Filming an active volcano is hot, dangerous work where few men, women or conventional aircraft dare to tread.
Unmanned aerial drones, however, can reach parts others cannot, as a pair of adventurers from Iceland demonstrated when they flew one close enough to capture Mother Nature at her most brutal.
The video above shows footage from the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland, which erupted in August.
Eric Cheng from drone-manufacturer DJI, helped by photographer Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson, piloted a series of DJI Phantom Quadcopter 2 drones close to the volcano.
The team has headed towards the volcano’s remote location some 12 hours north of Reykjavik only to find they weren’t allowed to drive close to the volcano, so Cheng decided to fly the drone over it instead.
“We put the Phantoms in the air. Lightbridge (the remote control flight link) worked really well, we had enough video to position the cameras and capture wide-angle views of molten lava erupting from this giant pool inside the caldera’s rim,” said Cheng.
The temperatures were so high that when Cheng decided to get a bit closer, the GoPro camera attached to one of the drones melted, but luckily the memory card containing the pictures survived.
Weighing 1030g, the DJI Phantom 2 features four blades and can fly for 25 minutes at a time, it can be controlled from a distance of 1km. A feature called Return to Home ensures it returns safely to a landing point if the remote control connection is lost.
The stunning footage is the latest in a series of videos DJI has created called ‘DJI Feats’ designed to showcase the ability of drones by filming remote areas around the world.
Where do you think DJI should film next? Let us know in the Comments section below.
Video credit: YouTube/djiinnovations