France Uses Microsensors To Keep Road Infrastructure Secure

French company SilMach has been chosen by the SIRCAPASS project (Surveillance of Road Infrastructures by Passive Sensors) to provide ultra-cheap microsensors to monitor and ensure the structural health of bridges across France. 

SIRCAPASS is part of France 2030 – a strategic €34 billion investment by the French government with the aim of kickstarting economic growth in the country. The €1.7 million project will monitor road infrastructures through passive sensors, specifically targeting impact detection, fatigue monitoring, exceptional overload, and crack identification.

“France 2030 marks a crucial step in SilMach’s development,” said Co-CEO Pierre-François Louvigné. “We are proud to lead this public-private consortium with key actors capable of providing a technological solution for the safety of the French and our economy.”

By using hybrid MEMS micromechanical sensor technology, SilMach‘s microsensors – called ChronoMEMS® – can record critical structural events without a power source, potentially identifying any hazards that might compromise a bridge’s structural integrity, with the end goal of ensuring public safety. These energy-free microsensors operate effectively even in harsh environments, including underwater and in space. The sensor employs a communication module linked to an information system to relay critical data and provide a mechanical memory ensuring access to raw data in a directly usable form. Prior to the use of the ChronoMEMS® solution, this structural monitoring was conducted manually.

Fellow Co-CEO Jean-Baptiste Carnet stated, “Everyone knows the human and economic cost of a bridge collapse. Our innovations are here to provide a new response to a major societal challenge.”