Inspection and geodata provided by Orbiton after the collapse of Skjeggestad bridge on Februrary 2nd helped determine that the bridge had to be demolished as quickly as possible due to danger of further collapse. Decommisioning was to be carried out using explosives as part of a complex operation which inolved danger of a massive quick clay landslide. Once again Orbiton was contacted by the Norwegian National Public Road Authority (NPRA) to supply inspection and geodata to geologists and engineers as soon as the 2700 ton structure was blown up. Additionally, Orbiton was commisioned to provide infrared surveillance data prior to the explosion to national police and security personell as part of their efforts to insure that no trespassers entered the 500 meter blast zone. Being this such a high-profile operation, Orbiton was also requested by NPRA to supply aerial footage to the entire press corps in Norway. For this, Orbiton awarded the national broadcasting service (NRK) the task of feeding HD video into a media pool.
After a thorough risk analysis and a complete shutdown of airspace, Orbiton established a forward operating position just 100 meters from ground zero. Together with explosives experts from AF Decom, the intensity and angle of the blast were determined to gurarantee the safety of our personell. Further tests were carried out to make sure our unmanned aircraft was not blown out of the sky by the shock wave and flying debris. Orbiton’s expert pilot and technical operator then flew the UAV right up to the edge of the blast envelope and held the position when over 100 kilos of explosives, including 15 kilos of hightly explosive C4 were detonated.
Despite the complexity of the operation, Orbiton was able to deliver on all fronts and provide police, geologists, engineers and the national media with the data requested. It is estimated that Orbiton’s footage was seen by aprox. 1.000.000 people within 24 hours of the blast. You can see Orbiton’s version of the footage in full HD and slow-motion below. Note the slight shake as the UAV gets hit by the shock-wave at aprox. 00:27.