Drones Zero in on Drag Marks in the Desert
Scientists aim to fly drones over the desert surrounding the pyramids, zooming in on details of the enigmatic structures.
The pyramids weigh millions of tonnes, but they were still built in only a few decades. How it was done remains a mystery, but scientists working for the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities will try to find out via the ScanPyramids project, which aims to map out the pyramids very accurately, revealing any signs of the ancient construction methods.
Scientists will photograph four of the largest Egyptian pyramids using two different types of drones. First, a fixed-wing will photograph the surroundings of the pyramids with a degree of accuracy of down to 5 cm. Subsequently, a helicopter drone will take close-ups of the stone blocks with a degree of accuracy of down to 1 cm, and finally, a laser scanner, whose light impulses can reach even the darkest and narrowest corners will make an accurate 3D model of the pyramids. POTENTIAL: Revealing how the Egyptians built the pyramids using simple ancient methods. CHALLENGE: Scientists must examine huge quantities of material in detail to find answers.
A A plane drone flies over the pyramid surroundings in search of evidence of ramps or construction paths.
B A helicopter drone hovering above the pyramid takes close-ups to find any scrape marks from tools on the stone blocks.
C A laser scanner produces a 3D model of joints and any shifting of the pyramid's stone structure.