June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Computers in Education
14.417.1 - 14.417.15
Design of a Bridge Structural Integrity Wireless Monitoring System for Computer Engineering Education
A wireless sensors based system is designed for computer engineering students to remotely monitor the structural integrity of a truss metal bridge model. Triple axes accelerometers are attached to the trusses of the bridge such that the vibrations due to the bridge movements can be transmitted wirelessly using 2.4 GHz signals. The system then collects and analyzes the signals with a receiver attached to a computer. Data logging of the bridge vibrations is implemented using a multi-sensor data link to routinely collect the normal waveform patterns when an impulse impact is applied to the bridge. Using the Fast Fourier transform MATLAB program, analysis of the waveforms yields a definite shift in the characteristic signature, when one or more of the bridge truss joints are intentionally compromised. Consequently, this simple but effective technique can be employed to monitor the structural integrity of bridges routinely using this system. When a characteristic frequency shift is detected, the wireless monitoring may be supplemented with visual inspections, to warn the bridge safety personnel and users of imminent bridge deficiency. The designed system provides a good opportunity for our Computer Engineering students to culminate their technical education in a Senior Design Project using their knowledge of Signals and Systems as well as Communications and Electronics. By participating in this project, the students successfully implement the knowledge learned in courses on frequency domain analysis, impulse response, signal amplification, and physical vibrations to electrical signal conversion.
Bridge integrity is an issue of national priority following the Minnesota bridge collapse1, shown in Figure 1 and the subsequent publicity that a significant percentage of the nation’s bridges are in need of repair2.
Figure 1: Collapse of the Minneapolis, MN Bridge 1
Kim, Y., & Akbar, S. (2009, June), Design Of A Bridge Structural Integrity Wireless Monitoring System For Computer Engineering Education Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4776
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