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Special Issue "Active and Passive Sensors for Art Diagnostic, Analysis and Investigation"

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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 (31 August 2008)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Luca Pezzati

Gruppo Beni Culturali, CNR INO – Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Largo E. Fermi 6, 50125 Florence, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +39 055 2337755
Interests: diagnostic of cultural heritage; scanner for IR reflectography; image processing; interferometry; optical metrology; optical design
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Brunetto Giovanni Brunetti

Dipartimento di Chimica, Laboratorio di Chimica Generale, Università di Perugia, Via Elce di Sotto, 8, 06123 Perugia, Italy
E-Mail
Fax: +39 075 585 5606
Interests: nanoscience; analytical chemistry

Special Issue Information

Science and technology have become fundamental tools for the preservation of Cultural Heritage. New technologies are developed and used for documentation, study and preservation of works of art, archaeological sites, historical buildings and other relevant objects of cultural interest. This research field has been constantly growing in recent years and now involves many of the disciplinary areas of modern science. The major aim of scientific investigations in art diagnostic is the acquisition and safe storage of reliable information on the studied object. The simple storage of data is in itself a very important tool for preservation. The ideal case would be the acquisition of a complete database containing all the relevant information on the state of the object to be preserved, and very often we cannot even guess on what information will be relevant in years to come. 
In modern measuring systems, the measurement scheme often used is the chain “source-object-sensor-computer” for active systems and “object-sensor-computer” for passive ones. Where data are to be recorded, to gather information on a studied object, sensors plays a fundamental role. For instance, the availability of imaging sensors like the CCD opened the way to a number of very important applications in the optical analysis of artworks. The coupling of sensors with digital systems has been another major breakthrough and it is now mandatory both in laboratory and field use. 
Diagnostic and restoration projects of masterpieces frequently use many different techniques, requiring the use of many kinds of different sensors. Monitoring the environment conditions of sites, like museums, buildings or archaeological sites, requires wide nets of different sensing devices. The field covered by this special issue is then huge, due to the vastness of the type of information that can be acquired on cultural heritage objects. Contributions are expected in the fields of sensors for physical measurements, for chemical and biological analyses, for environmental monitoring, and for other fields of interest to cultural heritage diagnostics.

