Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration
»ArtGuardian« – High tech protection for works of art
Berlin, Mar 19, 2012
Travelling in an unfamiliar climate can be a strain, not only on human being, but also or even more so on valuable works of art. And while humans usually recover quite quickly, cold and humidity leave lasting traces on canvas: Colors fade or disintegrate, the paper corrugates. From now on, art lovers can relax: in the project ArtGuardian a new system to monitor the microclimatic conditions for artwork. ArtGuardian combines cutting-edge technologies in microelectronics, building physics and information technology to meet those requirements and to provide best conditions. The sensor-based information platform was developed by four Fraunhofer Institutes ISST, IZM, IAP and IBP, each contributing specific expertise.
The system comprises three essential components: a set of preventive conservation protocols, an autarkic sensor system and an IT platform.
The first component is an integrated set of preventive conservation protocols to assess the individual object’s possible risks and the required conservation measures (preventive conservation). For each different kind of canvas the acceptable temperature and humidity range is established.
The second component is a range of autarkic sensors developed at Fraunhofer IZM that measure the microclimatic conditions the artwork is exposed to, i.e. the humidity (invisible sensors). The sensors are fixed to the frame of the artwork; they measure the microclimate, i.e. temperature and humidity, as well as the light and any vibration.
The information thus gained is sent to the third system component - an IT platform with which the owner and other authorized persons can stay apprised of the artwork’s location, condition and the stresses it encounters (Art Guardian Cloud). If the established temperature and humidity range is exceeded, the system raises an alarm.
In this way ArtGuardian does not only provide optimal protection, but also serves as a central information and communication platform. ArtGuardian is now in the pilot phase. At different locations, such as Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin scientists have installed sensor systems for test purposes. The feedback from these tests will be incorporated into the system and by the end of 2012 ArtGuardian is expected to go into serial production.
- Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM
- Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST
- Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP
- Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP
- Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research WKI
- Rathgen Forschungslabor