Watch an Icelandic volcano erupt up close (video)

3 Oct 2014

Strapping GoPro cameras onto drones to film the erupting Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland provided victory and defeat for drone company DJI. One camera melted, but its memory card, containing stunning footage, survived.

While in Iceland a couple of weeks ago, the DJI team equipped Phantom 2 quadcopter drones with GoPro cameras. With that equipment and DJI’s Lightbridge wireless high-definition remote video system, the team managed to film an exploding magma caldera, which would be too dangerous to approach with a traditional manned aircraft, PCMagazine reported.

So dangerous – and hot, in fact – that the heat from the lava melted the face of one of the cameras.

Still, the experience has been worth it for drone pilot Eric Cheng.

“The fact that you can take a $1,000 flying camera and put it in the middle of an erupting volcano to capture wide-angle views of this giant bowl of molten lava, which is exploding and throwing lava 150 meters or so into the air, is pretty amazing,” Cheng said.

The Bardarbunga volcano has been active for about a month now.

Watch DJI Feats: Eruption at Bardabunga Volcano (montage) here:

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic