Underwater Inspection of Bridge Substructures Using Imaging
This online engineering PDH course provides basic information on the capabilities of sonar technologies in performing underwater bridge inspections and its benefits in supplementing dive inspectors to improve inspections.
The requirements for underwater bridge inspection procedures using divers are well documented within the U.S. However, some bridge inspectors and owners have increasingly been supplementing dive inspections with acoustic imaging technology to enhance inspection quality, increase safety, increase efficiency, and improve documentation of findings. This trend has accelerated, in part, because of advancements in sonar technology. The trend has also accelerated because site conditions adverse to dive inspections—such as limited underwater visibility, high velocity currents, submerged debris, and extreme water depths—exist at many bridge sites.
Because these adverse conditions can limit a diver’s ability to inspect a bridge below water, many states are investigating the use of sonar technologies for underwater bridge substructure inspection. FHWA provides overall guidance for these inspections and recognized the need for a comprehensive evaluation of the capabilities of sonar technologies for this important activity. In this study, a range of sonar technologies are evaluated in a variety of underwater conditions to determine how these technologies can be effectively used in conjunction with or independently of divers.
This 12 PDH online course is applicable to structural engineers and bridge personnel responsible for inspecting bridge foundations who are interested in applying sonar technologies for underwater bridge inspections.
This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:
- Familiarizing with sonar technologies including three-dimensional sonar systems and two-dimensional imaging sonar
- Familiarizing with sonar technology reliability by evaluating variations in the speed of sound, transducer head movement, interference and noise, acoustic multipath,transverse and range resolution, acoustic shadows, slant-range distortion and GPS accuracy
- Learning about technology selection and the strengths and weaknesses of sonar technologies including 3D real-time multibeam, 2D multibeam and 3D mechanical multibeam 2D sector-scanning and 3D profiler and Dive equipment
- Understanding underwater bridge inspection environment for concrete, steel and timber bridges
- Understanding phase I and phase II field testing and evaluating their findings
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