Australian transport infrastructure company Transurban has released a video outlining how their drone fleet is supporting construction, maintenance and inspection operations.
Transurban operates infrastructure in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, as well as roads in North America, in Montreal and Greater Washington. The company’s maintenance teams have been using drones to gather data quickly, preventing the need for disruptive closures that would cause drivers huge inconvenience.
But inspections have to be done. Transurban asset manager Domenico De Conti, whose responsibilities include the Lane Cove Tunnel – a 3.6 km twin-tunnel in Sydney – said, “Drones on the motorways are great for our customers. They remove the need for us to have lane closures and speed reductions.”
Read more: PrecisionHawk Acquires Drone Inspection Firm Uplift
Preventing disruption and carrying out inspections in challenging places
He explains that the technology is being applied at pretty much every point of the company’s projects. “Some of the work we do with roads includes project updates. We do flyovers to see how the project has progressed. We also do updates on spoil takeout at Hornsby quarry, and use drones inside the tunnel, in confined spaces and at height.”
Without droning on… take a look at how we’re using drones to carry out inspections across our assets. #dronelife #dronezone pic.twitter.com/c7st5r8K5V
— Transurban (@TransurbanGroup) February 12, 2019
The video features DJI drones working in dark conditions – under bridges and roads – to inspect infrastructure foundations. The Phantom 4 included has spotlights and a safety suit of sorts, so is able to fly close to walls without the pilot having to worry about a crash. The Matrice 200 is used to survey the foundations of a road from underneath.
Brendan Boyce, Senior Civil Structures Engineer at Transurban, said ” drones benefit the motorist by allowing us to get into these places for inspections. We can inspect the bridge from underneath, which ultimately causes less traffic congestion and provides a safer environment for the road users.”
Read more: Australia’s Civil Aviation Authority Confirms Roll Out Of Counter Drone Measures