UC project wins European competition dedicated to Natural and Cultural Heritage

A solution for monitoring events that may put heritage at risk based on free satellite data, developed by a team of researchers from the Center for the Study of Archeology, Arts and Heritage Sciences (CEAACP) of the University of Coimbra (UC), in partnership with Startup Theia, a technology incubated at the Pedro Nunes Institute (IPN), was the winning project of the first international competition “Copernicus Hackathon Cork” dedicated to Natural and Cultural Heritage.

The event, organized in Cork (Ireland), took place online, between 9 and 13 June, and the challenge launched to the participants, who had to present themselves in teams of up to four people, was to develop solutions to help manage, safeguard and to monitor the natural and cultural heritage using satellite data from the “Copernicus” and “Galileo” programs.

The Coimbra team, consisting of Ricardo Cabral, Martino Correia, Steffan Davies and Tiago Cordeiro, presented “ARCHER – Heritage Surveillance and Monitoring”, a multiple risk monitoring solutions that use «satellite data, updated weekly, to detect the action of events that may put the heritage at risk, such as land depletion, landslides, wind and water erosion, coastal and river floods, as well as activities of an anthropic nature. Taking into account the current predictions of the evolution of climate change, we believe that the tools of the ARCHER platform will be indispensable to monitor and protect the heritage as efficiently as possible ».

At the moment, «the ARCHER platform is completing the cycle of demonstration tests, with pilot projects having already been developed with the Regional Directorates of Culture of Alentejo and Algarve», say the mentors of the project.

The victory achieved in this competition is of great importance. «It is the international recognition of the effort invested by the team in an innovative technology that aims to contribute to the protection of heritage. The development of projects in this technological area by a research unit in Humanities is truly extraordinary at the University of Coimbra », declare the researchers.

The prize includes 12 months of incubation in the “Copernicus Accelerator” program and a subscription voucher worth 1200 euros for access to the Airbus “OneAtlas” repository.

Copernicus is the European Earth Observation Program, coordinated and managed by the European Commission and the European Space Agency.

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