Structural deformation monitoring

Deformation monitoring (also referred to as deformation survey) is the systematic measurement and tracking of the alteration in the shape or dimensions of an object as a result of stresses induced by applied loads. Deformation monitoring is a major component of logging measured values that may be used to for further computation, deformation analysis, predictive maintenance and alarming.

Measuring devices (or sensors) can be sorted in two main groups, geodetic and geotechnical sensors.

  • Geodetic measuring devices measure georeferenced (relative to established locations outside the monitoring area) displacements or movements in one, two or three dimensions. It includes the use of instruments such as total stations, levels, InSAR, and global navigation satellite system receivers.
  • Geotechnical measuring devices measure displacements or movements and related environmental effects or conditions without external georeferencing. It includes the use of instruments such as extensometers, piezometers, pressuremeters, rain gauges, thermometers, barometers, tilt meters, accelerometers, seismometers etc.

The aims of structural deformation monitoring are the following:

  • Estimation of the absolute and relative values of deformation
  • Their comparison with the estimated values
  • Detection of causes of deformation and estimation of degrees of hazard

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