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West Hawaii Tech Pau Hana: Watching Pele with Drones

Event Details

West Hawaii Tech Pau Hana: Watching Pele with Drones

Time: February 23, 2015 from 5pm to 7:30pm
Location: NELHA Gateway Energy Center
Street: 73-4485 Kahilihili St.
City/Town: Kailua Kona
Website or Map:…
Phone: 808-989-0977
Event Type: meetup, networking, pau, hana
Organized By: Rod Hinman
Latest Activity: Feb 26, 2015

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Event Description

Topic: Watching Pele with UAVs ("drones")
Presenters: Nick Turner and Arthur Cunningham, UH Hilo

Anyone can fly an unmanned aircraft, but it takes a special understanding of Geographic Information Systems to turn imagery into actionable data.  University of Hawaii-Hilo has been using UAVs to map the active lava flow on the Big Island since October, 2014, in direct support of Hawaii Civil Defense and USGS disaster relief efforts.  Repeat high-resolution imagery and derived topographic datasets have proven valuable in numerous ways, including documenting pre- and post-flow ground conditions, measuring flow inflation rates, and predicting future flow paths.  Nick Turner and Arthur Cunningham will discuss the mapping effort and show off their UAVs.

Nick Turner was born and raised in Hawaii, and is currently employed at UH Hilo's Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization lab as a Geospatial researcher.  His focus is on remote sensing with Unmanned Aircraft Systems and satellites for disaster relief and natural hazards. He is a UAV pilot and handles the FAA coordination for their UAV operations.

Arthur Cunningham grew up in Montana, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, was educated at Embry-Riddle, learned to fly helicopters, and finally got hired by the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.  His main focus is to develop and institute the new flight school program at UHH, which he will say a few words about.  For the UAV effort, he acts as safety observer and provides communications (via aviation radio) with manned aviation during UAV operations.

This pau hana is BYOB/potluck, so please bring a pupu and beverage to share.  Reusable plates and cups are encouraged, as is taking home your own trash.  Contact Rod Hinman ( for more information.

5:00-5:15 p.m. Gather and Networking
5:15-6:15 p.m. Presentation and Q&A
6:15-7:30 p.m. More Networking

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Comment by Rod Hinman on February 22, 2015 at 10:20pm

The term that really bugs me is the common use of the word "exponential" to mean "growing rapidly".  Not too many things actually show exponential growth over any sustained period, especially when they come up against limits.  Otherwise we would be up to our eyeballs in X before too long.  (Choose your own X).

Moore's Observation (it isn't a Law) has held for quite a long time, especially if you allow for some adjustment of the doubling period.

Comment by Rod Hinman on February 22, 2015 at 10:12pm

I admit that I chose the title for wider public interest.  For better or worse, tomorrow's event is shaping up to be one of the better attended ones.

"Renewable" energy would be a shortening of "energy from renewable sources", right?  As in sources that are renewed on a timescale that is meaningful to us.  We aren't going to be able to wait for today's plants to turn into oil.  Or wait for more uranium to fall from the sky, for that matter. 

So in that sense, the term is OK.  The sources like wind, waves, direct solar, and biomass are renewed because the sun keeps pumping energy at us.

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