Here's what it looks like to peer inside an active, violent volcano – thanks to the efforts of unmanned aerial vehicle provider DJI Innovations.
After traveling a total of 15 hours by car from Reykyjavik, Iceland, to the Bardabunga Volano in a remote region of the country, Eric Cheng – the director of aerial imaging at DJI – used the remote-controlled Phantom 2, GoPro cameras and a Lightbridge high-definition transmission system to get an up-close and personal view of the fiery site, according to DJI’s video explanation.
Although range was an issue – the crew was not allowed to drive close to the volcano – Cheng notes in the video that the drone has a “return to home” feature that tells the vehicle to go back to its starting point and land if it notices any problems with the system during flight.
When Cheng decided to venture closer to the volcano – “which is exploding and throwing lava 150 meters or so into the air,” he says – the only damage was to the melted GoPro (with a salvaged memory card, thankfully).
“The fact that you can take a $1,000 flying camera and put it in the middle of an erupting volcano to capture wide-angle views of this giant pool of molten lava … is pretty amazing,” he remarks in the footage.
The video, which is the company’s first in a series of “DJI Feats,” can be seen here.