Characterization of laser scanners for detecting cracks for post-earthquake damage inspection

Anil E. B., Akinci B., Garrett J. H., KURÇ Ö.

30th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction and Mining, ISARC 2013, Held in Conjunction with the 23rd World Mining Congress, Montreal, Canada, 11 - 15 August 2013, pp.313-320 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume:
  • Doi Number: 10.22260/isarc2013/0034
  • City: Montreal
  • Country: Canada
  • Page Numbers: pp.313-320
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Objective, accurate, and fast assessment of damage to buildings after an earthquake is crucial for timely remediation of material losses and safety of occupants of buildings. Laser scanners are promising sensors for collecting geometrical data regarding the damaged states of buildings, as they are able to provide high coverage and accuracy at long ranges. Yet, we have limited knowledge on the performance of laser scanners for detecting earthquake damage, and requirements of such data collection. This paper focuses on characterizing the performance of laser scanners for detecting thin cracks for damage assessment of reinforced concrete frames. We identified a series of crack parameters based on the state-of-the-art damage assessment codes and standards. Similarly, we identified parameters, which affect the performance of laser scanners for detecting cracks, based on prior research in this area. We studied the width, depth, and orientation of cracks; sampling interval of the scanner, and the range of the laser beam from the surface. Effects of these parameters on the detection of the minimum crack size were determined in an experimental setting. An automated algorithm was used to analyze the data. The results show that it is possible to detect as small as ∼1mm cracks.