UAS-Based Inspection of the Placer River Trail Bridge: A Data-Driven Approach

Over the last decade, unmanned aerial systems (UASs) technology has matured to the point that it is now a viable option for augmenting more traditional bridge inspection methods. Any UAS-based inspection must address questions regarding the design of the aerial platform, the choice of on-board inspection cameras, and the protocols for the human pilot to follow. The wide variety of currently available UASs and imaging systems, as well as a current lack of UAS inspection standards, can pose challenges to engineers attempting to design or test a new system. The Placer River Trail Bridge, located on the Alaskan Kenai Peninsula, has been chosen as a test site for the prototyping and testing of a new UAS bridge inspection system. The desired final inspection product guided the design and operation of the UAS. The research team emphasized a data-driven approach in developing the UAS and its associated inspection protocols. Goals included providing high-resolution scans of the bridge capable of detecting a variety of damage indicators, and producing a 3D virtual model of the bridge using Structure-from-Motion. The resulting designs of both the UAS and the inspection protocols are presented herein. The results indicate that such a data-driven approach can lead to UAS inspection systems that are more capable of meeting the needs of bridge asset managers and inspectors.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: pp 607-615
  • Monograph Title: Structures Congress 2015

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01561794
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784479117
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Apr 17 2015 3:01PM