New type of sensor to monitor Mackinac Bridge’s condition

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (AP) — Engineers are using the Mackinac Bridge to test a new type of sensor that will monitor how the nearly 5-mile-long structure is coping with all those cars and trucks.

Professors from Michigan State University and Washington University in St. Louis are placing six prototype sensors beneath the bridge Wednesday. The bridge links Michigan’s two peninsulas and crosses the waterway where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet.

The sensors are powered by vibrations that traffic generates. Most sensors that monitor bridge conditions depend on batteries or wires and need frequent maintenance. But these prototypes have no external power source.

The information they gather can be accessed wirelessly by someone driving over the bridge with a laptop.

If they perform well, more sensors may be installed next year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s