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Sensors 2018, 18(9), 3017; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18093017

Computer-Aided Approach for Rapid Post-Event Visual Evaluation of a Building Façade

1
School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
3
Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 9 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Abstract

After a disaster strikes an urban area, damage to the façades of a building may produce dangerous falling hazards that jeopardize pedestrians and vehicles. Thus, building façades must be rapidly inspected to prevent potential loss of life and property damage. Harnessing the capacity to use new vision sensors and associated sensing platforms, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would expedite this process and alleviate spatial and temporal limitations typically associated with human-based inspection in high-rise buildings. In this paper, we have developed an approach to perform rapid and accurate visual inspection of building façades using images collected from UAVs. An orthophoto corresponding to any reasonably flat region on the building (e.g., a façade or building side) is automatically constructed using a structure-from-motion (SfM) technique, followed by image stitching and blending. Based on the geometric relationship between the collected images and the constructed orthophoto, high-resolution region-of-interest are automatically extracted from the collected images, enabling efficient visual inspection. We successfully demonstrate the capabilities of the technique using an abandoned building of which a façade has damaged building components (e.g., window panes or external drainage pipes). View Full-Text
Keywords: post-event visual evaluation; image localization; orthophoto generation; unmanned aerial vehicle post-event visual evaluation; image localization; orthophoto generation; unmanned aerial vehicle
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Choi, J.; Yeum, C.M.; Dyke, S.J.; Jahanshahi, M.R. Computer-Aided Approach for Rapid Post-Event Visual Evaluation of a Building Façade. Sensors 2018, 18, 3017.

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