The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 042 [Completed (IDEA)]

Dual Core Fiber Optics Weigh-in Motion System
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

This project incorporated a new optical fiber design in a weigh-in-motion (WIM) system and tested its performance under simulated highway conditions. The fiber design consisted of a dual-core system using two light-guiding regions of different effective optical path lengths. This design enables us to measure magnitude as well as positions of forces that are applied at multiple locations along a single fiber and using a single light source and photodetector. A prototype fiber optic WIM system was designed, fabricated, and tested under both static loading and in an actual vehicle (Figure 1). The static loading tests showed good correlation between load and changes in optical signal. The location of the load was also determined fairly accurately. Changes in optical signal under vehicle testing were similar to those under static loading. The system was optimized and refined with attention to the optical set-up, data gathering capability, and fiber optic configuration. The results show a good potential of the WIM system for determining the magnitude and location of vehicle loads. However, additional refinements and prototype tests are needed before the technology will be ready for field implementation.  The final report is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # PB2001-100953).

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