Human Biology Open Access Pre-Prints

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Open Access Article

Anticipated Volume


Anticipated Issue



Numerous biological and archaeological studies have demonstrated the legitimacy of remote sensing in anthropology. Herein, focus is placed on detecting and documenting terrestrial clandestine graves and surface remains (CGSR) of humans using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), sensors and automatic processing algorithms. CGSR is a complex decision making under uncertainty problem that requires the identification and intelligent reasoning about direct evidence of human remains and their environmental fingerprints. As such, it is as much an engineering and geospatial problem as it is an anthropology problem. This article is a cross- disciplinary effort to survey existing work across disciplines and to provide insights and recommendations to assist future research. To support our claims, preliminary experiments are demonstrated at the Forensic Anthropological Research Farm (FARF) at Texas State University using UAVs, hyperspectral imaging, thermal imaging and structure from motion. Prior work, our experience and preliminary results indicate that there is a combination of great potential yet extreme challenges facing remote sensing in CGSR.