A bridge provides a linking hub to link different destination promoting economic growth and offer transportation. The life of the bridge is reduced to the traffic size and load it takes year-by-year.
The result is the bridge’s structure deteriorating which could cause a sudden or prolonged collapse. That’s why carrying out routine inspection is important to root out potential faults.
What is bridge inspection?
Bridge inspection is the examination of bridges in highways for the number of cracks, taking their measurements (length and width) and then taking visuals of them (pictures).
Bridge inspection is mandatory to meet the requirements set by the National Bridge authority to meet the standards set. It’s important to accurately document the results after the infection to enable the authority budget for maintenance or repair works.
The quality of the inspection is all up to the training and experience of the bridge inspectors. They are tasked to use their experience and judgment to document the condition of a bridge.
What are the reasons for bridge inspection?
Bridges are inspected to prevent injuries (severe or fatal) from happening and prevent damages to surrounding structures. To paint a broader picture, here are the reasons why inspection of bridges is important.
Check if there’re any structural problems
Bridges have safety and maintenance ratings. A bridge needs to be checked if it’s structurally deficient and how long it’s going to last. A bridge’s condition and age can tell if the bridge is going to last or not and for how long.
Check for flaws in the design and errors in manufacturing
It’s not commonplace to have a bridge collapse nowadays after being completed but it’s not rare. This mainly due to the quality materials being used and unforeseen manufacturing defects. Inspections of bridges enable inspectors to identify errors and flaws.
Check if they can withstand harsh climate conditions
Bridges are known to collapse dues to earthquakes, storms, tornadoes, typhoons and even rains. Checking a bridge enables to reinforce it in case of unexpected change of weather strengthening it.
Challenges during the inspection of a bridge
Inspectors of bridges usually have a tough time making a report after they’ve done a visual check on the bridge they’ve checked. With this said, these are some of the challenges faced during the bridge inspection process.
Inadequately trained personnel
This is due to the fact that many people don’t consider a bridge inspector as a viable career choice. The result is few trained people with some failing to even visit the bridge’s location to carry out checks.
Lack of equipment
It’s well known that bridge inspectors use their eyes and experience to make their judgment. This is quite risky as they are bound to make a human error and document the wrong thing. This could mean disaster in terms of maintenance or repair.
Enormous bridges pose safety concerns
Climbing a tall bridge is not only dangerous but can cause health issues like lack of oxygen. That’s why you don’t see lots of bridge inspectors. It’s also considered one of the most dangerous professions.
Why automated bridge inspection?
Bridge inspection is traditionally carried out using the trained eye of bridge inspectors who use lifts, scaffolders, cherry pickers and under-bridge repair units. This can be quite costly as they can make errors leading to non-maintenance or repairs. So, how can this be avoided? By using automated bridge inspection.
The advances in technology have made bridge inspection easier using UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) which has led to the efficient monitoring of a bridge’s condition.
So why is automating a bridge inspection important?
- It saves on costs
- Saves time taken to do an inspection
- Employees don’t need to climb bridges ensuring their safety
The technology in use in bridge inspection
The bridge industry has long faced slow development since everything was paper and drawing based. Now, modern technology is improving how automatic bridge inspection is carried out.
Currently, drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are in used for bridge inspection. The secret under these devices is the technology used behind the curtain. They are and not restricted to:
- 3-dimensional imaging
- Cloud data that interactive to 3-D
- Thermal sensing imaging
- Modern acquisition and processing software
Benefits of automating a bridge inspection
Inspection of bridges is not your average career or daily job. One needs to have specialized training in order to carry out such tasks. Although it’s essential to have experience, inspectors can now use automatic inspection of bridge to access its structure.
So why is bridge inspection preferred to the conventional inspection?
- It reduces the cost of maintenance and repairs
- Allows for faster delivery of service avoiding delays to traffic
- Enables improvement of bridges service and prolongs the bridge’s life
- Workers are protected from having to climb bridges to inspect their condition protecting their wellbeing
So why use aeriosense?
There are countless of companies that deal with automation inspection of bridge but none can be compared to Aeriosense technologies. What makes this company so unique?
- The flight plans are created and tailor-made to ensure efficiency and consistency
- Aeriosense automation of bridge inspection software enables real-time inspection and data collection
- Data management and security is prioritized
Aeriosense is one company to reckon with since they are a leader in drone-based technology. Their knowledge in the field is unmatched and they always are looking for new ways to innovate.
Bridges are a hub meant to link up different places and promote business. They, like all other structures, need monitoring, maintenance, and repair. Although it’s hard to keep up with the checking, automation is there to give you the muscle.
Not only does automation work in bridges, but also automation in wind turbine inspection is also in play. The advantages of automating bridge inspection, which is cost reduction, employee wellness, repair, and maintenance management go to prove how effective it is. In order to keep our bridges safe, we’ve got to ensure we monitor them and carry out the necessary repair and maintenance work.