Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

’Smart Bridge’ Technology Debuts in New Mexico

20.07.2004


The new Interstate 10 bridge over University Avenue in Las Cruces may look like any other highway bridge, but it isn’t.

Embedded deep within the bridge’s concrete beams are fiber-optic sensors that will allow engineers to continually monitor the safety of the bridge. The $6.3 million bridge is the first interstate highway bridge in the nation to be fitted with this type of “smart bridge” technology.

“Traditionally, bridge inspections have relied primarily on a visual inspection of the exterior of the bridge,” says Rola Idriss, a professor of civil engineering who is leading NMSU’s “smart bridge” research. “This monitoring system can provide information on the effects of stress long before signs of fatigue begin to show visibly, allowing engineers to address potential problems before they become serious and costly.”



Ultimately, Idriss says, the technology should lead to better bridge designs.

The sensors embedded in the four-lane bridge are made by a Swiss company called Smartec. One hundred and twenty sensors were embedded in each of the bridge’s six 90-ton beams when they were cast in Albuquerque, N.M., earlier this year.

Fiber-optic lines also were strung throughout the concrete to shoot beams of light through the structure. As the beams are stressed, the properties of the light change. These changes are picked up by the sensors and relayed to a data collection box about the size of a refrigerator that is located off the side of the bridge. NMSU researchers will collect the data from this box, study it, and share it with the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

NMSU received a $500,000 grant from the NMDOT and the Federal Highway Administration to cover the cost of purchasing the sensors, installing them, and monitoring the bridge for three years. Albuquerque Underground Inc. (AUI) was the contractor on the project.

The technology was tested in 2000 on a smaller bridge over the Rio Puerco west of Albuquerque. It was monitored for a year following construction, and proved to be a success.

Depending on the research results of the I-10 bridge over University Avenue, Idriss says that “smart bridge” technology might become standard in the construction of bridges in the future.

Idriss says the same technology could be applied to buildings in earthquake-prone areas to monitor unseen structural damage after earthquakes.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.nmsu.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Touchscreens go 3D with buttons that pulsate and vibrate under your fingertips
14.03.2019 | Universität des Saarlandes

nachricht EU project CALADAN set to reduce manufacturing cost of Terabit/s capable optical transceivers
11.03.2019 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

Im Focus: Sussex scientists one step closer to a clock that could replace GPS and Galileo

Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock

Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...

Im Focus: Sensing shakes

A new way to sense earthquakes could help improve early warning systems

Every year earthquakes worldwide claim hundreds or even thousands of lives. Forewarning allows people to head for safety and a matter of seconds could spell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Levitating objects with light

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique for in-cell distance determination

19.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Stellar cartography

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>