SENSR: Structural Monitoring Simplified

Rahul Kalyankar, Engineering Specialist
Without a doubt, bridges and tunnels are an indispensable part of today’s transportation infrastructure. However, surprisingly enough, 1 in 4 of the nearly 100,000 U.S. railroad bridges, and 1 in 3 bridges of the 617,643 Interstate highway bridges are in the need of maintenance including repair or replacement. In fact, crumbling infrastructures are a concern throughout the world. According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), more than one-third, or 220,000, of the country’s 618,000 bridges need structural repair, rehabilitation work, or replacement. As of now, 42 percent of all bridges are at least 50 years old, and about 46,154 of the nation’s bridges are considered to be in “poor” condition. Still, 178 million trips are taken across these structurally deficient bridges every day. To this end, the importance of ensuring the safety and stability of bridges to avoid any catastrophic failures cannot be overstated. In light of these statistics and the rising costs of repairing infrastructure, bridge owners and agencies are looking for innovative solutions to reduce the maintenance costs and make the bridges more resilient and long-lasting. This is where SENSR, a Loram Company, makes a difference.

Founded in 2004, SENSR is renowned for offering advanced, reliable, and the most accurate state-of-the-art structural monitoring solutions to infrastructure owners. The company has been developing simple, affordable monitoring solutions to help its clients monitor the safety and stability of their critical structures. SENSR lets owners keep an eye on critical structures from virtually anywhere with its comprehensive structure monitoring solution. The solution relays data in real-time to an online portal for easy monitoring from a web-based portal. Besides, it also provides instant text message or email or phone call alerts when any potentially catastrophic events such as vehicle impacts occur so that owners can assess the damage and make informed decisions about the safety of the structure. “Our mission is to provide advanced equipment as well as innovative monitoring services to the end customers, mostly bridge, tunnel, or infrastructure owners,” says Dr. Rahul Kalyankar, Engineering Specialist at SENSR. “We want to provide them most efficient monitoring services in a reliable manner to improve the overall structural monitoring and the maintenance for the customers,” he adds.

Ranging from structural engineers to data analysts, SENSR’s expert team works with clients to match the most cost-effective solution to the variables they need to measure. One of the solutions the company offers is its bridge strike detection system, which provides bridge owners with rapid strike alert notifications. The system consisting of high resolution camera and advanced accelerometers, continuously record the video and simultaneously analyzes the acceleration of the bridge so when the impact event occurs, the system send out a 15-second video clip of the impact along with acceleration data to confirm the impact event. Another solution is construction monitoring, where engineers install the accelerometers and tiltmeters on existing structure to monitor the effect of nearby construction on the existing structure such as tilting of columns, or excessive vibration due to pile driving activities nearby. Whether it’s informing owners about the problems arising from the nearby construction activities such as blasting, pavement breaking, and more near their bridge or tunnels and finding changes before permanent damage occurs, evaluating for signs of scouring, or detecting collisions— SENSR does it all.

Over the years, SENSR has carved a unique niche for itself in the market and successfully helped clients with its structural monitoring solutions and valuable insights into potential problems and opportunities. For instance, a company approached SENSR when their railroad bridge over the Mississippi River in MS, sustained multiple barge strikes in January 2016 as one barge got loose. SENSR came in and installed its and structural monitoring system that consists of advanced accelerometers and advanced high-resolution camera, in August 2016 in order to effectively detect marine bridge strikes and started monitoring the bridge. On November 25, 2016, multiple barges broke loose and drifted into the Mississippi River upstream of the bridge, and SENSR detected two barge strikes shortly before midnight. “At this time, the barge owner basically refused to recognize that there was a bridge strike on their end but we provided visual confirmation through high resolution videos for each of the bridge strikes.

We were also able to provide the accelerometer data that confirms that the strike and its enormity,” explains Kalyankar. This incident shows that a continuous structural monitoring system is a must for bridge owners. “We are a one stop solution for the customers as we have everything in-house. From offering monitoring solutions, different types of sensors and instrumentation, engineering services to performing structural analysis and load rating, we are well-equipped to do it all,” says Kalyankar.


We are a one stop solution provider for the customers as we have everything in-house. From offering different types of sensors, data processing equipment, and their installation, data analysis, structural analysis, load rating, everything at one place.

Nathan C Bachman, VP of Sales and Marketing
Nathan C Bachman, VP, Sales and Business Development at SENSR, mentions that over the last 18 months, structural monitoring has become a real inflection point as there’s a new value placed on monitoring things remotely. “As we’re really focused on technology solutions in general, we had already checked the box of being able to operate remotely. Whether its inspecting railroad tracks or pulling information off of bridges or other structures, we can do it all,” states Bachman.

Steering ahead, SENSR’s focus is on introducing more advanced sensors in its inventory to stay ahead of the curve and address its clients’ ever-increasing and diversifying monitoring needs. “Due to plethora of bridges in the U.S., the monitoring cost is on the higher side. Therefore, we aim to bring more bridges and critical infrastructure under the monitoring umbrella by rolling out economical, innovative, and reliable solutions,” asserts Kalyankar.

Furthermore, SENSR plans to extend its product lines by adding different customer centric solutions to its arsenal. Solutions not limited to:

• Structural Health Monitoring – cost effective and most practical SHM to all the structures and bridge owners, that monitor the bridges round the clock for their behavior, type of loadings, and most importantly, load rate the bridges and their components continuously in order to guide the owners on safety and serviceability of the bridges and their components.

• Advanced structural inspection and damage quantification using AI techniques, GPR and Laser technology - this will be a great help for bridges owners to inspect the bridges and know the extent of damage, as well plan for the maintenance in advance rather than after the damage.

• Track Monitoring – help the railroad owners to monitor over the bridge track alignment before and after bridge strike and make decision on whether to stop the traffic or continue with reduced speed.

• Advanced landslide detection system – to notify the infrastructure owners of the land slide events, either on railroad or roads so traffic can be managed, and further damage and loss can be prevented.

Moreover, SENSR wants to expand its foothold to multiple countries: countries that are advancing their infrastructures across all the continents.

“We not only want to focus functioning on railroads just like our parent organization, but we also extend our service on the highway side and other critical structures. Our goal is to assist bridge and other critical infrastructure owners with the solutions that meet their monitoring requirements and help them in seamlessly taking care of their structures and performing predictive and preventative maintenance effectively,” notes Kalyankar.

Company
SENSR

Headquarters
Georgetown, TX

Management
Rahul Kalyankar, Engineering Specialist and Nathan C Bachman, VP of Sales and Marketing

Description
Founded in 2004, SENSR is renowned for offering advanced, reliable, and most accurate state-of-the-art structural monitoring solutions to infrastructure owners. The company has been developing simple, affordable monitoring solutions to help its clients monitor the safety and stability of their critical structures. SENSR lets owners keep an eye on critical structures from virtually anywhere with its comprehensive structure monitoring solution. The solution relays data in real-time to an online portal for easy monitoring from a web-based portal. Besides, it also provides instant text message or email or phone call alerts when any potentially catastrophic events such as vehicle impacts occur so that owners can assess the damage and make informed decisions about the safety of the structure

SENSR