Non-intrusive schemes for speed and axle identification in bridge-weigh-in-motion systems

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Journal Article
Measurement Science and Technology, 2017, 28 (2)
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© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd. Bridge weigh-in-motion (BWIM) is an approach through which the axle and gross weight of trucks travelling at normal highway speed are identified using the response of an instrumented bridge. The vehicle speed, the number of axles, and the axle spacing are crucial parameters, and are required to be determined in the majority of BWIM algorithms. Nothing-on-the-road (NOR) strategy suggests using the strain signals measured at some particular positions underneath the deck or girders of a bridge to obtain this information. The objective of this research is to present a concise overview of the challenges of the current non-intrusive schemes for speed and axle determination through bending-strain and shear-strain based approaches. The problem associated with the global bending-strain responses measured at quarter points of span is discussed and a new sensor arrangement is proposed as an alternative. As for measurement of local responses rather than the global responses, the advantage of shear strains over bending strains is presented. However, it is illustrated that shear strains at quarter points of span can only provide accurate speed estimation but fail to detect the correct number of axles. As a remedy, it is demonstrated that, even for closely-spaced axles, the shear strain at the beginning of the bridge is capable of reliably identifying the number of axles. In order to provide a fully automated speed and axle identification system, appropriate signal processing including low-pass filtering and wavelet transforms are applied to the raw time signals. As case studies, the results of experimental testing in laboratory and on a real bridge are presented.
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