This project will develop a new system that uses Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for structural health monitoring of inaccessible railway bridges in Canada and India.


  • Image processing algorithms have been developed
  • Two southern railway bridges in India were inspected and evaluated using developed GUI software

Canadian team members are assessing the feasibility of mounting various non-destructive equipment on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), meanwhile Indian team members are developing the design and image processing framework.

Image Processing Framework for Detection and Quantification of Structural Defects/ GUI development

Proposed framework being developed at Veltech (India) exploits visual specifics of infrastructure to perform automated evaluation of structural anomaly like cracks and surface degradation. Two diverse methodologies are being fortified to witness cracks where it’s structural and color features are intercalated. In structural approach, bottom hat transform is implemented while in color analysis HSV thresholding is adopted. Furthermore, integration of Hough filter will help eradicate inapt edges and corners other than cracks. For surface degradation measurement, histogram thresholding method is encompassed to categorize the affected area.  Furthermore, fuzzy and image based structural evaluation Design of Graphical User Interface (GUI) has been developed.

This tool was developed in using MS-excel using Fuzzy logic systems. As First stage, questionnaire was prepared related to different Distress Manifestation about how important distress manifestation will affect the structure in form of ratings. And these questions are distributed among Field engineers, Professors and Scientists in field of civil Engineering. Later these collected data were used to develop a tool using Fuzzy logic concepts.

Feasibility Investigation of Various nondestructive testing sensor/equipment to mount on a UAV

Various non-contact nondestructive testing techniques for the condition monitoring of the bridge decks are being identified along with the contact techniques for the reference measurement. Free vibration testing using different types of accelerometers have been performed on a scaled bridge deck at UVic to get the modal parameters. Infrared camera has been purchased and preliminary photographs have been taken on the scaled bridge deck placed at UVic during different timing to localize the possible delamination. This will accelerate the process of taking images again when the camera is mounted on a UAV later.


Both India and Canada have aging and deteriorating railway infrastructure. The inspection of railway bridges is of prime importance as it provides connectivity links for industrial and domestic movement. With more than 50,000 major bridges in the Indian Railways, many are more than 100 years old. Given their age, there is an imminent need to monitor the condition of these bridges on a timely basis. At present the bridge inspection is mostly confided to visual means, which is inadequate and also not reliable. Many inaccessible areas of the bridge are not inspected. Similarly. deterioration of defection cannot be mapped on a time scale. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is the best strategy for improving monitoring. Real time monitoring of structural integrity of bridge structures can provide safety to the public and ability to detect early damages and cut doe the cost and time associate with repair.

This research project will synthesize the state-of-art technologies available for SHM of civil structures, efficiency incorporate UAVs and contemporary electronic systems, with particular focus on inspecting transportation structures like bridges. The outcomes are expect dot develop innovative remote sensing equipment using UAV for infrastructure condition assessment, condition assessment of Indian Railways bridges using developed techniques and comparison to data collected using mounted sensors, development of logarithms to correlate bridge condition to gathered data, and field application of technology to demoted bridges in Canada and India.

Project Team

Dr. Rishi Gupta, University of Victoria
Dr. Esakki Balasubramanian, VelTech
Dr. Suppiah Subramaniam, VelTech
Dr. R.P. Bajpai, VelTech
Dr. U. Chandrasekhar, VelTech
Dr. P. Sarasu, VelTech


University of Victoria
VelTech Rangarajan Dr. Sagunthala R&D Institute of Science and Technology
Telecon Pvt. Ltd.
Indian Railways
National Instruments Corporation

Number of Current Students: 4

Key Outcomes

Publications: 4
Presentations: 2