Over the time, infrastructural asset is steadily aging and deteriorating, some of them are beyond their design life, or they are being exposed to extreme events. The catastrophic failures in the recent times have emphasized the renewed importance to assess the health of the infrastructure and to take further appropriate and timely measures. Due to shortage of resources to replace them, it is now necessary to extend their design life without exposing public to unnecessary risk or nonviable financial burden. Current management methods rely heavily on visually inspection for signs of defect on the surface of the structure. However, visual inspections have shown that they are not only costly strategy and inadequate for large/complex/sensitive structures, these are not able to provide any pre-warning of failure. In addition, visual inspections are primarily qualitative in nature and with human subjectivity unavoidably introduced in the process. The next level of advanced techniques such as non-destructive evaluation (NDE) though are being adopted by many industries, are particularly applicable when damage location is known a priori. Moreover, NDE methods such as based on dynamic testing techniques, measurements and vibration signatures have proven difficult to scale into a continuous, holistic approach to tracking structural health. This emphasized the urgent need for a paradigm shift from regular schedule based intervention to the need based intervention, which can be achieved through developing and implementing the real-time structural health monitoring technologies.
Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) in particular based on vibration measurement and analysis techniques is intended for the continuous, autonomous in-service monitoring of the physical condition of a structure using embedded or attached sensors without/ with a minimum manual intervention, to monitor the structural integrity of any kind of structure (Aircraft, Bridge, Rail, Dam, Tunnel, Various types of industrial machinery/equipment, etc.). SHM includes all monitoring aspects related to damages, loads, conditions, etc., which have direct influence on the performance of the structure. Based on the type of structure, material, functionality, operating & environmental condition, sensitivity, etc., the requirements for health monitoring differ in a wide range. The sources are resulting from excessive loads, material degradation, change in system, unforeseen conditions, etc. An appropriate and effective SHM strategy benefits in indicating timely intervention, significantly reducing the down-time and ensuring the safety of the structure. Further, the reports pertaining to life cycle cost analysis of structures indicate that the proper implementation of SHM can help in achieving cost effectiveness.
Structural health monitoring, assessment and management (as comprehensively encompassed as SHM in a holistic manner) have attracted interdisciplinary research interest all over the world. The capabilities, potential applications and techniques of SHM significantly vary for different kind of problems such global monitoring of massive structures, large area monitoring of larger structure, condition monitoring of rotating machine, and local defect monitoring of sensitive components. The endeavors are focused towards (i) damage diagnostics involving identification, sizing, localization and characterization of damage, and (ii) prognostics which predicts the critically of the damage and assesses the remaining life of the structure. In the last decade and half, there have been an overwhelming interest and effort among engineering and scientific communities across the globe to address this issue by real time detection of damage at their early stage of growth.
Researchers from many different disciplines are developing innovative methods and algorithms, advanced sensors, and implementation strategy etc. With the advancement of computational capabilities and communication technology, similar to the industrial revolution that made production and labor a more efficient process, improvements in machine learning and collection of big data show tremendous potential in developing technologies for online real-time SHM. Aggressive R&D efforts are currently underway across the globe on developing robust SHM technologies. In this context, the CVS is primarily focusing on bringing together the industry-academia-research institutions for imparting and expanding the knowledge for multi-disciplinary sensing, testing, analysis, diagnostic and predictive maintenance technology capabilities from national to global standards. It will help in significantly reduce the imported technologies and inspire for integrated innovation driven indigenization, and efficient utilization of infrastructural services across various industries ushering in faster industrial growth, emphasizing the relevant priories, including SDGs, set by Government of India. To address this demanding need, a Chair on Static, Structure, Seismic, High-speed Rails, Bridges (services and supports) has been established in CVS.
• Support government and private contractors engaged in bridge and dam construction, high speed rail stability, tunnel stability etc.
• Explore and store various related standards
• Assist in earth-quake resistant structures to government, private builders.
• Become mouth-piece of any seismic issue of the Nation, by enriching Body of Knowledge, Infrastructure (either at sites/ research laboratory/ industry)
• Become source of knowledge base in certification programs of CVS on Structural Vibration.
• Support/ Jury on structural vibration related topics in conferences/ seminar etc.
Road to achieve these Objectives:
• Active role in the vibration aspects in engineering education by improved mentoring, training programmes, academic institute connectivity
• Encouraging young research minds dare to dream to work in challenging areas, incubation centres and start-ups
• Organise multi-disciplinary vibration engineering summits
• Collaborate externally with Academic and Industrial partners
• Significant contribution to the Codal Standards
• Close interaction with line ministries for contributing through multi-institute collaborations