Bridge weigh-in-motion (BWIM) systems, which measure bridge deformation under live loading to estimate
weights of passing vehicles, have been in development since Moses first introduced the concept in 1979.
Despite advances made since its introduction, important limitations for BWIM systems still exist. A
feasibility study was performed to determine if some of the limitations—including poor accuracy with
multiple vehicle passage, either in tandem or side-by-side; and inability to accurately capture the passage of
a vehicle moving at variable speeds—could be overcome by enriching the dataset available to the BWIM
system. Non-contact measurements collected in real time on the topside of the bridge can enrich the
dataset, and by taking advantage of these measurements a more accurate and effective enriched bridge
weigh-in-motion (eBWIM) system can be developed. Several sensing technologies were reviewed including
fiber Bragg gratings, MEMS accelerometers, microwave radar sensors, magnetic sensors, active infrared
detectors, and video image vehicle detection systems. Preliminary results indicated that there was no clear
candidate for a fully mature sensing system that would satisfy all the criteria in this study. However,
microwave radar sensors have a reasonably low cost, are the least intrusive, and perform better in all
weather conditions compared to the other sensors. A testbed using radar sensors is proposed to investigate
the accuracy of the eBWIM system. If the desired accuracy of the eBWIM system can be achieved, its
implementations should prove to be invaluable for enforcing bridge weight limits, studying truck traffic
patterns, and managing bridge inventories.
Kumar, Ravi; Schultz, Arturo; Hourdos, John.
Enriched Sensor Data for Enhanced Bridge Weigh-in-Motion (eBWIM) Applications.
Center for Transportation Studies.
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