Systematic use of transport infrastructure non-destructive assessment and remote sensing

Benedetto, Andrea, Al-Qadi, Imad L., Alani, Amir M., Ciampoli, Luca Bianchini, Loizos, Andreas and Tosti, Fabio (2022) Systematic use of transport infrastructure non-destructive assessment and remote sensing. In: 11th International Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways and Airfields (BCRRA 2022); 28 - 30 Jun 2022, Trondheim, Norway.


For decades, remote sensing technologies and the non-destructive testing (NDT) methods have been used for the assessment of transport infrastructure, highways, railways and airfields. The existence of provisions of multi-source, multi-scale and multi-temporal based information on infrastructure conditions on one hand and the developments of hardware and software technologies in the other, have provided opportunities for the growth of the applications of NDT techniques. The outcome lends itself to be incorporated into existing infrastructure management models. This paper presents an overview of the latest developments in ground-based (Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and interferometric radar systems) and satellite (space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) interferometry) remote sensing that applied to transport infrastructures. The applications of GPR to pavements, e.g. multi-layered pavement structure and asphalt concrete (AC) density, and rail-tracks, e.g. ballast assessment are discussed. In addition, the applicability of ground-based radar interferometry and SAR for the bridge structural health monitoring and horizontal transport infrastructure is presented. A novel integrated approach is introduced to form the base of a novel intelligent transport infrastructure management system. The approach is aimed utilizing the structure condition assessment-based information collected using SAR and NDT techniques to prioritize maintenance/rehabilitation activities of transportation assets. For example, analyses of multi-temporal SAR data are used to identify areas of concern at the network level (e.g. differential settlements at bridge approaches or rail track-beds, and excessive deformation rate of pavement surface). The identified locations would be further assessed using ground-based techniques to collect more accurate data. This approach would provide an effective, efficient, and sustainable state of good repair over the life cycle of the transportation infrastructure system.

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