Monitoring Bridge Dynamic Behaviour using an Instrumented Two Axle Vehicle

P. J. McGetrick, A. González, E. J. OBrien

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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    Highway structures such as bridges are subject to continuous degradation primarily due to ageing, loading and environmental factors. A rational transport policy must monitor and provide adequate maintenance to this infrastructure to guarantee the required levels of transport service and safety. Increasingly in recent years, bridges are being instrumented and monitored on an ongoing basis due to the implementation of Bridge Management Systems. This is very effective and provides a high level of protection to the public and early warning if the bridge becomes unsafe. However, the process can be expensive and time consuming, requiring the installation of sensors and data acquisition electronics on the bridge. This paper investigates the use of an instrumented 2-axle vehicle fitted with accelerometers to monitor the dynamic behaviour of a bridge network in a simple and cost-effective manner. A simplified half car-beam interaction model is used to simulate the passage of a vehicle over a bridge. This investigation involves the frequency domain analysis of the axle accelerations as the vehicle crosses the bridge. The spectrum of the acceleration record contains noise, vehicle, bridge and road frequency components. Therefore, the bridge dynamic behaviour is monitored in simulations for both smooth and rough road surfaces. The vehicle mass and axle spacing are varied in simulations along with bridge structural damping in order to analyse the sensitivity of the vehicle accelerations to a change in bridge properties. These vehicle accelerations can be obtained for different periods of time and serve as a useful tool to monitor the variation of bridge frequency and damping with time.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCRI10 Concrete Research in Ireland & BRI10 Bridge and Infrastructure Research in Ireland : The Joint Symposium Proceedings
    EditorsN.A. Ni Nuallain, D Walsh, R West
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010
    EventBridge and Infrastructure Research in Ireland (BCRI2010) - Cork, Ireland
    Duration: 02 Sep 201003 Sep 2010


    ConferenceBridge and Infrastructure Research in Ireland (BCRI2010)


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