Estimation of bridge surface profile from moving vehicle accelerations by means of moving force identification - an experimental field study
by Kai-Chun Chang; Chul-Woo Kim; Souichiro Hasegawa; Shunsuke Nakajima; Patrick J. McGetrick
International Journal of Lifecycle Performance Engineering (IJLCPE), Vol. 3, No. 3/4, 2019

Abstract: Accurate estimation of road surface profiles is an important issue for inspection and maintenance of roadway bridges. Recently, a simple method was proposed to complete this task, using a limited number of accelerometers installed on a non-specialised vehicle to estimate road surface profiles from the vehicle's acceleration responses. Its feasibility was preliminarily tested by several numerical simulations and laboratory experiments but validation via field experiments has yet to be completed. This paper presents the investigation of the feasibility of this method for implementation in practice; to this end, a field experiment was conducted on a 40.5 m long simply-supported composite-girder bridge. A compact SUV was employed as the test vehicle. In the field experiment, the road surface profile was estimated with acceptable accuracy using this method, with most peaks and troughs identified. In particular, an artificial hump installed on the bridge was clearly identified, implying that the investigated method was able to detect an abrupt change in the road surface profile, which could be caused by damage. Parametric studies were carried out showing that the vehicle speed had little effect on the estimation accuracy while a heavier vehicle presented better estimation accuracy.

Online publication date: Tue, 19-Nov-2019

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