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A New Portable Spectral Camera System for the Cultural Heritage Conservation Market

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - XPECAM (A New Portable Spectral Camera System for the Cultural Heritage Conservation Market)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-04-30

Cultural Heritage Restoration, and particularly for documentation and diagnosis is performed by specialists that have been educated in the use of specific tools. These tools include a photographic camera which is their main tool for documentation, and a microscope that they are using for diagnostic imaging. These tools, although they evolve they have their limitations in terms of diagnostic capabilities. Particularly, although they increase in spatial resolution, and optical magnification, they are limited in the visible region and moreover in trichromatic vision. This technology, is unable to provide information regarding the material or to acquire images beyond the visible spectrum. For that reason, curators are obliged to buy expensive instruments which are big and/or heavy and require specialized knowledge to use them, or to request the support of a scientific laboratory. As a result, this increases the time and effort of the curators and elevates significantly the final cost for the customer/collector.

Through the use of such technology, important works of art are studied by art historians and scientists, deriving new information about the history of local community, increasing the value of the objects, knowledge about the local culture, and the interest of cultural tourism.

Provide the art conservator with a new tool that increases the quality and speed of the restoration process by means of multispectral imaging. This will allow conservators to harvest new business opportunities and grow their market by reaching new clients that want to preserve cultural heritage. This means larger sites (e.g. frescoes, in situ art works, etc.) can now be intervened at a lower cost, and also be recorded for posterity in high definition and in several spectral layers – this is a disruptive addition to the conservation services that can bring about new markets for cultural heritage SMEs, that is in line with best practices for cultural heritage site preservation. Further, through this project we aim to educate art conservators on the use of this technology and the benefits they can get increasing the quality of documentation in their work.
The work that has been completed during this period covered by the report is summarized in the following bullets:
• We executed a comprehensive market assessment of hypothesis and assumptions combined with an analysis of environmental forces, market trends, competition and market entry obstacles, risks, opportunities and comprising our resources and constraints.
• We have identified our end-users and potential clients, which are essential to analyse the current market trends.
• We have studied which countries are much more mature than others regarding the use of this technology in the Cultural Heritage preservation sector.
• We have identified the development of the XpeCAM platform in both hardware and software.
• We defined a realistic and attainable work program to ensure that all the objectives are met, focusing our attention on specific technical and commercial obstacles that could present limitations to our market introduction.
XpeCAM is the solution in cultural heritage documentation and diagnosis to increase the quality on documentation of art objects, in both color resolution but also in spectral dynamic range expanding between the ultraviolet and the infrared region. Exploitation of this technology reveals hidden information starting from the underdrawings and ending up to the historical retouchments on the artwork. This is most important for the correct treatment of the art object by the art conservators, but also critical for the art historians to understand the historical path hidden.
Art objects that have been studied with XpeCAM and multi-spectral imaging technology, are promoted by the new historical information deriving, increasing their value and promotion. These cases have already received the attention of media, including articles in local newspapers.
Signinum has also performed multiple workshops, disseminating the technology and its usefulness in cultural heritage documentation and diagnosis, in major museums and universities in Sweeden, England, Spain and Portugal. Further it has engaged in fair exhibitions in France, Spain and Portugal and in partnerships with cultural heritage restoration SMEs that have shown interest in using this technology.
Signinum Gestao de Patrimonio Cultural