Thu, 07 January, 2021
Investors are being sought to develop the results of the ‘SmartBridge’ project, sponsored by Innovate UK into a marketable product and service. The project, in which TWI worked with project coordinator James Fisher Testing Services, the Brunel Innovation Centre, and Innvotek, is nearing completion, with the final field trials of hardware and software. Despite setbacks as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a white paper has been produced that sets out a clear strategy for developing Smartbridge, with justification in terms of market potential, not only for bridges, but also for other critical structures, such as offshore wind turbines.
SmartBridge aims to revolutionise the monitoring and maintenance of bridge infrastructure by developing an innovative knowledge-based digital platform that will enable the visualisation of bridges condition and degradation’. It is therefore in line with current thinking in the development of ‘Digital Twins’.
Digital Twins are a set of “virtual information constructs that fully describe a structure. At its optimum, a digital twin is a dynamic virtual representation of the structure across its lifecycle, using real-time data to enable understanding, learning and reasoning".
A key challenge has been to make the digital platform ‘smart’. This can only be achieved by gathering, processing and analysing monitoring and inspection data over an extended period of time.
The SmartBridge Project used a bridge on the London Underground network near Watford for the trials, as this was already being monitored by partner James Fisher. Here the work focussed on the creation of a sensor network, data acquisition and analysis and the use of artificial intelligence.
Once fully developed, the SmartBridge solution will link new inspection technologies such as the use of drones with continuous monitoring sensors to provide a solution for bridges as well as other structures including wind turbines, process plant and power stations.
You can find out more about the project and the remaining requirements in the White Paper below: White paper - SmartBridge sensor monitoring 1 - pdf - 1mb
The SmartBridge Project has received funding from Innovate UK under number 103883