Long Distance Dam Data

by Virginia Fairweather, Editor; Civil Engineering—ASCE, 345 East 47th St., New York, NY 10017,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 9, Pg. 60-63


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Remote data collection systems are increasingly being used for dams. Instrumentation of structures for obtaining data on performance is not new. However, automation and computerization have replaced visual readings in many fields. Flood forecasting is one example. The equipment for data collection at dams has evolved within the last decade, mostly through efforts at the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, working with private-sector manufacturers of such equipment used for other applications. Public agencies that own dams have been driven by budget constraints to replace people with automated systems. Automation eliminates human error and also offers continuous monitoring, an important safety consideration. Dams in remote locations are especially well-suited for automated systems. Typically, instruments such as piezometers, tiltmeters, inclinometers and others are places. Cables link these sensors to remote terminal units, which in turn are linked to main frames. Data can be prevented in many forms. This is an evolving technology and advantages of these systems are described, and potential problem areas are also presented. There is a need for specialized software, and a comprehensive package being prepared for the Corps of Engineers is due early in 1989 may eliminate some current shortcomings.

Subject Headings: Automation | Dam safety | Data collection | Remote sensing

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