A Common Operating Platform for Employing UAVs in Infrastructure Monitoring

The advancement in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology over the past years has created many opportunities and possible applications in the transportation industry. UAVs are being used in monitoring and evaluation of construction sites, important construction events, documenting traffic patterns, etc. In this paper, a common operating platform that is being developed for the Ohio Department of Transportation to collect and process data from different unmanned aerial systems will be reviewed. The platform allows the user to archive data, share data amongst off-site and on-site personnel, and transform raw data to information e.g. transform aerial images to 3D models. Using a web-based graphical user interface, users can review the processed data; interact with 3D point cloud rendering system through a computer or an augmented reality goggles. First, the overall characteristics of the common operating platform will be introduced. The back-end processing engines, as well as the front-end interface, will be detailed. Second, on-site processing algorithms including real-time image processing methodologies as well as off-site modeling algorithms will be discussed. Finally, the results of the preliminary version of the developed common operating platform and its performance will be presented.

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