Upgrades

AVTIS 1 was proven in the field at the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, and Arenal, Costa Rica between 2004 and 2006, however there were practical limitations with the deployment of the system.

ArenalRadarSm1

AVTIS 1 at Arenal

Access to locations with close range lines of sight to the lava dome (1 to 2 km) was often restricted by weather conditions on Montserrat. Safe locations with 24 hour access were at much greater distances (6 to 7 km) and the associated reduction in signal-to-noise ratio required long term averaging (several hours) to produce data of useful quality.

AVTIS 2 will be a new transportable instrument capable of long range (>7km), rapid capture of high quality data from multiple locations. It will also incorporate new signal processing techniques that will allow for the capture of important rain parameters that could indicate correlation with volcanic activity, and also ability to measure Doppler signatures from falling rocks. This will allow for more information to be gathered about important eviromental factors that can potentially influence the stability of the volcano.

AVTIS 2 is still in the early stages of development, and thus no field data have been obtained. The results of AVTIS 2 will be uploaded here as the development matures, so keep checking back!

AVTIS 3 will be an evolution of AVTIS1 into a fully autonomous unit operating unattended for up to 30 days at a time from relatively short ranges (<2km) providing frequent data sets via wireless link.

Current Status

AVTIS 3 is still in the early stages of development, and thus no field data have been obtained. The results of AVTIS 3 will be uploaded here as the development matures, so keep checking back!

AVTIS 2 is still in the early stages of development, and thus no field data have been obtained. The results of AVTIS 2 will be uploaded here as the development matures, so keep checking back!

Upgraded Features – new signal processing techniques

Below is a brief outline of how the new signal processing techniques work and how they can be used to gather useful information;

  • Rain measurement –The ability to measure rain parameters such as rain rate will allow volconologists to determine a link between heavy rain and volcanic stability.
  • Doppler measurement –The ability to determine the velocity and direction of rockfall will allow deeper insight into shear lobe initiation and mass wasting from the dome to the talus. This will give more information that is required, but can not be obtained from measurement such as rockfall seismicity.

AVTIS 3 challenges

AVTIS 1 was controlled by a consumer laptop but its sampling card were an order of magnitude too slow to meet the faster requirements of the new AVTIS units. In addition, AVTIS 3 requires a system controller that processes, manages and stores data on-site, as well as commanding telemetry links and supervising power management. To this end, an embedded computer and multifunction data acquisition card will be integrated into the system power supply and control boxes. As AVTIS 3 will operate unattended on the crater rim at Montserrat for up to one month at a time it requires a stable autonomous power supply. This will be achieved using a combination of battery, solar and fuel cell technology. The radar head and gimbal will be enclosed inside a custom-designed radome, transparent to MMW radiation but robust to the harsh environment, all mounted on a dedicated monument. The controlling module, power supply and telemetry will be housed in a separate rugged enclosure. Since a 5 minute scan will typically produce ∼300MB of raw data, onboard processing (based on surface extraction algorithms developed with AVTIS 1) will reduce the output surface and image data sets to ∼30kB, suitable for transmission to the observatory via Wi-Fi telemetry link.