Last week, ABC’s Good Morning America sent Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee, along with a team of Icelandic geophysicists and DJI staff members Eric Cheng and Ferdinand Wolf, to visit the Holuhraun eruption of the Bárðarbunga volcanic system in Iceland. The volcano, which became active in August, has been flowing for months. It has created a lava field that covers more than 32 square miles, an area larger than the island of Manhattan.
For safety reasons, no one was permitted to get any closer than 4/5 of a mile from the main eruption site. Extreme heat (2100˚F), toxic fumes, and risk of eruption make the area extremely dangerous, but the DJI Inspire 1 was able to go where people could not.
The Inspire 1 hovered directly above the erupting lake of lava, capturing footage from as low as 160 feet above the molten rock. The video footage of splashing, churning, glowing lava was absolutely spectacular and was carried on live television for more than five minutes.
Björn Oddsson, a geophysicist with Icelandic Civil Protection, discussed the importance of being able to observe volcanic activity from a safe distance. The data, images, and videos that the Inspire 1 was able to collect hold great scientific value. From monitoring volcanic activity to mapping the flow of lava rivers, this information offers insights that could not be safely obtained by a human observer.