RSS Based Bridge Scour Measurement Using Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks


Bridge Scour is one of the major causes of bridge failures all around the world and there have been significant efforts for its detection and measurement using different acoustic approaches. In this paper, we propose and investigate an effective method to utilize Received Signal Strength (RSS) for measuring scour depth where acoustic sensors are deployed. We also extend a statistical testing to determine the difference in signal levels at the sensor nodes prior to and after scour formation and subsequently determine the actual depth of scour. Additionally, we make an attempt to evaluate underwater distance and depth using signal strength perceived at the receiver which makes it free from the requirement of accurate receiver-sender synchronization in contrast to Time of Flight (ToF) or Time of Arrival (ToA) techniques. The scour depths are eventually compared for the conditions when the bottom is composed of a single or multiple layers. The simulation results clearly show that different depths are calculated for the case of multilayered bottom (0.8 to 3.9 meters for instance) as compared to a constant depth of 2 meters for the case of a single layered bottom.

Share and Cite:

Dahal, P. , Peng, D. , Yang, Y. and Sharif, H. (2013) RSS Based Bridge Scour Measurement Using Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks. Communications and Network, 5, 641-648. doi: 10.4236/cn.2013.53B2115.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] A. M. Shirhole and R. C. Holt, “Planning for a Comprehensive Bridge Safety Program,” Transportation Research Record No. 1290, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1991.
[2] P. F. Lagasse, E. V. Richardson, J. D. Schall and G. R. Price, “Instrumentation for Measuring Scour at Bridge Piers and Abutments,” National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Paper No. 396, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1997.
[3] N. E. Yankielun and L. Zabilansky, “Laboratory Investigation of Time-Domain Reflectometry System for Monitoring Bridge Scour,” Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 125, No. 12, 1999, pp. 1279-1284.
[4] Y. B. Lin, J.-C. Chen, K.-C. Chang, J.-C. Chern and J.-S. Lai, “Real Time Monitoring of Bridge Scour Using Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors,” Smart Materials and Structures, Vol. 14, No. 4, 2005, pp. 664-670.
[5] J. -Y. Lu, J. -H. Hong, C. -C. Su, C. -Y. Wang and J. -S. Lai, “Field Measurements and Simulation of Bridge Scour Depth Variation During Floods,” Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 134, No. 6, 2008, pp. 810-821.
[6] N. B. Priyantha, A. Chakraborty and H. Balakrishnan, “Cricket Location Support System,” Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM, 2000, pp. 32-43.
[7] J. Heidemann, W. Ye, J. Wills, A. Syed and Y. Li, “Research Challenges and Applications for Underwater Sensor Networking,” IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, WCNC, Vol. 1, 2006, pp. 228- 235.
[8] G. Mao, B. Fidan and B. D. Anderson, “Wireless Sensor Network Localization Techniques,” Computer Networks, Vol. 51, No. 10, 2007, pp. 2529-2553.
[9] M. Erol, L. Vieira, A. Caruso, F. Paparella, M. Gerla and S. Oktug, “Multi Stage Underwater Sensor Localization Using Mobile Beacons,” Second International Conference on Sensor Technologies and Applications, 2008. SENSOR-COMM ‘08, 2008, pp. 710-714.
[10] E. Kim, S. Woo, C. Kim and K. Kim, “Lamsm: Localization Algorithm with Merging Segmented Maps for Underwater Sensor Networks,” Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), Vol. 4809 NCS, 2007, pp. 445-454.
[11] M. Hosseini, H. Chizari, C. K. Soon and R. Budioarto, “RSS-Based Distance Measurement in Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks: An Application of the Lambert W Function,” Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Signal Processing and Communication Systems, ICSPS, Gold Coast, 2010, pp. 1-4.
[12] P. Etter, “Underwater Acoustic Modeling and Simulation,” 3rd Edition, Spon Press, 2003.
[13] W. H. Thorp, “Analytic Description of the Low-Frequency Attenuation Coefficient,” Acoustical Society of America Journal, Vol. 42, 1967, p. 270.
[14] I. F. Akyildiz, D. Pompili, T. Melodia, “Challenges for Efficient Communication in Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks,” ACM SIGBED Review-Special Issue on Embedded Sensor Networks, ACM, NY, 2004, pp. 3-8.
[15] J. A. Catipovic, A. B. Baggeroer, K. Von Der Heydt and D. Koelsch, “Design and Performance Analysis of a Digital Telemetry System for Short Range Underwater Channel,” IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Vol. OE-9, No. 4, 1984, pp. 242-252.
[16] X. Geng and A. Zielinski, “An Eigenpath Underwater Acoustic Communication Channel Model,” OCEANS ‘95. MTS/IEEE, Challenges of Our Changing Global Envi-ronment, Conference Proceedings, Vol. 2, 1995, pp. 1189-1196.
[17] A. A. Saleh and R. A. Valenzuela, “A Statistical Model for Indoor Multipath Propagation,” IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1987, pp. 128-137.
[18] Q. Liang and X. Cheng, “Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks: Target Size Detection and Performance Analysis,” Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Communications, Beijing, May 2008, pp. 3151-3155.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.