COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF RAIL TUNNEL INSPECTION FOR PHOTOGRAMMETRY AND LASER SCANNING
The civil engineering and construction sector, including the railway industry, is seeking innovative approaches to reduce costs on repetitive and labour-intensive tasks and avoid the use of highly qualified staff for simple manual duties. Such tasks can include the visual inspection of tunnels, where the process is still dominated by manual operations. Our work compares Close Range Photogrammetry (CRP) and Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS), both performed with low-end sensors to reflect the industry’s tendency towards easy to use and easy to maintain hardware. It also analyses the benefits of substituting conventional visual inspections of tunnels with automated survey approaches and computer vision techniques. The project’s outcomes suggest that photogrammetry is a valid alternative to laser scanning for visual inspection of concrete segmentally lined tunnels: from the geometric point of view it provides global accuracy at comparable level to laser scanning, in addition it halves the time to generate the 3D model and provides the user with photo-realistic outputs. It is generally more versatile and it is easier to inspect, visualise and navigate the data. The authors argue that the results presented here will push tunnel inspection in the direction of automated approaches with direct benefits on surveying costs as well as Health & Safety (H&S). Utilising available technology supports risk-based asset management and thus ensures safe and operational performance of a railway for passengers to use.