xShake: Intelligent wireless system for cost-effective real-time seismic monitoring of civil infrastructure

Yuguang Fu, Tu Hoang, Kirill Mechitov, Jong R. Kim, Dichuan Zhang, Billie F. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Seismic structural health monitoring (SHM) of structures is critical not only to detect earthquakes to send early warning, but also to enable rapid structural condition assessment to ensure safety. Traditional monitoring systems using wired sensors are expensive. Wireless sensors offer tremendous opportunity to reduce costs, which remains elusive for seismic structural monitoring due to two main obstacles. First, there are constraints on power resources. Most wireless sensors are duty-cycled to preserve limited battery power; and hence, can miss an earthquake in power-saving sleep mode. Second, there is a lack of support for rapid post-event data collection and processing. Conventional data transmission after sensing can introduce significant delays, and real-time data acquisition that eliminates these delays has limited throughput. In this paper, an intelligent wireless monitoring system, xShake, is developed for cost-effective real-time seismic SHM. It consists of: 1) energy-efficient wireless sensor prototypes utilizing on-demand sensing technique, 2) live-streaming framework that supports high-throughput real-time data acquisition, and 3) a rapid condition assessment application, enabling real-time data visualization and processing for end users. The performance of the xShake is validated through lab tests, demonstrating that it can capture high-fidelity synchronized data under earthquakes and enable real-time structural condition assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-497
Number of pages15
JournalSmart Structures and Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Earthquake monitoring
  • Rapid condition assessment
  • Real-time systems
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Wireless smart sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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