Unstable slope monitoring with a wireless shape-acceleration array system

V. Bennett, T. Abdoun, L. Danisch, T. Shantz, D. Jang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The evaluation, health monitoring and response prediction of soil and soil-structure systems during construction and due to extreme hazard conditions are on the verge of a significant paradigm shift. New and less expensive sensing technologies have enabled the development of innovative instrumentation and advanced interactive modeling tools. These tools, combined with recent advances in information technology including wireless sensor networking, data mining, visualization and system identification, promise significant improvements in real time monitoring during construction, sensor-assisted design and early warning of impending failure. This paper presents the newly developed Wireless Shape-Acceleration Array (WSAA) sensor that measures multi-dimensional acceleration and deformation profiles and constitutes a major step toward autonomous monitoring technology for soil and soil-structure systems. The WSAA sensor employs micromachined electromechanical sensors (MEMS), which have enabled gravity-based shape calculation along a sensorized substrate. WSAA uses MEMS accelerometers in a pre-calibrated, geometrically constrained array to provide long-term stability. This sensor array is capable of measuring 2D soil acceleration and 3D permanent ground deformations to a depth of one hundred meters. Each sensor array is connected to a wireless earth station to enable real time monitoring of a wide range of soil and soil-structure systems as well as remote sensor configuration. This paper presents the evolving design of this new sensor array as well a description of and preliminary data from an instrumented unstable slope in California.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFMGM 2007 - Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Field Measurments in Geomechanics
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 2007
Event7th International Symposium on Field Measurements in Geomechanics, FMGM 2007 - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Sep 24 2007Sep 27 2007

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


Other7th International Symposium on Field Measurements in Geomechanics, FMGM 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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