Maintaining bridges for connected and prosperous communities

testing bridge monitoring system in the lab

Bridges are immensely important infrastructure, allowing people to go to school, hospital and the workplace and to transport supplies and materials between places, without having to negotiate busy roads or fast flowing rivers.

In Indonesia, an archipelago with many rivers crossing the land, bridges are essential for the country’s social and economic prosperity. However, frequent earthquakes combined with sometimes low quality infrastructure and inadequate bridge monitoring and management, often result in fatal bridge collapses.

Off-the-shelf bridge monitoring systems are very costly and usually designed for large, long-span bridges, which often makes them unaffordable. Researchers in the UK and Indonesia have successfully developed a bridge monitoring system prototype using wireless sensor networks that can process bridge measurement data locally and generate information more quickly which is particularly useful in an emergency.

The team, comprising researchers from Coventry University, ITB, Universitas Telkom and PUSJATAN, has built a bridge simulator at Civil Engineering ITB, providing better training and learning facilities. They are also developing capability in ‘civionics’ - combining civil, electronics and software engineering - in Indonesia as well as in the UK.

Affordable bridge monitoring solutions will reduce the possibility of potentially life-threatening accidents and improve the economic development and resilience of the region. Safer, more reliable and sustainable traffic and transport infrastructure will improve access to education, health services and economic activities.

While the project is currently being delivered in Indonesia, the need for bridge monitoring systems is global. The technology and knowledge being generated within the project are transferable to other countries including the UK.

This collaboration has provided opportunities for Indonesian researchers to communicate their research outputs to a wider international audience which will inspire other researchers in Indonesia to contribute to global research and development.

Dr Dina Shona Laila, Coventry University

Developing affordable energy efficient bridge health monitoring and early warning system with wireless sensor networks and multi-agent system.

Project leads: Dr Dina Shona Laila, Coventry University, UK and Professor Bambang Riyanto Trilaksono, Institute of Technology Bandung, Indonesia

Delivery partners: Royal Academy of Engineering, UK and Ministry of Research and Technology/ National Research and Innovation Agency (Kemenristek/BRIN)

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