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University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

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Houston Matters Interviews UH Engineer Using Lasers to Discover Ancient Civilization

By: 

Natalie Thayer

The National Public Radio’s Houston Matters recently interviewed the University of Houston’s Dr. Ramesh Shrestha, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of civil and environmental engineering and the director of the National Center for Airborne Mapping (NCALM). Michael Hagerty, host of Houston Matters, spoke with Shrestha about his involvement in the use of lasers to discover an ancient Honduran civilization.

In 2012, a UH team of researchers used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to map a region of dense jungle in the Mosquitia region of Honduras. This process, which is used for various topographical charting applications, involves shooting thousands of laser bursts per second at the ground and gathering information as the light returns to the source.

During the mapping process, Shrestha’s team detected curious manmade structures in the remote rainforest.  Though initially thought to be the fabled White City, or Cuidad Blanca, these structures instead revealed evidence of a mysterious lost civilization that is inspiring questions and stirring excitement in scientists, researchers and the public alike.

Listen to the full interview and see photos from Honduras at http://www.houstonmatters.org/segments/segment-c/2015/07/09/uh-researcher-helps-find-new-civilization-using-lasers

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