Rapid Transportation Structure Evaluation Toolkit

Charles (C.J.) Riley, Oregon Institute of Technology

Summary:

A previous NITC grant (#985 Dynamic Evaluation of Transportation Structures with iPod-Based Data Acquisition) supported education and research development at Oregon Tech in the area of mobile devices in sensor network applications to evaluate transportation structures via dynamic parameters like natural frequency and damping ratio. The goal of the previous grant was to determine the feasibility of using mobile devices in structural health monitoring applications and to build an educational module to introduce students to this field. Given the positive results of this research using ambient structural vibrations, the team would like to develop the concept further and employ forced harmonic vibration to excite various modes of vibration in structures, as this method is proven to be more accurate than ambient vibration. 

The ultimate goal of this grant request is to fully develop a structural evaluation toolkit, based on a mobile device (iPod) sensor network, that could be used to supplement bridge (and other transportation structure) inspection and assist in structural evaluations after significant events like a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. Such a toolkit would promote environmental sustainability, safety and transportation infrastructure resiliency by more simply and accurately measuring transportation structure performance and supporting transportation asset management decisions. The toolkit would seek to move structural health monitoring out of the academic and consulting realm (higher skilled workers) and into broader and more regular use by lower skilled inspection groups at departments of transportation. 

Impacts:

The rapidly deployable structural evaluation toolkit (RDSETGO) is envisioned to be simple enough to be deployed by a department of transportation inspection crew with data collection processes simple and accurate enough to be processed in house to provide actionable information to DOTs to measure and document structure deterioration or the extent of damage after a significant loading event. In Oregon, this event is the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. 

With results from the study directly comparable to THMPER results (the current state of practice bridge evaluation tool), RDSETGO appears to have a valuable role to play in structural evaluation efforts of all kinds. 

Project Details

Project Type:
Research
Project Status:
Completed
End Date:
December 31,2017
UTC Grant Cycle:
Natl Round 3
UTC Funding:
$74,050