The Institute for Transportation at Iowa State University has released a report that considers the performance of terrestrial laser scanners as a means to automatically detect cracks when carrying out bridge structural condition assessments.
This research project proposed to measure the performance of TLS for the automatic detection of cracks for bridge structural condition assessment. Laser scanning is an advanced imaging technology that is used to rapidly measure the three-dimensional (3D) coordinates of densely scanned points within a scene. The data gathered by a laser scanner are provided in the form of point clouds, with color and intensity data often associated with each point within the cloud.
Point cloud data can be analyzed using computer vision algorithms to detect cracks for the condition assessment of reinforced concrete structures. In this research project, adaptive wavelet neural network (WNN) algorithms for detecting cracks from laser scan point clouds were developed based on the state-of-the-art condition assessment codes and standards. Using the proposed method for crack detection would enable automatic and remote assessment of a bridge’s condition. This would, in turn, result in reducing the costs associated with infrastructure management and improving the overall quality of our infrastructure by enhancing maintenance operations.