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Integration of Fiber Optic Platform and Electro-Mechanical Sensors to Enhance Damage Detection Process



The Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is an ongoing research topic and SHM systems have become indispensable part of a new construction in recent years. In this paper, an effective SHM system consists of a traditional data acquisition platform along with a fiber optic platform is used to enhance damage detection process. The SHM system is applied on a model steel truss bridge that can present different damage scenarios. The traditional data acquisition system consists of piezoelectric accelerometers sending vibration signals from the traffic on a bridge to a NI data acquisition device. The second system uses Fiber optic Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors which send signals to a fiber optical interrogator. This system connects to a computer via Ethernet and can be used to send signals wirelessly. The installed SHM system takes advantage of benefits of piezoelectric sensors that are easy to be installed and are sensitive to the vibration. The traditional data acquisition device can be programmed based on the user needs via Lab-View platform. Moreover, the SHM system benefits from FBG strain gauges and temperature sensors that have high resolution and high signal to noise ratio. The shifting in the central wavelength of the Bragg gratings is the strain transduction mechanism in FBG sensors. Using the two platforms, we will present a significant enhancement in damage detection process. The installed SHM system tries to find all possible damage scenarios in a model structure similar to real bridges allowing authorities to take precautions to prevent further damage.

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