Continuous monitoring of volcanic activity is extremely valuable for both scientific and safety reasons. The use of unmanned aircraft allows the scientist to perform measures while keeping a safe distance from the eruptions.
However, the current long-range remote sensing activities are significantly restricted due to the lack of suitable operations sites in the vicinity of many of the most active volcanoes in the world, such as the Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala.
The use of fully autonomous field-based VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) capabilities would transform the long-term sensing capabilities, both within Guatemala and similar regions. However, current VTOL platforms don’t offer sufficient range, endurance and payload capabilities to perform these missions.
The AVM (Autonomous Volcano Monitoring) project will allow Soton UAV to work in partnership with the University of Bristol to solve and refine the challenges of operating these platforms in the field and to further develop a partnership started with the CASCADE project. The long-term aim of this work is to develop a low-cost, long-endurance VTOL platform that will enable the local scientists at INSIVUMEH (National Institute of Volcanology of Guatemala) a to operate these vehicles using local expertise.
The primary goal of the AVM effort will, therefore, be the automation of the take-off and landing phases of long-range fixed-wing platforms, which currently require extensive human intervention and are the primary source of current unreliability.
Back to the top