Automated and Robotic Inspection of Flood Control Systems
Levees are an integral part of the U.S. infrastructure system that prevent flooding of numerous communities, industries, and ecosystems throughout the U.S. Currently, there are over 24,000 miles of levees recorded in the National Levee Database with significantly more levees left to inventory. Unfortunately, engineering records and instrumentation data for these levee systems is usually quite limited. As a result, inspections and assessments of levees form the primary basis for conducting risk assessments of these structures.
Levee inspections include tasks aimed at identifying potential failure modes. Erosion and overtopping are critical failure modes for levees. Slope stability is rarely a driving failure mode. Erosion is not necessarily observable in the absence of a flooding event, during which the presence of water obscures the observability of failure indicators, complicating levee inspection processes. In addition to identifying defects and failures, inspection of levees and structures serve to create necessary information for condition and risk assessments of levee systems. The types and densities of vegetation, location of discontinuities, damage, and geometry are useful for the assessments and must be gathered via inspection, which requires significant cost and time. Inspection of culverts and other structures along levees, locations of potential critical failure modes, are more able to identify indicators of developing failure modes but are equally time consuming and costly. It is also not always known where culverts are inside of levee systems, which can be a major issue as concentrated leak erosion typically occurs along these soil-structure interfaces. Culverts from 3” to 6’ diameter are frequently inspected using robotic instruments with cameras. The videos from these culvert inspections are reviewed by human visual inspection at great time and cost. Methods are needed to gather information for assessments of levees, structures, and culverts, as well as methods to identify indicators of future failures which are rapid and affordable.
This opportunity is restricted to non-federal partners of the Gulf Coast Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit (CESU).
Total Amount Available:
August 22, 2022
Grant Management Associates has years of experience with opportunities like this one. Contact us today for a consultation.