Determination of Bridge Response Using Acceleration Data

Report No: 97-R5

Published in 1996

About the report:

Knowledge of the actual displacement response of a bridge subjected to random traffic loading is useful in evaluating bridge performance and serviceability. However, mounting displacement transducers is difficult, and the feasibility of and cost associated with such instrumentation are often problems. This research evaluated various methods to calculate the displacement response of a bridge using measured acceleration data. Methods included the use of integration schemes and the correction algorithms necessary for accurately determining displacements. Corrections are needed since any recorded signal contains error and the initial conditions of a structural system are not always known. Different numerical integration schemes and correction algorithms were applied to acceleration signals developed analytically, and these methods were then evaluated using acceleration signals recorded from laboratory tests. Finally, the methods were applied to acceleration data recorded from a field test of a highway bridge. In each case, the calculated displacement response was compared to the measured or exact displacement response to provide a basis for comparison. From the insight gained in this investigation, recommendations were made concerning the accurate determination of the displacement response of a bridge using accelerometer data.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Brent C. Faulkner, Thomas Thaxton Baber, Wallace T. McKeel, Jr., P.E., Furman W. Barton, Ph.D.

Last updated: December 16, 2023

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