The Automated Nondestructive Evaluation and Rehabilitation System (ANDERS), funded by National Institute for Standards and Technology, was scoped to provide a uniquely comprehensive tool that would transform the manner in which bridge decks are assessed and rehabilitated, and also how bridges are inspected. Specifically, the goal-driven development of ANDERS aimed to provide a unique tool that enables the sustainable management of the Nation’s aging bridge population through (a) a much detailed evaluation and comprehensive detection of deterioration for far less cost and time than traditional approaches or fragmented NDE methods, (b)comprehensive condition and structural assessment (including understanding of effects of local deterioration on global performance) at all stages of deterioration, and (c) integrated assessment and rehabilitation that would be nondestructive, rapid, cost-effective and implementable at all stages of deterioration (as opposed to the current practice of intervening only when deterioration is in its final stages).
ANDERS is composed of four systems that merge novel imaging and NDE techniques across several bandwidths together with novel intervention approaches to arrest the deterioration processes. These technologies were incorporated within a series of human-operated and robotic vehicles to allow rapid, comprehensive application across large populations of bridges. To perform assessments, ANDERS was equipped with two complimentary nondestructive approaches, namely Multi-Modal Nondestructive Evaluation (MM-NDE) System (GPR, impact echo and ultrasonic methods), Targeted Hits for Modal Parameter Estimation and Rating (THMPER™) System. Output from these two approaches would be merged through a novel Automated Structural Identification (Auto St-ld) approach that would construct, calibrate, and utilize simulation models to assess overall structural vulnerability and capacity. These three systems comprise the assessment suite of ANDERS and will directly inform the Nondestructive Rehabilitation (NDR) System. The NDR System leverages robotics for the precision and rapid delivery of novel materials capable of halting the early-stage deterioration identified.
As part of this joint venture, staff from Intelligent Infrastructure Systems provided professional services to other team members and, working with the transportation authorities, provided implementation opportunities for ANDERS system.