Testbed for structural health monitoring of long-span suspension bridges

You Lin Xu, X. H. Zhang, S. Zhan, X. J. Hong, L. D. Zhu, Yong Xia, Songye Zhu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Comprehensive structural health monitoring systems have been developed and installed in several long-span suspension bridges around the world, aiming to monitor structural health conditions of the bridges in real time. Nevertheless, many key issues remain unsolved, such as how to take full advantage of the health monitoring system for effective and reliable damage detection of these complex structures. An innovative testbed was therefore established in a laboratory to allow researchers to recreate rational damage scenarios, apply different sensors and sensing networks, and test various damage detection algorithms. The design principles of the laboratory-based testbed are introduced. The paper will then outline the design and setup of a physical model for a long-span suspension bridge, which will consider various damage scenarios. Geometric measurements and modal tests were subsequently carried out to identify its geometric configuration and dynamic characteristics, respectively. The finite-element modeling of the physical bridge model was finally established using a commercial software package, which was followed by a finite-element model updating the use of the measured modal properties. This testbed, comprising of the delicate physical model and the updated finite-element model of a long-span suspension bridge, could solve a benchmark problem for the structural health monitoring of long-span suspension bridges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)896-906
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bridge Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • Finite-element model
  • Long-span suspension bridge
  • Modal test
  • Model updating
  • Physical bridge model
  • Structural health monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction

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