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Surveying Bridges & Super-Structures

Surveying Bridges & Super-Structures

Bridges and other structures spanning waterways present challenges when it comes to asset management and maintenance. The structure lifespans are typically measured in decades, with both the surface and subsurface components subject to a number of stresses and strains over long periods of time.

Bridges are often subject to tidal flows 24 hours per day. Understanding the extent and nature of any scouring around the main bridge piles, can be key to helping manage these assets.

To aid in this process DML is able to provide high resolution Multibeam Echo Sounder (MBES) surveys of submerged areas immediately above and below the bridge piles. Above water surface data can be collected simultaneously using vessel mounted Terrestrial Laser Scanners (TLS). When data sets from both above and below the waterline are combined it's possible to create a complete 3D surface image of the entire structure.


Two key challenges arise when utilising high end sensors designed to gather large volumes of point cloud data.

Challenge 1: Managing and understanding the six degrees of vessel motion using a survey quality Inertial Navigation System (INS) to correct TLS and MBES data increases the quality and accuracy of your final data sets.

Challenge 2: The careful online acquisition, management and processing of large volumes of point cloud data in real time is key to reducing post processing effort and deriving accurate results. Daily data volumes range from the hundreds of Gigabytes to Terabytes of data.

The solution requires highly experienced survey personnel to integrate MBES, TLS and INS data.

DML clients can rely on receiving highly accurate surveys, 3D fly-throughs, 2D & 3D images, bathymetric and topographic surfaces, volume calculations, survey plans and reports.

Discovery Marine is continuing to experiment and test multi-platform survey capabilities, digital aerial cameras, remotely operated vehicles and drones for application in various industry sectors where asset maintenance, inspections and monitoring are vital such as road, sea and rail.