Case Studies - Archeological survey for NIEA

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During construction of a new link road at Drumclay Enniskillen, engineers unearthed an ancient archeological crannog site, dating back to 1000AD. Teams of archeologists combed the site for artifacts to uncover our history. Due to the importance of this ancient site, it was imperative that the ground should be, as far as possible, treated with great care under foot.

To help record progress, the Archeology team from the NIEA, required highly detailed low level oblique and vertical aerial photographs. The teams discussed using a motorized high-lift / cherry-picker. Because of its bulk and weight, access to the site would have been prohibitive, and with a large footprint, unwarranted destruction could occur. The erection of scaffolding / mast proved too time restrictive, could cause damage, and the production of vertical images be guaranteed. Fullsize aircraft was also considered, but given their height above ground level would prove impractical and costly.

Consideration was then given to the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle.

Solution - Colin Williams Photography was commissioned to use an unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with a Canon pro DSLR. The team arrived on site and deployed the UAV as briefed. It became immediately apparent to the leading Archeologist, that the use of the UAV was without doubt the best, quickest and most cost effective solution. Flying from heights of 10ft-400ft AGL, all necessary photographs were taken within three hours and without the crew stepping onto the fragile crannog earth. The effectiveness of the UAV and its capability to produce the vertical photographic images, which were so important, the NIEA had the team from CWP back on site during the full archeology dig until completion.

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