Harmonised methodology for drone/UAV uses for bridge inspection
Infrastructure Managers from all over Europe have participated in the UIC-project “DRONE4RAIL - Harmonised methodology for drone / UAV use for bridge inspections” to research the use of drones (UAS - Unmanned Aerial Systems) to inspect railway bridges in practice and to standardise regulations.
To ensure the long-term performance of infrastructure constructions such as bridges, methods are required to efficiently record the state of the structure and, on this basis, make safety statements and service life forecasts. As a result of intensive use and diverse environmental influences, the structures are subject to various damage processes that can continuously reduce their load-bearing capacity and serviceability.
The safety of the structures can be increased through regular inspections and, if necessary, maintenance measures. Classic inspection procedures such as close-to-hand testing of all areas are very time-consuming and costly in large structures such as bridges due to the use of equipment for accessibility (bridge inspection devices, scaffolding, etc.), necessary closures and specialised personnel. Without continuous monitoring, there is a natural residual risk of undetected damage.
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