The previous section outlined procedures for conducting manual inspections of infrastructure components. There are a variety of devices that can be used to aid such manual inspections.
Rulers and gauges are often useful for measuring lengths and depths of components or cracks. Mobile (battery) powered drills, wrenches and wire brushes also can be useful.
Devices to aid visual inspection in difficult or impossible to reach vantage points can be particularly useful. Hand-held mirrors and lamps are a simple example of such aid, but devices that are more elaborate exist. Figure 3.4 shows a video camera that suited for use in a small pipe that can provide pictures of the interiors so that corrosion or root intrusions may be identified. More elaborate pipeline ‘pigs’ can be stabilized in the desired location within the pipe and can have self-locomotion.
Unmanned flying vehicles (commonly called ‘drones’) provide another means of aiding manual inspections (Figure 3.5). These devices can simplify inspection of a variety of infrastructure components such as bridges or power lines. Drones are regulated for safety reasons and inspectors using such devices must determine the acceptable use of drones in any particular location. In addition to unmanned flying devices, underwater aids for visual inspection are also available, but visibility for such devices may be an issue.