PEER now has a quadcopter for unmanned aerial vehicle research, and we are getting a lot more experience in the air. Last week our staff and quadcopter were up in Napa taking images of buildings and bridges. This imagery and footage complements what we previously obtained using our high definition laser scanners.
Below is a series of short video clips from the drone. These are reduced in quality compared to what the cameras actually record, but one can see how it is easy to get close-up information on damaged structures that otherwise difficult or dangerous to get to.
There is very little vibration in the images, which indicates that the aircraft is pretty stable. The quadcopter has GPS and elevation instrumentation so it will hold a position in wind or during panoramic videography. Additionally, it is relatively easy to set a flightpath that consists of waypoints.
Several professors and lab staff have been scanning several buildings and bridges damaged or shaken heavily by the quake, especially looking at the incremental displacements during aftershocks. These are done using high resolution laser scanners that have accuracies to about 1 mm. Others in PEER have been doing LiDAR scans as well, and they have resolutions to about 3 mm.
We are in the process of ordering a street view video camera, but it will take a couple of months to get. They seem to be made when you order them.
If you have any opportunities or special needs for scanning or videoing particular structures, please contact Grace Kang at firstname.lastname@example.org