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Artwork & Archaeology

MUSES9 Spectral cameras
Revealing the past with the technology of the future

Art historians, museum curators, authenticators, and restorers are very much interested about the identification of pigments, binders, varnishes and underdrawings. The assessment the structural/compositional characteristics of the artwork, supports critical decisions about dating, provenance, authentication and conservation actions. The uncovering of the rich artistic, cultural, and historical information, often contained in works of art, requires a variety of imaging, spectroscopic, microscopic, and destructive chemical analytical  techniques. However, all these instruments/techniques are not widely available and cannot be transferred to the field to minimize the need for destructive analyses and the high labor/costs involved.  

The MUSES9 Cameras systems integrate and overall advance a long list of imaging and spectroscopic instruments and techniques in a single, field deployable spectral camera system.
Artwork & Archaeology

Discover what MUSES9 cameras can do for you!

1. Imaging spectrometer for:
    • two dimensional spectroscopy
    • spectroscopy-based authentication
    • reading of erased or overwritten manuscripts
2. Infrared camera for:
    • imaging of underdrawings, cracks, pentimenti etc.
    • material identification
3. Infrared camera extended to 1700nm for:
    • imaging of deeper underdrawings
    • analysis of frescos
4. False Color Infrared Camera for:
    • fused visible-infrared imaging
    • discriminating pigments having similar color but different composition
5. Imaging colorimetry for:
    • ensuring color matching between original and restored pigment
    • calibrated color photography for accurate documentation
6. Ultraviolet Reflectance Camera for:
    • visualizing surface features, roughness, brush strokes etc.
    • identifying varnishes and other coatings
    • the on-line control of coating removal
7. Ultraviolet Fluorescence Camera for:
    • imaging of binding media, coatings etc.
    • detecting retouching, conservation interventions
    • assessing the natural condition of the artwork
8. Machine learning-powered spectral imaging: the λambda3+ machine learning/AI-based software platform
    • transforms hyperspectral data to compositional maps
    • trainable to detect/identify structural features
    • image analysis tools
Spectral analysis and composition mapping
on an El Greco painting with MUSES9-HS
Infrared image (right) of an almost destroyed byzantine icon (left) revealing the original theme with great detail
MUSES9-HS revealed the invisible older (bottom horizontal) script:
“Porphyrogennetus” 10th AD, in the 72 verso palimpsest, Mt Athos
MUSES9-MS Fluorescence Imaging
Fluorescence imaging combining spectral images of El Greco’s St Francis of Assisi reveals invisible conservation interventions.
Artwork & Archaeology

MUSES9 camera selection guide

MUSES9-HS  is a full frame, tunable filter-based hyperspectral imager, acquiring 140 (extendable to 300), 6 megapixel spectral images, in the range 370-1000nm
Competitive Advantages
    • Mechanical scanning stages (common in push broom systems) are no longer required, ensuring portability for field deployment
    • Ultrahigh spatial resolution: 6 million spectra per image frame 
    • Real-time spectral image inspection at any selected spectral band
    • C-mount thread, adapts directly to all kinds of lenses, microscopes and telescopes
supports imaging modes 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  
MUSES9-MS1700 is dual sensor camera, operating in the ultra broad spectral range 365-1700nm
Competitive Advantages
    • Ultrabroad spectral range, ultra broad range of applications
    • Configurable spectral bands, such as the ones commonly used in satellite cameras
    • Real-time, full frame spectral image inspection at any selected band
    • Enhanced sensor sensitivity for  low light applications
supports imaging modes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 
MUSES9-SnS is a 6 megapixel, snapshot, hand held, tablet PC operable, spectral imager, in the range 400-1000nm
Competitive Advantages
    • Ultra high spatial resolution: 3072 horizontal X2048 vertical pixels for all supported spectral bands
    • Displays simultaneously and side-by-side up to 24 spectral images, spectral classification and vegetation index maps, all at video refresh rates
    • Integrates ring light LED illumination with cross polarization optics to eliminate glare in macro imaging
    • Supports both diffuse reflectance and fluorescence imaging, even in outdoor  operation settings
supports imaging modes 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
The λambda3+ software suite

is a machine learning platform utilizing the multi-/hyper- spectral data generated from all MUSES9 product variants. The platform supports spectral labeling through customizable training samples, to produce spectral and material identification maps in target objects

Artwork & Archaeology


integrate several imaging and analytical technologies in one portable and affordable camera with greatly improved diagnostic and documentation capabilities
enable the real time visualization of invisible features through spectral imaging in an ultrawide spectral range, from UV to IR
provide accurate documentation with the aid of a built-in calibration method
facilitate material identification and visualization of spectral/compositional features with the aid of embedded machine learning algorithms
comprise a valuable tool for the on-line control of conservation/restoration tasks
contribute to the protection of our cultural heritage through the early detection of invisible deteriorations and though the reduction of the invasive diagnostic interventions
reduce the costs and the labor involved
allow operation by users with no technical background
The MUSE9-SnS with an integrated lighting system, interfaced with a tablet PC.
The tablet PC is mounted on a wearable mount and the camera is powered
by the PCs battery, supporting 4h autonomous operation
Emblematic projects conducted with MUSES9 spectral camera installations
    • Spectral Imaging study of the “Codex Sinaiticus”, the oldest Bible  (British Library and international partners)

    • Rinascimento Virtuale project for the Spectral Imaging study of palimpsests (consortium of leading EU Universities)

    • Spectral Imaging Analysis of Throne Room Fresco at Knossos University of Pennsylvania USA

    • Revealing invisible inscriptions in Fayum mummy Herakleides with spectral imaging (Getty institute, Los Angeles, USA)

    • Spectral Imaging analysis of wall painting in Pompei (Turin University)

    • Pigment material identification in paintings by El Greco and his workshop with hyperspectral imaging (University of Crete, Greece)


  1. Costas Balas: Stripping paintings of their secrets with hyperspectral imaging in research outreach, physical sciences 2019
  2. Costas Balas et al “Hyperspectral Imaging and Spectral Classification for Pigment Identification and Mapping in Paintings by El Greco and his Workshop” Journal of Multimedia Tools and Applications to appear 2018
  3. G. Chiari: saving art in situ, NATURE Vol 453|8 May 2008
  4. Costas Balas et al “A Novel Hyper-Spectral Imaging Apparatus for the Non-Destructive Analysis of Objects of Artistic and Historic Value” Journal of Cultural Heritage 4 (2003) 330s-337s.
  5. C. Balas, G. Epitropou, C. Pappas: “Multi/Hyper-Spectral Imaging” in Handbook of Biomedical Optics, Taylor&Francis Books, Inc, USA, 2011
  6. E. Shank and C. Balas “The MuSIS 2007 and its Applications to the Throne Room Fresco at Knossos” in METRON-Measuring the Aegean Bronze AGE Eds Foster and Laffineur, Yale, USA, 2003