UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


Accessible Heritage

This interdisciplinary project was created to develop and deploy wireless networks of long-life remote environmental monitoring devices on a number of international heritage sites, and to develop an associated policy framework promoting local data ownership.

From the technical point of view, the project aims to ensure the durability of sensor arrays and their sensitivity to principal ambient pollutants, temperature and relative humidity, which has not been achieved before in heritage monitoring. From the point of view of heritage management, one of the principal innovations of the project is the way how data are owned, accessed and fed into heritage site management plans.

The project was split into the following tasks:

Literature review: A review of publications related to sensor technology, wireless sensor network deployments and policy standards and enforcement guidelines in heritage management.

Data curation: In close collaboration with English Heritage's World Heritage and International Policy Office, a review of international policies regulating access to data at the level of national world heritage sites. This includes research into how the environmental data will support the conservation plans of world heritage sites.

Prototype monitoring platform: Integration into a single platform of the diverse commercially available hardware components which are necessary to the functioning of the monitoring device.

Sensor array: Integration of sensors to enable sensing of pollutants and environmental parameters. Calibration of the array will involve subjecting the sensor array to a number of combinations of pollutants.

Project website: This is a platform for communication and exchange of information, but also a platform for data visualisation and analysis. Visit the Accessible Heritage website.

Case studies: The developed monitoring tool will be deployed on participating case study heritage sites in UK and abroad. This task also includes pilot training of local heritage managers. An example of case study site is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Royal Palaces of Abomey.

Project partners

The research is led by UCL ISH with English Heritage as a project partner, and ran from June 2010 to May 2013. The project had an Advisory Board with representatives from UCL ISH, English HeritageUCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and The London Centre for Nanotechnology

The Postdoc grant is funded by the UK AHRC/EPSRC Science & Heritage Programme


Henoc Agbota
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