Digital Historical Architectural Research and Material Analysis (D.H.A.R.M.A) is a research team founded in 2007 based at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. The team, under the direction of Prof. Krupali Krusche, works on documenting historic monuments and buildings around the world with the use of a Leica 3D laser scanner, a high-speed, long-range scanner ideal for projects that are difficult to document by traditional methods. The scanner provides researchers with the most field-efficient means of data collection. Recently the team has also used 3D scanning to determine and monitor seismic effects on historic buildings and reconstruction processes of buildings with historical value.
In partnership with CyArk, a non-profit organization that collects the most accurate 3D models of cultural heritage sites, stores them and provides them freely to the world, the University plans to further use the scanner to document endangered historic buildings such as those on UNESCO’s world heritage list or the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Few of these sites have been documented in much detail. Notre Dame currently joins only a handful of universities in the U.S. with such technology, including Columbia, Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley. The scanner is also used as part of the School’s Preservation and Restoration Concentration. In summer 2008, the D.H.A.R.M.A. team spent four weeks in India documenting some of the country's historic monuments including the Taj Mahal.
In July of 2010, a team of School of Architecture faculty and students traveled to the Roman Forum—the center of political, religious, commercial, and judicial life in ancient Rome—to measure, document, and draw large areas of the historic site. The team used conventional and innovative methods, including a Leica 3-D laser scanner, for measuring and understanding this World Heritage Site.