Dec 14 2009

Structural Health Monitoring at Princeton University

Published by at 11:11 am under General

When I speak to groups of engineers about FOS applications, typically fewer than 10% have even heard of optical sensors. The same is true for engineering students. But that is changing. More universities are finding clever ways to expose their students to FOS and other important technological tools.

The Structural Health Monitoring Lab at Princeton University is a shining example. Led by Professor Branko Glisic, the SHM lab at Princeton University has installed both FBG based and Brillioun FOS sensors on a signature pedestrian bridge on campus – Streicker Bridge. The goals include education and research activities — providing students with hands on installation experience, developing data reduction and analysis methods, showcasing the benefits and costs of such lifetime SHM systems, reducing maintenance costs for the bridge, and ultimately ensuring the bridge’s safe operation over decades of use.

The project is included in a Princeton University course on SHM. To the the best of my knowledge, it’s the first such course in the US on SHM for civil engineering students. Perhaps Professor Glisic’s students will be the first generation in the US to recognize and implement long term SHM systems as a means to reduce maintenance costs and improve safety of our nation’s bridges.

Professor Glisic recently joined the Princeton faculty following more than a decade of engineering and installing SHM systems commercially, and Micron Optics is proud to be the supplier of FBG interrogation system for Streicker Bridge project. Glisic says, “Fiber-optic sensing (FOS) technologies are used since the optical fibers feature high sensitivity, durability and long-term stability. The FBG long-gage sensors can monitor average strain, average shear strain, average curvature, deformed shape, and temperature in inhomogeneous materials such as concrete, and allows global structural monitoring in both static and high frequency dynamic mode. The BOTDA distributed sensors provide for average strain, integrity, and temperature monitoring. Each type sensor is interrogated with appropriate proven and reliable high-performance reading unit.”

Find out more about Branko Glisic, the SHM Lab and Princeton’s Streiker Bridge at:

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