Wireless Warnings

by Peter L. Fuhr, Assoc. Prof.; Electrical Engrg. Dept., San Jose State Univ., San Jose, CA,
Dryver R. Huston, Chair; Mech. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Vermont, VT,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2000, Vol. 70, Issue 8, Pg. 56-57,90

Document Type: Feature article


Formwork failures cause dozens of construction-related deaths per year, but most can be avoided by adequate monitoring. The problem is, most monitors must be hard-wired to a computer on the job site, and both the computers and the large cables provide further job-site hazards and must often be moved as construction progresses. The solution? Wireless monitors that can be rigged to operate much as any other form of wireless communication, providing a seamless data path from remote sensors to the central computer or even to a Web site. Two recent projects demonstrate that wireless monitors can improve the safety of work sites. The Winooski One Dam in northwestern Vermont benefited from a network of 75 fiber-optic vibration sensors, and load cells attached as a 26-story apartment building was erected near Boston let engineers know when load limits were reached.

Subject Headings: Wireless technologies | Cables | Occupational safety | Computing in civil engineering | Probe instruments | Load factors | Construction sites

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