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Proceedings Paper

Development and installation of Picostrain sensors in structural systems
Author(s): Joseph C. Sener; Bernard Mitch Latta; Jimmy D. Ross
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Paper Abstract

The concept of the Picostrain sensor technology is based on a standard, commercially available, electrical cable assembly embedded in pavement or structural members. The concept has been developed through the 1990s and patented by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) in 2003. The objective of this new technology is to build an inexpensive, easily installed and maintained sensor system for the purposes of vehicle classification (VC), vehicle identification (VI), weigh-in-motion (WIM), and vehicle tracking (VT) applications along with real-time monitoring and evaluation of structural performance under static and dynamic traffic loading. It is intended, in the future, that these sensors will be further developed to replace curently utilized expensive embedded pavement and structural sensors for ultimate improvement of transportation decision-making and planning. This will also help to document the movement of people and goods along with the evironmental, social, economic and financial parameters with an emphasis on tracking movements in social life for security based upon the use of this durable and reliable transducers. Approximately, 400 sensors have been installed on and in the reinforced concrete structural members of the West Park Center River Crossing Bridge (Bridge) and the Micron Engineering Center (MEC) building (Building) at Boise State University (BSU) in Boise, Idaho, USA, since 1998. These sensors were installed: in bridge pile caps, piers, girders and decks; bridge abutment embankments; building footings, columns, beams, floor slabs; and, have been linked to instrument cabinets on site. These sensors installed structures may now be called "smart" structures since they contain a resident sensing system capable of maintaining a constant watch over the integrity of the structure. These sensing systems will be able to evaluate the applied loads, as well as the static and dynamic response of the structure. This paper introduces and describes the new concept of Picostrain sensors and their installation, including the description of the proposed data acquisition system design and electronics for real-time monitoring of structural performance, WIM, VT, VC, VI, soil-structure interaction, and soil pressure and deformation due to moving traffic loads. The data and its interpretation will be made available to researchers and other interested organizations elsewhere upon completion of the data acquisition system (DAS) and collection and evaluation of the data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5391, Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems, (29 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.540116
Show Author Affiliations
Joseph C. Sener, Boise State Univ. (United States)
Bernard Mitch Latta, Idaho Transportation Dept. (United States)
Jimmy D. Ross, Idaho Transportation Dept. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5391:
Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems
Shih-Chi Liu, Editor(s)

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