Theoretical investigation of the use of a moving vehicle to identify bridge dynamic parameters

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

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    84 Citations (Scopus)


    Pavements and bridges are subject to a continuous degradation due to traffic aggressiveness, ageing and environmental factors. A rational transport policy requires the monitoring of this transport infrastructure in order to provide adequate maintenance and guarantee the required levels of transport service and safety. This paper investigates the use of an instrumented vehicle fitted with accelerometers on its axles to monitor the dynamics of bridges. A simplified quarter carbridge interaction model is used in theoretical simulations and the natural frequency of the bridge is extracted from the spectra of the vehicle accelerations. The accuracy is better at lower speeds and for smooth road profiles. The structural damping of the bridge was also monitored for smooth and rough road profiles. The magnitude of peaks in the power spectral density of the vehicle accelerations decreased with increasing bridge damping and this decrease was easier to detect the smoother the road profile.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)433-438
    Number of pages6
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2009


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