Title

Challenges and Implications of UAS Integration into Bridge and Rail Inspections: Recent State DOT Experiences

Presenter Email

mplotnik@engin.umass.edu

Location

Mori Hosseini Student Union Events Center (Bldg #610) – Rooms 165 E/F

Start Date

3-3-2020 1:15 PM

End Date

3-3-2020 2:15 PM

Submission Type

Presentation

Topic Area

UAS; Training; Implications for pilots

Keywords

UAS, drone, transportation infrastructure inspection, pilot training

Abstract

The presentation will review the results of the UAS research initiative conducted by Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) in collaboration with the UMass Transportation Center. The presentation will include a brief examination of standard bridge and rail inspection procedures and protocols currently carried out by state DOTs; an assessment of the issues and challenges associated with UAS technology; and evaluation of state DOT experiences regarding integration of this technology into bridge and rail inspections.

The results of the recent studies indicate that UASs can serve as a useful tool in the majority of highway and rail bridge inspection procedures, while significantly reducing costs and improving safety associated with such procedures. It was also found that the major factors that affect the success of the UAS integration into the bridge inspection process relate to development of effective standard operating procedures (SOPs); conduct of task-specific proper pilot training; and selection of the proper types of UAS platforms, sensors, and data processing software.

It is expected that this presentation will be of interest to state DOT officials; local public works directors, highway superintendents, and traffic engineers; FHWA field personnel and other UAS stakeholders including flight instructors, consultants, UAS manufacturers and vendors, university researchers, and the industry partners.

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Mar 3rd, 1:15 PM Mar 3rd, 2:15 PM

Challenges and Implications of UAS Integration into Bridge and Rail Inspections: Recent State DOT Experiences

Mori Hosseini Student Union Events Center (Bldg #610) – Rooms 165 E/F

The presentation will review the results of the UAS research initiative conducted by Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) in collaboration with the UMass Transportation Center. The presentation will include a brief examination of standard bridge and rail inspection procedures and protocols currently carried out by state DOTs; an assessment of the issues and challenges associated with UAS technology; and evaluation of state DOT experiences regarding integration of this technology into bridge and rail inspections.

The results of the recent studies indicate that UASs can serve as a useful tool in the majority of highway and rail bridge inspection procedures, while significantly reducing costs and improving safety associated with such procedures. It was also found that the major factors that affect the success of the UAS integration into the bridge inspection process relate to development of effective standard operating procedures (SOPs); conduct of task-specific proper pilot training; and selection of the proper types of UAS platforms, sensors, and data processing software.

It is expected that this presentation will be of interest to state DOT officials; local public works directors, highway superintendents, and traffic engineers; FHWA field personnel and other UAS stakeholders including flight instructors, consultants, UAS manufacturers and vendors, university researchers, and the industry partners.