In the year 2015 AIB manage to procure sophisticated equipment to support the aerial photography, photogrammetry and scanning of the accident/incident site. The equipment which are purchased are Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or Drones and Faro scanners.
Aerial photos in Accident Reconstruction provide a highly accurate basis for evidence documentation, scene analysis, and reconstruction calculations. Aerial photographs are a viable alternative to standard accident scene practice.
Broad spectrum aerial photography is a useful and practical tool in aircraft accident investigations. Soil disruption patterns, wreckage distribution, burn areas and fuel dispersion patterns often appear in greater contrast and detail in infrared photographs. Analysis of false color infrared photographs may reveal missing aircraft parts and subtle evidence of tree strikes. Special infrared properties allow early detection of foliage changes due to hydrocarbon toxicity and heat damage.
The AIB has procured drone to capture the aerial photography of an accident/incident site in kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The staff is qualified and training to conduct this operations with registered license provided by GACA –SSAT.
Fig. 21 Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or Drone
Laser Scanners: Laser scanners are fragment of investigative tools utilized by the investigators during any aviation accident/serious incidents. The products of these scanners not only help investigators in capturing visual three dimensional image but also provide them with precise measurement of size of the objects and aircraft parts, geographic location (via Global Position System (GPS) at which located or found and the distance between each part they were located at the accident site.
The amount of time investigators used to spend to capture the site on their photo cameras will reduced drastically as these scanners capture complete site within two to three hours. The processing time for the capture images and video needs one day to produce three dimensional imagery products.
There are plenty of different products available in the market which can be utilized as investigative tools, the AIB investigators team analyzed the specifications of laser scanners available and selected two types:
1. FARO Laser Scanner Focus -3D-X
2. FARO Laser Scanner Freestyle 3D-X
Fig.22 FARO Laser Scanner Focus -3D-X
When creating accident reconstructions, the sooner and faster the scene can be recorded, the better. With a 3D laser scanner from FARO, crash investigators can quickly record vast amounts of data and bring the virtual scene back to the office. Lines of sight, for example, be analysed from various vantage points or the scan data compared with OEM CAD files for aircraft deformation analysis. An accident animation may be possible in order to simulate the actual event. 3D laser scanning technology from FARO supports investigator by saving time and generating superior deliverables. All these minute detailed information from the accident site provide investigators information, which makes them produce reports more comprehensive.
Fig. 23 FARO Laser Scanner Freestyle 3D-X