Clean Currents 2022

Dam Safety – Applying Technology

Presentations are:

— Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Multi-layered Data Collection Methods for Concrete Dam and Spillway Monitoring, presented by Ryan Coppersmith, Niricson

— Nondestructive Testing of Embedded Steel Anchors for Integrity and Tension, presented by Charlie Young, BDI

— The Gamechanger – Hydropower Dam Safety Inspections and GIS, presented by Justin Schumacher and Gina Marchica, HDR

Details about each presentation and the speakers are below.

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Multi-layered Data Collection Methods for Concrete Dam and Spillway Monitoring, presented by Ryan Coppersmith, Niricson
Traditional inspection procedure for condition assessment of dam and spillway structures is laborious, dangerous, time consuming, capital intensive and highly dependent on subjective skill level of a human’s judgment. This leads to comprehensive project expenditure incurred by the dam owner.

The primary focus of this study is to present an improved defect detection and quantification software paired with a novel Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)-based data collection technology to detect and quantify surface and subsurface defects such as delamination, voids, and cracking. The data is collected in-terms of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), optical images, infrared images, and acoustic signatures which is further combined to quantify surface and subsurface defects in concrete dams. Furthermore, the condition-based life cycle assessment on a timescale allows owners to make cost-efficient business decisions to plan and execute the maintenance repair schedule using the risk modelling methods to extend the lifespan of the structure rather than replacing the entire structure. This approach also grants building predictive deterioration models using the historical performance which can be utilized for asset management. This presentation demonstrates a case study of the technology when applied on concrete structures to detect and quantify surface and subsurface damage in concrete.

Nondestructive Testing of Embedded Steel Anchors for Integrity and Tension, presented by Charlie Young, BDI
Steel anchors embedded in monolithic concrete are subjected to environmental degradation mechanisms (corrosion) and often pre-stressing loads. To date, there have been limited mechanisms to inspect these structural members nondestructively. This presentation will report on new methods to identify and quantify degradation as well as determine the residual tension in these members using novel ultrasonic testing and analysis.

The Gamechanger – Hydropower Dam Safety Inspections and GIS, presented by Justin Schumacher and Gina Marchica, HDR
Technology has forever transformed the way hydropower dam safety inspections are conducted. While photographs and field forms will likely always serve as important tools during routine dam inspections, the advantage of having the power of GIS at one’s fingertips while in the field has entered the spotlight – and integrating photographs and field forms into a GIS application has more recently emerged as a game-changer.

A tool often used by HDR’s dam safety / structural inspection teams during field inspections is ESRI’s ArcGIS Survey123, a form-centric data gathering digital application that facilitates step-by-step user data input while in the field. By combining the expertise of dam safety engineers with GIS analysts, our teams have developed a standardized form for inspecting individual dam components so that each inspection is documented consistently, quickly, and with geo-referenced data, including photographs, using pull-down menus and point data collection. Upon completion of the inspection, the file is saved remotely, and a prepared script is run for output into a Microsoft® Word document. The prepared script saves time and provides consistency in document preparation. The forms can also be downloaded later from the mobile device with ease and used for report development.

The Survey123 application facilitates the use of pre-determined questions in the field (without having to carry papers/data sheets/clipboards), is organized by structure/form, and expedites the final report preparation when multiple inspections use a similar template. HDR will present the ArcGIS Survey123 methodology and a case study for its success, which includes collaboration amongst teams and cost savings to clients and customers.

Presenter Information

Ellen Faulkner

Ellen Faulkner
Co-Chair, Dam Safety, NHA Hydraulic Power Committee, and Senior Project Manager
Ayres Associates
Emcee


Ryan Coppersmith

Ryan Coppersmith
Project Manager
Niricson
Presenter


Charlie Young

Charlie Young
NDE Program Manager
BDI
Presenter


Justin Schumacher

Justin Schumacher
Senior Civil Engineer
HDR
Presenter


Gina Marchica

Gina Marchica
GIS Analyst
HDR
Presenter