Prof Develops System to Remotely Monitor Bridges


Newswise — A Clarkson University professor, operating under a state-funded research grant, has developed a system that allows for remote monitoring of bridges using a dense network of wireless sensors. The work is part of an effort to increase the way state and county departments of transportation in New York State keep track of its bridge inventory.

Kerop Janoyan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been working with the New York State Department of Transportation and the St. Lawrence County Highway Department to monitor bridges across the county and state.

Janoyan, working with a nearly $500,000 research grant from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), has developed and deployed a wireless sensor network comprised of to measure bridge vibration and strain utilizing low cost microprocessors and transceivers. The data is sent to a base station where it can be retrieved and monitored from anywhere. This work has been ongoing long before the collapse last week of a major bridge in Minneapolis.

Janoyan says traditional wired instrumentation of a bridge is often not feasible due to time and cost constraints. Now, the bridge can be instrumented using a low-cost and automatic system for structural health monitoring and condition assessment. A bridge on Wright Road just off Route 11 between Canton and Potsdam, New York, was recently instrumented with 40 channels of sensors and data was retrieved in real-time at a base station.

This large-scale deployment is one of the largest of its kind currently in the United States and demonstrates the use of wireless sensor networks for structural health monitoring as a feasible low-cost, universal approach.

You also can check out Janoyan's work at http://www.clarkson.edu/~kerop .

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty members achieve international recognition for their research and scholarship and connect students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

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