Is it droneable? A framework to determine the applicability of drones for bridge inspections
Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, The Netherlands
Steven Verver (Netherlands, 1972) has a cum laude Masters degree in artificial intelligence from the University of Amsterdam. After graduating he has worked for 20 years in several management roles in web application development and e-learning solutions. Steven is professionally active in the UAV industry since 2015. He has been involved in several successful commercial UAV initiatives in the Netherlands and has managed 300+ drone inspection projects in industry, oil & gas and public applications. His specialism is the inspection of industrial confined spaces with UAS, like storage tanks, water basins, tunnels and surge barriers. Steven has led a long-running R&D initiative to execute ultrasonic thickness measurements of steel surfaces with drones. This has led to breakthrough technology that is adopted worldwide and has been awarded two international UAS patents. Steven is also involved in software platforms for online storage and collaboration of inspection data.
The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water management manages about 6500 bridges in the Netherlands. In many cases, the costs and leadtime of bridge inspections can be lowered dramatically using drones. But: traditional inspection companies have not widespread drone technology in their daily routines yet, so most bridge inspections are still drone in a traditional way. To accelerate the adoption of drone technology in the bridge inspection market, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water management has developed an assessment framework which allows them to determine the applicability of drone inspections for each bridge. Using a structured approach based on the known properties of the bridge, a “drone label” can be generated that clearly shows the business case in terms of time, money, safety and other parameters. Steven Verver and Kai Giese from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water management will present this framework and show some real-world examples.