The University of Nottingham, with support from the European Space Agency, recently developed the Global Navigation Satellite System and Earth Observation for Structural Health Monitoring (GeoSHM) system to detect and measure movement of key infrastructure as well as the surrounding ground.
The system uses receivers placed in key locations upon bridges and other structures for real-time information. The readings are combined with historical Earth observation imagery to detect possible influences for movements within or around the structures. The Forth Road suspension bridge is one of the structures analyzed recently.
“I knew the bridge can move significantly under high winds, but for the first time I know that bridge moved 3.5 meters laterally and 1.83 meters vertically under a wind speed of 41 meters per second,” says Bridgemaster Barry Colford.