Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dryver Huston


This research furthers the capability and understanding of subsurface sensing techniques. Proper inspection of small culverts can prevent roadway failures, major traffic disturbances and save tens of thousands of dollars on costly repairs. The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) has adopted a policy requiring all culverts to be inspected every 5 years, resulting in around 9,600 small culverts needing to be inspected annually. Having the proper equipment available to efficiently and effectively inspect small culverts at an affordable price is crucial for road infrastructure maintenance. In this thesis, an inspection vehicle is optimized for efficient and effective small culvert inspection. A culvert inspection vehicle is designed, built, and tested to meet a list of requirements specified by VTrans. Optimal settings for video transmission through small culverts are understood through a series of culvert tests. Vehicle maneuverability through culverts is optimized. Limitations and improvements of culvert inspection through drop inlets are discussed. The designed culvert inspection vehicle meets the VTrans requirements to perform effective small culvert inspections affordably.

Additionally, proper detection of buried landmines could vastly decrease the large number of civilian and soldier landmine casualties. Doppler ground penetrating radar accompanied by a shaking device could produce an effective landmine sensor capable of distinguishing landmines from other buried objects like rocks. In this thesis, small scale centrifugal shakers are designed to determine their feasibility for landmine detection applications. Three centrifugal shaker prototypes are manufactured to transmit Love and Rayleigh surface waves. Seismic vibration displacement tests are conducted on buried landmines and buried plates. The designed centrifugal shakers allow for landmines to be distinguished on a small scale.



Number of Pages

121 p.