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Summary of Proposal COA2590

TitleITACA (Innovation Technologies and Applications for Coastal Archaeological sites)
Investigator Pavone, Rosario - SME4SPACE VZW, N/A
Team Member
Mr. Spondylis, Elias - The Hellenic Institute of Marine Archaeology (I.EN.A.E.), Underwater Archaeological Research
Eng. Aragno, Cesare - KELL Srl, -
Eng. Di Iorio, Alessio - Alma Sistemi Sas di Di Iorio Alessio, -
Dr. Biliouris, Dimitrios - Planetek Hellas E.P.E, -
Mr. Boye Hansen, Lars - DHI GRAS A/S, -
Mr. Monteleone, Antonio - Nextant Applications & Innovative Solutions S.r.l., -
SummaryThe ITACA (Innovation Technologies and Applications for Coastal Archaeological sites) project is funded by European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (7FP) under grant agreement n. 606805. The project aims to prove a management system for underwater archaeological sites in coastal regions. The discovering and monitoring service uses innovative satellite remote sensing techniques combined with image processing algorithms. The project develops a set of applications integrated in a system that pursue the following objectives:
-Search and location of ancient ship wrecks;
-Monitoring of ship wrecks, ruins and historical artefacts that are now submerged;
-Integration of resulting search and monitoring data with onsite data into a management tool for underwater sites;
-Demonstration of the systemís suitability for a service.
High resolution Synthetic aperture radar (CosmoSkyMed,TerraSAR-X) and multispectral satellite data (WorldView) will be combined to derive the relative bathymetry of the bottom of the sea up to the depth of 70 meters. The resulting data fusion will be processed using shape detection algorithms specific for archaeological items.The availability of the above remote sensing data, combined with innovative processing techniques and optimized for archaeological site, enable the provision of a location and monitoring service for underwater archaeological sites in coastal zones.The new algorithms, the physical modelling and the computational capabilities will be integrated into the Web-GIS, together with data recorded from surface (2D and 3D modelling) and from underwater surveys. Additional specific archaeological layers will be included into the WebGIS to facilitate the object identification through shape detection techniques and mapping. The system will be verified and validated through an extensive on-ground (sea) campaign carried out with both cutting edge technologies (side-scan sonar, multi beam echo sounder) and traditional means (submarine exploration with professional scuba divers). In the project ITACA the processing chain for SAR consists in the use of the model of Alpers-Hennings, which relates the radar cross-modulation to the gradient of the surface current velocity, which is in turn proportional to the slope of the water depth divided by the square of the depth. This model is used in combination with the analysis of wave refraction, which reflects, in analogy with Snellís law for electromagnetic waves, the changes of bottom topography. The applicability of the described SAR-based methods is limited by a set of environmental conditions which have to be satisfied in order that the hydro-dynamical effects, necessary for the bathymetry estimate, can take place. The Alpers-Hennings has been applied successfully in the BAS (Bathymetric Assessment System) algorithm, with depth maps in very good agreement (around 10-20 cm of depth difference) with reference sounding maps; the algorithm has been applied on different input SAR data with various resolutions, and the same bathymetric accuracy respect to reference maps has been confirmed, so that the validity of the model, if applied with right sea and wind conditions, is satisfactorily showed. The test cases have been selected by the Regione Sicilia (Soprintendenza del Mare) and by the Hellenic Institute of Marine Archaeology (I.EN.A.E.). The two areas are: - Italy (Egadi Islands, Sicily) where a detailed field campaign will provide detailed 3-D maps and the validation campaign will target the user test case A.
- Greece (Metohi, Northen Greece). On the west coast of the South Pagasetikos Gulf archaeological surveys have brought to light: one immersed Middle Bronze Age settlement at Metohi, one Early Bronze Age settlement, the sunken part of which is mostly destroyed, a coastal farmhouse from the Hellenistic period partly submerged. At this stage of the project TerraSAR-X images are required only for the Metohi test case.

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