The future of Pompeii is a 5G smart city

The future of Pompeii is a 5G smart city

From fiber backbones to optical wireless, from 5G antennas to new energy technologies, here's how the archaeological park changes its face with digital

Part of the Pompeii excavations (photo: Raquel Maria Carbonell Pagola / LightRocket via Getty Images) Thanks to the Smart @ Pompei project, the Archaeological Park of Pompeii is a candidate to become an international reference model both for its technological equipment and for the ongoing experiments. Alberto Bruni, an official of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, has been working on it since 2013 as the technological referent of the Campania park. Previously he coordinated the data processing center (Ced) of the dicastery.

“It all started with the collapse of the Domus dei Gladiatori in 2010. From there a large recovery project for Pompeii starts with a 105 million euro loan from European Commission ", Bruni explains to Wired:" Several intervention plans, with the largest of 80 million dedicated to assets. Overall, however, there is talk of safety, restoration, consolidation, recovery, a plan of use and also enhancement ".

It should be emphasized that the park has managed to open its doors recently and in safety also thanks to the adoption of the MyPompeii app and the Oracle Italia cloud platform. In fact, the application allows you to book visits and conduct them safely in compliance with national guidelines for social distancing.

Safety first

The concepts of safety and security concern the '' use of measures or equipment capable of increasing the safety of people and assets from every point of view - including defense against criminal or terrorist actions. Especially considering that it is an area of ​​over 400 thousand square meters.

"Thanks to the National Operational Safety Program (Pon) we intervened on the fence by implementing a LED lighting system and a video surveillance system, which replaced the previous obsolete", underlines the official: "Today we are talking about a complex information system with a solid data center, wifi coverage with over 100 access points and antennas, and above all a fiber and wireless network essential for every technological process ".

It should be remembered that on the site it is not possible freely dig. The interventions, as Bruni recalls, are complex and the only exception was that of marginally exploiting the footpath of the roads dedicated to the disabled. In that case, pipes and manholes were used. Today we are talking about over 3 kilometers of fiber cables that cross the park area.

Smart video surveillance

The renewed video surveillance of Smart & Pompei is based on a network of very high resolution IP cameras provided by Mobotix. “From a technological point of view we differentiate ourselves because we are born in the IP world with a different philosophy. On the one hand we could do without servers for video analysis, on the other hand our technology has allowed us to maintain coverage of the area while using 50% fewer cameras ", explains Alberto Vasta, Country Manager of Mobotix for Italy and Malta: “Thanks to the optics, our cameras do the work of two. They also consume very little (3 watts, ed) and can also be used to communicate as they integrate microphones and speakers ".

They also have thermographic technology, for measuring body temperature, and sensors for night vision. All combined with Milestone Systems' open software platform that acts as a collector for data collection and analysis. “We are one of the few vendors to adequately integrate the Mobotix protocol. In addition, an open platform like ours allows you to manage video, audio and data which in turn can interoperate for example for different types of video analysis ", adds Alberto Bruschi, South Eurooa manager of Milestone:" The project was implemented to allow new integrations , also from other vendors, or allows the entire project to be inserted into a larger one ".

Li-fi and photovoltaic roofs

Smart @ Pompei is almost a technological construction site in the sky open, with the prospect of being able to manage a huge flow of data from cameras, sensors for seismic monitoring, air quality and hydrogeological, Iot devices, drones. "This is probably the first archaeological area in the world that is based on the smart city paradigm, bringing into play Iot, artificial intelligence, big data, analytics, block chain and soon also 5G, since we are working to activate the first cells", Bruni points out.

This explains the reason for experimenting with li-fi technology, or optical wireless, and with invisible photovoltaic roofs. "I was looking for a solution to better illuminate a triclinium (the room where lunch was served, ed) of the domus dei Vettii", explained Bruni: "And so today we have LED lighting fixtures with specific chips capable of cutting the frequencies harmful to the paintings and sight. Furthermore, we transmit data via li-fi which is then processed by our app. And the most important detail is that the power is fed through very special photovoltaic tiles and roof tiles ". The reference is to the roofs of the Vicenza Dyaqua, which emulate the brick ones used by the Romans but hide small photovoltaic systems capable of generating 1.5 kilowatts.

In practice, the single body is apparently identical to the classic architectural elements, but in truth the surface part is made up of “a non-toxic and recyclable polymeric compound, which is specially processed to encourage the absorption of photons“, as the company explains. Inside, "normal monocrystalline silicon cells are incorporated". In short, the surface, opaque to the eye and transparent to sunlight, allows light to enter and feed the cells. “We are planning a 300 square meter roof in the Herculaneum archaeological park. We will produce energy, and as in Pompeii, we will store it in batteries to manage its use ", explains Bruni.

A model to export

The heart of the Smart & Pompei system is a platform that allows you to manage all current and future systems. Bruni mentions not only lighting and video surveillance but also checkpoints at robotic entrances, turnstiles, temperature controls, metal detectors, the information system, training, ticketing and even baggage control.

Even the simple MyPompeii app is able to warn of possible crowds along the route and suggest alternatives thanks to the data flow. In practice, the Park authorities analyze in real time and in a completely anonymous way "information both on the movement of people and through the feedback provided by the app, reducing high-risk situations as much as possible".

"Pompeii is a laboratory where we experiment with the most innovative technologies. Just think of the ground sensors that monitor the structures. But also mini-drones that could replace night patrols in the future. Right now we are testing them for their ability to shoot and automatic movement according to specific coordinates ", concludes Bruni:" In short, Smart & Pompeii is a pilot project for other areas such as the Royal Palace of Caserta, the archaeological park of Herculaneum and that of Sibari . The advantage is the optimization of resources and the reuse of what has already been done ".

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5G archeology Architecture Internet Security Smart city globalData.fldTopic = "5G, archeology, Architecture, Internet, Security, Smart city"

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