US Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research and Development Center

SMART Gate

Published Nov. 20, 2012
SMART Gate instrumentation installed on hydraulic steel structures sends data and parameters from lockage events to the SMART Gate Virtual Inspection Portal for structural health monitoring and analysis.

SMART Gate instrumentation installed on hydraulic steel structures sends data and parameters from lockage events to the SMART Gate Virtual Inspection Portal for structural health monitoring and analysis.

For Monitoring and Analysis of Structural Performance of Lock Gates

Excessive damage and occasional failure of miter gates at Corps of Engineers locks severely impact safe waterway navigation. Developed by the ERDC Information Technology Laboratory (ITL), Structural Monitoring and Analysis in Real Time of Lock Gates (SMART Gate) is an automatic structural health monitoring (SHM) reporting tool for ensuring the operational safety and effective maintenance of lock gates. 

Install on Virtually Any Hydraulic Steel Structure

SMART Gate instrumentation can be installed on virtually any hydraulic steel structure (HSS) where intensive monitoring is needed. An array of strain gages, tilt-meters, and other sensors strategically mounted on the structure are interfaced to dataloggers, and data is seamlessly transmitted from the structure to a Microsoft SQL Server database via the USACE CorpsNet. 

Access and Analyze Data in the SMART Gate Portal

Automated structural and trend analysis software processes lock data and mine the critical parameters from each lockage event, providing insights in vital load resistance parameters. While traditional monitoring approaches collect massive amounts of data without adequate analytical function and effective user interface, both raw and processed data can be accessed in a variety of user-selected graphical and statistical formats and analyzed through the SMART Gate Portal. Access to the portal is currently limited to USACE personnel only. 

Receive Alerts of Deteriorating Performance

SMART Gate gives structural engineers advanced warning of deteriorating gate performance before serious damage or failure occurs.  Alarms in the form of email alerts are automatically sent to selected users when gate loads exceed predetermined maximum load levels. 

Success Story

The Dalles Lock and Dam, Portland District

The Dalles Navigation Lock, located on the Columbia River two miles east of The Dalles, Oregon, is  a high lift lock with an arched miter gate located downstream and a Tainter gate located upstream, both of which have been in service for over 50 years.  Inspection of the miter gate in 2007 revealed extensive cracking in the bottom girder and that the miter and quoin blocks were not making contact. Load was being transferred to the pintle area, and the gates were not designed for that loading condition. SMART Gate was implemented in 2007 to monitor the deteriorating conditions until extensive repairs could be made, to calibrate and validate boundary conditions for finite element modeling (FEM), and to provide insight into structural forces causing the damage. In September of 2009, engineers noticed large shifts in the data that prompted them to further investigate by sending in a dive team and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). An emergency shutdown of the lock was implemented, and repairs were made preventing catastrophic failure of the miter gates. Smart Gate is now being installed on many new lock gates across the USACE.

 

ERDC Points of Contact

Questions about SMART Gate?
Contact: Bruce Barker
Email: Bruce.C.Barker@usace.army.mil
Phone: 601-634-2536