Highway surveying specialist Data Collection Limited has achieved significant improvements in crack detection surveying following the introduction of new image recognition technology.
Data Collection's fleet of ARAN survey vehicles are equipped with an innovative crack detection system called WiseCrax. The processing software can detect cracks as small as two millimetres and comparative tests have shown the system to meet the stringent requirements required in the UK.
The new image processing developments have proved so successful that Data Collection has re-processed 60,000 kilometres of survey data. Collected as part of the government-specified program called Surface Condition Assessment for the National Network of Roads (SCANNER), highway authorities are now able to gain a much more accurate picture of highway surface condition.
The WiseCrax crack detection system developed by Canadian firm Roadware employs high speed cameras on booms fitted to ARAN vehicles. These capture high resolution images at speeds of up to 50mph. Synchronised strobe lights eliminate shadows from overhead objects such as trees and bridges. The image recognition software then generates reports describing crack type, severity, extent and location, supported by detailed crack maps.
"With the advances in image recognition and processing we now have a more accurate crack detection system. We hold data from all ARAN surveys and since the advances are in processing rather than capture, we realised that we could re-process original data. With agreement from the Department for Transport, highway authorities are being offered re-processed survey data at no charge." Says Steve Batchelor, Director of Data Collection.
SCANNER surveying captures data such as road geometry, surface profile, surface texture, edge deterioration and cracks. The survey data is collected to support the government's Best Value Performance Indicators for highway maintenance and is used in the United Kingdom Pavement Management System (UKPMS), which is used by Highway Engineers to better target expenditure for road repairs.