The DamAR system allows the visualization, in-situ, of relevant structural health monitoring information, in an Augmented Reality environment. It is directed at Civil Engineers and Observation Technicians as a mean to visualize, superimposed to dams, the network of sensors situated in the downstream face and the interior of the structure, the evolution of the values registered in each sensor and other information used in dam safety control.
The digital 3D models that represent the network of sensors in the AR environment include, among others, plumblines, geodetic marks and GNSS equipment.
The UI allows for the structural inspectors to visualize, superimposed to the real structure, different types of information relevant to its tasks. It includes a set of toolbars and menus that allow the user to easily navigate through the different AR visualization options and displacements information.
Full screen charts representing horizontal displacements, air temperatures and upstream water levels are shown when a specific sensor is selected.
The process of selecting sensors has some implications in what concerns the comfort of using the system. When selecting a sensor that is not within ”thumb-distance” the user should typically have to hold the tablet with only one hand and tap the screen with the index finger of the other. Stabilizing the tablet with a single hand, especially in the case of tablets with thin bezels, can be uncomfortable. Also, because the system is to be used in the field and ”on the move” it’s not practical to support the tablet on a surface. In that sense, the AR environment has an important interaction advantage that can be used for the purpose of improving the comfort of use. It allows for the user to move the tablet field of view in the direction of the sensors location in the AR environment, bringing the sensor in reach of the thumb. This allows for the tablet to be stabilized with both hands at all times when using the AR environment.