Sonar technology to help keep the road network open

Sonar technology to help keep the road network open
14/12/2017

The Department of Transport, in partnership with Cumbria County Council, unveiled the innovative ‘Bridge Cat’ for inspecting bridges. The technically advanced vehicle will allow for a more rapid reconnection of the road network after flooding incidents and is the culmination of a partnership of local skills and expertise.

The unique vehicle features a hydraulic arm that lowers a combination of advanced sonar and camera technology into the water to provide an image of bridge foundations. A host of companies were involved in the development: Foreshaw Engineering, Atkinson Vos and Lawson Engineers. Tritech International, who have a manufacturing facility in Ulverston, supplied the Hammerhead mechanical sonar, underwater camera, and altimeter.

Gaist Solutions who provided specialist management consultancy services for the project is based at Lancaster University. Jenny Roberts, Senior Project Manager for BridgeCat, commented, “BridgeCat is a highly innovative system comprising cutting-edge technology, aimed at identifying bridge degradation and scour quickly and effectively. Each element of the system has been carefully selected to ensure it enhances the overall capability. Collaborating with local industry experts, such as Tritech, has been invaluable and BridgeCat is testament to the knowledge and expertise that we have in the North West of England.

“Tritech have provided an excellent service, advising on technology, setting up field demonstrations and providing training and ongoing support. Their locality has been a real benefit, expediting progress and reducing project risk”.

Image courtesy of Cumbria County Council

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