Distributed sensing of a masonry vault due to nearby piling

M. Sinan Acikgoz, Loizos Pelecanos, Giorgia Giardina, James Aitken, Kenichi Soga

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Piles were constructed inside historic brick barrel vaults during the London Bridge Station Redevelopment. In order to ensure safe operation of the tracks above, movements of the vaults were monitored regularly by total stations. Concurrently, two distributed sensing technologies, fibre optic cables and laser scanners, were used to investigate the vault response to settlements. This paper discusses the monitoring data retrieved from these ‘point’ and ‘distributed’ sensing technologies and evaluates their use in structural assessment. The total station data are examined first. It is characterized by high precision and limited spatial coverage due to the use of optical targets. As a result, the total station data are useful for threshold detection but do not provide a detailed understanding of structural response or damage. In contrast, by utilizing distributed fibre optic sensors based on Brillouin optical domain reflectometry, the strain development in the structure during piling is quantified. The location and width of resulting crack openings are also determined, providing useful indicators for damage evaluation. The comparison of point clouds from laser scanners obtained at different stages of pile construction further expands the spatial coverage by detecting global movement of the structure on all visible surfaces. Using these data, the two hinge-response mechanism of the vault is revealed. The rich distributed data enable the calibration of the 2D mechanism and the finite element models, elucidating the contribution of arch stiffness, arch and backfill interaction, potential lateral movements and inter-ring sliding to the response.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1872
Number of pages19
JournalStructural Control and Health Monitoring
Issue number3
Early online date10 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


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