Talk shifts to action as drones inspect Delaware Memorial Bridge - Technical.ly Delaware

Growth

Apr. 7, 2016 12:13 pm

Talk shifts to action as drones inspect Delaware Memorial Bridge

And the Delaware UAS Task Force is still plugging away with plans for drone use in the First State.
A drone by the Delaware-bound span of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

A drone by the Delaware-bound span of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

(Photo courtesy of DRBA)

There’s been a lot of talk around here about the potential use of drones and learning how to fly them, but this week the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) actually used drones for a practical purpose in inspecting the Delaware Memorial Bridge Twin Span.

The inspection was a test to see if the authority will move forward with using drones for further inspections, according to a release. Scott Green, DRBA’s executive director, said in a statement that the test was “a case of putting our money where our mouth is.”

The successful use of drones in this scenario seems to be a big win: It’s much safer and faster than manual inspections and costs significantly less. Shekhar Scindia, DRBA project engineer, said sometimes annual inspections cost more than $500,000. Using drones also cuts down on lane closure requirements.

The test took place on the New Jersey side of the bridge complex, and an Inspire 1 Pro and Maverick X8 captured video and photographs from inside a concrete anchorage, external shots of a concrete pier and of the bridge’s steel cable and superstructure.

An image from the drone beneath the Delaware-bound span taken from streaming video displayed on a LED monitor at the site.

An image from the drone beneath the Delaware-bound span taken from streaming video displayed on a LED monitor at the site. (Photo courtesy of DRBA)

The DRBA will take that footage and decide if it’s good enough to permanently replace traditional inspection methods, the release said.

Advertisement

The authority has been involved in the Delaware UAS Task Force, which has been meeting monthly to iron out the future of drone use in the state. The group has discussed public education, training and outreach; a proposed resolution for the state legislature; the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership; and economic development options, some of which include drone racing events and drone video for Delaware.

The task force’s next meeting is April 21 in Dover, and Ryan Media Lab will give a drone demonstration at Legislative Mall before the meeting begins.

-30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Delaware

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!