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Title:Structural Health Monitoring of Inland Navigation Infrastructure
Author(s):Eick, Brian A.; Spencer, Billie F.
Subject(s):inland navigational infrastructure
structural health monitoring
miter lock gates
miter gate diagonals
Tainter gates
computer vision
Abstract:The inland navigation system in the U.S. is a civil infrastructure network that relies on the performance of a vast array of infrastructure assets scattered across the nation to function successfully. The system is critical to the U.S. economy, allowing the transportation of billions of dollars in goods annually. The primary infrastructure assets of the inland navigation system are locks and dams, which are structures that allow vessels to traverse inland waterways. Of all the components of locks and dams, the gates are the weak links and are the primary cause of closures and downtime on the inland navigation system. The closure of a lock and dam can have significant impacts to the economy, because traffic will be unable to move on the river and goods will remain stalled on the waterways. Inspection of lock and dam gates is expensive, generally requiring the complete closure of the site, and occurs relatively infrequently. Thus, lock gates are generally maintained in a reactive, manner, meaning they are operated until something breaks, at which time a portion of the inland navigation system is shut down for emergency repairs. The research presented herein addresses the difficulty in inspection of lock gates by developing a structural health monitoring (SHM) system that can be used by the stakeholders of inland navigation infrastructure to obtain the necessary information to assess the integrity and condition of their structures continuously. While SHM is being increasingly implemented on civil infrastructure, such as framed buildings and bridges, research into the application of SHM on navigation infrastructure is lacking. To accomplish the goal of developing an SHM system for navigation infrastructure, this research focuses on development of methods for the detection and assessment of several critical problems common to lock and dam gates, with emphasis given to the most common gates used in the U.S.; miter gates and Tainter gates. The layout of this dissertation is as follows: first, a general overview of inland navigation is given that explores the importance of locks and dams to the global economy. Then, design and behavior of miter and Tainter gates are discussed in detail. As an initial step to the development of a structural health monitoring system, numerical models are created of lock gates to obtain detailed information on the behavior of the structures both with and without the presence of damage. A discussion of best practices for numerical models of lock gates is provided with the models of two specific lock gates used as examples. Next, the methods developed for this dissertation to detect and assess the identified critical issues of lock gates are discussed. The first method discussed is the use of Principal Component Analysis combined with a novel strain gage data processing technique to detect boundary condition degradation of miter gates. The developed method addresses environmental variation frequently present in strain gage data and is validated by utilizing data from an in-service miter gate combined with results of a numerical model. Next, a discussion is given on the development of a non-contact, vision-based method to monitor the tension in a component of miter gates known as diagonals. The method utilizes optical-flow to track the displacement of a vibrating diagonal, from which the frequency is obtained and the tension found using Euler-Bernoulli beam theory. Partial submersion of the diagonals and the non-prismatic nature of the components are challenges that are addressed, and the method is validated with experimental and field data. Finally, the methods utilized to detect uneven hoisting of a Tainter gate are discussed. This method relies on a multi-faceted approach to show definitively that uneven hoisting is occurring on an operating Tainter gate. This approach is performed first by comparing strain gage data to numerical model results. Then data collected from inclinometers on the gate are inspected for the presence of uneven hoisting. Finally, indirect measurements of the tension in hoisting cables using vibration measurements taken during gate operation is used to show that an operating Tainter gate is hoisting unevenly. All three approaches are shown to be sensitive to the presence of uneven hoisting. The research presented herein addresses critical issues with inland navigation infrastructure. The method developed in this dissertation will be leveraged to provide the owners and operators of lock gate with the necessary information to extend the useful life of this critical infrastructure. More importantly, a structural health monitoring system of inland navigation infrastructure will aid in ensuring the continued operability of the inland navigation system, allowing river-borne traffic to continue to get goods to market.
Issue Date:2021-08-24
Publisher:Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Series/Report:Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory Report Series NSEL-050
Genre:Technical Report
Rights Information:Copyright held by the authors. All rights reserved.
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-08-24

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