Automating Structural Inspections
Tuesday, October 06, 2020: 9:45 AM - 10:30 AM
In the United States, critical infrastructure is aging and reaching a breaking point, facing a $2 trillion funding gap according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. Currently, large concrete and steel structures such as bridges and dams are inspected manually, either by climbers on ropes or scaffolding, or using other techniques such as bucket trucks. These methods are slow, expensive, and dangerous. Drones have been proposed as a solution, but primarily offer value as a “spot check” in the hands of an experienced operator. In order to deliver real value for infrastructure inspection, the commercial drone industry needs to move beyond simply providing photos/videos/3D reconstructions, to providing real insights and analysis. This presentation will feature a discussion of how cutting edge automated flight technology, “digital twins,” and AI/ML algorithms for defect detection can be leveraged to make inspections more cost-effective, safe, accurate, and repeatable. Additionally, the presentation will explore the first-ever automated UAV flights inside a functional nuclear reactor. An overview will also be given that compares data capture techniques, common UAV systems used in inspection, and how asset management is performed. Specifically, the content will focus on a common push across industries (construction, energy, transportation) towards automated inspections and preventative maintenance, particularly in the integration of unmanned systems and their deployment, and the subsequent advances that have been made in automated flight, data capture techniques, and machine learning. All these aspects are now combined to inspect some of the world’s largest and most challenging structures, including - Nuclear power plant assets - Highway and railroad bridges - Tunnels - Buildings - Smokestacks - and more.
C-Level Executive,Analyst,Business Development/Sales,Consultant,Management,Educator/Instructor,Engineering/Technical,Government/Policy/Regulatory,Assessment/Claims Adjuster,Investment/Finance,Journalist,Legal,Remote Pilot/Operator,Marketing/Communications,Research & Development,Student,Trainer