Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    This paper is intended to provide the state-of-the-art and of-the-practice on visual inspection, monitoring, and analysis of infra-structure using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Several researchers have inspected various civil infrastructures, including bridges, build-ings, and other structures, by capturing close-up images or recording videos, while operating UAVs. Various image analysis tools, such as the algorithm Morphological Link for Crack (Morpholink-C), were able to conduct precise measurements of crack thickness and length. Corrosion has also been detected using texture and color algorithms to investigate UAV-based images. Other analysis methods include struc-turally integrated sensors, such as digital image correlation equipment, which have helped to capture structural behaviors using UAVs. After the literature review was completed, a nationwide survey was distributed to Departments of Transportation (DOTs) to evaluate the current UAV-enabled inspection techniques that different DOTs have used or are planning to use for visual damage assessment for critical trans-portation infrastructures, especially bridges. Furthermore, a pertinent UAV selection was completed to indicate suitable UAVs for bridge inspection. Primary findings have shown that UAV-enabled infrastructure inspection techniques have been successfully developed to detect a broad variety of damage (including cracks and corrosions), and a few DOTs have used UAVs to inspect bridges as a more economical and versatile tool.

    Publication Notes

    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Duque, Luis; Seo, Junwon; Wacker, James. 2018. Synthesis of unmanned aerial vehicle applications for infrastructures. Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities. 32(4): 1-10.


    Google Scholar


    Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), infrastructure, image, damage, measurement, inspection, assessment

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page