Data acquisition, processing and management systems for a Canadian bridge monitoring project
This paper will present a number of technical aspects for one of the most elaborate instrumentation and data acquisition projects ever undertaken in Canada. Confederation Bridge, the longest bridge built over ice covered seawater has been equipped with the state of the art data acquistition devices and systems as well as data transfer networks. The Bridge has been providing a fixed surface connection between Prince Edward Island and Province of New Brunswick in Canada since its opening in 1997. The Bridge has a rather long design service life of 100 years. Because of its large size and long span length, its design is not covered by any existing codes or standards worldwide. The focus of the paper is to introduce the data acquisition, transfer, processing and management systems. The instrumentation and communications infrastructure and devices will be presented in some details along with the data processing and management systems and techniques. Teams of engineers and researchers use the collected data to verify the analysis and design assumptions and parameters as well as investigate the short-term and long-term behaviour and health of the Bridge. The collected data are also used in furthering research activities in the field of bridge engineering and in elevating our knowledge about behaviour, reliability and durability of such complex structures, their components and materials.