Theme Lecture – Increasing Infrastructure Resilience through Structural Health Monitoring
In the past three decades we have seen significant hardware and software advances in new sensors, sensor networks, wireless communication, diagnostic algorithms and decision support platforms. While the field has reached certain maturity, actual deployment of advanced structural health monitoring (SHM) systems in the field has been limited considering the multitude of structures in need of monitoring and evaluation. In addition to long-term deterioration, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural and anthropogenic disasters pose the challenge of near real time assessment and alerts. This paper will present an analysis of the components in SHM that are needed to achieve greater structural resilience particularly after major catastrophic event. It will investigate when do implementation of structural health monitoring systems make sense, what are potential designs for diverse applications, what are the needs for further research in various components of such systems and what are current obstacles to wide applications. The focus will be on components of transportation, electrical power and other infrastructure systems. The need for algorithmic development for specific application will be discussed with examples from prior research. For example, damage assessment within a short period of time immediately after an event is critical for emergency response leading to reduced casualties. Assessment within the initial recovery period is important for businesses and displaced individuals to resume functioning or be relocated. Long-tern recovery can be greatly facilitated by a more comprehensive understanding of the state of buildings and structures that are part of our infrastructure. Specific algorithms that enable to provide information at each of these stages after an earthquake will be presented. A limited discussion on the implications of these technologies to other hazards will be briefly summarized.