AN AUTOMATIC METHOD FOR GEOMETRIC SEGMENTATION OF MASONRY ARCH BRIDGES FOR STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING PURPOSES
Keywords: LiDAR; point clouds; automatic processing; masonry arch bridges; image processing
Abstract. Despite the tremendous advantages of the laser scanning technology for the geometric characterization of built constructions, there are important limitations preventing more widespread implementation in the structural engineering domain. Even though the technology provides extensive and accurate information to perform structural assessment and health monitoring, many people are resistant to the technology due to the processing times involved. Thus, new methods that can automatically process LiDAR data and subsequently provide an automatic and organized interpretation are required.
This paper presents a new method for fully automated point cloud segmentation of masonry arch bridges. The method efficiently creates segmented, spatially related and organized point clouds, which each contain the relevant geometric data for a particular component (pier, arch, spandrel wall, etc.) of the structure. The segmentation procedure comprises a heuristic approach for the separation of different vertical walls, and later image processing tools adapted to voxel structures allows the efficient segmentation of the main structural elements of the bridge. The proposed methodology provides the essential processed data required for structural assessment of masonry arch bridges based on geometric anomalies. The method is validated using a representative sample of masonry arch bridges in Spain.