Smart Truss for Education


This work discusses a laboratory resource and associated lecture material that are implemented in an interdisciplinary course 'Smart Structures and Sensors.' Instruction in structural behavior, sensor systems, and experimental systems issues is supported. The Smart Truss Bridge is a reconfigurable aluminum truss structure that is instrumented with strain sensors. It is designed to be representative of a full-scale steel bridge such that person loads produce reasonable strain levels. This multiple-bay truss can be configured with and without redundant members. Strain instrumentation with extrinsic Fabry-Perot Interferometric fiber optic sensors demonstrates the performance and use of sensor systems. Theoretical analysis and experimental measurement may be correlated for different load placements. Observations include elastic strain behavior as well as practical experimental issues such as noise and non-ideal connections. A smart structures case study shows the use of artificial neural networks in a monitoring application. The weight and location of a load are predicted using different combinations of member strain. The Smart Truss Bridge provides educational opportunities for students with different majors to investigate infrastructure technologies and to interact across the disciplines. The topics are relevant to current infrastructure research and problems.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Second Department

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

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Article - Journal

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© 2011 SAGE Publications, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2011