Wireless vibration monitoring for damage detection of highway bridges

  • Whelan M
  • Gangone M
  • Janoyan K
 et al. 
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The development of low-cost wireless sensor networks has resulted in
resurgence in the development of ambient vibration monitoring methods to
assess the in-service condition of highway bridges. However, a reliable
approach towards assessing the health of an in-service bridge and
identifying and localizing damage without a priori knowledge of the
vibration response history has yet to be formulated. A two-part study is
in progress to evaluate and develop existing and proposed damage
detection schemes. The first phase utilizes a laboratory bridge model to
investigate the vibration response characteristics induced through
introduction of changes to structural members, connections, and support
conditions. A second phase of the study will validate the damage
detection methods developed from the laboratory testing with progressive
damage testing of an in-service highway bridge scheduled for
replacement. The laboratory bridge features a four meter span, one meter
wide, steel frame with a steel and cement board deck composed of sheet
layers to regulate mass loading and simulate deck wear. Bolted
connections and elastomeric bearings provide a means for prescribing
variable local stiffness and damping effects to the laboratory model. A
wireless sensor network consisting of fifty-six accelerometers
accommodated by twenty-eight local nodes facilitates simultaneous,
real-time and high-rate acquisition of the vibrations throughout the
bridge structure. Measurement redundancy is provided by an array of
wired linear displacement sensors as well as a scanning laser
vibrometer. This paper presents the laboratory model and damage
scenarios, a brief description of the developed wireless sensor network
platform, an overview of available test and measurement instrumentation
within the laboratory, and baseline measurements of dynamic response of
the laboratory bridge model.

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