Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for AHTD Applications

As part of its mission to develop, operate and maintain a safe and efficient transportation system, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation (AHTD) monitors, inspects, and surveys its highways, bridges, and facilities. Outside of surveying, this is done through several means, such as the Automated Road Analyzer (ARAN) vehicle, traffic counters, bridge sensors, cameras, and field or site inspections. However, there is a need to view areas from above in a flexible, safe, and cost-effective manner. This ability would be beneficial to Environmental, Highway Police, Maintenance, Planning and Research, Public Affairs, Right of Way, and District Personnel. By recording High Definition (HD) video from varying altitudes, AHTD staff can view areas of interest from the air in the field in real time, ensuring proper data collection before returning to the home office. Previously, aerial imagery consisted of fly over photos limited to a specific time or telescopic mounted cameras with limited viewing angles, both of which are cost prohibitive. Thanks to advancements in technology, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) now provide an economical and feasible solution with needed to adapt to different data collection situations. High Definition video, High Definition pictures, low light visibility and thermal imagery at a fraction of the cost of alternative solutions warrant an investigation into the possible uses of unmanned aerial vehicles for data collection in turning conflicts, vehicle counts, headways, queues, vehicle classification and possibly VisSim modeling calibration. Helium balloons also provide an economical and feasible solution for the same type of data collection. This research will be open to both options seeing which will be better for AHTD applications: a UAV or helium balloon with lightweight video equipment attached.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $86240.00
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Federal Highway Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Siskowski, Daniel

      Frierson, Tymli

    • Performing Organizations:

      Arkansas Department of Transportation

      P.O. Box 2261
      Little Rock, AR  United States  72203
    • Principal Investigators:

      Siskowski, Daniel

      Frierson, Tymli

    • Start Date: 20100701
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20120630
    • Source Data: RiP Project 32759

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01543065
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Arkansas Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: TRC1104
    • Files: RIP
    • Created Date: Nov 4 2014 1:01AM