Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) - Metro District Bridge Inspection Implementation

Status:  Active
Project Start Date:  07/09/2018


Utilizing drones for bridge inspection research has been completed by MnDOT in multiple phases since 2015. During the summer of 2017, Phase III of this research began using the senseFly albris and the Flyability Elios, a collision-tolerant drone more suited to confined spaces such as box girders, culverts, or areas that are difficult to access. Due to the success of this research, MnDOT Metro District purchased the Elios drone to supplement bridge inspection access where space is confined and optimal lane closures are prohibited, which has been an on-going issue in the Metro District due to traffic volumes. This project would implement drone inspection to the Metro District Bridge inventory by creating an inspection plan that would identify situations best suited for drone use, what parameters govern drone use in bridge inspection, and how UAS could be integrated into standard inspection operations. This project would also deliver a UAS user/policy manual specific to the Metro District and the Elios drone.

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