Earlier this year OxTS partner Dronezone srl. were tasked with mapping an aging railway bridge. They soon realised that they would need to conduct a UAV bridge survey using one of their drones. This would enable them to cover all of the areas they needed to in a timely manner.
The reason for the scan was due to concerns about its safety and the danger from overgrown foliage. The end goal was to understand how damaged it was and whether any future restoration work was needed. Dronezone needed a clear and accurate survey of the bridge so they could answer these questions.
Conducting a UAV survey of a bridge brought with it a number of challenges. These included challenges around payload weight, flight time, accuracy and more.
The team needed to build a payload that was lightweight, small, could be configured quickly and easily (including integration between the navigation and survey devices) and provide the accuracies required to meet their needs.
Using a combination of technology including their own drone – the DZX8 Heavy, Velodyne LiDAR sensor, xNAV650 INS and OxTS Georeferencer, this is how they overcame those challenges to produce an accurate scan of the bridge that they could use time and again for detailed analysis.