Building Smart Infrastructure with Smart Sensors

September 22, 2016

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a team of engineers from Washington University in St. Louis a 4-year, $1.1 million grant to develop long-term monitoring of our country's infrastructure.

The goal: creating smart civil infrastructure that can self-monitor, enabling it to predict any failures in case of an extreme event such as an earthquake or flood, and also prioritize areas for emergency response. The concept will get its first test this week when it is installed on Michigan's Mackinac Bridge, the largest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere.

Shantanu Chakrabartty, professor of electrical and systems engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science said, "The maintenance of infrastructure has an enormous cost. It's hard to know how to prioritize. So if you have data, you can do condition-based maintenance. Depending on which part of a structure is vulnerable, you can assign manpower accordingly."

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