Over the past few years Blue Road Research and the University of California at San Diego have been collaborating to develop a bridge health monitoring system using long gage length fiber optic strain sensors and modal analysis. Two programs supporting this effort have been funded by the National Science Foundation and from this work
several papers have been published showing its strong progress1-5. In 2002, the Federal Highway Administration and Caltrans performed a full-scale test on some of the components that will be used for the planned I-5/Gilman Advanced technology Bridge in California, USA. As a part of this test Blue Road Research used its developmental system to validate the use of this damage detection technique and to compare the results with conventional modal analysis tools.
Blue Road Research and the University of California have been collaborating over the past three years to develop a system employing fiber Bragg grating strain sensors and modal analysis to provide real-time, quantitative information on the structure's response to a dynamic input (such as a seismic event), and a fast prediction of the structure's integrity. This research, being funded by the National Science Foundation, has several publications showing its strong progress. This year marks a significant step forward in this effort, with the successful completion of a full-scale test performed on a longitudinal carbon shell girder being tested as part of the planned I-5/Gilman Advanced technology Bridge in California, USA.