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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 947867, 33 pages
Review Article

Recent Developments on Wireless Sensor Networks Technology for Bridge Health Monitoring

1College of Civil and Transportation Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
2School of Civil Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116023, China
3Key Laboratory of Concrete and Prestressed Concrete Structure, Ministry of Education, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China

Received 24 September 2013; Accepted 21 October 2013

Academic Editor: Stathis C. Stiros

Copyright © 2013 Guang-Dong Zhou and Ting-Hua Yi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Structural health monitoring (SHM) systems have shown great potential to sense the responses of a bridge system, diagnose the current structural conditions, predict the expected future performance, provide information for maintenance, and validate design hypotheses. Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) that have the benefits of reducing implementation costs of SHM systems as well as improving data processing efficiency become an attractive alternative to traditional tethered sensor systems. This paper introduces recent technology developments in the field of bridge health monitoring using WSNs. As a special application of WSNs, the requirements and characteristics of WSNs when used for bridge health monitoring are firstly briefly discussed. Then, the state of the art in WSNs-based bridge health monitoring systems is reviewed including wireless sensor, network topology, data processing technology, power management, and time synchronization. Following that, the performance validations and applications of WSNs in bridge health monitoring through scale models and field deployment are presented. Finally, some existing problems and promising research efforts for promoting applications of WSNs technology in bridge health monitoring throughout the world are explored.