ArTeK – Satellite enabled Services for Preservation and Valorisation of Cultural Heritage project is a NAIS initiative in the frame of ARTES 20 IAP programme of the European Space Agency (ESA), supported by the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

Project’s activities started in November 2016 and will have a duration of 24 months.

ArTeK is intended as an advanced instrument, missing today, aimed at supporting institutions responsible for Cultural Heritage (CH) in terms of:

  • Safeguard, through a constant multi-modal site monitoring, for those sites that need special controls because threatened by environmental factors (both natural and anthropic);
  • Valorisation, through advanced fruition mechanisms;
  • Management, through site control mechanisms.

ArTeK is aimed at the development and demonstration of an innovative, effective and sustainable service to supply a complete and systematically updated view about the cultural assets condition and support their management/fruition.

ArTeK enabling technologies encompass:

  • Satellite Earth Observation (optical and SAR) used for (i) identification and evaluation of environmental risks that could have a potential negative impact over cultural assets, (ii) identification of changes, (iii) conditions evaluation, (iv) sites and artifacts mapping;
  • Satellite Telecommunication enabling data transmission from sensors network located inside remote sites to the ArTeK service centre;
  • Satellite Navigation, at the base of visitor’s flow monitoring inside the visited area. Moreover, precise positioning data, coming from ad-hoc or permanent GNSS networks, will be exploited for improving SAR data elaboration;
  • Airborne Remote Sensing from UAVs equipped with sensors selected on the base of mission specificities, used when requested by the situation (e.g. when spatial resolution offered by satellite sensors is not sufficient);
  • On site sensors located inside sites of interest used in case of identifications of criticalities that require a continuous monitoring (e.g. daily measurements) or to compensate the absence of spatial or aerial sensors.

ArTeK service portfolio is composed of the following services:

  • Safeguard Support Services – addressing all sites, exposed to environmental and anthropogenic risks:
    • identification, mapping and monitoring of threats and risks to cultural property;
    • support to decision makers for preventive conservation and planned maintenance.


  • On-site Monitoring Service – addressing sites that need a daily monitoring:
    • Local monitoring focused on buildings/complexes/areas;
    • Constant monitoring of data flux (several times per day);
    • Support in conservation actions planning for sites needing a special surveillance;
  • Site Management Support & Mobile Fruition Services – addressing sites visited by tourists for the:
    • support to the management of cultural tourism within the site (visitors flow management and behaviour analysis, geo-fencing, pre- and post-visit support (e.g. geo-ticketing)) and fruition on mobile devices.


Functions and data derived from these services will enable a set of advanced Fruition Services, addressing all sites under ArTeK safeguard service, thus enabling (and/or increasing) their valorization and, consequently, the number of visitors.

ArTeK will make available, to National Institutions, an initial version of “Cultural Heritage Situation Display” (CHSD), through which it will be possible to manage, share, represent and disseminate updated information on the condition of each site in terms of threats/risks assessment, prevention and restoration actions (implemented or planned)/valorisation measures etc.

The CHSD, by its interoperability with institutional databases like “Vincoli in Rete” system, managed by ISCR, will correlate CH data and information in the most appropriate and complete way, to manage the immense national cultural heritage and feed the operational process of ArTeK services.

ArTeK CHSD will identify:

  • Sites under environmental risk;
  • Specific risks;
  • Current situation (safeguard active, in situ remote data, preventive maintenance in progress etc.);
  • Near real time monitoring of sites;
  • Functionalities of Decision Support.

ArTeK innovation is glaring thanks to the multi-dimensional, hierarchical and holistic approach in the collection and analysis of data performed by its service centre. Here, data fusion of remotely acquired data (thanks to the joint use of (i) satellites dedicated to earth observation, (ii) airborne remote sensing data, (iii) on-site data…), properly combined with already existing Institutional and certified databases and site information, will be performed and results made available to end-users.

Pilot sites selected for the demonstration of ArTeK, each one with their specific critical situation, are:

  • Villa Adriana (UNESCO site since 1999) and the historic centre of Tivoli (Rome);
  • Civita di Bagnoregio (VT, Italy);
  • Matera (UNESCO site since 1993) (MT, Italy);
  • Baia (NA, Italy);
  • Gianola (LT, Italy).

ArTeK proposing team is composed of:

  • NAIS (Nextant Applications and Innovative Solutions) (Prime Contractor)
  • ISCR (Superior Institute for Conservation and Restoration)
  • ISPRA (Italian National Institute for the Environmental Protection and Research)
  • CNR-IMAA (National Council of Research – Institute of Methodologies and Environmental Analysis)
  • ENAV (Ente Nazionale per l’Assistenza al Volo)
  • ipTronix

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