US drone to map ancient Peru ruins

2012-08-10 14:40
Archaeologists in Peru plan to use a US-made drone to survey ancient Andean ruins. (Eric Gay, AP)

Archaeologists in Peru plan to use a US-made drone to survey ancient Andean ruins. (Eric Gay, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Archaeologists in Peru plan to use a US-made drone to survey ancient Andean ruins, in the latest civilian application of the unmanned aerial vehicles used to hunt militants in the world's war zones.

The device, which can fit in a backpack, is due to be tested later this month at the ruins of the 16th-century Spanish colonial town Mawchu Llacta, some 4 100m above sea level.

The Skate Small Unmanned Aerial System will take only about 10 minutes to map the massive site the size of 25 football fields, saving the researchers months of time-consuming cataloguing, they said.

"Mawchu Llacta, with its exceptionally well-preserved layout and architecture, provides an ideal case study," said anthropologist Steven Wernke and engineering professor Julie Adams of Vanderbilt University in an e-mail.

"But the scale and complexity of it necessitated a novel approach to mapping. A UAV-based solution seemed the most fitting, since it would enable fast and detailed documentation of standing architecture and walls."

The researchers, who want to test Skate in different environments, developed software to collect and process data rapidly, with the aim of providing a low-cost solution to archaeologists that is easy to use.

Drones have mostly been used for military operations but could also have other uses, such as tracking the advance of global warming and helping first responders provide relief at a disaster site.

If it works, the system would provide the tools to build three-dimensional maps of world ruins, building a major digital archive for researchers.

"As UAVs become more inexpensive and ubiquitous, they will become less and less the exclusive domain of state power," Wernke and Adams said.

"This project is part of that process, as it will develop free, open source code for flight and imagery capture."
Read more on:    archaeology
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.