GPS monitoring of a steel box girder viaduct

O. Ogundipe, G.W. Roberts, C.J. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Structural performance monitoring of bridges has increased as major infrastructure ages and is required to sustain loads that are significantly greater than those predicted during design. Structural stiffness and/or mass distribution can change over the lifespan of a bridge structure. Resulting changes in profile or resonant frequency provide key indicators of change, and may identify structural defects. Field tests using GPS for monitoring relatively small deformations were carried out on a steel box girder viaduct bridge in the UK. The configuration consisted of five GPS receivers located at key locations on the viaduct and two reference GPS receivers. GPS data was collected at either 10 Hz or 20 Hz and post-processed using proprietary software, along with appropriate filtering and spectral analysis. Three main frequencies were clearly detected by the GPS in the vertical component. A previously reported frequency of approximately 0.56 Hz was identified along with two other frequencies. The peak vertical deflections lie in the range of ± 50 mm, while lateral and longitudinal deflections of much smaller magnitude – in the order of a few mm – are also measured. The use of GPS leads to readily obtained and useful engineering data for continued monitoring of structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-40
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • structural health monitoring
  • structural dynamics
  • digital signal processing
  • engineering surveying
  • GPS


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