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Conceptual System Design Assignment On Smart Bridge


Task:I required report which critically analyses the conceptual design phase of a systems engineering project. My project is " heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)".

The report is to analyse the following phases of the project:

  • Needs definition
  • Conceptual system design

To demonstrate your research skills and understanding, the report must draw upon relevant sources like journals, books or reputable trade publications in analysing the project. You must also present the case study in terms of the above two lifecycle phases and evaluate the proposed conceptual design against the identified needs / requirements.


Executive Summary
This conceptual system design assignment highlights the role of smart technologies towards development. Smart technologies are showing their prominence in every industry and the discussed report aimed at gaining an insight into the smart bridges. Smart bridges are the disruptive bridges that are aimed at mitigating the general threats of bridges such as the traffic, safety, cleaning, maintenance and other crucial aspects. The report has identified that yellow camera sensors, detectors, rainwater harvesting, movable bridges and other crucial disruptive techniques could prove to be vital in making a bridge smart. Moreover, the adequate focus has been cited on introducing green technologies as part of the smartness to have a sustainable future for the bridge. The conceptual system design assignment has also shared some recommendations post conclusion that would be viable for the smart bridge construction.

The conceptual system design assignment focuses on highlighting the role played by smart technologies towards modern development and growth. Smart is the newest trend that has established itself as the parameter of all the success on anything disruptive in nature. Smartphone, Smart cities, smart education and almost every other sector is attempting to integrate the word smart with them (Airaksinen et al. 2016). The conceptual system design assignment outlines the use of smart technologies in the engineering industries. Engineering construction industry that is offering smart buildings, smart tunnels, smart bridges and multiple others. The subject of the discussed paper is the smart bridge and will detail the basics and needs of the subject. Crucial factors that are relevant to the subject along with the discussion on the conceptual design of the smart bridge will also be considered as part of the discussion before summarizing the paper to conclude it. The recommendations based on the discussion will also be discussed post concluding on the paper.

Overview of Smart Bridge
The name smart bridge could be taken account to state that the bridges will incorporate disruptive technologies and will be automated in many ways. The bridge in the discussion is proposed to have multiple features that offer its smartness (Kaur, Saini and Singh 2016). One of the primary features that the bridge is aimed at having is that the bridges it holds should be movable in nature. The equipping of the movable bridge would enable the bridge to redirect traffic according to the traffic situation. It would assist them to mitigate the cost in developing multi-lane bridges and the automation of the bridge will also ensure that the depending on the traffic the bridge would move itself to connect with the most suitable lane (OBrian and Lipri 2016). Furthermore, smartness tools and technologies are also aimed at offering sustainability hence, the bridge would be equipped with a solar panel system that would be used to store solar energy and use it accordingly. The use of solar energy would also support the environment and the reusable energy system will save the cost of maintenance and other.

Another major feature that the mart bridges should be capable of offering is of safety features. Over speeding is one of the major reasons for the derivation of the safety concerns on bridge (Jim et al. 2015). Hence, installation of yellow box camera sensors would be a core part of the plan as it will detect the over speeding vehicles and will notify them of exceeding the speed limit on the spot. The warning will be given twice before taking necessary actions against the defaulter by means of road barriers or notifying the authorities (Wang et al. 2017). Additionally, the smart bridges will support the environment and as part of that, they will aim at reusing the water. Through water harvesting, the roads will preserve rainwater and will use it to clean it automatically. The above-discussed features are not limiting the smartness that could be induced in the bridges. However, the discussed on the conceptual system design assignment features are just the initial factors influencing the proposed bridge design. It will further enhance with new technologies and their introduction to the bridge.

Needs Identification
Problem Definition Road safety and traffic are one of the greatest concerns that bridge and road authorities are facing. Furthermore, the maintenance and management of the bridges are also very difficult because of the large lengths of the bridge. An idea on the length of bridges could be gained by the fact that world longest bridge at 14500 Km is in Australia. Furthermore, traffics at the multi-directional nodes of the bridge could also prove to be very critical and hence, making it critical to have a plan in place that could mitigate the threats faced by the bridges (Chen et al. 2016). One of the solutions to the above-discussed problem is to have a solution in place that is capable of dealing with the ordinary bridge problems itself. Hence, the solution to the problems is making the bridge smart and hence the report discusses at the smart bridge.

Mission Definition: Bridges are the lifeline for transportation of goods between cities and states and hence, the need for omitting the problems associated with it is crucial. Hence, the aim of the proposed project is to offer an insight into the solution of the bridge associated problems through smartness. The paper aims at making the bridges smart so that they could mitigate the threats that are posed to them. Furthermore, management and monitoring of the road conditions are also a crucial part of the discussed bridge. Hence, the mission of the discussed paper is to offer an insight into a smart bridge that will hold multiple capabilities to mitigate the threats and manage it.

Performance and Physical Parameters: Movable bridges for the smart bridge will be made of steel, however; depending upon the need for the bridge the type of the bridge will be decided. Bascule bridge that moves in a horizontal axis, vertical lifting bridge, Swing Bridge and several others will be deployed according to the needs of the bridge (Han and Benlin 2018). To control the traffic and avoid traffic light crossing, Swing Bridge would be most appropriate because it will turn on a vertical axis restricting the flow of traffic from one direction while allowing others to pass through. Other bridges could also be deployed depending upon the need. The installation of the solar panel will deem need for material that offers hardness, strength, transmittance, and durability (Singh et al. 2016). The discussed measure could be ensured by testing the solar panel glass with load tests, impact resistance test and traction test (Adest et al. 2017). Furthermore, the energy storage for the solar power collected should be adequate and disruptive in nature to prevent loss or leakage of the energy. The sensors that will be used to monitor the condition of the roads also need to be placed adequately to ensure it achieves the designated work.

Utilization Requirement:The table below cites the need and their parameters.

Sl no.





Movable bridge

Should be able to move in the shortest time frame and capable of carrying the load.

Should pass the load test, crack prevention tests and other tests.


Solar panels and energy storage

The lighting on the bridge should come from solar lights and should also be able to store energy to power cameras, sensors, and other needs.

The material used in solar panels should be environment resistance and pass load, impact and traction test. Furthermore, the energy storage batteries should be leak and load proof.


Yellow box speed detection camera

Should be able to detect over speeding vehicles and dropping notifications.

The cameras should be adequately integrated with the detectors embedded with the surface of the road and their frame capturing speed should also be high enough to capture the digital image of defaulters. Additionally, the processor of the camera should also be capable of transmitting information such as location, travel direction, speed, speed limit, date, time and other key needs.



The bridges should be capable of monitoring its condition and auto cleaning itself.

The roads should be installed with sensors to monitor its condition supported by automated cleaning system to support the cleaning of the road.

Environmental Factors
The proposed smart bridge is aimed at using renewable sources to attain its objects such as solar energy to power the lights and the sensors and rainwater harvesting to auto clean and other crucial needs. Further, the sensors attached to the surface of the bridges will monitor the vibration and dust produced by the roads which would be utilized to maintain a sustainable environment on and nearby of the bridge (Nagendra et al. 2016). Additionally, in high windy areas or bridges near the sea coasts could utilize other renewable energy forms such as wind and tidal energy to further support the operations and energy needs of the bridges. Hence, to attain the discussed measures the technical team should survey the proposed site and the renewable resources that they could avail from the surrounding. Further, conceptual system design assignment emphasizes on the importance of performing a feasibility test should be done to ensure that the bridges are capable of coming up with the needs of the surrounding.

Conceptual Design
Location of the bridge: The proposed bridge could be used at any location that is in their construction phases such as the West Gate corridor or Outback bridge and others. The selected bridges are in their development phase and could easily be made smart at the discussed moment. Furthermore, the Outback bridge is planned to pass from barren space and hence would be adequate to establish wind energy stations to support the system of the bridges (Visintin, Van Der Ree and McCarthy 2016). Furthermore, it could also act as a platform to test new smart measures that could be part of the bridge to further improve its capabilities. The green ocean road could also be considered as a source for the smart bridge because the friction generated by the vehicles on the road could be used to power small turbines that would utilize the tidal wave to generate energy to power the bridge needs and even to be used in other services if excessive power is developed (Choi et al. 2015). Hence, it would be adequate to state that the proposed bridge model could be integrated to any bridge but the most appropriate ones would be the ones in their development phase or established a place where renewable energy could be collected easily.

The functionality of the selected Option
The first step to developing a smart bridge would be to develop a plan to collect all the resources needed for the development. The requirements include the land, suitable methodology of construction depending upon the land type, sensor network and other crucial needs (Mustafa et al. 2017). The land acquisition is an easy task as the bridges are state-owned and could easily provide the development team with the land needed for the bridge construction. The next and most crucial step undertaken by the development team would survey the land to identify the construction methodology and how and which disruptive technologies could be integrated with the bridge to make it smart (Fuqiang et al. 2018). It should involve the surrounding, the weather to identify the amount of solar energy that could be collected to support the operation of the bridges. The next step would be to estimate the traffic and inflow of the vehicles from the road so that the team could develop the speed limit. The identification of the speed limit would assist the team to select the sensors, detectors, camera and other smart technologies. Furthermore, the speed limit would also assist in understanding whether or not the team will be able to develop enough energy to support mini turbines to collect energy from the nearby renewable energy sources such as the sea and windmills. (Kolosz and Grant-Muller 2015) Post completion of the survey the next step would be to develop a prototype or a network plan for the implementation of the sensors, detectors, and cameras. The sensor network and cameras are also dependent upon the length of the bridge. Hence, it would be adequate to install a sub-server at every 10 kilometers to connect the entire network. After the installation of the sub-servers, the construction could be initiated.

Functional Diagrams: The conceptual system design assignment diagrams attached below reflect the core functionality of the smart bridge and had been collected from the internet.

Smart Bridge Functional diagram

Figure 1: Functional diagram1

Smart Bridge Functional diagram2

Figure 2: Functional diagram2

Smart Bridge Functional diagram2

Figure 3: Functional diagram3

This conceptual system design assignment could summarize to state that smart bridges would be of great assistance to mitigate the threat that the bridges are associated with. Hence, the report has discussed an insight into the needs and offerings of the smart bridge along with the measures to make them feasible in nature. Hence, to conclude it would be stated that smart bridges are not just beneficial in terms of life and safety but also is effective for the environment and the needs of maintenance and monitoring.

Recommendation: The recommendations for the project team at smart bridges would be to survey and look for opportunities to integrate the smart technologies with the green methods to earn a viable and feasible bridge that while offering advancement could also support its maintenance. Furthermore, adequate location and selection of appropriate technology could assist the bridges to generate power that they could supply to the nearby cities to enhance the revenue collection which could be used for further development of the bridge. Hence, the conceptual system design assignment recommends brainstorming and creativity for the development of the smart bridges.

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Airaksinen, M., Pinto-Seppä, I., Vainio, T. and Huovila, A., 2016. CIB Smart City Road Map and Vision. In CIB World Building Congress 2016: Intelligent Built Environment for Life(pp. 66-77). The Tampere University of Technology.Caprani, C.C., OBrien, E.J., and Lipari, A., 2016. Long-span bridge traffic loading based on multi-lane traffic micro-simulation

Chen, X.B., Zhan, J.M., Chen, Q. and Cox, D., 2016. Numerical modeling of wave forces on movable bridge decks. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 21(9), p.04016055.

Choi, S.Y., Gu, B.W., Jeong, S.Y. and Rim, C.T., 2015. Advances in wireless power transfer systems for roadway-powered electric vehicles. IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics, 3(1), pp.18-36.

Fuqiang, Z., Bin, H., Jizhuang, H., Bin, Z., Jinlong, Z., Yongjian, L. and Gao, C., 2018, March. Smart management for steel-structure bridge industrialization construction. In Networking, Sensing and Control (ICNSC), 2018 IEEE 15th International Conference on (pp. 1-5). IEEE.

Han, J. and Berlin, X., 2018, May. Research on Swivel Construction Technology of 22,400 Tons in Zoucheng Thirty Meter Bridge. In IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science (Vol. 153, No. 5, p. 052008). IOP Publishing.

Jin, G.D., Kim, S.T., Lee, S.Y., Kim, C.G. and Park, J.H., 2015. A study on the operational results of SMART bridge test-bed. The Journal of The Korea Institute of Intelligent Transport Systems, 14(4), pp.27-39.

Kaur, A., Saini, S.S., Singh, L., Sharma, A., and Sidhu, E., 2016, October. Efficient Arduino UNO has driven smart bridge/bridge/tunnel lighting system employing Rochelle piezoelectric sensor. In Control, Computing, Communication, and Materials (ICCCCM), 2016 International Conference on(pp. 1-4). IEEE.

Kolosz, B. and Grant-Muller, S., 2015. Comparing smart scheme effects for congested bridges. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 60, pp.313-323.

Mustafa, A.M., Abubakr, O.M., Derbala, A.H., Ahmed, E. and Mokhtar, B., 2017. Towards a Smart Bridge Lighting System Based on Road Occupancy: Model Design and Simulation. In Applications for Future Internet (pp. 22-31). Springer, Cham.

Nagendra, S.S., Diya, M., Chithra, V.S., Menon, J.S. and Peter, A.E., 2016. Characteristics of air pollutants at near and far field regions of a national bridge located at an industrial complex. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 48, pp.1-13.

Singh, B., Jain, C., Goel, S., Chandra, A. and Al-Haddad, K., 2016. A multifunctional grid-tied solar energy conversion system with ANF-based control approach. IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, 52(5), pp.3663-3672.

Visintin, C., Van Der Ree, R. and McCarthy, M.A., 2016. A simple framework for a complex problem? Predicting wildlife-vehicle collisions. Ecology and evolution, 6(17), pp.6409-6421

Wong, S.F., Mak, H.C., Ku, C.H. and Ho, W.I., 2017, December. Developing advanced traffic violation detection system with RFID technology for the smart city. In Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM), 2017 IEEE International Conference on (pp. 334-338). IEEE.


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