3D thermal and spatial modeling of a subway tunnel: A case study

Ghassan Al Lafi, Zhenhua Zhu, Thikra Dawood, Tarek Zayed

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Infrared thermography (IR) is a modern, non-destructive evaluation technology for monitoring and assessing civil infrastructure conditions. It mainly relies on measuring the infrastructure surface temperature to identify any potential defects. Currently, most of the existing research studies in IR rely on 2D thermal images which are time-consuming and labor-intensive. This paper describes a case study that examines the use of both infrared and visual sensing in recording thermal and spatial conditions of a subway tunnel segment in the city of Montreal, Canada. In the case study, both thermal and visible images of the infrastructure conditioning data were collected separately. Next, the visible images were used to generate a 3D point cloud model by applying the structure from motion approach. In parallel, each set of overlapping thermal images were stitched to form a thermal panoramic image that covers a large surface area with an accurate temperature representation. The stitched thermal images were finally mapped to the 3D point cloud in order to produce both thermal and metric measurements of a subway tunnel segment. The results of the proposed framework demonstrate that 3D thermal modeling using visual and infrared sensing is able to generate geometric and thermal information of indoor infrastructure environments. Furthermore, this approach is affordable in terms of cost and time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputing in Civil Engineering 2017
Subtitle of host publicationSmart Safety, Sustainability and Resilience - Selected Papers from the ASCE International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering 2017
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780784480823, 9780784480847
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event2017 ASCE International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering, IWCCE 2017 - Seattle, United States
Duration: 25 Jun 201727 Jun 2017


Conference2017 ASCE International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering, IWCCE 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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