Remote Sensing Equipment
L.C. Pinson / Steve Newby


In archeological research we are always on the lookout for remote sensing equipment that can aid our investigations of archeological sites. Two such systems that we have found to be useful at times are Ground Penetrating Radar and Infrared Photography.

LCP Ground Penetrating Radar can provide valuable data on the location and depth of artifacts and features, general and specific stratigraphy, and various other archeological anomalies. ptwash1a.jpg (57175 bytes)

The GPR consultant used exclusively by the Pensacola Archeology Lab is Radar Data Service. RDS has aided our research by locating subsurface   archeological features and artifacts on numerous occasions . Radar Data Service can be contacted through the Pensacola Archeology Lab or directly through their web page.


Infrared photography is being used by PAL survey teams in the Choctawhatchee River Research Project to detect potential locations of prehistoric aboriginal settlements. The technique is proving very useful in isolating specific spots to be field checked. The accompanying infrared photograph illustrates its usefulness when compared to the more traditional topographic map of the same area.

Portion of quad map Infrared photo

The reddish oval in the right-center of the infrared photo is an area of slightly higher elevation than the surrounding lowlands and is the location of a prehistoric settlement. It is well drained enough and has the proper soils to promote growth of trees such as oak and hickory, which give off a different heat signature and "redder" image than the vegetation of the lower, wetter surroundings. The shape in the lower left portion of the photo also is higher and gives off similar colors except for the white sand of cleared areas. The accompanying topographic map depicts this higher ground but does not show the oval in the right-center due to the fact that the topo map contours are drawn in 5-ft. intervals and the oval is not quite 5 ft. in height. The infrared maps are proving invaluable to our archeological explorations.

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