Using Drones to Produce Accurate Grade Crossing Profile Data

January 24, 2020

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a report on its Office of Research, Development and Technology’s study of the use of drones to produce accurate 3-D models of high-profile grade crossings.

Conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, DroneUp contributed to the study which found that photogrammetry with ground control points can produce models with similar accuracy to those produce using LiDAR at a much lower cost.

The Volpe center determined the process needed to achieve a simple measurement of ground clearance for these crossings. Volpe also made recommendations to FRA for pursuing the capability, as well as to work with the Federal Highway Administration to provide better information to drivers of low-clearance vehicles.

The report can be viewed here.

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