Volcanological applications of unoccupied aircraft systems (UAS): Developments, strategies, and future challenges

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Mike R James
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9177-2588
Brett B. Carr
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1033-3082
Fiona D'Arcy
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0879-0508
Angela K. Diefenbach
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0214-7818
Hannah R. Dietterich
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7898-4343
Alessandro Fornaciai
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4829-4928
Einat Lev
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8174-0558
Emma J. Liu
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1749-9285
David C. Pieri
Mel Rodgers
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8809-9935
Benoît Smets
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1044-8314
Akihiko Terada
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5746-4912
Felix W. von Aulock
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1194-4317
Thomas R. Walter
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9925-4486
Kieran T. Wood
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5804-7704
Edgar U. Zorn
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1896-2844

Abstract

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.

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How to Cite
James, M. R., Carr, B., D’Arcy, F., Diefenbach, A., Dietterich, H., Fornaciai, A., Lev, E., Liu, E. ., Pieri, D., Rodgers, M., Smets, B., Terada, A., von Aulock, F., Walter, T., Wood, K. and Zorn, E. (2020) “Volcanological applications of unoccupied aircraft systems (UAS): Developments, strategies, and future challenges”, Volcanica, 3(1), pp. 67–114. doi: 10.30909/vol.03.01.67114.
Section
Reviews