AVTIS: A novel millimetre-wave ground based instrument for volcano remote sensing

G Wadge, D G Macfarlane, D A Robertson, A J Hale, H Pinkerton, R V Burrell, G E Norton, M R James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


During May and June 2004, we tested a novel, millimetre-wave ground based, dual-mode radar and radiometer on Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat. AVTIS (All-weather Volcano Topography Imaging Sensor) has an active (radar) mode designed to image the distance to lava domes on volcanoes whose summits are commonly obscured by persistent cloud, such as Soufriere Hills Volcano. The passive (radiometer) mode can be employed to measure the surface temperature of the imaged topography. In its current form, AVTIS can be deployed by two people and takes 50 min to acquire a 20(degrees) X 5 degrees scene at 0.1 degrees increments. During the fieldwork period the lava dome was not growing and only the radar mode was used. The data recorded indicate that the maximum distance imaged was about 3800 m. Combining datasets acquired from different viewpoints can potentially provide a full 31) topographic model. The accuracy and completeness of this reconstruction are reduced by two factors. Firstly, relatively small grazing angles of the ground-based line-of-sight rendered incised valleys invisible. Secondly, methods currently used to orient the instrument limit the accuracy of the resulting topographic information. Nevertheless, valuable information on new topographic surfaces was obtained in an area north of the lava dome where a valley has been infilled by deposits and in the amphitheatre created by the giant collapse event of July 2003. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-318
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2005


  • radar
  • millimetre-wave
  • radiometry
  • terrain mapping
  • remote sensing
  • lava dome
  • DOME


Dive into the research topics of 'AVTIS: A novel millimetre-wave ground based instrument for volcano remote sensing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this