Ground Penetrating Radar Gun

The ground penetrating radar gun is a cutting edge piece of technology used by Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler for their field paleontology work. After firing a blank round into the ground, a second piece of equipment picks up the returning sound waves.


Those results are then displayed on a small CRT TV, to which they have taped a makeshift glare. A technician sits at the equipment stack with a keyboard, but no recognizable computer screen. Several buttons, dials, and a waveform monitor complement the setup.


After twiddling some dials, and punching a few keys, the technician makes the sonogram appear on the monitor, revealing a utahraptor velociraptor skeleton. Dr. Grant then tries to point out to eager onlookers some of the interesting features of the fossil on the screen. When he touches it, the screen fuzzes for a moment. It appears to be a very delicate piece of equipment in a very harsh part of the desert.

After Grant explains how the gun shows the fossils still in the ground, Sattler comments—foreshadowingly—that “Soon enough, we won’t even have to dig any more…” Enter Hammond and the ironic fulfillment narrative.

Iterate through the Prototype Phase

It looks like this is a very early version of the device, and still very much a prototype. This means it has a lot of issues: very delicate, obfuscated controls, and requires a small team dedicated to just making it work. It doesn’t look fully ready for the field yet…

…And that’s awesome.

This is the perfect example of a usability test: we now know that crotchety archeologists (the primary customer for this product) are going to want to poke it, prod it, and see a lot of detail.  Those are things that, at this stage, can probably still be fixed and improved.

The controls, if that’s what they really are, still have time to be iterated into a usable format.  We know they aren’t usable because even the archeology team struggles with it.

All vital information for getting back to the next iteration for making it better for actual field paleontologists. Until they’re rendered extinct, anyway.

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