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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 27; doi:10.3390/rs9010027

A Low-Cost Smartphone Sensor-Based UV Camera for Volcanic SO2 Emission Measurements

1
Department of Geography, The University of Sheffield, Winter Street, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
2
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Palermo, via Ugo La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy
3
School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW2006, Australia
4
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e del Mare (DiSTeM), Università di Palermo, via Archirafi, 22, 90123 Palermo, Italy
5
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, The University of Sheffield, Portobello Centre, Pitt Street, Sheffield S1 4ET, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 1 January 2017
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Abstract

Recently, we reported on the development of low-cost ultraviolet (UV) cameras, based on the modification of sensors designed for the smartphone market. These units are built around modified Raspberry Pi cameras (PiCams; ≈USD 25), and usable system sensitivity was demonstrated in the UVA and UVB spectral regions, of relevance to a number of application areas. Here, we report on the first deployment of PiCam devices in one such field: UV remote sensing of sulphur dioxide emissions from volcanoes; such data provide important insights into magmatic processes and are applied in hazard assessments. In particular, we report on field trials on Mt. Etna, where the utility of these devices in quantifying volcanic sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions was validated. We furthermore performed side-by-side trials of these units against scientific grade cameras, which are currently used in this application, finding that the two systems gave virtually identical flux time series outputs, and that signal-to-noise characteristics of the PiCam units appeared to be more than adequate for volcanological applications. Given the low cost of these sensors, allowing two-filter SO2 camera systems to be assembled for ≈USD 500, they could be suitable for widespread dissemination in volcanic SO2 monitoring internationally. View Full-Text
Keywords: SO2 camera; Raspberry Pi; low-cost ultraviolet camera; volcanic gas emissions; sulphur dioxide; volcano monitoring SO2 camera; Raspberry Pi; low-cost ultraviolet camera; volcanic gas emissions; sulphur dioxide; volcano monitoring
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wilkes, T.C.; Pering, T.D.; McGonigle, A.J.S.; Tamburello, G.; Willmott, J.R. A Low-Cost Smartphone Sensor-Based UV Camera for Volcanic SO2 Emission Measurements. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 27.

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