Mich. DOT testing new digicam system that inspects bridge decks precisely and safely

Display shot from WWMT video.

A brand new digicam system for inspecting bridge decks that’s being examined in southwest Michigan by the Michigan Division of Transportation (MDOT) gives higher inspection element of concrete bridge decks whereas preserving staff protected from shifting autos, WWMT Information studies.

Developed by the Michigan Tech Analysis Institute, the 3-D optical bridge analysis system, often called 3DOBS, collects high-quality imagery at excessive speeds.

“It’s a high-quality digicam that we connect to the trailer hitch of any car, and we drive it throughout bridges,” says Rick Dobson, the analysis scientist on the institute main the mission, in keeping with the information company. “From that, we are able to create 2-D mosaic pictures, and from that we are able to extract situation details about the bridge deck.”

Throughout preliminary exams of the system, researchers made quite a few journeys throughout 10 totally different MDOT bridges, together with bridges in freeway, non-freeway, and high-traffic metropolis areas. The 3DOBS outcomes had been in comparison with conventional inspection studies to develop a plan to greatest use the know-how.

“Inspectors don’t should be out on the deck to do conventional inspections,” mentioned Dobson, including that employee security was the principle benefit of the brand new know-how, in keeping with the information company. Different benefits embody inspecting the bridges with out closing down lanes, accuracy, and with the ability to monitor points over time. “You possibly can monitor that 1/64th of an inch crack,” Dobson added. “You possibly can monitor how briskly it’s getting larger after which you may predict into the long run once you might need larger points and deal with it earlier than it turns into a problem.”

Some MDOT employees have already been skilled to make use of the digicam and software program. MDOT spokesman Dan Weingarten informed the information company that utilizing sound asset administration instruments is essential for preserving the system. He mentioned MDOT will proceed to guage the 3DOBS know-how this summer time to see how greatest it suits into inspection workflows. Regional places of work that want to use the digicam will obtain coaching as wanted.