Commercial UAV Expo content at Amsterdam Drone Week  

September 3-5, 2024  •  Caesars Forum  •  Las Vegas

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Session Details

Infrastructure Inspections

Sep 06 2023

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM PDT

Room 309

The value of using a drone to inspect and identify issues with roads, bridges, tunnels, ports, sewers, and other critical systems before they turn into problems is better understood than ever. However, the details associated with drone data collection techniques for these inspections are critical to understand.  

Are challenges with oversight protocols or training more significant to overcome? What costs need to come down (hardware, software, training, etc.) for an organization to either embrace or simply experiment with drones? What can it mean to use a drone as part of an inspection process where engineers may not be able to physically inspect a piece of infrastructure? How can the technology be deployed at scale?   

These questions will be explored and answered in a series of presentations that detail how drone technology is being used to create value for individual projects and across the enterprise. That value will be measured and showcased in terms of the ways drones are being utilized to improve safety and reduce maintenance costs, providing attendees with actionable information that can define their own projects.

Session moderated by Shayne Gill, AASHTO.

UAS and Digital Twins for Bridge Inspections

The ability to collect and use large amounts of data is transforming our world and the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), artificial intelligence (AI), and digital twins is revolutionizing the way bridges are inspected and managed. UAS can provide a safe and efficient way to access hard-to-reach areas of bridges, while AI can be used to analyze the data collected by the UAS and identify and document defects. Digital twins, meanwhile, can be used to create digital replicas of bridges that can be used to reduce the need for costly and time-consuming physical inspections. By leveraging these technologies, bridge inspections can be conducted more quickly, safely, and effectively, leading to improved bridge safety and reduced maintenance costs. Using these technologies is also helping to address workforce challenges and providing opportunities for engineers to be involved in the inspection process that may not be able to physically inspect the bridge. Learning objectives include data collection using UAS, creation of digital twins, artificial intelligence integration and how to use the metaverse to perform virtual inspections.

Barrit Lovelace, Collins Engineers, Inc.

Safer Acquisition Using sUAS Drone Lidar

Geological hazards, such as rockslides, can be an unpredictable and unsafe environment when documenting the topography using traditional survey methods.

This presentation will show the safer solution and approach using sUAS drone technology on a MoDOT project requiring survey grade information of a steep embankment prone to rockslides along Route 65 at Bear Creek.

Michael Frecks, TREKK Design Group

Remote Track Monitoring and Telemetry Analysis in Canada's Far North

Rail networks and supply chains are increasingly facing complex and emerging risks as a result of changing climate and extreme weather events. These risks can be compounded by remote locations and tight operating schedules.

This presentation will provide an overview of the projects leading up to the development of TrackSense, a software-as-a-service offering for rail operators. TrackSense was jointly designed and implemented by Hudson Bay Railway, DecisionWorks and support from Federal Regulators to reduce the negative impact of climate change to rail infrastructure. TrackSense does this by predicting and responding proactively to a wide variety of rail-related issues. Issues such as high water events, permafrost impacts, track gauge out of tolerance, track misalignment, crossing concerns and switch issues, all of which are managed through an operational dashboard that allows crew dispatch, track inspection reporting and crew management.

While TrackSense is primarily focused on improving rail safety it also comes with a variety of other benefits, the most significant one being it does not interfere with existing railway operations and therefore can allow free movement of revenue-earning rolling stock.

Grant Barkman and Brett Young, Hudson Bay Railway


The Sky is the Limit, UAS Integration on Infrastructure Projects

HNTB is leveraging the latest in UAS hardware and software solutions and utilizing these advanced remote sensing technologies to integrate new data streams into existing workflows on some of our largest projects and programs, including; site planning, environmental constraints, infrastructure design, CEI, operations and maintenance and asset inventory and condition assessments. The utilization of in-house pilots and equipment along with UAS service providers and vendors allows HNTB to stay on the leading edge of the industry. Through the development of standards and best practice specifications, HNTB is ensuring consistent and quality delivery of a wide range of data and products to their design teams and clients. Imagery and other remotely sensed data is only the beginning of the integration as the captured data is post-processed into a wide range of products including but not limited to orthomosaics, point clouds, meshes, 3D renderings and photographic documentation. The field data and post-processed information is then used by various members of the project team for stakeholder/agency meetings, environmental reviews prior to the initiation of field work, preliminary design, mapping of utilities as they are installed, asset inspection and degradation over time.

Scott Tiller, HNTB Corporation 

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TREKK Design Group

Hudson Bay Railway

Hudson Bay Railway

Collins Engineers, Inc.


HNTB Corporation

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