An integrated GPS-accelerometer data processing technique for structural deformation monitoring

W. S. Chan, You Lin Xu, Xiaoli Ding, W. J. Dai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Global Positioning System (GPS) is being actively applied to measure static and dynamic displacement responses of large civil engineering structures under winds. However, multipath effects and low sampling frequencies affect the accuracy of GPS for displacement measurement. On the other hand, accelerometers cannot reliably measure static and low-frequency structural responses, but can accurately measure high-frequency structural responses. Therefore, this paper explores the possibility of integrating GPS-measured signals with accelerometer-measured signals to enhance the measurement accuracy of total (static plus dynamic) displacement response of a structure. Integrated data processing techniques using both empirical mode decomposition (EMD) and an adaptive filter are presented. A series of motion simulation table tests are then performed at a site using three GPS receivers, one accelerometer, and one motion simulation table that can simulate various types of motion defined by input wave time histories around a pre-defined static position. The proposed data processing techniques are applied to the recorded GPS and accelerometer data to find both static and dynamic displacements. These results are compared with the actual displacement motions generated by the motion simulation table. The comparative results demonstrate that the proposed technique can significantly enhance the measurement accuracy of the total displacement of a structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-719
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geodesy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


  • Accelerometer
  • Adaptive filter
  • Empirical mode decomposition (EMD)
  • GPS structural deformation monitoring
  • Integrated data processing
  • Static and dynamic displacements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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