Hawaii, October 30, 2014: A team of spatial analysis at the University of Hawai‘i (UH) recently used a senseFly swinglet CAM to map the active flow of Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii Island.
On October 22nd, 2014, in a collaborative partnership with Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and the US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the flight team from the UH Hilo Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization (SDAV) Laboratory used a senseFly swinglet CAM, carrying an RGB camera payload, to collect high resolution still images of the lava’s active flow front. These shots were then merged into a full orthomosaic for use by Civil Defense emergency planners.
As of October 29th, the lava flow is currently headed toward the town of Pāhoa in the district of Puna, threatening to cut off the main highway and other access roads thus isolating an area of about 10,000 residents from the rest of the island. The flow is currently advancing at 10 yards an hour and is 280 yards from Pahoa Village Road.
The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office of the Federal Aviation Administration worked closely with the Hilo research team on approval of their certificate of authorisation. The flights are in direct support of disaster relief operations in the area and the FAA and flight team worked together to make sure all safety concerns were met.
The researchers told media that they plan to fly again and continue supporting relief operations with quick aerial assessments when needed.