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Internet of Things solution developed for bridge inspections

3135711 dorset bridge

An Internet of Things remote monitoring system has been put forward as a solution for local authorities struggling to meet bridge inspection requirements.  

A new remote structure monitoring system has been developed by technology inspection firm SGS in partnership with technology firm AIMsight to tackle overdue bridge inspections.   

The system is fully compliant with non-destructive testing standards and uses sensors attached to a structure, such as bridge to provide continuous monitoring of the structure’s health.  

Sensors can gather data on cracks, local temperature and acceleration, which can help determine the causes of stress to a structure. 

The sensors are not a replacement of traditional inspections, but act as an early warning system so that local authorities or asset owners can anticipate and schedule on-site inspections and maintenance work.  

SGS global innovation manager industrial Thomas Meyer said that the system would be ideal for helping local authorities to schedule bridge inspections, as many of them are currently missing inspection deadlines.  

The RAC Foundation recently revealed that, out of 605 post-tensioned bridges in the UK which are managed by local authorities, 199 structures have not had a Post Tensioned Special Inspection  in the last 18 years.

“Bridges built for a different time are creaking under the strain of traffic densification and heavier vehicles,” he said.  

“Our new technology continuously monitors critical infrastructure which will help keep our road network working safely.” 

Costain and University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) recently announced the development of a similar IoT sensor-based system which predicts track and signalling faults

The system will tap into big data and help engineers predict when part of a railway track, signalling equipment or devices at a station are likely to fail. 

The main obstacle to the use of the Internet of Things at present is a limit on the number of devices that can use mobile signals to access the internet, a problem set to be solved by the rollout of 5G.  

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