Instrumentation of a bridge

Measuring the forces that occur in a large bridge during acceleration and deceleration

The objective was to measure the forces that occur in a large bridge (about 70 meters long) during acceleration and deceleration. For this purpose sensors needed to be mounted at 5 different locations, each between 15 and 70 meters apart. Required sensors included pressure sensors, position sensors and strain gauges. For the measurement system we worked with 5 independent systems connected by ethernet. Each of the systems contains its own UPS so that we can turn off the AC-power during the measurement. With sensitive sensors as strain gauges eliminating AC-power in the vicinity improves the measurement quality considerably.

We were involved in this project from the definition of the measurement campaign to the first analysis of the data. We attached the sensors to the bridge, mounted the strain gauges on the bridge structure, executed the measurement campaign and reported the results. We delivered preprocessed datasets to a structural expert involved in the project. He took care of the physical interpretation of the results.