Surveying a bridge collapse with a drone


Share | 07/14/2023

Dataset information


32 ha / 79 ac

Flight software:





3 cm / 1.2 in

Processing software:



Orthomosaic, 3D model

Flight information

Type of mission:

Disaster response




eBee X


S.O.D.A. 3D

In August 2018, the Morandi Bridge located in Genoa, Italy, suddenly collapsed, claiming the lives of 43 people and causing significant damage to the surrounding area.

Following the collapse, several organizations took charge of conducting an in-depth inspection and survey of the site. Their objectives were:


  • Disaster response: Assess the damage and monitor the risk of flooding in the surrounding urban area. To achieve this, hazard maps were created.
  • Public safety: Utilize the data obtained to plan reconstruction efforts, develop emergency plans, and improve emergency response protocols, specifically involving the use of drones for future cases.


The team selected the eBee X fixed-wing drone with the S.O.D.A. 3D camera and RTK mode for this project because it was crucial to accurately capture all the details of the bridge’s ruins and the riverbed, ensure the geo-accuracy of the maps and obtain excellent 3D-mapping results to assist in the civil protection process.


Key results:

  • Rapid assessment: The eBee X drone mapping enabled a quick and safe evaluation of the bridge collapse site.
  • Detailed 3D models: Derived from the high-resolution imagery captured by the eBee X. The data captured generated geo-accurate maps that can be used in the future.
  • Safety improvement: The use of drones eliminated the need for manual inspection, enhancing worker safety by avoiding exposure to areas of risk or falling parts.
  • Time and cost savings: The project saved significant time and costs compared to traditional surveying methods, which take more days.
  • Efficient planning: The acquired data aided in the planning of reconstruction efforts for the Morandi bridge.


Learn more about the challenges and the results of the project in this case study

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