A novel versatile hyperspectral camera for the study of cultural heritage objects: examples of applications at different spatial scales and in different spectral ranges

Neville Hogan Daniela Comelli Associate professor at Politecnico di Milano

Daniela Comelli

Politecnico di Milano


In the heritage science field, hyperspectral imaging has become a popular method for the non-invasive investigation, documentation and diagnostics of cultural heritage. The method is often applied to study polychrome surfaces of small or medium size objects in museum collections, while more recently it has also been effectively implemented in outdoor applications on large mural surfaces.

In the present talk, we discuss the applications of a novel hyperspectral camera based on a Fourier Transform spectrometer, the translating wedge-based identical pulse encoding system (TWINS). The developed hyperspectral camera is compact and robust and displays high-collection throughput, a broad spectral coverage, and a minimum spectral resolution, which can be flexibly adjusted for each measurement, of 3 THz (4 nm at 600 nm).

We highlight the high-versatility of this new set-up, showing how the camera can be easily adapted for both remote imaging of artistic surfaces and for microscopy measurements. Through illustrative examples, ranging from pigment mapping in paintings to the study of artistic glass windows, we show how it can be employed for diffuse reflectance measurements in different spectral regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, for the study of photoluminescent materials and for detecting the spatial distribution of Raman fingerprints.


Daniela Comelli is the head of the ArtIS (Imaging and Spectroscopy for Art) research group at the Physics Department of Politecnico di Milano. Therein, the research activity is focused on the development of laser-based spectroscopy techniques for the in-situ study of works of art and the non-invasive characterization of organic and inorganic compounds relevant in the field of Conservation Science, including time-resolved fluorescence imaging, hyperspectral imaging, remote Raman mapping and micro-Raman spectroscopy.
Her research activity is proved by the publication of more than 100 scientific papers in international ISI journals and international conference proceedings (h-index: 24).

Daniela Comelli (30 June 1974):
Degree in Electronic Engineer in 1999, PhD in Physics in 2002.
2004-2011: Permanent researcher at Politecnico di Milano.
2011-today: Associate professor at Politecnico di Milano.

With the Patronage of


Sponsored By

SRA Instruments
SCI - Divisione Chimica Analitica