Available Technology

Low cost time domain reflectometry system for bridge scour detection and monitoring

An apparatus for detecting and monitoring scouring around a structural member uses time-domain reflectometry (TDR) to measure the level of sediment around a submerged portion of the structural member such as a bridge pier, dock, utility crossing, or similar structure. The apparatus includes a time domain reflectometer which transmits a series of electrical pulses, a sensor which is connected with said time-domain reflectometer, and a signal analyzer which receives and interprets the portion of the electrical pulses reflected back to the source from an interface, such as water/air or water/gravel, to calculate the position of the interface along the sensor. Knowledge of the position of the interfaces before and after a scouring event and of the dielectric constant of the surrounding media allows the user to detect and monitor the level of erosion caused by scouring.

Leonard J. Zabilansky

Norbert E. Yankielun

Patent Number: 
Patent Issue Date: 
October 19, 2000
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