As long ago as October 2016 and January 2017 (in academia this really does feel like an age!) I wrote about my ongoing work with colleagues at Sheffield on developing a low cost method for measuring sulphur dioxide release from volcanoes. This work has somewhat ‘exploded’ since these initial posts, enough that the University of Sheffield media team decided they wanted do a little video feature on it (see below). Here is a little quote from this video by yours truly:

Its really exciting to be part of a project which you see from first concept through to finished package.

PictureThe travels of the PiCamera.

That’s just it, from an idea, which I seem to recall was hatched in the pub out of necessity, to a working instrument which has now been lent to people for work across the globe and has even been picked up by NASA, all in all, very exciting!

During this time we have developed the cameras, from duck-taped monstrosity measuring sulphur dioxide emissions at Drax Power station, through to slightly less duck-taped monstrosity camera at Etna. We finally had a boxed and robust version for work at Masaya, and in recent work we have adapted the cameras to operate from mobile phone batteries and be charged using solar power! We have now got to the exciting stage of distributing and lending our equipment out to collaborators across the globe (see above graphic), which has led to a well travelled PiCamera (our affectionate but functional name for the Raspberry Pi UV Camera) and some exciting developing science. Our work was also recently picked up by the Hackspace magazine which involved an interview with the volcano group here at Sheffield. 

​Overall, it has been a relatively quiet summer on the fieldwork front, but I finally managed to get a paper I had been working on for a while out into the world: “Periodicity in Volcanic Gas plumes: A Review and Analysis“, this paper tells the story of the patterns (periodicity) we have detected (up to this point) in measurements of gas release and starts to synthesise the meaning of some of these. 

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