The impact of a PEER funded research project "Autonomous Drone or Inspection-Driven Exploration of Structures" is highlighted below. The project Principal Investigator (PI) is Raja Sengupta, Professor of Civil Engineering, UC Berkeley. The Research Team includes Xin Peng, Graduate Student Researcher, UC Berkeley and Gaofeng Su, Graduate Student Researcher, UC Berkeley.
Transportation infrastructure constitutes vital links in modern society. Therefore, rapid post-disaster response is essential for community and regional resilience. This project aims to develop a rapid drone-based sensing and computing system that incorporates cognitive remote sensing, autonomous 3D-mapping and damage inspection, path planning, data-driven integrated damage assessment from first-principles. The platform will explore the environment with the purpose of finding the damage and collecting high-quality images, which enhances worker safety and improves post-earthquake safety inspection efficiency. The scientific and technological innovation from this project takes us a step closer to the life-cycle digital twin desired for civil structures. The research team aims to build a prototype platform validated in simulation for practical use. If successful, the prototype system can be adapted for use in many other transportation structures and critical infrastructure systems, and be usable for urban-scale post-disaster reconnaissance, thereby facilitating community resilience at a larger scale.