Robotic Bridge Inspections & Infrastructure Inspections To Improve Transportation Infrastructure
Bridge Deck Inspections Get An Upgrade With BridgeScan®July 29th, 2018 Author: Doug Thaler
Imagine one or two human inspectors walking over the bridge deck and noting down whatever faults they see. Dragging a chain of suspected fault areas and listening for changes in the sound to see if additional investigation is needed. They then write down these faults down and from this data they guess how the structure bridge deck might hold up or what the remaining expected life of that bridge deck or approach roadway might be.
To a lay person this must sound insane with the level of technology and automation that is currently available. Most states do pay to conduct these manual bridge inspections every other year with taxpayer dollars.
Is it really in the department of transportation’s, the governments or public’s best interest not to be using the most advanced inspection protocols available. Manual subjective inspections should be a thing of the past. Here is one service that is here to replace it
BridgeScan® is the most advanced bridge deck and approach roadway assessment available today. BridgeScan® is a nondestructive condition assessment that can detect deterioration within the concrete deck.
While current methods of bridge inspection and bridge deck inspection can only view what the human eyes, permit them to, BridgeScan® goes much farther in providing quantitative data to the asses owner in order to better allocate assets to conduct repairs.
This technology allows you to peer 18″ through the bridge deck to assess rebar patterns, cracks and intrusions, thickness of layers, debonding, and other faults. From this, the technology generates a highly detailed report of the findings and presents them in an easy to read form for the human inspectors.
Conventional visual inspectors take a lot of time to first inspect and then tabulate the collected data. This data is of course highly inefficient since they are blind to what is beneath the surface. But the fatal flaw of visual bridge deck inspection is that, faults manifest on the bridge deck in the form of cracks or concrete deterioration only after the internal structure has been compromised.
This is similar to a disease that manifests its symptoms only after the condition has reached its final stage. Therefore, BridgeScan® allows for asset owners to scan the bridge deck during bridge deck inspections and catch any faults or symptoms before they can cause catastrophic failure.
Reporting that can provide the best order to conduct budgeting and repairs
A human operator runs the robot over the surface of the bridge deck being inspected. The custom unit then uses its non-destructive technology and scans through the deck cover and it’s components. The unit scans and simultaneously collects data. The Bridge Condition Assessment Inspection collects data by identifying where the concrete deterioration is occurring, where the rebar might be failing and other possible failure points. The data is interpreted and used to create a rating assessment model for the inspectors to read.
This data can be used to evaluate current damage and even help estimate and prioritize repairs which will in turn help extend the service life and keep the public safe. The quantitative data presented and subsequent report is of course the main point of bridge deck inspections. And with BridgeScan® it can be efficiently accomplished.
The data collected can help the relevant departments direct budget to where it is needed rather than use it to completely repair the bridge or bride deck altogether. The life expectancy of the entire structure is essentially extended through early detection and fixation.
This level of accuracy and detail was more or less impossible to achieve through conventional subective methods. It was either too time consuming or completely inaccurate. But that is now a thing of the past with BridgeScan®.
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