Now, you can monitor your entire bridge inventory, 24/7.
Heuristic Actions has developed an affordable wireless electronic structural monitoring system called Bellwether. Bellwether is a flexible system which provides electronic assessment and long-term continuous monitoring of rail bridges. Our patented wireless architecture (US Patent 11,181,445), confers unique advantages in terms of cost, ease of installation, granularity, reliability, and scalability.
Sophisticated algorithms automatically analyze live and dead load data to detect strikes, tilts, deflections, and record 3D motion. Continuous monitoring with Bellwether delivers near real-time alerts for impacts, fire, seismic events, and sudden changes due to scour, collisions, or earthquakes.
Bellwether’s analytic approach is particularly advantageous for managing older structures which often lack engineering plans and other documentation.
Deployment is Simple and Quick
Bellwether’s patented highly scalable wireless architecture is based on battery-powered sensor modules which are simply attached at key locations on the structure. The optional video subsystem is integrated into the wireless architecture.
Bellwether is perfect for aging structures for which no engineering plans are available.
Our field-tested signal processing algorithms can analyze live or dead load data to detect strike, tilt, deflection and provide a record of 3D motion during a sampling period.
Continuous monitoring with Bellwether provides near real time alerts to impacts, trains, and seismic events, along with sudden changes due to scour, collisions or earthquakes.
Bridge Triage Leads to Better Asset Management
The Bellwether monitoring system provides actionable information about the structural health of the bridge being monitored. This leads to more efficient and effective bridge triage.
Bellwether offers several types of services, all based on our unique wireless sensor architecture.
Assessment and Condition Monitoring
Initial assessment followed by continuous long-term monitoring. Bellwether provides objective structural performance information to safely extend inspection intervals and possibly service life.
Considering replacement of a bridge? Bellwether can help confirm the decision, evaluate reusability of substructure, and monitor the bridge pending the replacement.
Bridge Load Capacity Rating
Bellwether will provide objective information useful for calculating load capacity ratings based on live load measurements.
Video Evidence Collection
An optional ultra-high definition video subsystem is specifically designed to collect and preserve evidentiary-quality video evidence for use in bridge collision litigation.
Tunnels, Levees, and Embankments
Bellwether is applicable to tunnels, levees, and embankments. In particular, it can provide indications of impending washout situations along tracks.
Due to the large number of structural members and because timber decays internally, thorough inspections are time consuming and expensive. Bellwether continuously monitors the performance of the bridge under live load to detect and localize issues as well as monitor for fires.
Bellwether is the only truly wireless bridge monitoring system available for operational use.
The benefits are in the details
Every facet of Bellwether—planning, acquisition, installation, and use—is focused on practicality and low total cost for use within existing engineering and operations practices.
Our patented wireless solution is based on an architecture concept originally developed at Stanford University School of Engineering. This offers crucial advantages in reliability, ease of installation, scalability, and economy, (US Patent 11,181,445).
Our sensor modules are simple, rugged, weather resistant, and can be installed quickly and easily. They are maintenance free for about ten years under normal conditions.
Bandwidth requirements for connectivity are very low.
Typically, each sensor module is installed in 15 minutes. Even very large bridges can be equipped in one or two days, often with no track time required.
No wiring or trenching is required for most installations. Any solar panels and cameras are mounted off the bridge, clear of damage and spray from passing trains. There are no cables that can be damaged by ice, wind, or lightning.
Our analytics distill raw data into succinct actionable information transmitted as alerts for emergencies and available as reports intended for use within existing engineering and operations practices.