Sensors and actuators embedded in physical objects – in this project large physical objects as bridges – are linked through both wired and wireless networks to the Internet. When objects can sense the environment, interpret the data, and communicate with each other, they become tools for understanding complexity and for responding to events and irregularities swiftly. Moreover, through this envisioned project predictive maintenance of critical infrastructures (e.g. bridges) can be performed with much more efficiency and more safety.
The real world in which sensor networks operate in is difficult to operate in. Challenges include interpretation of real world observations, and complexity when dealing with a large number of devices. The in-system processing of distributed data, leading to decisions based on incomplete and unreliable knowledge will prove to be important for achieving reliability, efficiency and scalability.
The real world is represented in this project by a road bridge. The sensor network is a compilation of sensors, measuring strain and accelerations in order to assess the current condition of the bridge. The objective is to proof the feasibility of the use of integrated wireless sensor networks in a road bridge for Structural Health Monitoring purposes.