Inspecting a complex viaduct: a use case

May 21, 2019

Eyefly, a Dutch drone inspection firm, has recently completed a challenging viaduct inspection in Luxemburg with the help of Drone Harmony’s data capture platform.

Drone Harmony is widely used to inspect bridges, viaducts and other vertical infrastructure assets around the world. In a recent inspection, Drone Harmony was used to enable quality data collection of the viaduct site, despite its’ complex shape and environment. Lammert de Graaf, specialist at Eyefly, was kind enough to tell us more about this inspection.

Drone Harmony: Lammert, which task did Eyefly receive from the client?
Lammert de Graaf: Our task was to create a 3D model and high resolution images of a bridge in order to inspect the concrete for cracks. This bridge is still under construction. The 3d model was needed to create an easy to navigate data set of high resolution images, that could later be examined for damages in the office.

DH: How long did it take you?
Lammert: We invested one day for the assessment and spent one day of flying.

DH: What did using Drone Harmony enable for this project?
Lammert: With the help of Drone Harmony, we were able to automatically plan safe flights around the viaducts’ columns and above the entire structure, based on a KML shape file. This workflow allowed us to gather the quality data we needed from the most complex parts of the structure in reasonable time.

Bridge Inspection Drone Harmony and Eyefly

DH: What are the challenges that you are facing when performing such work?
Lammert: In certain situations it is hard to rely on GPS positioning, as we need to fly close, and at times, under the structure. We hence use DJI’s RTK system to ensure stable positioning. Sometimes it was too complex to fly automatically. We used a combination of automatically generated flight plans as recommended by Drone Harmony and a bit of manual flying based on the Drone Harmony flight plans in the GPS denied parts. Although the map was well correlated to the actual columns, it was helpful to be able to load a CAD drawing from the client into the Drone Harmony software. Overall, considering all the challenges, we are delighted with the process and the result.

Viaduct inspection Drone Harmony

Do you have a bridge, viaduct, or any other vertical structure to inspect? Chances are that Drone Harmony has the tools to let you capture the quality data you need. For more information, feel free to trial our data capture platform, or reach out.