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Talk: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Smart Cities Applications: Pilot Case of Road Cracks Detection using Drone Technology

Authors: Dr. Khaula A. Alkaabi*, United Arab Emirates University, Eng. Abdel Rhman El Fawair, United Arab Emirates University
Topics: Transportation Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, UAS / UAV
Keywords: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Smart Cities Applications, Road Cracks Detection, Drone Technology, aerial photography, UAE
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Autonomous and Unmanned Systems are widely used in many military and civil applications, such as public safety, mobility and traffic control, and environmental protection and management. The development of the future smart city design relays largely on the utilization of clouds computing, Internet of Things, wireless sensors, and digital technologies to connect, protect, and improve people lives. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is one of the platform that has increasing opportunities to deploy and integrate these advanced sensors and data processing systems to support smart cities applications and intelligent decisions. Therefore, this paper will introduce UAVs applications, functions, advantages, and challenges in smart cities. Moreover, the paper will present a pilot case study of using smart solutions such as aerial photography through UAV to detect street cracks (surveyed road: width of 0.016 km and length of 0.144 km) at the United Arab Emirates University in UAE. Unlike traditional inefficient method of visual cracks inspection; UAV requires less work teams, efforts, and provides faster and more reliable detection and monitoring technique. The paper will present related experiment methodology and processes including: ground control points configurations, UAV camera calibration (DJI Phantom 4 Pro), images capturing, and the applied photogrammetric processing technique of the output digital images using Agisoft PhotoScan software to demonstrate pavement cracks. Such case study demonstrates the usefulness of using UAV technology for cracks identification, which can guide for a better decision making regards road assessment and maintenance.

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