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BIM Today features CSIC multi-sensing project bringing smart innovation to heritage asset

last modified Sep 06, 2019 10:29 AM
Sam Cocking, a PhD student at CSIC working under the supervision of Prof Matthew DeJong, features in industry publication BIM Today writing about a collaborative structural health monitoring project bringing smart innovation to a heritage asset.

BIM Today screenshot of Sam Cocking's article

The article, titled ‘Smarter Infrastructure: Multi-sensing structural health monitoring to improve decision-making for masonry arch bridges’, highlights how sensing technologies are enabling asset owners to learn more about the structural performance of heritage assets and, alongside data analytics, provide valuable insights to inform better decision-making. 

In 2018, Network Rail commissioned AECOM and CSIC to install structural health monitoring (SHM) technologies on a masonry arch bridge in north Yorkshire. The technologies monitor how the 150-year-old bridge behaves structurally and how it is responding after repair work carried out in 2016. Network Rail also wanted to explore available monitoring technologies to determine a suite of potential SHM options which could be deployed on other masonry arch assets, as alternatives to the traditional system of deflection pole monitoring. 

Collaboration between engineering consultancy and academia allowed for a broad range of SHM technologies, both readily available and emergent, to be used. AECOM installed an autonomous, remote monitoring system, comprising a range of dynamic point-sensing technologies such as strain gauges and linear potentiometers. CSIC implemented distributed monitoring technologies, including: laser scanning and vibrometry; fibre-optic Fibre Bragg Gratings (FBGs), for detailed dynamic measurement of strains in a variety of configurations across the arch; and videogrammetry to capture dynamic displacements.

AECOM and CSIC analysed large quantities of data to co-author a series of reports for Network Rail. These summarised: the studies undertaken before installation; the reasons the system was chosen; evaluation of the technologies used; and the results to date. An upcoming report will provide guidance on SHM technologies that could be used as alternatives to the deflection pole method. These reports will also be submitted to the European Shift2Rail programme as examples of research that Network Rail is supporting. Network Rail is commissioning AECOM and CSIC to perform long-term monitoring of the bridge, which demonstrates the value of the installed monitoring system and the benefits of long-term SHM.

This project is shortlisted in the 2019 NCE TechFest Awards for the Best Use of Technology: Driving Whole-Life Performance Award and the Team of the Year Award, which celebrates project teams driving development and adoption of innovation and technology in the civil engineering industry. Alongside another CSIC project, it has also been shortlisted for the Rail Visionary Award, which recognises organisations developing pioneering ideas and designs to realise major changes in the global rail sector. Winners will be announced on 26 September 2019. 

Read the full article in the September issue of BIM Today.