Field Verification for Drive-by Bridge Monitoring using Non-specialized Inspection Vehicle

Bridge structures are subjected to continuous degradation due to environmental effects and increasing traffic loading. Monitoring of bridges is a key part of any maintenance strategy as it can give an early warning if the bridge becomes unsafe. This paper theoretically assesses the ability of a vehicle fitted with accelerometers to detect damage in a bridge. Damage is defined in this study as a change in the damping ratio and/or loss in structure stiffness. Two vehicle models are used in this investigation. The first is the two-degree-of-freedom quarter car model, while the second is a four-degree-of-freedom half car model. The bridge is modeled as a simply supported beam. Both vehicle and bridge are modeled using the Finite Element Analysis LS-Dyna program. Both smooth and rough profiles are considered in the study.

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