Merging past and future

'Although archaeology is a field whose aim is to uncover our past (often quite literally), it is also one that looks firmly to the future to equip its practitioners with the instruments they need to do their job. Medical technologies and methods are used, as are those from engineering and criminology.

True to this idea, the Department of Classics & Archaeology at the Faculty of Arts (UM) has spearheaded a project that will add an impressive new tool to practitioners’ arsenals.

The LARSOCS project (Low Altitude Remote Sensing Over Compact Sites) seeks to arm the Department of Classics & Archaeology with a series of programmable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, better known as drones), that could help document excavation sites, while also providing data that can be translated into site maps and three-dimensional (3D) models.

Funded by the Research, Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT), LARSOCS is truly the sum of its parts, and has brought together an eclectic interdisciplinary team of researchers.

Dr Ing. Marc Anthony Azzopardi and Dr Ing. Brian Zammit worked on the hardware design of an innovative control system with engineering graduate Karl Galea. Dr Charles Galdies took on image processing, correcting the collected images to allow measurements to be taken from them, while Dr Gianmarco Alberti from Italy worked on image processing and analysis for 3D modelling. Finally, Dr Maxine Anastasi worked with Dr Ing. John Charles Betts, project coordinator and lecturer, on the work’s applications. Flights were piloted by Zammit and Betts.'


Read all about the project on THINK — UM's Research magazine.