Archaeological kite aerial thermography (KAT)

edited May 2019 in General
I have updated my page on how I approach archaeological thermography

Has anyone else had a go yet?

Near infrared

Thermal infrared


  • thermal camera is the first item on our bucket list of KAP equipment ... :-)
  • edited May 2019
    The choice of imager is crucial.
    It is a shame that the price of the 120x160 pixel, Flir thermal imagers has doubled in the last 3 years, but still cheaper than ground penetrating radar or even magnetometry.
    I think that very few who post on this page would be happy about working at such a low resolution, but scientifically it is wonderful. It is essential that the imager records video because you are often working at the limit of sensitivity.

    The Seek imagers have a higher resolution at half the price but the images are not as inspiring and have a narrower field of view. I have yet to fly my seek imager.

    There are many out there flying drones with thermal imagers but I am still not seeing much on the archaeology side of things. Kites are an ideal experimental aerial platform as you do not have to worry too much about the form factor of the camera/imager or about a limited flight time.
  • edited June 2019
    I can't share the resulting images yet but I've been using a higher end FLIR on my KAP rig to map prehistoric pueblos on military bases in the southwestern US for a good while. Attached is an image of the FLIR rig. Essentially, it's the guts of an opensource drone autopilot that I've attached to my KAP, BAP, and PAP rigs.


    It seems if you're a person who knows how to collect aerial images without a drone, you're extra valuable these days.

    -Mark (AKA Horus)
  • edited June 2019
    This posting has made my day ;o)
    Would you like to post this on my archaeological aerial thermography Facebook page?
    (I can then transfer it to the main timeline)
    More detail on the rig would be nice ;o)
    If you are not on Facebook may I share it?
  • edited June 2019
    Sedentary Septuagenarian

    An archaeological thermographer in Stroud
    Has a reputation for being quite loud
    He spends days and nights
    Gathering heat with kite flights
    No digging or geophysics allowed


    Archaeology is both hot and cool
    With imaging's temporal tool
    It works by day and by night
    On residues it sheds a light

    Blank canvas follows heavy rain
    Evaporation yields a thermal gain*
    Not just with soil
    Plants have a roll
    Sweat a cooling low

    But many simply fail to see
    Unless they image thermally

    John ;o)
    * Synonym for amplification:
    Thermal Amplification - My shorthand for increasing surface temperature differences (through wetting and evaporation etc) on mixed materials in situations of non-thermal equilibrium and in initiating such temperature differences in situations of thermal equilibrium.
  • edited June 2019
    Hi John, Camera consists of a FLIR Vue Pro ( ). Telemetry is handled by a PixHawk Mini ( ). The PixHawk Mini also sends live location of the rig to the Android Mission Maker app ( ). The Brooxes Simplex Kit is what it's all mounted to ( ). Sutton 16 was the kite used on this particular project ( ).

    I've also been using a RedEdge camera with the same rig ( ).

    Feel free to post on Facebook. I don't get on there very often anymore.


  • Great!
    Thanks Mark, all posted:
    I look forward to seeing the results.
    All the best,
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