All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Nasim Uddin

Advisory Committee Members

Ashraf Z Al-Hamdan

Christopher Waldron

Mohammad Haider

Ian Hosch

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Engineering


Bridges are key components of the transportation network, and their safety is essential to maintain effective and safe operation of the transportation facilities. To maintain the structural integrity of the bridges, it is essential to estimate the extent and location of the structural damage through periodic monitoring. Therefore, there is considerable interest in bridge damage detection and considerable progress has been made in recent years. The traditional bridge health monitoring requires many sensors installed on the bridge to collect vibration data for damage assessment, which is expensive, time-consuming, and even dangerous in-site. Compared with traditional ways, the concept of indirect measurement has received increasing attention. One can extract bridge dynamic properties from the responses of a passing vehicle, which is known as ‘drive-by’ inspection. This indirect measurement way shows many advantages of effectiveness, economic, and safety, etc. However, in most cases, the bridge dynamic properties information contained by measured vehicle responses is too faint to be extracted, or contaminated by noises. To solve it, this dissertation develops algorithms to improve the performance in ‘drive-by’ inspection, based on robust signal processing tools such as wavelet transform and Hilbert transform. Because of its sensitivity to signal discontinuity, wavelet analysis has been frequently used to detect structural damage. Hilbert transform associated with band-pass filter can extract information of bridge damping or mode shapes from a passing vehicle acceleration. With the rapid development of technology, the performance of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been exceedingly improved including its battery life and wireless communication. It gains wide application for many fields including bridge health monitoring. UAVs allow remote imaging which can be used for bridges visual inspection, especially for where a man cannot reach. In addition, UAVs have many other functions of wireless charging sensor installed on the bridges, data transmission with sensors (on the bridges) and cloud, and working as fly-sensor. This dissertation takes the advantages of ‘drive-by’, UAVs techniques and others to present a ‘fly-by’ bridge monitoring system, which is designed to monitor the bridge’s health, controls the loads imposed on bridges by heavy trucks, and provides visual inspectors with quantitative information.

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