Digital Workflows for Drone-based Inspection and Maintenance of Transportation Infrastructure

Call Reference: 
MG-2.6-2019
Short description of project idea : 
Modern camera and sensor equipped drones (multi-rotor UAS-Unmanned Aerial Systems) can collect valuable digital data about the condition of large critical infrastructures such as bridges, dams or power plants in an efficient, repeatable and high-quality way. State-of the art Computer Vision, Photogrammetry, Artificial Intelligence, System Identification and Numerical Simulation techniques allow such data to be analysed to extract information about the current structural condition and to identify safety-critical states automatically. Digital Building Information Models (BIM) can be tailored to store all relevant information in a consistent and persistent way to support a digital asset management throughout the structure’s lifetime. This project aims at developing a coherent workflow for automated drone-based inspections and fully-digital data processing, analysis and storage to facilitate a continuous safety assessment and maintenance management of large infrastructures.
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany
Transport
ICT
Main areas of expertise: 
Structural Engineering, Computer Vision and Photogrammetry, Artificial Intelligence, Nonlinear numerical simulation techniques, Structural Health Monitoring, System Identification, Bridge Design and Maintenance, Building Information Modelling, Virtual Reality, Big Data, Unmanned Aerial Systems Applications
Main objectives of the project and how will they be achieved: 
Title: 
Main objectives
Description: 
- Development of technical solutions (hardware, software) for the automated execution of drone-based data collection of transport infrastructures such as bridges, including automated flight navigation - Development of methods for analysis of inspection data for the identification of defects and damages, the safety and serviceability assessment of the structure and the persistent storage and documentation of structural geometries and condition data in Building Information Models (BIM) - Application of advanced visualisation techniques for communication and distributed assessment of structures - Implementation and prototype testing on reference structures - Development of procedures, guidelines and regulations for implementation of the technologies in the maintenance of transportation infrastructure
Challenges that may determine the impact of the project: 
Title: 
Challenges
Description: 
- EU-wide challenges of deteriorating infrastructure - Large investment gap and asset management challenges in civil structures and public funding - Complex communication of stakeholders in infrastructure maintenance planning and decision making - Strong need for coherent regulations and standards within the EU
Partners that have already expressed interest in the project and expected role: 
Title: 
Interested Partners
Description: 
- Public Authorities (national and regional road and transport authorities) o Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and Thuringian Department of construction and Transport, Germany - Asset managers and operators o Deutsche Bahn, Germany - Standardisation bodies responsible for the development of standards and guidelines o Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), Germany
Title: 
Companies
Description: 
- Companies for software development in Civil Engineering and Building Information Modelling in infrastructure sector o SOFiSTiK (Germany) o Autodesk o Bentley - Companies in design and maintenance of civil infrastructure o Leonhardt, Andrä und Partner AG (Germany) o COWI (Denmark) o SYSTRA (France) - Hardware developers for Unmanned Aerial Systems and Sensors o INTEL o First Sensor - Companies in drone applications, Computer Vision and Virtual Reality Applications o Cyberhawk (Scotland) o AgiSoft o Pix4D
Title: 
Universities and Research Institutions
Description: 
Internationally leading research institutions in Civil Engineering, Computer Vison, Virtual Reality, Big Data Processing: o University of Cambridge (England) o Technical University of Denmark (Denmark) o University of Zagreb (Croatia) o Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy) o Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany)
Profile of partners sought and expected role: 
Title: 
Partners sought
Description: 
- Public Authorities (national and regional road and transport authorities) - Asset managers and operators - Standardisation bodies responsible for the development of standards and guidelines - Companies for software development in civil engineering and building information modelling in infrastructure sector - Companies in design and maintenance of civil infrastructure - Hardware developers for Unmanned Aerial Systems and sensors - Companies in drone applications, Computer Vision and Virtual Reality Applications - Internationally leading research institutions in Civil Engineering, Computer Vison, Virtual Reality, Big Data Processing
Previous, relevant EU project experience: 
Title: 
3D PITOTI: 3D acquisition, processing and presentation of prehistoric European rock-art
Programme: 
FP7, 600545
Title: 
EXCHANGE-Risk: EXperimental Computational Hybrid Assessment of Natural Gas pipelines Exposed to Seismic Risk
Programme: 
H2020, 691213
Title: 
IMVIS: Immersive Multi-View System for Co-located Collaboration
Programme: 
FP7, 217140
Title: 
INSIST: Integrating Numerical Simulation and Geometric Design Technology
Programme: 
FP7, 289361
Title: 
VR-HYPERSPACE: The innovative use of virtual and mixed reality to increase human comfort by changing the perception of self and space
Programme: 
FP7, 285681
Specific countries/regions/cities you are keen to collaborate with: 
European Union
First Name: 
Guido
Last Name: 
Morgenthal
Name of the organisation: 
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Germany, PIC: 999894722)
Short description of organisation: 
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar is a world renowned university with a strong track record in interdisciplinary research. The research cluster Digital Engineering has been formed as a platform for collaborations between Civil Engineering and Informatics to develop data-driven solutions for real-world engineering problems along the chain of modelling, simulation and visualisation. This is supported by extensive equipment such as the Digital Bauhaus Lab, a high-end drone fleet, monitoring and sensing labs as well as extensive structural testing facilities.

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