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Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-16-007    Date:  January 2016
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-16-007
Date: January 2016


Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program Protocols, Version 1

Long-Term Bridge Performance Program Logo

Power and Network Requirements
LTBP Protocol #: PRE-PL-LO-006


Data Collected

1.1 None. This protocol provides guidance for developing a plan of action for obtaining power and network access at a given bridge site for truck testing, vibration testing, long-term monitoring, local data storage, remote data storage, and/or lighting for night fieldwork.  


Onsite Equipment and Personnel Requirements

2.1 Equipment:  
2.1.1 PRE-PL-LO-004, Personal Health and Safety Plan.  
2.1.2 Generator (at least 2 kW, but small and lightweight is preferred). (See section 6.3 for power requirements.)  
2.1.3 Gas container.  
2.1.4 Motor oil.  
2.1.5 Funnel.  
2.1.6 Wireless modem with paid subscription to an Internet service provider and static IP address.  
2.1.7 WiFi hotspot.  
2.1.8 Extension cords.  
2.1.9 Network cable.  
2.1.10 Ethernet connectors, spare Ethernet cable, and crimpers.  
2.2 Personnel: None.  



3.1 Develop a plan for power and network access. The plan should address the following:  
3.1.1 Types of equipment used at the bridge.  
3.1.2 Nearest electrical power source to the bridge. Use independent power when available onsite. An independent power source is required for long-term monitoring. (See section 6.3 for power requirements.)  
3.1.3 Need for a generator and required attributes for a generator. A generator can serve as a short-term power source. It is not recommended for semipermanent installations (more than 30 days).  
3.1.4 Loss of power and battery backups for key equipment.  
3.1.5 Cell phone signal strength at the bridge and active service agreement.  
3.1.6 Need for a wireless hotspot. Cellular modem (3G or LTE) or a WiFi hotspot can provide short‑term network connectivity and connectivity in remote locations.
It is not recommended for semipermanent installations (more than 30 days). (See section 6.4 for external network requirements.)
3.1.7 Spare parts for key pieces of equipment.  
3.2 Table 1provides the requirements for power and the network for the assessment methods used on a bridge in the LTBP Program.  
Table 1. Power and Network Requirements by Technique.
Assessment Method Power Network
Visual Inspection None None
Nondestructive Testing None None
Material Sampling None None
Truck Testing Generator None
Vibration Testing Generator None
Long-Term Monitoring Independent Hardwire, wirelessmodem, orcombination
Remote Data Storage Generator Wireless modem


Data Collection Table

4.1 None.  


Criteria for Data Validation

5.1 None.  



6.1 This protocol describes the elements needed in a plan for power and access at a bridge site.  
6.2 The primary function of external network access on a bridge is to ensure the local and remote storage and backup of collected data (FLD-DS-RS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Remote).  
6.3 Power requirements:  
6.3.1 Generators: For most applications, a portable gasoline generator is needed to provide power. Even if testing is limited to an application where power may not be required, having a generator available is useful. The generator must be able to provide at least 2,000 W with 2 or more 30-amp circuits and supply 120 V of power. Extension cords, a gas can, funnel, and motor oil are required for use with the generator. Operate and maintain the generator according to manufacturer specifications, including safety requirements and proper ventilation. Keep tools and sensitive equipment on separate circuits within the generator. Assign one onsite staff person to maintain the fuel level in the generator throughout the testing. Loss of power during a test can result in the loss of valuable data, which could cause delays.  
6.3.2 Independent power sources: If an independent power source is not available in advance, then it must be brought to the bridge site. Providing an independent power source to a bridge requires coordination between the State, the local power company, and the project team. Solar panels and backup batteries may be used as a stopgap solution or when it is impossible to route power to the bridge. This stopgap solution is not desirable as it requires more maintenance and is subject to vandalism. Fiber optic systems can be located at remote locations and connected to the bridge via fiber without detrimental effects on signal or power.  
6.4 External network requirements:  
6.4.1 A cellular modem with an active service plan is adequate for short-term applications.  
6.4.2 A wireless hotspot is adequate when WiFi-ready equipment is used.  



7.1 LTBP Protocols:  
7.1.1 PRE-PL-LO-004, Personal Health and Safety Plan.  
7.1.2 FLD-DS-LS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Local.  
7.1.3 FLD-DS-RS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Remote.  
7.2 External: None.  




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