Development of software architecture to investigate bridge security
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After September 11, 2001, government officials and the engineering community have devoted significant time and resources to protect the country from such attacks again. Because highway infrastructure plays such a critical role in the public’s daily life, research has been conducted to determine the resiliency of various bridge components subjected to blast loads. While more tests are needed, it is now time to transfer the research into tools to be used by the design community. The development of Anti-Terrorism Planner for Bridges (ATP-Bridge), a program intended to be used by bridge engineers and planners to investigate blast loads against bridges, is explained in this thesis. The overall project goal was to build a program that can incorporate multiple bridge components while still maintaining a simple, user-friendly interface. This goal was achieved by balancing three core areas: constraining the graphical user interface (GUI) to similar themes across the program, allowing flexibility in the creation of the numerical models, and designing the data structures using object-oriented programming concepts to connect the GUI with the numerical models. An example of a solver (prestressed girder with advanced SDOF analysis model) is also presented to illustrate a fast-running algorithm. The SDOF model incorporates the development of a moment-curvature response curve created by a layer-by-layer analysis, a non-linear static analysis accounting for both geometric non-linearity as well as material non-linearity, and a Newmark-beta-based SDOF analysis. The results of the model return the dynamic response history and the amount of damage. ATP-Bridge is the first software developed that incorporates multiple bridge components into one user-friendly engineering tool for protecting bridge structures against terrorist threats. The software is intended to serve as a synthesis of state-of-the-art knowledge, with future updates made to the program as more research becomes available. In contrast to physical testing and high-fidelity finite element simulations, ATP-Bridge uses less time-consuming, more cost effective numerical models to generate dynamic response data and damage estimates. With this tool, engineers and planners will be able to safeguard the nation’s bridge inventory and, in turn, reinforce the public’s trust.