Data collected by mobile phones could be used to assess the structural integrity of bridges, suggests a new study, informing potential maintenance requirements and keeping them in action for 30% longer.
Using the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco as an example, researchers showed that smartphones can capture the same kind of information about bridge vibrations picked up by stationary sensors
The findings suggest that crowdsourced monitoring could be a cheap and convenient way to monitor the structural integrity of transportation infrastructure worldwide, and could potentially increase the lifespan of bridges by up to 30%.
There is a global need for infrastructure monitoring to improve the resilience and longevity of bridges, buildings, and other structures—it’s pretty much a guaranteed applause-grabber in political debates in America, because the need is so great.
The structural health of bridges is usually visually assessed by engineers on-site, which is often time consuming and infrequent, or measured using static sensors incorporated into the bridge, which are expensive.
Measuring the vibrational frequencies of bridges has previously been used to identify bridge damage and deterioration, but the data to support this approach have been limited.
Publishing their work in the journal Nature Communications Engineering, a team at MIT developed an Android-based app that collects data while travelling across a bridge which they compared with traditional bridge-based sensors.
“As data from multiple trips over a bridge are recorded, noise generated by engine, suspension and traffic vibrations, [and] asphalt, tend to cancel out, while the underlying dominant frequencies emerge,” said Dr. Paulo Santi.
In the case of the Golden Gate Bridge, the researchers drove over it 102 times with their devices running and they used 72 trips by Uber drivers with activated phones as well.
They then compared the resulting data to what had been collected by 240 sensors that had been placed on the Golden Gate Bridge for three months.
Results showed that data from the phones converged with that from the bridge sensors. For 10 particular types of low-frequency vibrations the engineers measured, there was a close match, and in five cases there was no discrepancy between the methods at all.
SIMILAR: Switzerland’s Brilliant Plan For Underground Cargo Delivery Tunnels to Reduce Traffic is Now Underway
However, because most bridges are not suspension bridges the researchers decided to test their method on smaller and more common concrete span bridges.
To do so, they studied a bridge in Ciampino, Italy, comparing 280 vehicle trips over the bridge to six sensors that had been placed on the bridge for seven months.
Here there was a 2.8% divergence between what was recorded with the stationary sensors and the smartphone data, while shorter trip numbers created more divergence, suggesting more trips would create less.
READ MORE: No More ‘Sniff Tests’: Cheap Biodegradable Sensors Can Tell Smartphones When Food Has Gone Bad
Architecture Professor at MIT Carlo Ratti said there are ways to refine and expand the research, for example by accounting for the effects of the smartphone mount in the vehicle and the influence of the vehicle type on the data.
“We still have work to do, but we believe that our approach could be scaled up easily — all the way to the level of an entire country,” said Ratti.
“It might not reach the accuracy that one can get using fixed sensors installed on a bridge, but it could become a very interesting early-warning system. Small anomalies could then suggest when to carry out further analyses.”
SHARE This Clever Trick With Your Friends On Your Own Smartphone…
Who Is Evan Winiker? All About Lana Del Rey’s Rumored Ex
Evan Winiker and the hit pop artist Lana del Rey had something special. Something that almost resulted in a beautiful...
Who Is Jack Martin? All About Lili Reinhart’s Boyfriend
Lili Reinhart has been our beloved since starring in the famous show ‘Riverdale’. The end of the show marks an...
Who Is Cole Hauser’s Wife? Everything About Cynthia Daniel
Cole Hauser’s wife Cynthia Daniel is a curiosity for his followers. Cole Hauser is famous for his role in classic...
Who Is UFC President Dana White’s Wife? All About Anne White
As president of the UFC, Dana White is known for running a successful business and being a strong leader in...
Is Pete Davidson Single? Everything About His Love Life Revealed
Pete Davidson’s popularity is increasing day by day because of his talent. Pete Davidson is a comedian on Saturday Night...
All You Need To Know About Choice Home Warranty George Foreman
With increasing demand for warranty homes as ownership transfers to the invested owners of any house, it’s essential that you...
Details You Should Know About Dr Aaron Wohl’s Arrested (Updates)
Suppose you are living in Florida or any state in the United States of America. In that case, you must...
What Is The Real Story Behind Selena Gomez’s ‘Lose You To Love Me’ Song?
Selena Gomez is an artist who has touched the hearts of millions with her soulful voice and meaningful lyrics. Her...
The Digital Sisterhood: Exploring Social Media Girls Forums
An online community where females may exchange ideas and experiences while discussing a range of social media-related topics is known...
How World Reacted to McDonald’s Japan’s Viral Ad
McDonald’s is a well-known fast-food chain in the world. Its fast food offerings, including fries and burgers, are well-known. There...