Cultural heritage imaging is becoming more common with the increased availability of more complex imaging systems, including multi- and hyperspectral imaging (MSI and HSI) systems. A particular concern with HSI systems is the broadband source required, regularly including infrared and ultraviolet spectra, which may cause fading or damage to a target. Guidelines for illumination of such objects, even while on display at a museum, vary widely from one another. Standards must be followed to assure the curator to allow imaging and ensure protection of the document. Building trust in the cultural heritage community is key to gaining access to objects of significant import, thus allowing scientists, historians, and the public to view digitally preserved representations of the object, and to allow further discovery of the object through spectral processing and analysis.
Imaging was conducted with a light level of 270 lux at variable ground sample distances (GSD’s). The light level was chosen to maintain a total dose similar to an hour’s display time at a museum, based on the United Kingdom standard for cultural heritage display, PAS 198:2012. The varying GSD was used as a variable to increase signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) or decrease total illumination time on a target. This adjustment was performed both digitally and physically, and typically results in a decrease in image quality, as the spatial resolution of the image decreases.
However, a technique called “panchromatic sharpening” was used to recover some of the spatial resolution. This method fuses a panchromatic image with good spatial resolution with a spectral image (either MSI or HSI) with poorer spatial resolution to construct a derivative spectral image with improved spatial resolution. Detector systems and additional methods of data capture to assist in processing of cultural heritage documents are investigated, with specific focus on preserving the physical condition of the potentially sensitive documents.
Imaging Science (Ph.D.)
Department, Program, or Center
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)
Peery, Tyler R., "System Design Considerations for a Low-Intensity Hyperspectral Imager of Sensitive Cultural Heritage Manuscripts" (2019). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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