Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Keeping control

Pisa; Leaning tower

Throughout the preliminary soil extraction tests, the precise motion of the tower has been monitored via an array of real time inclinometers attached to the structure.

Twice a day, the site office in Pisa faxes the results of the tower's movements to Professor John Burland's office at Imperial College in London - or wherever his busy schedules takes him. He then instructs them how to proceed that day.

While preliminary soil extraction was under way, this meant instructing site engineers how much material to remove from which tube locations and in which order. No surprises was the key to this observational technique.

'We developed the command and control system during the preliminary work,' explains Burland. 'The evening report gives me an early indication of what is happening and gives me some time to think about what to do the next day.'

Visits to the site will also continue but Burland is confident that the sophisticated control system will enable him to spend a substantial amount of time with his students. 'I'm going next month and after that it will be as often as necessary - hopefully I won'tbe needed there.'

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.