I didn’t get round to blogging yesterday as we were so busy getting laser scanning underway at Old Scatness again! It was really windy so heavy duty tripods were used as they are extra sturdy, to avoid the risk of any kit blowing over. A mix of howling winds, glaring sunshine, calm breezes and cloud cover just about sums up the typical Shetland weather experienced in a single day! Today it’s been more overcast and it actually rained this morning, giving the hire car a much needed wash…!

Overcast but bright weather at Old Scatness today. Spot the laser scanner! It’s hiding!

Overcast but bright conditions are ideal for laser scan imaging, as scanners have on board cameras to take photos to colourise the point cloud. As such, bright even lighting, not too sunny, is best to get decent shots without too much contrast, just like taking exterior shots for photogrammetry. Some scanners have HDR, but this takes longer than regular imaging, so we’ve managed to get more scans done as a result.

This year I’m focusing on getting detailed scans of the key Iron Age structures at Old Scatness. My supervisor Dr Andy Wilson arrived last night so we had a quick catch up meeting with two of my other PhD supervisors Dr Val Turner and Dr Lyn Wilson this morning. All seems well so it’s time to get more survey done here over the next few days!


The Sumburgh Hotel does the best (and biggest!) cheesecake…


Later in the evening some of the survey team went across to the Ness of Burgi, the site of a prehistoric blockhouse, which had been scanned earlier in the week by HES’ team for their Rae Project. It’s a beautiful and remote place, and quite a dramatic walk to get there with some precarious steep sheer cliffs to walk across!


Sunshine and waves walking to the Ness of Burgi



The path is steep and a tad uneven in places! Impressed the survey team got laser scanners and equipment across and back!


The entrance and rampart of the Ness of Burgi blockhouse

Overall it was a really good day. We got lots done and I’m pretty tired now (though all photos are backed up and the scanner batteries are charging as I type!). It’s the HES team’s last day in Shetland tomorrow though me and Andy are staying on to work on Old Scatness over the weekend. We’ve got a lot done and I’m already looking forward to seeing all of this data registered and how it looks put together!


A very pretty sunset from the Sumburgh Hotel tonight, at 10.30pm!





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