An Embedded Wireless System for Remote Monitoring of Bridges


This paper describes an autonomous embedded system for remote monitoring of bridges. Salient features of the system include ultra-low power consumption, wireless communication of data and alerts, and incorporation of embedded sensors that monitor various indicators of the structural health of a bridge, while capturing the state of its surrounding environment. Examples include water level, temperature, vibration, and acoustic emissions. Ease of installation, physical robustness, remote maintenance and calibration, and autonomous data communication make the device a self-contained solution for remote monitoring of structural health. The system addresses shortcomings present in centralized structural health monitoring systems, particularly their reliance on a laptop or handheld computer. The system has been field-tested to verify the accuracy of the collected data and dependability of communication. The sheer volume of data collected, and the regularity of its collection can enable accurate and precise assessment of the health of a bridge, guiding maintenance efforts and providing early warning of potentially dangerous events. In this paper, we present a detailed breakdown of the system's power requirements and the results of the initial field test.

Meeting Name

Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems (2008: Mar. 10-13, San Diego, CA)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Autonomous Embedded System; Wireless Communication Systems; Sensors; Structural Health Monitoring; Wireless; Acoustic Emissions; Electric Power Utilization; Hand Held Computers; Vibration Control; Wireless Sensor Networks; Remote Monitoring; Embedded Systems

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2008 SPIE, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2008