Drones have come to the aid of one of the world’s most famous landmarks in the name of conservation.
Intel’s drones are being deployed to protect and preserve the Jiankou section of the Great Wall of China in partnership with the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation (CFCHC).
Experts from Wuhan University LIESMARS have been added to the project, leveraging Intel technologies to preserve the wall more efficiently and safely than before.
An Intel Falcon 8+ drone is being used to carry out an aerial inspection and survey of the Jiankou section, capturing tens of thousands of high-resolution images of areas proven too difficult or dangerous for human access.
These images are then processed into a 3D model, which provides preservationists with a digital replica of the current state of the wall.
Traditionally, surveys of the Great Wall are a manual process, using a tape measure or visual inspection by people over a monthlong period. Using Intel technology allows the same inspections to be conducted in three days, producing more accurate data that helps conservationists develop an informed and effective repair schedule.
The project was first announced in April. Anil Nanduri, vice president and general manager, Intel’s drone team, commented:
“Using drones, we are able to inspect multiple aspects of the structure including areas that are quite inaccessible.
“We continue to be excited about the future of inspections being automated all the way from drone data capture to data processing, analysis and insights. We look forward to leveraging our technology to aid in the preservation of more world heritage sites in the future.”