In Guatemala, two intensely active volcanoes inaccessible by land have been studied very closely thanks to the use of drones by British researchers.
Two volcanoes in Guatemala will be able to reveal some of their secrets. The Pacaya and the Fuego are two volcanoes inaccessible by terrestrial expeditions, preventing any precise study of the gas that they give off and which present a very intense activity. For example, the Fuego (3,763 meters above sea level) produces a significant eruption every three to four weeks, releasing toxic ash for the 60,000 people who live nearby and dangerous for planes.
A new technological element will finally be able to advance the research and study of these volcanoes. Indeed, volcanologists and engineers from the universities of Bristol and Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, went to observe these eruptions more closely through drones that they remotely controlled from a distance of eight kilometers.
About three kilometers above the volcanoes, they were able to measure the temperature and humidity at the heart of the clouds volcanic thanks to the sensors that were on board the machines as well as to carry out thermal and visual imaging of the eruptions thanks to the cameras also fixed to the drones.
In addition to obtaining new and spectacular images, these overflights have above all already enabled British researchers to observe a very rapid change in the shape of the tops of the craters. New overflights are planned this year with gas analysis, collection of ash samples, atmospheric measurements and 3D modeling of the volcanoes studied. The long-term objective is to enable the development of high-performance surveillance and warning systems for the protection of surrounding populations.