Development of a Semi-autonomous Drone for Structural Health Monitoring of Structures Using Digital Image Correlation (DIC)

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Book Chapter

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Structural Health Monitoring, Photogrammetry & DIC


Digital Image Correlation (DIC) has proven itself to be a highly versatile and accurate method to measure 2D and 3D displacement, deformation, and strain in a wide range of structures and objects. A major advantage is that it is a non-contact, full-field measurement technique; it measures phenomena across the entire target object without having to attach sensors directly to the object. Despite the ability to measure many static and dynamic phenomena, the cameras and data acquisition equipment are almost exclusively set up in a static configuration. The cameras are often mounted on tripods and remain positioned in the same location while taking measurements. Such an immobile measurement platform prevents DIC from being employed to measure objects in inaccessible locations, such as bridges and tall buildings. An unmanned aerial vehicle carrying digital image correlation cameras has high mobility and can easily access regions on structures that would otherwise be too expensive or dangerous to measure with conventional static camera setups. This paper presents the development and testing of a prototype mobile digital image correlation platform. The resulting platform carries all of the necessary equipment on-board the drone and can be controlled by a single user with a remote control. It is shown that the prototype drone platform is capable of taking accurate and repeatable measurements while airborne. This drone aims to be used for vibration measurement and structural health monitoring of structures such as wind turbines and bridges.



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ISBN: 978-3-319-74476-6


© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2019