Two projects dealing with field instrumentation of bridges are described in this report. In the first
project, a portable, rugged and multi-purpose bridge instrumentation system was developed. This was
accomplished by using fourteen removable instruments and a portable data acquisition. The
instrumentation included eight reusable strain sensors and six inclinometers, which allowed load
distributions, stresses, and displacements to be measured in steel girder bridges. In the second part of the
project the portable data acquisition system was used to measure strains near fatigue critical details in steel
bridges to determine stress ranges under both controlled and random traffic. For this part of the project
conventional strain gauges were also used.
Overall this acquisition and modelling system worked quite well for determining strains and deflections
of simply supported bridges under static loadings. A new measurement technique for finding deflections,
based on slope sensors, was developed and verified. This technique can now be readily used in bridge
evaluation. The system should be extended now to various types of bridges including continuous span,
concrete girder, and timber bridges.
Leon, Roberto T.; Galambos, Theodore; Schmit, Jeffrey J.; Teng, Ai-Lien.
Field instrumentation of steel highway bridges.
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