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Proceedings Paper

Terahertz pulse imaging of stratified architectural materials for cultural heritage studies
Author(s): J. Bianca Jackson; Julien Labaune; Gérard Mourou; Irl N. Duling; Gillian Walker; John Bowen; Michel Menu
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Paper Abstract

Terahertz pulse imaging (TPI) is a novel noncontact, nondestructive technique for the examination of cultural heritage artifacts. It has the advantage of broadband spectral range, time-of-flight depth resolution, and penetration through optically opaque materials. Fiber-coupled, portable, time-domain terahertz systems have enabled this technique to move out of the laboratory and into the field. Much like the rings of a tree, stratified architectural materials give the chronology of their environmental and aesthetic history. This work concentrates on laboratory models of stratified mosaics and fresco paintings, specimens extracted from a neolithic excavation site in Catalhoyuk, Turkey, and specimens measured at the medieval Eglise de Saint Jean-Baptiste in Vif, France. Preparatory spectroscopic studies of various composite materials, including lime, gypsum and clay plasters are presented to enhance the interpretation of results and with the intent to aid future computer simulations of the TPI of stratified architectural material. The breadth of the sample range is a demonstration of the cultural demand and public interest in the life history of buildings. The results are an illustration of the potential role of TPI in providing both a chronological history of buildings and in the visualization of obscured wall paintings and mosaics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8084, O3A: Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology III, 808409 (6 June 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.888730
Show Author Affiliations
J. Bianca Jackson, Ecole Polytechnique-ParisTech (France)
Lab. du Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France, CNRS, Palais du Louvre (France)
Julien Labaune, Ecole Polytechnique-ParisTech (France)
Gérard Mourou, Ecole Polytechnique-ParisTech (France)
Irl N. Duling, Picometrix-API, Inc. (United States)
Gillian Walker, The Univ. of Reading (United Kingdom)
John Bowen, The Univ. of Reading (United Kingdom)
Michel Menu, Lab. du Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France, CNRS, Palais du Louvre (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8084:
O3A: Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology III
Luca Pezzati; Renzo Salimbeni, Editor(s)

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