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Bridges are bottlenecks in the railroad net, because of their limiting characteristics. To achieve a high load of the railroads old bridges especially are being pushed to their physical limit, regarding transfer speed, schedule, axle load and train length. Therefore monitoring of these strategic structures is getting more and more important. Installation costs of conventional sensors are expensive and time intensive. New wireless sensor platforms and distributed processing algorithms, going hand in hand with new or enhanced monitoring methods, promise an early damage detection and damage estimation. This paper designs a wireless sensor network for Structural Health Monitoring using commercially available wireless sensors to measure and extract vibration characteristics of bridges. The functionality of the network is verified in a laboratory experiment.
Date of Conference: Nov. 28 2011-Dec. 1 2011