Hazards identification and risk assessment for UAV-assisted bridge inspections
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionStructure and Infrastructure Engineering. 2021. 10.1080/15732479.2020.1858878
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technology has found its way into several civilian applications in the last 20 years, predominantly due to lower cost and tangible scientific improvements. In its application to structural bridge inspection, UAVs provide two main functions. The first, being the most common, detect damage through visual sensors. The 2 D image data can be used to quickly establish a basic knowledge of the structure’s condition and is usually the first port of call. The second reconstructs 3D models to provide a permanent record of geometry for each bridge asset, which could be used for navigation and control purposes. However, there are various types of hazards and risks associated with the use of UAVs for bridge inspection, in particular, in a cold operating environment. In this study, a systematic methodology, which is an integration of hazard identification, expert judgment, and risk assessment for preliminary hazard analysis (PHA) in the UAV-assisted bridge inspection system is proposed. The proposed methodology is developed and exemplified via UAV-assisted inspection of Grimsøy bridge, a 71.3 m concrete bridge, located in the Viken county in eastern Norway.