Valmont Utility Pole Monitoring
Researchers from Purdue University's S-BRITE Center performed structural monitoring on a utility pole. No formal research had been reported on the effects of wind gusts on sign/solar panel structures near railroad tracks. Thus, this study targeted the structural response of the pole to passing railroad engines and cars, as well as natural wind loads.
The research Team deployed data acquisition and instrumentation with wireless communication capability for remote monitoring of the pole over a period of more than 3 months. Data collected enabled the detection of train direction and travel speed, direction and speed of natural winds, as well as stress at strategic locations on the pole used for fatigue analysis.
Finally, at the end of the remote monitoring, the Research Team returned to the pole’s location to perform a linear elastic static pull test. This test was performed in order to better understand what effect the cylinder assembly might have had on the pole’s structural response to loads.