New sensor network protecting art in NY museum

June 8, 2011 - 6:27 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — An advanced network of wireless environmental sensors that are designed to prevent damage to artworks is being tested at a New York City museum.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is announcing Thursday that about 100 of the sensors have been positioned around the medieval masterpieces at its Cloisters branch in northern Manhattan.

The IBM sensors are in cases about the size of a cigarette pack. Scientists say they can measure temperature, humidity, air flow, light levels, contaminants and more.

The information produces a three-dimensional "climate map" that can be accessed on a computer. The data can then be analyzed to adjust the climate and spot trends.

Curators hope the network prevents environmental damage to the art.