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Mid-America Transportation Center

Develop a UAV Platform for Automated Bridge Inspection

Final Report
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Researchers

  • Principal Investigator: Zhaozheng Yin ( yinz@mst.edu 573-341-6266)
  • Project Status
    Complete
    About this Project
    Brief Project Description & Background
    This project seeks to develop an automated bridge inspection technology that can make the inspection process safer, more efficient and convenient. The focus of this research is to study the technical foundation of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system capable of remotely inspecting bridges with sensors without interfering with the road operation. The applicability of this technique will be validated by a prototype UAV system with field testing.
    Research Objective
    Our goal is to be able to collect inspection data on bridges autonomously using non-invasive sensor technologies mounted on a relocatable robotic platform, to be able to detect and find patterns that could possibly tell us that information about the structure’s integrity, therefore keeping track of a bridge’s health over time.
    Potential Benefits
    The prototype system can be further developed into practical use as a reliable and efficient tool that can facilitate bridge engineers to evaluate the structural health of bridges in order to maintain the safe operation.
    Abstract
    Inspecting the health of bridges is important to maintain the operation of a road network while protecting public users’ safety. However, routinely inspecting numerous bridges in a state over a long time period by humans is a labor-intensive and costly task, or a dangerous task in some environments such as inspecting the underneath of a bridge spanning across a rushing river. This project seeks to develop an automated bridge inspection technology that can make the inspection process safer, more efficient and convenient. The focus of this research is to study the technical foundation of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system capable of remotely inspecting bridges with sensors without interfering with the road operation. The applicability of this technique will be validated by a prototype UAV system with field testing.
    Project Amount
    $ $30,000