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Sensors 2018, 18(2), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020338

Monitoring of Bridges by a Laser Pointer: Dynamic Measurement of Support Rotations and Elastic Line Displacements: Methodology and First Test

1
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calabria, Via Bucci cubo 45B, 87036 Rende, Italy
2
Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, Via Marzolo, 9, 35131 Padova, Italy
3
Department of Informatics, Modeling, Electronic and System Engineering, University of Calabria, Via P. Bucci cubo 42C, 87036 Rende, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Abstract

Deck inclination and vertical displacements are among the most important technical parameters to evaluate the health status of a bridge and to verify its bearing capacity. Several methods, both conventional and innovative, are used for structural rotations and displacement monitoring; however, none of these allow, at the same time, precision, automation, static and dynamic monitoring without using high cost instrumentation. The proposed system uses a common laser pointer and image processing. The elastic line inclination is measured by analyzing the single frames of an HD video of the laser beam imprint projected on a flat target. For the image processing, a code was developed in Matlab® that provides instantaneous rotation and displacement of a bridge, charged by a mobile load. An important feature is the synchronization of the load positioning, obtained by a GNSS receiver or by a video. After the calibration procedures, a test was carried out during the movements of a heavy truck maneuvering on a bridge. Data acquisition synchronization allowed us to relate the position of the truck on the deck to inclination and displacements. The inclination of the elastic line at the support was obtained with a precision of 0.01 mrad. The results demonstrate the suitability of the method for dynamic load tests, and the control and monitoring of bridges. View Full-Text
Keywords: laser pointer; displacement monitoring; laser fingerprint; video; data synchronization laser pointer; displacement monitoring; laser fingerprint; video; data synchronization
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Artese, S.; Achilli, V.; Zinno, R. Monitoring of Bridges by a Laser Pointer: Dynamic Measurement of Support Rotations and Elastic Line Displacements: Methodology and First Test. Sensors 2018, 18, 338.

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