UGM releases first overhead shots of Merapi after eruptions
View from the top: Mount Merapi’s dome after the deadly volcanic eruptions in 2010 that killed hundreds and destroyed dozens of villages in Yogyakarta and Central Java. This picture, one of the first since the eruption, was captured via the use of a drone assembled by Gadjah Mada University (UGM) and the National Space and Aviation Agency (Lapan). (JP/Slamet Susanto, UGM files)The Gadjah Mada University (UGM) and the National Space and Aviation Agency (Lapan) have released the first overhead images of Mount Merapi’s dome after its fatal eruptions in 2010.
The images, captured by an unmanned aerial vehicle, provided several views of the peak of the volcano, which is still too dangerous for direct observation.
“Merapi is the most active volcano in the world and it takes extra effort to monitor it in a safe manner,” UGM researcher Tri Kuntoro Priyambodo said on Monday in Yogyakarta.
Tri Kuntoro said that the 1.2-meter long drone, which was inexpensive to operate, flew 400 meters above the volcano for about 30 minutes and used a simple digital camera to capture 900 images with 12-megapixel resolution.
A team of UGM researchers processed the images to create a three-dimensional map of Merapi’s dome and cold lava areas.
Tri Kuntoro added that the team intended to return the drone for longer surveys of the volcano, which sits astride the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta and killed 353 people during its last series of eruptions in 2010. (swd)