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loW Altitude Remote sensing for the Monitoring of the state of Cultural hEritage Sites: building an inTegrated model for maintenance.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Warmest (loW Altitude Remote sensing for the Monitoring of the state of Cultural hEritage Sites: building aninTegrated model for maintenance.)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2019-11-30

WARMEST -or loW Altitude Remote sensing for the Monitoring of the state of cultural hEritage Sites: building an inTegrated model for maintenance– is a project that looks at heritage sites as spaces that need to be not only visited but appreciated and taken care of. These two last characteristics, recognition and preservation, are key to civilization: We need to ensure that we are able to take care of cultural heritage as, for instance, Alhambra, Santa Croce or Marzamemi in our case, not only for those who live nowadays but for future generations.
In that sense, WARMEST strategic goal is to make use of Artificial Intelligence to optimize maintenance procedures in these cultural and natural heritage sites. Through the introduction of these new tools and technologies to collect data and to analyse them, WARMEST will create a novel specific Decision Support System. This software will enable heritage excutives and managers to set on sound economic and technical basis the most suitable maintenance procedures taking into account current and future scenarios. It will thus greatly help in preparing sound and cost effective maintenance plans, given that maintenance of monuments and sites is a challenging management and engineering activity, due to the large variety of loads (different types of sites and actions), strict regulations (to preserve the natural, archaeological and historical values) to consider, and the continuous operation throughout the year.
WARMEST project is carried out by an international and multi sectorial consortium. That consortium is formed by more than 30 researchers belonging to 3 academic institutions, 5 private companies and 3 associations from 4 different countries. In close cooperation with the consortium, 3 heritage sites are involved in the research: Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife (Granada, Spain), Marzamemi Underwater Museum (Sicily, Italy) and Opera Santa Croce (Florence, Italy).
The objective is to develope that Decision Support System in these three sites and, later on, be able to transform it in a commercial tool for any Heritage site, small or big.
"During the first 2 years of the project we started the all the seven work packages. The consortium presented seven deliverables, passed five milestones and secondments were fulfilled according to the agreement.
In this period, WARMEST have achieved most of the scientific objectives set for the first term. The project required an intensive ""preparation"" work, consisting in analysing the different and more suitable methods of data collection. We could never forget that the spaces the work that was going to be done was going to take places in sites with specific characteristics: world famous, centuries old and heavily visited. At this early stage, extensive bibliographic research was done on the sites.
Alhambra is not a castle or similar, but a nazri citadel. It means it covers a big area. First thing was to limit the scope of the research to a meaningful space. Fortunately enough, Alhambra managers perceived the impact this project would have for them and stablished “Patio de Los Leones”, with particular attention to columns state and plaster damages, as the space to be analyzed. Basically the most important spot in Alhambra. Also in Florence, WARMEST is dealing with one of the more important sites in town, the well known church of Santa Croce. Again, a huge site. It was agreed with the Foundation that takes care of the site that the second cloister –by Brunelleschi– would be the objective of the project. In Marzamemi we concentrate our studies over the water pollution analysis and the systems to increase tourism through dissemination activities of the underwater heritage sites.
Sometime before the end of the first year, researchers took over Alhambra and started data collection. Columns were documented using regular and thermal images. Same thing happened in Marzamemi sometime later.
From the project management point of view, the project started as scheduled and the secondment, after some adjustments was inline with the scheduled ones. Some changed will be added after the amendment approval from EU, due to the changing in the consortium (different efforts of the old beneficiaries and the entrance of 2 new ones).
Dissemination and communication started from the very beginning, right during the Kickoff meeting, with a press release at local level, in Granada and Andalusia. Partners did some communication work with media in their territories. This firs year has been devoted to the website, the social media and, above all, the presentation of the project at different specialized conferences, seminars and forums, during the second year, that line of work has continued both with social media and with specialized seminars. The communication of the project itself is crucial but there has been a lot of research on how to find new ways to reach a broader audience in order to increase heritage awareness, especially in the territories where the sites are. As a result, this research is now directed to join contemporary art and heritage sites as one of the most productive methods to call attention upon heritage. Some actions are being developed for years three and four related to contemporary art activities in the heritage sites of Marzamemi and Alhambra."
The strategic objective of WARMEST is to develop an intelligent decision support system that will result in a tool named Cultural Heritage Risk Analysis (CHRA). It will be a very low impact tool capable of suggesting improvements in maintenance and risk management procedures in the cultural and natural heritage spaces. The system will be able to anticipate future scenarios, based on the acquired data, indicating what actions can be anticipated to avoid major risks in maintenance and probable risks, being those very related to the climate change and global warming scenario.
The impact will be, in the first place, that heritage managers will be able to know the precise state of conservation of their sites at present time and, moreover, will have in their hands a tool that will tell them how the site (or the designed areas) will be in the near future. That will help to take measures before the damage occur and, if it is unavoidable, to treat the problem in a more efficient way from the maintenance and economic point of view.
A better mainenance of heritage sites has a remarkable role in the preservation of cultures and identities. Preservation of heritage sites, of past cultures in short, is an obligation that a generation has with the next generation.
Kick Off Meeting