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Special Issue "Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics"

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A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Luca Pezzati (Website)

Gruppo Beni Culturali, CNR INO – Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Largo E. Fermi 6, 50125 Florence, Italy
Fax: +39 055 2337755
Interests: diagnostic of cultural heritage; scanner for IR reflectography; image processing; interferometry; optical metrology; optical design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, the perception of the role of multidisciplinary science and technology by the stakeholders of conservation and restoration of cultural heritage has changed. In all major fields working for the safeguard of cultural heritage, applications and techniques are now seen as central for the study and diagnosis of artworks and artifacts. The role of diagnostics is now acknowledged, not only as a means of acquiring precious but “static” information about the artwork, but also as a possible solution for keeping the state of objects, sites and monuments “dynamically” under control.

One of the greatest problems to cope with in this quest for monitoring the safety and the security of artworks and sites, is the need for collecting huge amounts of data of a different nature (chemical, physical, biological,…) with possibly low-cost systems that can be deployed over wide areas and connected with state-of-the-art wireless networks. There is also a need for very small integrated sensors to be used as payloads in drones, or in other monitoring fixed or mobile networks. The era of diffused networked sensors is therefore starting, and the model to follow for cultural heritage applications is something closely related to the Internet of Things.

The aim of this Special Issue will therefore be to open a window on the world of sensing, to view the most promising solutions offered by developers to help preserve and safeguard the world’s cultural heritage.

Dr. Luca Pezzati
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • cultural heritage
  • diagnostics
  • monitoring
  • physical sensors
  • chemical sensors
  • biological sensors
  • environmental sensors
  • mobile sensing
  • wireless sensor networks
  • internet of things

