An Early Warning Sensor System for Bridge Failures

A researcher from the University of Maryland, Mehdi Kalantari, has come up with an early warning system that could help avert major bridge disasters. Many old or faulty bridges are too costly to monitor or to fix and bridge collapses are quite common in these cases.

Now Mehdi Kalantari says that hundreds of lives could be saved using a wireless bridge monitoring system to test for problems like those that brought down a Minneapolis bridge four years ago. The technology is based on wireless devices that can be installed and maintained much cheaper than conventional testing methods.

The sensors can also keep a check on a number of characteristics like vibration, flexibility, and crack development. They will last ten years and can power themselves using light and radio waves. The average highway bridge would need about 500 such sensors. The cost to fix them would be $10,000.

Mehdi Kalantari has been testing the sensors with the state Department of Transportation over the last year. He says that this new approach makes preventive maintenance affordable, even at a time when budgets are tight. Officials will be able to catch problems early and will have weeks or month to fix a problem.

Dr. Kalantari's research interests include Communication Theory, Internet Security and in particular Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) defense, and modeling and analysis of Wireless Networks, and Vehicular Networking Technologies. His inventions in the area of DDoS are the core intellectual property of RioRey Inc., an international leader in providing of DDoS solutions.


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