant on overseas support and collaboration.

The local scientists took part in a four-day workshop led by Dr. Rick Thomas, from the University of Birmingham's School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science. They were trained in safe flight protocols, data acquisition and image processing using quadcopters and 3-D modelling software supplied by Agisoft.

Dr - Thomas - Quadcopters - Purposes - Workshop

Dr. Thomas said: "Flying commercial quadcopters is generally very easy, but flying them safely, legally and repeatedly for scientific purposes is more challenging. This workshop shared knowledge and practices developed for repeated safe drone flying to enable the regular production of high quality 3-D maps in difficult...
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