Event-based Ground Motion Monitoring with Acceleration Sensors
With version 6.5 of the Trimble® 4D Control™ (T4D) software users can now integrate acceleration sensors from Syscom Instruments with their monitoring projects. Two acceleration sensor types are supported, the MR3003DMS for dams, and the MR3003SB for structures and buildings.
This release introduces capabilities that empower monitoring experts to seamlessly integrate ground motion sensors with geospatial and geotechnical data. This innovative fusion of data sources equips professionals with enhanced insights for making well-informed decisions on construction, mining and infrastructure projects.
Released on November 6, 2023, Trimble 4D Control (T4D) version 6.5 is now available. Visit the T4D webpage to learn more, read our release notes and download here. Learn more about Syscom Instruments sensors here.
Strong ground motions created by earthquakes and volcanic activity can cause significant damage to surrounding structures, buildings and critical infrastructure, such as dams, hospitals, and bridges, which can threaten the structural integrity.
The addition of Syscom acceleration sensors support in T4D version 6.5 allows for the monitoring of such activity, combining geospatial and geotechnical data to make better informed decisions. Equipped with Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) accelerometers, these sensors continuously measure strong motion to help perform seismic monitoring and aid in structural health monitoring.
MR3003SB seismic monitoring system
Acceleration Background & Event Based Data
The Syscom acceleration sensor captures background data at regular intervals, usually set to every 60 seconds. If the sensor detects significant motion, it initiates an event which is then documented throughout the entire duration and promptly transmitted to T4D. These acceleration events provide a comprehensive record of acceleration data across all three axes, including the peak acceleration achieved during the event.
Acceleration event waveform
Dams are essential structures providing water and electricity to communities but they come with their associated risks. A dam failure can have a catastrophic impact on downstream communities which is why they must be properly monitored for structural integrity. Additionally, mining tailings dams contain toxic materials that would pose a great threat if a failure were to occur. The integration of MR3003DMS with T4D now enables seismic dam monitoring, in addition to existing geospatial and geotechnical dam monitoring capabilities. In a typical installation several accelerometer sensors are placed in critical positions along the dam, including the maximum deflection points, abutments, free-field and in-structures. This allows informed and data-driven decisions regarding the structural integrity of the dam to help prevent failures.
MR3003DMS on a dam pillar
Structures & Buildings
The MR3000SB is designed to be installed as a permanent seismic monitoring system which continuously monitors the ground activity near structures or buildings. Critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and bridges, must be closely monitored for external hazards. Additionally, historical buildings form an integral part of a community’s heritage and may have delicate integrity. The integrity of these buildings can be maintained through the strong motion monitoring that the Syscom sensors provide and by taking appropriate action.
MR3003SB on bridge parapet
Enhanced Data Integration for Advanced Analysis
One of the benefits of T4D is the seamless data integration of different sensor types. This update leverages existing sensor data integration capabilities in T4D which allows comprehensive analyses to be made with acceleration combined with geospatial and geotechnical data. This enables users to consolidate sensor information in one platform, which streamlines workflows and ease of use while increasing productivity. Integrating acceleration data with other relevant datasets provides a complete overview of a structure’s integrity and better informs monitoring professionals to aid decision making.
Example of a T4D analysis with background acceleration and coordinates
Alarm Capabilities for Informed Response Actions
Alarms are an important aspect of the T4D software. Acceleration data can be combined with geodetic data to create alarms where the alarm is only triggered when all thresholds are met. Combined alarms will reduce the amount of alarm misfires while remaining compliant with local or internal regulations. Additionally, alarms can be configured so that events must be acknowledged by a chain of users. If an alarm is not acknowledged within a timeframe the alarm is then escalated to a second or third set of recipients. Finally, a no data alarm can be enabled that triggers if T4D has not received background data for a specified time period.
Example of an enabled alarm definition for acceleration data