New system to monitor historical monuments by remote control to detect damage

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Washington, March 6 (ANI): A team of engineers from the University of Seville in the US has created a system for monitoring historical monuments by remote control and detecting possible damage.

Five years ago, the researchers placed various sensors on the Giraldillo, the sculpture that crowns the Giralda, and are now publishing the results in the journal Structural Health Monitoring.

The Giraldillo, a Renaissance sculpture that acts as a weather vane on the top of the Giralda, was taken down and restored between 1999 and 2005, at which point the researchers took the opportunity to put on sensors which have allowed them to monitor it up until now.

"The system has been connected to the Giraldillo to register different variables associated to the mechanical response of this sculpture, such as meteorological actions or conditions that it is subjected to, but it could be used to monitor other historical monuments," said Mario Solis, main author of the study and professor at the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieros (Advanced Technical College for Engineers) of the US.

To determine the environmental conditions surrounding the statue, the scientists installed two temperature and humidity probes (one external and another on the inside of the ball on which it stands), and a third to calculate the corrosion of the bronze pieces that it is composed of.

The results of the study indicate that the weather vane sculpture requires a wind speed of 10 m/s to move and positions itself according to this meteor 40 percent of the time, the temperature fluctuates from 0 degree Celsius registered on the exterior to 48 degree C measured by an internal probe, and no abnormal values are recorded in the vibration frequencies and the mechanical response.

"The system provides information of great interest for studying the behaviour and state of preservation of the Giraldillo," said Solis.

This confirms that this technique "could not only be applied to detect structural damage in other monuments of historical heritage, but also in machinery and aero spatial components," he added. (ANI)

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