Theses Doctoral

Computer Vision Sensing Systems for Structural Health Monitoring in Challenging Field Conditions

Luo, Longxi

Computer vision sensing techniques enable easy-to-install and remote non-contact monitoring of structures and have great potentials in field applications. This study will develop/implement novel computer vision techniques for two sensing systems for monitoring different aspects of infrastructures in challenging field conditions. The dissertation is therefore composed of two parts: robust measurement of global multi-point structural displacements, and accurate and robust monitoring of local surface displacements/strains.
Computer vision based displacement measurement has become popular in the recent decade. The first part presents InnoVision, a vision sensing system developed to address a number of challenging problems associated with applying vision sensors to the measurement of multi-point structural displacement in field conditions that are rarely comprehensively studied in the literature. The challenging problems include tracking low-contrast natural targets on the structural surface, insufficient resolution for long distance measurement, inevitable camera vibration, and image distortion due to heat haze in hot weather. Several techniques are developed in InnoVision to tackle these challenges. Laboratory and field tests are conducted to evaluate the performance of these techniques.
In the second part, another vision sensing system SurfaceVision is developed for accurate and robust monitoring two-dimensional (2D) structural surface displacements/strains. Important structures, such as nuclear power plants, need the continuous inspection of surface conditions. As an alternative to the human inspection, conventional digital-image-correlation (DIC) based methods have been applied to surfaces painted with speckle patterns in a controlled environment. However, it is highly challenging for DIC methods to accurately measure displacement on natural concrete surfaces in outdoor conditions with changing illumination and weather conditions. Additionally, common surface displacement measurement is based on segmenting the surface image into small subsets and tracking each subset individually through template matching, the surface displacement thus obtained has obvious discontinuity and low spatial resolution. Therefore, for applicability in the outdoor environment, SurfaceVision is proposed for accurate and robust monitoring of surface displacements/strains. Advanced computer vision techniques are developed/implemented to enable surface displacement measurement with high continuity, spatial resolution, accuracy, and robustness. An intuitive strain calculation method is also developed for converting surface displacements into surface strains. A numerical simulation is formulated based on four-point bending tests to validate the accuracy and robustness of SurfaceVision in surface displacements. Four-point bending experiments using reinforced concrete specimens are conducted to demonstrate the performance of SurfaceVision under different cases of optical noises and its effectiveness in predicting crack formations.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Thesis Advisors
Feng, Maria Q.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 24, 2018