Remote Sensing of Bridge Scour Installation Testing Phase

Objective: Bridges over waterways such as streams and rivers have foundation structures that extend down into the stream or river beds. These structures are surrounded by alluvial soil and other materials that protect the bridge foundations. During flood events the stream flow velocities are such that there is a tendency for the alluvial soils to wash away. This process is termed scouring. PennDOT has been looking for a real time solution to detect this scouring without success over the last few years. During flooding, they can send a crew to check the bridges, but it is difficult to see below the surface of the water to determine if scouring has taken place to a level where the bridge needs to be closed. The objective is the development of a sensor and sensor system that can be used to produce a visual indication to an inspector in the vicinity of the bridge that scouring has taken place and possibly to what level. Through relatively straightforward communications channels, the system could be enhanced so that the reporting mechanism is directed to a central facility from numerous remote locations.


Principal Investigator : Marlin Mickle
Co-principal Investigator : Peter Hawrylak


05 October, 2018

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