US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Louis District

Contact Information

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Louis District

Automated Performance Monitoring of Dams
1222 Spruce St.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Phone: 314-331-8411
Fax: 314-331-8244

Automated Performance Monitoring of Dams

Poised to help keep dams safe with state of the art solutions

This center of expertise is not limited to automation of dam instrumentation.

Services are available to address all performance monitoring needs for public as well as private structures.

EC 5-1-49
15 APRIL 95
Appendix B

Automated Performance Monitoring of Dams (APMD)

HQUSACE PROPONENT: Travis Tutka

ASSIGNED COMMAND: CEMVS

The TCX for APMD is established to provide technical support for Automated Data Acquisition Systems (ADAS) for the performance monitoring of dams and appurtenant structures. The center will maintain state-of-the-art expertise, provide advisory assistance and design services for the planning, design, layout, integration with other systems, transmission and management of data, procurement, training, and maintenance of ADAS for new and existing projects.

These services are available to all Corps of Engineer organizations.

The center will coordinate with other agencies, professional societies, consultants and private dam owners and disseminate technical information.
INSTRUMENT AUTOMATION POLICY
The following documents have been developed/revised to address the automation of instrumentation concept in the Corps of Engineers.


ETL 1110-2-306
"AUTOMATED DATA ACQUISITION - GEOTECHNICAL INSTRUMENTATION"
Developed 29 May 1987
General requirements for automated systems (manual reading capability, lightning protection, backup communications and power supplies, etc.). System configurations and component selection.


EM 1110-2-2300
"EARTH AND ROCKFILL DAMS - GENERAL DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION CONSIDERATIONS",
Revised 15 January 1989, Revised to incorporate ETL 1110-2-306 as Appendix D.


ETL 1110-2-316
"DATABASE FOR AUTOMATED GEOTECHNICAL INSTRUMENTATION"
Developed 15 November 1988; To be revised in FY 96
A summary of automation experience of public and private dam owners. Includes components, manufacturers, consultants used, dam features monitored, points of contact.


EC 1110-2-277
"CORPS-WIDE PLAN FOR AUTOMATION OF PERFORMANCE MONITORING INSTRUMENTATION OF DAMS"
15 December 1993
A systematic approach to planning and prioritizing desired automated systems to obtain budgeted Operations and Maintenance funds.


EM 1110-2-1908
"INSTRUMENTATION OF EMBANKMENT DAMS AND LEVEES"
30 June 95
Up to date guidance relating the engineering approach to overall instrumentation programs and monitoring concepts; addresses current challenges of dam monitoring such as aging structures, data management, behavior analysis, automation.


EC 5-1-49
"CORPS-WIDE CENTERS OF EXPERTISE", 15 April 95
APPENDIX B, "AUTOMATED PERFORMANCE MONITORING OF DAMS"
State-of-the-art expertise to assist Corps elements.

One or more of the following may characterize your need for C-APMD:

You have an opportunity to install instrumentation (new construction, remedial modifications, investigations, instrument replacement, system upgrade, etc.) and you don't have the expertise.

You don't have time to embark upon a new technology.

You have familiarity with automation of instrumentation but would like a second opinion before committing to the project.

You don't want to spend precious resources reinventing the wheel or making the same mistakes that others might have made.

You are concerned that it is not in compliance with regulations, directives, guidance, or industry standards.

You don't feel comfortable with contracting the instrumentation because:
You are not sure of the most appropriate method for contracting given the resource and time constraints.

You are not sure of the competence of the firm.

You don't want to be "sold a bill of goods."

You don't know how to write a specification for this technology.

You don't know how to evaluate a proposal for equipment and installation, while assuring system reliability and government protection.

You are not familiar with managing a contract that involves acceptance testing and progress payments versus demonstrated performance.



CONDITIONS THAT WARRANT AUTOMATION OF INSTRUMENTATION

TECHNICAL FACTORS
The dam has the classification of high or significant hazard potential.

Past performance has indicated the need for high frequency of monitoring for assessment under changing loading conditions.

Timely response to unusual developments is adversely affected by remoteness of geographic location and inaccessibility.

Studies or investigation have identified specific problems (such as seepage, uplift, movement, instability) or such potential.

The loading on the structure or foundation differs from that of the original design.

Complexity of design and/or complexity of construction requires that design considerations be verified.

Remedial measures have been required or are under consideration.

Existing instruments used for critical measurements have met their useful life, failed to perform satisfactorily, or have degraded with time and require replacement .

Other technical situations may also warrant an automated system.

MANAGEMENT FACTORS

Prudent planning to assure that the mission of performance monitoring will continue to be accomplished.
Professional liability associated with the dam owner's (Corps of Engineers) responsibility to use the technology available to adequately assess the condition and performance of the structure.
Loss of manpower/expertise in areas of field monitoring, instrument design, data management, or performance assessment.
Availability of funding associated with new efforts such as investigations, remedial modifications, new construction, etc.
Anticipated future budget reductions.

