The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 058 [Completed (IDEA)]

Long Gage-Length Interferometric Fiber Optic Sensors for Condition Assessment of Bridge Structures
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

This project developed a long gauge-length sensor system for monitoring the condition of bridge structures (Figure 1). The sensor system was designed and tested to optimize features important for concrete bridge applications and incorporated into a specially designed monitoring system. A concrete test beam was constructed and techniques for sensor attachment, isolation, entrance, and exit were evaluated for their practicality in field applications. The optical sensors performed well in laboratory tests under dynamic loads responding at all frequencies of interest. The data analysis and correlation showed system’s promise in detecting damage changes in the structure. An in-service concrete bridge near Unionville, Pennsylvania was identified for instrumenting with the fiber-optic prototype system for field evaluation. The sensor and the data acquisition system functioned well in the field conditions at the bridge. Strain time-history data were successfully collected for several truck passages under normal traffic. The system needs to be made more rugged and further developed for full-scale field deployment with regard to the size of the input and output devices and the sensitivity of the initiation procedure to focus the input light. The final report is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # PB2002-103163).

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