Fibridge: Embedded fiber-optic sensing for low-cost, high resolution monitoring in bridges and IoT-connected systems

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Fibridge: Embedded fiber-optic sensing for low-cost, high resolution monitoring in bridges and IoT-connected systems

Under a collaboration led and supported by VicTrack, VicRoads, and other state agencies with funding from the Victoria Public Sector Innovation Fund (PSIF), PARC and University of Melbourne (UofM) are developing Fibridge, a fiber-optic (FO) smart monitoring system for bridges to enable predictive maintenance using the internet of things (IoT). The system uses FO sensors attached to bridge sub-structures to accurately measure and estimate parameters indicative of bridge state online, such as structural strain, thermal response, bending moments, shear/impact loads, and corrosion. Fibridge leverages PARC's low-cost, high-resolution, compact wavelength-shift detection technology and intelligent algorithms in combination with UofM and the stakeholder teams structural engineering know-how to enable effective real-time monitoring, performance management, better reliability, improved safety, and optimized bridge design. While Fibridge is initially targeting road and rail bridges, it will be extendable to other civil infrastructure with similar maintenance/monitoring pain points for challenging applications such as rail tracks, buildings, dams, tunnels, and other critical systems. This talk will give an overview of the project, enabling technologies, and summarize key results on vehicle load and structural response features detectable, bridge state estimation algorithm development, low-cost optical readout development, and validation test results. An initial proof-of-concept demonstration on a VicRoads highway bridge in Melbourne being monitored with FO sensors has shown promise thus far. At this stage, the technology is being hardened for scale up towards an extended pilot trial on multiple rail, road, and transit bridges in Victoria. At the end, a business case analysis for integration of Fibridge to enable cost-effective predictive maintenance of bridges will be summarized.

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