Coastal infrastructure, such as bridges, are susceptible to many forms of coastal hazards: particularly hurricane surge and wave loading. These two forms of loading can cause catastrophic damage to aging highway infrastructure. It is estimated that storm damage costs the United States about $50 Billion per year. In light of this, it is crucial that we understand the damaging forces placed on infrastructure during storm events so that we can develop safer and more resilient coastal structures. This paper presents the ongoing research to enable the efficient collection of extreme event loads acting on both the substructure and superstructure of low clearance, simple span, reinforced concrete bridges. Bridges of this type were commonly constructed during the 1950’s and 60’s and are particularly susceptible to deck unseating caused by hurricane surge and wave loading. The sensing technology used to capture this data must be ruggedized to survive in an extremely challenging environment, be designed to allow for redundancy in the event of sensors or other network components being lost in the storm, and be relatively low cost to allow for more bridges to be instrumented per storm event. The prototype system described in this paper includes wireless technology, rapid data transmission, and, for the sensors, self-contained power. While this specific application focuses on hurricane hazards, the framework can be extended to include other natural hazards.
Douglas A. Gelineau, Justin R. Davis, and Jennifer A. Rice, "Investigating extreme event loading on coastal bridges using wireless sensor technology," Proc. SPIE 10168, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2017, 101681Z (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 29, 2017; Published: 12 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2258697.
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