Monitoring of the Cathedral of Segovia

IoT (Internet of Things) Technology applied to the study and conservation of Historical Heritage.

Built between the 16th and 18th centuries, the Cathedral of Segovia is one of the later Gothic cathedrals of Spain and Europe.  Its construction begins in 1525, when in the greater part of Europe, the Renaissance architecture was already spreading. The building’s structure features three tall naves and an ambulatory, with fine tracery windows and numerous stained glass windows of extraordinary quality. The interior is characterized by unity of style (late Gothic), except for the imposing and sober dome, built around 1630.  The Gothic vaults are 33 meters high by 50 meters wide and 105 long.  A dome finished in the 17th century covers the transept.  The powerful tower reaches almost 90 meters.

The challenge:

The last restoration of this beautiful building was undertaken during 2015 and 2016. The roofs of the main nave, as well as those of the side aisles, needed urgent refurbishment.  Due to their precarious condition, humidity had deteriorated the vaults closest to the south façade. In addition, a great crack -attributed to the Lisbon earthquake of 1755-, crossed the building transversally from side to side.
Systratec is commissioned to monitor the evolution of this crack -once restored-, as well as to monitor the temperature and relative humidity conditions of the building in its southern part.

The solution:

During its restoration, Systratec has installed in the building the following equipment::

  • Five fracture process zone width monitoring points, based on linear displacement sensors connected to an electronic device, which is able to take a single measurement per minute and send it via ZigBee radio to a central hub installed inside the south facade.
  • One high-precision thermo-hygrometric monitoring point.
  • A central hub for receiving through ZigBee all data from each monitoring point, store them locally and transmit them via the 4G network to Systratec’s cloud.

Live monitoring.

The data sent to our cloud are received and processed in real time by our cloud server, identified and stored in our big-data system.  The alarm conditions of the installation (absolute limit thresholds and maximum relative variations) are also checked in real time, automatically sending an e-mail –when necessary- to the addresses configured for this purpose.

We also provided our customer with a web tool that allows them to consult and download all measurements made by the different sensors.


The results.

After two years of operation, our big-data now housed more than 120,000 measurements per monitoring point.  The six monitoring points installed have provided a total of more than 727,000 measurements.  The analysis of this enormous amount of data has allowed the architects to establish behavior trends of the fissures studied, which undoubtedly leads to a better preventive conservation of Historical Heritage.
















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