Mobility 4.0: The digitization of the road system with OSiMaB

The constantly growing volume of traffic and environmental influences are often associated with bridge damage. To ensure the availability of the infrastructure to eliminate bottlenecks and to optimize the traffic flow, a holistic assessment of the condition of the approximately 40,000 bridge structures in Germany is essential.

The already high German standards will be further developed by the OSiMaB project to provide safety management for the future.

Challenge

Bridge damage impairs the smooth flow of passenger and freight traffic. Due to the constant growth of freight traffic volumes, environmental influences and chemical processes, a reliable assessment of the condition of the 40,000 bridge structures in Germany is inevitable. In order to detect damage at an early stage and to forecast future damage, the existing monitoring of the actual condition must be supplemented by a forward-looking component.

Solution

The use of Intelligent Bridges is intended to achieve a sustainable increase in efficiency regarding ecological, economic and social aspects. Permanent and holistic condition monitoring in real time allows damage to infrastructure to be repaired at an early stage. Intelligent, predictive systems also enable improved identification of problem areas.

Result

Together with BASt, ITC Engineering, the Technical University of Berlin, the University of Bonn and the Hasso Plattner Institute, HBM has developed a holistic concept for bridge monitoring. The OSiMaB system is designed to support the owner/operator of road bridges in planning their maintenance management at an early stage and in line with requirements.

The OSiMaB Project

As part of the mFUND research initiative, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure of Germany (BMVI) funds research and development projects related to digital data-based applications for mobility 4.0. OSiMaB (Online Safety Management System for Bridges) is part of the mFUND research initiative and receives state funding from the Federal Highway Research Institute.

The project partners of OSiMaB, consisting of HBM, the Federal Highway Research Institute, ITC Engineering, the Technical University of Berlin, the University of Bonn, and the Hasso Plattner Institute, have set themselves the goal of creating an adaptive and modular system for the real-time evaluation of the safety and reliability of road bridges, which can be adapted to other bridges at any time. The system must record all relevant influences, reactions and damages and holistically evaluate the bridge condition - both the current bridge condition and prognoses for the remaining service life of components and the entire bridge. 

The benefits of OSiMaB in a traffic infrastructure monitoring solution are:

  • An economical, expandable and easy-to-install monitoring solution
  • Innovative evaluation algorithms supporting predictive maintenance and services to optimize maintenance, repair, and preservation measures
  • Quality assurance and function control of safety-relevant components
  • Increased security through early detection of relevant changes
  • Neutral, quality-assured measurement data for reliable analyses to ensure availability
  • Monitoring of usage requirements
  • Recording of actual action and stress variables as input parameters for further analyses (for example, fatigue testing)
  • Integration of new technological developments in the field of technical intelligence

OSiMaB: A Proactive Solution

Intelligent systems can be used in different life cycle phases of a building (construction, maintenance, operation). By integrating them into the manufacturing process, deviations from the target state can be detected and documented at an early stage to initiate reactions. In the context of maintenance, the permanent assessment of the condition and the short-term information of the building authorities in case of changes in condition are of high relevance. With the help of intelligent systems, a sustainable increase in efficiency is achieved regarding ecological, economic, and social aspects.

OSiMaB develops a holistic concept for monitoring bridges in the federal main road network. The existing monitoring of the actual condition is supplemented by a predictive monitoring component, which allows for early detection of damage, forecasting of future damage and the planning of maintenance measures. Thanks to the holistic concept, road users benefit from reduced restrictions, whereby in the best-case scenario no bridge has to be closed to heavy goods traffic. The comprehensive monitoring of road construction load-bearing structures also has a cost-reducing effect, since the foresighted planning avoids further damage to bridges, and budget and personnel deployment planning can be carried out at an early stage.

OSiMaB uses the existing federal data repository for the federal main road network, supplemented by data from the construction measuring points and simulation models. With the help of innovative evaluation algorithms, the intelligent system for the evaluation of the bridge condition and the prognosis of the future maintenance condition is developed from this data. These new evaluation algorithms of OSiMaB make the concept unique. 

Within the last years, OSiMaB has already merged and refined building data sets as well as traffic data in order to develop the required evaluation algorithms. The OSiMaB monitoring system is in continuous operation on a representative bridge structure and collects data. This database is used to test the already developed algorithms to further improve the data analysis.

7 Questions for OSiMaB: An interview with Andreas Socher, Federal Highway Research Institute, project coordinator with the mFUND project Online Safety Management System for Bridges (OSiMaB)

To the Interview

HBM Plays a Leading Role

Together with the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), ITC Engineering, the Technical University of Berlin, and the Hasso Plattner Institute, HBM has developed the holistic concept for monitoring bridges. To verify OSiMaB's algorithms, analyze the relevant bridge parameters and develop an evaluation system, data collection on a representative bridge is necessary. For OSiMaB, a bridge on the A45 motorway acts as a demonstrator structure. The bridge structure was equipped, installed, and commissioned by HBM with a complete measurement technology solution.

150 analog sensors measure a wide range of physical quantities such as strain, displacement, acceleration, inclination, temperature, and noise. A video camera also records the traffic flow synchronously with the tactile sensors on the bridge. To be able to analyze correlations between different sensors, the entire measurement system is synchronized.

The modular QuantumX and catman AP software from HBM are used as the measurement data acquisition system. The monitoring version of catman plays a key role here. It is used for parameterization, calculation, visualization, online analysis, and local and cloud-based data storage in edge operation. The complete system is connected to the server via an LTE router and a VPN tunnel. A remote switch and a cabinet monitoring system provide extensive remote maintenance options. The acquired data flows into the building data modelling (BIM) of project partner ITC Engineering, and is displayed in a clearly arranged dashboard. 

The System Structure of OSiMaB

Have a look at the Mind Map to learn more about the system structure of OSiMaB.

OSiMaB Project Details

Data sets: 52,340 building data records including data from 1,736 automatic measuring points and manual road traffic censuses of 10,684 locations.

Funding amount: € 2.94 million

Duration: 5/2017 - 12/2020

Project staff: 14

Project participants: Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), HBM - Test & Measurement, ITC Engineeringthe Technical University of Berlinthe Hasso Plattner Institute and the University of Bonn.

Further Reading

Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure: 

Federal Highway Research Institute: 

German Society for Non-destructive Testing: