Taylor Wyatt

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Dimitris Rizos


A critical aspect of civil infrastructure is structural health monitoring, of which digital image correlation (DIC) has been proven to be an effective and appropriate method. There is sufficient literature on the use of stationary DIC, but an unexplored aspect is DIC-equipped unmanned aircraft systems. It has been verified in University of South Carolina labs but has not been proved in a field environment. One of the challenges of field implementation is large scale speckle application. This work focusses on identifying and addressing challenges in bringing UAV-DIC technology from the lab to the field. This includes the development of optimized procedures and methodologies for speckle application, specifically on large-scale specimens within civil infrastructure. Various application methods including speckle-by-speckle application, roller with white ink directly onto weathered steel, roller with black ink onto a white background, and printed speckle were tested in terms of feasibility and quality of the pattern. These methods along with the advantages, shortcomings, and potential resolutions are discussed in this work. It was determined that handheld printers used in tandem with guides and painters’ tape and different bitmaps on a scrubbed, white painted background were recommended for many applications. Recommendations for future work include investigating the durability of the adherence of the self-adhesive sheets, viability of white ink printed onto the surface, and a speckle pattern printed onto transfer paper.


© 2023, Taylor Wyatt