New sensor could shake up earthquake response efforts

ScienceDaily | 7/11/2019 | Staff
katz1234 (Posted by) Level 3
The technology -- which autonomously captures and transmits data depicting the relative displacement between two adjacent stories of a shaking building -- is able to provide reliable information about building damage immediately following an earthquake, and could expedite efforts to safely assess, repair, and reoccupy buildings post-quake.

Scientists and engineers at Berkeley Lab, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the University of Nevada-Reno began working to design an optical method of measuring interstory drift within buildings in 2015. After four years of extensive peer-reviewed research and simulative testing at the University of Nevada's Earthquake Engineering Laboratory, the Discrete Diode Position Sensor (DDPS) will be deployed for the first time this summer in a multi-story building at Berkeley Lab -- which sits adjacent to the Hayward Fault, considered one of the most dangerous faults in the United States.

Way - Drift - Stories - Parameter - Earthquake

"Until now, there's been no way to accurately and directly measure drift between building stories, which is a key parameter for assessing earthquake demand in a building," said David McCallen, a senior scientist in the Energy Geosciences Division at Berkeley Lab and faculty member at the University of Nevada, who leads the research collaboration.

The debut of DDPS comes as governments at every level make post-earthquake building inspection and reoccupation a central focus of response planning, and as the highly anticipated next generation of remote connectivity -- 5G -- becomes reality for rapid data transmission. "We are excited that this sensor technology is now ready for field trials, at a time when post-earthquake response strategies have evolved to prioritize safe, continued building functionality and re-occupancy in addition to 'life safety,'" McCallen said.

Drift - Factor - Buildings - Damage - Time

Measuring building interstory drift has been a factor in assessing buildings for post-earthquake damage for some time, yet finding a reliable method to do so has been fraught with challenges. Traditionally, engineers mounted strong motion earthquake...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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