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High-definition optical coherence tomography imaging for noninvasive examination of heritage works

Abstract

Cultural heritage works, such as ancient murals and historical paintings, are examined routinely for the purpose of conservation. Previous works have applied optical coherence tomography (OCT), which is a three-dimensional (3D) microscopic imaging modality in the field of heritage works conservation. The data acquired by OCT provides both 3D surface information of the object and structure information underneath the surface. Therefore, cross-sectional information on the object can be utilized to study layer structure of the painting and brush stroke techniques used by the artist. However, as demonstrated in previous studies, OCT has limited capability in high-definition (HD) examination of paintings or murals that are in macroscopic scale. HD examination of heritage works needs to scan large areas and process huge amounts of data, while OCT imaging has a limited field of view and processing power. To further advance the application of OCT in the conservation of heritage works, we demonstrate what we believe is a novel high-speed, large field-of-view (FOV) OCT imaging platform. Our results suggest that this OCT platform has the potential to become a nondestructive alternative for the analysis and conservation of paintings and murals.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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