Utilizing Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Infrastructure Management

Download Final Report

CAIT project no.: CAIT-UTC-NC49

Fiscal Year: 2016/2017

Status: Final

Principal investigator(s): Michael O'Connell, Research Engineer

Performing organization(s): Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation. Rutgers

Managing organization: Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation. Rutgers

Supported by: USDOT, OST-R

UTC, grant, or agreement no.: DTRT13-G-UTC28


This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to inspect, inventory, and monitor interchange assets within New Jersey’s road network. The team will use UAS to collect video and photographic data to do preliminary inspections on multiple components of the interchange, including signage, roadway markings, barrier island, and asphalt condition. Along with data collected on the individual asset components of the interchange, the team will collect aerial imagery data of the interchange as a cohesive unit. These images will be processed to render three-dimensional models and examined to determine if they provide insight on the interchange as a whole that may not be noticeable with conventional two-dimensional images.

This project could result in a training program for engineers regarding the best practices of how to implement UAS into their interchange inspections. It could provide additional information regarding flight planning, image distances, sensor types, altitude, and safe distances necessary for a safe and productive inspection.