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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Developing Wireless Sensor System for Continuous Monitoring of Bridge Deformation

 Towards infrastructure sensing, monitoring and maintenance.

Researchers develop wireless sensor system for continuous monitoring of bridge deformation   by Drexel University

Researchers in Drexel University's College of Engineering have developed a solar-powered, wireless sensor system that can continually monitor bridge deformation and could be used to alert authorities when the bridge performance deteriorates significantly. With more than 46,000 bridges across the country considered to be in poor condition, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, a system like this could be both an important safety measure, as well as helping to triage repair and maintenance efforts.

The system, which measures bridge deformation and runs continuously on photovoltaic power, was unveiled in a recent edition of the IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Industrial Electronics in a paper authored by Drexel College of Engineering researchers, Ivan Bartoli, Ph.D., Mustafa Furkan, Ph.D., Fei Lu, Ph.D., and Yao Wang, a doctoral student in the College.

"With as much aging infrastructure as there is in the U.S. we need a way to keep a close eye on these critical assets 24/7," said Bartoli, who leads the Intelligent Infrastructure Alliance in the College of Engineering. "This is an urgent need, not just to prevent calamitous and often tragic failures, but to understand which bridges should take priority for maintenance and replacement, so that we can efficiently and sustainably approach the preservation and improvement of our infrastructure."

More than 40% of America's 617,000 bridges are more than 50 years old. While they are built to last, they must also be inspected regularly—every two years, according to Bartoli, who is a professor in the College.

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