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476660-00019-1 Report Abstract

Use of Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Roadside Condition Assessment

William Scott Hart and Nasir G. Gharaibeh, Texas A&M University, December 2010, 48 pp. (476660-00019-1)

Micro unmanned aerial vehicles (MUAVs) that are equipped with digital imaging systems and global positioning systems provide a potential opportunity for improving the effectiveness and safety of roadside condition and inventory surveys. This study provides an assessment of the effectiveness of MUAVs as a tool for collecting condition data for roadside infrastructure assets using three field experiments. The field experiments entail performing a level of service condition assessment on roadway sample units on IH-20 near Tyler, Texas; IH-35 near Dallas, Texas; and local streets at the Riverside Campus of Texas A&M University. The conditions of these sample units were assessed twice: on-site (i.e., ground truth) and by observing digital images (still and video) collected via a MUAV. The results of this study will help transportation agencies decide if MUAV technology can be adopted for inventory and condition surveys of roadside assets and maintenance activities.

Keywords: Roadway Level of Service, LOS, Condition Assessment, Roadside Maintenance, Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, MUAV, UAV

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 2.8 MB)