Sensor Attitude Correction of Wireless Sensor Network for Acceleration-Based Monitoring of Civil Structures

Soojin Cho, B F Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wireless sensors are now becoming practical alternatives to traditional wired sensors in monitoring civil structures. Though many have been reported on acceleration-based monitoring of civil structures using wireless sensor networks, sensor attitude that may be different from instrumentation plan has been a seemingly overlooked issue behind performance validation of the network. In this article, a technique to correct the sensor attitude is proposed for the wireless sensor network that measures 3D acceleration of civil structures. Six simple formulas to assess the well-known 3D Euler angles (i.e., roll, pitch, and yaw) are derived using the gravity extracted from measured 3D acceleration and nonchanging direction of sensors on a stationary structure. The proposed technique is validated at a large-scale wireless sensor network with 22 sensors in the respective attitudes on a truss bridge. First, attitudes assessed by the proposed method are compared with instrumentation plan. Then, mode shapes obtained before and after the correction are compared with those from finite element model. Comparison shows that quality of the mode shapes improves significantly by small amount of attitude correction less than 7°.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-871
Number of pages13
JournalComputer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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