Vision-based bridge deformation monitoring

James brownjohn, Yan Xu, David Hester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)
419 Downloads (Pure)


Optics-based tracking of civil structures is not new, due to historical application in surveying,
but automated applications capable of tracking at rates that capture dynamic
effects are now a hot research topic in structural health monitoring. Recent innovations
show promise of true non-contacting monitoring capability avoiding the need for physically
attached sensor arrays. The paper reviews recent experience using the Imetrum
Dynamic Monitoring Station (DMS) commercial optics-based tracking system on Humber
Bridge and Tamar Bridge, aiming to show both the potential and limitations. In particular,
the paper focuses on the challenges to field application of such a system resulting from
camera instability, nature of the target (artificial or structural feature), and illumination. The
paper ends with evaluation of a non-proprietary system using a consumer-grade camera
for cable vibration monitoring to emphasize the potential for lower cost systems where if
performance specifications can be relaxed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers in Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2017


  • vision based system
  • camera calibration
  • template matching
  • optical flow
  • structural displacement

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