Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) - Metro District Bridge Inspection Implementation

  • A view of the Blatnik Bridge from the drone as it approaches the arch of the bridge
  • Hologram of Stone Arch Bridge in a mixed reality environment

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  07/13/2021

Summary:

The culmination of three previous projects investigating the use of drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), in bridge inspections, this project followed the implementation of UAS into the field to be used in the official inspections of MnDOT bridges located across the state. Investigators selected appropriate bridges and rigorously documented the inspections. The UAS models performed admirably, resulting in high-quality data obtained with fewer personnel in far less time. The usual hazards of bridge inspection, such as inspectors using ropes and climbing gear or under-bridge inspection vehicles to examine beneath decks, were avoided. MnDOT has acquired 33 new UAS that will be used statewide.

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