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Bridge scour detection and monitoring apparatus using time domain reflectometry (TDR)
An apparatus for detecting and monitoring scouring of a bed of sediment bath a body of water uses time-domain reflectometry (TDR) to measure the level of sediment adjacent to underwater sensors. The apparatus includes an electrical pulse generator which produces and intermittently transmits a series of electrical pulses along a permanent transmission line arranged adjacent to the area of concern, a timer to measure the travel time of the pulses within the transmission lines, a transmitter for transmitting a radio signal corresponding to the travel times of the pulses, a receiver for receiving the signal, and a signal analyzer which interprets the signal to determine a measurement of scouring. Knowledge of the position of the interfaces before and after a scouring event and the dielectric constants of the surrounding media allows the user to detect and monitor the level of erosion caused by scouring.