AVTIS - the future
Who are we?
The workshop and exhibition
Resources and information
St Andrews <

Imaging <
The Basics

Applications <
The Universe
Brijot Imager
Car Radar
Debris Detection
Aircraft Landing
External links
Photo gallery

In this section:

> 1. Intro
> 2. The Instrument
> 3. The Antenna
> 4. As a Radar
> 5. Seeing the Volcano
> 6. Measuring
> 7. Data Stacking
> 8. A Scan
> 9. Colour Code
> 10. The Volcano
> 11. Pyroclastic Flows
> 12. Devastation
> 13. The Future

When the volcano dome is active and growing, pyroclastic flow activity can be ongoing for many months, but occasionally the whole dome becomes unstable and collapses in a series of pyroclastic explosions. This has happened over several cycles of activity (1997, 2000, 2003, 2006) on Montserrat. Fortunately the volcano crater forms a horseshoe open to the east and the last few major collapses have been channelled towards the uninhabited parts of the island falling straight into the sea.

AVTIS was designed to measure the changing shape of the lava dome and see which direction the dome is growing in. This was a brand new use of mm-wave technology and needed three years of development to prove that the radar would work. If the dome were to grow so large that it could collapse over the crater wall to the populated north, then AVTIS could help show the danger when other observing techniques might fail. The plan is now to turn AVTIS from a research instrument into a permanent tool that the Montserrat Volcano Observatory can use to watch the volcano all year round and help predict where and when the lava dome might collapse again. The Soufrière Hills Volcano is the only active volcano in a UK territory, situated on the southern half of the small Caribbean island of Montserrat. It is a type of volcano that forms lava domes: the magma rising from deep inside the earth is particularly thick and viscous, creating a hot crust of blocky lava at the surface. During the day the heat cannot be seen because the surrounding light is too strong, but when night falls the hot parts glow red showing where the dome is most active.

'Vision For The Future' is an EPSRC funded project run by the MMW group at the University of St Andrews
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