Optex Europe protects historic art at The Netherlands National Military Museum

Optex Europe

Optex Europe’s REDSCAN LiDAR technology is at the heart of a new solution that is helping to protect a historic piece of art at The National Military Museum (NMM) in Soesterberg, Netherlands.

Part of the museum’s Royal collection, ‘The Battle At Quartre-Bras’ by Jan Willem Pieneman, which is owned by the Koninklijke Verzamelingen, measures more than 4x6m and depicts a crucial Napoleonic-era battle. 

Paul van Brakel, the museum conservator, wanted an open display for the painting without any barriers or rope to enhance the visitor experience.

However, the obvious threat of a truly open display of any piece of art is that it is left vulnerable to possible damage caused by anyone attempting to touch, interfere with or even vandalise. 

For this reason, the museum looked to major European construction firm, Heijmans, responsible for the initial build and integrated facilities and security management of the museum, to recommend and specify a new solution.

Heijmans selected OPTEX’s intelligent and highly accurate REDSCAN RLS-2020 sensors as an integral part of the solution, having previously used OPTEX LiDAR technology on a number of projects across Europe. 

To safeguard the painting, two boundaries have been implemented: a deep ‘structure’, which acts to effectively ‘frame’ the painting, and a ‘do not cross’ line on the floor.

Heijmans collaborated with SmartSD to install an RLS-2020S LiDAR detector, creating an invisible wall matched to the size of the painting.

The detector, which features a ‘Throw-In’ mode and advanced detection algorithm, can detect small objects including fingers, triggering an audible warning and real-time alert to Heijmans’ Security Control if the restriction line is crossed. 

The RLS-2020S features a customisable detection area up to 20x20m with a 95-degree radius for the creation of virtual walls or planes, offering effective protection for both indoor – grade 3 compliant – and outdoor applications. The compact design of the sensors means it can be installed discretely so as not to interfere with the visitor experience. 

The painting can now be viewed up close while still being protected. Real-time preservation security is managed without the use of extra glass or large obstructive physical barriers, allowing the passage of people alongside the painting. 

“We are proud to be working with Heijmans and the NMM on this important project to protect this historic piece of military art,” says Eelko Griepink, Area Sales Manager. “Thanks to the high sensitivity and high-speed detection of our REDSCAN LiDAR technology, the sensors are able to detect any object, as small as a little finger.”

Located on a historic military site in the town of Soesterberg, a province of Utrecht, the NMM showcases military artefacts ranging from uniforms and artillery to F-16 fighter jets and tanks.


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