A system consisting of modern electronic hardware and software technologies has been developed to perform rapid and automated inspection in order to detect an incipient failure in a major structural component of a bridge. The hardware includes piezoelectric sensors and data collection, processing and display devices. The techniques developed utilize methodologies of digital signal processing, linear control theory and pattern recognition, a branch of the artificial intelligence discipline. The system can be mounted inside a motor van which will function as a mobile laboratory for bridge inspection. With appropriate training, technicians should be able to operate the system routinely. Briefly, the procedure of inspection consists of striking a major bridge member, e.g. a girder flange, with an instrumented impulse hammer and collecting a set of signatures via a sensor, e.g. an accelerometer, previously mounted on the member. An "intelligent" computer program will then compare the inspection signature against a set of previously collected reference signatures. Within a few minutes the computer will flash a message and an audio warning if a crack has appeared in the member. The system is ready for field application and it is recommended that its potential be utilized. To enhance its capability especially to find the location of a crack, the presence of which has been detected, further research is also recommended.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Duke University

    Transportation and Infrastructure Research Center
    Durham, NC  United States  27708-0287

    Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

    Office of Research and Special Studies, P.O. Box 2926
    Harrisburg, PA  United States  17120

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Biswas, M
    • Pandey, A K
    • Samman, M M
  • Publication Date: 1992-4


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 66 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00629109
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-PA-91-004+86-10, DUTIRC-XCII-A1
  • Created Date: May 20 1993 12:00AM