Bridge Condition Assessment Using Remote Sensors

Sponsor:  US Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)

PI:  Tess Ahlborn     

The condition of the nation’s infrastructure has gained increased attention in recent years, primarily as a result of catastrophic events such as the I-35W collapse in Minneapolis. However, deteriorating transportation infrastructure has burdened transportation agencies for many years. Bridges continue to age, and funds for the repair and replacement of this infrastructure are insufficient at current funding levels. Remote sensing technologies, which enables non-contact data collection at great distances, offer the ability to enhance inspection and monitoring of bridges. Research Objectives The objective is to explore the use of remote sensing technologies to assess and monitor the condition of bridge infrastructure and improve the efficiency of inspection, repair, and rehabilitation efforts to develop unique signatures of bridge condition. Methodology Remote sensing technologies will be correlated with in-place sensors to obtain bridge condition assessment data without the need to place heavy instrumentation on the structure. This information will then be analyzed by a computer decision support system to develop unique signatures of bridge condition. Monitoring how these signatures change over time will provide state and local engineers with additional information used to prioritize critical maintenance and repair of our nation’s bridges. The ability to acquire this information remotely from many bridges without the expense of a dense sensor network will provide more accurate and near real-time assessments of bridge condition. Improved assessments allow for limited resources to be better allocated in repair and maintenance efforts, thereby extending the service life and safety of bridge assets, and minimizing costs of service-life extension.

A copy of the final report and its appendices can be found at http://mtri.org/bridgecondition/

Tess Ahlborn
Tess Ahlborn
Lawrence Sutter
Lawrence Sutter
Colin N. Brooks
Colin N. Brooks
Bob Shuchman
Bob Shuchman
Joe Burns
Joe Burns

Sustainable Geotechnical Asset Management along the Transportation Infrastructure Environment Using Remote Sensing

Sponsor:  USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)

PI:  Thomas Oommen

The objective of this proposed study is to establish a sustainable framework for Geotechnical Asset Management (GAM) using remote sensing data that can be used by the state departments of transportation across the US in order to identify and mitigate the failure of geotechnical assets proactively along the transportation infrastructure environment. Developing a sustainable GAM to enable more proactive infrastructure risk assessment is critical for strategic investment and long term management of the United State’s transportation infrastructure. Remote sensing techniques, such as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) provide great opportunities to measure ground movements precisely. Additionally, high resolution optical images complement observations from InSAR and LiDAR. Applying these techniques to the transportation environment can help to monitor and manage the stability of the geotechnical assets and would significantly reduce the level of effort currently needed to survey and inspect these assets.

Thomas Oommen
Thomas Oommen
Colin N. Brooks
Colin N. Brooks
Pasi Lautala
Pasi Lautala
Stan Vitton
Stan Vitton