In this paper, it is suggested that there are now available, or can be made available, measurement devices, data collection, transmission and processing methods, together with the means of effectively presenting processed data, which will allow near real-time assessment of structural behaviour; known as ‘condition monitoring’. By using this approach, the present problems of analysing and predicting the performance of structural systems can be largely overcome and the management and operation of structures can be much more effectively achieved. Already in some branches of science and technology condition monitoring is widely employed. Experience gained in these other areas shows that, in order to move from occasional to continuous, real-time, long-term monitoring, it will be necessary to develop the concept of designing integrated monitoring systems which involve multilevel monitoring using instrumentation linked to fully automated and integrated data recording systems.
Professor A. McGowan, Professor H.D. Wright and Professor J. James