21 January 2008
The UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has begun a project aimed at developing a structural health monitoring system that would be as simple to understand as traffic lights.
The system is intended to provide early warning of potential problems, leading to cheaper maintenance, lower running costs and advanced warning of failure. One of the drivers is the economic benefit - NPL has estimated that the UK has more than 10,000 bridges worth more than US$2 million.
The project's purpose is to accelerate the uptake of combined and multi-modal monitoring methods that support total life-cycle management. This will be achieved by developing industrial demonstrators for renewable energy and civil engineering structures including bridges.