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A Strength Degradation Monitoring System for Highway Bridges

Using a slope sensor to be described in this paper, together with real-time deflection computation is a single-point measurement. For a long time, the major problem of the slope sensor is its poor resolution so that the measuring signal-to-noise ratio is too low to be practical. Recently, a special slope sensor developed by Yang (Yang, et al) can measure a bridge deflection with 2 × 10-5 resolution and its frequency response allow valid measurement due to moving vehicles with speed of 30 mile/hour. This development represents a significant improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio. It is the basis for the MCEER-IEM cooperative project to develop a strength degradation monitoring system for real-time bridge monitoring, funded by the FHWA. This paper is a research progress report describing the laboratory test setup and proposed computational effort to obtain a high signal-to-noise slope sensor.

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