UAV LiDAR provided by Routescene has been used to reconstruct a WWII concentration camp.
The island of Alderney, a British crown dependency located 10 miles off the coast of France, was once home to a German SS concentration camp and has now been reconstructed thanks to drones.
Professor of Conflict Archaeology and Genocide Investigation at Staffordshire University in the UK, Caroline Sturdy Colls travelled with her team to the island to investigate the camp.
The investigation and the surprising results were the subject of a documentary ‘Adolf Island’ produced by the Smithsonian Channel.
The documentary showcased Routescene’s 3D mapping technology and demonstrated how LiDAR is currently being used in industries such as archaeology, forensics and heritage to create a bare earth model to identify structures without disturbing or obstructing protected land.
Routescene customer and frequent collaborator, Flythru, was contacted by Professor Sturdy Colls to conduct a UAV LiDAR survey of the sites at Alderney.
Sylt, the concentration camp built and run by the SS, and Longy Common, a graveyard, were chosen based on records from a German War Graves Commission investigation from 1960.
Flythru used Routescene’s integrated UAV LiDAR system.
Michael May from Flythru commented on the work. He said: “We have been using the Routescene UAV LiDAR system, which includes the LidarPod and LidarViewer, for over 3 years now. For applications where we need to penetrate vegetation it has proved to be a valuable tool. The number of laser hits we achieve on the ground is unparalleled with up to 400pts/m2 through thick vegetation.”
Adding: “This equipment is ideal to survey sites which are overgrown or woods and forests which are inaccessible using conventional survey methods. Without UAV LiDAR it would have taken weeks to survey the Alderney sites. Due to the thick cover of vegetation it would not have been possible to visually detect the structures we found. With Routescene’s system on the UAV we achieved these results in a couple of 15 minute flights.”
The data gathered was processed on-site immediately after the UAV survey using LidarViewer, Routescene’s 3D processing and visualisation software.
Routescene founder and CEO Gert Riemersma said: “We are proud the Routescene system is being used for such historically and socially important work. The system has proven to be ideal due to its’ portability and ease of use on such difficult sites. Combined with its’ high level of accuracy, ability to penetrate vegetation and process the data on-site is a real advantage.”