What happens if you fly a drone over an erupting volcano (bad idea) | Technology

A volcano has unleashed its fury these days in Iceland. Here the drones take center stage, but their pilots have to measure very well how close they can get, because the drone can end up melted … literally.

It seems that we are in volcano season in Iceland. These days one of the craters of the Fagradalsfjall volcano has erupted, producing some of the most spectacular images of Nature. And when you have to photograph or videotape an erupting volcano, drones are the absolute protagonists … if they don’t get too close to the lava …

The use of drones has revolutionized photography and television filming in recent years. They already win photographic contests, and they have become essential when it comes to taking aerial shots. Even more so in the case of an erupting volcano, where you can’t get it right to take close-up photos at ground level.

Garðar Ólafs is a professional photographer living in Reykjanes (Iceland). 15 minutes from home has erupted Geldingadalir volcano. And when you have a volcano a stone’s throw from your house, you can do two things: use the lava to cook hot dogs, or grab your DJI drone and shoot amazing shots like this:

As reader Eulises Ravelo clarifies on Twitter, it is not that there are several volcanoes. It is actually a volcanic shield that has several fissures and lava can arise in different places. The name of the volcano is Fagradalsfjall, but the active fissure is Geldingaladir.

Iceland is a unique country (the only one that does not have mosquitoes), and both its landscapes and volcanic eruptions are unique in the world, that is why photographers like Garðar Ólafs can afford to set up their own photographic agency, Airstock, to sell their photos and videos to all types of media or individuals.

The problem of record videos of volcanic eruptions is that lava reaches temperatures between 850 and 1,200 degrees Celsius. So if you get your drone too close, it can literally melt away.

That is what happened to Garðar Ólafs when he recorded the video that we have seen. He lowered his drone so low into the Geldingadalir fissure crater, It’s over partially melted:

We can see the base of the drone slightly melted. But what suffered the most damage was the light from the camera, and the sensor used to measure the height of the flight. As we see in the photo, the crystals that protect it melted completely, and the sensor suffered heat damage.

The drone has been inoperative, since although it flies well, the height sensor does not work and does not measure the distance to the ground, so the drone emits errors and is in danger of crashing when it flies, as it cannot avoid terrain elevations.

The JJRC Terzetto drone is a three-in-one vehicle that flies, navigates, and glides across the ground. And it costs less than 30 euros. Ideal for a gift that will surprise its recipient.

“In spite of everything, I would say it was worth it,” says Ólafs in an interview with PetaPixel.

They are not the only spectacular images we have seen these days of an Icelandic volcano. A video has also gone viral in which a drone flies over the lava rivers in the same crevasse of the Fagradalsfjall volcano, while brushing against the bubbling lava at the top of the crater with its rotors.