Keywords

  • physical sensors
  • chemical sensors
  • environmental sensors
  • sensors for optical analyses
  • 3D and tomography, imaging
  • colour measurement
  • spectral methods
  • elemental analysis
  • art diagnostics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Fully-Non-Contact Masking-Based Holography Inspection on Dimensionally Responsive Artwork Materials
Sensors 2008, 8(12), 8401-8422; doi:10.3390/s8128401
Received: 26 September 2008 / Revised: 8 December 2008 / Accepted: 18 December 2008 / Published: 18 December 2008
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (545 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Environmental control in galleries and museums is a necessity and is informed by the knowledge of ongoing processes of deterioration which can threaten the integrity and stability of artworks. Invisible dimensional changes in many works of art occur following environmental fluctuations as materials
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Environmental control in galleries and museums is a necessity and is informed by the knowledge of ongoing processes of deterioration which can threaten the integrity and stability of artworks. Invisible dimensional changes in many works of art occur following environmental fluctuations as materials respond to the changes in humidity and temperature. The constant influence of dimensional changes usually remains invisible until displacement generates visible deterioration and irreversible damage. This paper exploits fully non contact coherent interferometry in a sequential masking procedure for visualising and studying surface deformation which is the direct effect of dimensional alterations induced by humidity changes. Surface deformation during dimensional displacements of constituent materials may occur on any artwork within an unstable environment. In this context, the presented research study explores the diagnostic potential of fully non contact sensors for the direct structural assessment of environmental effects as they occur in real time on works of art. The method is employed to characterise material responses, complementing and improving understanding of material behaviour in unstable environments. Full article
Open AccessArticle Quantitative Hyperspectral Reflectance Imaging
Sensors 2008, 8(9), 5576-5618; doi:10.3390/s8095576
Received: 31 July 2008 / Revised: 2 September 2008 / Accepted: 9 September 2008 / Published: 11 September 2008
Cited by 37 | PDF Full-text (3712 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hyperspectral imaging is a non-destructive optical analysis technique that can for instance be used to obtain information from cultural heritage objects unavailable with conventional colour or multi-spectral photography. This technique can be used to distinguish and recognize materials, to enhance the visibility of
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Hyperspectral imaging is a non-destructive optical analysis technique that can for instance be used to obtain information from cultural heritage objects unavailable with conventional colour or multi-spectral photography. This technique can be used to distinguish and recognize materials, to enhance the visibility of faint or obscured features, to detect signs of degradation and study the effect of environmental conditions on the object. We describe the basic concept, working principles, construction and performance of a laboratory instrument specifically developed for the analysis of historical documents. The instrument measures calibrated spectral reflectance images at 70 wavelengths ranging from 365 to 1100 nm (near-ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared). By using a wavelength tunable narrow-bandwidth light-source, the light energy used to illuminate the measured object is minimal, so that any light-induced degradation can be excluded. Basic analysis of the hyperspectral data includes a qualitative comparison of the spectral images and the extraction of quantitative data such as mean spectral reflectance curves and statistical information from user-defined regions-of-interest. More sophisticated mathematical feature extraction and classification techniques can be used to map areas on the document, where different types of ink had been applied or where one ink shows various degrees of degradation. The developed quantitative hyperspectral imager is currently in use by the Nationaal Archief (National Archives of The Netherlands) to study degradation effects of artificial samples and original documents, exposed in their permanent exhibition area or stored in their deposit rooms. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Nondestructive Characterization by Advanced Synchrotron Light Techniques: Spectromicroscopy and Coherent Radiology
Sensors 2008, 8(12), 8378-8400; doi:10.3390/s8128378
Received: 15 September 2008 / Revised: 3 December 2008 / Accepted: 11 December 2008 / Published: 16 December 2008
PDF Full-text (1371 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The advanced characteristics of synchrotron light has led in recent years to the development of a series of new experimental techniques to investigate chemical and physical properties on a microscopic scale. Although originally developed for materials science and biomedical research, such techniques find
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The advanced characteristics of synchrotron light has led in recent years to the development of a series of new experimental techniques to investigate chemical and physical properties on a microscopic scale. Although originally developed for materials science and biomedical research, such techniques find increasing applications in other domains – and could be quite useful for the study and conservation of cultural heritage. Specifically, they can nondestructively provide detailed chemical composition information that can be useful for the identification of specimens, for the discovery of historical links based on the sources of chemical raw materials and on chemical processes, for the analysis of damage, their causes and remedies and for many other issues. Likewise, morphological and structural information on a microscopic scale is useful for the identification, study and preservation of many different cultural and historical specimens. We concentrate here on two classes of techniques: in the first case, photoemission spectromicroscopy. This is the result of the advanced evolution of photoemission techniques like ESCA (Electron Microscopy for Chemical Analysis). By combining high lateral resolution to spectroscopy, photoemission spectromicroscopy can deliver fine chemical information on a microscopic scale in a nondestructive fashion. The second class of techniques exploits the high lateral coherence of modern synchrotron sources, a byproduct of the quest for high brightness or brilliance. We will see that such techniques now push radiology into the submicron scale and the submillisecond time domain. Furthermore, they can be implemented in a tomographic mode, increasing the information and becoming potentially quite useful for the analysis of cultural heritage specimens. Full article
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Open AccessReview Innovative Sensors for Environmental Monitoring in Museums
Sensors 2008, 8(3), 1984-2005; doi:10.3390/s8031984
Received: 29 January 2008 / Accepted: 18 March 2008 / Published: 22 March 2008
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (368 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Different physical and chemical factors, such as light, temperature, relative humidity, pollutants and so on, can affect works of art on display. Each factor does not act individually, but its effect can be enhanced or accelerated by the presence of other factors. Accordingly,
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Different physical and chemical factors, such as light, temperature, relative humidity, pollutants and so on, can affect works of art on display. Each factor does not act individually, but its effect can be enhanced or accelerated by the presence of other factors. Accordingly, an evaluation of the impact of the whole environment on art objects is recognized as an essential requirement for conservation purposes. To meet the most up-todate guidelines on preventive conservation, in recent years several scientific projects supported by the EC were aimed at developing innovative tools that could complement the standard methods for environmental monitoring in museums. These research projects produced a new generation of passive sensors that are capable of taking into account the overall environmental effects by mimicking in some way the behaviour of real works of art. The main goal of the present paper is to provide a survey of these sensors, which represent a new frontier in the environmental control in museums. Furthermore, the use of optical fibres, as both intrinsic sensors and devices for interrogating sensors, will also be illustrated, and examples of their use in the cultural heritage field will be reported. Full article

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