Structural Health Monitoring
These days when it comes to maintaining the health of a structure there are multiple ways this can be completed. The most common ways inspecting the structural integrity is through the use of on-site surveyors and engineers to determine the health of the structure through a means of measurements and visual inspections.
From the conventional methods of Surveyors and Engineers being on site for days at a time to inspect the infrastructure through the use of their highly accurate instruments called Total Stations.
To the use of Monitoring Stations which are multiple fixed units on the structure taking multiple shots an hour of fixed highly accurate prisms all over the structure and sending this data to a single server for calculations to occur.
Then there is on-site Level 1 and Level 2 bridge inspections which can occur, this is done in person with the use of heavy machinery to get into tight areas and visually inspect the infrastructure and write a detailed report for later repair and health works.
Then finally our newest method of Structural Health Monitoring, this is done through the use of Highly Accurate Wireless Sensors which provide detailed data via movements which occur on the structure. This data is then send to a portal and is then presented in an easily understandable format.
Fixed Monitoring Stations
Another form of effectively monitoring the condition of a structure is through the use of Monitoring Stations, in a similar fashion to the use of on-site Surveyors and Engineers the tools they use are highly accurate Total Stations. Through a few changes the companies that build these highly accurate machines are able to build unmanned stations which are mounted on the infrastructure in a location which gives them line of sight to multiple prisms which are mounted on the face of the structure. Through continuous scanning of these prisms you will get a readout of changes which occur on your structure. The biggest problem here using this method of monitoring is the cost and maintenance associated with Monitoring Stations. Each station can cost in excess of $80,000 AUD and couple that with the Software required to stream and process the data which costs $5000 AUD a year and the multiple high accuracy prisms needed to be fixed on the structure which cost $1400 AUD each you have yourself a very expensive solutions. Then you also need to take into account the requirement for multiple stations to cover both sides and all unseen areas on the structure. These kinds of solutions have been used in very expensive projects before and usually come in at around $500,000 AUD for a solution like this with a maintenance plan and on-site cleaning and battery changes required every 4 – 6 weeks.
On-Site Surveyor & Engineer
The other method of monitoring the Structural Integrity of your structure is through the employment of licensed Surveyors and Engineers to inspect your structure periodically. Although vastly cheaper than fixed monitoring stations this option also has its drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is the inability to monitor your structure in real time. Surveyors and Engineers are only able to inspect the structure from the time they are on site against the previous recordings they took upon last inspection. This will give you Static point to point data but should an incident occur during the day whilst under public use there is no way to determine this fault and ensure public safety. A typical surveyor and Engineer on-site to provide Structural Inspections can range from $1500 AUD a day upwards and even more to provide technical Engineering reports for repairs and reworks required.
Level 1 & Level 2 Structural inspections
This way of maintaining a safe structure is done through the use of constant site inspections with highly trained technicians which use specialised equipment to get into tight areas which would normally be inaccessible. Doing this comes at a cost because this type of specialised equipment costs quite a bit to use and then the closing of the infrastructure whilst the public can be affected also costs quite a bit to close down safely. This kind of method isn’t cheap either with the hire of the equipment, the people required to complete the job and the expertise to write up the required report. This kind of Infrastructure Inspection can cost in excess of $15,000 AUD each inspection with multiple required to provide a decent understanding of the structure.
Wireless Structural Monitoring
Now we make ourselves to the newest instalment in Structural Health Monitoring. Through the use of Wireless Dynamic & Static Monitoring Sensors and our Display Portal you will be able to install a custom made solution to monitor the aspects of health you are wanting to know and be able to display the data in an easy to understand format on any infrastructure you own.
Our Tilt Meters allow you to monitor the change in support structures and variation which occur through constant strain and usage of the structure. These can be used on Bridges, Buildings, Rail Tracks, Dams and much more and at a super cheap price that provide data every 2 minutes for 2 years without requiring battery changes you can ensure you receive live up to date data all the time.
We also have state of the art Accelerometers which provide frequency change when loads pass over or use a structure this is good for indicating the deformation which occurs during certain load limits and allows you to limit loads on critical infrastructure at any point in time.
Our most sought after sensor though is our revolutionary DECK Sensor, this sensor is always recording data and is a true Dynamic Monitoring sensor. Being able to determine Oscillation change, Frequency Change and directional shift along with Temperature ensures this sensor is the perfect choice for many applications and is the only DYNAMIC Sensor on the market.
A typical solution for monitoring a key piece of infrastructure such as a Bridge can range anywhere from $25,000 – $300,000 depending on the extent of monitoring required, but this is for the lifetime of the structure or your monitoring requirements. There is no more on-site inspections required, no data processing and no site shut downs unless construction work is required. As you can see our Wireless Monitoring systems are vastly superiors to previous forms of monitoring and all you truly Dynamic monitoring to receive live data updates anywhere and at anytime about the condition of your structure.