A mobile laboratory was created by association of portable devices from both founding institutions. It allows performing point analytical measurements in situ – in museums, galleries, churches, castles, etc. Analytical screening is especially suitable when the decision on restoration is being made, in the first stages of restoration (e.g., in probes) or in all cases when the transport of the artwork and/or sampling is not possible. It can also be part of art-historical research.
The mobile laboratory includes two handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysers and portable spectroscopic instruments (Raman, FT-IR, UV-Vis). Portable devices are usually quite simple to operate, which sometimes leads to an opinion that even a layman can use them. However, it is actually quite the opposite – from the analytical point of view, it is a highly non-conventional measurement and its interpretation has a number of limits that need to be known. Therefore, the testing of mobile devices is an integral part of methodological research in ALMA.