2021 Collaborative Belize Campaign

This is a future collaborative campaign organized primarily by Brett Houk (Texas Tech), Jason Yeager (UT San Antonio), and NCALM. In this page, NCALM will provide updated information on what we need to get individual projects from planning to completion, as well as status updates as we move along in the process. NCALM has availability to collect these projects between May and June of 2021. We are aiming for the period after the fires and the first rains, but the final scheduling will depend on when the paperwork with the Belize authorities is completed and most of the contracts are secured. The NCALM points of contact for this campaign are Juan C. Fernandez-Diaz (jfernan4 [at] central.uh.edu) and Darren L. Hauser (dlhauser [at] central.uh.edu).


  • A brief paragraph describing your project research and mapping objectives. This information allows us to adequately develop flight plans to meet your needs. It will also be part of the information sent to the Institute of Archaeology.
  • Your area(s) of interest outline in KML/KMZ format (preferred) or an ArcGIS shapefile.
  • Your desired pulse density.

Based on the above information, NCALM will generate a preliminary budget, with consideration of the collaborative nature of the campaign (shared mobilization). We can iterate the budget, project extent, and pulse density to find an option that meets your budget and objectives.


We will need to formalize a service agreement between the University of Houston and your university or project, depending on the way you manage your project money, if you decide to move forward. (In some cases, researchers have signed these contracts as a director of the project and paid through their university.) The service agreement is a two-page contract that specifies the area to collect, pulse density, total cost, and payment schedule. While the agreement is signed with UH, it will be NCALM that will agree with you on the payment amounts and schedule, as convenient to both parties. NCALM manages the invoicing, not UH.


NCALM will require 30% payment upon arrival in Belize, and once we are certain that we can start the data collection. We will charge another 30% upon completion of collection and delivery of preliminary data (confirming coverage and density). The remaining 40% will be due at final data delivery. NCALM will likely require 40% payment upon arrival and 60% at final data delivery for small projects.

NCALM understands that some PIs will be working toward securing funding on a longer term that may extend beyond this summer (the time by which we hope to be done with collection and processing). We are willing to collect up to 20% more area than what you have secured in funding for this summer, if you are adequately confident that you can secure the remaining funds within the next two years. It will be cheaper and better for all to collect this year rather than in future years, so NCALM will keep the portion of the data that is not paid for in 2021 until you secure its payment. We will review and decide on requests for coverage beyond current funding on a case-by-case basis.


  • AOI boundary files are requested by the end of February, and a commitment of participation by mid-March, so that coordination with the Belize authorities can commence.
  • A copy of the collected and processed data will be delivered to the Institute of Archaeology.

Status Updates

NCALM ground tested the Optech Titan from Wednesday, March 24–Friday, March 26. The tests were necessary after the team experienced an off-field landing in Mexico. The results were successful and allowed NCALM to move to the flight testing stage. NCALM flight tested the instrument from Thursday, April 8–Friday, April 9. The results continue to be analyzed by NCALM and Teledyne Optech tech support, but it has been determined that the instrument can be operated effectively.

  • Project information and required documents are being sent to the Institute of Archaeology and the Civil Aviation Authority for permits and approval.
  • Areas of interest and budgets are being finalized with PIs.
  • NCALM has secured an aircraft provider.