Handheld device 'sees' damage in concrete bridges, piers

Engineers at MIT have developed a new technique for detecting damage in concrete bridges and piers that could increase the safety of aging infrastructure by allowing easier, more frequent, onsite inspections that do not interfere with traffic or service.

The technique is particularly suitable for inspecting concrete columns strengthened by fiberglass polymer jackets that wrap around the columns to provide confinement and to increase ductility. The damage to the columns or fiberglass confinement can be detected by hand-held radar from a distance more than 10 meters from the structure. The proposed FAR-NDT (far-field airborne radar nondestructive testing) technique enables to asses structures with minimum disruption to traffic. Collected data are processed by computer to provide visualization of the interior of the specimen and to capture any damage.

Source: MIT News