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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 19, Number 2, February 2017, pages 225-236

Measuring displacements of a railroad bridge using DIC and accelerometers
Adam Hoag, Neil A. Hoult, W. Andy Take1b, Fernando Moreu, Hoat Le and Vamsi Tolikonda

    Railroad bridges in North America are an integral but aging part of the railroad network and are typically only monitored using visual inspections. When quantitative information is required for assessment, railroads often monitor bridges using accelerometers. However without a sensor to directly measure displacements, it is difficult to interpret these results as they relate to bridge performance. Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is a non-contact sensor technology capable of directly measuring the displacement of any visible bridge component. In this research, a railroad bridge was monitored under load using DIC and accelerometers. DIC measurements are directly compared to serviceability limits and it is observed that the bridge is compliant. The accelerometer data is also used to calculate displacements which are compared to the DIC measurements to assess the accuracy of the accelerometer measurements. These measurements compared well for zero-mean lateral data, providing measurement redundancy and validation. The lateral displacements from both the accelerometers and DIC at the supports were then used to determine the source of lateral displacements within the support system.
Key Words
    steel bridges; railroad bridges; field tests; instrumentation; dynamic loads; imaging techniques
Adam Hoag, Neil A. Hoult and W. Andy Take: Department of Civil Engineering, Queen\' s University, 58 University Ave., Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6
Fernando Moreu:Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico, Centennial Engineering Center, Albuquerque, NM, USA 87131
Hoat Le: Bridge Assessment, CN Rail, 10229 127 Ave NW, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T5E 0B9
Vamsi Tolikonda: Bridge Assessment, CN Rail, 17641 Ashland Ave, Homewood, IL., USA, 60430

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