Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opened in March 1932, the iconic bridge is subjected to enormous amounts of traffic, and has traditionally been monitored by inspectors. The entryway from the north into the Sydney is the Sydney Bridge, it was built with great engineering standards but it still needs to be monitored and looked back. Over the years there has been an increase in vehicles and volume of the load carried by the trucks, the engineers are trying to understand how the bridge responds to the different loading and making sure that bridge will be able to accommodate those changes to conditions and loading uses over time.
The Sydney bridge ended up with technology where they could basically give the bridge a voice. The bridge could tell the asset manager when the bridge needs attention. They have this fiber-optic network going the length of the bridge with 3200 sensors underneath the bridge. As vehicles travel over the bridge we’re measuring vibrations and then measuring the response of the structure to those vibrations. With so much traffic going over it and wind and other things going on so to extract some meaningful information they used machine learning. It’s a set of smart algorithms, can take the raw data and then tell you the performance of the bridge. It’s going to help understand the ability of that asset to cope in different conditions and really maximize productivity and efficiency. Really brings together distributed sensors, communication networking technologies, smart algorithms and data visualization suited to our customer’s needs.
Seeing a connected world, an Internet of Things world and the ability to connect and understand our infrastructure is going to be key to that. This technology will help us do that.