ESA title


  • ACTIVITYDemonstration Project
  • STATUSOngoing
  • THEMATIC AREAMedia, Culture and Sport, Tourism

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:

·        Quickbird2

·        Ikonos

·        Worldwiev

·        GeoEue 1

·        Spot

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

The VADUS teams identifies the first demonstration site in the Archaeological site of “Ostia Antica”. The target is the Casa di Diana, that is one of the most important “caseggiato” (blocks of flats) in Ostia used both for residential functions of the middle class and for commercial activities. Originally it had perhaps five floors and takes this name from a terracotta tile depicting the goddess Diana the Huntress, inserted into the walls of the central courtyard. Built in the Hadrianic period (first half of the 2nd century AD) in brick curtain, it has a quadrangular plan with an internal courtyard, from which various corridors leading to the apartments and common areas. On the ground floor there were the shops overlooking the street only and with an upper mezzanine accessed by an internal staircase, as well as private apartments and common areas. The first floor was reserved for the most elegant apartments with an external balcony. The upper floors, on the other hand, were intended for the residence of the less wealthy social classes. It underwent important changes over time that affected both the internal walls and the floors. The geometric mosaics in black and white of some rooms, the polychrome mosaic of one of the sides of the portico and the marble tile floor of the triclinium belong to the original phase; in the second half of the 2nd century A.D. the courtyard was embellished with a valuable marble fountain, while the preserved paintings were made at the end of the century. During the third century A.D. the floors were raised and equipped with new mosaics, and in the late period of the century, some inner rooms was transformed into a “mithraeum” consisting of an aedicule, a marble altar (with reused materials) and a masonry podium (docks).

vadus current status

In June 2021 ENEA and CITERA held the measurement campaign in the “Casa di Diana”. The campaign lasted three weeks and were particularly focused on the room 30 and room 23/24.
ENEA utilized own-developed RGB-ITR and LIF lasers to create high-definition 3D models of frescos and to analyze the composition of frescos, walls, and artifacts.

vadus current status

CITERA performed on-site activities to acquire the physical dimensions for rooms/space of Casa di Diana and to take photos from a full-frame camera to create the required data base to develop 3D models.

vadus current status

The 3D virtual visit will be integrated with additional information layers developed using materials provided by PAOA. In particular, the 3D virtual visit will be offers insights and further information on the digging and reconstruction of the building and on the artefacts of rooms 30 and 23/24.

The additional layers include reconstruction paintings, historical photos, 3d Models of artefacts from museums and/or other sites of PAOA.

vadus current status

The CDR was held the 19th/20th of October and was successfully closed.

The first version of the VADUS App is available and the first test sessions are conducted at the VADUS test facility in NEXT premises in Naples.

vadus current status


Status Date

Updated: 20 January 2022 - Created: 05 June 2021