Decision Support System
Data/information flow and decision support: The purpose of this system is, rather than overwhelm them in raw data, to present remote scour information to bridge owners in an easy to use, easy to understand format to aid in decision making. Coordination of the flow of data and information between the remote sensing system and the decision support client will be a major challenge. The bulk of data processing is embedded in the sensors themselves. The actionable and decision-enabling outputs that are produced from sensor hardware are: flow or no-flow (static versus dynamic) state of the sensor (or a sensor fault condition detected), the channel bed profile, and the time-series of scour depth over a user-defined time period. In addition, user-defined parameters and thresholds will contribute even more to a rich, decision-making workflow. An example of added-value processes and products is the provision of critical scour depth alerts (e.g. an e-mail or application pop-up to notify decision makers about a recent critical scour depth measurement) based on user-defined thresholds. Another example are report templates, stored on the server, dynamically populated with up-to-date bridge information, and generated quickly upon request in a variety of formats (e.g. Microsoft Word Document or Adobe PDF).
Sample 2D scour dept visualizations for a set of bridge piers
The project team will work closely with its cost-share partners, the Michigan Departments of Transportation and Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA) as well as the TAC and survey respondents to develop visualization and analysis routines that best support decision makers, and establish sample intervals and alarm conditions. Flow or no-flow states can be visualized a variety of ways, such as the following figure, but some visualizations may be more meaningful than others. The project team will assess, for instance, whether visualizing the scour depth in three-dimensions around each bridge pier is necessary or useful for the decision maker or, as an alternative, it is more appropriate to view the average scour depth for each pier.
Modification to existing Bridge Condition DSS visualize to show scour information
Software support framework for DSS engine
To support potentially sophisticated structural views of bridge piers, channel profile views and other visualizations, the DSS might be modified by the addition of a graphics library on the server. This library would be used to generate pre-rendered decision-support visualizations based on up-to-date scour data. This is in contrast to the client-side graphics library for charting and plotting, already implemented in the DSS. In addition, temporal analysis routines stored on the server can be run to generate value-added bridge scour decision support products such as rate of scour and time to a threshold scour depth.