Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Assessment of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Pavement Inspections

Report number: DOT/FAA/TC-23/39, Authors: Drishti Valecha, David Hall, Ethan Schreuder, Sheldon Menezes, Aaron Lawrence, and Russell Knieriem

Abstract

Pavement inspections play an integral role in ensuring airport safety. The FAA Airport Technology Research and Development (ATR) branch performed research to assess the integration of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) into an airport’s Pavement Management Program (PMP). To conduct sUAS-based pavement inspections, the research team tested across five different airports between 2020 and 2022. The objective was to provide a repeatable set of processes and procedures for data collection, analysis, and reporting for sUAS-based pavement inspections. This report presents sUAS data collection parameters, data processing techniques, and data analysis, as well as workflows associated with each inspection. A summary of distresses identifiable via sUAS is also provided.
 

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