MEMS-based sensors for post-earthquake damage assessment

M. Pozzi, D. Zonta, D. Trapani, N. Athanasopoulos, A. J. Amditis, M. Bimpas, A. Garetsos, Y. E. Stratakos, D. Ulieru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (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 and will transmit data using a wireless interface. During the first phase of the project completed so far, sensor prototypes were produced by assembling preexisting components. This paper outlines the device operating principles, production scheme and operation 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, 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 performance of the sensors developed for the project and their applicability to long-term seismic monitoring are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012100
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2011


  • seismic damage
  • earthquake damage
  • earthquake assessment


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