Laboratory validation of MEMS-based sensors for post-earthquake damage assessment image

Matteo Pozzi, Daniele Zonta, Juan Santana, Mikael Colin, Nicolas Saillen, Tom Torfs, Angelos Amditis, Matthaios Bimpas, Yorgos Stratakos, Dumitru Ulieru, Dimitirs Bairaktaris, Stamatia Frondistou-Yannas, Vasilis Kalidromitis

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


The evaluation of seismic damage is today almost exclusively based on visual inspection, as building owners are generally reluctant to install permanent sensing systems, due to their high installation, management and maintenance costs. To overcome this limitation, the EU-funded MEMSCON project aims to produce small size sensing nodes for measurement of strain and acceleration, integrating Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) based sensors and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags in a single package that will be attached to reinforced concrete buildings. To reduce the impact of installation and management, data will be transmitted to a remote base station using a wireless interface. During the project, sensor prototypes were produced by assembling pre-existing components and by developing ex-novo miniature devices with ultra-low power consumption and sensing performance beyond that offered by sensors available on the market. The paper outlines the device operating principles, production scheme and working at both unit and network levels. It also reports on validation campaigns conducted in the laboratory to assess system performance. Accelerometer sensors were tested on a reduced scale metal frame mounted on a shaking table, back to back with reference devices, while strain sensors were embedded in both reduced and full-scale reinforced concrete specimens undergoing increasing deformation cycles up to extensive damage and collapse. The paper assesses the economical sustainability and performance of the sensors developed for the project and discusses their applicability to long-term seismic monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2011
EventSensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2011 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 7 Mar 201110 Mar 2011


ConferenceSensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • accelerometers
  • damage assessment
  • long-term monitoring
  • MEMS
  • strain gauges
  • wireless sensors
  • microelectromechanical systems
  • sensing systems


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