On Tuesday, February 3rd, our Norwegian customer Orbiton received an emergency call for a bridge inspection from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). Skjeggestad bridge near Holmenstrand had collapsed on the E18.
No one was injured but one of Norway’s main highways needed to be closed immediately. Due to the risk of further collapse, the area was cordoned off and considered unsafe for engineers to approach. Orbiton quickly arrived on site with a two-man team and sent an AscTec Falcon 8 to examine the structure of the bridge. Despite measured wind gusts of up to 19 m/s, Orbiton flew over 20 carefully planned missions and was able to deliver a large amount of crucial imagery and geo-data in record time to NPRA and NVE engineers. Orbiton’s data was then quickly uploaded to central servers and used at top government level.
“The project manager from the Road Authority handling this crisis situation is absolutely fascinated by what he found out he can do with a UAV. We have truly solved a lot headaches for him this week, especially today. We were congratulated by the Head of Bridge Administration for the quality of the datasets. Also, national police has requested the information to use in the investigation. ” Tomas Moss, CEO & Operator, Orbiton
What happened on Monday, February 2nd, was that there was a quick clay (leda clay) landslide right beside the bridge. Several of the main pillars slid from their foundation and the bridge collapsed. This is a very solid 229 m structure that cracked like a cookie. The other bridge beside it seemed initially intact but further ground erosion around the base could have ended up in a catastrophe.
To make matters even more interesting, there was a bulldozer doing ground work for a golf course beside the bridge when all this happened. There is a chance the quick clay slide may have been caused by the bulldozer. That is being investigated. The bulldozer has now partially sunk into the quick clay. A bridge’s collapse had left two people dead just two years ago in 2013. (View here: http://www.newsinenglish.no/2013/05/08/bridge-collapses-in-trondheim/)
Orbiton provided RGB photo, HD video, interactive imagery, inspection reports, orthophoto, DEM, 3D model, and validation report for positioning accuracy. All that data will help secure the accident site and repair the bridge construction properly.
Find first press reports about that here:
Please note: Ascending Technologies develop and produce multirotor and autopilot technology, but provide no service. For further information about UAV bridge inspection and drone based structure assessment please directly contact Orbiton: