Cameras, GPS used to combat bridge failures

There are a lot of bridges and roads, and computers may be the only way to watch them

A key to preventing tragedies like the Minnesota bridge collapse earlier this week is surveillance, according to Aging Infrastructures.

The small company, a division of Sensible Security, sets up cameras and monitoring systems like GPS to gauge the health of things like bridges, road and other structures. It could become a growing market.

Fiber Optic Systems Technology already markets sensors that can monitor the progress of corrosion and strain in structures and allow engineers to calculate the future point of failure. The systems are far more sophisticated than what Aging Infrastructures offers, but the systems also cost thousands of dollars. The main customers are oil companies. Government transportation agencies have had trouble with budgets.

A camera is better than nothing. Aging, by the way, got started a few months ago and wasn't formed to capitalize on the disaster.

About the author

    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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