A Low-Cost Wireless System for Real-Time Structural Health Monitoring


This paper describes the data acquisition, communication, and alerting capabilities of the Flood Frog, a wireless device designed to achieve a significant reduction in SHM costs. The device incorporates a variety of self-referenced sensors, is battery-powered, and communicates using the GSM/GPRS mobile phone network. The standard alkaline batteries included in the shock-resistant, submersible, reinforced plastic case allow for 3-4 years of continuous operation. Embedded in the device are temperature, water level, tilt, and acceleration sensors. The data collected by each sensor, any alarms triggered, and software anomalies detected during operation are written to the internal memory and automatically delivered to a number of recipients through SMS messages, email, and FTP file upload. Parameter adjustment and software upgrades can be carried out remotely, reducing the cost of maintenance and facilitating deployment in locations where real-time monitoring was previously hindered by cost or infeasibility of installation. In its first field study, the Flood Frog was installed on Bridge A6531 in Osage Beach, MO in November 2006.

Meeting Name

6th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring (2007: Sep. 11-13, Stanford, CA)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Second Department

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Cost Reduction; Costs; Data Acquisition; Electric Batteries; Floods; Primary Batteries; Telephone Circuits; Water Levels; Acceleration Sensors; Alkaline Batteries; Continuous Operation; Cost Of Maintenance; Mobile Phone Networks; Parameter Adjustments; Real Time Monitoring; Software Upgrades; Structural Health Monitoring

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2007 DEStech Publications, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2007

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