A team of engineers and volcanologists from the University of Bristol (UK) has developed an active sensor technology called "dragon eggs". First, because it is planned to use them directly in volcanoes, in extreme conditions. Secondly, because of their ability to "mature", waiting in the wings. And the main feature is that they are airborne.
Dragon eggs are essentially boxes with sensors that the multicopter will deliver to the danger zone and carefully drop them there, like a scientific trooper. They are all disposable by default, and although the batteries can be recharged, the modules will not withstand the heat of lava or toxic environments. They will not survive the eruption, but at the very beginning they will have time to transmit a huge amount of information: temperature dynamics, pressure, gas composition of the medium, vibration intensity, etc.
The authors of the development are proud of its energy system, which can stay in dormant mode for several months without wasting a charge. But when the time comes to awaken, it will begin to work as a full-fledged field measuring post, not only collecting, but also transmitting information over a distance of up to 10 km. The communication system allows the eggs to interact with each other to reduce measurement error. Moreover, they can be connected to satellite communications to transmit data directly to scientific centers.
Dragon eggs have already been successfully tested in the active volcano Stromboli in Italy. They can also be used on glaciers, in areas with seismic activity, in places of man-made disasters and in other risk zones. The project is going commercial and will be implemented by Sensor Driven Ltd.