VADUS - Virtual Access and Digitalization for Unreachable Sites

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Objectives of the service


AR/VR technologies are powerful tools to develop new services to enrich tourists’ experience in visiting archaeological sites and monuments. However, currently available services suffer of some drawbacks: users, especially when approaching to AR/VR experiences, are constrained at static position and personalization is very limited, whereas “spectacularity” of the experience overwhelms the rigor of the scientific basis of the virtually reconstructed or recreated artefacts..

VADUS aims at overcoming these limits by the introduction of new solutions and digital contents for a fully immersive experience, without any constrains in terms of mobility and duration, offering high quality 3D model enriched by multimedia informative and scientific contents.

A new way of experiencing the visit of museums, artistic and historical sites will be offered by creating and proposing virtual tours to access areas with difficult accessibility (i.e. war, physical barriers, security) or understandability (i.e. cultural gaps, missing parts, interpretative hypotheses). These virtual visits will be tailored on the specific customer profile and preferences.

The objective is to reveal the hidden parts of the artworks thanks to the use of the state of arts knowledge and “in situ”  measurement  technologies used in restoration and monitoring of cultural heritage.

Users and their needs

Cultural tourism experienced a constant growing trend from  80s until the explosion of the COVID19 pandemia, which transformed a relative limited niche, considered as a ‘good’ form of tourism, in a mass market phenomenon, known as ‘overtourism’. Cities such Venice and Rome are overcrowded by tourists interested in few sites/monuments, while the full cultural heritage remains hidden jewels for handful tourists: while the Coliseum is visited by around 7 million tourists per year, the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica reaches barely 400 thousand.

So apparently two divergent trends are emerging: the need to sustain the local economies by increasing their attractiveness, while reducing the impact of tourists on fragile cities.

This apparent divergence can be overcome implementing and proposing new service for tourists to promote alternative cultural and historical sites and to increase their personal experience, knowledge and understanding of the visited areas.

VADUS target customers are any private or public organization managing historical and artistic sites:

  • Archaeological Parks;
  • Museums and cultural heritage Institutions;
  • Local Authorities and Communities-

The Archaeological Park “Colosseo” and Archaeological Park “Ostia Antica” are partners and will hosts demonstration sessions.

VADUS collaborates with the municipalities of Turin and the “Soprintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali” of Rome.

Service/ system concept

The project VADUS aims at developing a new set of services for the enrichment of  tourists’ visit experience based on the convergence of AR/VR technologies with 5G and satellite services; this convergence, in conjunction with a cloud infrastructure for the centralized management of the VR/AR applications  and  different information layers, overcomes the need of a local IT infrastructure for the service delivery.

The main key winning elements of VADUS are:

  1. The use of reliable 3D models, obtained through range and/or image-based technologies, not only for the implementation of AR/VR visits, but also for other applications (i.e. HBIM, FEM, 3D Printing, Gaming);
  2. The use of diagnostic tools in the field of cultural heritage, developed for conservation and restoration;
  3. The validation of the information layers and 3D models by the delegated authorities;
  4. Personalization of services allowing each user (tourist or professional) to choose from a list of services and select the ones that best match their expectations, as zoom and details selection.

Space Added Value

Space asset

Specific service



The Galileo High Accuracy Service

HAS offers high accuracy with a convergence time on the order of five minutes.



Ku, Ka, and X band could complement terrestrial 4G communication or can be the main communication channel depending on the operational scenarios.

The convergence between 5G and Satellite may offer new operational scenarios.


Precise mapping

High resolution Optical images:








GeoEue 1



Different resolution image will be used depending on the density of assets in the area.

Reconstruction of buildings and other artefacts in archaeological sites and digs must be based on high resolution raster maps.

AR must combine high precision positioning of the application user with high precision of geographic positioning of the buildings and artefacts

VR 3D reconstruction must rely on high precise maps as baseline to guarantee the respect of proportion of the reconstructed asset.

Current Status

VADUS Kick off Meeting was held at ENEA premises in Frascati the 14/10/2020.

The consortium has delivered the official deliverables, Requirements Document and Business Plan, to ESA for the first milestone of the project.

Baseline Design Review was held the 22-23/03/2021.

Status Date

Updated: 05 June 2021 - Created: 05 June 2021