Roads and Bridges

Monitoring the Gap Between Infrastructure and Data

The Problem:

Spectra Symbol was contracted to build sensors by the owner of an international civil structures company that monitors bridges, roads and heavy infrastructure for structural health. They came across Spectra Symbol at the annual mid-west sensors expo while looking for a lower cost solution to monitor bridges in Asia.

Many bridges around the world don’t show visible signs of wear and tear until they are beyond repair. This customer needed to know the structural impact that vehicles had on the bridge cement in order to know what type of maintenance needs to take place. Continuous monitoring will send alerts when the bridge is stressed beyond its capacity.

 The Solution:

Spectra Symbol provides a reliable remote monitoring solution that employs strain gauge technology to track subtle movement. The company deployed these wireless sensors every few feet along the length of the bridge to track vehicle impact as they move from one end of the bridge to the other. The Spectra Symbol gateways support up to 200 strain gauges depending on how often they transmit. The customer wanted data readings every second from every device, which resulted in the gateway supporting up to 50 sensors.

The data is sent wirelessly to a Spectra Symbol gateway placed near the base of a bridge pillar on each end of the 300 meter bridge. Since the bridge is about 1000 feet in length, they chose to employ two gateways on either end of the bridge instead of using a range-extending antenna on a single gateway. The gateway sends the information to Spectra Symbol’s data dashboard which is encrypted and customized for our customers based on their sensing needs. Our customer was able to track real-time patterns of movement from his computer and mobile device as well as receive alerts when readings land outside the safe zone.


Wireless Sensors used: