Ann Arbor-based Advanced Photonix Inc. announced that the Center for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France, located at the Louvre Palace, has purchased a T-Ray 4000 as its instrument of choice for performing investigations into art conservation and restoration.

The system, which will be located in the most prestigious art restoration research center in France, will be available to researchers from across France and the European Union and will be shipped during the current quarter.

This purchase is the next step in a dynamic relationship between the C2RMF and Advanced Photonix that has existed since 2007. During this time, the T-Ray 4000 has been used for such varied purposes as investigation of ancient pigment spectroscopy, identifying paintings under plaster, examining the contents of burial urns, reading a papyrus scroll without opening it, and dating a wood panel by its growth rings. These investigations have occurred at Advanced Photonix headquarters in Ann Arbor, at the C2RMF in Paris, onsite at a chapel in Vif outside Grenoble, and at the Egyptian collection of the University of Chicago. The unique information that can be obtained using this equipment, and its ability to be easily transported to remote locations, make it an invaluable tool in the preservation and restoration of cultural heritage artifacts.

“We are excited to be working with the top researchers at the C2RMF and continuing to develop the art restoration and conservation market. It is a confirmation of the versatility of our 4th generation terahertz system, the T-Ray 4000, to address a number of market opportunities from research to industrial applications,” said Richard Kurtz, API CEO. “The fact that it was chosen for this active research center above all other options, speak volumes to the flexibility and performance of our system.”

The T-Ray 4000 produces ultrashort pulses of terahertz that allow a variety of unique and novel applications to be investigated. The system’s patented fiber coupling permits automated or manual positioning of the sensor heads. This permits the imaging of any size objects in place, thereby eliminating the need to fit the object into a specialized sample chamber. The excellent signal to noise ratio of the T-Ray platform allows even thick samples to be scanned effectively.

The Centre for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France is the national research centre in France responsible for the documentation, conservation and restoration of the items held in the collections of more than 1,200 museums across France. C2RMF also carries out extensive scientific studies and data recording for these collections, and is active both nationally and internationally in the field of cultural heritage conservation and analysis. The C2RMF is involved in the development of technologies and scientific procedures employed in the preservation of art works and artifacts, both on its own and in partnership with other museums and research institutions across the globe.

Terahertz radiation, little understood and hard to generate before the 1990s, occupies a space on the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and infrared light. It has potential applications in a wide variety of disciplines, from materials testing to medical diagnostics security checkpoints, because it can see through clothing and even the top layers of human flesh — but it doesn’t pack the damaging radioactive punch of X-rays.

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