The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-2/W6
24 Aug 2017
 | 24 Aug 2017


J. Y. Rau, K. W. Hsiao, J. P. Jhan, S. H. Wang, W. C. Fang, and J. L. Wang

Keywords: Bridge inspection, Crack Detection, OBIA, UAV

Abstract. Bridge is an important infrastructure for human life. Thus, the bridge safety monitoring and maintaining is an important issue to the government. Conventionally, bridge inspection were conducted by human in-situ visual examination. This procedure sometimes require under bridge inspection vehicle or climbing under the bridge personally. Thus, its cost and risk is high as well as labor intensive and time consuming. Particularly, its documentation procedure is subjective without 3D spatial information. In order cope with these challenges, this paper propose the use of a multi-rotary UAV that equipped with a SONY A7r2 high resolution digital camera, 50 mm fixed focus length lens, 135 degrees up-down rotating gimbal. The target bridge contains three spans with a total of 60 meters long, 20 meters width and 8 meters height above the water level. In the end, we took about 10,000 images, but some of them were acquired by hand held method taken on the ground using a pole with 2–8 meters long. Those images were processed by Agisoft PhotoscanPro to obtain exterior and interior orientation parameters. A local coordinate system was defined by using 12 ground control points measured by a total station. After triangulation and camera self-calibration, the RMS of control points is less than 3 cm. A 3D CAD model that describe the bridge surface geometry was manually measured by PhotoscanPro. They were composed of planar polygons and will be used for searching related UAV images. Additionally, a photorealistic 3D model can be produced for 3D visualization. In order to detect cracks on the bridge surface, we utilize object-based image analysis (OBIA) technique to segment the image into objects. Later, we derive several object features, such as density, area/bounding box ratio, length/width ratio, length, etc. Then, we can setup a classification rule set to distinguish cracks. Further, we apply semi-global-matching (SGM) to obtain 3D crack information and based on image scale we can calculate the width of a crack object. For spalling volume calculation, we also apply SGM to obtain dense surface geometry. Assuming the background is a planar surface, we can fit a planar function and convert the surface geometry into a DSM. Thus, for spalling area its height will be lower than the plane and its value will be negative. We can thus apply several image processing technique to segment the spalling area and calculate the spalling volume as well. For bridge inspection and UAV image management within a laboratory, we develop a graphic user interface. The major functions include crack auto-detection using OBIA, crack editing, i.e. delete and add cracks, crack attributing, 3D crack visualization, spalling area/volume calculation, bridge defects documentation, etc.