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3.3: Devices to Aid Manual Inspection

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    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.

    Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 10.32.13 PM.png
    Figure 3.4 - A Video ‘Pig’ for Pipe Inspection. Source: Wikipedia Commons, By The original uploader was Leonard G. at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.Wikipedia to Commons by IngerAlHaosului using CommonsHelper., CC SA 1.0, The Pig is pulled through the pipe of interest.

    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.

    Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 10.35.11 PM.png

    Figure 3.5 - An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or ‘Drone’ used for Visual Inspection of Power Lines. Source: Wikipedia Commons, CSIRO [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. CSIRO_ScienceImage_10876_Camclone_T21_Unman ned_Autonomous_Vehicle_UAV_fitted_with_CSIRO_guidance_system.jpg

    This page titled 3.3: Devices to Aid Manual Inspection is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Donald Coffelt and Chris Hendrickson.