WIT Press

Drone-based bridge inspection in harsh operating environment: risks and safeguards


Free (open access)


Volume 5 (2021), Issue 2



Page Range

118 - 135

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Mostafa Aliyari, Behrooz Ashrafi & Yonas Zewdu Ayele


The inability to effectively and systematically identify and measure the damage in bridges will lead to an acceleration and dangerous deterioration of the health state of these structures. To repair and replace the aging and damaged bridge infrastructures, and prevent catastrophic bridge collapse, there is an urgent need to develop reliable, innovative, and efficient approaches to the performance assessment and inspection of bridges. Unmanned aerial vehicles, also knowns as drone, technology has found its way into a number of civilian applications including inspection in the last 20 years, predominantly due to lower cost and tangible scientific improvements. The intent of this paper is to map the current state-of- the-art drone-enabled bridge inspection practices and investigated their associated hazards and risks. This paper will integrate scenario prediction and, assess hazards as well as the social and environmental loss in the case of drone-enabled bridge inspection. Further, this paper will follow rather closely a three- phase process: hazard identification, hazard analysis, and hazard evaluation, all executed with qualitative data and methods by experts of a variety of fields, methodologies for recognition of the impact of cold operating environment on the performance of drone and drone-pilots, creative interpretation of the hazard factors of identifiable problems. The proposed preliminary hazard analysis (PHA) is exemplified via drone-enabled inspection of Håkenby bridge, which is located in the Viken county, in the eastern part of Norway.


cold environment, drone inspection, drone, drone-enabled bridge inspection, preliminary hazard analysis (PHA), risk assessment