A Hybrid Testing Platform for Realistic Characterization of Infrastructure Sensor Technology
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In America's transportation infrastructure, maintaining safe and serviceable bridges is of paramount importance to America's transportation officials. In order to meet the increasing demands for information-based maintenance and repair of civil infrastructures such as highway bridges, an increasing number of structural health monitoring sensors and other non-destructive evaluation (NDE) devices have begun to be implemented on these structures. Before these health monitoring sensors can be implemented on a large scale, they must first be validated and characterized in a controlled environment. This thesis proposes and demonstrates the use of a hybrid testing platform to create a more realistic testbed to evaluate these structural health monitoring sensors for steel bridges. The details of this hybrid testing platform are discussed including the effects of ramp time, stress level, complexity of the virtual model, fatigue, and high temperature testing. The accuracy and practical implementation of this hybrid testing platform are also addressed.