A new approach for health monitoring of structures: Terrestrial laser scanning

H. S. Park, H. M. Lee, Hojjat Adeli, I. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

482 Citations (Scopus)


A new approach is presented for health monitoring of structures using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). Three-dimensional (3D) coordinates of a target structure acquired using TLS can have maximum errors of about 10 mm, which is insufficient for the purpose of health monitoring of structures. A displacement measurement model is presented to improve the accuracy of the measurement. The model is tested experimentally on a simply supported steel beam. Measurements were made using three different techniques: (1) linear variable displacement transducers (LVDTs), (2) electric strain gages, and (3) a long gage fiber optic sensor. The maximum deflections estimated by the TLS model are less than 1 mm and within 1.6% of those measured directly by LVDT. Although GPS methods allow measurement of displacements only at the GPS receiver antenna location, the proposed TLS method allows measurement of the entire building's or bridge's deformed shape, and thus a realistic solution for monitoring structures at both structure and member level. Furthermore, it can be used to create a 3D finite element model of a structural member or the entire structure at any instance of time automatically. Through periodic measurements of deformations of a structure or a structural member and performing inverse structural analyses with the measured 3D displacements, the health of the structure can be monitored continuously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalComputer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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