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Using Instrumented Vehicles to Detect Damage in Bridges


This paper describes a drive-by method of bridge inspection using an instrumented vehicle. Accelerometers on the vehicle are proposed as a means of detecting damage on the bridge in the time it takes for the vehicle to cross the bridge at full highway speed. For a perfectly smooth road profile, the method is shown to be feasible. Changes in bridge damping, which is an indicator of damage, are clearly visible in the acceleration signal of a quarter-car vehicle on a smooth road surface modelled using MatLab. When road profile is considered, the influence of changes in bridge damping on the vehicle acceleration signal is much less clear. However, when a half-car model is used on a road with a rough profile, it is again possible to detect changes in bridge damping, provided the vehicle has two identical axles.

Suggested citation:

. () Using Instrumented Vehicles to Detect Damage in Bridges [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 23rd July 2019].


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