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Proceedings Paper

Initial testing of advanced ground-penetrating radar technology for the inspection of bridge decks: the HERMES and PERES Bridge Inspectors
Author(s): Nigel C. Davidson; Steven B. Chase
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Paper Abstract

Since early 1995 the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been sponsoring the development of ground-penetrating radar technology to produce a tool for the non-destructive evaluation of bridge decks. Under contract with the FHWA, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory designed and built a system capable of recording data over a 2 meter width during normal traffic flow. The derived system is called `The HERMES Bridge Inspector' (High-speed Electromagnetic Roadway Measurement and Evaluation System) and includes a 64 channel antenna array within a 30 ft trailer. For detailed investigation of portions of a bridge deck, a robotic cart mounted radar has been developed. This cart system is named `The PERES Bridge Inspector' (Precision Electromagnetic Roadway Evaluation System). PERES records data over the chosen area by rastering a single transceiver over the road. Images of the deck interior are reconstructed from the original synthetic aperture data using diffraction tomography. The work presented herein describes the findings of initial experiments conducted to determine the inspection capabilities of these systems. Internal defects such as delaminations, voids and disbonds; and construction details including deck thickness, asphalt overlay thickness and reinforcement layout were the features targeted. The final goal is for these systems, and other non-destructive technologies, to provide information on the condition of the nation's bridges for input to bridge management systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 February 1999
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3587, Nondestructive Evaluation of Bridges and Highways III, (1 February 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.339923
Show Author Affiliations
Nigel C. Davidson, Wiss, Janny, Elstner Associates, Inc. (United States)
Steven B. Chase, Federal Highway Administration (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3587:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Bridges and Highways III
Steven B. Chase, Editor(s)

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