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Journal of Applied Geodesy

Editor-in-Chief: Kahmen, Heribert / Rizos, Chris

CiteScore 2018: 1.61

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.532
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.064

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Volume 11, Issue 1


High frequent total station measurements for the monitoring of bridge vibrations

Werner Lienhart
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Engineering Geodesy and Measurement Systems (IGMS), Graz University of Technology, Steyrergasse 30, 8010 Graz, Austria
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/ Matthias Ehrhart / Magdalena Grick
Published Online: 2017-02-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jag-2016-0028


Robotic total stations (RTS) are frequently used for the measurement of temperature induced bridge deformations or during load testing of bridges. In experimental setups, total stations have also been used for the measurement of dynamic bridge deformations. However, with standard configurations the measurement rate is not constant and on average an update rate of 7–10Hz can be achieved. This is not sufficient for the vibration monitoring of bridges considering their natural frequencies which are also in the same range. In this paper, we present different approaches to overcome these problems. In the first two approaches we demonstrate how the measurement rate to prisms can be increased to 20Hz to determine vertical deformations of bridges. Critical aspects like the measurement resolution of the automated target tracking and the correct sequence of steering commands are discussed. In another approach we demonstrate how vertical bridge vibrations can be measured using an image assisted total station (IATS) and corresponding processing techniques. The advantage of image-based methods is that structural features of a bridge like bolts can be used as targets. Therefore, no expensive prisms have to be mounted and access to the bridge is not required. All approaches are verified by laboratory investigations and their suitability is proven in a field experiment on a 74m long footbridge. In this field experiment the natural frequencies derived from the total station measurements are compared to the results of accelerometer measurements.

Keywords: Robotic Total Station; Image Assisted Total Station; Bridge Monitoring; Vibration Monitoring; Automated Target Tracking; ATR


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About the article

Received: 2016-07-01

Accepted: 2016-11-24

Published Online: 2017-02-13

Published in Print: 2017-03-01

Citation Information: Journal of Applied Geodesy, Volume 11, Issue 1, Pages 1–8, ISSN (Online) 1862-9024, ISSN (Print) 1862-9016, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jag-2016-0028.

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