How to inspect runways on airports with video?

Airports need to have good insight in the performance of their assets. Although this is the same as the assetmanagement processes of regular roads, the interests at an airport are bigger. Airports are organizations where high standards apply to ensure quality assurance of physical assets. The impact of failing assets (in terms of safety or economic) can be huge in this environment. On the other hand closing runways to perform inspections will have a huge impact on the revenues of the airport. So what is a good solution to inspect runways, with low impact on the operation times of runways?

Together with assetmanagers and contractors at airports we developed a solution to perform this inspection very fast, covering the inspection of multiple assets. This resulted in an affordable, high quality solution that can be performed with a minimum disturbance of the flight traffic.

Just like the other solutions like road inspection, the solutions contains the following:

video camera system connected to a GPS mounted on a car. Multiple high resolution video cameras are focussed on the road/runway in front of the car. The high quality GPS/INS makes it possible to georeferenced images with an absolute map position of < 10 cm.

Overview map of video inspection of runways

Software like Horus Movie Player and Layermanager provide functionality to annotate on top of the images and create inventory or inspections of assets. Output of these systems is geographical data in industry standard formats. Location, dimension, the condition and the context of an object can be inspected with this software.

What kind of assets can be inspected from these images?

  • Road damage (raveling, cracks)
  • Road markings
  • Runway lights
  • Drainage
  • Traffic signs

Video inspection of runways

Optionally these systems can be extended with extra sensors like LiDAR (e.g. slope) and thermal infrared (overheating equipment).