Modern imaging techniques in the conservation of historical monuments

The rapidly advancing development of digital sensors is opening up new paths in the imaging and representation of monuments and museum objects for research, documentation, monitoring and controlling. However, despite the many examples of the use of such digital sensors in the conservation of historical monuments, manufacturers of hardware and software have not regarded this field and its problems as a worthwhile area of endeavour.

There is, therefore, an urgent need to adapt and optimize modern methods and techniques which are operational in other technical sectors and areas of scholarship to the needs of heritage conservation practice.
This project, initially conceived as an “in-house” undertaking, has the following objectives: description, development (if appropriate) of standardized recording and evaluation techniques to manage mass tasks (digitization of documents (“flatware”), 2D and 3D imaging of museum objects (surface attributes)).
Development and pilot implementation of autonomous and automated tools for the imaging of objects, especially of artefacts from industrial development, including the exploration and imaging of underground cavities.
Reconstruction and animation of production processes, including interactive Internet and exhibition presentation of these processes for the dissemination of knowledge. This project is to be carried out through a combination of individual measures. Current activities within the project are:

  • testing of the use of sensors for the exploration of underground cavities, including their transport by remote-controlled vehicles.
  • reconstruction and animation of an ironworks (16th century) near Aulus-les-Bains.
  • development of a ground-based dynamic camera platform.
  • identification, tests and calibration of sensor systems of aerial robots.
  • information systems for image-based damage mapping on architectural surfaces.
  • construction of three-dimensional demonstrator models.
  • image sensors with expanded imaging areas.


Jürgen Heckes

Project manager DBM

Jürgen Heckes

Responsible body

Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum



Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum


RWTH Aachen

Institut für Flugdynamik



Dr. Krekeler Architekten


Raytrix PhaseOne


since 2010