- Publication no: ABC2017-026-17
- Published: 20 April 2017
In recent years, the engineering and construction industry has seen a shift from manual-based inspection and maintenance assessments towards more automated and intelligent processes to ensure more efficient or effective means of managing structures throughout their entire lifecycle.
At the forefront of this technology is the use of aerial photography and image-processing, which have become common place in the monitoring of construction works and general assessment of existing assets. The use of drones and modelling-based applications has been proven to improve access to areas that were typically constrained by resource-intensive inspection methods, improve knowledge retention throughout the lifecycle of a project and significantly reduce the time required conduct inspections and assessments. However, the use of these processes for undertaking detailed condition assessments of more complex structures has been limited due to the uncertainty around the level of detail obtained and the ability to accurately identify any defects that may or may not be of structural concern.
This paper provides a casestudy for the integration of drone inspection data in addition to modelling based applications in order to conduct detailed condition inspections of major steel truss bridges located along the Queensland Rail North Coast Line. Through defining the methodology that was used to perform the works, and outcomes of the investigations, this study highlights the suitability and limitations that should be considered if the technology is to be integrated into future inspection and maintenance processes.