Infrared and High-definition Image-based Bridge Scanning Using UAVs without Traffic Control

Aging and deterioration of road infrastructure is becoming a serious problem worldwide. In order to prevent impending deterioration of these bridges, more effective and reliable periodic inspections than current routine and/or in-depth inspections with less cost and traffic disturbance are indispensable for proper assessment and maintenance of bridges. For that purpose, this study investigates the capabilities and limitations of high-definition (HD) imaging and infrared thermography (IRT) using with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to implement “rapid screening” for complementing time-consuming current methods. Regarding HD imaging, this study shows the potential to identify the required minimum, 0.1 mm, width of cracks when it is utilized with a drone. As for IRT application with UAVs, the effect of vibration caused by the drone is investigated. This study concludes that the hovering flight of drones is extremely stable and IRT with UAVs can provide reliable data for bridge inspections. This paper shows great potential of image-based technologies with UAVs for bridge inspections without any traffic disturbance as a promising complimentary approach to current practices.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32548/RS.2018.012

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