THE CENTER APMD NEEDS YOU

Allow the Corps to benefit from your experience.

Contribute to the technological exchange.

Send your lessons learned.

Present papers at the workshops and seminars.

Keep the experience database updated with your new projects.

Offer suggestions that further the concept of providing information and technical assistance that the center is established to provide.

Participate in studies, reviews, guidance development and other Corps-wide applications that can utilize your expertise.

Apprise the center of Corps instrumentation challenges; needs that may require new applications of automation.

Our intent is to stay abreast of the progress and potential of the instrumentation industry to provide smart and reliable solutions to dam owners performance monitoring needs.


Project-specific assistance provided by the center
INSTRUMENTATION, DATA ACQUISITION, DATA MANAGEMENT, PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS, DOCUMENTATION, REPORTING

The following services will be performed in CEMVS / Other Districts / ERDC / or contracted to an AE. The mechanism will depend upon expertise required, workload, and schedule requirements required.

ADVISORY ASSISTANCE FOR

• Management of resources: programming, phasing and scheduling time, funds, expertise to obtain a functional product
• Determining the extent of automation
• Approach to data analysis
• Methods of procurement


TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

• System planning; configuration, compatibility
• System design/specifications
• Review designs/specifications by others
• Assess new or existing instrumentation for proper functionality, location, automatibility
• System installation and integration
• Data management: software integration, database development/conversion, training
• Maintenance: troubleshooting, recalibration, repair, replacement



Procedure for Obtaining Center Services

Contact: 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-St. Louis District
ATTN: Automated Performance Monitoring of Dams
1222 Spruce St.
St. Louis, MO 63103
Phone: 314-331-8411
Fax: 314-331-8244

• Identify the need and desired result.
• Identify resource and time availability and constraints.
• The center develops alternatives and recommendations for: the technical approach and the management approach to coincide with the constraints.
• The customer and the center agree on best course of action and determines the most effective method of accomplishing the task.
• Time and cost of the center involvement is estimated and a review process is established.
• Customer sends MIPR with satisfactory completion date and scope of work based on above discussions.
• The center schedules and accomplishes work.



Current Efforts for Corps-wide application

TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFER
An ongoing task. The sharing of dam monitoring information with the Corps of Engineer districts and industry elements. To be accomplished in a variety of ways, including but not limited to: conducting workshops, participation in conferences, presentations at seminars, project visits, remote communications, and publishing.

WINIDP
The conversion of the Corps of Engineer developed data management software Instrumentation Database Package (IDP) to Windows environment. WINIDP enables users to customize all aspects of data processing for individual dam monitoring systems to assist in analyzing dam performance. Version 1.0 was in 1996. Workshops were conducted in 1997. Version 5.0 d4 is now available.

COMMUNICATIONS STUDY
This study will compile the performance characteristics of all types of communications media and suggest appropriate applications for various primary and secondary data transmission
Automated Performance Monitoring of Dams
This space will relate case specific examples of actual benefits achieved from automated systems as well as problems encountered and the improvements made. These lessons will be a maximum of 150 words and will include a point of contact for details.

Send the lessons you learned to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Louis District

Automated Performance Monitoring of Dams
1222 Spruce St.
St. Louis, MO 63103

This is not limited to Corps of Engineers participation.



Lessons Learned Reports
Lightning Protection

Lightning has proven to be the most common problem with the most devastating affects to Automated Data Acquisition Systems. With every occurrence, more is learned about the cause and the correction. The following describes what has been experienced to date.

An actual lightning strike is not required to render systems inoperable. Only a significant ambient voltage difference is necessary.

The most effective corrections that have been recommended are in the area of the design approach rather than the sophistication of devices.

- All equipment should be battery powered to isolate it from characteristics associated with alternating current. Batteries can then be recharged with AC or solar. Batteries should be fuse protected.

- AC input should be fuse protected and surge suppressed for transients.

- All ancillary electrical devices should be surge protected, including radio transmitter outputs, telephone lines, solar input lines.

- Earth grounds should be tested to assure less than 35 ohms resistance rather than relying on the standard specifications to be effective.

- Earth ground rods should be installed at all junction boxes, cable splices, and daylight points for cable runs.

- Reduce the potential for ground loops by using only one ground point per circuit.

- Minimize cable runs, even if protected as recommended. Cable also causes other concerns including moisture, vandalism, installation costs, etc. Radios are very reliable. Manual downloading could even be preferred in order to retain reliable system operation.

- Surge suppressors should be able to withstand up to 5,000 amps.

Automation Upgrades