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Wireless Sensor Networks for Heritage Object Deformation Detection and Tracking Algorithm
Sensors 2014, 14(11), 20562-20588; doi:10.3390/s141120562
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 10 September 2014 / Accepted: 10 October 2014 / Published: 31 October 2014
PDF Full-text (1659 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Deformation is the direct cause of heritage object collapse. It is significant to monitor and signal the early warnings of the deformation of heritage objects. However, traditional heritage object monitoring methods only roughly monitor a simple-shaped heritage object as a whole, but [...] Read more.
Deformation is the direct cause of heritage object collapse. It is significant to monitor and signal the early warnings of the deformation of heritage objects. However, traditional heritage object monitoring methods only roughly monitor a simple-shaped heritage object as a whole, but cannot monitor complicated heritage objects, which may have a large number of surfaces inside and outside. Wireless sensor networks, comprising many small-sized, low-cost, low-power intelligent sensor nodes, are more useful to detect the deformation of every small part of the heritage objects. Wireless sensor networks need an effective mechanism to reduce both the communication costs and energy consumption in order to monitor the heritage objects in real time. In this paper, we provide an effective heritage object deformation detection and tracking method using wireless sensor networks (EffeHDDT). In EffeHDDT, we discover a connected core set of sensor nodes to reduce the communication cost for transmitting and collecting the data of the sensor networks. Particularly, we propose a heritage object boundary detecting and tracking mechanism. Both theoretical analysis and experimental results demonstrate that our EffeHDDT method outperforms the existing methods in terms of network traffic and the precision of the deformation detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle A New Quantitative Method for the Non-Invasive Documentation of Morphological Damage in Paintings Using RTI Surface Normals
Sensors 2014, 14(7), 12271-12284; doi:10.3390/s140712271
Received: 17 February 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 27 June 2014 / Published: 9 July 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1587 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper we propose a reliable surface imaging method for the non-invasive detection of morphological changes in paintings. Usually, the evaluation and quantification of changes and defects results mostly from an optical and subjective assessment, through the comparison of the previous [...] Read more.
In this paper we propose a reliable surface imaging method for the non-invasive detection of morphological changes in paintings. Usually, the evaluation and quantification of changes and defects results mostly from an optical and subjective assessment, through the comparison of the previous and subsequent state of conservation and by means of condition reports. Using quantitative Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) we obtain detailed information on the geometry and morphology of the painting surface with a fast, precise and non-invasive method. Accurate and quantitative measurements of deterioration were acquired after the painting experienced artificial damage. Morphological changes were documented using normal vector images while the intensity map succeeded in highlighting, quantifying and describing the physical changes. We estimate that the technique can detect a morphological damage slightly smaller than 0.3 mm, which would be difficult to detect with the eye, considering the painting size. This non-invasive tool could be very useful, for example, to examine paintings and artwork before they travel on loan or during a restoration. The method lends itself to automated analysis of large images and datasets. Quantitative RTI thus eases the transition of extending human vision into the realm of measuring change over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle A New Dusts Sensor for Cultural Heritage Applications Based on Image Processing
Sensors 2014, 14(6), 9813-9832; doi:10.3390/s140609813
Received: 17 February 2014 / Revised: 20 May 2014 / Accepted: 29 May 2014 / Published: 4 June 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (848 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we propose a new sensor for the detection and analysis of dusts (seen as powders and fibers) in indoor environments, especially designed for applications in the field of Cultural Heritage or in other contexts where the presence of dust [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose a new sensor for the detection and analysis of dusts (seen as powders and fibers) in indoor environments, especially designed for applications in the field of Cultural Heritage or in other contexts where the presence of dust requires special care (surgery, clean rooms, etc.). The presented system relies on image processing techniques (enhancement, noise reduction, segmentation, metrics analysis) and it allows obtaining both qualitative and quantitative information on the accumulation of dust. This information aims to identify the geometric and topological features of the elements of the deposit. The curators can use this information in order to design suitable prevention and maintenance actions for objects and environments. The sensor consists of simple and relatively cheap tools, based on a high-resolution image acquisition system, a preprocessing software to improve the captured image and an analysis algorithm for the feature extraction and the classification of the elements of the dust deposit. We carried out some tests in order to validate the system operation. These tests were performed within the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums, showing the good performance of the proposed sensor in terms of execution time and classification accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle A New Acquisition and Imaging System for Environmental Measurements: An Experience on the Italian Cultural Heritage
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 9290-9312; doi:10.3390/s140509290
Received: 15 February 2014 / Revised: 5 May 2014 / Accepted: 19 May 2014 / Published: 23 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (772 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new acquisition system for remote control of wall paintings has been realized and tested in the field. The system measures temperature and atmospheric pressure in an archeological site where a fresco has been put under control. The measuring chain has been [...] Read more.
A new acquisition system for remote control of wall paintings has been realized and tested in the field. The system measures temperature and atmospheric pressure in an archeological site where a fresco has been put under control. The measuring chain has been designed to be used in unfavorable environments where neither electric power nor telecommunication infrastructures are available. The environmental parameters obtained from the local monitoring are then transferred remotely allowing an easier management by experts in the field of conservation of cultural heritage. The local acquisition system uses an electronic card based on microcontrollers and sends the data to a central unit realized with a Raspberry-Pi. The latter manages a high quality camera to pick up pictures of the fresco. Finally, to realize the remote control at a site not reached by internet signals, a WiMAX connection based on different communication technologies such as WiMAX, Ethernet, GPRS and Satellite, has been set up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle Remote Assessment of Cultural Heritage Environments with Wireless Sensor Array Networks
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8779-8793; doi:10.3390/s140508779
