Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

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New applications of spectral images in paleontology

The Terrassa's Town Hall awarded Xana Delpueyo, a Ph.D. student in the Optics Engineering PhD Program of the UPC. This award will allow the development of new tools based on spectral images to quickly identify the remains of little mamals and reptiles in the sediment, which paleontologists use to precisely date the deposits.

These works will become part of the Xana's Ph.D. thesis in the Center for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development (CD6) at the UPC. The thesis titled "Development of new industrial and clinical hyperspectral applications" will be supervised by Dr. Meritxell Vilaseca and Dr. Jaume Pujol, researchers at CD6 . Dr. Marc Furió, researcher at Catalan Institute of Palaeontology Miquel Crusafont (ICP), will collaborate in the development of the application of multispectral techniques in the field of paleontology.

Project abstract:

Paleontology is the science responsible for studying the development of life on Earth, ancient plants and animals, and it is based on the fossil record. At present, numerous excavations are carried out, some of them in Terrassa, which allow to study from first hand what life was like in ancient periods and help getting the knowledge of evolution closer to the general public. A key point when studying fossils is its dating, which is made from the detection and study of small skeletal remains of rodents that are part of the sediment. Unfortunately, this task is carried out entirely by hand, leading to an important loss of time with the resulting economic impact. For this reason, it is proposed in this research project, the development of new tools based on spectral systems for the identification of the remains of small mammals and reptiles, representing a clear innovation in the field of paleontology. These systems, based on the record of the scene with a digital camera through many spectral bands, will automate and improve the identification and location of these remains because their spectral properties are different from soil remains and rocks, also contained in the studied substrates.
CD6 Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development
Rambla de Sant Nebridi, 10  ·  08222  ·  Terrassa (Barcelona)