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Transportation infrastructure needs continuous monitoring. However, traditional inspections cost money and are conducted visually. New technologies for bridge monitoring are expensive and complex. This project involved developing cost-effective sensor technologies that can be applied towards the maintenance of railroad bridges by recording reference-free transverse displacement. More specifically, this project developed new applications of new technologies (Arduino, wireless smart sensors, drones, Hololens) and promoted workforce development with an emphasis on outreach of high-school students. This project was carried out in three main phases: (1) development and validation of technologies, (2) education and outreach to students, and (3) outreach to industry consisting in one professional workshop. The findings from the first phase showed that the data gathered by these new low-cost sensing systems were comparable to the data collected using traditional sensors. Researchers collected the findings of the second phase of the project through surveys conducted from Middle school, High school and college students during and after outreach activities. these surveys showed that many of the participant students got more interested in the use of new technologies after getting familiar with them. Finally, researchers collected the findings of the third phase of the project through a workshop collecting the interest and challenges of the owners of railroad infrastructure. The top interest of railroad owners is to explore the use of new technologies to increase safety in the field. The conclusions of this research include prioritization on developing low-cost technologies that can measure simple parameters in the field of interest to existing inspectors.


Tran-SET Project No. 17STUNM02