Bridge Inspection Hamburg

Using an UAV, the Hamburg Port Authority performed an aerial inspection of the Köhlbrand Bridge.

Bridge inspection with an UAV in Hamburg

The Aibot X6: it can go anywhere that conventional equipment cannot reach or people would find too dangerous. The intelligent multicopter demonstrated its special features while inspecting Hamburg’s well-known Köhlbrand Bridge. The bridge, which is approximately 3,600 metres long, is Germany’s second longest bridge and is crossed by around 30,000 vehicles every day. It is regularly subjected to extensive testing in order to guarantee the safety of everyone who uses it.

Large constructions like the Köhlbrand Bridge allow the Aibot X6 hexacopter to demonstrate clear potential for savings in both time and costs compared to conventional methods such as industrial climbers, cherry pickers and cranes. The Aibot X6 UAV flies to the bridge and delivers razor-sharp images and video. Not only does it fly around the outside of the bridge pillars, which are over 50 metres high, but it also manoeuvres easily and precisely around the narrow interiors of the pylons. Up to now, the dark interior space in the pylons has been illuminated with construction floodlights, which only have a limited range as they cannot cast their light further than 15 metres. This is where the Aibot X6 offers a real alternative. The copter was specially equipped with LED headlights for the UAV inspection of the Köhlbrand Bridge. This allowed the dark pylons to be illuminated at the exact points required, an option that is especially useful for the annual visual examination.

The experienced bridge inspectors of Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) are impressed with the features of the Aibot X6 UAV and appreciative of the many opportunities it offers to make their work easier.

“The Aibot could be a great help for improving inspection quality, particularly for inspections in accordance with DIN 1076. The copter is small and can easily fly around areas that are otherwise difficult to access, like zones located high above water or areas inside pylons,” says Martin Boldt, who is responsible for port infrastructure and building inspection at Hamburg Port Authority.

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