Innovative Cleaning Agents Enable Solar Panel Maintenance with Drones

Emil Otto GmbH Introduces Advanced Cleaning Solutions for Solar Systems, Designed for Use with Drones Emil Otto GmbH, a renowned supplier of cleaning and soldering agents for the solar industry, has introduced a range of cleaning products designed to be used with drones. These innovative solutions aim to enhance the efficiency and longevity of solar […]

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How Drones Transformed Volcanic Eruption Management in Iceland: the Video Case Study from DJI

From Monitoring to Search and Rescue, Discover How DJI Dock and Matrice 30 Enhanced Safety and Efficiency During Reykjanes Peninsula Eruption Check out this video case study from DJI: Iceland Volcano Drone Monitoring Since 2021, drones have played a crucial role in monitoring volcanic eruptions on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula. These versatile tools have been used […]

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How Iceland police use drones in wake of volcano eruptions

In the face of volcanic fury, drones come in as a key force. At least that’s the case over in Iceland, which is a land not just of ice but of fire. Volcano eruptions create a unique set of challenges for emergency response teams in Iceland. That’s why Iceland police officers are turning to drones to make their operations more efficient and safer.

DJI, which is the world’s largest drone manufacturer, today released a 5-minute video serving as a sort of ‘case’ study’ explaining how Iceland police use their drones and adjacent equipment, such as their DJI Dock.

DJI’s video hones in on the volcano eruptions that started in November 2023. These were notable because — unlike other more recent volcanic eruptions that happened in rural areas — this one had a direct impact on people and infrastructure.

Watch it here:

How a DJI Dock arrived in Iceland

Drone docks are a relatively new technology. Sometimes referred to as “drone-in-a-box,” these docks are designed for enterprise use. They are most useful in situations where drones need to fly (and continuously recharge and transmit data).

The premise is simple. These boxes are able to protect drones once they’ve landed, opening and closing with an automatic locking mechanism. And, depending on how advanced the box technology is, drone docks enable drones to transmit data and automatically recharge within the box.

DIJ’s version of a drone dock, called the DJI Dock, launched in 2022. The DJI dock can be operated remotely and live over the internet, both manually and via pre-programmed flight routes. Their version of the box is fairly durable, including that it’s waterproof.

Iceland DJI Dock volcano first responders
(Photo courtesy of DJI)

And after the November 2023 volcano eruption in Iceland, first responders in Iceland decided they needed on in their country. With that, they installed a DJI Dock in the town of Grindavik, allowing them to assess and monitor the situation from a safe distance.

They installed the DJI Dock, which retails for about $9,000 now in its newer, ‘DJI Dock 2’ form in tandem with the  DJI Matrice drone. That drone is considered a high-performance, enterprise aircraft that has multiple sensors including a Zoom camera and a thermal camera.

DJI Dock functions where people can’t

Iceland DJI Dock volcano first responders
(Photo courtesy of DJI)

DJI Docks serve their most valuable function in situations where people can’t be there to tend to drones. That could be allowing drones to fly the lengths of far out pipelines that would be impractical to have a human commute to. At the end of the line, a drone can dock and recharge. They can also just conduct daily monitoring missions of fields and forests, where a human might not necessarily want to get to regularly.

But in Iceland, the DJI Dock’s ability to function sans humans had a functional purpose. The DJI Dock was installed and set up at a time when the town’s 3,600 residents had already been evacuated, given the nature of the volcano.

Of course, people did have to do the initial setup, which wasn’t easy. Installers needed to wear gas masks and carry oxygen sensors due to the volcanic activity. But once installed, the humans left.

And with that, the drone alone offered humans that essential “eye in the sky” to monitor the eruptions from a safe distance.

Data from the volcano, which has erupted five times (including most recently in June 2024) has been valuable for workers in fields including law enforcement, science and civil protection.

A history of drones in Iceland

Iceland DJI Dock volcano first responders
(Photo courtesy of DJI)

Though this 2023 volcano eruption was particularly notable given its proximity to people, drones have long been used in Iceland — both for monitoring volcanos and other general use.

In fact, according to DJI, Icelandic police have been using drones since 2016. That was primarily for field and investigation work, special operations, security, search and rescue.

