A Portuguese unmanned air vehicle was deployed to Cape Verde to provide aerial surveillance of the Pico do Fogo volcanic eruption that took place in November.
During a week of day and night missions the Tekever AR4 Light Ray collected aerial images of damage caused by the volcano, as well as tracking the unseen lava flow heading towards populated areas.
High-definition and thermal images were captured by the UAV’s payload, which provided information to the Cape Verdean authorities that enabled them to identify lava flows underneath solidified magma. This led to the evacuation of villages in the area, including some 1,500 people from the villages of Bangaeira and Portela on Fogo island.
“It was one of our hardest missions so far,” says Ricardo Mendes, COO of Tekever. “For the first time, it was possible to predict the advance of lava with certainty.
“The mission had two main benefits: we provided the Cape Verdean authorities with key information to protect their population; as well as testing our equipment in an extreme context.”
Tekever says the missions were carried out at the expense of the company, so no cost was imposed on the Cape Verde government.