FURI | Summer 2023

Thermal Mapping of Pavement Surfaces to Evaluate Effectiveness of Sustainable Pavement Technologies

Sustainability icon, disabled. A green leaf.

Drone imagery has produced accurate two-dimensional maps, elevation models, thermal maps, and three-dimensional maps. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), also known as drones, has become ubiquitous in various civil engineering applications such as bridge inspection, building construction progress, monitoring, erosion control, etc. Artificial intelligence and deep learning brought further added value to the mapping processes to facilitate and accelerate computer vision tasks for image classification, object detection, and image segmentation. The use of drones in the pavement industry is limited to the detection of cracks and other distresses. In this project, the team proposes the use of drone technology equipped with a thermal camera to assess the effectiveness of various sustainable pavement treatments to mitigate heat island problems. Permeable pavements and reflective coatings are among pavement technologies to maintain a lower surface temperature. The drone technology can also be used to develop automated and near-real-time protocols that can be used for pavement construction quality inspection and control.

Student researcher

Othman Ali Al-Alawi

Civil engineering

Hometown: Tempe, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Fall 2023