Our latest venture, in partnership with LandScope Engineering, is a bespoke inspection hexacopter specifically designed to meet the needs of bridge underside inspection and visualisation. Coupled with our photogrammetric post-processing software, this provides a cost effective and safe alternative to bridge inspections that traditionally require the use of either work platforms or rope access for bridges and other structures crossing waterways or carriageways. Additionally, it allows detailed inspections to be carried out in spaces where it might otherwise be too difficult or dangerous to gain access.

Our hexacopter carries a top-mounted 20MP digital camera fitted with a high-quality wide-angle lens, and is able to fly close to the walls and roof of almost any structure more than a few metres across. It is therefore able to view the entire underside of a bridge from ground or water level to the apex. We post-process the resulting images to create scaled 3D pointclouds and orthophotomosaics of a structure’s internal surface which can be used to extract accurate measurements of the interior. A high-resolution 3D photomosaic mesh can also be created for use in qualitative assessments.

Our geomatics partner LandScope Engineering has developed techniques to seamlessly integrate accurate 3D models of structures using a close range photogrammetric technique with other above- and below-water data sets to produce a homogeneous model of a bridge structure, all of which are invaluable resources for efficiency planning bridge maintenance and repair programmes.

Applications that can benefit from UAV photogrammetric surveys include :

  • Condition monitoring and inspection, for example crack detection
  • Movement monitoring and void mapping
  • Post-flood damage assessment.