Received: 17 February 2014 / Revised: 26 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 May 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (558 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The logistics and cost of environmental monitoring can represent challenges for heritage managers, partly because of the sheer number of environmental parameters to consider. There is a need for a system, capable of monitoring the holistic impact of the environment on cultural [...] Read more.
The logistics and cost of environmental monitoring can represent challenges for heritage managers, partly because of the sheer number of environmental parameters to consider. There is a need for a system, capable of monitoring the holistic impact of the environment on cultural materials while remaining relatively easy to use and providing remote access. This paper describes a dosimetric system based on piezoelectric quartz crystal technology. The prototype sensing module consists of an array of piezoelectric quartz crystals (PQC) coated with different metals (Fe, Cu, Ni and Sn) and includes a temperature and relative humidity sensor. The communication module involves an 802.15.4 low-power radio and a GPRS gateway which allows real time visualisation of the measurements online. An energy management protocol ensures that the system consumes very low power between measurements. The paper also describes the results and experiences from two heritage field deployments, at Apsley House in London, UK, and at the Royal Palaces of Abomey in Benin. Evaluation of PQC measurements, temperature, relative humidity and the rate of successful transmission over the communication systems are also reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle Smartphone Sensors for Stone Lithography Authentication
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8217-8234; doi:10.3390/s140508217
Received: 4 March 2014 / Revised: 24 April 2014 / Accepted: 4 May 2014 / Published: 7 May 2014
PDF Full-text (2330 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nowadays mobile phones include quality photo and video cameras, access to wireless networks and the internet, GPS assistance and other innovative systems. These facilities open them to innovative uses, other than the classical telephonic communication one. Smartphones are a more sophisticated version [...] Read more.
Nowadays mobile phones include quality photo and video cameras, access to wireless networks and the internet, GPS assistance and other innovative systems. These facilities open them to innovative uses, other than the classical telephonic communication one. Smartphones are a more sophisticated version of classic mobile phones, which have advanced computing power, memory and connectivity. Because fake lithographs are flooding the art market, in this work, we propose a smartphone as simple, robust and efficient sensor for lithograph authentication. When we buy an artwork object, the seller issues a certificate of authenticity, which contains specific details about the artwork itself. Unscrupulous sellers can duplicate the classic certificates of authenticity, and then use them to “authenticate” non-genuine works of art. In this way, the buyer will have a copy of an original certificate to attest that the “not original artwork” is an original one. A solution for this problem would be to insert a system that links together the certificate and the related specific artwork. To do this it is necessary, for a single artwork, to find unique, unrepeatable, and unchangeable characteristics. In this article we propose an innovative method for the authentication of stone lithographs. We use the color spots distribution captured by means of a smartphone camera as a non-cloneable texture of the specific artworks and an information management system for verifying it in mobility stone lithography. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle Setup of Galvanic Sensors for the Monitoring of Gilded Bronzes
Sensors 2014, 14(4), 7066-7083; doi:10.3390/s140407066
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 22 April 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1624 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traditional electrochemical techniques, such as linear polarization resistance (Rp), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), cannot be applied to gilded bronzes, as it may not be possible to interpret the results obtained due to the bimetallic nature of the studied material. The measurement [...] Read more.
Traditional electrochemical techniques, such as linear polarization resistance (Rp), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), cannot be applied to gilded bronzes, as it may not be possible to interpret the results obtained due to the bimetallic nature of the studied material. The measurement of the macrocouple current generated by the gold/bronze galvanic couple can be used as an indicator of degradation processes. Nevertheless, this measurement cannot be performed directly on the original artifacts due to the systematic presence of short-circuits between the two metals. In the present work the use of galvanic sensors is proposed as a possible solution for the monitoring of gilded bronze artefacts. The sensors have been designed to simulate real gilded bronze surfaces in terms of composition and stratigraphy and have proved to be a reliable diagnostic tool for the in situ monitoring of the rates of deterioration of gilded bronze surfaces and to test new conservation treatments. Their set-up and application is reported and their performances discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle Applications of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Sensors to Cultural Heritage
Sensors 2014, 14(4), 6977-6997; doi:10.3390/s140406977
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 15 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1114 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) sensors have been increasingly applied to investigate, characterize and monitor objects of cultural heritage interest. NMR is not confined to a few specific applications, but rather its use can be successfully extended to a wide [...] Read more.
In recent years nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) sensors have been increasingly applied to investigate, characterize and monitor objects of cultural heritage interest. NMR is not confined to a few specific applications, but rather its use can be successfully extended to a wide number of different cultural heritage issues. A breakthrough has surely been the recent development of portable NMR sensors which can be applied in situ for non-destructive and non-invasive investigations. In this paper three studies illustrating the potential of NMR sensors in this field of research are reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle Time-Resolved Photoluminescence Spectroscopy and Imaging: New Approaches to the Analysis of Cultural Heritage and Its Degradation
Sensors 2014, 14(4), 6338-6355; doi:10.3390/s140406338
Received: 11 March 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 31 March 2014 / Published: 2 April 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (583 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Applications of time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy (TRPL) and fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) to the analysis of cultural heritage are presented. Examples range from historic wall paintings and stone sculptures to 20th century iconic design objects. A detailed description of the instrumentation developed and [...] Read more.
