Van Walt onsite with the DART Project

August 5, 2011

The DART Project is a major new investigation into what lies beneath our soils to Detect Archaeological Residues using remote sensing Techniques (DART). It is a three year project with funding from the Science and Heritage initiative led by the School of Computing at the University of Leeds.

The project will examine the complex problem of heritage detection and it has already attracted a consortium consisting of 25 key heritage, industry organisations and academic consultants and researchers from the areas of computer vision, geophysics, remote sensing, knowledge engineering and soil science.

Enhanced knowledge of archaeological residues is important for the long-term curation and understanding of our diminishing heritage. There are certain geologies and soils which can complicate the collection and interpretation of heritage remote sensing data. In some of these ‘difficult’ areas traditional detection techniques have been unresponsive. DART will develop a deeper understanding of the contrast factors and detection dynamics within ‘difficult’ areas. This will allow the identification of appropriate sensors and conditions for feature detection. The successful detection of features in ‘difficult’ areas will provide a more complete understanding of the heritage resource which will impact on research,
management and development control in the future.

For researchers the project will provide an essential baseline for data modeling environmental change plus an improved understanding about contrast processes. For heritage managers they will gain a better understanding of the resource base, improved project management and faster archive assessment. And, in general, the project will help establish a network of experts from remote sensing providers to soil scientists,  computing technologies and heritage professionals. Read more and follow the researchers’ blogs at:

Van Walt has provided one of our latest TDR soil moisture profile systems – the Pico Profile which has been installed on a site in Cambridgeshire to record soil moisture measurements at set intervals.  The results from this system will be compared to data collected by other equipment and an assessment of its accuracy, durability and efficiency will be made.  In the meantime live data from the project is published live on our website at

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