Sensors Carrying The Weight Of The World

Sensors Carrying The Weight Of The World



Sensors: Carrying the​ Weight Of the​ World
Introduction
How useful is​ technology? Do we​ need to​ spend money on​ research and production of​ new products and services? How is​ technology serving humanity? a​ skeptic may comprise these questions as​ the​ width of​ televisions is​ decreasing and the​ prices are increasing,​ but the​ scope of​ technology reaches further than home entertainment .​
Technology is​ saving lives.
Sensor technology has been around for some time,​ but we​ are recently finding how diverse and incredible it​ can be.
Tragedy of​ engineering
On August 1,​ America experienced the​ tragedy of​ the​ I-35 bridge over the​ Mississippi River collapse .​
This event is​ not entirely out of​ the​ ordinary .​
Bridges are susceptible to​ fatigue and collapse over a​ length of​ time .​
Bridges develop hair cracks,​ which are immediately harmless; yet,​ overtime,​ the​ cracks widen and compromise the​ solidarity of​ the​ construction.
Certain engineering of​ bridges is​ formed much like a​ chain .​
If one link of​ the​ chain is​ weakened or​ broken,​ the​ bridge is​ primed for disaster .​
When heavy vehicles such as​ trucks pass over cracks,​ they begin to​ widen and extend to​ other areas of​ the​ construction.
Engineers often inspect bridges over periods of​ time for cracks and other detriments to​ its support .​
Often,​ sections of​ bridges are repaired so they will not affect other areas.
A technological solution
Sensors are contributing to​ the​ inspection process .​
Sensors,​ imbedded into bridges as​ part of​ real-time monitoring systems,​ can warn engineers of​ a​ bridge’s failure.
A weigh-in-motion system tracks speed and weight of​ passing traffic in​ order to​ assess the​ ability of​ the​ structure to​ sustain the​ weight.
These sensor systems are designed to​ stay embedded through the​ duration of​ the​ bridge’s life .​
Ohio has already started using the​ system in​ a​ number of​ their bridges.
It would make sense for these sensors to​ be situated in​ every bridge across America .​
Unfortunately,​ the​ system is​ very costly .​
One government official was quoted in​ saying,​ When you invest that much money into a​ piece of​ infrastructure,​ you want to​ have some measure of​ how it’s performing.




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