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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 37
Edited by: B. Kumar
Paper VII.2

Retrofit Design Verification via In-Service Monitoring over the Internet: A Case Study

S.S. Chen and C.M. Ballard

Civil Engineering Department, State University of New York, Buffalo, United States of America

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
S.S. Chen, C.M. Ballard, "Retrofit Design Verification via In-Service Monitoring over the Internet: A Case Study", in B. Kumar, (Editor), "Information Processing in Civil and Structural Engineering Design", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 183-187, 1996. doi:10.4203/ccp.37.7.2
Currently in engineering there exists sufficient sensor and computational technology to allow an individual to instrument full scale structures and record a large number of input channels. In past practice there has been great focus placed on refining the mechanical task of data acquisition. While the aforementioned venue has been thoroughly explored and expanded, the more labor intensive task of data analysis, reduction, and conclusion remains largely unchanged. Such analysis tasks are most commonly performed by an engineer with the aid of a computer. Provided that the data analysis procedures can be clearly defined, this procedure is a fitting candidate for automation.

Given the current advances in desktop workstation flexibility, the possibility of an automated intelligent signal processing and health monitoring system for an instrumented structure (located at a remote site) is well within our grasp. With the addition of current Internet interaction technology, this system would enable an engineer to contact and/or monitor a structure at a remote location, using minimal hardware (laptop PC, modem, and an internet account), from virtually anywhere in the world.

This paper describes a deployed use of internet-based utilities to "call up" a remote instrumented structure to monitor and assess its condition and behavior in near real-time. The structure, a 50 m high luminaire tower, has been instrumented both before and after it was retrofitted with fluid viscous dampers to reduce windstorm-induced fatigue demands on its anchorages. With the addition of internet-based hypertext utilities, an engineer can contact and monitor the goings-on at such an instrumented structure at a remote location, from virtually anywhere in the world. In the described case study, the processing workstation calls the PC-based data acquisition system at the remote structure, downloads the current data, processes and analyzes the data and produces summary reports compatible with World Wide Web hypertext based internet browsing software. System results provide insight into the efficacy of the damper retrofit as well as the accuracy of modeling assumptions used during the design process.

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