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Preventive solutions for Sensitive Materials of Cultural Heritage

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SensMat (Preventive solutions for Sensitive Materials of Cultural Heritage)

Berichtszeitraum: 2020-09-01 bis 2022-08-31

Preventive conservation (PC) has emerged as an important approach for the long-term preservation of sensitive cultural heritage (CH), notably for mobile artefacts, displayed or stored in harsh environments and for small and medium-sized museums. SensMat aims to develop and implement effective, low cost (<20 – 30€ for basic platform), eco-innovative and user-friendly sensors, models and decision-making tools (DMT), as well as recommendations and guidelines to enable prediction and prevention of degradation of artefacts as a function of environmental conditions. SensMat is user-driven (inclusion of 10 museums in the project plus survey of 100 more), and the consortium has solid existing results and a strong capacity to mature the sensors, models and decision-making solutions to TRL 7 during the project. Based on multiscale modelling, data management systems, collaborative platforms and sensor communication networks (IoT), museums stakeholders will be informed in real-time of possible dangers to their artefacts, thus reducing degradation risks and costly conservation treatment. Demonstration of the platform in 10 representative case studies in museums, historical buildings, storage sites and workshops will enable rapid uptake after the project. Knowledge transfer, training, and recommendations of best practices will facilitate standardization, strategy implementation, new policy definition, and wide-scale adoption of the new solution by CH sites immediately after the project.
In period 1 (01/01/19 - 31/08/20), the consortium focused on Objectives 2, 3, 4, 5. The efforts were targeted at designing and the developing the different SensMat sensors, according to performance, cost, power consumption, platform integration and communication specifications.
Under WP2, CNRS and CEA, in cooperation with the partners in charge of developing the sensors, defined and provided the table of technical, economic, ergonomic and aesthetical requirements for designing the SensMat platform. USTUTT supervised the definition and development of the multi-scale and multi physical modelling to use (WP3), based on the information collected in WP2, to carry out analysis and environmental simulations. The first tests were done to evaluate and calibrate the operational modes of the devices in relevant environment (WP4). The smart monitoring architecture for the sensing system integration in the real environment was designed and the sensor’s dataflow tests defined (WP5). Data exploitation (DMT and BIM) was started by collecting inputs from linked tasks (WP6). All these activities brought together the best conditions for the deployment of the SensMat platform in the case studies aiming to demonstrate added-value and impacts of the project (WP7).
In parallel, all members of the consortium participated actively to the Management tasks (WP1), and the Dissemination, Communication and Exploitation activities (WP8).
In period 2 (01/09/20 - 31/08/22) the consortium focused on Objectives 1 and 6 and maintained the efforts on Objectives 2, 3, 4. The efforts were made on:
• Further experimental validation of multi-scale and multi physical modelling with the aim to generate a parametrized model to be used in the DMT (WP3).
• Further development and integration of sensing technologies: (VOCs measurement, dust, corrosion, use of IR imaging, and vibration diagnosis) (WP4);
• Catching up on DMT optimization and validation; Grow the knowledge base on CH science; Increase training in PC (WP6);
• Deployment, demonstration of the sensing platforms in 10 end-user infrastructures (Small & Medium sized museums); collect end-users’ feedback (WP7).

The consortium members were still actively involved in the Management tasks (WP1), and the Dissemination, Communication and Exploitation of the results (WP8) which at the end of the project were identified as being: 15 Key Exploitable Results (KERs), of which:
• 12 KERs constituting the SensMat solution
• 3 KERs in the categories of Service/New knowledge/method.

Those results, as well as the project as a whole, were actively promoted in period 2 through
• Updates of the website and social media (LinkedIn)
• Attendance to national and international events
• Organization of events
• Participations to events organized by sister projects
• Production of communication materials (poster, general presentation, videos)
• Scientific and large public publications
SensMat contributed to the impacts listed in the call H2020-NMBP-ST-IND-2018-2020 in the following manner:
The SensMat Solution has a significant impact on practical aspects of PC through the identification, analysis and selection of the recommended approaches considering usage and with the aim to provide the best services.
The SensMat Solution is thus able to provide sensor data and usage data, which will enhance the Solution’s direct value (sensors, sensor-platforms, software and DMT) and the indirect value (services, guidelines, trainings).
S&M museums will be able to significantly reduce their costs thanks to the sensing platforms developed and attached to the SensMat Solution.
SensMat brings an increased citizens ‘awareness of PC tangible CH. Two sensing systems within the SensMat Solution contribute to this impact: Infrared (IR) sensor and Particle Matter (PM) sensing platform.
The monitoring of air pollution constituents such as PM is getting more popular and has a positive societal impact. This coincides with rising interest in issues such as indoor air quality monitoring, air pollution, and climate change. Although the concept of CH preservation through prevention is relatively new, it has a significant public acceptance because the preservation of historical artefacts is of great importance.
The public views monitoring systems as an added value and a sign that CH is being protected. As video surveillance is now a component of security, acceptance is good among the general public.
SensMat project’s demonstration activities took place among 10 Case Studies (CSs) in different regions of the EU. Those activities really helped i) mapping the sensitive artefacts to be protected in EU regions and ii) gaining a better knowledge of regional PC policy.
The SensMat Solution is likely to enhance habits concerning PCCH as a high-tech activity in a web 2.0 environment. In addition, the Solution makes it possible to produce information with high added value such as seasonal trends, and predictions on the degradation of objects. These features increase the social value of the conservation work by making the job more connected, data science-driven and attractive for new generations of curators.
The new multiscale models developed in SensMat can provide a thorough insight of deterioration phenomena, expand understanding of material deterioration, and suggest essential measures for prevention.
The attempt to preserve all environmental parameters can be customised to meet the actual requirements of sensitive artefacts when used in conjunction with the decision-making tool, the decision-monitoring tool, and the museums.