Project 1.12: Improved UAV-Based Structural Inspection Techniques and Technologies for Northeast Bridges

Improved UAV-Based Structural Inspection Techniques and Technologies for Northeast Bridges

Project 1.12

Project Summary

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or “drones” are revolutionizing some basic reconnaissance, including structural inspections. This project seeks to enhance and expand the range of applications for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to aid inspection of transportation structures. This project is primarily aimed at UAV modifications to allow new ways for the vehicles to get additional information, for example allowing the UAV to come in contact with the structure to allow for more high-fidelity measurements, or developing sensor array packages that can be varied based on the structure and the information desired. Proposed tasks include work with commercially available UAVs and development of new prototypes that can be used in specialized applications. Subsequent tasks will examine ways to optimize both the data collection and data interpretation, using AI-based data fusion approaches. Finally, both laboratory and field testing and validation are proposed. The work will be conducted in collaboration with both the Maine Department of Transportation and an engineering consultant VHB.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Eric Landis


Dr. Alex Friess
Dr. Ali Shirazi


University of Maine

Project Status


Project Cost

$566, 743

Start Date


Project Type


End Date


Agency ID



Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research Technology, University Transportation Centers Program, Department of Transportation, Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center, University of Maine

Implementation of Research Outcomes:

This project is in its initial research phase. Implementation of research outcomes will be reported upon completion of the research outputs.

Impacts and Benefits of Implementation:

This project is in its research phase. Impacts and benefits of the research will be reported after the implementation phase.

Printable Project Information Sheet

December 2020 Quarterly Progress Report

March 2021 Quarterly Progress Report

June 2021 Quarterly Progress Report

September 2021 Quarterly Progress Report

December 2021 Quarterly Progress Report

March 2022 Quarterly Progress Report