Applications of time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy (TRPL) and fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) to the analysis of cultural heritage are presented. Examples range from historic wall paintings and stone sculptures to 20th century iconic design objects. A detailed description of the instrumentation developed and employed for analysis in the laboratory or in situ is given. Both instruments rely on a pulsed laser source coupled to a gated detection system, but differ in the type of information they provide. Applications of FLIM to the analysis of model samples and for the in-situ monitoring of works of art range from the analysis of organic materials and pigments in wall paintings, the detection of trace organic substances on stone sculptures, to the mapping of luminescence in late 19th century paintings. TRPL and FLIM are employed as sensors for the detection of the degradation of design objects made in plastic. Applications and avenues for future research are suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle Minimal Camera Networks for 3D Image Based Modeling of Cultural Heritage Objects
Sensors 2014, 14(4), 5785-5804; doi:10.3390/s140405785
Received: 7 January 2014 / Revised: 10 February 2014 / Accepted: 14 March 2014 / Published: 25 March 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2337 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
3D modeling of cultural heritage objects like artifacts, statues and buildings is nowadays an important tool for virtual museums, preservation and restoration. In this paper, we introduce a method to automatically design a minimal imaging network for the 3D modeling of cultural [...] Read more.
3D modeling of cultural heritage objects like artifacts, statues and buildings is nowadays an important tool for virtual museums, preservation and restoration. In this paper, we introduce a method to automatically design a minimal imaging network for the 3D modeling of cultural heritage objects. This becomes important for reducing the image capture time and processing when documenting large and complex sites. Moreover, such a minimal camera network design is desirable for imaging non-digitally documented artifacts in museums and other archeological sites to avoid disturbing the visitors for a long time and/or moving delicate precious objects to complete the documentation task. The developed method is tested on the Iraqi famous statue “Lamassu”. Lamassu is a human-headed winged bull of over 4.25 m in height from the era of Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 BC). Close-range photogrammetry is used for the 3D modeling task where a dense ordered imaging network of 45 high resolution images were captured around Lamassu with an object sample distance of 1 mm. These images constitute a dense network and the aim of our study was to apply our method to reduce the number of images for the 3D modeling and at the same time preserve pre-defined point accuracy. Temporary control points were fixed evenly on the body of Lamassu and measured by using a total station for the external validation and scaling purpose. Two network filtering methods are implemented and three different software packages are used to investigate the efficiency of the image orientation and modeling of the statue in the filtered (reduced) image networks. Internal and external validation results prove that minimal image networks can provide highly accurate records and efficiency in terms of visualization, completeness, processing time (>60% reduction) and the final accuracy of 1 mm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle Statistical Tools Applied in the Characterisation and Evaluation of a Thermo-Hygrometric Corrective Action Carried out at the Noheda Archaeological Site (Noheda, Spain)
Sensors 2014, 14(1), 1665-1679; doi:10.3390/s140101665
Received: 10 November 2013 / Revised: 24 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 January 2014 / Published: 17 January 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (906 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Noheda archaeological site is unique and exceptional for its size, and the quality and conservation condition of the Roman mosaic pavement covering its urban pars. In 2008 a tent was installed as protection from rain and sun. Being of interest [...] Read more.
The Noheda archaeological site is unique and exceptional for its size, and the quality and conservation condition of the Roman mosaic pavement covering its urban pars. In 2008 a tent was installed as protection from rain and sun. Being of interest to characterise the microclimate of the remains, six probes with relative humidity and temperature sensors were installed in 2013 for this purpose. Microclimate monitoring allowed us to check relative humidity differences resulting from the groundwater level, as well as inner sensors reaching maximum temperatures higher than the outdoors ones as a consequence of the non-ventilated tent covering the archaeological site. Microclimatic conditions in the archaeological site were deemed detrimental for the conservation of the mosaics. Thus, in summer 2013, expanded clay and geotextile were installed over the mosaics as a corrective action. The outcomes of this study have proven the effectiveness of this solution to control temperature and relative humidity, helping to configure a more stable microclimate suitable for preservation of the mosaic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle Monitoring Architectural Heritage by Wireless Sensors Networks: San Gimignano — A Case Study
Sensors 2014, 14(1), 770-778; doi:10.3390/s140100770
Received: 23 November 2013 / Revised: 11 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 3 January 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (356 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes a wireless sensor network (WSN) used to monitor the health state of architectural heritage in real-time. The WSN has been deployed and tested on the “Rognosa” tower in the medieval village of San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy. This technology, being [...] Read more.
This paper describes a wireless sensor network (WSN) used to monitor the health state of architectural heritage in real-time. The WSN has been deployed and tested on the “Rognosa” tower in the medieval village of San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy. This technology, being non-invasive, mimetic, and long lasting, is particularly well suited for long term monitoring and on-line diagnosis of the conservation state of heritage buildings. The proposed monitoring system comprises radio-equipped nodes linked to suitable sensors capable of monitoring crucial parameters like: temperature, humidity, masonry cracks, pouring rain, and visual light. The access to data is granted by a user interface for remote control. The WSN can autonomously send remote alarms when predefined thresholds are reached. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle Violin Bridge Mobility Analysis under In-Plane Excitation
Sensors 2013, 13(11), 15290-15306; doi:10.3390/s131115290
Received: 19 September 2013 / Revised: 28 October 2013 / Accepted: 30 October 2013 / Published: 8 November 2013
PDF Full-text (1292 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The vibration of a violin bridge is a dynamic contact vibration with two interfaces: strings-bridge, and bridge feet-top plate. In this paper, the mobility of an isolated bridge under in-plane excitation is explored using finite element modeling based on the contact vibration [...] Read more.
The vibration of a violin bridge is a dynamic contact vibration with two interfaces: strings-bridge, and bridge feet-top plate. In this paper, the mobility of an isolated bridge under in-plane excitation is explored using finite element modeling based on the contact vibration model. Numerical results show that the dynamic contact stiffness in the two contact interfaces has a great impact on the bridge mobility. A main resonance peak is observed in the frequency range of 2–3 kHz in the frequency response of the isolated bridge when the contact stiffness is smaller than a critical threshold. The main resonance peak frequency is affected by the contact stiffness as well. In order to verify the numerical findings, a novel experimental system is then designed on the basis of a piezoelectric dynamometer for bridge mobility analysis. Experimental results confirm the impact of the dynamic contact stiffness on the bridge mobility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics)

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