Museums are the epitome of history and culture, where we can feel the historical and cultural changes of a country and a city. The concept of preventive protection of cultural relics has become the consensus of international cultural heritage protection. In the aspect of museum cultural relics protection, it is very important to leverage the Internet of Things technology to implement effective monitoring and management of their preservation environment, which can prevent or reduce the damage of environmental factors to cultural relics to the greatest extent. Here, we will discuss the LoRa implementations in museum environmental monitoring.
Why use LoRa technology for museum environmental monitoring
Museums are often large and complex historic buildings where rearranging networks and circuit is rather difficult. Even if it is possible, the reconstruction task is costly and the sensing devices usually need to be fixed in a certain position. Wireless sensors seem to be great option, but due to the heavy use of concrete and steel, these historic buildings provide a difficult environment for wireless technologies. WiFi-based solutions are not easy to install, expensive, and limited in covering large areas and maintaining consistent connectivity.
In comparison, LoRa has the advantages of long distance, low cost, low power consumption and wide coverage. LoRa connection requires no extensive cabling or additional infrastructures, allowing flexibility and simplicity in deploying IoT solutions into existing infrastructure. It can better combine network coverage with sensor sensitivity to provide real-time monitoring of the art exhibition environment for museums or galleries, as well as complex structures located outdoors. Therefore, LoRa devices help preserve cultural and historical treasures, enabling future generations to enjoy and learn from centuries of art collections.
How LoRaWAN works in museum environmental monitoring
LoRa-based smart art conservation solution consists of LoRa-based sensors, LoRa-enabled gateways, and a cloud-based monitoring system. Sensor nodes deployed throughout the museum collect environmental information such as temperature, and humidity in real-time, and transmit the data to the gateway, which will then send the data to the cloud where it will be processed and analyzed. Then, the end client can monitor and process the environmental data of each collection on their terminal device such as computers and smartphones.
Implementations of LoRa technology in museum conservation
The preservation quality and longevity of cultural relics mainly depend on the preservation environment in which they are located. Therefore, the key to alleviate the damage of cultural relics caused by environmental factors lies in controlling various factors of the collection environment, such as temperature, humidity, light, air pollutants, etc. so that cultural relics can be kept in a stable and clean environment as much as possible. Below will show some LoRa implementations in museum environmental monitoring solutions.
Temperature and humidity monitoring
As the main environmental factor affecting the long-term preservation of cultural relics, the change of temperature and humidity not only brings about the weakening of the physical strength of cultural relics and the deformation that cannot be restored, but also plays a direct or indirect synergistic role in the process of cultural relics being damaged such as corrosion and mildew. Therefore, the museum has always regarded the control of temperature and humidity as the primary condition of cultural relics environmental control.
MOKOLoRa LW002-TH sensor is an advanced temperature and humidity sensor that can be leveraged to monitor the temperature and humidity of the museum environment. Once the data exceeds the threshold, an alert will be sent to the museum administrator in a timely manner.
Air quality monitoring
In order to reduce the unfavorable factors affecting the protection of art collections and cultural relics and create an ideal exhibition environment for the visitors, there are certain standards of air quality for the exhibition hall environment. Indoor air monitoring relies mainly on LoRa air quality sensors, which are scattered all over the museum and can detect the concentration of some polluting gases in the air.
Light & UV monitoring
Exposure to light can cause photochemical reactions in cultural relics materials, accelerating the aging or discoloration of these materials, especially organic cultural relics such as textiles, paper, and wood, as well as light-sensitive artifacts like painting works. Museum lighting monitoring sensors can help administrators measure light and ultraviolet light levels to keep artifacts in the right lighting conditions.
Water leakage monitoring
Water leakage from windows or air conditioners will definitely have an impact on the museum’s environment. Therefore, it is necessary to install water leakage sensors at the appropriate locations in the museum to monitor where there is a water leakage. In case of water leakage, an alarm shall be given immediately and relevant personnel shall be notified to take measures.
