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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 25, Number 1, January 2020 , pages 111-122

Combining GPS and accelerometers' records to capture torsional response of cylindrical tower
Raed J. AlSaleh and Clemente Fuggini

    Researchers up to date have introduced several Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) techniques with varying advantages and drawbacks for each. Satellite positioning systems (GPS, GLONASS and GALILEO) based techniques proved to be promising, especially for high natural period structures. Particularly, the GPS has proved sufficient performance and reasonable accuracy in tracking real time dynamic displacements of flexible structures independent of atmospheric conditions, temperature variations and visibility of the monitored object. Tall structures are particularly sensitive to oscillations produced by different sources of dynamic actions; such as typhoons. Wind forces induce in the structure both longitudinal and perpendicular displacements with respect to the wind direction, resulting in torsional effects, which are usually more complex to be detected. To efficiently track the horizontal rotations of the in-plane sections of such flexible structures, two main issues have to be considered: a suitable sensor topology (i.e., location, installation, and combination of sensors), and the methodology used to process the data recorded by sensors. This paper reports the contributions of the measurements recorded from dual frequency GPS receivers and uni-axial accelerometers in a full-scale experimental campaign. The Canton tower in Guangzhou-China is the case study of this research, which is instrumented with a long-term structural health monitoring system deploying both accelerometers and GPS receivers. The elaboration of combining the obtained rather long records provided by these two types of sensors in detecting the torsional behavior of the tower under ambient vibration condition and during strong wind events is discussed in this paper. Results confirmed the reliability of GPS receivers in obtaining the dynamic characteristics of the system, and its ability to capture the torsional response of the tower when used alone or when they are combined with accelerometers integrated data.
Key Words
    structural health monitoring; torsional response; typhoons; GPS; accelerometers; long period structure
(1) Raed J. AlSaleh:
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering – German Jordanian University, Jordan;
(2) Clemente Fuggini:
Research and Innovation – RINA, Italy.

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