Within the Great Pyramid of Giza are three main chambers: the King’s Chamber, the Queens Chamber and the Grand Gallery. The King’s Chamber has two shafts (about 20cmx20cm) which connect the chamber to the outside world. The Queens Chamber has two similar shafts, but strangely, these shafts do not directly connect to the outside. Within the shafts there are doors (or stones) blocking the path to the outside. This is where Djedi comes in.
We needed a precise means to measure the orientation of the shafts, and the sensors had to be lightweight and compact to be carried by the tiny rover. The Xsens MTi AHRS was ideally suited for the job."
Shaun Whitehead, Scoutek Ltd.
The Djedi is a joint international-Egyptian (Scoutek Ltd, The University of Leeds, Dassault Systèmes, Dr TC Ng and Tekron) mission that is being carried out under the supervision of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. The engineers Dr. Robert Richardson (University of Leeds, UK) and Shaun Whitehead (Scoutek Ltd, UK) had to develop a unique and state of the art exploration rover to get into the shafts and explore what is behind these doors blocking the shafts. One of the goals of Djedi is to map the exact path and geometry of the shafts. So during the development of this rover, the need arose for a highly accurate orientation sensor. However due to the constrains in size, caused by the small shafts the rover will navigate, size and weight are limited. The Xsens MTi has proved to be the perfect fit for this project.
An Xsens MTI AHRS has been used to help map out the Great Pyramid, as a part of the suite of instruments onboard the Djedi pyramid exploration rovers.
Shaun Whitehead comments:
“We needed a precise means to measure the orientation of the shafts, and the sensors had to be lightweight and compact to be carried by the tiny rover. The Xsens MTi AHRS was ideally suited for the job. It is located in the small ‘beetle’ behind the rover. The orientation data together with the travelled distance, the archeologists are able to precisely map the location, direction and orientation of the square shafts in the pyramids. During the explorations, we have already found some interesting features, such as the fact that the southern shaft appears to roll in one region. The work will continue when foreign missions are given permission to return to Egypt."