Main tension elements are critical to the overall stability of cable-supported bridges. A dependable and rapid
determination of cable tension is desired to assess the state of a cable-supported bridge and evaluate its operability. A
portable smart sensor setup is presented to reduce post-processing time and deployment complexity while reliably
determining cable tension using dynamic characteristics extracted from spectral analysis. A self-recording accelerometer
is coupled with a single-board microcomputer that communicates wirelessly with a remote host computer. The portable
smart sensing device is designed such that additional algorithms, sensors and controlling devices for various monitoring
applications can be installed and operated for additional structural assessment. The tension-estimating algorithms are based
on taut string theory and expand to consider bending stiffness. The successful combination of cable properties allows the
use of a cable’s dynamic behavior to determine tension force. The tension-estimating algorithms are experimentally
validated on a through-arch steel bridge subject to ambient vibration induced by passing traffic. The tension estimation is
determined in well agreement with previously determined tension values for the structure.
Rosana E. Martínez-Castro, Shinae Jang, Richard E. Christenson, and Bryan Campbell, "Rapid cable tension estimation using dynamic and mechanical properties," Proc. SPIE 9803, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2016, 98030E (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 21, 2016; Published: 20 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2219425.
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