In-construction vibration monitoring of a super-tall structure using a long-range wireless sensing system

Yiqing Ni, B. Li, Kwok Ho Lam, D. P. Zhu, Y. Wang, J. P. Lynch, K. H. Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


As a testbed for various structural health monitoring (SHM) technologies, a super-tall structure - the 610 m-tall Guangzhou Television and Sightseeing Tower (GTST) in southern China - is currently under construction. This study aims to explore state-of-the-art wireless sensing technologies for monitoring the ambient vibration of such a super-tall structure during construction. The very nature of wireless sensing frees the system from the need for extensive cabling and renders the system suitable for use on construction sites where conditions continuously change. On the other hand, unique technical hurdles exist when deploying wireless sensors in real-life structural monitoring applications. For example, the low-frequency and lowamplitude ambient vibration of the GTST poses significant challenges to sensor signal conditioning and digitization. Reliable wireless transmission over long distances is another technical challenge when utilized in such a super-tall structure. In this study, wireless sensing measurements are conducted at multiple heights of the GTST tower. Data transmission between a wireless sensing device installed at the upper levels of the tower and a base station located at the ground level (a distance that exceeds 443 m) is implemented. To verify the quality of the wireless measurements, the wireless data is compared with data collected by a conventional cable-based monitoring system. This preliminary study demonstrates that wireless sensing technologies have the capability of monitoring the low-amplitude and low-frequency ambient vibration of a super-tall and slender structure like the GTST.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-102
Number of pages20
JournalSmart Structures and Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2011


  • Ambient vibration
  • In-construction monitoring
  • Structural health monitoring (SHM)
  • Super-tall structure
  • Wireless sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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