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10970: InfraWatch: Data Management for Monitoring Infrastructural Performance

When considering our current stock of infrastructural assets like bridges, tunnels, etc, in view of service-life assessment, monitoring and sensing systems are very valuable instruments that can be used to extract actual information about its condition and performance. In terms of condition, sensor systems are mounted in or to structures that monitor the environmental as well as the internal condition. Environmental conditions are related to the climatic changes in which the structure has to be operational, and, in terms of performance, the external and internal actions acting on the structure are recorded.

Long and enduring 24/7 monitoring systems are necessary that generate large amounts of data that needs to be evaluated in a smart way such that relevant changes in the data will be noticed and that asset management systems will be informed and/or alarmed efficiently. Managing the huge amounts of data, extracted from the monitoring systems, requires integral knowledge in the field of data management. Moreover, the best representation for storing the data is not necessarily the best representation for the evaluation of the data. Statistics, Data Mining and Pattern Recognition are needed for the smart evaluation of data extracted from the degradation mechanisms.
With the current research project it is the objective to design, develop and optimize a data management system for measuring and reporting the actual performance of large infrastructural projects. This system is a monitoring and reporting system providing monitoring, notification and reporting services. The goal of such a system is to manage the output of sensors in an optimal way for infrastructure condition assessment.
For the project two PhDs are foreseen, one focusing on the domain knowledge, i.e. design a lean and mean system necessary to monitor infrastructural performance, and a second one focusing on the information domain, i.e. using data management, data techniques and modeling to deduce condensed and relevant maintenance management information from the data streams.
In order to secure the balance of the project in terms of interface management and to control the integral lab tests on the full-scale bridge monitoring project, a position is considered to be necessary as well. Finally, a scientific programmer is scheduled for providing the necessary programming support, in particular for connecting the sensor output to computational and storage grid infrastructure where the large amounts of data are handled, processed and stored.
The InfraWatch project is a cooperation between Leiden University (LIACS) and Delft University of Technology (Microlab). Please visit also the LIACS project website.