Increasing Bridge Durability and Service Life with LIDAR Enhanced Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

The proposed research project will expand the positive results obtained in the past related to collecting rebar spacing in bridge construction using LiDAR. The research team will build up capabilities and adapt them to the technical demands imposed by COVID-19 of limited interaction by automatizing the LiDAR scanning using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). This new technology is also called LiDAR-equipped UAS technology. The lack of quantitative measurements and location information during the bridge construction process results in personal human-based bridge inspections. Bridge owners and managers tasked with making major maintenance/repair decisions with inadequate funding and resources. It is appealing to develop a new construction inspection record with quantitative measures and geo-referenced locations in a holistic process that the owner can use in the entire life of the structure as a record of “as-built” rebar location. A new automatic bridge inspection method based on LiDAR and UAS is proposed to improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and objectivity of these inspections while enhancing inspectors' safety. In this proposed project, an automated rebar layout detection algorithm will be developed to quickly extract quantitative rebar layout information (i.e., type, size, amount, and location) from the LiDAR data. This systematic method can also be used to inspect the bridge, by automatically segment the bridge elements (i.e., beam, girders, deck, etc.) from a 3D point cloud by using LiDAR-equipped UAS data collection and unsupervised machine learning techniques. The bridge construction information collected by LiDAR-equipped UAS technology with quantitative measures in conjunction with the 3D visualization can provide bridge managers with a transparent condition evaluation and one-stop decision-making support that can significantly ease repair planning/maintenance. The feasibility of this proposed research will be demonstrated using a bridge with the cooperation with NMDOT.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)

    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803
  • Project Managers:

    Mousa, Momen

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

    Department of Civil Engineering
    Albuquerque, NM  United States  87131-0001
  • Principal Investigators:

    Moreu, Fernando

  • Start Date: 20210801
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230201
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01833040
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747106
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 20 2022 2:31PM