Burglar alarm system
At the entrance and exit of the museum such as doors, windows, corridors, etc., LoRaWAN PIR sensors are adopted to monitor and secure the museum. When the thief approaches, the infrared rays generated by himself radiate to the sensor, which will cause the temperature of the sensor to change, and the sensor will issue an alarm to the system. The sensors will not affect each other, and the installation is very convenient.
Automatic fire alarm system
The intelligent fire alarm system based on LoRa, combined with smart devices such as smoke detectors, temperature and humidity sensors and wireless gateways, has built a strong fire protection system for the museum. when an alarm situation occurs, the smoke alarm can be triggered to give out sound and light alarms, and the alarm type will be transmitted to the administrator instantly, which greatly improves the timeliness and accuracy of fire detection.
Benefits of LoRa integration in museum and art collections
The benefits of a LoRa-based museum environmental monitoring solution are numerous, from real-time monitoring of each collection to creating a better exhibition environment. LoRa-based IoT solution caters to the needs of museums and saves thousands of dollars for them.
Remote monitoring and real-time alerts
The museum environmental monitoring system can remotely monitor and manage all the environmental monitoring equipment, and view the monitoring data anytime and anywhere. These data are presented in various forms, and historical data can be viewed, downloaded and printed. Moreover, you can set a certain threshold in the cloud platform. Once the monitored real-time data exceeds the upper or lower limit, the platform will send alarm information to the staff by phone or email in time.
Efficient art health monitoring
LoRa-enabled sensors take advantage of low-power consumption to provide accurate, efficient, and simple art health metrics for conservators in real-time. These metrics help to improve the preservation environment of collections, thus reducing the risk of corrosion and extending the life of cultural collections.
Easy installation and maintenance
For museums, the installation of large-scale equipment will have an influence on the storage of cultural relics. A large number of collections need to be removed and stored in a proper temporary environment, or they will most likely to be damaged. LoRa-based museum environmental monitoring solution has little impact on the exhibition environment, and the deployment of sensors and networks will not affect cultural relics.
Cost reduction is one of the primary benefits of leveraging smart art conservation solution. LoRa solutions are cost-effective and do not require the deployment of additional infrastructure. The lora-based network is much cheaper to implement and maintain than the network based on other protocols, and the low network hardware requirements and low power consumption in the LoRa environment make it a very cost-effective IoT infrastructure.
Better exhibition environment
By collecting data about the exhibition environment such as temperature, humidity, and air quality, visitors are enabled to enjoy a better museum environment. The number of visitors opening to each exhibition hall can be effectively controlled, that is, if the data exceeds a certain value, visitors who are about to enter the museum will be warned that they should not visit.
Museums using LoRa-based smart art conservation solution
Pretty much of the museums and art collections are housed in historic buildings, where the environmental monitoring of museums basically depends on traditional methods. The advent of LoRa wireless communication technology has opened up new opportunities for these museums.
Shelburne Museum – located in Shelburne, Vermont, United States
As the largest art and history museum in northern New England, the Shelburne Museum provides the most important public resource for the visual arts and material culture. It takes a lot of time and effort to manually record the values of data loggers. The conservator Nancie integrated LoRa technology into remote museum environmental monitoring.
OZ Museum – located in Warmigor, Kansas, United States
Located in a beautiful house built in the 1870s, the Oz Museum faces a series of special challenges familiar to many small museum professionals. Museum staff used to utilize portable handheld data loggers to monitor and record the temperature and humidity. The implementation of LoRa technology helps them to access these data continuously and conveniently to ensure a safe and vibrant OZ Museum for visitors.
MOKOLoRa sensors for museum environmental monitoring
LoRa connection has made a new breakthrough in wireless communication distance, brought new development to the application of Internet of Things, and provided technical support for some long-distance implementations. This just solves the challenges of museum environmental monitoring. MOKOLoRa is a professional supplier of LoRaWAN devices and solutions, and our advanced LoRa solution can help you collect the museum environmental data precisely. To learn more, please contact our LoRa expert！