Abstract

Scour is one of the main causes of bridge failures. In order to measure and monitor scour depth variations including deposition (refilling) process, three designs for a scour monitoring system using fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors are discussed in the present study. By a comparative study, one of them is recommended in the present study and its instrumentation manufacture process is also introduced in detail. Using this recommended design, the advantages of FBG sensors for monitoring, such as immunity from electromagnetic interference and multiplexing capability, can be fully utilized. Both scour depth variations and entire scour development process including deposition process can be correctly monitored in real-time by continuously identifying the locations of emerging FBG sensors from the riverbed. A reliable sensor protection measure is also designed for FBG sensors in harsh environments, especially in floods. Finally, a verification test using a flume is carried out in the laboratory and three experimental cases are conducted to demonstrate the capability of FBG sensors and applicability of the recommended scour monitoring system. It can be concluded that the recommended scour monitoring system using FBG sensors is capable of measuring the water level, (maximum) scour depth, entire process of scour development, and deposition height due to refilling process. The advantages over other conventional scour monitoring systems are clearly demonstrated.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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