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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Developments on the CENS Structural Health Monitoring Front


CENS research related to developing and implementing structural health monitoring (SHM) systems is advancing on two distinct but related fronts: ShakeNet, a portable wireless sensor network for rapid, post-event deployments and SHMnet, a novel SHM system for permanent monitoring of tall buildings and special structures in Los Angeles. The primary objective of the SHMnet research is the development of a robust SHM system along with the associated hardware and software, using tall and special structures (e.g., bridges, port structures, dams) in Los Angeles as a testbed. More specifically, the development of a wireless Data Acquisition (DAQ) toolbox suitable for rapid urban deployments, a suite of state-of-the-art sensors for monitoring key structural responses including innovative methods for directly measuring interstory displacements, and probabilistic post-event assessment algorithms based on experimental motion-damage relationships. Progress on these fronts is highlighted. One rather unique aspect of this research stems from partnerships with strong-motion instrumentation programs (SMIPs) such as CSMIP, ANSS, and the LA-DBS. The proposed SHMnet leverages both building access and instrumentation requirements already facilitated by one or more SMIPs. However, a critical look at structural instrumentation guidelines of various SMIP agencies exposed a lack of uniformity of experience-based specifications. To this end, we sought to establish a quantitative basis for key structural instrumentation specifications, namely sample rate, resolution, and time synchronization. This was accomplished by analyzing signal errors associated with data acquisition processes and engineering sensitivity analyses of several intensity measures and engineering demand parameters. Results from these studies will be useful in updating current structural instrumentation specifications of major SMIPs as well as provide specifications for SHMnet tools. ShakeNet is a portable wireless sensor network for instrumenting large civil structures such as buildings and bridges. The focus of ShakeNet design is to take advantage of wireless technology for deployments in structural environments where power or communications infrastructure is nonexistent or unavailable. It is designed to collect structural vibration measurements for up to a week from each node within the network by deployment in large structures within hours after an earthquake. It will consist of 25 sensor nodes and 5 to 10 master-tier nodes (Stargates or other embedded computers) that provide increased communications capacity. The ShakeNet software subsystem is built upon Tenet; programmable wireless sensing software designed for multi-tier sensor networks. ShakeNet will be deployed and tested on several structures that represent a range of structure types, environments, ages, and degrees of retrofit. They include the Seven Oaks Dam in Redlands, CA, the Santa Ana River Bridge in Riverside, CA, 1100 Wilshire Blvd. in downtown Los Angeles, CA, and the Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital in Long Beach, CA.

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