Monitoring the Forth Dimensions

Our client, Strainstall, provide bridge monitoring systems that enable the real time monitoring of the effects of wind and load on the integrity of structures.  This system really showed its worth in December 2015 following its use in the early reopening of the Forth Road Bridge.

At midnight on the 3rd December the bridge was closed to all traffic after a crack was discovered in a truss under the carriageway. After a call from the bridge’s management company, Strainstall engineers installed a number of sensors for testing, which would ultimately decide whether the repairs being completed would allow the bridge to reopen.

Zircon had worked with Strainstall to develop the Real-Time Data Server element of the system that collects all the data from each sensor and perform checks to ensure that the bridge being monitored is structurally sound.

After collection, the data is stored in a database where (customisable) threshold checks are performed in real-time as the data is received. If these thresholds are exceeded an alarm can be raised, or the data sample rate increased, allowing closer monitoring of results.

Zircon provided Strainstall with a web based interface that allows their engineers to take the gathered data and transform it into an easy to read format such as graphs, to allow for the quick pinpointing of continuing periods of high stress.  The solution also allows for both event logging and user management from a single access point.

Zircon has been pleased to have the opportunity to work with Strainstall on a system that was instrumental in the decision to reopen the Forth Road Bridge, an essential transport link in Scotland, to 90% of traffic two weeks earlier than officials had previously expected.