They made a big impact in terms of volcano monitoring in 2021. Then, drones on the Reykjanes Peninsula were used for monitoring, search and rescue, scientific research and mission mapping.

Drones are generally considered invaluable tools for the Icelandic police in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption. Equipped with high-resolution cameras, they can provide real-time aerial footage of the affected areas. This enables law enforcement to:

  • Assess damage: Quickly evaluate the extent of damage to infrastructure, homes, and the environment.
  • Monitor lava flow: Track the progression of lava flows, helping to predict potential hazards and evacuate residents if necessary.
  • Traffic management: Control traffic flow and reroute vehicles away from dangerous areas.

Thermal imaging is key

Iceland DJI Dock volcano first responders
(Photo courtesy of DJI)

That said, drones generally don’t rely on visual cameras alone. Thermal cameras are key in detecting heat sources. And these days, thermal cameras are getting increasingly advanced, largely thanks to AI technology.

For example, American camera and sensor maker Teledyne FLIR in June 2024 launched the Hadron 640+. The device’s 640 x 512 resolution Boson+ longwave infrared (LWIR) camera module is capable of thermal sensitivity of 20 millikelvin (mK) or better.

What about DJI? These days, the H30T is the drone maker’s hottest thermal product. This impressive little payload integrates all five major modules: a wide-angle camera, zoom camera, infrared thermal camera, laser range finder, and NIR auxiliary light. It’s compatible with the DJI Matrice 300 RTK and Matrice 350 RTK.

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UAV Propulsion Tech to Market Advanced Micro Turbines to the US UAV Market

. UAV Propulsion Tech has signed a representative agreement with AMT-Advanced Micro Turbines (Geldrop, Netherlands) to market their advanced micro turbine solutions to the US UAV market. UAV Propulsion Tech currently represents several global organizations and has been providing advanced technology and hardware solutions to defense and commercial UAV customers since 2007. Bob Schmidt, CEO and […]

Skyfront Launches Water-Cooled Drone for Desert Operation

. Skyfront has announced that the Skyfront Perimeter 8+ WC, a variant of the hybrid-electric Perimeter 8+ drone equipped with a water-cooled engine and heat-tolerant avionics, is now available for desert operations worldwide. The Skyfront Perimeter 8+ WC is designed to provide reliable drone operations in the most austere desert environments in temperatures up to […]

German Military Incorporates Suspected Russian Drones into Ukrainian Training

Even deep in the forests of rural Germany, Ukraine’s conscripts aren’t safe from the prying lenses of potential enemy drones. At a secret location outside the German capital, hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers are running through a six-week crash course covering the basics of trench warfare and urban fighting. As they train, unidentified unmanned aerial vehicles […]

AgEagle Announces Mapping Drones Sale to Brazil National Department of Transport Infrastructure

. AgEagle Aerial Systems Inc. has announced that the Company has secured a purchase order to deliver 10 eBee X lightweight mapping drone systems, batteries, backpacks, and limited spares, to a leading distributor in Brazil, Santiago & Cintra, the selected supplier for the National Department of Transport Infrastructure (DNIT). DNIT is an agency of the […]

Quantum Systems Enhances Reconnaissance Drone Capabilities in Ukraine with AI Upgrade

New Receptor AI System Boosts Autonomous Navigation and Image Recognition for GNSS-Denied Environments German reconnaissance drone developer Quantum Systems recently announced that they had recently begun testing an upgrade to their “Receptor AI” multi-sensor system in Ukraine. This Jetson Orin Nvidia powered-AI system includes several sensors for the Vector reconnaissance drone that allow for enhanced […]

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Full-scale Helicopter Logistics, Minus the Pilots: Near Earth Autonomy is Enabling Autonomy

In collaboration with industry leaders Leonardo and Honeywell, Near Earth will showcase advanced autonomy on the proven Leonardo AW139 helicopter platform to provide logistical support during expeditionary operations in contested environments. Pennsylvania-based Near Earth Autonomy has been selected by NAVAIR to lead one of the teams demonstrating optimized logistics using rotorcraft for the U.S. Marine […]

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