PBS Documentary Features UA Researchers

Fayetteville, AR - University of Arkansas researchers are getting national attention Tuesday night.

A PBS documentary series features a team from the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies as they travel the world.

CAST uses laser scanners to create 3D images of pretty much anything, and a new series took the researchers to some of earth's most well known sites to create snapshots in time. CAST Associate Researcher Malcolm Williamson says the scanner collects fifty thousand measurements per second, recording the distance and location of surrounding surfaces accurate to just a few millimeters.

"We work on things from very small objects to global scale projects," he says. "We end up with what we call a point cloud, which is literally tens or hundreds of millions, maybe even billions, of points in 3D space."

The team recently mapped the Great Pyramid in Egypt, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, and St. Paul's Cathedral in London for the PBS series "Time Scanners." The scans will be archived for future use, but the show also explores how the structures were built.

"We were also looking to uncover some secrets as to how they were built, techniques that they may have used during the construction," Williamson says.

The 3 part series starts Tuesday, July 1, and continues for the next two Tuesdays. For more information on CAST, visit this site.

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