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Discovering How to Monitor a Simulated Bridge Structure

This whitepaper discusses the project designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) which was conducted to gauge the durability of a bridge deck design by stressing it to the failure point, then evaluating the structural changes that occurred in the bridge segment over time. 

The USACE employs roughly 37,000 civilians and military personnel, who provide a wide range of engineering services in more than 130 countries. That makes it one of the world's largest public engineering, design, and construction management agencies. USACE’s Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) provides science, technology, and expertise in engineering and environmental sciences, taking on a staggering array of problems in both civil and military engineering, geospatial sciences, water resources, and environmental sciences.

The Airfields and Pavements branch of the ERDC’s Geotechnical and Structures Lab, one of four laboratories the ERDC operates in Vicksburg, Mississippi, is charged with R&D on new materials and designs. As electronics technicians, Tommy Carr and Tony Brogdon provide instrumentation support for any project for their branch that requires data acquisition or measurement systems, helping principal investigators (PIs) and engineers design and configure the instrumentation and sensor systems necessary to gather the data they need. Carr notes, “After we help design the instrumentation system for them, we either operate it or train somebody else to operate it to gather the data they need for their experiments.”

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