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Cost-Effective Monitoring of Railroad Bridge Performance

[+] Author Affiliations
Bideng Liu

Institute of Disaster Prevention, Sanhe, China

Ali I. Ozdagli, Fernando Moreu

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Paper No. SMASIS2017-3981, pp. V002T05A012; 7 pages
  • ASME 2017 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • Volume 2: Modeling, Simulation and Control of Adaptive Systems; Integrated System Design and Implementation; Structural Health Monitoring
  • Snowbird, Utah, USA, September 18–20, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5826-4
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Railroads carry 40% of the U.S.’ freight tonnage. Railroad bridges are the most critical component of this network. Measuring transverse displacement of railroad bridges under train-crossing load is essential for the safe and cost-effective operation of railroad network. However, bridge displacement is difficult to collect in the field with traditional sensors due to the lack of fixed reference frame. Although reference-free sensors provide flexibility overcoming the aforementioned challenge, they often fail to capture pseudo-static components observed in timber bridges. This study proposes a novel reference-free sensing system to measure the total displacements of railroad bridges under train-crossing loads. A novel passive-servo electro-magnetic-induction (PSEMI) sensing technology provides accurate direct reference-free dynamic displacement measurement. Furthermore, researchers utilize two reference-free accelerometers to record inclination measurement and transform to pseudo-static displacement. Total bridge displacement is obtained by adding dynamic and pseudo-static responses together. Shake table experiments employing a bridge pier model excited by bridge displacements measured in the field has validated the effectiveness and accuracy of the novel sensing system.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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