Over the last decade, we have witnessed momentous technological developments in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and in lightweight sensors operating at various wavelengths, at and beyond the visible spectrum, which can be integrated with unmanned aerial platforms. These innovations have made feasible close-range and high-resolution remote sensing for numerous archaeological applications, including documentation, prospection, and monitoring bridging the gap between satellite, high-altitude airborne, and terrestrial sensing of historical sites and landscapes. In this article, we track the progress made so far, by systematically reviewing the literature relevant to the combined use of UAS platforms with visible, infrared, multi-spectral, hyper-spectral, laser, and radar sensors to reveal archaeological features otherwise invisible to archaeologists with applied non-destructive techniques. We review, specific applications and their global distribution, as well as commonly used platforms, sensors, and data-processing workflows. Furthermore, we identify the contemporary state-of-the-art and discuss the challenges that have already been overcome, and those that have not, to propose suggestions for future research.
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