The newborn “Digital Technologies for Aerospace” sector at CRS4 Research Center in Sardinia – Italy integrates a deep know-how on digital technologies (from GIS to IoT, from Machine Learning to Cloud Computing) with aerospace technologies, applying them to different application domains, including archeology. The project here described focuses on defining a methodology that allows, through the pervasive use of remote sensing technologies, to assess in advance the need of excavation activities for a specific area.

In order to define the methodology, the researchers will have to deal with a large amount of data resulting from the application of different detection techniques (satellites, photogrammetry, georadar, LIDAR), extracting, analysing and comparing indexes and information.
Thanks to OCRE’s Earth Observation voucher for Planetek Rheticus Platform , the CRS4 researchers are able to overcome the need of managing high data volumes and having strong data processing capacities.

 

“We are interested in increasing the knowledge of the archaeological heritage and its historical reconstruction, providing a significant contribution to cost-effective monitoring and management policies for the conservation of cultural heritage.”
Carlino Casari, “Digital Technologies for Aerospace" Sector Head, CRS4 Research Center

Managing a large amount of complex data.

The researchers had to face several challenges: it was very complicated and not affordable for the project to manage the data processing of a large amount of satellite images of the identified Area of Interest, as well as the high data processing capacities needed; moreover, it was necessary to correlate this data and historycal analysis of ground movement affecting the area with information acquired from other tecniques (photogrammetry, LIDAR, and ground penetrating radar) to better interpret the condition of the archeological sites, supporting their efficient management; and finally, identifying archaeological sites at regional scale with other detection techniques would have been too expensive or impractical.

OCRE’s Planetek Earth Observation resources vouchers.

Thanks to OCRE’s Earth Observation voucher for Planetek Rheticus Platform, the CRS4 researchers will be able to relay on a cloud-based platform that provides geo-information services. It will be a unique and useful decision support system for prioritising areas of inspection, in search of potentially new archaeological sites supporting the implementation of risk-mitigation actions. The service platform will also provide actionable information through a user-friendly and intuitive space, as well as customer support and a dedicated technical service manager.

 

"Through this service and its geo-information platform our research project can make use of a supportive tool for environmental conditions assessment and archaeological prospection activities supporting management, monitoring and preservation of the ancient megalithic edifices.”
Roberto Demontis, “Digital Technologies for Aerospace" Sector, CRS4 Research Center

A research accelerator.

The availability of the voucher for Planetek's Rheticus platform allowed to add an important element to the work of research and development, simplyfing the complexity of data and their management thanks to applications and services that make these data more accessible. This kind of opportunity accelerates the path towards achieving results, rather than developing everything from scratch and internally. Moreover, purchasing commercial services is not so usual in the research context and instead it proved to be an opportunity to establish a stronger and direct contact with the market and with the solutions already available, allowing research to progress and to also establish collaborations and networks not only with partners from academia, but also from the industrial world.

 

"Our project significantly benefitted from the support received from the OCRE program and the opportunity to purchase Earth Observation services, greatly simplifying some steps of our work without having to deal with the bureaucracy related to the purchase.”
Carlino Casari, “Digital Technologies for Aerospace" Sector Head, CRS4 Research Center