Performing Structural Health Monitoring of the Naini Bridge in India Using the LabVIEW Real-Time Module

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"With the networked, distributed data acquisition system based on NI hardware and LabVIEW and DIAdem software, COWI was able to economically deploy an advanced and scalable structural health monitoring system that can be operated and managed remotely."

- Jacob Egede Anderson, COWI A/S

The Challenge:
Building a high-channel-count structural health monitoring (SHM) system to continuously monitor the response of a large cable-stayed bridge due to various changes in climate and operations.

The Solution:
Designing and deploying a distributed data acquisition network to continuously acquire and process more than 400 parameters using NI FieldPoint hardware and the NI LabVIEW Real-Time Module.

Author(s):
Jacob Egede Anderson - COWI A/S
Himanshu Shivam - Devcon Infrastructure Pvt Ltd

The Naini Bridge, which connects Allahabad with Naini across the Yamuna River, is one of the largest cable-stayed bridges in India. The owners of this large structure, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) required an advanced structural monitoring system that can provide real-time monitoring of the entire bridge as well as advanced communications for remote access and control. The NHAI contracted the COWI Group, which has been involved in the design of structural monitoring systems for many other major bridges over the last 35 years, to design the monitoring system.

 

Figure 2. LabVIEW panels display real-time sensor measurements for each critical area of the bridge.

Figure 3. NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX) enables easy configuration and management of all 400 sensor channels.

The Structural Health Monitoring System

The system must monitor about 400 processed parameters, which include strain and temperature inside the deck, displacement of the deck, cable vibrations, wind speed and direction at the deck level and at the top of pylon, air quality, air temperature, and rain fall. The data is displayed and controlled by a small supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system and logged on a master computer at the control room, which is located about 2 km from the bridge. The SCADA system is also capable of performing real-time acquisition and simultaneous, dynamic processing of multiple signals for the purpose of permanent monitoring while presenting a user-friendly interface and well-designed output reports.

Considering the large number of input channels and the continuous operational environment, we chose to use the NI FieldPoint distributed I/O platform, the LabVIEW Real-Time Module to perform the data acquisition tasks, and LabVIEW graphical programming software to operate the SCADA system. The Naini Bridge is divided into seven critical areas (units one to seven) and each is equipped with an NI FP-2000 intelligent controller and FieldPoint data acquisition modules. The FP-2000 controllers run LabVIEW Real-Time to acquire, process, and transmit sensor data to the host computer over a TCP/IP network to the SCADA host computer.

The host computer running the SCADA system situated in the control room processes and monitors the status of each parameter and compares it with the critical limits. In case of limit violations, the SCADA will sound an alarm and the data processing in the field is changed into real-time logging. Full-time series are saved so the bridge maintenance engineers can later analyze the behaviour of the bridge during alarming and critical conditions. Moreover, if hazards such as a fire at a traffic accident, a ship impacting the bridge, or a major earthquake occur, then the data can be used to analyze the safety of the bridge.

We conduct data report generation and analysis using NI DIAdem data management software. Using CITADEL reports, we can export our data to DIAdem and analyze and generate our reports after executing the scripts. These monthly reports are used to update the maintenance planning for the bridge to optimise costs and investigate structural issues not discovered in the traditional visual inspection of the bridge.

Conclusion

With the networked, distributed data acquisition system based on NI hardware and LabVIEW and DIAdem software, we were able to economically deploy an advanced and scalable structural health monitoring system that can be remotely operated and managed. The system can process and communicate critical events and alarms in real time and serve as a valuable tool for maintenance operations. 

For more information about this case study, contact:

Dr. Jacob Egede Anderson
COWI A/S
Parallelvej 2, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
E-mail: jca@cowi.dk

Himanshu Shivam
Devcon Infrastructure Pvt Ltd
519, 5th Floor, Marathon Max, LBS Road, Mulund (West), Mumbai 400080 India
E-mail: hshivam@gmail.com

Vikram Bhanushali
Devcon Infrastructure Pvt Ltd
519, 5th Floor, Marathon Max, LBS Road, Mulund (West), Mumbai 400080 India
E-mail: devconinfra@gmail.com

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