Archaeologists Using Drones to Map Peruvian Ruins
The Vanderbilt team is currently mapping the Peruvian ruins of Mawchu Llacta, an Inca settlement that was mysteriously abandoned in the 19th century. They plan to return next year to work out any kinks that crop up in the lab once they are back in Tennessee.
The flyer itself is a model from Aurora Flight Sciences called the Skate, kitted out with cameras and connected to a flight software system that determines the best flight patten in an area to be scanned, then lets the craft go to work without operator assistance. The whole setup fits in a backpack.
Although the drone will be mapping the site in 3D to a level of detail which Wenke says is better than “even the best satellite imagery”, it won’t be mapping the interior of the ruins. To that end, Nadir Bagaveyev, a design engineer at XCOR Aerospace in Mojave, California recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to build a cheap laser radar (LiDAR) capable of being integrated into any robotics project and returning reliable three- dimensional spatial coordinates.
(via One Per Cent: Drones map ancient Peruvian ruins)