By placing sensors on to different platforms images can be collected that help in detecting, interpreting and monitoring archaeology. At the simplest level a kite can be used to create a birds-eye view. This change of platform allows things to be seen differently, and it becomes possible to identify how ditches, buildings and other features relate to each other. This is much like looking at a map.
Placing the sensors in a plane allows much larger areas to be surveyed. From planes two distinct types of survey – directed and scientific – can be identified. Directed surveys are when an archaeologist is in the plane flying from location to location looking for archaeology and then taking photographs of it, a form of archaeological prospection. If the archaeologist cannot see the archaeology then no photograph is taken. Scientific surveys use expensive cameras and follow pre-planned flight patterns capturing large volumes of data which can require complex computerised analysis. This can allow the detection of archaeology that you cannot see with your eyes. There are thousands of satellites orbiting the Earth. These satellites are so far away that only those with cameras that can magnify the Earth's surface to a scale that will show archaeology are useful for detection. Currently most of the satellite based camera systems are only sensitive to energy we can see with our eyes.