Bridge Monitoring in the Internet of Things

M.Eng. Philipp Engel
Hochschule Neubrandenburg – University of Applied Sciences
Faculty of Landscape Sciences and Geomatics

8th GeoIT Wherecamp Conference 2018
24 October 2018, TU Berlin



Monitoring of Buildings and Terrain


  • mountains
  • land slides
  • cliffs
  • glaciers

Geodetic Nets

  • construction sites
  • mining areas

Engineering Structures

  • bridges
  • tunnels
  • reservoirs, dams
  • building construction

Historical Buildings

  • churches, monastries
  • heritage buildings
  • research project at the Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences
  • development of a geodetic monitoring platform
  • monitoring software OpenADMS Node and cloud service OpenADMS Server
  • funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • managed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl Foppe
  • Open Automatic Deformation Monitoring System
  • geodetic and geotechnical control measurements in the Internet of Things
  • open interfaces for remote control and sensor data exchange
  • written in Python 3.6 (~ 4400 lines of code)
  • free and open-source (BSD-2-Clause)


  • platform-independent
  • JSON + MQTT for M2M communication
  • NoSQL document stores for persistance
  • modularised design
  • runs on embedded and single-board computers
  • additional sensors without programming

Single-Board Computers

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi 2
Single-Page Application OpenADMS UI for sensor node configuration and remote control

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)

  • simple data exchange format
  • persistance with document-oriented NoSQL databases
  • used for observation data and sensor configuration
  • validation with JSON Schema

JSON Observation Data

    "type": "observation",
    "name": "getValues",
    "description": "gets sensor values (temperature, pressure)",
    "id": "21bcf8c16a664b17bbc9cd4221fd8541",
    "node" "6426bf58c20840768912f116740c4974",
    "project" "4a2e8b9d87d849e38bb6911b9f2364ea",
    "target": "tp1",
    "enabled": true,
    "onetime": false,
    "receivers": ["com1", "preProcessor", "distanceCorrector", "fileExporter"],
    "nextReceiver": 4,
    "requestsOrder": ["getTemperature", "getPressure"],
    "requestSets": { … },
    "responseSets": { … },
    "sleepTime": 20.0
Observation data in Apache CouchDB


  • message-oriented middleware
  • lightweight publish/subscribe messaging protocol
  • clients subscribe and publish to topics on server
  • low overhead
  • libraries for many programming languages
  • several open-source server implementations



Bridge Monitoring Project

  • 24/7 deformation monitoring with OpenADMS since 2016
  • two motorway bridges in Lower-Saxony
  • built in 1963/1964
  • sensors:
    • Leica TS16 robotic totalstation
    • Reinhardt DFT 485 weather station
    • Pt100 resistance temperature detectors
  • Raspberry Pi 2 single-board computer with FreeBSD
  • mobile data connection, OpenVPN
Local Control Server of OpenADMS Node


  • stable and reliable monitoring platform
  • low hardware costs
  • easy to deploy
  • visual configuration editor still missing
  • cloud computing is work in progress
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