Puentes – Low cost bridge health monitoring by ambient vibration tests using wireless sensors


The proposed research project is aimed to develop and implement a system for damage detection and localization in bridge structures. This structural health monitoring system is based on ambient dynamic tests, i.e. tests subjected to uncontrolled loading (traffic, wind etc.), and on the application of advanced structural identification techniques. The tests are carried out in such a way that existing bridge traffic remains undisturbed. The structural health monitoring system is automated to integrate the different measurement phases:

  1. positioning of sensors,
  2. data acquisition,
  3. deduction of dynamic structural characteristics and,
  4. evaluation of the structural behaviour.

The measurement campaign can be carried out by a reduced technical team in a relatively short time. In this context different bridge tests can be considered: bridges without accessible design, with a preliminary design, with an updated design and with results from a previous ambient dynamic test. Existing algorithms and related software will be upgraded in view of automatic design of low cost sensor distribution and damage localization from the test output data. The developed system will be applied to two pilot bridges to check the quality level of the derived damage information. The structural health monitoring system will be tailored to the common bridge types: simply supported or continuous, in reinforced or prestressed concrete. Finally, in order to evaluate the efficiency of the low cost wireless sensor system, a comparison will be made with a traditional wired system, regarding feasibility and cost effectiveness.

Visit the web page of the project for more information

El proyecto PUENTES esta fi nanciado por el Ministerio de Fomento y su nombre o ficial es “Ensayos dinamicos de bajo coste para el mantenimiento de puentes sometidos a cargas ambientales no controladas utilizando sensores inalámbricos”

  • Fecha de desarrollo: desde Enero 2009 hasta Diciembre 2012

Consorcio formado por: UPM Teleco, UPM Caminos, KUL Leuven, Uxama, FCC

Medidas realizadas sobre puentes de diferente tipologia y tamaño:

  • 2009 Noviembre. Aguilar de Campoo. Palencia
  • 2011 Febrero. Untxilla. Vizcaya
  • 2011 Marzo. Aguilar de Campoo. Palencia
  • 2011 Marzo. Magaz de Pisuerga. Palencia