The sUAS Guide 2016 Q3 Update | Page 9

Franke was joined by civil engineering professors and scientists from UCLA, the University of Colorado and the U.S. Geological Survey, as well as Italian civil engineering researchers from several Italian universities. The team has already released a preliminary report of its observations online here and is currently working on a more detailed report.

The 3D computer models are also currently being developed and shared with the public online. For example, a recently-completed 3D model of the heavily damaged village of Pescara del Tronto may be accessed online at this link.

“There were only four U.S. geotechnical engineering researchers that could physically go to these sites, but there are hundreds of other researchers around the world that could benefit from this data in their research,” Franke said. “Developing these models is like allowing these researchers to visit the sites. Anybody can make whatever observations or measurements from the models they want now.”

Because of their excellent work in the field, the DPC recently informed BYU researchers that they will be issued a formal commendation. The Italian government agency has already relied heavily upon the video data for hazard assessment and planning efforts, Franke said.

Undergraduate civil engineering students Jenny Blonquist, Benjamin Barrett and Byron Yates will now spend the rest of the month processing the data and creating the 3D computer models, which will be made available to the public online upon completion.

They form part of a unique, multi-disciplined collaboration of engineering researchers in the NSF-sponsored Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) that focuses on applying UAVs to the monitoring and inspection of infrastructure. The research effort is being led by Franke and chemical engineering professor John Hedengren.

“I think it's telling that when earthquakes happen, we are often the ones they call,” Franke said. “We are getting a bit of a reputation.”

One week after a 6.2 earthquake struck central Italy, BYU engineers were called in to collect data about the deadly quake, using UAVs to collect data for GEER and the National Science Foundation. For the first time, the BYU team collected images of an entire city (Pescara Del Tronto) and created a 3D model that that can be studied, measured and manipulated by scientists. BYU civil engineering professor Kevin Franke says the models and data can be used to design better earthquake-resistant structures and to save lives. The first of the 3D models can be found at:

sUAS Guide / Q3 Update, October 2016 09