Aerial survey of constructions

© Fraunhofer IZFP
Airborne inspection by unmanned air systems.

Considering necessary inspection and monitoring measures for periodic inspections and ageing management of already existing infrastructures, there is a need for modern systems suitable for this task. In case of constructions with difficult accessible areas – due to unusual location, dimensions or a special structure – there is an additional demand for a comprehensive database as basis for complete substance indexing and documentation.

Out of recent technical progress, new ways of inspection by unmanned air systems (UAS) have been arisen. In the frame of NDT, typical applications of airborne inspection zero in on condition assessment, damage diagnostics and monitoring. Since 2009, Fraunhofer IZFP deploys multi-rotor UAS platforms in research projects such as inspection of buildings, bridges, towers or high-risers. These multiengined, electrically driven flying platforms can be equipped with different sensors. The small size enables their application even in narrow or urban areas. Consequently, data acquisition can be carried out time-effectively saving human and material resources. This area of application is covered by a multitude of NDT methods, e.g. visual inspection, radar, laser, or thermography. Subsequently, recorded data – images or videos – are used to generate high-resolution digital 2D and 3D construction reconstructions. These reconstructions constitute a comprehensive data basis for the extended design and realization of remote inspections and monitoring tasks and deliver necessary information for construction lifetime management.