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Contact: Navnit Singh, 605-574-3115
(Keystone, SD) Mount Rushmore National Memorial is in the process of finalizing a groundbreaking partnership with the Kacyra Family Foundation and its project, CyArk (CyArk) – a US-based non-profit organization that pioneered the digital preservation (3-dimensional laser scanning, modeling and archiving) of world heritage sites and monuments. The partnership will pave the way for a multi-phase project which will result in the 3D digital recording of the memorial and will provide for the first time, a visual documentation of this internationally important memorial in South Dakota. The scanning project will be led by the foundation’s project, CyArk with critical technical and logistical support through an innovative team of international and local technical expertise which will work with the National Park Service at Mount Rushmore to execute the initial digital laser scanning and data collection phase of the project.
The technical complexity of the laser scanning requires significant preparatory field work before undertaking the highly complex task of laser scanning. Initial planning is underway and Mount Rushmore’s Rope Access Team is scheduling annual preservation work on the sculpture next month as preparatory action to better prepare the mountain for the detailed laser phase of the project. As a part of this work done on the mountain, the memorial’s preservation team will clean portions of the mountain to bare rock by removing debris and vegetation, removing loose hazardous rock, repairing sections of waterproof membranes and replacing fracture sealants before winter weather arrives. This annual preservation work is done to protect the sculpture from the effects of freeze-thaw cycles when water intrudes into geologic fractures throughout the mountain. This work will also enhance safety of this and other complex projects by improving the ability to transport sophisticated and specially calibrated laser equipment and multiple teams of technical specialists to the top of the mountain and back again safely.
Mount Rushmore staff is also planning to perform initial preparatory control and reference point surveys and Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping this fall. The staff anticipates the laser scanning portion of the project to start in mid-April 2010. This schedule provides all partners time to carefully plan and coordinate the many facets of this complex and challenging effort.