Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Infrastructure Assessment

We develop new algorithms and deploy advanced platforms and sensors to:

  • Enable rapid, safe, and innovative methods to help assess the condition of transportation infrastructure
  • Demonstrate automated assessment of roads, bridges, traffic, and transportation corridors
  • Provide remote sensing data in useful, well-documented formats that be easily integrated into transportation agency workflows

Projects

Screen shot of 3D Bridge App with menu to select a bridge to load.

The Wireless Data Collection Retrieval of Bridge Inspection/Management Information Project: the 3D BRIDGE App

The 3D BRIDGE app is a mobile software tool designed to facilitate bridge inspection processes by enabling inspectors to collect and record element level bridge inspection data using 3G/4G network-enabled tablet devices. The overall goal is to help Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) reduce time needed for field staff to collect bridge inspection data, and move forward to a more efficient bridge inspection process that is available to all appropriate levels of MDOT.


Aerial view of a road going through a forest.

Using Multi-Temporal Imagery to Improve Mapping and Inventory of Forested Roads in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

This cooperative project between the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) developed an updated and improved roads data layer for use in ecological analysis and planning.


Aerial view of a divided highway.

Evaluating the Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Transportation Purposes

MTRI developed, tested, and demonstrated how UAV technology can help provide visual inspections from above for a variety of structures and locations of interest to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).


Example screen showing information on a satellite image.

Mineral Occurrence Revenue Estimation and Visualization Tool

Under a cooperative project between MTRI and UAF, we created a flexible and map-based Mineral Occurrence Revenue Estimation and Visualization (MOREV) Tool for existing and planned Alaska and Canadian railroads, including the proposed Alaska-Canada Rail Link.


Screenshot of potential forested wetlands remote sensing data.

National Consortium for Remote Sensing in Transportation Streamlining Environmental and Planning Processes

We demonstrated new and innovative approaches to streamlining environmental and planning processes (SEPP) for transportation corridors by the application of commercial remote sensing data and spatial information technologies.


Screenshot of roadway characterization pilot results.

Transportation Applications of Restricted Use Technology (TARUT) Study

The Transportation Applications of Restricted Use Technology (TARUT) Study was a three-year effort to explore how satellite and other remote sensing data can address MDOT needs. The study combined data from fine detail, high-resolution remote sensing systems and other assets with advanced geospatial analysis techniques to examine transportation concerns.


Aerial view of an unpaved road.

Unpaved Roads Assessment

A project team received the Phase III grant “Characterization of Unpaved Road Conditions through the Use of Remote Sensing” from the USDOT Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R) under the Commercial Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Program. The first phase of the project led to development of a cost-effective, accurate system for inventorying unpaved roads and assessing their condition, using primarily an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform, now named the Aerial Unpaved Road Assessment (AURA) system.


Bridge with lights at night.

Bridge Condition Assessment Using Remote Sensors

Michigan Technological University’s Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) and Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI), in cooperation with the Center for Automotive Research and the Michigan Department of Transportation, are undertaking a project for the USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration to explore the use of remote sensing technologies to assess and monitor the condition of bridge infrastructure and improve the efficiency of inspection, repair, and rehabilitation efforts. This investigation builds on existing work that places sensors directly on the bridge structure to assess deterioration and damage.


Aerial view of bridge with colored areas marking defects.

3D Optical Bridge-Evaluation System (3DOBS)

3DOBS is an easily deployable bridge evaluation system (Figure 1) used for rapidly assessing surface condition indicators such as the area, volume, and location of deck spalls and scaling.