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Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) Innovation or Novelty— The Move to Fleet Level SHM



Is the time now? When will SHM transition from a novelty to a decision support platform for Bridge Asset Management. Structural Health Monitoring has been used on major bridges and as a research tool for over 50 years. The instances of its application for long term continuous monitoring are in the 100’s. During this period the condition of the world’s inventory of bridges has steadily declined. Many industry experts are citing the need for better information to manage bridges in a more productive manner. The industry needs to transition to fact based decision making from engineering judgement based on visual inspection. Do those conditions exist now? How will the industry need to adapt to allow for mainstream implementation of measured performance and a timeline for this innovation. This talk will address the technical, organizational and economic requirements for SHM to become a true innovation and be put into successful and practical use as a tool for managing a bridge fleet over their life cycle. The technological state of SHM as of a couple of years ago and the application of internet of things (IoT) technology to structural health monitoring will be discussed. The minimization of required hardware and decentralized data management are some of the major innovations IoT brings to SHM. A case study involving the continuous monitoring of a fleet of 20 bridges is presented. Field data examples using live loads from traffic to estimate load distribution factors are shown. In addition histograms of traffic induced strains on simply supported short and medium span bridge are presented. Examples are presented of timber, prestressed concrete and steel girder bridges. In summary, continuous monitoring a fleet of bridges is now economically and technologically viable. Maybe some words about how data analysis is the future.


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