Multi NDE Technology Condition Assessment of Concrete Bridge Decks by RABITTM Platform

Robotics Assisted Bridge Inspection Tool (RABITTM) overcomes one of the main causes of limited use of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technologies in bridge deck assessment, the speed of data collection and analysis. The robotic platform integrates four NDE technologies and high resolution imaging to characterize three most common deterioration types in concrete bridge decks: rebar corrosion, delamination, and concrete degradation, and to image features commonly recorded through visual inspection. The four NDE technologies include electrical resistivity (ER) for the assessment of concrete corrosive environment, impact echo (IE) for delamination detection, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) for concrete cover measurement, rebar mapping and qualitative condition assessment, and ultrasonic surface waves (USW) for concrete quality evaluation. The implementation of the four NDE technologies is designed to enhance the overall interpretation through their complementary use and results interpretation. Unlike traditional NDE systems, the RABITTM utilizes NDE sensor arrays that enable the system to collect data at significantly higher speeds and with significantly higher spatial resolution. The most of the NDE data are analyzed and presented in real or near real time. This is done in a van that is serving as a command centre from which all the RABIT’s operations are monitored and to which all the data being collected by RABITTM are transmitted wirelessly for storage, analysis and presentation. The data visualization platform facilitates an intuitive presentation of the main deterioration and defects: corrosion, delamination, concrete degradation and deck surface features. Finally, and unlike the current practice of separate presentation of results from individual NDE technologies, the visualization platform integrates survey results from the NDE surveys and high resolution imaging.

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