A recent article published by National Geographic included a video shot from DJI Phantom quadrotor  aerial cameras.  Sam Cossman and a team of explorers flew the Phantoms over the active Marum Crater volcano in Vanuatu.  The caldera is 12km wide, exceedingly hot, and contains toxic and corrosive gases.

The footage is spectacular, but two multi rotors were lost in collecting the images.  It is well worthwhile following the link above to view the video.  Cossman explains that the images will assist scientists in understanding the volcano.

Cossman claims that there is microbial life on the rocks close to the boiling lava.  When the rock cools to below 120 C it is considered to be a habitable environment, and the scientists are very interested in studying the colonisation of the newly cooled rocks.

Yet another interesting item to come out of the National Geographic video is the 3-D model of the caldera produced from thousands of images processed by an unnamed software package.  The AUT UAV team uses Pix4Mapper to produce orthomosaics of their images for further study.

Currently, the greatest risk to the longevity of our multi rotors is the training of new pilots and application of the technology near to trees or bodies of water!