REU Supplement: Mid-scale RI-1 (M1:IP) EduceLab - Infrastructure for Next-Generation Heritage Science

Grants and Contracts Details


We request funds for 8 undergraduate students to engage in field and laboratory work that will prepare EduceLab for its ultimate commissioning as a Heritage Science user facility. EduceLab consists of four operational clusters – BENCH, MOBILE, FLEX, and CYBER – each of which will provide unique scientific and technical capabilities for studies in Heritage Science. Students will participate in activities designed to test the usage, integration, and synergy of the four clusters under development. MOBILE (1 Student) Workflow Development The student will work with Co-I Bailey the workflow required to merge magnetometer, ground penetrating radar, lidar and photogrammetry surveys of the same area to produce geo-referenced imagery characterizing the surface and subsurface topography of an area of interest. These data sets will be acquired using fixed wing and rotorcraft uncrewed aerial vehicles, conducting surveys using different instruments which each use proprietary software to process data for the user. The objective of the work will be to identify tools and resources which can be used to integrate these disparate data types into a single navigable data set which can be used to connect and identify signatures produced by features of interest. In addition, students will build initial datasets for use in training other personnel within Educe Lab. This will include personnel of different backgrounds ranging from archaeology and anthropology to computer science and engineering. BENCH (2 Students) Equipment Integration and Data Synthesis Students will engage in the development of additional capabilities that leverage recently acquired instrumentation within the BENCH cluster of EduceLab. Both students will focus on the complementarity of available techniques within the BENCH cluster as applied to a variety of samples between the projects. The first student will focus on image acquisition and processing at multiple length scales, primarily using optical and electron microscopy focused on archaeological mussel shells derived from several sights within the Green River Valley of Kentucky. Growth and chemical variability across the shell band structure will be investigated as markers of environmental conditions at the time of shell growth. Optical imaging as well as electron-based imaging will be used to measure growth band widths. Composition of the shell will be analyzed using EDS and XRF techniques. Sample preparation techniques for the study of shell cross-sections will also be emphasized. Instrumental capabilities gained in this core study may also be leveraged to study additional artifacts as part of the Educe Lab mission. The second student will focus on the study of ceramic materials, including pottery sherds and stone tools and fragments of tools. This project will focus on studying production techniques of these materials through 3-D imaging, surface imaging, and compositional analysis. Datasets generated with these various techniques will be integrated to grant additional insights into the artifacts under study. Similar samples will be studied with a variety of techniques and the data will be correlated to provide additional insights into the artifacts. Students will work to synthesize the data acquired using various imaging and analytical techniques into unified datasets and figures. In addition, students will survey a variety of materials to build a broad dataset within Educe Lab. This will include a range of samples relevant to archaeology and anthropology covering inorganic materials (minerals, pottery) and organic materials (shells, paper, fabric, wood). Such a dataset will serve for future reference in the study of unknown artifacts. BENCH+MOBILE+CYBER (2 Students) Inter-Cluster Integration Students will engage in field and laboratory work that will test integration of mid-scale infrastructure instrumentation and software within the BENCH, MOBILE, and CYBER clusters of EduceLab. The summer research program will comprise field survey season in Georgetown, Kentucky and an archaeological excavation in Surigao del Norte, Philippines. The former will document historic African-American cemeteries while the latter will document pre-Hispanic occupation of indigenous communities. The academic year research program will comprise analysis of data gathered during the summer and will test the synergy of three of the four clusters being developed at EduceLab. During the summer season, one student will work with Co-PI Reyes-Centeno in field excavations at Surigao del Norte and the application of site-wide optical 3D scanning and photogrammetry through MOBILE instrumentation. During the academic year, the student will use BENCH image processing software and experiment with algorithms and parameters that maximize site renderings for metrical analysis. The second student will assist Senior Personnel Crothers and Sesma in data collection in Georgetown during the summer. During the academic year, the student will test and experiment with capabilities for data integration and data sharing of the KY public LIDAR database with EduceLab’s CYBER cluster. FLEX (3 Students) System Development Students will assist PI Seales with the development of the FLEX micro-CT and non-radioactive imaging environments. One student will help determine desired specifications of the X-ray sensor-source-detector setup for the micro-CT hutch. Tasks will also include equipment testing, data collection, and integration of the micro- CT equipment with the other clusters, CYBER in particular. Student 2 will manage the setup of the spectral photography and photogrammetry environment. Tasks will include developing protocols for the controlled lighting environment, identifying desired locations of cameras for optimal image quality, installation and testing of hardware, establishing working volumes, and identifying imaging constraints. The third student will assist with the installation of MechDyne data visualization tools including testing and deploying the visualization system and integrating with the other EduceLab clusters.
Effective start/end date10/1/219/30/26


  • National Science Foundation


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