Intel uses its Falcon 8+ UAS to help preserve cathedral in Germany


Intel’s Falcon 8+ UAS is being used to help preserve the 15th century Halberstadt Cathedral in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

Recently, the UAS was used to capture nearly 1,000 detailed images—along with additional footage—in less than an hour of total flight time.

That data was post-processed to create precise 3-D structural models for Intel and its partners on the project, experts from Bauhaus University Weimar and Kulturstiftung Sachsen-Anhalt, to analyze.

The Falcon 8+ UAS is providing the conservation team with a new, affordable way of conducting a visual inspection of structures that are fragile and hard-to-reach.

Using this technology also ensures that the surroundings of these structures are not disturbed, which is especially important for the Halberstadt Cathedral, due to its delicate condition and its artwork.

To reduce the potential risk of damage from traditional methods of stock condition surveying, which involve ladders or scaffolding, a new approach for stock condition surveying was needed for several damaged statues in the cathedral. The stone statues, which are nearly 20 feet above the cathedral floor, are in precarious condition as a result of their fragile state and delicate color pigment, which is now a detached shell on the stone surface.

“Advanced technology, like the Intel Falcon 8+ drone, provides enormous potential for structural monitoring,” says Norman Hallermann, Bauhaus University Weimar.

“Working with Intel drone technology has allowed us to reach previously inaccessible spaces, like the cathedral’s bell towers. While we are just in the beginning stages of this three-year project, the costs saved by carrying out these inspections via a drone are already being put towards further conservation efforts.”

Anil Nanduri, vice president and general manager within Intel’s New Technology Group, is happy that the Falcon 8+ can be used for yet another task.

“Intel is excited about the future of inspections being automated and analyzed using drones,” Nanduri says.

“We are thrilled to be part of this project to restore this iconic piece of history and to be able to contribute with our technology.”