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Andrew Whiting - Aurecon - Structural Integrity Inspections with UAV’s
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Andrew Whiting - Aurecon - Structural Integrity Inspections with UAV’s

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Andrew Whiting, Technical Director, Resources and Manufacturing Services, Aurecon delivered the presentation at the 2014 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in the Resources Industry. …

Andrew Whiting, Technical Director, Resources and Manufacturing Services, Aurecon delivered the presentation at the 2014 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in the Resources Industry.

The 2014 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in the Resources Industry explored the enormous potential of UAVs within mining and resources operations.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://www.informa.com.au/uavresourcesconference14

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • 1. Structural Integrity Inspections with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) Dr Andrew Whiting Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the Resources Industry, Perth 26-27June 2014
  • 2. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 MILITARY SPORTS COVERAGE RECREATION REAL ESTATE NEWS COVERAGE PAPARAZZI Diverse applications of UAV’s
  • 3. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 Overview Introduction Structural integrity inspections: What is a structural integrity inspection? Inspection methodology Non-destructive testing Applications of UAVs for structural integrity inspections Safety of UAVs Pros and cons of UAVs Key features of UAVs for inspections Future developments
  • 4. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 What can UAV’s be used for? Example video: inspection of conveyor
  • 5. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 What is a Structural Integrity Inspection? Structural integrity inspections involve visual examination by qualified structural engineers to assess the condition of existing assets. May also involve: Non-destructive testing (NDT) Residual life assessment Specification of remedial works Objective: to ensure continued safe and reliable use of an existing asset Materials deteriorate with time (nature at work). In the absence of regular monitoring and remediation, the integrity of a structure may be compromised leading to potential: structural failure costly maintenance loss of production adverse environmental consequences
  • 6. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 Inspection Methodology 1. Planning Review drawings Identify critical elements (high load, no redundancy) Define battery limits 2. Inspection General review Local review of areas of concern Non-destructive testing 3. Reporting Document results Document remedial works Recommend future inspection
  • 7. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 Inspection Ratings Condition Rating Steel Concrete 1 No loss of section No visible cracks / no spalling 2 Localised pitting Minor cracks 3 Extensive pitting Small cracks / minor spalling 4 Small loss of section Large cracks / severe spalling 5 Large loss of section / missing members Extensive cracking / exposed reinforcement Severity
  • 8. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 Non-Destructive Testing Concrete: Rebound test – hammer used to determine areas of delamination and spalling Coring – compressive strength testing; chloride or carbonation testing Steel: Ultrasonic testing – to determine residual thickness Weld testing – ultrasonic, magnetic particle, dye penetrant Bolts – sample removed (and replaced) for testing
  • 9. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 Inspection Report
  • 10. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 How can risk be better managed? Establish an asset management system
  • 11. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 What can UAV’s be used for? Inspection of various types of structures: Elevated structure conveyors Mobile machines Bins and silos Tanks Jetties and wharves Bridges Mitigation of hazards: Heights Water Moving plant (trucks) Operating conveyors Electrical hazards Confined spaces Hazardous areas (dust) Unstable ground
  • 12. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 What can UAV’s be used for? Elevated conveyors
  • 13. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 What can UAV’s be used for? Mobile machines
  • 14. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 What can UAV’s be used for? Example video: footage from UAV
  • 15. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 What can UAV’s be used for? Storage bins and surge bins
  • 16. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 What can UAV’s be used for? Silos
  • 17. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 Light poles What can UAV’s be used for?
  • 18. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 What can UAV’s be used for? Tanks and other confined spaces
  • 19. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 What can UAV’s be used for? Jetties and wharves
  • 20. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 What can UAV’s be used for? Post disaster inspections
  • 21. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 Safety of UAVs (for structural integrity inspections) There are two aspects to safety: 1. Safety during the inspection itself Risk reduced when UAV is used (operator removed from hazardous environment) Hazards remain for traditional inspection methods (but the likelihood of an incident can be reduced if the number or duration of inspections is reduced by using UAV) 2. Safety as an outcome of an inspection Early identification of defects enables risks to be controlled by implementation of repairs or ongoing monitoring Hierarchy of Controls
  • 22. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 Safer than a full sized (manned) helicopter Safer than an Elevated Work Platform The use of UAV’s is regulated by CASA Safety Management System / Risk Assessments Safety systems: - auto-home if signal is lost - double redundancy radio transmission - inertial stabilisation - GPS hold - RFID security start key - GPS flight path control - low noise: ~65dB(A) at 3m - telemetry and flight recorder Is a UAV Safe ?
  • 23. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 How can risk be better managed? With a Risk Based Inspection (RBI) programme RBI Standards
  • 24. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 How can risk be better managed? Outputs of an RBI assessment are inputs to the inspection program Prioritisation of high risk components WHAT to inspect Determination of inspection intervals WHEN to inspect Expected damage mechanisms WHERE to inspect Selection of best inspection method HOW to inspect Data requirements for continuous improvement WHAT to inspect
  • 25. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 Pros and Cons of using UAVs for Inspections CONS Not hazard free Dusty environment Limited application for NDT Complementary tool rather than a replacement for existing methods Overuse of UAVs may reduce quality of inspection results leading to increased risk of failure PROS Safety (inspection & post- inspection) Cost Manoeuvrability Coverage Interactive operation Quality
  • 26. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 Key features of UAVs (for structural integrity inspections) High resolution image Real-time video Gyro stabilisation Ability to hover and move in/zoom for closer inspection of areas of concern Portable Simple to use GPS Audio capture at base station
  • 27. Copyright © Aurecon 2014 Future developments: Miniaturisation – limited application Autonomy – limited value Better quality Lower cost More widespread use leading to increased applications Flying robot with NDT capability “Gecko pads” or magnetic clamp Flight duration Range (distance) Height – limited value