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Heitner, B., Schoefs, F., OBrien, E.J., Znidaric, A., Yalamas, T. (2020), ‘Using the unit Influence line of a bridge to track changes in its condition’, J. Civil Structural Health Monitoring, Published online, 10th June.

The unit influence line of a structure reflects its behaviour and changes in response to damage that may occur. An iterative algorithm is presented in this paper to obtain the shape of the instantaneous influence line of a bridge together with the relative axle loads of trucks passing overhead. One great advantage of this approach is that the need for sensor calibration with pre-weighed trucks can be avoided. The only initial information needed are the measurement data and a preliminary estimate of the influence line based on engineering judgement. The concept of a so-called population unit influence line is also presented. This is an influence line that is found from a population of trucks instead of a single vehicle. An illustrative example is presented, where strain data have bene collected on a reinforced concrete culvert. As well as the robustness of the proposed algorithms, the influence of temperature on the results is demonstrated. The sensitivity of the population influence line to temperature shows that it is likely to be equally sensitive to loss of stiffness in the structure.
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