NV5 Geospatial’s Thermal Infrared Solutions Gain Traction for U.S. Infrastructure Challenges

Pilot projects with two midwestern state’s Departments of Transportation analyze the structural integrity of more than 200 bridges using thermal infrared imaging to identify structural concrete anomalies

January 3, 2024 – Washington, DC. NV5 Geospatial, North America’s most comprehensive geospatial data firm, today announced ahead of the 103rd Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting that NV5 Geospatial’s thermal infrared (TIR) Solutions for transportation infrastructure challenges are being implemented in transportation projects analyzing concrete bridges in the Midwest. This remote sensing technology offering enables local, regional and governmental transportation agencies to identify structural problems well before they reach the surface of concrete bridge decks.


This groundbreaking work comes at a time when 42% of U.S. bridges are over 50 years old and more than 46,000 of them are considered “structurally deficient” according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) “2021 Report Card on Infrastructure.”  The ASCE report also found that “178 million trips are taken across these structurally deficient bridges every day,” potentially endangering countless lives. The U.S. was ranked by the World Economic Forum 13th globally when it comes to the overall quality of infrastructure.

Concrete bridge decks are critical components of the structure that require periodic inspections for continuous maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement work. TIR is integral to non-destructive inspection (NDI) techniques for analyzing concrete bridge decks and identifying potential delamination made quicker and more efficiently by aerial collection.

“For decades NV5 Geospatial has been trusted to provide on-target geospatial solutions for roadways, airports and all modes of rail infrastructure. Our clients trust us because we’ve proven time and time again that we can find a better way to ensure the right solutions for their specific needs,” said Bob Vandermeer, vice president, State & Regional Lead, NV5. “We believe that our new bridge inspection approach enabled by our TIR Solutions is defining a new path for cost effective, highly accurate analysis that is sure to reap considerable benefits for departments of transportation and more importantly, support safer roads across America.”

NV5 Geospatial recently conducted two separate pilot projects with two Midwestern states’ Departments of Transportation utilizing aerial data collection to identify thermal anomalies of potential delamination for 200 bridge concrete surfaces. Both projects were completed by flying a fixed-wing aircraft at a low elevation with the thermal sensor mounted to its floor and without having to use ground based support.

About NV5 Geospatial Thermal Imaging Solutions

NV5 Geospatial has more than 25years of experience and expertise in collecting, processing, and interpreting TIR imagery for a breadth of applications including natural resources of geothermal and river systems, buildings insulation, bridges, and roadways.

Thermal data can be used to accurately depict the distribution of temperatures of any landscape at high resolution across broad spatial scales – data of a scope and caliber that is unattainable using traditional ground-based monitoring techniques. NV5 Geospatial’s project design focuses on optimal timing and resolution to maximize thermal contrast, ensuring an accurate detection of features or patterns of interest. The acquired thermal imagery is orthorectified to create a seamless mosaic for each bridge. TIR imagery can be co-acquired with other airborne technologies, such as true color imagery and lidar, to provide supplementary information.

 Key benefits of NV5 Geospatial TIR Solutions include:
  • Aerial thermography is complementary to current inspection methods and tools
  • Aerial solution allows to capture up to 100 bridges in a single day
  • Detailed and short turnaround analysis results provide an accurate understanding of the state of the bridge deck’s surface
  • Aerial data collection reduces the safety risks associated with “boots on the ground” surveys.
  • It identifies potential issues before ground truthing is required and supports inspection prioritizations at a state level scale
  • Its cost effectiveness and predictability makes it suitable for budgetary cycles of repeated, periodic inspection

For more information about NV5 Geospatial’s TIR Solutions, stop by booth #421 at TRB during the conference from January 7–11, 2024, visit our webpage, or email nv5g-contact@nv5.com or call 920-457-3631.

About NV5 Geospatial

NV5 Geospatial is a provider of geospatial services, providing end-to-end solutions and insights to organizations that need geospatial intelligence to mitigate risk, plan for growth, better manage resources and advance scientific understanding. We combine the widest array of advanced remote sensing technologies with proprietary processes, analytics tools, algorithms, and analyses tailored to meet our clients’ needs. For more information visit nv5geospatial.com, join us on LinkedIn, or follow us on X, formerly Twitter, at @nv5geospatial.