New Dam Technology
An MU engineering professor hopes to accomplish alot with wire, plastic, and a couple circuit boards
Civil and environmental engineering professor Vellore Gopalaratnam wants to shore up America's dams.
His work hinges on his gadget.
"These are curved gates on the dam, that is operated through a series of structural members that are hinged at one location. So it's almost like an elbow lifting up," said Gopalaratnam.
As a result of poor maintenance or routine wear and tear the gate hinges don't always do what they're supposed to.
That's where the sensor comes into play. It detects a problem and then sends the information back to a monitoring computer so it can be fixed.
"It is a fairly expensive job to actually go back and repair, but this will tell them whether there is going to be a potential failure so that they can take corrective action."
The system is scheduled for testing next spring at Carlyle Lake dam in Illinois. If all goes well, the sensor will be used around the country, and ten dams here in Missouri.
Reported by Whitney Seiter