FiBridge is a trial of innovative technology that seeks to revolutionise the management and maintenance of bridge assets. Through the installation of advanced fibre-optic sensing technology on rail and road bridges, it enables the remote monitoring of asset structural health in real-time.
Victoria has thousands of rail and road bridges and ensuring they are structurally sound and safe for rail and road users is paramount. The current way of monitoring bridges and identifying problems has limitations because it relies on periodic site inspections to assess a bridge’s structural health.
This process is inefficient, expensive, time consuming, prone to human error, and often disruptive to road and rail users if a bridge needs to be closed.
FiBridge aims to enable proactive asset management which will enhance safety and significantly reduce maintenance costs.
How does it work?
The fibre-optic technology was developed by US-based Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and uses tiny fibre-optic sensors that are installed on the bridge. The sensors collect real time data about the bridge’s behaviour and sends the information back to a remote single point for analysis. This can identify anomalies in the bridge’s condition or performance in real-time.
To test the technology, a proof of concept trial was undertaken on one bridge and, after this revealed promising results, three more bridges were added to the trial. The sophistication of the data strongly indicates that this ground-breaking technology has the potential to revolutionise how we monitor and maintain our road and rail bridges.
VicTrack, as an asset owner and manager, has worked closely with PARC on jointly developing a real-time bridge management solution that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of asset owners and operators across the transport sector.
What are the benefits?
- Enable automated bridge monitoring that reduces the risk of human error and instead targets inspections and maintenance where they are needed most
- Detect faults early, well before they are visible to inspectors with the potential to eliminate disastrous bridge failures
- Provide an end-to-end structural health monitoring tool empowering asset owners and operators with a wealth of knowledge for informed real-time asset management.
Who is involved?
The trial is governed by a partnership of Victorian Government agencies, led by VicTrack, and supported by PARC, a Xerox company. The project partners include:
- Department of Premier & Cabinet (Public Sector Innovation Fund)
- Office of Project Victoria
- Department of Transport (including the former VicRoads and Public Transport Victoria)
- Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Download the FiBridge project display poster