Internet-Enabled Wireless Structural Monitoring Systems: Development and Permanent Deployment at the New Carquinez Suspension Bridge

Dense networks of low-cost wireless sensors have the potential to facilitate prolific data collection in large and complex infrastructure at costs lower than those historically associated with tethered counterparts. While wireless telemetry has been previously proposed for structural monitoring, comparatively less research has focused on the creation of a complete and scalable data management system that manages the storage and interrogation of wireless sensor data. This paper reports on the development of a novel wireless structural monitoring system specifically tailored for large-scale civil infrastructure systems by architecturally combining dense wireless sensor networks with a suite of information technologies remotely accessible by the Internet. The architectural overview of the proposed Internet-enabled wireless structural monitoring system is presented including a description of its functional elements (for example, wireless sensors, database server, and application programming interfaces). The monitoring-system architecture proposed is validated on the New Carquinez (Alfred Zampa Memorial) Bridge in Vallejo, California. A permanent wireless monitoring system is installed consisting of 28 wireless sensor nodes collecting data from over 80 channels. The bridge sensor data are transferred by a wireless cellular connection to a remote database server where it is stored and available for interrogation by software clients granted access to the data. To illustrate the ability to autonomously process the bridge response data, the stochastic subspace identification method is used to extract accurate modal characteristics of the bridge that are used to update high-fidelity finite-element models of the bridge. The Internet-enabled wireless structural monitoring system proved to be scalable to a large number of nodes and has thus far proven stable and reliable over long-term use.


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  • Accession Number: 01493924
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Sep 17 2013 3:57PM