UNICA-pilot – Autonomous non-intrusive condition assessment of infrastructure – towards automation, system thinking, and complete solution

UNICA-pilot project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of an intervention-oriented Autonomous Non-Intrusive Condition Assessment – UNICA – process in order to improve the current practices for monitoring and predicting the performance of the aging infrastructure and to enable the transition from current traditional practices to methods with a larger degree of automation and system thinking. The core concept is the optimized/customized integration of three technical platforms:

(1) Inspection: autonomous inspection methods, using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to minimize intrusion on the transport flow, cover large inspection areas in a minimum of time, access to hard-to-reach areas and minimize exposure to safety hazards for both inspectors and users;

(2) Interpretation: automated vision-based data collection and interpretation methods to detect and quantify geometrical and visual anomalies in 3D both on the surface (cracking and spalling) and sub-surface of reinforced concrete infrastructure;

(3) Prediction: advanced structural simulation combined with deterioration models to leverage the damage detected during inspection and interpretation for a reliable performance prediction and service-life assessment of reinforced concrete infrastructures.

UNICA-pilot demonstrates a safer, quicker and more accurate method for condition assessment of infrastructure ensuring resource-efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, safety and societal benefits. The multi-disciplinary nature of the proposed solution is fulfilled by leveraging trans-sectorial collaboration between industries, research institutes, universities, and infrastructure owners. Our strong and well-balanced consortium enables structural improvement in current condition assessment processes and results in “novel tools for performance prediction”.

Partner organizations

  • RISE Research Institutes of Sweden (Research Institute, Sweden)
  • Stockholms stad (Public, Sweden)
  • Inkonova AB (Private, Sweden)
Start date 15/05/2017
End date The project is closed: 30/06/2018
​The project is carried out by the Division of Structural Engineering, research group Concrete Structures .

Concrete Structures; Infrastructure; Condition Assessment; optical remote sensing; vision-based techniques; structural simulation

Related projects:
  • UNICA-feasibility – Autonomous Non-Intrusive Condition Assessment of Infrastructure
  • Digital Twin I – Comprehensive Condition Assessment for Resilient Transport Infrastructure under Normal Service Conditions and Extreme Climatic Events
  • Digital Twin as a Decision-Making Support Tool for Resilience of Urban’s Infrastructure under Extreme Climatic Events

Funded by

  • Swedish Transport Administration (Public, Sweden)

Page manager Published: Thu 31 May 2018.