UAS for Protecting the Historical Built Environment: Monitoring, Damage Detection, and Diagnostics of Heritage Infrastructure Supported by Aerial Systems
The preservation of cultural heritage, and particularly the application of intervening actions aimed at the conservation and maintenance of the historical built environment, poses multifarious challenges. Effectively implementing such interventions requires thorough documentation and extensive knowledge of the altering factors that put cultural heritage at risk. Therefore, unmanned aerial systems (UASs) have an important role to play, as they can support the comprehensive recording of these factors, facilitating the nondestructive diagnostic process that precedes any protecting intervention, that would otherwise be difficult to implement only via a terrestrial point of view. In other words, UASs offer a new perspective for heritage protection via supporting large-scale mapping, close-range digitization, and, ultimately, inspection and monitoring.
The recent progress of unmanned platform manufacturing, the increasing miniaturization of sensing payloads, and the decreasing cost of integrated microelectronics have gradually allowed the implementation of UAS for aerial and aerial-supported integrated surveys for cultural heritage structures. A variety of on-platform sensors can provide rich data through multi-sensor recording and pre-/post-data processing (e.g., computer vision or image processing techniques). The produced data can be integrated with terrestrial acquisition technologies and visualization and information modeling techniques.
In this context, this Special Issue invites research papers demonstrating innovative developments in applying UASs to survey, digitize, study, and monitor the historical built environment, including recent research, reviews, short and technical notes, and/or significant case studies related to drone inspection in cultural heritage. Contributions may cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- 3D documentation of historical building, building complexes, infrastructure, and urban centers using or supported by UASs devices for data collection;
- Inspection, multitemporal monitoring, and damage detection of critical heritage infrastructures using UASs;
- Multi-sensor and multiplatform recording and data integration using or supported by UASs;
- Color cameras, thermographic cameras, multispectral cameras, hyperspectral cameras, LiDAR, SLAM-enabling mobile scanners for condition assessment in cultural heritage by means of UASs;
- UAS flight planning and control for built heritage mapping;
- Intelligent UAS-based solution for built heritage surveys.
Special Issue Editors:
- Professor Fulvio Rinaudo;
- Doctor Giulia Sammartano;
- Doctor Efstathios Adamopoulos.