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3 Infrastructure Maintenance Applications Powered by Drones
Drones are empowering the governments and construction companies with a digital eye for effective and efficient maintenance purposes.
FREMONT, CA: European infrastructure has often been considered to be a model around the world. European roads and bridges are often marvelled at for their engineering excellence and designs. With advancements in technology, governments and construction firms across Europe are eyeing to invest more in the construction sector. According to a report, the mortality rate resulting from road accidents is 50 per million inhabitants. The figure is significantly less as compared to the global figure of 174 deaths per million. However, every fatality is a loss. Measures must be taken to bring the figure close to zero. Thus, there is a need to develop a technological infrastructure that can further foster safety and development in the construction sector. Drone technology will be major incorporation in this regard. Here are the primary areas where the inclusion of drones can add immense value.
European bridges are one of the marvels of engineering. However, like any other engineering outcomes, they too have a lifespan. Weather conditions, human errors, and several other factors can pose a threat to the steadiness of a bridge. If properly assessed and maintained, the lifespan can be increased significantly. Regular checks and analysis of the construction sector can also potentially save lives. While engaging humans may not be the most practical solution, drones can offer significant advantages in this regard. Drones can be laced with sensors that will offer real-time updates of the bridge infrastructure. Early deployment of drones can prevent impending disasters, as stated in the following paragraph.
For instance, last year, a 200-metre section of a bridge collapsed in the city of Genoa in Italy, thereby killing 43 and leaving 600 homeless. The bridge collapse was a blow not only to the people’s lives but also to Italy’s once-marvelled engineering history. Even though a number of reasons could be cited to justify the failure, Genoa’s bridge and a number of other bridges casualties elsewhere could have been avoided using an inspection and assessment technology, such as a drone.
Drones can fly around the bridge and capture images covering multiple angles of the structure. The technology can also be further upgraded to spot a crack or a design flaw in a structure. Employing drones for bridge inspection is much easier and cost-effective than deploying humans for the same job.
Haul Road Inspection
European companies involved in mining are already aware of the importance of haul roads. However, they may not have an idea about a technology that can enhance the safety and efficiency of these roads without affecting the work progress. Drones technology can be of immense value in case of haul roads inspection too. The main advantage of deploying drones in case of haul roads inspection and maintenance comes from the fact that the issues involved in haul roads are entirely different from those in common roads. A haul road is critical to the safety of the personnel involved in mining transportation as well as the efficiency of the mining business. For instance, a one per cent rolling resistance resulting from natural erosion will increase fuel consumption, vehicle maintenance costs, and the transport cycle times, thereby, lowering productivity and increasing costs apart from risking human lives.
An automated drone equipped with sensors can be deployed to capture images, videos that can be transmitted to the road engineers without wasting time and human resources for the purpose. Further, in case of a maintenance issue, sending inspection personnel might be dangerous owing to the poor condition of the road.
Like the bridges, European roads have also been held in high regards for their planning and engineering prowess. Maintenance of roads needs to be among the top priority for any government as the condition of roads significantly impacts the economy of a region. Roads support day to day businesses. Further, well-maintained roads will also decrease the chances of accidents. However, human personnel for road inspection financially burdens a government as road inspection and maintenance is a never-ending affair. Incorporating drones can address the above challenge effectively and efficiently. AI-trained algorithms that are laced along with a drone sensor can spot various types of errors while allowing the inspectors to devise the required maintenance plans. Most of the roads in European countries are checked just once in a year. Drones could increase the frequency of road inspection and prevent small pits from degrading into potholes.
Thus, the use of a drone for inspection and maintenance can save a significant amount of money as well as time. European companies and governments are already making huge strides with the increased incorporation of technology into their systems. It’s essential to acknowledge that the current developments in this aspect hold the key to economic success in the future.
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