High-Resolution Ultrasonic Imaging of Artworks with Seismic Interferometry for Their Conservation and Restoration

Deyan Draganov, Jürg Hunziker, Karel Heller, Karin Gutkowski, Fernando Marte

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Abstract

Artworks are an inseparable part of the cultural heritage of societies and provide us with a unique look at cultural developments through time and space. For the best possible conservation, it is paramount to know the constituent materials, condition, and construction techniques of the objects (e.g. painting on wood, fresco, sculpture). Such information is required not only for the surfaces of the objects, but also for the interiors; in the imaging discipline, this is known as depth imaging. Here, we introduce a new method for non-invasive depth imaging as an alternative to traditional non-invasive methods when the latter cannot be used to obtain the required information. We use ultrasonic transverse-wave transmission measurements and turn them into virtual reflection measurements. We achieve this by applying seismic interferometry with active sources. Obtaining reflection measurements by seismic interferometry allows us to apply an advanced imaging technique – prestack depth migration, as used in seismic exploration – to produce a high-resolution depth image of an object. We apply our method to ultrasonic data recorded on a mockup of a painting on a wooden support. We validate our method by comparing our results with an image from X-ray computed tomography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalStudies in Conservation
Volume63
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • artefacts
  • artworks
  • conservation
  • imaging
  • restoration
  • Seismic interferometry
  • transverse waves
  • ultrasonic

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