Archaeological Applications?

Hello Everyone!

I am wondering if there are any archaeologists on this forum that would like to share their experience using Reach RS for archaeological survey. I am interested in purchasing the equipment for mapping archaeological sites and am unsure what equipment set up would work best. At the moment I am looking at purchasing the mapping kit, which comes with a base station and module, but I don’t know if the equipment will satisfy my needs. Here are some examples of how I would like to use the equipment:

  1. Mapping archaeological excavations - I would like a RTK system that will essentially take the place of a total station at archaeological sites. I would envision the use of a base station and rover as a way to collect accurate points at the corners of excavation units and features in order to produce a highly accurate site map.

  2. GPS integration with ground penetrating radar - We currently have a GSSI SIR 4000 GPR unit that has the capability to log GPS data through a serial port. I would like to use an RTK system with this equipment.

  3. Drone mapping - eventually we would like to use drones to create more accurate models of sites. This type of application is down the road for us at the moment.

Does anyone have experience using the equipment in the above situations? If so, I would be interested to learn what equipment you use (two receivers?, a receiver and module as a rover? what about a tripod or stadia rod? What are you using in the field?), how you have implemented it in your work, and how you like the results?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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We’ve purchased three Reach RS units, one for use as a base station, the other two as rovers for taking points. The only field work we’ve used it for so far has been for GCP positions to calibrate drone photography over two archaeological sites; it worked extremely well for this purpose. We hope to do a comparison between total station results and RTKGPS results in the not-too-distant future.

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Thank you for the reply! Is there any advantage to using two rovers beyond the time savings involved? Also, what do you mount the units on in the field? What type of tripod is needed for the base station and are you attaching the roving units to some type of rod?

Again, thanks for the reply. I’m excited to start using this equipment in my own research, but want to make an informed purchase.

Time savings, plus redundancy in case one of the units has issues (which has not been the case so far). We attach the rover units to standard 2-meter survey/GPS antenna poles with a bipod attachment and level; it’s easy to get the rover height with this, as it’s always the pole height + unit/antenna height (plus the mounting adapter if required). The base unit is attached to a survey tripod with leveling/alignment. Base height is a bit more work, as it can vary a bit depending on the ground surface you mount it on, and whether the tripod allows you to get an easy height measurement.

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