Monitoring Aging Infrastructure with High-Frequency RFID Tags
A recent article in The New York Times points out that 70,000 bridges in the United States are structurally deficient. It is imperative that structural anomalies on aging infrastructure be detected and corrected in a timely manner, to avoid disasters such as the 2007 St. Anthony Falls Bridge collapse in Minnesota.
To maximize the chance of detecting the onset of surface cracks in concrete and other construction materials, sensors must be deployed pervasively. Structural engineers have focused primarily on wired strain gauges and accelerometers to detect structural faults. These sensors work well, but the management of lead wiring can be prohibitive. Wireless counterparts exist, but they are cost-intensive and so do not lend themselves to pervasive deployment.
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