Innovation Acceptance Unit

Publication on Fraunhofer technologies for cultural heritage protection

News | Leipzig /

As a leading institution for applied research in Germany and Europe, Fraunhofer contributes to the protection of cultural heritage with its innovative research. Fraunhofer institutes have also been active in European and international projects in this field since as early as 1986. With the founding of the Research Alliance for Cultural Heritage (FALKE) in 2008, Fraunhofer not only joined forces with strong partners such as the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft, Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, the Dresden State Art Collections and the Central Library - SLUB Dresden and University Library, but also strengthened cooperation among more than 22 Fraunhofer institutes.

© Fraunhofer ISC
War damaged handwriting, Böhmes Codex Oppollensis (dated 1405)
© Peter Weber, Fraunhofer IBMT
Ultrasound tomograms of different cross-sections of the "Dresdner Knaben"

© Peter Weber, Fraunhofer IBMT
The publication presents a summary of central research results of the research alliance.

With this publication, the collaborating Fraunhofer research teams, coordinated by the Innovation Acceptance Unit of the Fraunhofer IMW, present their research results and competencies from the projects of the Research Alliance:

Focus topics of Fraunhofer research in the cultural heritage sector:

1. Digital Twins and Urban Space

Further development of non-destructive digital measurement methods for use indoors and outdoors to create digital twins, for damage detection and analysis, and for the visualization of cultural assets:

  • 3D mapping through photogrammetry and LiDAR
  • 3D digitization of translucent and highly reflective objects through photogrammetry
  • X-ray investigation of artefacts
  • volumetric investigation of highly sensitive materials through terahertz
  • surface investigations through microscopy
  • damage analysis through ultrasound
  • visualization of cultural assets through AR, VR, and XR

2. Preservation of historical materials under the influence of climate change

Determination of a measurement strategy for outgassing and degradation phenomena and development of suitable sorption materials for plastics in museums:

  • use of absorbents
  • parylene coatings for film material
  • ORMOCER® coatings
  • analysis of dust and particles
  • thermal analytics
  • investigation of objects in emissions chambers

Historical paper documents:

  • restoration of strongly blocked, historically valuable documents
  • hyperspectral imaging to visualize water marks
  • high-resolution computed tomography for damage assessment
  • virtual reconstruction of damaged documents

Development and testing of cleaning procedures for fire-damaged enamel surfaces

Investigation of the effects of climate change on building physics

3. Tools for crisis prevention

Development of a modular web-based platform toolbox for the rapid realization of projects in heritage protection:

  • acquisition, management and evaluation of sensor data
  • support for the selection of preventive measures and in evacuation planning

4. Cultural heritage in the digital age (Fraunhofer IMW, Innovation Acceptance Unit)

Value and valuation of cultural heritage and preferences of potential museum visitors:

  • value of original heritage assets in the digital age
  • capturing the appreciation of cultural heritage through willingness to pay
  • benefits of digitization in the cultural heritage sector
  • valuation of (digital) exhibition components through Conjoint Analysis designs considering visitor profiles