Automated GPR Rebar Analysis for Robotic Bridge Deck Evaluation

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is used to evaluate deterioration of reinforced concrete bridge decks based on measuring signal attenuation from embedded rebar. The existing methods for obtaining deterioration maps from GPR data often require manual interaction and offsite processing. In this paper, a novel algorithm is presented for automated rebar detection and analysis. We test the process with comprehensive measurements obtained using a novel state-of-the-art robotic bridge inspection system equipped with GPR sensors. The algorithm achieves robust performance by integrating machine learning classification using image-based gradient features and robust curve fitting of the rebar hyperbolic signature. The approach avoids edge detection, thresholding, and template matching that require manual tuning and are known to perform poorly in the presence of noise and outliers. The detected hyperbolic signatures of rebars within the bridge deck are used to generate deterioration maps of the bridge deck. The results of the rebar region detector are compared quantitatively with several methods of image-based classification and a significant performance advantage is demonstrated. High rates of accuracy are reported on real data that includes thousands of individual hyperbolic rebar signatures from three real bridge decks.



Automated GPR Rebar Analysis for Robotic Bridge Deck Evaluation
Parneet Kaur, Kristin Dana, Francisco A. Romero, Nenad Gucunski
IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) Workshops, 2015

paper | abstract | bibtex

author={P. Kaur and K. J. Dana and F. A. Romero and N. Gucunski}, 
journal={IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics}, 
title={Automated GPR Rebar Analysis for Robotic Bridge Deck Evaluation}, 

Written on October 30, 2016