Self-sustaining monitoring platform for permanent condition monitoring of infrastructure constructions

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Suspension bridge

Many buildings and infrastructure elements currently reach their projected lifetime limits and require regular condition assessment in order to ensure safe subsequent using and to identify the possible need for repair or replacement. Periodic inspections as prescribed by law cannot comply this task with absolute certainty, since they were not designed for the conditions in the lifetime limits.

Permanent condition monitoring is a strategy of choice to provide both need-based examination of structures and early detection of potentially dangerous defects. To this, the ability of reliable identification of structural deviations that require further examination is crucial. The detection of some special types of defects is even more reliable by means of permanent monitoring, since often it‘s easier to track the change of a state than to detect the mere existence or even the location of a defect. Such condition monitoring requires nondestructive measu­rement devices, which are constantly attached to the specimen. Nowadays, nondestructive sensors are able to detect and to track most of the mentioned damage processes long before failure.

Using the working title “MoniDAQ“, Fraunhofer IZFP is currently developing a modular, energy self-sufficient board which is able to provide eddy current inspection, inclination measurement, magnetic flux leakage inspection and ultrasonic inspection etc. and to record all sampled data over long periods of time while dissipating extremely low amounts of energy. The read-out of the storage can be carried out easily and fast by means of a radio-controlled interface.